Everyone has a different sleeping experience. Some people are back sleepers and some are side sleepers. You may even prefer to sleep on your stomach — even though you should generally avoid that sleeping position since it applies great pressure on your back.
In this article, we discuss the qualities of the best pillows for different sleeping positions and what is the best side and stomach pillow according to physicians.
Qualities of the Best Pillows for Different Sleeping Positions
The following is an overview of the type of pillow you should be using depending on your preferred sleeping position.
- Side Sleepers: If you’re a side sleeper, you should opt for a pillow with firm support. It should ideally come with a gusset and contoured to support the crook of your neck and conform to the shoulders. Side sleepers need high loft pillows that can cover the distance between the shoulders and neck while maintaining spinal support.
- Back Sleepers: The ideal pillow for back sleepers is one that has adequate support and loft to keep your head in a neutral position — not letting it prop up at an angle. You generally need a medium-loft or high-loft pillow, depending on your personal preference.
- Stomach Sleepers: You should ideally refrain from sleeping on your stomach because it places immense pressure on your neck and back and may lead to lower back pain. However, if you can’t help but sleep on your stomach, you must use a low-loft pillow — the thinner the better — that doesn’t let your head prop up at an awkward angle.
Based on the aforementioned qualities, we’ve combed the internet to find some of the best pillows for all sleeping positions — side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and combination sleepers.
Best Memory Foam Pillows for Side Sleepers
As mentioned previously, side sleepers generally need firm contoured pillows with a high loft that can cover the distance between the shoulders and the neck. The gusset should nestle closely against the contours of the shoulders. Based on those specifications, we’ve found the perfect pillows for side sleepers.
Elite Rest Contour Sleeper is the best memory foam pillow for side sleepers because it has a large sleeping surface and the perfect contoured loft height. The entire pillow is 12 inches wide, which is perfect because you have ample space to rest your head without letting it fall off. It also has a loft height ranging from 4 inches in the corners to 2.75 inches in the center — as such, you can rest your neck on the 4” gusset while letting your head rest in the crater. The pillow is made of memory foam so it conforms to the shape of your neck and offers optimal support. It comes with a machine washable and removable cotton cover that also increases breathability.
Sleep Restoration Gel Pillow is a 2-pack cooling gel fiber pillow for side sleepers. These pillows are made of 100% polyester filling that makes it extremely plush — furthermore, the filling doesn’t shift inside the pillow, which keeps it stable. This is necessary because it makes the pillow feel comfortable while still keeping it stable and ensuring that your head doesn’t angle downwards. These pillows also come with a 100% cotton cover that’s extremely breathable and cool.
Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
If you sleep on your stomach, you should opt for extremely thin pillows that keep your head in a neutral position. These pillows for stomach sleepers can also be stuffed under your abdomen to facilitate spinal alignment and take some pressure off.
Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper is the best pillow for stomach sleepers because it’s the thinnest memory foam pillow on the market with a loft height of only 2.5 inches. This pillow has a flat bottom and a contoured top — this is perfect because the pillow remains stable but offers optimal support to your neck or stomach.
TruContour Lumbar Pillow is ideally meant to be used as a lumbar support while sleeping on your back. But you can also use it as a pillow for stomach sleepers because it’s extremely thin and firm. Furthermore, you can rest this pillow under your abdomen to take the pressure off your back as well.
Best Pillow for Combination Sleeping Positions
Combination sleepers are those who keep tossing and turning throughout the night and sleep in various sleeping positions. The aforementioned pillows aren’t necessarily suitable for combination sleepers because of their lack of versatility. Combination sleepers need pillows with flexible filling, i.e., adjustable pillows with a moldable form.
Coop Home Goods is the best pillow for combination sleepers because it’s an adjustable shredded memory foam pillow. You can add or remove the shredded memory foam filling as per your convenience to increase or decrease the loft height. You can also shift the filling within the pillow in the middle of the night according to your preference to ensure you have optimal support. It also comes with a highly breathable bamboo.
Different people sleep in different sleeping positions and must find a pillow that’s suited for their particular needs. Side sleepers generally need pillows with a high loft and firm support that covers the distance between the shoulders and neck. Elite Rest Contour Sleeper is currently the best contour memory foam pillow for side sleepers because it has a contoured loft height ranging from 2.75 inches to 4 inches and the memory foam conforms to the shape of your body perfectly. If you sleep on your stomach, you should use an extremely thin pillow like Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper because it has an extremely low loft that doesn’t prop your head up at an awkward angle. Furthermore, you can also place the pillow under your abdomen for support. If you’re a combination sleeper, you should opt for an adjustable pillow like Coop Home Goods since it’s made of shredded memory foam filling.