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Best Pillow For Side Sleepers

Calling all side sleepers, these are the best pillows online right now!

Last Updated: June 24, 2020

You’re most comfortable when you’re sleeping on your side, and you want a new pillow to make your nights even more cozy. Believe it or not, the right pillow can have a huge effect on your quality of sleep. In this post, we focus on side sleepers and the pillows we think accommodate them most including the Purple Harmony, Original Casper, and Layla Pillow.

If you’re a side sleeper looking for a comfortable pillow, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tested virtually all of the popular pillows out there so you don’t have to, and now we’ve made this list to share our educated opinions with you. And speaking of our list, here’s a sneak peak at the best pillows for side sleepers:

Don’t worry, no one paid us to have control over this list or the pillows that we’ve selected. Everything we write comes from the opinions of our experienced editors and team members who test out all types of bedding products on a day-to-day basis.

One thing that we want to emphasize is that we all have different body types, there is going to be a great deal of variability in terms of which pillow is best for you. For certain side sleepers, the 5-7″ uncompressed loft is correct, but other more petite individuals might prefer the 3-5″ range.  Unfortunately, this will likely mean a trial-and-error process for you.

Another thing worth mentioning is that almost all pillows will soften and compress over time. Regardless of whether you get a foam pillow or down pillow, or something in between, it will become softer and less lofty as you use it. The only exception to this rule might be latex pillows or some of the pillows that use a unique gel-like material. As such, you should consider replacing your pillows ever 18-24 months.

Leesa Premium Foam Pillow Feathers/Down 15% Off Code: SLUMBERYARDLeesa’s Premium Foam Pillow is a “safe” pick for a lot of sleepers. If just want a comfortable foam pillow, it’s a really good place to start.
Purple Harmony Pillow Latex Foam Check Current Offers Applied in CartThe Purple Harmony Pillow is one of the most unique, most innovative pillows, featuring Hyper-Elastic Polymer and latex foam.
Layla Kapok Pillow Shredded Foam $25 Off Code: SYPILLOWThe Kapok Pillow from Layla Sleep is one of our favorite shredded foam pillows. It has a soft and fluffy feel, and it’s fully adjustable.
Casper Original Pillow Down Alternatives Check Current Offers Applied in CartIf you want a more traditional down feel without the feathers, there’s a good chance that you’ll really like the Original Casper Pillow.
Tuft & Needle Pillow Foam Slab 15% Off Discount In CartThe Tuft & Needle Pillow is a comfortable foam pillow that we consider a “safe” pick for a lot of sleepers.

The best kind of pillow for side sleepers is something lofty (tall) and of course, accommodating. A pillow that’s too think can lead to a kinked neck or sore shoulder due to a lack of support, so side sleepers want something lofty enough to keep their spines in neutral alignment.

Essentially, you should be able to draw a straight line from your nose down to your belly button. If not, it may be time for a more suitable pillow. Below, we reveal the ones that we think work best for those who sleep predominately on their side. You can visit our Pillow Reviews page to see all of our guides, and read about other pillows that may work for you.

Leesa is one of the most popular bed-in-a-box brands on the internet due to their generally comfortable and accommodating mattress. The Premium Foam Pillow follows that same sentiment in that it’s so comfortable, most people won’t have any objections to it.

This pillow is made with one big slab of high-quality aerated polyurethane foam (mattress jargon for neutral-foam), which is really comfortable and more breathable than your standard poly foam (thanks to those little air pockets inside).

Leesa Premium Foam Pillow Review Construction Airflow
The aerated poly foam underneath the cover

The cover is similar to the one on Leesa’s mattress if you’re familiar with it, and luckily, it’s machine washable.

Lessa’s Premium Foam pillow feels soft, light, and responsive. Accordingly, if you’re somebody who hates the viscous feel of memory foam, you’ll probably really enjoy this pillow. It’s supportive and supple, without making your head feel like it’s sinking into the material.

Leesa Premium Foam Pillow Review Cover
A look at Leesa’s Premium Foam pillow and its machine washable cover

It’s not the most lofty pillow we’ve ever seen, so we’d mostly recommend it to petite and average side sleepers. Heavy side sleepers, though, might want to consider a pillow with a little bit more loft/support.

Leesa’s Premium Foam pillow is available in two sizes; the standard is about $80 without discount, and the king size retails for about $100. Compared to other prices on this list, we think the Leesa Pillow is pretty affordable. Budget shoppers, though, might want to check out the Original Casper Pillow.

Tired of sleeping with your standard foam or down feather pillow? If so, you might want to consider the Purple Harmony Pillow. It has a completely original feel thanks to the “360 Purple Grid Hex” that utilizes the brand’s unique Hyper-Elastic Polymer material.

Purple Harmony Pillow Review Overview
An overhead look at the Purple Harmony Pillow

Essentially, the main material is like a grid of gel-like hexagons that are soft, supportive, and really bouncy. We always say that it reminds us of a shoe gel-insole. It may sound strange if you’ve never felt it, but they’ve made a name for themselves as one of the most popular online bedding brands because of the stuff.

The hexagons allow for a bunch of tiny air pockets, while the machine washable mesh cover promotes even more airflow throughout it. This is one of the reasons why we’ve deemed it one of the coolest sleeping pillows we’ve tested here.

Purple Harmony Pillow Review Construction Pic
Harmony’s talalay latex core and Geluxe Hex Grid that’s sewn into the cover

The core of the pillow, however, is made from bouncy, aerated Talalay latex. Both the latex and Purple Grid Hex are hypoallergenic, which is ideal for those who suffer from allergies.

It comes in two different sizes; standard which is 6.5” in loft (height), and tall which is 7.5” in loft. They’re each the same price, and will usually cost about $160. So the Purple Harmony Pillow is definitely one of the pricier additions on this list, but we think it’s a really luxurious pillow and perfect for side sleepers looking to shake up their go-to bedding.

Purple Harmony Pillow Review Loft
We think it’s lofty enough for side sleepers — just ask JD

If you’re a petite or average sized side sleeper, we recommend the 6.5” model. If you’re over ~240 lbs, however, you may want to consider their tall model.

Layla’s pillow is lightweight and reminds us of a blend between memory foam and down feathers. We say this because the fill is made with Kapok fiber and little shreds of memory foam, which makes it feel airy and light, but denser and loftier than pillows that are made with down feathers.

The cover is soft-to-the-touch, machine washable, and copper-infused to help draw heat away from your body. This technology is helpful for individuals who sleep warm. It’s not as cool sleeping as the Purple Harmony Pillow, but it can help keep individuals from feeling too hot at night.

layla pillow review
The signature Layla hexagonal pattern on the pillow’s cover

It’s a pretty lofty pillow at around 8” tall uncompressed, but we think it works really well for side sleepers of almost all body types, from petite to those with a heavier build. If you want to make it a little thinner, you actually have the option to do so.

This pillow has an adjustable loft feature, which is one of our favorite features of this pillow. For those of you who prefer a little less loft, like petite side sleepers, the Layla pillow comes with a zipper so you can remove material to make it more accommodating for you.

layla pillow review memory foam for side sleepers
Remove stuffing from the inside to adjust the loft.

This pillow comes in a queen size and a king size, and will cost about $100 or around $120 depending on the one you decide on.

The Original Casper Pillow is perfect for people who like the feel of traditional down pillows, but don’t love the number in their bank account after buying one. Rather than goose/duck feathers, this pillow is filled with polyester microfiber that’s individually blown into the cover, and encased in a 100% cotton cover.

This makes the Original Casper Pillow feel super fluffy and soft, but slightly denser than their Down Pillow. Rest assured, though, this pillow doesn’t go flat due to its “pillow-in-pillow” design. The inner pillow offers a solid amount of support, while the outer pillow provides the down-like comfort. All it needs is a good fluff before bed, and it’s ready to go.

Casper Standard Pillow Review
The Original Casper Pillow and the cool box it came in

It’s about 5-6” in loft which we think is enough for most side sleepers, but we might not recommend this pillow to heavy side sleepers who need a real lofty pillow. Side sleepers need something soft and lofty, but those over ~240 lbs also need more loft and support to keep their spine and neck in proper alignment. In that case, we’d recommend Layla or Purple Harmony.

Casper Standard pillow Review Side Sleeper Example
The smirk on JD’s face says it all — this pillow is pretty comfortable

The entire pillow is machine washable, which makes cleaning super easy to do. Just separate the inner pillow from the outer one, and make sure it’s zipped back up before you throw them both in the wash. Due to this feature, we think it could be a good pillow for messy kids or those who want to give their pillow a deep clean.

These pillows are available in standard and king sizes. The standard model sells for about $65, while the king pillow retails for about $85. They may not be your average Target pillow prices, but they’re definitely the most affordable pillows on this list and best for those looking to save a little extra money.

The T&N Pillow is available in two different sizes: standard and king. But even though they’re both supportive and hefty pillows, they feel softer than you’d think.

The entire thing is made out of aerated T&N Adaptive foam which is soft and fluffy, but it also has the contouring support of memory foam with the bounce of latex foam. Overall, it’s a really comfortable and responsive pillow.

tuft and needle pillow review
The T&N Pillow is perfect for side sleepers

The cover is made with micro polyamide and polyester, meaning it’s breathable and really soft. It also has mesh panels on the sides to allow for increased airflow.

Compared to the other pillows on this list, it’s pretty moderately priced. It’s not the most expensive, but it’s not as affordable as the Original Casper Pillow. The price depends on whether you go with the queen size or king size. The queen will cost you about $75 and the king is around $100. Though, you may be able to get it for cheaper if you manage to purchase during one of their promos.

Review team

  • kenzie
    McKenzie Dillon

    Combo Sleeper

  • JD
    JD Christison

    Combo Sleeper

  • reynoso
    Jack Reynoso

    Combo Sleeper

  • Dillon Payne

    Combo Sleeper