Are flat pillows a pain in your neck? Here are the best pillows for side-sleepers

Not all sleepers aren’t the same, so why do all pillows seem to be the same? Some people are back-sleepers, a few special individuals are stomach sleepers, while others (myself included) are dedicated side-sleepers. More often than not, however, side-sleepers find that normal pillows simply don’t provide enough support, being either too soft or too flat to properly hold up one’s head. This can result in chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. Spinal alignment should be a top priority for any type of sleeper.

It’s not hard to see why this can be a problem: When sleeping on your side, your head is naturally going to be higher up off of the bed than it would be if you were lying on your back. If your pillow isn’t holding your noggin up high enough, your head and neck will be lying at an awkward angle relative to your spine, which is uncomfortable at best (resulting in poor sleep and a stiff neck) and can cause lasting neck pain problems at worst.

If you’ve tried doubling up on pillows or buying larger ones to no avail, then it might just be time for the right pillow – one made specifically for sleeping on your side. We’ve rounded up the best pillows for side-sleepers that comfortably give you good neck and head support.

The Best

Tuft and Needle Pillow — $75

best pillow for side sleepers tufts

There are a lot of really affordable pillows on this list, but not all of them offer the same support and comfort as this one from Tuft and Needle. Unlike a lot of cheaper memory foam pillows, this particular one comes with T&N Adaptive Foam. This allows it to maintain its shape without causing neck pain from being overly supportive. The Tuft and Needle memory foam pillow comes with a free 100-night trial as well as a 3-year limited warranty.

If you’re looking for a more detailed analysis of this excellent side sleeper pillow, we’ve actually had the chance to get our hands on it. Our Tuft and Needle pillow review can tell you whether or not it’s right for you.

$75 from Tuft and Needle

The Rest

Leesa reversible hybrid pillow — $125

best pillows for side sleepers

Perhaps you’ve tried other side-sleeper pillows — maybe even a few that are on this list — and found them wanting. The Leesa hybrid pillow does double duty as a pillow for side sleepers and as a cooling pillow, with an additional inner layer that can be removed to help you find the best level of support for your head and shoulders. At $135 for a queen size, the Leesa hybrid pillow is one of the most expensive picks on our roundup, but it’s not bad considering you’re effectively getting two pillows in one (and it might prove to be the last you’ll ever need to buy).

$125 from Leesa

Parachute Home Down Pillow — $69-$139

This down pillow from Parachute Home is constructed with premium European white down contained in a smooth sateen cotton shell. You can choose between soft and firm density depending on your preference, which also come in multiple pillow sizes depending on what bed you have. Though the comfort aspect is the most important factor, a 60-day trial and a 3-year warranty makes that initial purchase that much more painless. If you decide within that 60-day trial period that you still have neck pain, or that you and this pillow are not a good fit, you can return it for your money back.

$69 from Parachute

Wamsutta extra-firm pillow — $27

best pillows for side sleepers

This queen-sized model from Wamsutta features an extra-firm filling that offers great head and neck support when your favorite sleep position is your side. Customer reviews say that the “extra-firm” label is not mere marketing – the Wamsutta pillow is densely built for serious side sleepers and doesn’t sag or let your head “sink” in, which can be a factor that leads to neck pain. The polyester filling sits inside a 300 thread-count cotton cover and the pillow comes with a generous three-year warranty from Wamsutta. It’s also the cheapest side sleeper pillow on our list at just $27 from Amazon.

Pancake adjustable layer pillow — $70

best pillows for side sleepers

If you’re looking for a truly custom side-sleeping experience, check out the Pancake Pillow. The 300 thread-count cotton cover contains six inner layers that you can add or remove to dial in the perfect loft and firmness for you. Do you want medium firm, extra firm, or just some light firmness to help resolve your neck pain? With this great pillow, you can test each level to find out what’s right for you.  The Pancake Pillow is available from Amazon for $70 for the queen size (or $140 for a two-pack) and $90 for the king. It’s fairly pricey compared to other pillows for side sleepers, but happy customers say it’s more than worth it — especially if you’ve been struggling for years to find the best pillow for side-sleeping.

Sleep Innovations Memory Foam Contour Pillow — $27

If you’re looking for the ultimate neck pillow, then a contour pillow is the way to go. These memory foam pillows were made to handle neck pain by providing therapeutic support right where you need it. The ergonomic design of the contour itself adapts to your head, neck, and shoulders to provide the enhanced support and gentle alignment you’ve been missing. Spinal alignment is the most important factor of any pillow that claims to alleviate neck pain, so if neck pain is your biggest reason for wanting a better head rest on your mattress, this contour memory foam pillow is an excellent option. Normally priced at $60 on Amazon. Other comparable Tempur-Pedic options can go for as much as $129, so $27 is a great price for a pillow such as this.

National Sleep Products Premier firm density pillows (2-pack) — $38

best pillows for side sleepers

With a dense down-like polyester filling, the Premier pillows from National Sleep Products give you the plushy feeling of down along with the firmness and head support needed for side-sleeping. The down-like interior is also covered by a soft 230 thread-count sateen cotton case. Although the Wamsutta pillow is the cheapest single item on our roundup, the National Sleep Products pillows are the best value overall at just $38 for a two-pack from Walmart. Though these large pillows are great for head support, neck pain, and shoulder pain, their size and shape make them an aesthetically pleasing addition to any type of bedding.

Xtreme Comforts Kool-Flow bamboo memory foam pillow — $50

best pillows for side sleepers

We featured the Xtreme Comforts Kool-Flow in our cooling pillows roundup, and it gets another mention here because it’s also one of the best pillows for side sleepers. Not only will the firm neck-contouring memory foam support your head, but the aptly named Kool-Flow features a ventilated bamboo-derived cover that breathes so you don’t get all sweaty — if you’re a side sleeper who runs a bit hot, this is the pillow for you. Its hypoallergenic, mite-resistant design offers protection from dust mites and other allergens so you can get a good night sleep without worrying about anything going on within your pillow. Better still: These pillows are made right here in the USA. The Kool-Flow bamboo cover pillow rings in at $50 for the standard size, $55 for the queen, $60 for the hypoallergenic king, and $70 for the body pillow.

Brookstone BioSense shoulder pillow — $151

best pillows for side sleepers

In contrast to most side-sleeper pillows, which typically use shredded memory foam as filling, the Brookstone BioSense features a large memory foam pad that’s designed to contour to your head and neck. Also unlike most other pillows made for side sleeping, the BioSenses’s large shoulder divot lets you get your head higher up on the pillow, which can aid with neck pain. The BioSense foam is ventilated as well, making it great for hot sleepers, and contains ingredients like charcoal and green tea extracts to neutralize bacteria and odors. You can grab the BioSense shoulder pillow for $151 from Amazon and add on a Coop Home Goods memory foam body pillow for the complete experience.

Tempur-Pedic Side-to-Side pillow — $155

best pillow for side sleepers to pillows

When it comes to memory foam, Tempur-Pedic has really carved out a name for itself. Designed with side-sleepers in mind, this contour pillow gently cradles your head, neck, and shoulders to provide the support you need to get through the night. It’s also designed with a cooling gel top to help you avoid overheating. At $155, this is the most expensive pillow on our list, and for good reason. This memory foam side-sleeper pillow is the ultimate blend of firm and soft, and it was designed specifically with neck and shoulder pain in mind.

Looking for more great stuff? We’ve found mattress toppers, cooling pillows, blackout curtains, and more.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and choose what we cover carefully and independently. If you find a better price for a product listed here, or want to suggest one of your own, email us at dealsteam@digitaltrends.com.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
Deals

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera gets a steep price cut at Walmart

Modern smartphones can snap pretty impressive pics, but if you want pro-quality photos, you need a dedicated digital camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras on the market, and it’s on sale right now for…
Deals

Get Kingdom Hearts 3 at its lowest price yet during Walmart’s Xbox One sale

Walmart reduced the prices on some new and popular Xbox One games. Kingdom Hearts 3 is at its lowest price yet, while Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 get some stout discounts as well.
Deals

Save up to 85 percent in Amazon’s one-day memory and storage sale

Amazon's one-day storage sale could be the best time of year to upgrade the capacity of your phone, tablet, or desktop PC. Some items have had their priced slashed by up to 85 percent.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

The best Wii games, from Super Mario Galaxy to Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo shook up the gaming world with the Wii and its unique control scheme. Here are our picks for the best Wii games — just don't blame us for having too many Mario titles on the list.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for April 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…
Deals

Amazon drops prices on Nespresso coffee and espresso machines

Amazon has dropped prices on Nespresso coffee machines and a milk frother in an Easter week sale. Nespresso's coffee appliances use single-serve capsules and one-button selection to produce barista-quality espresso and coffee at home.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for April 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for April 2019.
Deals

Dreaming of a Peloton? These exercise bikes are just as good (and cheaper, too)

Modern technology certainly helps us stay fit and healthy. Whether it's fitness watches, or interactive treadmills, there are plenty of options out there. But perhaps the most popular name right now in fitness tech is Peloton.
Deals

Amazon slashes Easter Week prices for Dyson vacuums and air purifiers

Amazon slashed the prices on many Dyson high-tech products, including vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and more for Easter Week. Dyson's premium household tools attract millions of fans and Amazon took deep discounts on popular products.
Deals

You can score an Xbox One X and three games for $339, but you have to act fast

Microsoft’s latest console is easily the most cost-effective way to get your game on in 4K, and this sweet limited-time deal – which brings the Xbox One X and three games down to just $339 through April 17 – makes it even cheaper.
Deals

Amazon and Best Buy halve the price of the Facebook Portal for Mother’s Day

Amazon and Best Buy both cut the price in half for the Facebook Portal smart display for Mother's Day. The Portal's smart camera will follow you as you move around the room during video calls. The Portal also has Amazon Alexa built in.
Deals

Amazon strikes $100 off the price of Microsoft Surface Go tablets

If you've been eyeing Microsoft's Surface Go for its compact size and portability, now may be a great time to buy the tablet. Amazon has a $100 discount on the Surface Go, bringing the price of this slate down to just under $400.
Health & Fitness

Under Armour launches UA Rush, athletic wear that recycles your energy

Under Armour's newest performance clothing line, UA Rush, is a beautiful combination of science and apparel design. It's a mineral-infused fabric designed to enhance the performance of the wearer by recycling the body's energy.