What kind of sleeper are you? Do you lie flat on your back and remain peaceful all night? Are you a stomach sleeper? Do you sleep in multiple positions throughout the night? Or do you feel most comfortable sleeping on one side or the other? Of course, people sleep in any of these positions, but the most common position is on the side! So if you are going to spend roughly a third of every single day sleeping in a side position, you are going to need something comfortable. This post will discuss the best pillows for side sleepers and what advantages firm pillows might offer.
When you are a side sleeper, your body requires extra support that stomach and back sleepers don’t need. This means just any old set of pillows simply won’t do. You’ll find yourself waking up with all sorts of aches and pains, particularly in your neck and shoulders. When anyone sleeps, the most important thing to do is ensure the neck is protected and the spine is straight. But if you are sleeping in a side position, this isn’t easy to do. You need the right kind of pillow. Your head is naturally higher up when you sleep on your side instead of on your back or on your stomach. That leaves a certain amount of distance between your head and the mattress pad, which means you'll need a thicker pillow to rest your head on to protect your neck, shoulders, and spine.
When sleeping on your side, the key is to fill the space between your ear and shoulder with something supportive. And the broader your shoulders, the thicker the pillow will need to be to fill that space. Many sleep experts agree that the best pillow for side sleepers is one that is firmer. Another alternative is a pillow that is firmer on the outside and softer in the middle. So let’s explore a few of the best pillows for side sleepers.
Not only should you consider firm pillows if you are a side sleeper, but you should also look at firm pillows specifically designed for side sleepers. One excellent option is a firm pillow with a contoured shape with a cutout area to cradle the shoulders. Essentially, get a pillow that shapes around your head, neck, and shoulders instead of a standard rectangular pillow.
One of the great things about pillow products is that you have so many options. Even within the category of “firm pillow,” you can find varying degrees of firmness. Maybe you just need something with slightly more support and firmness than the standard pillow. Maybe you need something with extra stiffness. You will only know if you found the right pillow for you by doing some research on styles, reading reviews, and sampling a few pillows before deciding. If you find yourself waking up with neck pain every morning, prioritize finding a pillow with the right level of firmness and something that will secure your spine in a neutral position, even when sleeping on your side.
Cube pillows aren’t for everyone, but for a side sleeper, they might be quite beneficial. Some chiropractors recommend this pillow shape to side sleepers with any kind of neck or shoulder pain. So what makes the cube pillow great for side sleepers? A cube pillow can limit the amount of strain and pressure on the neck and the shoulder when you are sleeping in the side position.
Everyone is different. Some sleepers may find they wake up with pain everywhere or in just one area like the neck or shoulders. If you primarily have shoulder pain from sleeping on a bad pillow, then the answer is simple: you need a supportive, firm pillow explicitly designed to protect your shoulders. A high-quality wedge pillow with a hole in it allows you to slip your arm through when sleeping on your side. This will limit the amount of pressure put on your shoulders. Even better, try a wedge pillow that not only has a hole for the arm but is also longer like a body pillow. Then you can rest the pillow between your knees to keep your spine properly aligned while sleeping on your side.
Are you in the market for a new pillow that is specifically beneficial for side sleepers? Need something to offer your neck and shoulders support and reduce strain? Shop Lands’ End today for pillows and other bed products, including fleece throws, bed sheets, and comforters.