And as someone who’s been sleeping on the original medium-firm Coop loft pillow for years, this tester would recommend that one, too. It’s very similar: an adjustable loft pillow filled with shredded memory foam fill that you can add or subtract based on your personal preferences, but none of the cooling gel or the gusset of the Eden for added structure. The original also only comes with a 100-day sleep trial while the Eden adds in a five-year warranty if anything starts falling apart at the seas.
The Best Firm Pillow for Side Sleepers: Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Neck Pillow
Though the Coop is still our top pick for most people, the foamy Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Neck pillow is one that’s specifically billed for side sleepers, with extra-firm support if you find other pillows too saggy over time. It’s definitely not as cushy as some of the other picks on this list, but if you’re saddled with neck and shoulder pain, this one follows the natural curve of your neck and shoulders for maximum spinal alignment. It feels sort of like a sleep shelf, with its slightly curved U-shape dip that creates a supportive nook for your head and neck. Our tester preferred to sleep on top of the smaller curve, but you can also flip the pillow so you’re nestled against the larger curve (which is how Tempur-Pedic models the cushion), offering more height for back sleepers who want to minimize snoring or side sleepers with broader shoulders. Tempur-Pedic even throws in a five-year warranty if you’re not thrilled with the quality over time.
The Best Breathable Pillow for Side Sleepers: Sijo Clima Adaptive Latex Pillow
Instead of springy, moldable foam, Sijo pillow relies on a bouncy Talalay latex core to keep your head aloft. The Clima pillow feels a bit like an inflatable mattress, though one that thankfully doesn’t deflate by morning. Settle your head on the pillow and you notice a bit of sinkage, though there’s a bounce to it that buoys your head so it’s still plenty comfortable. It’s a supportive pillow that’s huggable for stomach sleepers and decently agile for propping you up on your back. Our tester didn’t notice any issues with neck or back pain after sleeping on it both ways.
One thing to note: Though the branding seems to suggest some temperature-regulation, our tester didn’t really notice anything particularly cooling about it, either—that’s usually something better perfected in a gel pillow—especially with a pillow case on. We wouldn’t label it the “best cooling pillow” out there but it is plenty breathable, thanks to a stylish Tencel lyocell cover and perforated latex foam fill that allows for better airflow.
The Best Down Pillow for Side Sleepers
Feather pillows are known more for their exceptional softness than support, but there are still some that do both. Brooklinen, the maker of some of our favorite sheets and bedding, sells three in varying thicknesses for all your sleep needs. The most versatile is its mid-plush option, which our tester found to be supportive enough for side sleepers, yet still plushy for someone who sleeps on their stomach. It gets this unique medium firmness level from its hybrid construction, which includes an inner layer of long feathers and an outer layer of down clusters. The center-most layer is more densely packed for neck and back support, while the more loose outer layer gives you more of a gentle softness to sink into. As a feather-free option, Brooklinen also sells a down alternative pillow, though we haven’t had the chance to check it out yet.
The Best Organic Pillow for Side Sleepers
And if you’re looking for the highest-quality organic pillows, Birch offers a made-to-order option with a shredded fill that’s similar to the Coop pillows, but rounded out with shredded Talalay latex. It’s a decently affordable, breathable pillow for people who are super fussy about their material sourcing. The temperature-regulating wool that makes up the pillow’s core is breathable and moisture-wicking, all wrapped up in an organic cotton cover that our tester described as having a “luxurious peachy handfeel that’s so soft, it feels wrong to cover it up.” More reasons to sleep easier at night: Its eco-friendly, chemical-free sourcing aims to give you a blissful, hypoallergenic sleep experience, and the pillow itself is dense and super supportive for side and back sleepers.
The Best Budget Pillow for Side Sleepers
And if you’re on a budget, or only willing to throw a few bones at the bedding in the guest room, these Beckham Hotel collection pillows are our favorite sub-$50 options (and since you get two in one, it’s basically like spending around $20 per pillow). Our style editor has owned multiple over the years, and says they’re “soft and comfortable, but still firm enough to not lose their shape; packed with a cooling down alternative that won’t cause your allergies to act up; And just the right height to sleep with one alone or stacked, depending on your preference.”
3 Other Pillows for Side Sleepers That We Like
We’ve heard great things about Layla’s Kapok pillow, and it’s easy to understand why. This pillow is probably the closest in spirit to the Coop, except it relies on a mixture of light and silky kapok, or fibers from the seeds of kapok trees, and shredded memory foam for the fill. It’s wildly comfortable, with a stylish quilted cover that’s woven with copper fill (which the brand states is antibacterial), but our tester felt that it didn’t have quite the same support as the Coop. There’s also not as much variability since there’s no zipper on the pillow and you can’t adjust the fill. With the Kapok, what you see is what you get. Since the pillow isn’t washable, and is at least $30 more expensive than the Coop, we still stand by our top choice. But if for some reason you’re just a Layla fanatic, you likely won’t be too disappointed with this one.
Dreamcloud’s another pillow that we’ve recommended before for side sleepers. It’s one of the best memory foam pillows out there if you prefer something dense (like a mattress) rather than shredded fill to surround your head, and don’t mind the lack of variability. The rub is that it’s extremely thick, so the kind of pillow that’s ideal for people whose shoulders look something like The Rock’s. If you’re more compact in the shoulder department, it might be a bit too much loft, offsetting your spinal alignment. But if you are, its copper-infused foam filling is a great breathable alternative to the Tempur-Pedic pillow.
Something the Japanese have known for centuries, which hasn’t caught on stateside as readily: Buckwheat (an edible seed) makes a great fill for bed pillows. If you’re unfamiliar with the sensation of sleeping on a buckwheat pillow, it’s something like the grown-up version of your college bean bag chair. It’s a unique type of pillow in that the hulls are very solid, sort of like a weighted blanket, and can weigh up to 10 pounds. They rustle as they move, so they’re definitely noisier than your standard foam or down pillows, but they also have a heft to them that supplies a very sturdy surface to rest your head on. It’s why chiropractors sometimes suggest them to patients with chronic back pain.
Like pillows with adjustable fill, buckwheat pillow cases come with just enough hulls that you can add or subtract them as you like, and distribute them to suit whatever sleep position you’re in. The biggest downside is that they’re a pain to clean, since you can’t get buckwheat hulls wet. Still, it’s nice that this Hulo pillow comes in a breathable cotton cover and multiple sizes (though you can find other buckwheat pillows elsewhere in the forms of bolsters and nap pillows, too). Our tester found it to be a nice alternative to traditional side-sleeper pillows if you want something firm like the Tempur-Pedic to sleep, but adjustable to your preferences.