The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Shoulder Pillow for Side Sleepers

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What to Look for in a Shoulder Side Sleeper Pillow

As a side sleeper, your pillow should fill that gap between your bed and your ear to keep your body comfortably and consistently aligned. Pillows that are too thin or extremely soft can cause the side sleeper’s head to lay way too low and create a bend downward in the neck, a condition that is neither conducive nor relaxing for a night’s restful sleep. This causes a lot of stress on the shoulders and neck that leads to pain.

BioSense Memory Foam Shoulder Pillow with Better Than Down Cover
Our favorite for 2016
Aeris Contour Pillow
A great value option
Night Therapy Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow
A fantastic pillow that can be configured to suit your needs

Because you, as a side sleeper, require a fuller and firmer pillow than people who sleep on their stomachs and backs, the pillow that you use should be able to keep both your head and neck in straight alignment with your spine, because this is the correct level. Why is this? There is noticeably more space between your bed and your head when you sleep on your side.

A thin or soft pillow will be unable to provide sufficient support for you because your head will be positioned inevitably too low on this kind of pillow. What attributes should an ideal pillow for a side sleeper have? It should be capable of providing adequate height (or loft) to keep your neck from bending out of proper alignment and upwards; it should keep the spine straight and stay firm throughout your sleep.

It should also be comfortable and the fill of the pillow should never collapse and bend your neck downward. There is a plethora of pillows designed for side sleepers and the majority of these usually come with pre-determined shapes that contour to the way the side sleeper’s neck is positioned. Many side sleepers, however, move their stomachs and back several times throughout their sleep.


BioSense 2-in-1 Shoulder Pillow for Side SleepersBioSense 2-in-1 Shoulder Pillow for Side Sleepers – The BioSense 2-in-1 Shoulder Pillow for Side Sleepers has an outer cover made from 100% Tencel fabric with temperature control that keeps you dry and cool. Filled with hypoallergenic Better Than Down microfill exclusive to this pillow, it contains peppermint, charcoal, seed oil, and green tea to control or minimize odors.

The core of the memory foam enables air to flow easily in order to adapt quickly to body temperature. It has the proprietary 2TM memory BioSense foam core designed for full support inside and out for the natural contours of your head, shoulders, and neck while you sleep on your side.

This great memory foam resets itself whenever you change sleep positions through the night. Moreover, the Tencel material – made from selected eucalyptus fibers – of its outer cover wicks away moisture from the skin in cases of sweating at night. Machine washable, this removable pillow cover’s ventilated design is suitable for all climates.

BioSense Memory Foam Shoulder Pillow with Better Than Down CoverBioSense Memory Foam Shoulder Pillow with Better Than Down Cover– Another product from Brookstone, manufacturer of BioSense memory foam pillows, the BioSense Memory Foam Shoulder Pillow with Better Than Down cover provides unique support for the side sleeper’s shoulder with a BioSense 2 memory foam core cutout design especially made for the contours of your shoulders, neck, and head.

This memory foam adjusts its shape to reset itself to whatever sleeping position you take while you sleep. The pillow’s cover is made from Tencel material especially formulated from eucalyptus fibers to wick away sweat from the skin to keep you dry, cool, and comfortable throughout the night.

Brookstone’s memory foam allows air to flow easily even as it adapts quickly to the body temperature for customized comfort. The removable pillow cover of the memory foam is machine washable and made with green tea, seed oil, charcoal, and peppermint – renowned for its soothing and calming properties – to help neutralize odors naturally.

Aeris Contour Pillow,Best Side Sleeper Pillow with Ventilated Memory Foam,Queen Size,Washable Plush Velour Cover.Aeris Contour Pillow – This pillow by Aeris prides itself for being the only one in its class to offer a lifetime guarantee of a free replacement. The Aeris Contour Pillow, made from 20% polyester and 80% cotton materials, is designed ergonomically to fit the natural curves of the head, shoulders, and neck to help relieve pressure on back and neck muscles.

With slightly higher sides, this pillow is ideal for side sleepers when they turn over. It comes with a plush cover made of velour fabric that is machine washable. Aerated for one week to dissipate the odor which comes with newly manufactured foams, this pillow comes in three color options.

It also comes in standardized pillow measurements of 21.3 inches by 12.6 inches by 4.7 inches (ideal for use during travel) and in Queen Size measurements of 23.6 inches by 15.7 inches by 4.7 inches. Interestingly, the curved shape of the Aeris Contour pillow allows you to choose from a wide range of sleeping positions.

Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam PillowSleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow – This two-layer pillow is ergonomically designed to provide therapeutic benefits for side sleepers as well as back sleepers. It sets proper alignment of the spine even while you sleep and hugs your neck and shoulders. With Cool Contour technology, the foam’s top layer retains a comfortable temperature throughout your sleep.

Its design can accommodate both low and high lofts of sleeping profiles so there is no need for adjustment during the night. Rated as medium-firm to medium, this pillow relieves pressure on your neck and shoulders when you sleep sideways while aligning your spine’s proper curvature.

Measuring 20 inches by 15 inches by 5 inches, this pillow, with a limited warranty of five years, can also be used by those who sleep on their back because its SureTemp memory foam retains shape even after years of use. Made entirely in the U.S.A., the Cool Contour pillow is proofed against mites and other allergens.

Night Therapy Adjustable Memory Foam PillowNight Therapy Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow – Night Therapy’s Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow is the customized solution for side as well as back sleepers with not one, not two, but three memory foam inserts in its ergonomically-designed “U” shape. Moreover, its adjustable height aligns your back and neck to prevent or relieve any potential pain to develop while you sleep.

This pillow comes with one inch each of Quick Response and ventilated memory foam plus another three inches of ventilated memory foam to complete its unique three-layer feature. Additionally, all three layers come encased in a micro-fiber fill of one inch with a completely adjustable height for up to six inches.

With a pillow size of 26½ inches by 19½ inches by 6 inches, the Night Therapy Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow easily fits inside any standard-sized pillow case. Although this pillow is CertiPUR-U.S. certified, its manufacturer, Night Therapy, suggests an airing time of 24 to 48 hours to ensure optimal usage later.

Buyers Guide – How to Choose the Best Pillow to Support Your Shoulder if You Sleep on Your Side

A side sleeper’s shoulder has the tendency to be sore if the appropriate type of pillow is not used. Poor blood circulation in the shoulders and arms and sagging of the skin to one side that causes wrinkles are likely to occur in side sleepers more than those who sleep on their backs. That’s why a side sleeper should choose a pillow with care. Firmness in a side sleeper’s pillow should be the foremost consideration.

choosing a dynasty mattressSleeping on extremely soft pillows results in pain, numbness or heaviness for a side sleeper and is not a healthy way to wake up. A contour and cervical pillow for side sleepers is firmer than conventional pillows and is specifically designed to alleviate pain in the neck and shoulders. If you have no idea of how to choose a pillow for your needs as a side sleeper, read customer reviews.

Reviews from other side sleepers can tell you their firsthand experiences with various types of pillows that have given them sleep satisfaction or, on the other side of the coin, have wasted their money. Reviews can help you make an informed purchase decision, especially when you are buying your pillows online. Another tip for side sleepers is to look for pillows that have the right kind of material.

Buckwheat hull-filled pillows provide superior support for side sleepers because they hold on to their shapes much better than latex or down, albeit those filled with down or feathers give comfort because they are softer. Memory foam and gel memory foam pillows are flexible as well as durable, for instance, but side sleepers need their pillows not only comfortable but, as mentioned previously, firmer than the rest.

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