Have you ever spent time thinking about what the best pillows for side sleepers are? Turns out the quest for a comfortable night’s sleep is quite popular in certain corners of the internet. It makes sense—we all have very specific things that help us fall asleep at night, whether it’s lavender spray, tips from a week of sleep boot camp, or finding the perfect pillow.
Side sleeping is generally considered the healthiest position, according to Terry Cralle, R.N. and certified clinical sleep educator, but that doesn’t stop many of us who prefer it from waking up with all kinds of neck, back, and ear pain. That’s because, unlike stomach and back sleepers, side sleepers need extra support to keep their head and neck in a neutral position. Michael Breus, Ph.D., a Los Angeles clinical psychologist and sleep specialist, recommends a thick, firm pillow that “will fill the space between your outer shoulder to your ear, allowing your nose to be in line with the middle of your chest,” he says.
Breus also recommends replacing your bed pillows every 18 months. “If you’re using [a] pillow that’s five or six years old, you’re not getting the support you need—and you’re not sleeping as comfortably as you could,” he says. Not sure whether yours needs to be swapped out? Check for sweat stains, tears, and weird smells—all signs that your pillow (and pillowcase) has reached its final days.
Short of buying and testing rounds of pillows yourself, a useful place to start is with the people who’ve put in the hours on the top-rated pillows for side sleepers. We combed through thousands of reviews and found some strong opinions—from those who swear their decades of neck pain was gone in one night to people who claim they were lulled to bed in mere seconds. Here are the 11 best pillows for side sleepers, according to die-hard reviewers.
Some reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.
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