Best Pillows for Side Sleepers
Maybe you've heard before that our sleep position has no bearing on our quality of sleep or our overall health. If so, you heard wrong! Our sleep position can lead to discomfort in our waking hours - from back pain to heartburn. It is critical that we learn to select the best pillows for our preferred sleep position so that we can get the restoration we need from our sleep.
The majority of people are side sleepers. Up to 70% of individuals classify themselves as side sleepers for most of the night. While many of us are combination sleepers, meaning we rely on a few different sleeping positions throughout the night, most of us sleep on our sides at least part of the time. Sleeping on your side helps protect the back by keeping the spine aligned. It is also recommended for those that have acid reflux and those that are pregnant.
Sleeping on your left side is often the highest recommended sleep position by professionals because it allows for increased blood flow, improved digestion, and drainage of toxins from the lymph nodes. Though side sleeping is often considered the most beneficial sleep position, care should be taken to select pillows that will boost the positive effects of sleeping on one's side and decrease the potential for pain and discomfort that come from unsupported sleep.
What makes a good pillow for side sleepers?
Even side sleepers can cause pressure to their spinal column, which causes the spine to become misaligned and can lead to back and neck pain. Pillows that allow for pressure reduction can help take strain off the body and allow it to realign or maintain its alignment while you sleep. Because this is the most common sleep position, many manufacturers make pillows that target side sleepers. The best pillows for side sleepers are thicker and firmer than their counterparts. It is suggested that you measure the length between your neck and the end of your shoulder and look for a pillow that supports that height so that your head, neck, and spine remain in alignment as you snooze.
Best pillows for side sleepers
BedPillows.com is a site where you can find all of your pillow needs. The site has a variety of pillows that benefit side sleepers, and these pillows come in three primary types: fiber fill, memory foam, and hybrid. Check out the links below for some of the best pillow for side sleepers options from each of the three categories:
Fiber pillows are softer and fluffier than their memory foam counterparts, but it is possible to find thick, firmer fiber pillows. This two-pack of SofLOFT Fiberfill Density Pillows with Nanotex Coolest Comfort Technology is perfect for side sleepers. It features a 1.5 inch gusseted sidewall construction that provides extra support and loft that side sleepers need. This two-pack is available in standard, queen, and king sizes, catering to side sleepers in any bed size. For most side sleepers, firm or extra firm will be preferred unless you spend some time sleeping on your stomach. If you alternate to your stomach, consider medium firmness for maximal support and comfort.
Memory foam is a very supportive and often firmer material, making it an excellent choice for individuals who sleep on their sides. Though memory foam pillows cost more upfront, they return on their investment because they last much longer than traditional fiber-filled pillows. It is not uncommon to have to replace a fiber pillow within six months of purchase, whereas manufacturers of memory foam products often include long-term warranties that last for years after purchase. Try the variety of memory foam pillows catered towards side sleepers on BedPillows.com and look for those that have gussets or a contour shape. There are many options to suit a variety of needs including pillows that include cooling technology, moisture management, and wellness properties.
Hybrid pillows offer a compromise between the stiffness of memory foam and the fluffiness of fiber pillows. Most hybrid pillows are excellent for side sleepers, but some of the most popular are dual comfort pillows, which feature one side filled with fiber and one side made from foam slab. Another great choice is the Optiblend pillow, which features a 3 inch gusset and a plush foam outside surrounding a shredded gel-infused memory foam core for optimal support.
Side sleepers have perhaps the greatest number of options when it comes to choosing the best pillow for their sleeping position. Whether a foam, fiber, or hybrid pillow works best for you, make sure to select a firm, thick, and supportive pillow to enhance your sleep quality.