If you are a side sleeper, you know that finding the right pillow can be difficult. There are so many different types of pillows out there, but many side sleepers find that this is only the illusion of choice, as many pillows fall short of providing the support needed for a comfortable night of sleep on one’s side.
At Royal Egyptian Bedding we know something about pillows, so today in our blog we are looking at how to choose the right pillow for side sleepers. Let’s look at the different types of pillows for side sleepers.
Spinal Alignment Is The Ultimate Goal
The most important role of a pillow is to provide support for our necks while we sleep. For the health of our spines, it is very important that our heads not be tilting left or right. To get this factor right, we need a pillow that has just the right height, formally known as “loft.”
When thinking about how to choose the right pillow for side sleepers, the key is to understand that different types of pillows tackle loft in a three different ways:
Soft pillows are very fluffy—they have plenty of loft. At first glance it might seem like too much loft, but these pillows are made of a highly compressible material like goose down that squishes down to the proper height under the weight of our heads. When we “sink down” into a pillow this way, it cradles the entire side of our heads. This spreads out the load and reduces pressure, which is a good thing.
However, soft pillows do have some tradeoffs: For some people they sleep too warmly, since they envelop so much of the head. They also have a relatively narrow sweet spot when it comes to the optimum amount of loft. In other words, it is easy to get a pillow with too little or too much loft. Lastly, soft pillows tend to get softer over time, which means that a highly lofty pillow might take a long time to break in, while a less lofty pillow might become too soft in the long run. Different types of pillows try to minimize this problem, but anything super fluffy will eventually wear out.
Firm pillows provide much less loft than soft pillows to begin with, but are made of a less compressible material such as feathers, cotton, or synthetic fibers, so it balances out and gives our spines a straight alignment.
Firm pillows take up less space on the bed and are ideal for people who frequently move around during the night, finding different positions to sleep in. Firm pillows are good in virtually all sleeping positions, side or otherwise. They are also more forgiving when it comes to the classic side-sleeper problem of where to put that lower arm.
The main downside is that firm pillows concentrate more pressure on a smaller area of our heads. There are many different types of pillows to choose from when it comes to the overall amount of firmness, but every firm pillow will have this basic tradeoff to some extent.
Sculpted pillows are a cross of soft and firm pillows: They have a head-cradling sculpted shape like soft pillows, but are closer in firmness to a firm pillow. By taking the best features of these different types of pillows, sculpted pillows offer an excellent sleep.
However, they also have a big downside: Sculpted side sleeper pillows only work when we lie flat on our side. These pillows often do not fit properly with other sleeping positions.
How To Choose The Right Pillow For Side Sleepers
Now that we have looked at the different types of pillows, we are ready to answer the question of how to choose the right pillow for side sleepers.
Generally speaking, we prefer firmer pillows for side sleeping. Improper spine alignment is bad in any direction, but especially to the left and right, so having a supportive pillow that does not continue to flatten out over the course of the night will often lead to a more restful sleep and a lower risk of neck pain and headaches the next day.
At REB, we carry different types of pillows, available in both goose down and down alternative fill, that offer a good amount of firmness. We recommend any of these premium pillows as excellent for side sleeping:
Better still, we offer a 30-day return policy. There is nothing to lose, so try some of these exquisite luxury pillows for yourself.