Reviews You Can Rely On

The 5 Best Side Sleeper Pillows

We tested pillows for side sleepers from brands like Honeydew, Tempur-Pedic, Sleep Artisan, and others to find the best for a good night's sleep
Best Side Sleeper Pillow
Testing the best side sleeper pillows involved many nights of great sleep among our testing team who enjoyed cycling through a range of shapes, fabrics, and fill every night.
Credit: Laura Casner

Our Top Picks

By Ethan Newman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 6, 2022

We researched 35+ top-performing pillows before buying and testing the top 11 products available today in search of the best pillow for side sleepers. Our review team spent night after night atop each product to determine which ones work best for those who prefer to sleep on their sides. We looked for the comfiest, highest quality pillows and put them through the paces on our beds and in our washing machines. We checked features, tested for firmness, and measured thickness to bring you this in-depth review. Let us help you find exactly what your nights have been missing.

Don't sleep on our other reviews! We want you to rest well, which is why we have an entire selection of bedroom reviews where we've chosen our favorite sheets, the best electric blankets, and the top comforters, all dedicated to helping you get a good nights sleep.


Best Overall Pillow for Side Sleepers

Honeydew The Scrumptious Side Sleeper

Dimensions: 27.5" x 15" x 8" (max height) | Fill: Copper infused foam
Adjustable fill
Crescent shape gives room for shoulders
Stays pleasantly firm even with some fill removed
Side fabric can be crinkly
Must remove the fill to wash

Honeydew's The Scrumptious Side Sleeper pillow claimed the top spot for our favorite pillow for side sleepers. We absolutely loved the crescent shape, which gave room for our testers' shoulders, and pleasantly cradled our heads even when rolling around. We also really liked how adjustable the pillow is and how the fill kept the pillow full and reasonably firm even when we removed a decent amount of the fill.

The only thing we don't love is that you have to remove all of the fill to wash this pillow. In other words, the fill isn't washable. We don't wash pillows all that often in our normal lives, but when we do, they usually really need it. There is also a band of stiffer fabric running around the side of the pillow that made a crinkly noise when we folded the pillow to read. Aside from that, there isn't a lot to complain about. All in all, we love the Scrumptious pillow. It has a nice balanced firmness, it's fully adjustable, and we absolutely love the shape. We recommend this for anyone who wants a position-specific pillow, but really, we'd recommend this for everyone. It's our favorite pillow we've ever slept on, and we think it's the best pillow for side sleepers out there.

best overall pillow for side sleepers
The crescent shape, firm and adjustable fill, and undeniable comfort make the Honeydew Scrumptious a clear favorite among our testers.
Credit: Laura Casner


Best Bang for Your Buck

EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow

Dimensions: 24" x 15" x 4.8" | Fill: Polyurethane gel foam
Removable foam panel for more of a head cradle feel
Pleasantly firm
Outer fabric pills up
Could be firmer at the edges

The EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow is our favorite firm memory foam pillow. Although it isn't the least expensive on the list, we think it provides the best value. Unlike many of the adjustable pillows in this review, the EPABO pillow is filled with a block of polyurethane gel foam rather than shredded foam chunks. This makes the pillow far firmer and more similar to standard memory foam pillows. Although it's not completely adjustable, there is a ¾-inch thick removable panel in the middle of the pillow that, which when taken out, creates more of a cradle shape for your head.

While we like this as a firmer option, we think it could be improved with firmer edges. Other firm pillows did better at supporting our heads when we tried to read while lying on our side. Also, after repeated use, the cover fabric of the pillow began to pill. That said, this is a high-value product for those looking for a quality option on a limited budget.

pillow for side sleepers - best bang for your buck
The EPABO pillow is a nicely shaped, affordable option for a firmer pillow.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Best for Restless Sleepers

Sleep Artisan Luxury Side Sleeper

Dimensions: 28" x 17" x 6" | Fill: 85% Latex foam, 15% poly silk fiber
Long crescent shape stays with you when rolling
Foam stays firm, even when adjusted
Spot wash only
Soft spot forms in the middle if too much fill is removed

The Sleep Artisan Luxury Side Sleeper was only lost to our favorite by a smidge; we love this pillow too. The long crescent shape rolled accommodatingly along with our lead tester, who tends to sleep with all the restfulness of a horizontal tornado. We really like the fill, which nicely fills the cover even when adjusted to be thinner. The sideband that helps keep its shape is also softer than the Honeydew pillow, which is a nice benefit.

The Sleep Artisan pillow is made from high-quality materials, but these materials can only be spot washed, which is disappointing. Some testers also wished this pillow was a touch firmer when thinned down, but even so, it is still one of our favorites. We recommend this pillow if you tend to be restless, as it will roll with you rather than rolling off the bed and can be folded and tucked nicely if you want a firmer or thicker spot in the middle of the night.

pillow for side sleepers - best for restless sleepers
Despite our lead tester's inability to stay still throughout the night, the Sleep Artisan pillow stayed with him all night, even with lots of fidgeting.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Best Firm Pillow

Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo

Dimensions: 20" x 12.6" x 4" | Fill: Memory foam
Very supportive
Surprisingly cool for firm foam
Annoying piping on the sides
Only the cover can be washed

The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo is definitely the firmest pillow we tested, and for those that really like supportive pillows, it's the way to go. Tempur-Pedic is known for their quality memory foam pillows and mattresses, and this pillow is no exception. It's a solid block of memory foam, but it's plenty cool, whereas some memory foam pillows can be total heat sinks.

We wish this pillow had a bit of adjustability, as again, it is one solid piece. However, it is available in different sizes and thicknesses. There is also some annoyingly stiff piping sewn onto the edges of each side, which you can feel through pillowcases, which seems unnecessary. Additionally, we wish the entire pillow could be washed, but only the removable cover is washable. Still, we recommend the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo to anyone who likes a very supportive pillow, or who has neck pain from pillows that aren't firm enough.

pillow for side sleepers - best firm pillow
If you like a reliably firm memory foam pillow that doesn't deform, even when you're head is on the edge, this is the one we recommend most strongly.
Credit: Laura Casner


Best Pillow to Keep You Cool

Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

Dimensions: 20"x26" | Fill: Buckwheat hulls
Adjustable fill
Pillow doesn't slide away
Stays cooler than other pillows
Unusual texture

If you get really hot at night, the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow might be the cushion of your dreams. Pillows filled with buckwheat hulls have been around for a long time, but Hullo created a nice yet simple product using organic cotton for the case and American-grown buckwheat for the fill. Our lead tester, who sleeps warm, found that the buckwheat fill stayed cooler than foam pillows, perhaps because seed shells are less efficient at insulation. It stays at a nice temperature all night long. It's also a heavy pillow. The standard size weighs in at nearly nine pounds, so it won't roll away from you at night and generally keeps its shape once we nestled our heads into the center. It's also adjustable, and Hullo offers replacement buckwheat if, for some reason, you need to refill your pillow.

One noticeable drawback is the amount of noise the fill material makes. The buckwheat shells are sort of noisy when our ears were pressed against them and when we moved about. If you're sensitive to noise at night, this might not be the best product for you or your partner. It's also considerably more firm than any other non-buckwheat cushion we tested and has a texture similar to a bag of beans, which some might find offputting. However, if you really need a supportive pillow that keeps you cool, and you like the idea of natural materials, we recommend trying the Hullo pillow.

pillow for side sleepers - best pillow to keep you cool
The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow is our favorite naturally filled pillow. It kept us cool and is fully adjustable.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Standard Shape, Quality Fill

Nest Bedding Easy Breather

Dimensions: 16" x 27" | Fill: 80% Memory foam, 20% polyester fiber
Adjustable fill
Firm in shape, soft in texture
Rectangular shape isn't best for side sleeping
Can only wash the case, not the fill

The Nest Bedding Easy Breather is made of quality materials in a normal pillow rectangle. Although it's got a standard shape, it has a silky band of material around it that helps keep its loft and makes sure that fill spreads to the corners. The fabric is also nicely textured and quite soft, feeling pleasant under a case. The texture also helps keep it a touch cooler, as it allows for a bit of airflow. The foam fill is nicely firm and springy but also allows your head to sink into the pillow. The fill is also adjustable by removing some through a side zipper.

We wish this pillow was easier to wash, as you have to empty the entire pillow to wash the cover. Nest specifically says that their foam is not designed to be washed and instead recommends a pillow protector. We also wished that the texture was a touch less lumpy. Still, we think the Easy Breather is a good option for a shredded memory foam that feels like it could suit back or side sleepers, depending on how much fill you leave inside the case.

pillow for side sleepers - we like the nest easy breather pillow for its firm yet comfy fill...
We like the Nest Easy Breather Pillow for its firm yet comfy fill and its adjustability.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Good All-Around Option

Coop Home Goods The Original

Dimensions: 20" x 30" x 8" (max height) | Fill: Cross cut memory foam
Adjustable fill
Fully washable
Not as comfortable as crescent-shaped models
Fill doesn't reach corners

For what it is, we like the Coop Home Goods The Original. At first glance, it's a standard rectangle pillow with a foam filling. The foam filling is actually a pleasant, shredded memory foam blended with microfiber that can be adjusted to the thickness you desire. It's one of the softer options we tried, but it still provides decent support even after removing some of the fill. We also like that it's fully washable—just chuck it into the washer and select a delicate cycle.

We wish this pillow were crescent-shaped like some of the others in the review, which might have helped it score higher. It also has a double cover design which is nice for washing but leaves the corners a bit unfilled. Otherwise, we think that the Coop Original is a solid choice for those who want a more conventional-shaped pillow.

pillow for side sleepers - we like that the coop pillow has adjustable, high-quality fill and a...
We like that the Coop Pillow has adjustable, high-quality fill and a reasonable price tag, but felt that its comfort wasn't on par with the crescent-shaped models we tested.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Cooling and Very Soft

Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo

Dimensions: 27" x 16" x 7" (max height)| Fill: Cross cut memory foam
Fully machine washable
Pillow gets lumpy when adjusted
Too soft for some testers

The Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo is a soft, adjustable rectangular pillow with a decent memory foam fill. Its adjustability is a nice touch. Otherwise, it would be too full and fluffy for a pillow for side sleepers. We were also impressed that it doesn't hold much heat — take note, anyone seeking the eternally cold pillow. Another nice touch is that it's easy to wash.

In some ways, this pillow is very similar to the Coop pillow, but we like the Coop pillow a bit more. The Xtreme Comforts pillow became lumpier as we adjusted the fill level, leaving the corners empty. The fill stuck to itself somewhat and wouldn't evenly fill the casing. Still, it's a well-made product, and if you're looking for a soft, adjustable pillow without spending too much, it might be a decent option.

pillow for side sleepers - we really like that the xtreme comforts pillow is adjustable, but it...
We really like that the Xtreme Comforts pillow is adjustable, but it felt too lumpy in comparison to other models we tested.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Small and Plump

Beans72 Organic Buckwheat

Dimensions: 10" x 14" | Fill: Buckwheat hulls
Pleasantly firm
Good travel or knee pillow
Loud and crunchy
Small for most beds

The Beans72 Organic Buckwheat is a small yet thick cushion filled with organic buckwheat hulls in unbleached cotton fabric. The pillow comes overstuffed but is easily adjustable. Unlike some other adjustable models, we found managing the fill removal to be easy and less messy. We like how cool the buckwheat stayed. Beans72 is also a very small company, so if you like the idea of supporting a cottage company, check this pillow out.

The Beans72 pillows come in a variety of sizes. We tested the Japanese size and found it quite small in comparison to what we're used to. Despite the model we ordered being advertised as 14" x 20", the product we received was only 10" x 14". The pillow is six inches narrower than any other pillow we tested, and our lead tester, who rolls around a lot at night, tended to roll off the pillow. Instead, we really ended up liking this pillow as knee support and to keep legs from touching, something many side-sleepers enjoy. It also worked great as a back support on the couch or around the house. These uses aren't what we were looking for in this review, but some folks may find it helpful.

pillow for side sleepers - the beans72 buckwheat pillow is one of the only naturally filled...
The Beans72 Buckwheat pillow is one of the only naturally filled pillows we tested, which we liked. Unfortunately, the "Japanese size" we tested turned out to be smaller than standard sized pillows we are accustomed to.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Better for Back Sleepers

Mkicesky Side Sleeper Memory Foam

Dimensions: 25" x 16" x 5.3" | Fill: Memory foam
Great for relaxing with headphones
Quality firm foam
Overly textured fabric is annoying
Neck scoop pushes shoulders down uncomfortably

Despite the name, we believe the Mkicesky Side Sleeper Memory Foam suits back sleepers better than side sleepers. It has a unique shape; essentially a hole cut in the middle that cradles your head when on your back, which we liked when wearing earbuds in bed. The pillow also has a raised mesh fabric that allows more airflow between your head and the foam to keep things cooler.

The Mkicesky seems like a better back sleeper pillow, though. The scoop in the middle of the pillow fit our testers' necks much better when on their backs, whereas it tended to push our shoulders down awkwardly when we laid on our sides. It worked a bit better for side sleepers if we used the side of the pillow, but then we didn't get the benefits of the cradle in the middle or the mesh. We think this is a decent product, but it would be much better if marketed towards back sleepers than side sleepers.

pillow for side sleepers - the scoop in the center of the mkicesky pillow pushed our head...
The scoop in the center of the Mkicesky pillow pushed our head tester's shoulders down uncomfortably if he tried to sleep with his head centered on the pillow.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Too Fluffy for Most Side Sleepers

Beckham Luxury Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Dimensions: 20" x 30" x 8" | Fill: Gel fiber
Fully washable
Smooth cotton fabric
Way too fluffy to be comfortable as a side sleeper pillow
Poorly designed for a specific position

In most ways, the Beckham Luxury Hotel Collection Gel Pillow feels like a standard pillow. It has a nice feeling gel fiberfill and a smooth cotton fabric in a standard rectangular shape. We also like that it's fully machine washable and dryer safe; just be sure to use a delicate cycle.

That said, this product is way too fluffy to be a decent side sleeper pillow. Fully fluffed, it's around eight inches thick, which kinked our lead tester's neck. For side sleeping, it only seemed useful if we slid our heads all the way to the edge. If you're reading this review, you've probably already tried standard pillows for sleeping on your side, and you weren't satisfied, so we wouldn't recommend this pillow as a solution.

pillow for side sleepers - the beckham pillow is a bit too voluminous for our taste as regular...
The Beckham pillow is a bit too voluminous for our taste as regular side sleepers, and it isn't adjustable like some of the others.
Credit: Ethan Newman

Why You Should Trust Us

Before purchasing these 11 pillows for side sleepers, we researched the market, assessing three dozen models to determine the most promising ones to evaluate. We tested these pillows like we do other products on our site, with thorough personal use and carefully designed tests. Our lead tester and his partner slept on each of these pillows for weeks, rotating them out to see how they performed. Our testing team also washed each model according to their instructions to see how it held up to washing and put every pillow through multiple dryer cycles to accelerate the wear process to see how each product fared.

As someone who owns and operates a small B'n'B, Ethan Newman knows quality bedding. He is also an extremely light sleeper and sensitive to small changes in a sleeping environment, so he took particular care in conducting this review. He has picked through dozens and dozens of pillows, sheets, and mattresses to find the highest quality and value in his bedding for both himself and his guests.

We assessed firmness side-by-side with our hands and our heads.
We assessed firmness side-by-side with our hands and our heads.
We unzipped and washed each removable face cover multiple times...
We unzipped and washed each removable face cover multiple times, because we know that you will, too.
We slept all night and napped during the day to get these pillows...
We slept all night and napped during the day to get these pillows accurately and thoroughly assessed.

Analysis and Test Results

We used four metrics to analyze the pillows for the most objective reviews possible. Each metric covers a different kind of performance for these products. For this review, we rated each pillow for comfort, quality, washability, and features.

pillow for side sleepers - snuggle in as we detail the results from our extensive testing and...
Snuggle in as we detail the results from our extensive testing and assessments.
Credit: Laura Casner


First and foremost, pillows must be comfortable. Otherwise, why even buy them? Comfort is also essential for a specialized pillow review like this because it's likely you've already tried conventional pillows, and they just weren't comfy enough or didn't suit your preferred sleeping position. Most pillows are designed for back sleepers, and a comfortable pillow for a back sleeper might be quite uncomfortable for a side sleeper.

pillow for side sleepers - comfort is what most of us are truly looking for in a great pillow...
Comfort is what most of us are truly looking for in a great pillow, and our testers took this performance area seriously.
Credit: Ethan Newman

We tested our comfort metric by using it in our own bed, with both our lead tester and his partner using each one for multiple nights to evaluate them. We were specifically looking for comfort while sleeping on our sides, which our testers do naturally. We evaluated each pillow for how much we liked both the texture of the exterior and the interior fill. If we found them uncomfortable, woke up with the pillows tossed off the bed, or did a lot of squishing and specific positioning for the pillow to be comfortable, they scored lower. If the pillow felt nice and fit us well after the initial adjustment, it scored higher. Because comfort is so important for a side sleeper pillow, we weighted the performance here heavily.

pillow for side sleepers - although the xtreme comforts pillow and the coop pillows look...
Although the Xtreme Comforts pillow and the Coop pillows look similar (beyond color), the Coop pillow on the right has far superior fill.
Credit: Ethan Newman

Our testing team found the crescent-shaped products, the Sleep Artisan and Honeydew Scrumptious, to be the best pillows for side sleepers by far. The apex of the curve allowed room for our shoulders, while the wider part cradled our faces nicely. The Sleep Artisan pillow fill is a touch softer than the Honeydew, but what is comfier is really a matter of preference. For similar textures with a more standard shape, we like the Coop pillow quite a bit. The EPABO and Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo were also quite comfy for firmer options. For a very firm pillow, we liked the Hullo pillow filled with buckwheat, which also kept us nice and cool.

pillow for side sleepers - the fill of both the sleep artisan and the honeydew scrumptious...
The fill of both the Sleep Artisan and the Honeydew Scrumptious pillows are adjustable and made of quality fiber and foam blends that nicely filled the crescent shapes.
Credit: Ethan Newman

Durability and Craft

If you're going to plunk down the cash for a quality pillow, we think it should be well-constructed and made with quality fabrics and fill. We evaluated each pillow's durability and craft by researching the materials and finely combing over each pillow before and after use to find spots that might break down over time. We also washed each model multiple times according to the manufacturers' instructions to see how well they recovered from it and if they suffered any wear and tear.

pillow for side sleepers - to accelerate the wear cycle in order to test for quality...
To accelerate the wear cycle in order to test for quality construction, we put each pillow through multiple heatless dryer cycles.
Credit: Ethan Newman

Runs in stitching, easily caught zippers, pilling fabrics, and lesser quality fills all made certain products score lower in this category. For example, the Xtreme Comforts and Coop pillows are fairly similar in style, but we found the Coop pillow to contain higher quality fill, which kept the pillow fluffier. Some of the pillows, like the EPABO, had fabrics that were softer but pilled up fairly quickly. Hidden under a pillowcase, though, this isn't a large concern for most folks.

The highest-scoring models impressed us from unboxing through the end of testing: the Sleep Artisan, Honeydew, and Tempur-Pedic models. Both Buckwheat pillows, the Hullo and Beans72, also were quite durable, as the cotton covers held up to washing well, and the buckwheat fill is robust. The fill is also inexpensive and easy to replace if needed.

pillow for side sleepers - the fabric on the case of the epabo pillow is nice and soft, but we...
The fabric on the case of the EPABO pillow is nice and soft, but we saw evidence of it pilling up after just two weeks.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Like the rest of your bedding, pillows should periodically be washed. Pillowcases absorb the daily amount of skin oils and dirt, but eventually, any pillow not covered in a protector needs to be cleaned. A good washing not only cleans the pillow but also revives the fill to its previous levels of fluff and volume. The easier each product is to clean, the higher its score in the category of washability.

pillow for side sleepers - some of the pillows can easily be washed in a washing machine...
Some of the pillows can easily be washed in a washing machine without much to-do, but others require removing the entire fill or spot cleaning only.
Credit: Ethan Newman

The only fully washable pillows were the Xtreme Comforts, the Coop, and Beckham, so they scored the highest. They can all just be thrown into the washing machine and set on a delicate cycle, whereas with the other pillows, only the cover can be machine washed, or worst case, they can only be spot cleaned.


You might be asking, how many features can a pillow for side sleepers really have? A surprising amount, we'd answer. The key feature for many of these is adjustability. Some of these pillows can be completely adjusted from overstuffed orbs of fluff to essentially empty bags with just a whiff of fill and every level in between. The Sleep Artisan, Honeydew Scrumptious, Xtreme Comforts, Coop, Hullo, and Beans72 pillows were all completely adjustable by adding or removing their loose-fill materials. This is a great advantage for fine-tuning the fill level we want to fit our neck and shoulders. The buckwheat pillows were the least hassle of those to adjust because shredded foam tends to get everywhere once out of the casing. The buckwheat hulls are simple and quick to pour in and out of the case. A few of the pillows, like the Xtreme Comforts and Coop pillows, actually had two casings, so you could just wash the outer one or throw the whole pillow into the wash depending on what it needs.

pillow for side sleepers - the mkicesky pillow had an odd hole in the middle which cradles your...
The Mkicesky pillow had an odd hole in the middle which cradles your head well, and is nice for listening with earbuds on your side, but works much better on your back.
Credit: Ethan Newman

Other features, mostly on the firmer pillows, are neck scoops that are meant to support the curve of your neck from your shoulders. We liked this on the EPABO pillow. We didn't like it nearly as much on the Mkicesky pillow, as it felt like it pushed our shoulders awkwardly. The Mkicesky also had a hole cut through the middle to create a head cradle that seemed like a better fit for back sleepers than side sleepers, but we could kind of use it when trying to relax with earbud headphones in.

pillow for side sleepers - we tested the top side sleeper pillows to find the best one of them...
We tested the top side sleeper pillows to find the best one of them all.
Credit: Ethan Newman


Some folks are more sensitive than others when it comes to getting a good night's rest, and if you're reading this review, you might be one of those people. Sleep quality is vitally important; it can affect everything from cognitive function to athletic performance to stress, so we think it's worth getting the highest quality products to help you sleep well. For something we spend a third of our lives doing, we hope we've helped you improve it by leading you toward the right pillow.

Ethan Newman

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