Do you like to sleep on your side? Or do you feel more comfortable resting belly up? Are you one of the few who actually feel sleeping on your stomach is the best in the world?
Whatever the case is, the right pillow will always help you rest comfortably. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll wake up in the morning with a stiff neck or cervical pain. We’ve all been there at some point. Good news is, by finding the pillow that is perfect for you, you will get rid of that discomfort forever.
Few people know that not all pillows fit everyone. Actually, each sleeping position benefits from a different kind of pillow: the ideal thickness, firmness and breathability vary from case to case.
So here are some risks of sleeping with the wrong pillow:
- Stiff Neck
- Neck Pain
- Too Much Pressure On Your Nerves
- Disc Displacement
- Overstressed Vertebral Discs
- Poor Breathing
- Muscular Pain
Inversely, if you find the right pillow, you will enjoy long nights of replenishing sleep. So, do you feel you could use a better pillow than what you have right now? Here’s a quick guide on which one is best for you according to your preferred sleeping position.
How To Choose The Right Pillow For Your Sleeping Position
The right sleeping position will not put stress on your body. Your organs should not be under pressure or too much compression, and your spine should rest on what is called a “neutral position”, which is the natural alignment of the axis of your body.
Pain and strain happen when you twist or bed your spine because you rest on a surface that doesn’t properly support it. A pillow that is too thick or too thin will not hold your head in place properly and therefore cause discomfort and even health problems.
The perfect pillow should let you breathe comfortably and hold your head at the exact height, filling the space between it and the mattress. With this in mind, let’s recap all sleeping positions and see which pillow is the best for each case.
Side Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your side is the most common choice, because a lot of people find it comfortable and almost instinctive. Although most doctors do not recommend sleeping on your side, they also admit that there are health benefits if you suffer from certain conditions. Heartburn and reflux in particular can be relieved by sleeping on your left side, though resting on your right side will relieve pressure on your heart.
If you sleep on your side, you will need a particularly firm pillow that is also thick and supportive. This is because, since you rest on your shoulder, the space between your head and the mattress is bigger than when you sleep on your back or stomach. Therefore, a thicker pillow is needed to fill up the space.
You must make sure your pillow is also very firm and doesn’t get thinner during the night due to your own head’s weight. That’s why we don’t recommend memory foam pillows for side sleepers. They tend to sink as time passes and you might fall asleep feeling comfortable, but in the morning, you will regret the decisions made.
Also, since half your face will be resting against the pillow, you need a very breathable one so the heat from your head doesn’t make you hot at night. A cotton pillow is great for this, but watch out for the allergies if you are sensitive to them.
Best Pillow For Side Sleepers
Gusseted Quilted Pillow
This set of pillows is among the top sellers on Amazon, and for good reason. The super plush, super comfy microfiber gusset model provides great support for your head and a comfortable experience for your sleep. This is among the plushiest pillows you will find out there, so your head will be happy resting on this thick, medium-firm luxury pillow.
As a nice detail, this pillow features a decorative piping and you can choose between blue and grey to suit your taste as well as the design of your bedroom. The double stitching makes this pillow very resistant and durable and provides a high-trim look that will bring up any bed to a whole new level.
The microfiber fill is great for side sleeper because it provides proper support for their heads and is very breathable, so side sleepers won’t feel suffocated or extremely hot at night.
- Extra plush microfiber filling.
- Nice piping around the sides. Can choose color.
- Double stitching.
- Top seller on Amazon.
- Very soft texture.
- Medium-firm, ideal for side sleepers.
- Only comes in Queen and King size.
- Not suitable for you if you want an extremely hard pillow.
Additional Knee Pillow For Perfect Comfort
Orthopedic Knee Pillow
You never know how much a knee pillow can change your life for the better… until you’ve tried one.
One of the main problems of sleeping on your side is that your lower back might twist and get strained because of your leg position. When you sleep on your side, the leg that rests on top often slides forwards when you relax, and as a result your lower back twists forward and your vertebral discs have to endure literally hours of physical stress.
In order to avoid that, you can get yourself a knee pillow. This little hack is great for relieving lower back pain, sciatica and other conditions linked to the lower end of your spine and the nerves of your legs. Also, pregnant women benefit from a knee rest that prevents them from compressing their belly with their own weight.
If you like to sleep on your side, you are likely to develop lower back or leg pain over time. You can relieve it, or prevent it, by getting a handy knee pillow. This knee pillow is anatomically designed to fit your body perfectly and relieve the pressure that side sleeping puts on your spine and your hips.
Made out of 100% hypoallergenic memory foam, this super comfy accessory adapts to your body perfectly and allows you to enjoy long nights of sleep. It comes with a breathable cover that you can machine wash to keep it clean and free of bacteria, and you even get a free sleeping mask with your purchase!
This knee pillow is strongly recommended for people who suffer from sciatica or back pain, or are pregnant, but anyone can enjoy the comfort it provides and use it to prevent further health problems.
- Orthopedic and ergonomic.
- Relieves back and leg pain and prevents it.
- Memory foam is comfortable and adapts to your body.
- Washable cover.
- Free sleeping mask.
- Makes side sleeping more comfortable.
- Fully guaranteed.
- Memory foam can feel too hot under the blankets.
- If you are very light or very heavy the memory foam might not adapt properly.
Back Sleeping Position
Although less than 1 in 5 people sleep on their back, this is the sleeping position that most doctors recommend due to their health benefits. If you find the right pillow and mattress, sleeping on your back will keep your spine at the right position, with little to no stress. So, let’s see what kind of pillow you need if you are in this crowd.
Back sleepers will benefit from a pillow that is relatively thin. A pillow too thick will force them to bend their neck forwards, stretch the back of their neck and compress their throat. This could make breathing more difficult for them as they sleep, and cause neck pain and disc displacements. Inversely, a pillow that is extremely thin will be too uncomfortable because the head will rest unnaturally bent back.
Another important issue for back sleepers is that they need to find a pillow that is very supportive and malleable. A pillow that sinks in the middle and adapts to the shape of their heads is idea. This is because, when their muscles relax, gravity will tend to pull their heads left or right. Twisting the neck this much will cause discomfort and breathing difficulties.
If you sleep on your back, you need a pillow that sinks – one that is too firm will not do the job – but still is firm enough to hold your head in place – that’s why memory foam pillows are not recommendable.
Best Pillow For Back Sleepers
These domestic-made pillows have all it takes to be a great bed companion. They are extremely comfortable, and made out of the best quality materials that ensure you will not have any problems while you sleep. The 100% cotton, high tread count cover is machine washable, hypoallergenic and breathable, as any good pillow should be. Also, the interior is made of virgin polyester fiber, which resist compression and prevents bacteria from growing inside your pillow.
You can order three variants of this pillow when you get it from the retailer: Silver, Gold and Platinum. We suggest the Gold version because it is the most suitable for back sleepers. It has the perfect amount of filling and the exact firmness that you need to enjoy a restoring night of back sleep.
As it is becoming standard issue nowadays, these pillows are shipped to you compressed in a small box. This allows you to save shipping costs. When you receive your pillow, you have to open the package and let it sit for a few hours until it regains its fluffiness.
- Made in the USA.
- High thread counts 100% cotton cover.
- Can choose level of firmness. (Gold version suggested.)
- Very fluffy virgin polyester filling.
- Ships compressed.
- Available in three sizes: standard, Queen and King.
- No warranty offered.
- Exterior is plain white, not decorated. Might need an extra cover.
Additional Leg Pillow For Back Sleepers
HYGLX Round Cervical Neck
Even if sleeping on your back is advised by most doctors, some people feel uncomfortable if the shape of their lower back arches too much over the mattress when they sleep in this position. Instead of switching to a side sleep or a stomach sleep, we suggest this hack: get yourself a knee roll and place it under your knees. This slight change will help your spine rest more comfortably on your mattress and compensate any excessive arching.
This versatile round pillow is perfect for this and so much more. You can’t not have it, simply because of how many great applications it can have. Available in a wide variety of sizes and more than ten different colors, it’s the perfect knee support.
You can also use it for neck, back or even ankle support. You name it. This is the perfect companion for your nights, your plane or long bus trips, your office hours or anywhere you spend time struggling to get comfortable.
The filling is polyester and it is wrapped in a cotton linen pillowcase with a zipper, so you can remove it and wash it. The materials are hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant and machine washable.
This is a must for anyone who loves a little hack to make any sleeping or sitting position more comfortable than ever before!
- Suitable for sleeping, resting and sitting.
- Relieves and prevents joint pain, shoulder pain, neck, back and hip discomfort.
- Easy to carry.
- Available in many sizes.
- Available in many colors.
- Machine washable.
- Getting the wrong size can cause you pain instead of relieving it. Make sure you get the right size.
- It’s not enough to replace an actual pillow but rather complements it.
Stomach Sleeping Position
This is the second most popular sleeping position, but sadly, it can cause you some health problems or make pre-existing ones worse.
This is because sleeping on your stomach puts too much pressure on your organs, your chest and your face. The weight of your body compresses your organs and can even make you lose firmness on your breasts.
Regarding your spine, stomach sleeping is difficult because of the odd position at which your back rests. Stomach sleepers need to lie down with their face to one side, so they can breathe, but the twisting of their neck can cause severe problems and discomfort.
A regular pillow will be too thick for a stomach sleeper. It will force their head back, which as we know, is not a very good thing. Stomach sleepers will benefit from a thin pillow that sinks very easily and accommodates to their weight.
Also, the pillow has to be fresh and breathable, because stomach sleepers will breathe against it, and the moist and heat could cause not only discomfort to the sleeper but also the growth of bacterial colonies and other nasty things.
Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers
Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel
This pillow is the dream of soft sleepers come true. It has all it takes to make a great pillow for them: it’s slim, it’s adaptive, it’s soft and it’s cool and breathable. The perfect combination.
This gel-infused memory foam pillow is thin enough to provide stomach sleepers with just enough support for their heads without bending back their necks. Memory foam is super adaptive and sinks very easily, making this pillow the perfect rest for your head.
Most stomach sleepers take issue with memory foam because it’s too hot and doesn’t ventilate very well, so the heat and moist of their breaths makes them uncomfortable very quickly. However, this great pillow is designed to help you sleep like an angel. The memory foam is infused with gel beads that absorb the heat, and also the structure has holes in it that allow airflow and breathability.
The soft cover is 60% polyester and 40% bamboo-derived rayon, which is far better than cotton at absorbing heat and preventing the formation of bacterial colonies, so this pillow is way safer and fresher than a regular one.
On top of all of this, it is certified by CertiPUR-US, which is a seal of approval for high-quality, safe materials that anyone in the family can enjoy.
- Extra thin for stomach sleep comfort.
- Memory foam adapts to your body.
- Gel-infused foam prevents heat buildup.
- Holes improve breathability.
- Bamboo cover is fresher and more breathable than cotton.
- Machine-washable cover.
- CertiPUR-US certified.
- 30 days full refund.
- Some odor is released from the pillow after it’s unpacked. The odor clears out in a few days.
- Might be too thin for some sleepers.
Additional Hack For Breast Rest
We bet you didn’t even know about this one.
Women who sleep on their stomach often have the problem that their breasts keep them from resting comfortably. Sometimes their breast is too large, or some other times, due to hormonal reasons, their breasts are too tender and they can’t get the belly rest that they want. Maybe they are recovering from breast surgery or have had breast implants.
For all of them, there is this great breast rest pillow. It is sculpted in the shape of a woman’s breast and comes in different sizes depending on your cup. You can use it for orthopedic reasons, to relax for a massage, or just as an improvement for your stomach sleep.
Forget abut discomfort or your breast getting on the way. With this memory foam pillow, you will lie belly down more comfortably than ever before.
This pillow comes with a hypoallergenic, washable case, and offers a year-long warranty as well as a 30-day trial period. You can choose the size and the cup that is perfect for your body and start enjoying the most comfortable stomach sleep you have ever experienced.
- Comes in different sizes to adapt to any breast cup.
- Adaptable, medium-firm premium memory foam.
- Washable, hypoallergenic pillow cover.
- 30-day trial period.
- 1-year warranty.
- Great for sleeping, relaxing, reading, sunbathing, getting a massage or anything you want.
- Memory foam can get too hot and a bit sweaty.
- Not suitable for women heavier than 181lbs.
Some people don’t really have a preferred sleeping position. They change during the night and sometimes wake up on their belly, their back or their side. This can be a problem for finding the right pillow because, as you know, each position has its own specifications for the ideal pillow.
If you are one of those sleepers who change position once and again, then you can benefit from special pillow that are designed to tackle this problem.
Best Pillows For Combination Sleepers
Coop Home Goods
This pillow offers a different approach to the whole “changing sleeping positions” thing. While the previous item can adapt to you as you move during the night, the trick about this one is that you can regulate how thick or thin it is by changing the filling yourself.
Inside this pillow there is a special memory foam blend that you can take out or put back in at your pleasure. No more shopping around, wondering about which pillow has just the right amount of filling: you buy this one and make it perfect for yourself, so you can never go wrong!
Perhaps the main comparative disadvantage of this pillow is that you cannot adjust it mid-sleep, but if you like a pillow that you can adapt on a night by night basis, this is the perfect one for you.
Plus, it has a ton of good things to it. First of all, the cover is made out of 40% rayon bamboo, which fight dust-mite and odor, and is hypoallergenic. It is machine washable and easy to take off and back again.
This pillow is so good that it comes with a staggering 5-year warranty and a 100-days trial period, after which you can return it if you are not satisfied. So there is no excuse not to try out this beauty!
On top of all of this, this pillow is CertiPUR-US certified, which is guarantee of safe, high-quality materials that are free from all dangerous substances and feature great durability. In other words, you can trust that this pillow will keep your sleep healthy, comfy and last for years.
- Can adjust the amount of filling.
- Memory foam adapts easily to the shape of your body.
- Washable, bamboo rayon cover.
- 5-year warranty.
- 100-day trial period.
- CertiPUR-US certified.
- Soft and comfortable.
- Memory foam can feel too hot at night.
- Cannot adapt to a different sleeping position in the middle of the night.
Special Bonus: The Sleep Right Pillow
This is probably the weirdest-looking pillow you’ll ever see in your life, with oddly-shaped borders and a hole in the middle. However, once you try it, you never want to go back to a regular, boring pillow.
This item is especially designed to suit all sleeping positions and help sleepers who rest uncomfortably due to hearing aids, ear pain, CPAP masks or even sleep apnea and snoring. The shape of the pillow adapts perfectly to any sleeping position and provides the right support and the right ease wherever it’s needed.
This is a great pillow for those who change positions during the night, because your head will naturally find its way on it. The hole in the middle provides support for back sleepers while preventing excessive pressure on the ear when you sleep on your side.
The curvy edges let your face rest and breathe very easily when you sleep on your side or your back, and the lower corners support your body if you lie on your belly.
This crazy pillow is simply the perfect design for anyone who likes to change positions and still feel comfortable whatever they do at night.
- Suitable for all sleeping positions.
- Provides relief to pressure points.
- Provides proper support for all positions.
- Custom pillow covers available – many color options.
- The shape prevents suffocation and snoring.
- Not suitable for children or very tiny people because the proportions won’t work.
A wise pillow choice will be the difference between a good night of sleep and an uncomfortable, even unhealthy experience.
Identify your preferred sleeping position and that will give you clues on what is the best pillow for you. Our guide comprehensively covers all sleeping position and lets you know which product can make your nights better.
This isn’t just a matter of comfort, it’s a matter of health. Avoid problems in the present and in the future and treat yourself with a great pillow that will improve your nights from day one!