21 Best Pillows for Side Sleepers (2024)

Lifelong side sleeper and long-time Architectural Digest contributor Kristi Kellogg sleeps on the medium density pillow, and reports that it’s the best down pillow she’s tried. “I can attest that sleeping on your side is a dream on this pillow. It’s fluffy, full, and cradles your head gently. There’s plenty of cushion and support beneath your head, but there’s enough give for you to melt into the pillow and drift off with ease. It reminds me of the pillows you find in the very nicest hotel rooms. 10/10 recommend,” says Kellogg.

You can buy the Boll and Branch down chamber pillows individually or you can go all in with the The Complete Pillow Bundle, which includes two pillows, two pillow protectors, and two zippered, organic cotton pillow covers that provide an additional barrier against dust and allergens.

“I like pillows that have some sort of contour to them,” Dr. Meenan admits. Sleep Number’s PlushComfort curved bed pillow is another pick from the chiropractic practitioner, filled with hypoallergenic microfiber and contoured for enhanced comfort and support. “Because we’re all shaped in such different ways, people just have to use trial and error to find which pillows are most comfortable to them,” he says.

MedCline Reflux Relief System

Those suffering from nighttime acid reflux or die-hard sleep aficionados might be interested in trying out MedCline’s pillow relief system which includes a Reflux Relief Wedge, insert pillow, therapeutic body pillow, and a set of pillowcases. Backed by a 60-day return policy and a one-year warranty, MedCline uses your height to build a personalized, three-component sleep system that’s designed to naturally relieve sleepers of painful acid reflux so you can sleep soundly at night and ultimately feel better during the day.

Brooklinen’s down pillow is another great not-too-firm option that got a raving “15 out of 10—would recommend” from Jacqueline Wladis, our past associate director of commerce partnerships. “They’re not so firm that you feel like you’re sleeping on a brick, but they cradle your head and provide nice back support,” she told us. Available in plush, mid-plush, and firm options, this down pillow is ideal if you’re trying to work your way up to something extra firm like latex, or even Brooklinen’s Marlow memory foam pillow. Brooklinen recommends the firm pillow for side sleepers, since it’s the most supportive of the three options.

Latex pillows that hold their shape are another good choice for side sleepers or those with back pain. Although Brooklyn Bedding’s very bouncy Talalay latex pillow is a great firm-support option for the neck and shoulders, I personally think it’s ideal for extra back support. “If you prefer sleeping on your side, it helps to place a pillow behind the upper back to kind of prop you up so that you do not roll onto your back,” Dr. Meenan says. “This takes less pressure off of the shoulder joint.”

Mediflow Fiber Water Pillow

“You don’t want your head flexed up or tipped down for long periods of time while sleeping,” says Dr. Hickey. For combinations sleepers who might change positions throughout the night, she likes this adjustable water pillow from Amazon, which lets each unique user adjust firmness and height. “A firmer material may feel more supportive, but really it’s all about what will allow your unique shape to stay as neutral and centered as possible throughout the night.”

Eli & Elm Ultimate Side Sleeper Pillow

It’s easy to see why one reviewer called Eli & Elm’s side sleeper pillow their “favorite pillow.” Made with the ability to conform to your head and neck, the brand promises its unique U-shape design will help alleviate neck pain and promote spinal alignment while you get your eight hours of beauty rest. And for anyone who doesn’t like a high loft, the pillow is easily adjustable—just unzip the cover and remove some of the latex and polyester fill to your liking.

Another medium-firm option that will deliver crucial neck support is Casper’s original pillow, which is great for all types of sleepers like our design editor Madeleine Luckel, who snoozes on both of her sides, her back, and stomach. And though she actually prefers soft pillows with some fluff, Madeleine liked Casper’s firm-ish alternative down fiber fill pillow so much that she stole it from her boyfriend. She described the pillow as reaching “some indescribable sweet spot in terms of its firmness” and “thick enough to work perfectly as a stand-alone sleep piece.”

“I prefer a more dense and firm pillow for side sleeping,” says Dr. Hickey, whose pillow of choice is the Purple Harmony Pillow. “Trying pillows out is so important,” she adds. “A good choice for a side-sleeping pillow will always allow your head to remain centered on your shoulders.” Tester Kelsey Borovinsky (a side and stomach sleeper) was also impressed by how well Purple’s Harmony pillow holds its shape. She told us it’s a great fit for anyone looking for firm support. “If you like a Tempur-Pedic–type pillow that’s really solid and supportive, or you are in the market for one to support other parts of your body, this would be a great option.”

Honeydew Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow

Over 500 Amazon reviewers gave Honeydew’s medium-firm, crescent-shaped side sleeper specialty pillow five stars, describing it as the kind of pillow that’ll keep you in bed all day. In addition to breathable, CertiPUR-US-certified, copper-infused memory foam filling that make this one of the best cooling pillow options to try out, its adjustable loft level also promotes proper alignment to help you sleep comfortably through the whole night.

Dr. Grunch suggests it’s best to find a taller, firmer pillow—like the memory foam Side Cube—so you’re delivering enough support to the head and neck. “I often see patients with neck and back pain that worsen during side sleeping,” she says. “I recommend a good supportive pillow to keep their neck in perfect neutral alignment during sleep.”

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