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What Pillow Thickness is Recommended For Side Sleepers?

Pillow Thickness is Recommended For Side Sleepers

The most common sleep position for adults is side sleeper. This posture supports the spine and encourages healthy alignment, which helps with reducing snoring, heartburn, back pain and neck pain. Choosing the right pillow is crucial for side sleepers because it fills the empty space between the head and shoulders. For this reason, thick pillows are recommended for this sleep position. Thick bed pillows are firm, providing the necessary structure for supporting the neck and keeping it in its natural posture.

During our pillow testing, we found that the most important factor in selecting the best pillows side sleepers is pillow height or loft. The ideal pillow height should be high enough to support the head and neck and align it with the spine, but not so high that it tilts the head upward or away from the mattress, which can cause pain in the neck and shoulder areas. We recommend that adult side sleepers select a pillow with a loft of 5 inches or more.

Aside from the loft of the pillow, another consideration is its material and how it contours to the body during sleep. Thick bed pillows are generally filled with foam or feathers, and the type of fill matters because it affects how the pillow feels when you lay down. Down and feather pillows, made from the soft inner feathers of ducks or geese, offer a plush and luxurious feel. While they provide less support compared to memory foam or latex, their softness and moldability can be beneficial for side sleepers who prefer a softer pillow. To achieve the necessary support, side sleepers might opt for a firmer down pillow or a combination of down and feather.

What Pillow Thickness is Recommended For Side Sleepers?

For example, a foam pillow can feel solid and dense, but it can also be very responsive to your movement and will re-fluff easily after you move during the night. On the other hand, a feather pillow can be light and airy, but it is also quite resilient and will keep its shape well. Lastly, the fill material can impact how hot a pillow is and whether or not it has good cooling technology.

Memory foam is a popular choice for thick bed pillows because it provides substantial structural support and a consistent feel. However, it can be too dense for some people and may not breathe as well as other types of fill. For this reason, we recommend that you choose a memory foam pillow with a blend of different materials to get the best of both worlds.

Other popular options for thick bed pillows include down and latex. Both have a soft feel, but down has a coarser texture and sleeps cool, while latex is more supportive than other types of foam and also feels very responsive to movement. If you prefer a firmer feel, a down-free synthetic fiber pillow is a great option for you because it will maintain its shape throughout the night and will also re-fluff easily. This type of pillow is also a good choice for those with allergies.


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