Reviews You Can Rely On

The 5 Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

We tested pillows for side sleepers from brands like Honeydew, Tempur-Pedic, Casper, Sleep Artisan, and others to find the best for a good night's sleep
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Best Pillow for Side Sleepers Review (We've slept on, measured, washed, and directly compared the top side sleeper pillows on the market to find the best...)
We've slept on, measured, washed, and directly compared the top side sleeper pillows on the market to find the best ones for your perfect night's rest.
Credit: Matt Lighthart
By Ethan Newman & Ben Applebaum-Bauch  ⋅  Apr 23, 2024

The Best Pillow for Side Sleepers


Are you on the hunt for the perfect pillow for side sleeping? We've tested dozens of the best pillows to bring you the top 16 products available today in search of the best pillow for side sleepers. Our testing 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 their paces on our beds and in our washing machines. We checked features, tested firmness, and measured thickness to bring you this in-depth review. We are here to 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 tested the top-rated sheets, outlined our favorite comforters, the best electric blankets, and best mattress protectors all dedicated to helping you get a good nights sleep. If you love white noise, check out our dedicated reviews of the top-rated fans and sleep sound machines. And if you love to read a good book in bed, take a look at our book light review.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on April 23, 2024, to add new information and photos from our most recent round of firmness and compression testing.

Top 16 Pillow for Side Sleepers

Displaying 1 - 5 of 16
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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $99 List
$79.99 at Amazon
$220 List
$249.99 at Amazon
$129 List
$89.00 at Amazon
$75 List
$75.00 at Amazon
$100 List
$99.49 at Amazon
Overall Score
67
78
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72
74
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, fits standard pillow cases, outer case is easily removableFill is adjustable, crescent shape is good for shoulder space, pleasantly firmVery supportive, cooler than expected for firm foam, retains its shapeEntirely washable, adjustable filling, comes with extra fillingCrescent shape moves with you, supportive foam even when adjusted, hypoallergenic materials
Cons Not adjustable, fill is not removableFabric on the side is slightly crinkly, have to pull all the fill out to washSide piping is annoying, foam can't be washedLess comfortable than crescent-shaped options, fill not extend into cornersCan only spot wash, too little fill will compress too much
Bottom Line A combination of foam and polyester fill makes this breathable pillow a great option for sweet dreamsOur absolute favorite overall with well-balanced fill material, an exceptionally comfortable crescent shape, smooth fabric, and the ability to adjust the fillAn excellent pillow for those that like more support no matter their sleeping positionA quality standard shaped pillow with a pleasant adjustable shredded memory foam filling that's easy to cleanOur recommendation for those who tend to roll around while asleep, and its high quality fill is adjustable to get you comfier faster
Rating Categories Casper Hybrid Honeydew The Scrump... Tempur-Pedic Tempur... Coop Home Goods The... Sleep Artisan Luxur...
Comfort (40%)
7.0
9.0
6.5
7.0
8.5
Features (25%)
5.0
6.5
5.0
5.5
8.0
Construction Quality (20%) Sort Icon
8.5
8.5
8.0
7.5
7.0
Washability (15%)
6.5
5.5
7.0
10.0
4.0
Specs Casper Hybrid Honeydew The Scrump... Tempur-Pedic Tempur... Coop Home Goods The... Sleep Artisan Luxur...
Fill Material 70% polyurethane foam, 30% polyester fiber 73% CertiPur (US certified copper infused gel memory foam), 27% polyester fiber Tempur material and cooling gel Memory foam, microfiber 85% cross cut natural talalay latex, 15% poly silk fiber
Adjustable Fill No Yes No Yes Yes
Removable Cover Yes No Yes No Yes
Pillow Thickness 6.8" 6.0" 4.2" 6.2" 5.9"
Amount of Compression 3.9" 2.5" 1.3" 2.7" 3.0"
Machine Washable Partial Partial Partial Yes Partial
Care Instructions Remove cover from pillow, machine wash cold gentle cycle, do not bleach, dry flat, do not iron Remove fill to wash case Machine wash cold, machine dry cool, air-drying is best, do not "over-dry" the cover and do not use chlorine products or harsh stain removers of any kind Delicate cycle Cover can be washed on cold with all of the fill removed or spot cleaned


Best Overall Pillow for Side Sleepers


Honeydew The Scrumptious Side Sleeper


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 9.0
  • Features 6.5
  • Construction Quality 8.5
  • Washability 5.5
Machine Washable: Outer cover only | Fill: Copper infused foam
REASONS TO BUY
Adjustable fill
Crescent shape gives room for shoulders
Stays pleasantly firm even with some fill removed
REASONS TO AVOID
Side fabric can be crinkly
Must remove the fill to wash

The Honeydew The Scrumptious Side Sleeper pillow is our favorite pillow for side sleepers. We loved the crescent shape, which provided plenty of room for shoulders, and pleasantly cradled our heads even when rolling around. This super wide model is just as comfortable at the edges as it is in the middle. The level of fill is adjustable, and it still feels full and reasonably firm even after we removed a decent amount.

The only thing we don't love is that it doesn't have an inner liner between the fill and the outer shell. Since the fill itself isn't washable, laundering the outer cover requires removing every piece of stuffing. A band of stiffer fabric runs around the side of the pillow that crinkles when folding the pillow. All in all, we love the Scrumptious pillow. It has a well-balanced firmness, is fully adjustable, and has a great shape. It's our favorite pillow we've ever slept on and the best pillow for side sleepers. If your wish list includes a pillow that is much easier to wash, we recommend the Coop Home Goods The Original, which is also quite affordable.

Examining the filling of the Honeydew, we can easily see why it does, in fact, feel so scrumptious to sleep on.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Best Bang for Your Buck


Coop Home Goods The Original


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 7.0
  • Features 5.5
  • Construction Quality 7.5
  • Washability 10.0
Machine Washable: Fully washable | Fill: Cross cut memory foam
REASONS TO BUY
Adjustable fill level
Fully washable
Comes with additional fill
REASONS TO AVOID
Not as comfortable as crescent-shaped models
Fill doesn't reach corners

The Coop Home Goods The Original is a comfortable and quality option for its price. At first glance, it's a standard rectangle pillow with foam fill. However, the shredded memory foam blended with microfiber is quite pleasant and can be adjusted to your desired thickness by inserting additional fill. It's one of the softer options we tested, but it still provides decent support even after removing some of the fill. We also love that it is fully washable — just chuck the whole thing into the washing machine and run it on delicate.

This pillow would rise to the next level if it were crescent-shaped like some of the other top contenders in this category. We also noticed that the double cover design, though nice for washing, leaves the corners of this pillow with less stuffing. Otherwise, this model is a solid choice for those who want a more conventionally shaped pillow for side sleepers. If an affordable crescent-shaped pillow is important for your sleeping habits, check out the Sleep Artisan Luxury Side Sleeper instead.

Though it may not look like much at first, we very much came to appreciate the blend of fill in the Coop Original, and found it easy to adjust for different sized sleepers.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Best for Restless Sleepers


Sleep Artisan Luxury Side Sleeper


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 8.5
  • Features 8.0
  • Construction Quality 7.0
  • Washability 4.0
Machine Washable: Cover only | Fill: 85% Latex foam, 15% poly silk fiber
REASONS TO BUY
Long crescent shape stays with you when rolling
Foam stays firm, even when adjusted
Hypoallergenic
REASONS TO AVOID
Spot wash only
Soft spot forms in the middle if too much fill is removed

The Sleep Artisan Luxury Side Sleeper 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. It can also be folded and tucked nicely if you want a firmer or thicker spot in the middle of the night.

The Sleep Artisan is made with high-quality filling, but only the cover can be laundered, and the filling has to be spot washed. Some testers also wished this pillow was a touch firmer when thinned down, but it is still one of our favorites. We recommend this model as a great pillow for side sleepers who are also restless sleepers, as it rolls with you. If you're looking to simply just throw your pillow into the wash, the Eli & Elm Cotton Side is another crescent shaped pillow option with a latex-cotton construction.

With a wide band running down all the sides and an elongated crescent shape, the Sleep Artisan Luxury is well-equipped to roll right along with restless sleepers.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Most Supportive Pillow


Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo


65
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 6.5
  • Features 5.0
  • Construction Quality 8.0
  • Washability 7.0
Machine Washable: Cover only | Fill: Memory foam
REASONS TO BUY
Very supportive
Surprisingly cool for firm foam
Doesn't lose shape
REASONS TO AVOID
Annoying piping on the sides
Only the cover can be washed

The Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo offers exceptional support. It is shaped to fit comfortably between your neck and shoulders. This solid-block memory foam pillow is plenty cool, which is all the more surprising given its firmness and density. Though it is not adjustable, it is available in different sizes and thicknesses. The material also rebounds quite easily, so fluffing is never needed. We also appreciate its removable and washable cover for quick cleaning.

This pillow has some annoyingly stiff piping sewn onto the edges of each side. You can feel it through the case, and it's uncomfortable. Some sleepers may also find the overall texture of this pillow too firm to be comfortable. Still, we recommend this one to sleepers who like a very supportive pillow or who have neck pain from pillows that aren't firm enough. If you love supportive pillows with all the bells and whistles, also check out the Mkicesky Side Sleeper Memory Foam, which features a guided structure with high-quality foam.

Feeling unsupported? The Tempur-Ergo has the right contours and material to be the foundation of a good night's sleep.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Best Pillow to Keep You Cool


Hullo Buckwheat Pillow


60
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort 6.0
  • Features 5.5
  • Construction Quality 6.0
  • Washability 6.5
Machine Washable: Cover only | Fill: Buckwheat hulls
REASONS TO BUY
Fill is adjustable
Pillow doesn't slide away
Stays cooler than other pillows
REASONS TO AVOID
Noisy
Unusual texture

The Hullo Buckwheat Pillow might be the cushion of your dreams if staying cool at night is one of your top priorities. A staple in many traditional Japanese households, this pillow for side sleepers is a simple but pleasant product incorporating an organic cotton case and American-grown buckwheat filling. Our lead tester, who sleeps warm, found that the buckwheat fill stayed cooler than foam pillows, maintaining a comfortable temperature all night long. It's also heavy. The standard size weighs nearly nine pounds, so it won't roll away from you at night, and it generally keeps its shape once you settle in. It's also adjustable, and Hullo offers replacement buckwheat if, for some reason, you need to refill it.

One noticeable drawback is the amount of noise the buckwheat makes. The shells are noisy when your ear is pressed against the pillow, especially when moving. If you're sensitive to noise at night, this might not be the best product for you or your partner. It's also considerably firmer 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 need a supportive pillow that keeps you cool and you like the idea of natural materials, we recommend trying the Hullo pillow. If you're not a fan of the buckwheat construction, take a look at the Honeydew The Scrumptious Side Sleeper, our favorite crescent-shaped memory foam pillow.

The Hullo Buckwheat pillow is firm but surprisingly comfortable and stayed put, even when our testers didn't.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
78
Honeydew The Scrumptious Side Sleeper
Best Overall Pillow for Side Sleepers
$220
Editors' Choice Award
74
Sleep Artisan Luxury Side Sleeper
Best for Restless Sleepers
$100
Top Pick Award
72
Coop Home Goods The Original
Best Bang for Your Buck
$75
Best Buy Award
71
Nest Bedding Easy Breather
$119
69
Saatva Latex
$165
68
Eli & Elm Cotton Side
$145
67
Casper Hybrid
$99
65
Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo
Most Supportive Pillow
$129
Top Pick Award
63
Snuggle-Pedic Adjustable Shredded Foam
$70
Best Buy Award
61
Mkicesky Side Sleeper Memory Foam
$79
60
Hullo Buckwheat Pillow
Best Pillow to Keep You Cool
$109
Top Pick Award
58
Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo
$59
56
Epabo Contour Memory Foam Pillow
$49
53
Beans72 Organic Buckwheat
$60
50
Beckham Luxury Hotel Collection Gel Pillow
$61
33
Linenspa Shredded Memory Foam
$23

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

How We Test Pillows for Side Sleepers


Before purchasing the top pillows for side sleepers, we scoured the market, assessing dozens of models to determine the most promising ones to evaluate. We tested these pillows extensively, with thorough personal use and carefully designed evaluations. We measured how far they compressed under the normal weight of a head and scrutinized their filling comfort. Our testers and their partners slept on these pillows for weeks, rotating through them to make comparisons and see how they performed. Our testing team also washed each model according to their instructions to see how they held up and put every pillow through multiple dryer cycles to accelerate the wear process and see how each fared.

We have divided our scoring of pillows for side sleepers across four different metrics:
  • Comfort (40% of overall score weight)
  • Features (25% weighting)
  • Construction Quality (20% weighting)
  • Washability (15% weighting)

Measuring the thickness of a brand new pillow
Measuring the thickness of a brand new pillow
We washed all the washable components and then some, to see how much...
We washed all the washable components and then some, to see how much wear and tear they can handle.
Taking pillows apart to see how customizable they are and how well...
Taking pillows apart to see how customizable they are and how well our many testers enjoy their different feels.
From measuring thickness and compression to pulling out adjustable fluff and washing components repeatedly — not to mention sleeping on them! — we tested and measured and pushed these pillows to their limits.

Why Trust GearLab


Leading this review are Ethan Newman and Ben Applebaum-Bauch. Ethan knows quality bedding as someone who owns and operates a small B'n'B. He is also an extremely light sleeper and sensitive to small changes in his sleeping environment. Ethan has picked through dozens and dozens of pillows, sheets, and mattresses to find the highest quality and value in his bedding for himself and his guests. Ben has been testing products with GearLab since 2018. In that time, he has reviewed hundreds of home goods and camping products, including camping blankets, tents, and backpacking chairs, so he takes his sleep and relaxation seriously, no matter where he is.

We gave these pillows to as many of our side sleeping friends and...
We gave these pillows to as many of our side sleeping friends and family as we could round up to test them out.
Everyone sleeps a little bit differently and Ethan takes pillow...
Everyone sleeps a little bit differently and Ethan takes pillow testing seriously.
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.
Testing pillows is all in a day's (night's?) work for our team of experts.

How to Pick the Best Side Sleeper Pillow


Knowing that you're a side sleeper is just the first step in finding the right pillow to ensure your nights are restful and don't end in sore mornings. Whether you sleep on your side all night or toss and turn from your side to your back, to your front, and roll around, we can help you find the right pillow to wake rested.

We tested all kinds of side sleeper pillows side by side, to see which ones are best for the way YOU sleep.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

What Shape Should Your Pillow Be?

Pillows for side sleepers can be purchased in a bunch of odd shapes, including your standard rectangle, a curved crescent bottom, a scooped-out middle channel with elevated sides, and even bolsters strategically placed to support parts of your head or neck.

If you don't sleep 100% on your side, instead moving between positions through the night, you'll sleep well on a pillow that doesn't have a bolster for your neck, as that can easily become uncomfortable when you roll onto your stomach or back. Either a simple rectangle or crescent shape can still work for you, though. If you like to be able to fold your pillow or sleep right up to either edge, aim for a rectangular pillow. If you want a higher chance of your pillow following you as you roll across the bed at night, try a crescent-shaped model.

On the other hand, if you sleep on your side all night, having that bolster along the bottom edge of the pillow will better support your neck and head in alignment with the rest of your spine. Once again, how much you tend to move in your sleep can help you determine the best shape for you. If you often wake up in precisely the same position in which you fell asleep, a highly contoured pillow designed to cradle your head directly in the center is a great option for you. If you switch from sleeping on your right or your left sides, try a slightly simpler bolstered pillow that only has the bottom segment raised, allowing you to have the same comfort across the whole width of the pillow.

pillow for side sleepers - some side sleeper pillows have very specific shapes designed to...
Some side sleeper pillows have very specific shapes designed to accommodate certain types of side-to-back-to-front sleepers.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

How Firm Do You Want Your Pillow?

Despite what some pillow manufacturers might claim, there's no “silver bullet” when it comes to the perfect firmness for your side sleeper pillow. Determining what firmness is likely to work for you comes down to a few main considerations: what proportion of the night you are sleeping on your side, the width of your shoulders, and what your preferences are.

If you spend most or all of the night sleeping on your side, you will likely want a firmer pillow to better maintain a comfortable alignment of your head, neck, and spine. However, this consideration overlaps considerably with your shoulder width. If you have wider shoulders, a firmer — and thicker! — pillow will help maintain that alignment throughout the night. If you have narrower shoulders, a pillow that's too firm or too thick might actually bump your head up too high — and back out of alignment with the rest of your back, resulting in an uncomfortable night of sleep.

Before you start measuring your shoulders to try to find the right thickness of pillow, also consider what you actually like. If you're the type of sleeper who gravitates toward firmer, more supportive surfaces, you'll probably appreciate those same qualities in a pillow. However, if you prefer a softer, more yielding sleeping surface, you'll likely want the same softer attributes in a pillow.

Unless you've determined that you'll be happiest on a sturdy slab of memory foam, you may appreciate the ability to adjust your pillow's firmness and level of loft. Many pillows are filled with chunks of foam or individual pieces (like buckwheat seeds) that you can add or remove to make your pillow thicker and firmer or thinner and softer. This is also a great feature if you're not completely sure what pillow you need, as you can adjust it yourself until it perfectly matches your sleeping preferences.

pillow for side sleepers - while there&#039;s no single answer for how firm your pillow should be...
While there's no single answer for how firm your pillow should be, we can help you consider your personal style of sleeping to determine what level of support and softness is likely to work for you.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

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. We rated each pillow for comfort, quality, washability, and features for this review.


Value


When thinking about value, we are comparing the overall score of a product relative to its price. We want to determine whether an expensive item can justify its price with its performance. Similarly, we also look for models that punch above their weight class. Given a product's price point, that means a performance exceeding what we expect. The Coop Home Goods The Original has excellent overall performance at a reasonable price. Its adjustable fill allows you to find your perfect loft and firmness. On the other hand, some products are worth their higher prices because they represent a sound investment. The Honeydew The Scrumptious Side Sleeper is that product. It's an all-star sleeper sidekick that cradled our heads in the utmost comfort and was unanimously loved by our entire testing team.

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

Comfort


First and foremost, pillows must be comfortable. Otherwise, why even buy them? Comfort is also essential for this specialized pillow for side sleepers review because, if you're here, you've likely already tried conventional pillows, and they just aren't comfy enough or don'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.


We began our comfort testing by evaluating the firmness of each pillow in our tests. We measured the thickness of every pillow “as-is” — that is, without removing or adding any fill to the adjustable options, and instead testing them how the manufacturer sent them. We then placed our weighted “test head” on the pillow and measured how much each compressed under its realistic weight.

Measuring the compression caused by our weighted dummy test head.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

We next tested our comfort metric by using each pillow in our beds, with our lead testers and their partners using each one for multiple nights to evaluate them. We specifically evaluated comfort while sleeping on our sides, which is the natural sleep position of all our testers. We considered each model's head and neck support and assessed any neck discomfort we experienced in the morning or misalignment that would wake us up during the night.


We also looked at the texture of the exterior as well as the interior fill. They scored lower if we had to do a lot of squishing and specific positioning for the pillow to be comfortable. The pillow scored higher if it felt nice with just the initial adjustment. Because comfort is so important for a side sleeper pillow, we heavily weighted their performance in this metric.

Illustrating differences in firmness between the Epabo Contour on the left and Saatva Latex on the right.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Our testing team found that crescent-shaped products, like the Sleep Artisan and Honeydew Scrumptious, are some of the most comfortable pillows for side sleepers. The curve provides room for your shoulders, while the wider part cradles your face nicely. These particular models are equally comfortable from edge to edge. The Sleep Artisan pillow fill is a touch softer than the Honeydew. The Eli & Elm Cotton Side has an even more pointed crescent shape with a deep concave center. The fill is springier than the Honeydew and offers a little more resistance.

pillow for side sleepers - two crescent side sleeper pillows: the eli &amp;amp; elm cotton side...
Two crescent side sleeper pillows: the Eli & Elm Cotton Side (top) with a deep shoulder cavity and the Honeydew Scrumptious (bottom) with a shallower curve.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

For similar textures with a more standard shape, we like the Coop Home Goods The Original pillow quite a bit. Its fill is a pleasant blend of shredded memory foam and microfiber that can be adjusted to your desired thickness. It's one of the softer options we tried, but it still provides decent support even after removing some of the fill. The Saatva Latex is one of the plushest in the category. Its latex core and polyester outer layer offer a soft but supportive headrest in a traditional rectangle. The Casper Hybrid offers a similar level of support with a unique combination of a polyester fiber base with a layer of foam on top.

pillow for side sleepers - saatva&#039;s latex pillow is a great combination of supportive (the...
Saatva's latex pillow is a great combination of supportive (the latex core) and soft (the polyester exterior layer).
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The foam fill of the Nest Bedding Easy Breather is nicely firm and springy but also allows your head to sink into the pillow. It is adjustable by removing some stuffing through a side zipper. The outer fabric is nicely textured and quite soft. The texture also helps keep it a touch cooler, as it allows for a bit of airflow. The Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam is similar but with chunks of firmer foam, and it even comes with an extra tube of fill for even more support. The Linenspa Shredded Memory Foam uses the same strategy of incorporating shreds or chunks of fill rather than a solid mass of memory foam.

pillow for side sleepers - the casper hybrid (bottom) and the snuggle-pedic (top) have...
The Casper Hybrid (bottom) and the Snuggle-Pedic (top) have different types of fill. The former is made from solid pieces of material, the latter is shredded bits of foam and fiber.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch


The Epabo Contour Memory Foam and Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo are firmer, more supportive options designed to contour your neck. For a very firm pillow, the Hullo pillow is filled with buckwheat, which compresses less than foam and also keeps you nice and cool. The Beckham Luxury Hotel Collection Gel feels like a standard pillow. It has a nice gel fiberfill and smooth cotton fabric, though ultimately, it is way too fluffy to be a decent pillow for side sleepers.

pillow for side sleepers - the firmer epabo contour offers more support for side sleepers who...
The firmer Epabo Contour offers more support for side sleepers who aren't prone to rolling around during the night.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Features


You might be asking, how many features can a pillow for side sleepers truly have? A surprising amount, we'd answer. The key feature for many of these is adjustability. Some pillows can be completely adjusted from overstuffed orbs of fluff to nearly empty bags with just a whiff of fill and every level in between.


The Sleep Artisan, Honeydew Scrumptious, Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo, Coop, Hullo Buckwheat, Snuggle-Pedic Adjustable Shredded Foam, Eli & Elm Cotton Side, and Beans72 Organic Buckwheat are all completely adjustable by adding or removing their loose-fill materials. This customization is a great advantage for fine-tuning the fill level we want to fit our neck and shoulders. We especially appreciate that the Snuggle-Pedic comes with an extra tube of shredded foam for immediate adjustment.

pillow for side sleepers - the snuggle-pedic adjustable comes with extra shredded foam, so you...
The Snuggle-Pedic Adjustable comes with extra shredded foam, so you can make it extra firm if you want or simply refresh your filling over the years.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The Saatva Latex is unique among the fleet. It has a latex core in a separate case, surrounded by another layer of polyfiber fill in a separate compartment, all wrapped in another case. It's not technically adjustable in the same manner as the models with shredded foam, but you could remove the latex center if you wanted a much lower-volume pillow.

Some pillows like the Saatva Latex are squishier but easy to fluff up.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The buckwheat pillows involve the least amount of hassle to adjust. The buckwheat hulls are simple and quick to pour in and out of the case. On the other hand, shredded foam tends to get everywhere once it's out of the casing. As a bonus, buckwheat pillows typically feel cooler than foam pillows — a great feature for hot sleepers.

pillow for side sleepers - buckwheat pillows are very easy to adjust their filling and can be a...
Buckwheat pillows are very easy to adjust their filling and can be a great solution for sleepers who prefer a firmer surface and tend to sleep hot.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

We also like the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo for its excellent airflow and the Casper Hybrid, which both have a long-lasting cool-pillow feeling.

pillow for side sleepers - this hybrid pillow from casper is one of a few that we found to be...
This hybrid pillow from Casper is one of a few that we found to be better at keeping us from overheating while we slept.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

On the pillows made of a solid piece of foam, include scoops to support the curve of your neck away from your shoulders. We liked the execution of this feature on the Epabo pillow.

pillow for side sleepers - the epabo contour lives up to its name with a unique notch in the...
The Epabo Contour lives up to its name with a unique notch in the middle of the pillow that cradles the head and neck.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

We didn't like it nearly as much on the Mkicesky Side Sleeper Memory Foam, as it felt like it pushed our shoulders awkwardly. The Mkicesky also has 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 - the mkicesky pillow had an odd hole in the middle that cradles your...
The Mkicesky pillow had an odd hole in the middle that cradles your head well and is nice for listening with earbuds on your side but works much better for sleeping on your back.
Credit: Ethan Newman

Construction Quality


If you're going to plunk down the cash for a decent pillow, it should be well-constructed and made with quality fabrics and fill. We evaluated each pillow's quality by assessing its 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.


The highest-scoring models impressed us from their unboxing through the end of our extensive testing: the Casper Hybrid, Honeydew Scrumptious, and Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Ergo. We especially appreciate the elasticity and the quality of the zipper on the Casper case.

pillow for side sleepers - the casper hybrid has one of the highest quality zippers of any side...
The Casper Hybrid has one of the highest quality zippers of any side sleeper pillow we tested.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The Nest Bedding Easy Breather has a thick and nicely textured case with a silk band to keep this pillow well-lofted for years to come. Both buckwheat pillows, the Hullo and Beans72, are also quite durable, as the cotton covers held up to washing well, and the buckwheat fill is robust. Buckwheat hulls are also inexpensive and easy to replace if needed.

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. The Eli & Elm Cotton Side looks luxurious and offers a comfortable night's sleep, but the fill has a lumpier texture than the Honeydew Scrumptious. However, the Sleep Artisan Luxury Side Sleeper has a ribbon around the perimeter that helps the fill to stay evenly distributed. Saatva Latex has an outer case that looks and feels like it has a high thread count, and the separability of its three layers is a thoughtful construction.

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 a few weeks.
Credit: Ethan Newman

Some pillows, like the Epabo, have softer fabrics but pilled up fairly quickly during our testing. Hidden under a pillowcase, though, this isn't a large concern for most folks. The Linenspa Shredded Memory Foam looks and feels like a lower-quality item than other top contenders (but you get two in a pack).

pillow for side sleepers - the high-loft saatva latex is just as tall as two of the linenspa...
The high-loft Saatva Latex is just as tall as two of the Linenspa pillows.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Washability


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 is in this metric.


Fully washable pillows include the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo, the Coop Home Goods The Original, Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam, and Beckham Luxury Hotel Collection Gel Pillow, so they score 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.

pillow for side sleepers - the casper hybrid has an easily removable cover that can be machine...
The Casper Hybrid has an easily removable cover that can be machine washed.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Models like the Nest Bedding Easy Breather and the Honeydew Scrumptious technically have a washable case, but all of the fill must be removed to clean it because there is no inner case — a highly impractical step.

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 Beans72 Organic has a similar setup, but removing the buckwheat is easier than the other models' synthetic fill. On the far end of the spectrum, the Linenspa Shredded Memory Foam can only be spot cleaned as there is no way to separate the fill from the outer, which is completely sewn shut all the way around.

pillow for side sleepers - a few pillows like the epabo contour have a removable case that is...
A few pillows like the Epabo Contour have a removable case that is machine washable but the pillow itself is not.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

We are big fans of the zipper on the outer case of the Casper Hybrid. It unzips around two adjacent sides of the pillow, making it super easy to pull off and toss in the machine. Though it is air-dry only, we still found the process much simpler than many other wrestling matches we got into with other models to get the case back on. The Saatva Latex, Epabo Contour, and Eli & Elm Cotton Side all have removable outer cases that are easy to wash in a machine.

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

Conclusion


Everyone has different needs, so there is no single best pillow for side sleepers out there. However, good head and neck support are worth their weight in gold, so we have identified some options that are the best for your needs. Sleep quality is vital — it can affect everything from cognitive function to athletic performance to stress levels. With that in mind, we hope you are well on the path to the right pillow for side sleepers.

Ethan Newman & Ben Applebaum-Bauch