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    What to Consider When Picking a Side Sleeper's Ideal Pillow

    We all know the wonderful, cozy feeling of waking up after a full night of restful sleep. However, in order for this to happen, your pillow must be up to snuff.

    The wrong pillow can severely impact your sleep quality and set you up for plenty of trouble in your waking life — think neck strain, shoulder pain, and waking up with kinks.

    We often sit on our buying decisions for any number of reasons. But pain is something that can galvanize us into action unlike much else.

    Where do you start, knowing there’s a host of pillow options available?

    What points do you consider when searching for the right fit?

    Cushion Lab is happy to help.

    Today we’re focusing on solving this riddle for side sleepers. We’ve broken down a few key points of what makes their ideal pillow, simplifying the search for you.

    So, sit back and enjoy as you take stock of the most important criteria that will help you narrow down your choices. And, most importantly, get your life back on track.

    Table of Contents

    What Makes a Good Side Sleeper Pillow?

    Good Neck, Spine, and Shoulder Support

    →→What Is the Best Pillow for Side Sleepers With Neck Pain?

    The Ideal Loft Firmness

    The Right Filling

    →→Is a Memory Foam Pillow a Good Side Sleeper Pillow?

    The Best Choice of Material

    What’s the Best Side Sleeper Pillow

    What Makes a Good Side Sleeper Pillow?

    Sleeping on your side can bring you plenty of benefits in the long run. It’s easy on your lower back and can help with more serious conditions, such as a herniated disc.


    But this only holds true if you maintain good spine alignment, and keep your head and neck aligned as well. 

    Apart from resting your hope on a good pillow, you also need to keep your end of the bargain, so to speak.

    Below are a few hints on what makes a good pillow for side sleepers.

    Good Neck, Spine, and Shoulder Support

    woman sleeping on blue throw pillow
    Unsplash by Bruce Mars

    First off, you’re looking for a pillow that provides good spinal, neck, and shoulder support. A pillow that’s failing in this domain will force you into incorrect sleeping positions, resulting in stiffness.

    A good pillow for side sleepers will keep your head and neck in a neutral position, well-aligned with your spine. A go-to solution for good spine alignment? A fuller, thicker pillow that keeps your head from sinking in.

    A fuller pillow will also do magic if your side sleeping is taking a toll on your shoulders — good head and neck support will take the pressure off your shoulders and ease any discomfort.

    What Is the Best Pillow for Side Sleepers With Neck Pain? 

    Are you suffering from chronic neck pain? You are if you’ve experienced neck stiffness straight out of bed any number of times — in which case your best bet is a cervical pillow.

    A cervical pillow is an ergonomic product designed to relieve muscle tensions and maintain the natural curve of your neck while you rest. It’s an ideal pillow for side sleepers.

    It supports tense muscles in your neck and shoulders and helps increase blood flow to your head.

    Cervical pillows are firm enough to offer good support, but also soft enough to ease pressure points — taking care of both support and comfort.

    Along with memory foam, buckwheat, and latex pillows, they’re in the running for some of the best pillows for side sleepers (and they’re ranking high).

    The Ideal Loft Firmness

    An ideal pillow for side sleepers has the right firmness to ensure good spinal alignment. Note that you don’t want to have your head tilted too far to either side.

    The best options are thus high loft pillows or those that are on the thicker side.

    But it’s not only loftiness that you’re after — it’s also firmness.

    A side sleeper needs support for their body between their ear and their outside shoulder. A firm enough pillow (preferably medium firm) is usually the right fit. It provides good support while retaining a great deal of conformity.

    On the plus side, it’s also great for relieving pressure throughout the entirety of your shoulders. 

    The Right Filling 

    When choosing a side sleepers’ best pillow, you need to consider stuffing materials. The market is rife with high-grade and less than high-grade fabrics, and your final choice also depends on your budget.

    A polyester pillow is the most affordable, while a memory foam pillow comes at a higher price point. Here are some of the other available options:

    • Latex pillows
    • Buckwheat pillows
    • Authentic down pillows
    • Kapok pillows  

    Is a Memory Foam Pillow a Good Side Sleeper Pillow?

    Now, get this.

    While 100% cotton stuffing pillows work well, the best choice for side sleepers is memory foam pillows.

    • Cotton pillows are a good transition solution for those that are testing the grounds and would rather start with a middle-of-the-road price point. They’re more durable than low-quality polyfill pillows and also provide firmer support. 
    • Memory foam pillows are a side sleepers’ best bet, as they provide unparalleled neck and head support while providing great pressure relief at the same time. They’re also the most durable.

    Your best foam pillow choice is a single-piece foam pillow. It's thought of as a better sleeping solution than shredded memory foam options.

    The rationale behind this is that the former provides stronger support and better breathability.

    The Best Choice of Material 

    When sleeping on your side, your face lies flat against the pillow. This may cause issues for people with sensitive skin and allergies.

    To avoid unwanted skin irritations or breakouts, stick with pillow covers that are made of natural materials.

    The best pillows for side sleepers are comfortable, breathable, and free of any potentially harmful materials.

    Below are some of the recommended hypoallergenic fabrics:

    • Organic cotton 
    • Bamboo
    • Natural latex
    • Cellulosic fibers

    Cushion Lab’s Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow: A Side Sleeper Pillow of Your Dreams?

    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow
    Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow

    Finally, what’s the best pillow for side sleepers?

    Cushion Lab’s Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow — and we’re about to make a case for it.

    Although this ergonomic, cervical pillow is a great go-to pillow for back sleepers too, it’s best-suited to a side-sleeping position.

    It’s ideal for side sleepers as it ticks all the boxes, tapping into all of the criteria we’ve discussed above. It ties in the benefits of both the best cervical pillows and the best memory foam pillows.

    Patented by Cushion Lab’s in-house ergonomists, it’s got all it takes to help you maintain healthy posture throughout the night.

    Here’s what’s making it one of the best contenders for side sleepers in particular: 

    • Ergonomically designed with side-sleepers in mind. As mentioned above, when side-sleeping, shoulders bear most of the brunt. The raised side sleeper face support in Cushion Lab’s pillow minimizes this risk.

      The pillow is high enough to prevent your shoulder from collapsing into the mattress. And there’s more — the curved cushion is slanted inwards, cradling your shoulders and keeping them in a position to prevent discomfort.

    • Made of certified proprietary HYPERFOAM™. This great foam pillow uses gel-infused dynamic rebounding memory foam that follows the natural curve of your head and neck.

      The foam relieves pressure from your stressed muscles and provides much-sought-after tension relief. All our memory foams are certified by CertiPUR-US, meaning they’re free of harmful chemicals.

    • Has the right level of firmness. This pillow is made of single-piece foam with a firmness level of 7.5 out of 10. On the scale from slightly to very firm, it sits at a medium-firm notch that’s perfect for good spinal alignment.
    • Produces a cooling effect. The pillow’s inner layer is made of mesh that serves to improve airflow while you sleep, creating a pleasant all-night cooling effect.
    • Comes with a 100% organic cotton outer shell. The cover is made of soft, breathable organic cotton that provides comfort to your body and gives TLC to your skin.

    As if that’s not enough, the Neck Relief Ergonomic Cervical Pillow is not only an ideal personal choice. It’s also an ideal option for the planet and the environment on the whole.

    Cushion Lab prides itself on offsetting its entire yearly carbon footprint.

    Ready to Sink Into Your Comfiest Dreams?

    The way you sleep creates a chain of cause and effect that can spell disaster in your life.

    Your pillow is a huge factor that influences whether you’ll wake up in pain or with great energy and stamina, ready to jump into all your pursuits.

    With all said and done, choosing the right pillow can be tricky. But, it doesn't have to be that bad.

    The hints above are bound to help you reach an informed buying decision.

    With our expert team’s tips and tricks, you can start looking forward to some of your best side-sleepers nights.

    Our team at Cushion Lab is dedicated to helping customers relieve pain so they can sleep and live to their fullest. Our happy customers are here to back up our claims:

    Erin M Customer Review
    Customer Review | Erin M.

    And we don’t stop at our pillow for side-sleepers — we offer a comprehensive line of high-grade ergonomic products designed to improve your quality of life 24/7.

    Have a peek into our product pages for more interesting products bound to up your game, both when sleeping and when awake.