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How Does Pillow Loft Impact Comfort For Side Sleepers?

Pillow Loft Impact Comfort For Side Sleepers

Finding a pillow that provides both comfort and support is no easy feat. But the right pillow doesn’t just help you sleep better — it supports your neck and spine and promotes good posture throughout the day, too. To do so, a pillow needs to be firm enough to hold your head in place without making you feel like you’re sleeping on a brick (or worse, suffocating). Pillow loft, or thickness, is the biggest factor that impacts how comfortable a pillow is, and it can vary by individual body type, size, and mattress firmness.

The best pillows for side sleepers will have a medium to high pillow loft to align the head and neck with the spine and take pressure off the shoulder. “Side sleepers typically need more height to maintain a neutral spine position, and a high-loft pillow allows the head, neck and shoulders to fall gracefully into the pillow,” explains Byron Golub, vice president of product and merchandising at Saatva. During our recent in-Lab tests, the most comfortable pillows for side sleepers had a loft between 5 and 6 inches, but the height of the pillow you choose will depend on the width of your shoulders and how heavy you are.

In our tests, the most comfortable best side sleeper pillows also included a high-density fill to resist compression and keep the pillow’s shape. A high-density pillow is also a good choice for taller or larger individuals, as it will provide more support than a thinner, lower-density fill that will compress under the weight of your head.

How Does Pillow Loft Impact Comfort For Side Sleepers?

The Parachute Side Sleeper Pillow, which received a near-perfect score from our testers, is filled with 750-fill-power European down and feathers to provide the classic sleeping-on-a-cloud feeling, but it has a 3.5-inch gusset on the side to keep your head elevated and your neck properly aligned. Its zippered cover is machine-washable to keep it clean, and it comes with a cotton pillowcase that fits the cutout perfectly.

When it comes to achieving a restful night’s sleep, the right pillow can make all the difference, especially for side sleepers. Side sleeping is one of the most common sleeping positions, and it has its unique set of needs to ensure proper spinal alignment and comfort. The best pillows for side sleepers provide the right balance of support, firmness, and softness to maintain a neutral spine position and prevent neck and shoulder pain. Here are some of the best side sleeper pillows that cater to these requirements.

Another of our favorite options is the Honeydew Latex Pillow, which is crescent-shaped to help maintain neck and spinal alignment for side sleepers. This pillow is made with a combination of Tencel, a natural fiber derived from the pulp of eucalyptus trees, and recycled polyester to create an airy, light-feeling pillow, and shredded natural latex adds the perfect amount of support. It’s encased in a certified organic cotton cover and has a removable, zip-able insert so you can adjust the amount of fill to suit your preference. Our testers loved how this pillow held its shape, re-fluffed easily after six months of use, and stayed cool through the night.


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