Side sleeping is widely considered to be one of the best sleeping positions for spinal alignment. However, sleeping on your side isn’t enough — you also need to make sure you have the right pillow for side sleeping. Sleeping posture and pillow type often go hand-in-hand when it comes to ensuring spinal alignment.
In this article, we discuss what are the best sleeping positions for side sleepers, the qualities of the best pillows for side sleepers, and we discuss what is the best pillow for a side sleeper based on Amazon results.
Best Sleeping Positions for Side Sleepers
Sleeping on your side is great, but you can optimize the benefits of your position by adopting these postures:
- Sleep on your side with a knee pillow tucked between your legs. Doing so takes some of the pressure off your lower back and facilitates spinal alignment.
- Sleep on your side with your knees pulled up in the fetal position, i.e., your knees should be close to your chest. This position expands the spine, increasing the gap between your discs, thus minimizing the risk of a slip disc or back pain.
Qualities of the Best Pillows for Side Sleepers
The following are some of the primary qualities to consider when looking for the best pillows to sleep on your side:
- You must look for high-loft pillows, i.e., pillows with a loft height of 4 inches or more. When you sleep on your side, there’s a significant gap between the mattress and your neck. As such, the pillow must cover that distance to prop your head in a neutral position. If you have a thin pillow, your neck will slump down, and you’ll experience neck pain in the morning.
- The pillow should ideally be made of memory foam because it conforms to the shape of your body. Memory foam bunches around your neck and shoulders, thus offering greater support than most other materials.
- The memory foam pillow should ideally be contoured or have an ergonomic design. Contour pillows generally have grooves or elevated areas that serve as neck rolls. When you sleep on your side, your neck should rest on the neck roll for optimal comfort and support.
- When you sleep on your side, your face lies flat against the pillow. As such, if it’s a hot night or if you’re a hot sleeper, you may start sweating because of the heat. To counteract that, you should look for a pillow infused with a cooling gel or one that comes with a highly breathable pillowcase.
Best Pillows for Side Sleepers on Amazon
Elite Rest Contour Sleeper is one of the best luxury side sleeper pillows on the Amazon. This is a medium-firm contour memory foam pillow with a loft height of 4”, and it comes with a breathable cotton cover. It’s made of high-quality memory foam that conforms to the shape of your neck and offers support. The contoured and elevated side has a loft height of 4 inches, while the lower contour has a loft height of 2.75 inches. As such, you can rest your neck on the elevated contour and allow your head to nestle in the concave center. This position facilitates spinal alignment, keeping your neck in a neutral position. This pillow also comes with a 100% cotton cover that’s machine-washable, removable, and highly breathable. The cotton cover facilitates air circulation to keep you cool and potentially avoid night sweats.
Core Products Tri-Core Pillow is one of the best cervical pillows for side sleepers. This pillow can be used by any side sleeper, but it’s especially useful for side sleepers with neck pain. This is an orthopedic pillow with a tri-core design, i.e., all of the sides are elevated into a neck roll. When you sleep on your side, your neck rests on the gentle curvature while your head nestles inside the concave center. This facilitates spinal alignment and helps manage neck pain. This pillow is quite firm and offers aggression correction, which is why you may need a few weeks to adjust to the pillow. This pillow comes with a cover made of 50% polyester and 50% cotton.
Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow is a standard-size contour memory foam pillow with a neck support ergonomic roll. The memory foam adapts to the shape of your neck and body. This pillow has a higher contour of 5 inches, which is enough to cover the distance between your mattress and your neck, thus offering optimal neck support. You can rest your head either on the higher contour or the lower contour. This pillow also comes with a soft and washable pillowcase that can be machine-washed. Finally, this pillow is made in the USA, and it comes with a 5-year warranty.
If you sleep on your side, you should ideally sleep with a pillow between your knees, or you should sleep in the fetal position with your knees pulled close to your chest. These positions lengthen your spine and facilitate spinal alignment. The best pillows for side sleepers are made of memory foam, have a high loft, and come with an inbuilt neck roll. Elite Rest Contour Sleeper is one of the best pillows for side sleepers because it’s made with high-quality foam and it has ergonomically contoured sides that cover the distance between the mattress and your neck to keep you aligned.