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by David Smith

Last Updated: 5/17/22

Are down pillows good for side sleepers?

Yes! Down pillows can be the perfect choice for the right support and softness to suit you. Down & Feather has compiled a list of the best down pillows for side sleepers so you can get the comfort you’re craving from our highest-quality feather pillows.

1. Snuggle Soft 850 Fill Power Goose Down Pillow

The Snuggle Soft 850 is ideal for side sleepers that rotate between their side and back. Its fill power and shape help to close the “comfort gap,” that space between the crown of your shoulder and side of your head when sleeping on your side. You’ll wake more rested without any neck pain thanks to a pillow that supports your upper spine to maintain a comfortable position all through the night.

2. Quality Rest® 650 Fill Power Goose Down Pillow

3. FiberGel Down Alternative Pillow

Choosing the best down pillow for side sleepers depends on:

  1. Your Sleep Surface (Mattress Firmness)
  2. Your Sleep Style (Side Sleeper, Back Sleeper, Stomach Sleeper)
  3. Your Shoulder Width (Comfort Gap)

1. Sleep Surface Mattress Firmness

2. Sleep Style (Side Sleepers)

Roughly 65% of people sleep primarily on their side. This creates what we refer to as a “Comfort Gap.” The Comfort Gap is the area between the crown of the shoulder & the side of your head. When you sleep on your side, a pillow needs to fill this Comfort Gap to provide you with the proper support.

Firm Mattress
Side sleepers who sleep on a firm mattress have the largest comfort gap to fill. A firmer pillow is necessary to appropriately fill this gap. Firm Down Pillows

Medium Mattress
A softer mattress allows the side sleeper's shoulder to press slightly into the sleep surface, reducing the size of the of comfort gap. A down pillow of medium density is required to keep the spine straight. Medium Down Pillows

Soft Mattress
Side sleepers who sleep on a soft mattress require an even softer down pillow to maintain proper spine alignment due to the shoulder pressing deeper into the sleep surface. Soft Down Pillows

3. Shoulder Width Comfort Gap

When you sleep on your side the area between the crown of the shoulder & the side of your head is called the comfort gap. The broader the shoulders and firmer mattress greater the size of the comfort gap.

The goal is to fill the comfort gap with the correct down pillow density to keep your spine as straight as possible when lying on your side. This position replicates standing with perfect posture! The end result is that you’ll rest more comfortably all night long.

Pillow Density Formula

Sleep Surface + Sleep Style + Shoulder Width = Recommended Pillow Density


A woman of average height (~ 5’3) who tends to sleep on her side on a pillow top mattress would typically need a Medium to Firm density pillow.

PLEASE REMEMBER: Selecting a pillow is a very personal decision. Our recommended pillow formula is merely a guideline to help you choose the perfect pillow for you.

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