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Choosing the right side sleeper pillow featured image

Choosing the right side sleeper pillow

Choosing the right side sleeper pillow

by David Smith

When searching for the right side sleeper pillow, there are more pressing questions to ask, like your height and your sleep surface. Understanding how your body interacts with your sleep environment can determine the right side sleeper pillow. 


To begin, your gender and body type make a difference. Males and females do have different physiologies, and your height also impacts how your body interacts with your pillow. Next, ask yourself if your shoulders are normal for your height or if they’re broad for your height. 


Next, when choosing a side sleeper pillow, look at your sleep surface (i.e. mattress, floor, futon). Whether you sleep on an extra firm floor or a super soft pillow top mattress, type of surface you sleep on impacts your neck and spine alignment. It also affects how much your shoulders compress the surface.  The softer your sleep surface, the more your shoulder will compress it. This reduces the area your pillow needs to fill when sleeping on your side. 


You’re not alone when you’re sleeping on your side. In fact, most of the population spends most of its time as a side sleeper. When choosing your pillow, however, you want to decide if you roll to your back or roll to your stomach when you’re not on your side. This position is the deciding factor when selecting a side sleeper pillow. 

male side sleeper positions


Take our Pillow Personality Quiz, which guides you through the questions above. We have our unique scoring system which offers you the right pillow for how you sleep. You can find that quiz here


Do pillows matter?

While you’re sleeping, your spine and neck should be aligned, as they would be if you were standing. If your pillow elevates your head too much while sleeping, your neck bends forward or to the side, which leads to muscle strain throughout the neck and shoulders. This position may also cause obstruction when breathing and lead to snoring or sleep apnea. 

male side sleeper neck pain


Best side sleeper pillow

The best side sleeper pillow is the one that’s most comfortable. That is to say, what do you find comfortable when placing your head on the pillow? Do you sleep in or on your pillow? When you sleep on your pillow, you have a feeling of support. Conversely, when you sleep in your pillow, your head sinks into the pillow. It feels like it’s floating. 


Feathers have less air. They are denser objects and have more “weight.” If you enjoy sleeping on your pillow, you’d select a feather pillow. Alternatively, down clusters look like dandelion puffs. They’re airy, and the higher quality (fill power) of down, the airier the down cluster. If you prefer to sleep in your pillow, you’d select a down pillow



In the end, when choosing a pillow, you must look at your comfort. You have our Perfect Pillow Policy on your side when you buy from Down and Feather Company. If your pillow is not quite right, we will adjust the density one level up or down for free.

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