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Best pillows for side sleepers: ease neck and shoulder pain with our top picks
Prevent neck pain and get a restful night’s sleep with these quality pillows, specifically designed for side sleepers.
By Alice Cruickshank | Last updated Feb 17, 2022
As a parent a good night’s sleep is the holy grail, and if you’re anything like us you’ll do whatever it takes to get it. There’s nothing worse than a lumpy pillow, especially if you’re a side sleeper.
If you sleep on your side then it's particularly important to choose the right pillow. Lying in this position can put your body out of alignment, which can cause neck, shoulder, hip, and knee pain. Thankfully, there’s a variety of pillows on the market that are designed to provide extra support and prevent aches and pains.
Here’s our selection of the best pillows for side sleepers to buy in 2022.
1. Best overall pillow for side sleepers: Dunelm Comfortzone Contour Pillow
Price: £20 | Buy now from Dunelm
"Dunelm memory foam pillows - they are amazing, much better than my other foam pillows that I paid £££ for" - DazzleDrops
"I recently bought a new pillow for side sleeping from Dunelm and no word of a lie it is the best pillow I have ever had. I used to need two pillows but this one by itself is just so comfy - I thoroughly recommend. They also sell pillows for back sleepers too. Worth a look if you don't want to spend too much" - Daisyhoney
Dunelm’s Comfortzone pillow proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune for a good night’s sleep. As well as glowing reviews on the Dunelm website, Mumsnetters also love these affordable and effective pillows. This is a firm pillow, with a 230 thread count cotton exterior.
The uniquely contoured shape is designed to keep your neck and back aligned while sleeping in a side position.
- Filling: Recycled fibre
- Cover: Cotton
- Size: 61 cm x 38 cm
2. Best cooling pillow for side sleepers: iGel Side Sleeper Pillow
Price: £70 | Buy now from Bensons for Beds
"I have an iGel Side Sleeper, it’s firm yet squishy, it stays cool and it hasn’t lost its shape in 4 years" - YesPleaseMary
If you get hot in the night, then the iGel pillow with ceramic technology is designed to keep you at a comfortable temperature. This cooling pillow is specifically designed for side sleepers to keep your body in alignment. The deep memory foam filling moulds to you as you sleep to provide good neck support.
- Filling: Memory foam
- Cover: N/A
- Size: N/A
3. Best firm pillow for side sleepers: Relyon Superior Comfort Deep Latex Pillow
Price: £82 | Buy now from Amazon
"Google Relyon pillows, formerly Dunlopillo, about £80 but money well spent, you can get a good five to ten years out of it, and another one or two saying we really do need to replace these" - FinallyFluid
"I recently invested in one of these. It's fantastic. I'm also a side sleeper and it's the best, most comfy and supportive pillow I've ever had" - BoreOfWhabylon
Move over memory foam - latex pillows are the latest innovation for a comfortable and supportive night’s sleep. Latex pillows are more airy than memory foam, but still shape to your head and neck. This latex pillow from Relyon is specifically designed for side sleepers, with its deep profile. While this is one of the more expensive picks on our list, the Relyon pillow comes with a five year guarantee, which means long-term restful nights.
- Filling: Latex
- Cover: Cotton and polyester blend
- Size: 70 cm x 44 cm
4. Best soft pillow for side sleepers: Tempur Comfort Pillow
Price: £95 | Buy now from Amazon
"Tempur pillows are amazing! I have spent a fortune on pillows over the years looking for the perfect one! I am a side sleeper and it is amazing, i take it on holiday as I can’t bear to sleep on anything else now. It keeps it shape and never needs plumping up etc" - Bellabatwings
Most side sleeper pillows are made with a firm texture, but if you prefer a softer option then you should try the Tempur Comfort pillow. This pillow is made from the same material as Tempur mattresses, with ‘micro cushions’ to provide a balance of softness and support. There’s also a three year guarantee, so you can enjoy high-quality sleep year after year after year.
- Filling: Memory foam
- Cover: Polyester
- Size: 74 cm x 50 cm
5. Best adjustable pillow for side sleepers: Brightr Stella Pillow
Price: £59 | Buy now from Amazon
This clever three-in-one adjustable pillow works for side, front, and back sleepers. The Brightr Stella pillow has three, removable pillow layers to customise the pillow’s height and softness to perfectly match your sleep position and softness preferences. The outer features a padded cover with copper fibres woven into the cover, making it naturally hypo-allergenic and great for allergies and sensitive skin. The Brightr Stella pillows come as a two pack, so you can gift your partner a good night’s sleep too.
- Filling: Memory foam and down alternative blend
- Cover: Recycled yarn and copper
- Size: 70 cm x 50 cm
6. Best feather pillow for side sleepers: Umi Bed Pillow 2 Pack
Price: £46 | Buy now from Amazon
"I found a feather pillow for side sleepers the best, they are more box shaped around the edges so support your neck more rather than flattening out" - gluenotsoup
Nothing beats a feather pillow for softness, but often this type doesn’t provide enough cushioning for side sleepers.This affordable two pack from Amazon was designed to combat this, with its large feathers and cotton cover for support and bounceback. These pillows are also crafted with strong side stitching to prevent any feathers annoyingly poking out.
- Filling: 70% duck feather and 30% down alternative fibre
- Cover: 100% cotton
- Size: 74 cm x 48 cm
7. Best pillow for neck pain: SKYOME Bamboo Memory Foam Orthopaedic Pillow
Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon
Neck pain is a common problem for side sleepers, and if this affects you then this contoured orthopaedic pillow by Skyome could drastically improve your sleep. Reviewers are raving about this one, with its unique wave design to support the neck. This pillow is the perfect height and medium firm feel, while the memory foam filling is soft and comfortable. The bamboo outer makes this pillow hypoallergenic as an added bonus. This pillow is available in two sizes dependent on your needs.
- Filling: Memory Foam
- Cover: Bamboo
- Size: 50 cm x 30 cm / 60 cm x 40 cm
8. Best leg pillow for side sleepers: The Slumbar Leg Pillow
Price: £21 | Buy now from Amazon
Side sleeping can cause a variety of aches and pains throughout your body, and The Slumbar Pillow is designed to sit between your knees to alleviate these. The contoured shape of this pillow is designed to help with slipped discs, sciatica, hip joint issues, and pregnancy discomfort. The pillow is filled with memory foam, and the hypoallergenic cover is machine washable. The Slumbar Pillow also comes with a free ebook about beating back pain.
- Filling: Memory foam
- Cover: Polyester
- Size: 33.5 cm x 30.2 cm x 15 cm
9. Best eco-friendly pillow for side sleepers: WOOLROOM Natural British Wool filled Bed Pillow
Price: £39 | Buy now from Amazon
Wool is a sustainable alternative to goose down and memory foam pillows, and this pillow from Woolroom is suited to side sleepers with its medium firm feel. Wool is also great at helping regulate temperature, and this pillow is hypoallergenic, making it a great all-rounder. If you’re worried about the sheepy smell, the wool in this pillow has been double-scoured to minimise this, although manufacturers do recommend airing the pillow before use.
- Filling: Wool
- Cover: Cotton
- Size: 48 cm x 74 cm
How to buy the best pillow for side sleepers
The most important aspect to consider when choosing a pillow for side sleepers is the support it provides. A medium firm pillow is best suited to side sleepers, and a contoured design created to keep the spine in alignment is a bonus. Good materials for pillows include memory foam, latex, and a well-filled feather down. It is also beneficial to choose a pillow with a removable, hypoallergenic cover.
Are memory foam pillows good for side sleepers?
Memory foam has grown in popularity over the years, and this filling is well-suited to side sleepers. Memory foam offers soft, yet supportive cushioning and support that moulds to the shape of your body to ensure your spine is properly aligned.
How often should you change your pillow?
As pillows are an item that is used every day, the Sleep Foundation recommends replacing your pillow every one to two years. Doing this ensures that your pillow stays supportive, and minimises the presence of allergens and other germs.
What is the best pillow to buy for side sleepers?
We evaluated the best pillows on the market for side sleepers on their value for money, support, and other useful features. The Dunelm Comfortzone Contour Pillow came out on top due to its affordable price and glowing Mumsnetter and other customer reviews.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know how important sleep is to parents, we started by scanning the Mumsnet forums for real-life recommendations about the best pillows for side sleepers. We then looked to ‘best buy lists’ and customer reviews of individual products, to see which pillows came out on top, any if they had any specific benefits.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.