If you’re a side sleeper, you’re not alone. Most people prefer to sleep on their sides for better comfort instead of on their backs, and sleeping on one’s stomach is even less common. While side sleeping can relieve the pressure on your spine, it can result in shoulder and hip pain. Not to worry — you only need to find the best pillow for a side sleeper such as yourself to ensure proper support and alignment.
With many options in the market, how do you select among the best pillows for side sleepers? It should not be a difficult challenge if you have the right information. In this article, we’ll explore side sleeping, the consequences of using the wrong pillows and key considerations for choosing the best pillows for side sleepers.
But first — why do people sleep on their side?
Sleeping on the side is a popular choice for various reasons. For one, it can alleviate pressure on the spine, reducing the risk of back pain. If you sit at a desk or stand all day long, side sleeping offers better relief than sleeping on your back or stomach. The best pillows for side sleepers can also benefit pregnant women, as it reduces pressure on their back and pelvis.
Side sleeping can also boost blood circulation and digestion, benefiting overall health. Additionally, sleeping on your preferred side keeps the airways more open compared to sleeping on your back. This, in turn, improves breathing and reduces the likelihood of snoring. If you have sleep apnea or snore through the night, finding pillows for side sleepers is the solution to optimising your breathing and getting uninterrupted sleep.
Why you should not ignore the best pillow for side sleepers
Using the wrong pillows as a side sleeper can have various adverse effects on your sleep quality and overall health. Here are some of the consequences:
Poor spinal alignment — If your pillow is too thin, your head may not be adequately supported, causing your neck to bend unnaturally. On the other hand, a pillow that is too thick can tilt your head upwards, leading to misalignment. Improper spinal alignment, even for a few hours of sleep, can result in neck pain, stiffness and even long-term spinal issues.
Discomfort and restlessness — A pillow that does not suit your sleeping style or position can lead to discomfort and restlessness throughout the night. If you find yourself tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position, your pillow may be all wrong. The best pillow for a side sleeper should provide relaxation and ease in bed, promoting uninterrupted sleep.
Increased snoring — Using the wrong pillow can exacerbate snoring, especially if it does not properly support your head and neck. Snoring can disrupt your sleep and, potentially, your partner’s.
Sleep apnea aggravation — Sleep apnea sufferers experience breathing difficulties due to airway obstruction. It is often recommended to sleep on the side to improve breathing, making it crucial to select the best pillows for side sleepers.
How to choose the best pillows for side sleepers
If you sleep on the side, are pregnant or suffer from sleep apnea, the good news is that many pillows are designed to promote your sleep quality and overall health. To find the best pillow for a side sleeper like you, consider the following factors:
Loft height — The loft height, also referred to as the thickness of the pillow, is essential when selecting a pillow that suits your sleeping position. A higher loft can fill the gap between the neck and the mattress, keeping the spine in optimal alignment. On the other hand, a low loft pillow does not prop the side of your head high enough. Imagine tilting your head to the side you sleep on for several hours, which can result in neck stiffness and shoulder discomfort. So, the best pillows for side sleepers are medium-loft or high-loft, as they offer the most adequate support.
Firmness — Side sleepers need a pillow with the right firmness to support the weight of their head and neck. A pillow that is too soft causes the head to sink too far into it, leading to misalignment. Ideally, you should sleep on a medium-firm to firm pillow if you’re a side sleeper or combination sleeper who primarily sleeps on the right or left side of your body.
Contouring — Pillows with contouring abilities can conform to the shape of the head and neck, providing targeted support for any sleeping position. Typically, Memory Foam pillows are the best pillows for side sleepers as they mould to the shape of your body. Additionally, look for pillows that offer the right-sized curve for the space between your neck and the bed when you lie sideways.
Material — In addition to Memory Foam, latex is an excellent choice for side sleepers. Pillows with this material are typically on the medium-firm to firm side and offer great resistance to your weight, reducing the amount of sinkage for your head.
Durability — Side sleeping can put more stress on the pillow compared to other sleeping positions, so it is crucial to consider its quality. Invest in pillows made from materials that don’t lose their shape over time, such as durable Memory Foam and latex pillows. The best pillow for a side sleeper should be long-lasting, ensuring optimal spinal alignment for many years.
Browse Dentons for the best pillows for side sleepers in Australia
There’s such a thing as too soft and too hard when it comes to pillows. For side sleepers, finding the ideal pillow involves selecting the right loft height, firmness, contouring, material and durability. The best pillows for side sleepers provide the right combination of these factors, ensuring optimal support, comfort and breathability at night.
At Dentons, we offer pillows for side sleepers specifically designed to provide the perfect balance of comfort and support. Shop our most popular choices online, including Memory Foam pillows for adult side sleepers and Memorelle™ Fibre pillows for children. Both are high-quality and durable pillows and adapt to the sleeper’s weight and sleeping style. You can also find Dentons’ best pillows for side sleepers in Australia available at various stockists.
For more options, browse our entire pillow collection at Dentons and benefit from over 40 years of expertise in designing the best pillows for side sleepers, back sleepers, combination sleepers and whatever sleeping preference you have!
Got any questions? Feel free to contact us, and our customer care team will get back to you shortly.