The Best Pillows For Side Sleepers

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As a predominant side sleeper, I know better than anyone that we often get the short end of the stick in the pillow department. Comfortable options are few and far in between, and despite the fact that the majority of adults choose a side or fetal position, the market is still dominated by flat squares of mush that do absolutely nothing to support the head or neck. The best pillows for side sleepers offer unique features designed for comfort, like cutouts for your ears, bolsters for your arms, and height adjustability that lets customize the amount of loft.

While shopping, keep in mind that thicker designs may be more comfortable, since there's a bigger gap between your head and the bed. (Many side sleepers end up stacking their pillows to get the height and support they’re looking for.) But if you’re wary of too much thickness, look for an option that’s height-adjustable, so you can tailor it to your needs.

There are other things to keep in mind too: For example, if you’re after shoulder support, keep an eye out for options with bolsters or arm rests that’ll keep you comfy all night long. And if you wake up in the middle of the night with ear soreness, check out some pillows I’ve included that have cutouts for your ears. Some of these pillows might look a little bizarre at first glance, but their strange shapes and innovative features are actually ideal for a side sleeper, and just might make all the difference in your quality of sleep.


This Fluffy Pillow With A Comfy Spot For Your Ear

Side sleepers love this pillow with a hole because the cutout is perfect for taking pressure off your ear. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever woken up in the night with a sore ear.) The pillow is generously stuffed with hypoallergenic fibers, but if you find the loft is too high, you can unzip the pillow and remove some filling. Conveniently, this option comes with a pillowcase with a cutout to fit the pillow perfectly.

According to a side sleeper: “I am a side sleeper and ear pain would wake me several times causing me to turn from side to side. So I searched 'ear pain while sleeping' and found this pillow! The first time I slept on this pillow, NO EAR PAIN! I have had this pillow a little over 2 months now and still no pain.”


This Gel Pillow That Stays Cool & Supports Your Shoulders

Because it's made with a layer of temperature-distributing gel on top, this MALOUF pillow is great for those who get hot while they sleep. It's also got a shoulder cutout and since it’s made from thick and supportive memory foam, it offers contoured support that’ll mold to your body. The pillow comes with a fitted, moisture-wicking cover.

According to a side sleeper: “I am a side sleeper and I did not even know pillows like this existed until I recently tried this guy! It really is a life saver and is extremely comfortable-- It is not too firm of a pillow but holds its shape while giving that thick, memory foam feel. It is a must-have for anyone who sleeps on their side...”


The Horseshoe PillowWith An Ear Hole For Ultimate Comfort

The Remedy contoured pillow supports your neck, head, and entire torso with its horseshoe shape and hypoallergenic poly-fiber filling. It properly positions your head and neck to straighten your spine, and even has a built-in ear hole for ultimate comfort.

According to a side sleeper: “I've been a side sleeper all my life....finally a pillow that supports my neck and shoulder.”


The Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow That Lets You Customize Your Level Of Support

With over 39,000 reviews, this memory foam pillow is easily one of the most beloved pillows in the neck and cervical category. The zippered pillow is filled with shredded memory foam, so you can take out as much as you like, and since it comes with extra memory foam, you can add some too, making this customizable option perfect for the Goldilocks sleepers among us. It’s hypoallergenic and the bamboo cover is cool and breathable.

According to a side sleeper: “I am a side sleeper and technically the pillow comes "ready" for a side sleeper - had to take out some stuffing but it is super comfortable now!!!”


This 100% Bamboo Pillow For Side Sleepers With Allergies

This bamboo pillow is hands down one of the best options for side sleepers with allergies, given that your face is shoved into your pillow all night. It's made entirely from bamboo both inside and out, meaning that it's totally hypoallergenic, breathable, resistant to dust mites and bacteria, and insanely soft. You can also adjust the height and thickness by adding or removing the filling.

According to a side sleeper: “Awesome pillow. It is the perfect thickness. I am a side and back sleeper. Feels heavenly.”


A Height-Adjustable Pillow For People With Sensitive Ears

If ear pain plagues your side sleeping this Pure Comfort pillow is for you. Made from plush memory foam, it has holes for your ears and features multiple height inserts inside that you can remove for the perfect amount of loft. Plus, it comes with a super soft bamboo cover.

According to a side sleeper: “When I found this pillow I was so excited that there could be relief for my ears and that it was height adjustable! [...] The pillow is not too hard and not too soft. Absolutely love it.”


The Pillow Supports Your Whole Body

This contoured body pillow supports so much more than just your head and neck, and it's specifically made for side sleepers. An hourglass inner curve cradles your back and stomach, the thick cushioning supports your spine, and the removable zippered cover can be washed in the machine.

According to a side sleeper: “This pillow is fabulous. I am mostly a side sleeper. Vey comfortable moderate back support while laying your side.”


This Softer, Smaller Option That's Still Extremely Supportive

Thanks to its fluffy but supportive material and J-shaped design that supports both your head and arm, this pillow gets tons of rave reviews. Made from cotton and polyester, it’s hypoallergenic, and since it's more compact, it's a better option for those sharing their bed — and the removable, machine-washable cover keeps things sanitary.

According to a side sleeper: “Awesome pillow! I thought it would be gimmicky but I decided to order it since I was desperate for something to help with my shoulder/arm pain. This did the more waking up with a sore left arm!”


The 3-Part Bolster Pillow To Support Your Head & Arms

Designed by chiropractors for side sleepers, the unique Sleep Yoga pillow consists of three parts: a middle bolster to support your head and neck and two connected side bolsters to support your arms and promote shoulder alignment. Each of the bolsters is connected by a cord, which means it’s easy adjust them into the perfect position. This comfy option is made with cotton and cooling polyester.

According to a side sleeper: “This pillow changed the way I sleep. The best that could happen for me as a side sleeper. The filling is incredible! You just don't need to plump it up and it's really breathable.”


A Butterfly Shape With Various Heights & Neck-Supporting Wings

This genius memory foam pillow has a butterfly shape that features two different heights on the top and bottom, so you can reverse the pillow to get the right amount of neck support — even when you switch positions in the middle of the night. It's filled with breathable memory foam, and has small arm rests on each side for extra comfort.

According to a side sleeper: “I love this pillow and it has helped keep my neck and shoulders from getting all knotted up with pain since i'm a side sleeper [...] It has these grooves for your arm to go into/under so it doesn't get your neck and shoulders out of sorts by being straight up under your head.”

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