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Bed Pillows for Side Sleepers: Shopping Guide and Tips

Updated on September 28, 2010

Tips to Choose the Right Pillow

If you sleep on your side it can be hard finding a pillow that fits you right. Some people only sleep on their side part of the night and every individual is unique in their sleeping habits. Side Sleepers need to look for a pillow with medium or medium/firm support. Our bodies are all different shapes and sizes so it is important to find the right pillow for you.

Support the Space Between your Shoulder and Neck

Some polyester fill pillows will compress over time. To ensure your pillow will not go flat too quickly, you can look for a pillow with a gusset. This is the part of the pillow that creates height and fills the space between your neck and the bed.

Memory foam has the ability not to compress over time like polyester so memory foam can be a good candidate.Contour bed pillows fill the space between your bed and neck to provide the right support. Depending on your size need, you can use the high or low crown of a contour pillow. The contour design also promotes proper neck and spine alignment.

Medium to Firm Support

Side Sleepers usually need medium to medium or firm support depending on their personal preferences. Softer pillows do not provide neck support and are recommended for stomach sleepers. The firmer the pillow, the better its ability to hold shape while you sleep and provide continuous support through the night.

Shop Bed Pillows

Dr. Michael Breus: How to Choose the Right PIllow

How Long Does a Pillow Last?

For polyester and synthetic fill pillows, buy a new one every 6 months. After this amount of time a pillow can lose support and build up dust mites and other allergens that make it unhealthy. Pillows protectors can help with this. Memory foam pillows can last longer and may not wear down until after a couple years of use. Wash your pillow cases and protectors regularly. Feather pillows can build up oil and dust mites from the break down of the quills over time. If you ever see an oil stain on your feather pillow, toss it.

Down pillows and synthetic pillows can be washed per directions and this will help the life of your pillow. Down pillows recover well from washing and polyester pillows may experience clumping of fiber inside. Down pillows will last a long time if cared for properly and you use a pillow protector designed to prevent build up of allergens for best results. If you pillow ever looks gross, just get a new one. Just because a product has a 5 year warranty does not mean you really want to use it for 5 years.


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    • Phil.S profile image

      Phil.S 7 years ago

      Great hub and yes both my wife and I sleep on our side (spooning) so very useful, thanks.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for very helpful information. Godspeed. creativeone59