If you tend to turn on your side while sleeping, these firm, adjustable, and total-body options were made for you.
Getting that recommended eight hours of sleep feels impossible when you’re constantly wrestling with a lumpy, uncomfortable pillow. Thankfully, bedding companies have upped their pillow game, providing a wide range of options for all types of sleepers.
For side sleepers, Christopher Winter, MD, medical director of Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of the upcoming book The Sleep Solution, stresses the importance of spine alignment when searching for a pillow.
“Something that keeps the head and neck in place and even separates the knees creates that neutral position you want while you sleep,” he says. Dr. Winter suggests firm pillows with contours for the head and neck and total body pillows as ideal options for side sleepers.
Below, we share five pillows that will have side sleepers feel like they’re resting their heads on literal cloud nine.
Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Pillow
Winter suggests side sleepers opt for an ear-accommodating pillow like this one by Core Products. The firm upper and lower thirds of the pillow support the neck while the divot in the center of the pillow cradles the head for a comfy and stress-free sleep session. This sleep companion comes in seven sizes, making it the perfect option for both adult and child-sized heads.
Utopia Bedding Ultra Soft Body Pillow
“A full body pillow can provide not just head stability, but also total body alignment,” says Dr. Winter. This four and a half foot-long option lets you rest your head and separate your knees at the same time, providing support and spine alignment all night long.
Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow
Like a rectangular-shaped body pillow, a U-shaped version keeps your entire body aligned while you catch up on much-needed Zs. The rather large design supports your hips, neck, head, and entire back. And what’s not to love about a grown-up version of a stuffed animal?
SleepBetter Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow
If your bed doesn’t seem to have the space for you, your partner, and a full-body pillow, a standard-size memory foam pillow is another supportive option. The semi-firm foam keeps your head and neck stable without feeling like you’re sleeping on a rock. Plus, this pillow comes in standard and contoured versions to suit your personal pillow preferences. Dr. Winter recommends a contoured version where the middle divot stabilizes the head and the raised upper and lower thirds of the pillow offer neck support and relief.
Nature’s Pillows Original Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow
Popular in Asia, these pillows are stuffed with buckwheat hulls, the outer shells of buckwheat grains. It doesn’t sound particularly comfortable to sleep on a case of shells, but hear us out: the hulls don’t retain heat and are hypoallergenic, making for a cool and comfy sleep session. “People love these pillows because you can moves the hulls around in the pillow or remove some to get your desired pillow shape and firmness,” says Dr. Winter.