The Ultimate Pillow Buying Guide For Side Sleepers

Red-haired woman lying in bed

Finding the best sleeping position can be an arduous task that can waste precious sleeping time.  For me, sleeping on my side is the only position that feels right.  Making sure that you have the right pillow for your sleep style is essential to effortless sleep.  Knowing what you are looking for will make your pillow shopping experience smoother and more successful.

Side Sleeping Benefits

  • -Can reduce snoring
  • -Left side sleeping allows stomach to cradle its contents and can reduce acid reflux.
  • -Left side sleeping may facilitate more effective lymph node drainage, than right side sleeping.
  • -Centering your head with your spine can diminish neck and back pain.
  • -Increase in blood flow and comfort during pregnancies.


Pillow Design features to look for:

  • -High loft: Thickness of pillow from bed to head
  • -Gussetted: An extra piece around the edge that can increase the amount of fill and thickness, opposed to tapered edge. (Photo below)
  • -A firmer pillow will make sure that your head stays in the right place all night long.


Pillow Fills:

There are different fill types within pillows that give them different attributes for different styles of sleeping.  The main fill materials are: Down & Feather, Polyester, Latex, and Memory Foam.

Down & Feather

Down & Feather options can be on the softer side, so look for a pillow with a higher fill volume and higher % of feather that will provide enough support for a side sleeper. Down clusters are softer than regular feathers, so make sure there is a high content of feathers.

Features to look for:

  • -Feather fill is firmer than down fill – Finding a pillow with a higher percentage of feathers to down will make a firmer more supportive pillow.
  • -Multi-chambered pillows – Some Down and Feather pillows have a smaller pillow in the center that functions as a hard core that is surrounded by a 100% down fill.  These pillows can work as a side sleeper if you do not have broad shoulders.

Try an Overstuffed pillow by Phoenix Down or a Pillowtex 95% Feather/5% Down



Polyester has a wide range of fill types and designs, resulting in a pillow category that is the most diverse and functional with all sleep types.

Features to look for:

  • -Polyester can come in a wide range of firmness.  A firmer pillow will be ideal for a side sleeping position.
  • – A pillow with a high loft, or thickness, will have the support that is required for sleeping on one’s side.

Try a Beyond Down Side Sleeper Pillow by Carpenter ® or Restful Nights ® UltraFlow polyester pillow – Featured at many Marriott ® Hotels 


Memory Foam & Latex Pillows

Memory foam is effective at giving support while conforming to the sleepers head.  A memory foam pillow that is thicker will always give the sleeper more support.  Latex on the other hand is all support.  These pillows maintain their shape and provide a solid surface that stays consistent over time.  If you want a stiff pillow that will prop your head up, then this is your pillow.

Memory Foam features:

  • -Supportive and conforming.
  • -Look for thick pillows that will keep your head aligned with your back.

Try a Dough Memory Foam High Profile Pillow by Malouf ®


Latex features

  • Latex foam is a bit springy compared to memory foam, which allows it to hold it’s shape better and thus supports and aligns your neck,head,and shoulders.

Try a Latex International ® Classic High Profile Pillow



Let’s us know what your favorite side sleeper pillow is! We love your feedback!


Blog Author – Mike Swisher, Assistant Channel Manager

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