Do Side Sleepers Need A Pillow?

Article by Lewis Hugh

Have you ever wondered: Do side sleepers need a pillow? 

Did you know that the majority of the population, a whopping 74%, are side sleepers? However, if you wish to continue experiencing peaceful slumber, choosing the most suitable pillow is pivotal.

This article delves into why pillows are crucial for side sleepers and how they can enhance your sleep quality. 

Discover the factors that impact neck and spine alignment when sleeping sideways, the ideal pillows that cater to side sleepers, and how the thickness of your pillow can significantly impact your repose.

In addition, we will also provide suggestions for the best pillows, tips to personalise your search and proper placement arrangements to optimise comfort.

By the conclusion of this article, your appreciation for the importance of a perfect pillow for side sleepers will grow exponentially. Hence, if you are a side sleeper seeking sound sleep, read on for unparalleled insights!

Why Do Side Sleepers Need A Pillow?

Listen up, folks! While all snoozers can benefit from a cushion that’s supportive, for side sleepers, it’s paramount. Why, you ask?

Simple – a side sleeper’s top priority is optimal spinal alignment. And guess who rides in like a saviour? 

That’s right, our trusty sidekick – the pillow. It bridges the gap between the head and the bed, supporting the neck and shoulders.

Without one, expect discomfort galore – from the neck to the back. In short, an ill-suited pillow leaves side sleepers at the crosshairs of all sorts of pain. 

A man sleeping on his side, he look comfortable

What’s worse, poor spinal alignment can lead to other sleep issues, like snoring, acid reflux, and sleep apnea. But fret not, friends, because a good pillow can save the day.

Improved Circulation

Have you heard the magic of side snoozing with a pillow? Not only does it reduce unbearable neck and shoulder torture, but it can also amplify your circulation game. A well-aligned bod means constricted blood flow is a thing of the past. Say goodbye to those pesky tingles and numbness that plague your slumber.

Reduction Of Snoring And Sleep Apnea

Are you known for sawing logs in your sleep? The good news is that side sleeping helps open up your airways and snore less. But, beware – without a decent cushion, you’re still in the danger zone for sleep apnea. Choose wisely, people – the right pillow may be all that stands between you and a proper night’s sleep. Say ‘hi’ to clarity of breaths and say ‘bye’ to disrupted nights.

Best Type of Pillows For Side Sleepers

Side-sleeper extraordinaires! Pillow shopping got you sweating? Just remember – thickness, materials, and support are the three amigos you need to consider when selecting the perfect pillow for your side-snoozing needs. 

Don’t forget to keep your peepers peeled for exactly what you need to please your bodacious bod. It’s all just a matter of nailing the trifecta – don’t let that sweet slumber slip away!

Pillow Thickness

Let’s get down to the serious business of side sleeper pillow talk – thickness is EVERYTHING. Only the thickest pillows will do for a side-sleeping champ like you. You heard that right, lush, pillowy goodness is essential for the perfect fit. 

Beware, though – too thin and you’re gonna throw your neck out of whack; too thick, and you’ll just have to start the search all over again. So, stay tuned to the Goldilocks formula – not too soft, not too hard, just right.

Pillow Materials

Psst…wanna know a secret? The secret to snuggling up in sleepytime comfort as a side-sleeper is in the pillow material. And boy, do we have the deets! Here are your options – memory foam, latex, down, or polyester. Phew, that’s a lot of choices! But we got you covered – memory foam and latex pillows are the bee’s knees for side sleepers. 

They mould to your curves and provide consistent support throughout the night, making them perfect for relieving pressure and keeping your spine in check. If softness is your jam, down and polyester pillows will do, but they may require more maintenance. So, which one will you choose? Decisions, decisions…

Organic And Natural Pillow Options

Hey, there, eco-conscious snooze fanatics! Want to go green while still scoring that perfect Slumber Party pillow? Look no further – we got you. Orgasmic organic pillows will be your new bae. 

These babies are stuffed with everything from cotton to kapok fiber to natural latex. Better yet – all organic, all the time. No need to worry about allergies or harmful nasties – 100% safe for everyone. Hermitian or allergenic friends, we got you covered.

Affordable Pillow Options

We all want a heavenly pillow that’ll let us wiggle into a happy slumber without going belly up over the budget. Trust us, they do exist, amigos! Pillows that cater to our beloved side-sleeping were never more affordable. 

So, don’t burn a hole in your pocket – optimise your comfort without compromising. The land of pillopolis is vast and bountiful – go get hunting for that treasure trove that speaks to your pocket and your sleep needs!

Proper Pillow Positioning For Side Sleepers

Gather round, sleepyheads! Let’s get you set up for dreamland, side-sleeper style. Ready, set, SPINAL ALIGNMENT! The name says it all, folks. Positioning your pillow correctly is vital in minimizing that pesky nighttime discomfort.

Firstly, slide your pillow under your head and ensure that it’s reaching the nape of your neck like a fluffy crutch, keeping your head, neck, and spine in a straight line. It’s a pillow hug, folks – embrace it!  

Shoulder pain be a nuisance? We’ve heard your prayers. Slide a thin pillow between your arms or propped beneath your outer arm. An extra cheeky cushioning and support for your aching shoulders. Voila! 

Are your hips and lower back giving you trouble? Toss a pillow between your knees and enjoy the weightless relief. Hello, rejuvenation!

Pillow Maintenance Tips For Side Sleepers

Want your cushions to live their best life? Follow some easy tips to keep them in top-notch condition. Fluff that baby up as much as possible – because no one wants a saggy pillow, am I right? 

And let’s dress them up for success – cover them with a fancy pillowcase or protector, wash them regularly, and say goodbye to those allergens and dust bunnies. Cleanliness is next to napfulness! 

And hey, just like you, your pillow needs some pampering. Check for the manufacturer’s instructions on how to give them the spa treatment they need. Some like to be machine washed while others need some spot cleaning. Don’t neglect them! 

Is your cushion taking a permanent siesta from supporting you? Time to say goodbye and update that sleepyhead. Every 1-3 years for foam and latex pillows and every 1-3 years for down and every year for polyester pillows – a new plush pillow might be just the ticket to restfulness.


Do I need a pillow when side sleeping?

Yes, Support that spine! Get a pillow that gets what’s necessary by helping maintain proper alignment and eliminate those pesky shoulder and neck tensions. Avoid the ooches dang it, let the pillow do the work!

What type of pillow is best for side sleepers?

What your head needs is a fluffy, pillowy partner that offers the right amount of squish without sinking into oblivion. So, go for a medium to high loft pillow that will give you everything – a cradling neck hug and firm support. 4 to 6 inches of pure happy times!

How do I choose the proper pillow thickness?

Your pillow pal needs to be just right. Not too thin, not too thick, just a perfect high-lofted cushion that supports your neck and head. Take the advice of sleep experts and choose your pillow thickness wisely – not too soft, not too hard.

Is it essential to have a firm pillow?

Listen up and take note, peeps! While pillow preferences can differ, most sleep experts agree that a medium-firm pillow is the happy medium for those side snoozers. Say goodbye to the days of aches and pains and hello to a cosy, supportive pillow pal!

What’s the best pillow for people with neck pain?

Everybody is different, and that goes for pillows too. But the perfect neck pain pillow? Think firm enough to keep your noggin and spine aligned while being gentle enough to alleviate those pesky pressure points. Sleep that pain away!

Can the wrong pillow cause headaches?

PSA to all pillow peeps! An off-kilter pillow can trigger headaches by compressing your neck and head muscles, limiting blood flow and throwing your alignment off-balance. So, do your neck a favour and choose a pillow that can keep the headaches away – sleep tight!

Can sleeping without a pillow cause pain?

Here’s fun one for you. Skipping pillow time might lessen soreness by keeping your backbone nice and aligned – a little snooze game-changer! But hold on a sec. Back or side-sleeper? Dropping that cushion? Think again, champ. It might just be the opposite!

Should I use one or two pillows while side sleeping?

Okay, you guys, let’s talk pillow power! A good cushion partner needs to be as unique as your sleep habits. Side snoozer? A high-lofted pillow has got your back (and neck!) and keeps that sweet head-space free from slackin’ sleepy-time positions.

How do I position my pillow to better support my spine?

Listen up cuz this is important stuff. Your pillow pal needs to be a perfect match for YOU. A flatter spot for your head, but a bump to support your neck for side-stunning. And those hips of yours? Show ’em some love! Toss a thin cushion between those legs and yaaas, relaxation time! Be easy on your body and let your pillow do all the heavy-lifting.


Hey there, sleeping beauties! Yes, we have covered alot but incase you skimmed this article. Let’s talk about the pillow power, shall we? The right cushion game is critical for a restorative and snug slumber. And side sleepers? You better believe it. Proper spine alignment and a pillow-mate that can alleviate snoring and sleep apnea? Yo, that’s the side sleeper magic!

A pillow should be your go-to sidekick in your sleep space, so choose wisely! Thickness, material, and support – these are the trifecta of pillow goodness. Keep them in mind, and you’ll be in snooze-central in no time. Say hello to pain-free snoozing and waking up like royalty!

One last thing before you go, sleeping beauties! We’ve all been there – tossing and turning, waking up with all sorts of unexpected aches and pains. Enough is enough! It’s time to tango with your sleep position and make those bedtime hours a peaceful paradise. But, which side clinches an ideal slumber? Hit that link to find out, sleep seekers! 

And once you nail your dream position, it’s time to level up to the bed of your sleepiest desires. But wait a minute, will a hard mattress do the trick for your side sleeping? Give that dazzling link a click and explore the advantages and trade-offs. 

And if you want to take your chill-game to another level, check out these bed-fluffing tips for extra comfort and cosiness. And the ultimate question remains – Do you need a soft or firm mattress? The answer is just one click away, amigos! With these snooze-worthy tips, you’ll be in lalaland in no time!

Useful Links:

  • Check out Sleep Foundation’s article.
  • Check out Sleepopolis’ article.
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