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The 6 best pillows for side sleepers of 2023

If you’re a side sleeper and feel stiff or sore when you wake up, it may be time to get a new pillow. Here, we review the best pillows for side sleepers.

Published Jul 25, 2023
6 min. reading time
three pillows from Wayfair, Allswell and Pillow Cube

The quality of your sleep impacts your mental and physical well-being. A good sleeping posture not only contributes to better sleep but can make the difference between waking up fresh or with neck and back pain.

That said, a lot of us have a favorite side to sleep on. While sleeping sideways can be comfortable, it may also bring on neck pain, facial crease marks and even acne.

Using the right pillow can solve a lot of these problems but with so many choices on the market, finding one can be like picking a needle from a haystack. Luckily, we can help. Continue reading for our full review of the best pillows for side sleepers.

Read more: Browse mattress toppers for quality sleep at night

Compare the best pillows for side sleepers

the Side Sleeper Ice Cube Pillow in white
Our favorite pillow for side sleepers
Side Sleeper Ice Cube Pillow
$89.99 at Pillow Cube
the Cross Sleeper pillow in grey
Best for those with neck pain
Cross Sleeper
$114.99 at Pillow Cube
the Allswell Side Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow in grey against a white headboard
Best pillow for those with shoulder pain
Allswell Side Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow
$36.96 at Walmart
two Cooling Down Alternative Gel Fiber Pillows in white against a black headboard
Best down pillow alternative
Cooling Down Alternative Gel Fiber Pillows
$58.99 at Wayfair

Our favorite pillow for side sleepers

the Side Sleeper Ice Cube Pillow in white
Photo: Pillow Cube

Side Sleeper Ice Cube Pillow

You save $60.00 (40%)



  • Regular: 12 H x 24 W x 5 D in

  • Thick:  12 H x 24 W x 6  D in

  • Thin:  12 H x 24 W x 4  D in

Pros & Cons
  • Comes in four, five and six-inch thickness levels

  • 60-night guarantee

  • Cooling temperature technology

  • Selecting the correct size might be a challenge

  • High price point

This pillow’s distinct cube-like shape and cooling temperature technology are created for side sleepers. As it fills in the space between your head and shoulders, it supports and aligns your head, neck and back so there’s no more wrestling your pillow in search of comfort.

The cooling technology also means you don’t have to constantly toss and turn in search of a cool spot. Its distinctive fibers drop the temperature by 10 degrees, helping you find the perfect comfort zone for great sleep. You don’t have to worry about waking up sweaty on one side!

Owners give it an average rating of 4.7 stars and some reviewers have even said it functions like a mattress — just for the head.

Best for those with neck pain

the Cross Sleeper pillow in grey
Photo: Pillow Cube

Cross Sleeper

You save $35.00 (23.33%)



  • Regular: 12 H x 24 W x 5 D in

  • Thick: 12 H x 24 W x 6 D in

  • Thin: 12 H x 24 W x 4 D in

Pros & Cons
  • Made for multi-position sleepers

  • Comes in three sizes

  • Aligns neck and spine

  • Some owners say it was softer than expected

  • Pillow’s head curve for back sleeping could be deeper

Another option from Pillow Cube, the Cross Sleeper accommodates snoozers who like to reposition from side to back sleeping. It provides airflow to keep your head cool while the memory foam is designed to eradicate discomfort from your head when it’s pressed against your pillow.

Our experts say this is the best pillow for side sleepers with neck pain. With three thickness options, owners appreciate that it’s more personalized than others. You're likely to snooze the night away with this foam support under your head.

Best pillow for those with shoulder pain


  • Dimensions: 24 H x 16 W x 6 D in     

  • Overall weight: 1.3 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Activated charcoal infusion wards off dust mites

  • Washable cover

  • Cooling gel infusion

  • Foam may be too dense for some

  • Only comes in gray

This pillow is all about ergonomic design features that contour to your sleeping style for maximum comfort. Its shape-holding foam supports the head, and the cut-out relaxes the shoulders, making it perfect if you have shoulder pain. In addition, its cooling layer maintains comfort all night.

For added protection, it’s also designed with an activated charcoal infusion that wards off microscopic insects and bacteria. Its washable cover is covered with an antimicrobial application that helps prevent blemishes, so you can slumber with peace of mind knowing that your skin will stay fresh. This memory foam pillow is also rated safe by Certi-PUR US.

With an average rating of 4.2, this one definitely has our vote for the best pillow for side sleepers with shoulder pain.

Best down pillow alternative

two Cooling Down Alternative Gel Fiber Pillows in white against a black headboard
Photo: Wayfair

Cooling Down Alternative Gel Fiber Pillows

You save $11.00 (15.72%)
$58.99 at Wayfair

Queen size, set of two.

$63.99 at Wayfair

King size, set of two.


  • Dimensions: 20 H x 30 W x 5 D in (for queen size)

  • Overall weight: 6 pounds

  • Dimensions: 20  H x 36 W x 5 D in (for king size)

  • Overall weight: 9 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Maintains a comfortable temperature 

  • Form-fitting shape

  • Respiratory-friendly

  • Could be more supportive

  • No removable cover

As an alternative to a down pillow, this pillow is saturated with gel strands instead of feathers, keeping you from getting hot and sweaty while you sleep. It's terrific for all sleeping styles and it's safe for susceptible sleepers who may experience respiratory reactions. It can even help improve snoring.

The luxurious white cotton outer cover and internal fibers are a natural solution to toxins and smells found in other pillows. Owners are also surprised by the unique construction, which lets you shape the pillow to fit your head and neck. To freshen it up, pop it in your washing machine.

Its firmness is made to suit side sleepers, but back-sleeping owners also give it a thumbs up. It has a 4.7 average rating, making it the best down pillow for side sleepers.

Best firm pillow for side sleepers


  • Dimensions: 26 H x 18 W x 10 D in (for jumbo size)

  • Overall weight: 1.5 pounds

  • Dimensions:  34 H x 18 W x 10 D in (for king size)

  • Overall weight: 2 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Hypoallergenic

  • Firm but cradles the head

  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified

  • High price point

  • Dry clean only

This down feather pillow is made with European white goose feathers that won’t trigger your allergies. Additionally, each pillow has undergone a superior cleaning process that removes irritants and dirt, so you can rest easy knowing you’re sleeping on a fresh pillow every time.

Its deluxe outer cover with a 400 thread count is treated to prevent microspores that typically cause mustiness, odors and bacteria. You also don’t have to worry about feathers penetrating the cover with its master-quality construction.

This pillow contains more feathers than others, and owners have commented that it’s lightweight yet firm, so you can settle into it and be propped up simultaneously. With a 4.7 average rating, we consider this our best firm pillow for side sleepers.


  • Dimensions: 16 H X 25 W X 6 D in  (for standard size)

  • Overall weight: 1.54 pounds

  • Dimensions: 16 H x 29  W x 5 D in (for queen size)

  • Overall weight: 1.94 pounds

  • Dimensions: 16 H x 35 W x 6 D in (for king size)

  • Overall weight: 1.98 pounds

Pros & Cons
  • Removable memory foam pieces for adjustable firmness

  • Hypoallergenic bamboo cover

  • Does not come with pillowcase

  • Some reports of pillow arriving flat

Filled with small memory foam pieces, the Wayfair Sleep™ Encased Cooling Shredded Memory Foam Medium Support Pillow is versatile enough to accommodate all types of sleepers. The shredded memory foam pieces allow it to mold according to your body curve and sleeping style.

It's also hypoallergenic so it naturally fights off insects and allows airflow, creating a temperature-cooling effect.

It has a 4.5 average rating from over 20 thousand customers and our experts agree. If you’re tired of being hot or sweaty in bed, this is our best cooling pillow for side sleepers. 

What you need to know before buying a pillow

Your bed should be your sanctuary — and that means having the right pillow for comfort. A good pillow ensures you can achieve your deepest sleep and awaken fully rejuvenated. If you have questions about picking the right pillow, we have the answers.

What is the best pillow filling for side sleepers?

The type of filling contributes not only to the firmness of the pillow but can also affect the temperature. A memory foam pillow may be good for support but it can also be too firm. A down pillow, on the other hand, might be soft and cooling but might lack support.

Which features you should look for?

Do you get hot and sweaty at night? Then a pillow with advanced cooling features may be your match. Is your neck sore because your shoulder and neck aren’t fully supported? If so, you’ll want to look for memory foam pillows or pillows with a unique design to support your sleeping style. Got sensitive skin? You’ll want to look for hypoallergenic features or removable top covers.

Want help choosing the right pillow? Read below for our editors' top picks.

Our top pillow choices 

Our experts have selected the top six best pillows for side sleepers. We’ve found that they’re all engineered to provide support, comfort and cooling capabilities, so you can rest assured when buying any of them. However, to narrow the field further, here’s how our top choices stack up. 

  • Side Sleeper Ice Cube Pillow: The original design focuses on optimal support for your head when you’re sleeping on your side. It also delivers refreshing coolness.

  • Allswell Side Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow: For an economical choice, this makes a great pick. Plus, it has many additional features that contribute to an all-around great sleep.

Your health and overall well-being are supported by consistent, high-quality sleep. Choose the right fit for you so you can sleep well and seize the day.

Prices updated on 07/25/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

Written by
Judith Halish

When not writing, Judy Halish is hiking in nature or spending time with friends. She loves to travel and makes everywhere her home. Drawing on her experience as an Amazon reviewer, she helps her readers find great products to enhance their lives.

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