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A good night’s sleep is not only vital for energy, focus, and general health, it can make you look younger. Sleep is important for good circulation, which can give you a rosy glow and help prevent puffiness and dark circles under your eyes.

Part of the formula for good sleep is the right pillow, but no single type of pillow is ideal for everyone. The perfect pillow for someone who sleeps on their back is not the same as the best pillow for a side sleeper.


A pillow suited to your sleep position will make you comfortable so that you fall asleep easily. But what’s more important is spine alignment, which helps you sleep well and also avoid waking up with aches and pains.

If you are a side sleeper, you will want a thick, firm pillow to support your head and neck. The thickness of the pillow that is right for you will depend on how broad your shoulders are. Some filling materials flatten a lot from the weight of  your head.

Your head should be positioned so that your neck is straight and in line with your spine. 

Thinner pillows with polyester fiberfill or thick pillows filled with soft down, which flattens a lot, are better for people who sleep on their back or their stomach.

Side sleepers should look for filling materials that hold their shape, like cotton, wool, latex, and foam (including memory foam). Higher-density foam offers more support.

There are foam and latex pillows that are contoured to support the head and neck differently, often called cervical pillows.

Some side sleepers like to support their bent knee with an additional pillow. Maintaining some space between your legs can keep your spine aligned. Another option is to use a body pillow that is long enough to support your leg as well as your head.


1.Alveo gosseted pillow

This pillow is gosseted, meaning that there are side panels that create and maintain thickness, in this case about 4 1/2 inches. The edges are sloped for comfort.

The bamboo-fiber foam filling has a bamboo-fiber and polyester washable cover. Bamboo is said to be breathable. The memory foam is soft, but the overall density allows for semi-firm support.

  • bamboo memory foam
  • soft-feeling but semi-firm
  • gosseted with curved edges
  • pretty inexpensive 

2. Sleephi pillow 

This soft pillow is 6 to 7 inches thick around the edges but is tufted so that there is a 2-inch-thick area in the center. This creates an indentation for your head while still supporting your neck. The filling is polyester microfiber that is on the soft side.

Though the pillow can be laundered, the manufacturer recommends dry cleaning instead. It does not come with a removable cover. You can use your own pillowcase so that it doesn’t need to be washed often.

  • soft microfiber filling
  • shape also good for back or stomach sleeping
  • fairly expensive 

3. Coop Home Goods pillow

The 3 inches of fill in this pillow is made up of shredded memory foam, which allows for more air circulation than solid foam and also make the shape more malleable, like a down pillow.

The thickness is adjustable. You can remove or add foam in any areas that you find too thick or too thin. The washable cover is a bamboo-derived rayon and polyester blend designed to stay cool.

  • adjustable thickness
  • malleable shredded foam
  • expensive 

4. Leachco Snoogle body pillow

Created for pregnant women, this body pillow supports your back as well as your head and leg. It is specifically for sleeping on your side and keeps you in position. Like any body pillow, it is bulky and not easily portable.  It is a 5-foot-long C-shape that is about 7 inches thick..

The standard cover is a cotton-polyester blend, but an all-cotton cover can be ordered separately. It can be removed for washing, but it is not that easy to put it back on.

  • C-shaped body pillow
  • supports leg as well as head
  • prevents changing position
  • fairly expensive 

5. Bemo pillow with armrest

This is another design uniquely for sleeping on your side.  (Bemo also has a butterfly-shaped pillow for back sleepers.) It is made of contoured memory foam 4 to 5 inches thick.

There is an indentation for your head and armrests on either end, for whichever side you sleep on. It comes with 2 washable covers, velour for winter, and a cooler smooth cover.

  • contoured for head, neck, and arm support
  • memory foam
  • specialized for side sleeping
  • pretty expensive 

6. Goodream Talalay pillow

Thicker than many pillows, at 5 ½ inches, this one is made of latex foam that bounces back to keep its shape. The natural latex foam is Talalay, a newer type that is softer than other latex foam.

The latex is perforated for air circulation and is deisgned not to heat up. The washable cover is 100 percent cotton.

  • firm natural latex
  • springy
  • expensive 

7. Brooklyn Bedding Bbpspmpqq pillow

The thickest of these pillows, at 7 inches, this one is also malleable like a down pillow but offering more support. The filling is shreds of a blend of memory foam with latex added for springiness.

There can be a slight lumpiness, as with feather filling. The gray cover with diamond pattern can be removed for laundering.

  • shredded latex and memory foam
  • contours to your neck
  • may feel lumpy
  • inexpensive 

8. Balichun firm pillow

This polyester-filled pillow is in classic style and comes in a level of firmness called “Great Support” that is good for side sleepers. It starts out at least 7 inches thick and feels soft but does not flatten.

Though the 100-percent-cotton cover does not come off, the whole pillow is machine washable.

  • polyester fill
  • keeps its loft
  • inexpensive 


Pillow preference is personal.  As a side sleeper, you will want a pillow that bridges the gap between your shoulder and neck and keeps your spine aligned.

Why not start with the classic Balichun firm pillow with “Great Support”? It has the thickness that side sleepers need. 

If you find it does not meet your needs, try the one of the more gimmicky pillows. Each has plenty of fans, and maybe some contouring or a proprietary blend of materials will take you to the next level of comfort.

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