BEST DOWN PILLOWS FOR SIDE SLEEPERS
by David Smith
Last Updated: 1/30/23
Looking for a fantastic new down pillow? Hoping to solve your neck pain problems with better support? We’ve created this guide to our best goose down pillows for side sleepers. All of our feather pillows are filled with the finest Hungarian goose down, offering the firmness your neck needs for relief without feeling too hard. Read ahead to see our top three picks for feather pillows for side sleepers.
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.
Best Overall: Snuggle Soft 850 Fill Power Goose Down Pillow
Waking up with neck pain? Our Snuggle Soft 850 Fill Power Goose Down pillow can fix that, according to our many customers who swear by it. This pillow is filled with ultra-premium, Hungarian goose down clusters. The clusters we use are larger than a US quarter and have a three-dimensional, spherical shape, providing enhanced longevity and resilience to keep you comfortable for longer.
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.
Best Value: Quality Rest® 650 Fill Power Goose Down Pillow
Side sleepers with wide shoulders find this pillow to be a game-changer. The Quality Rest 650 Fill Power Goose Down pillow is made to help fill a wide comfort gap, which those with broad shoulders inevitably have. The Hungarian goose down clusters used to fill this pillow are our smallest but strongest. These small clusters allow a pillow to be both thick and soft.
The Quality Rest 650 sleeps thicker across all densities, be it soft, medium, firm, or extra firm. When you have wide shoulders and are a side sleeper, you often wake up with your neck tilted down to meet the pillow. With the density of the Quality Rest 650, your spine will remain comfortably in alignment.
Best Down Alternative: FiberGel Down Alternative Pillow
Our FiberGel Down Alternative pillow is perfect for both side and back sleepers. This pillow isn’t filled with goose down or even a gel, but rather a polyester fiber spun as thin as human hair. This design allows it to sleep thicker and heavier than many other pillows, providing the support needed to keep your head from drooping while sleeping on your side.
Side sleepers require (relatively) thick pillows to fill the area between the crown of the shoulder and the side of the head, also called the comfort gap. Thin pillows do not provide enough cushion, but overly-thick pillows can throw spinal alignment off-kilter.
The Benefits of Feather Pillows
- Feather pillows provide a more luxurious, comfortable sleep experience.
- Despite their softness, feathers provide better support and lift for your neck.
- Down is anti-allergenic, meaning it doesn’t attract bacteria or other undesirable microbes.
- Down is very long-lived, meaning your pillow can last for years before needing to be replaced.
Do side sleepers need a soft or firm pillow?
Typically, side sleepers need a firmer pillow to support their neck during the night. However, the firmness of your mattress can affect what firmness of pillow you need for the right support. Read below to see how to choose the best feather pillows for side sleepers!
Choosing the best down pillow for side sleepers depends on:
- Your Sleep Surface (Mattress Firmness)
- Your Sleep Style (Side Sleeper, Back Sleeper, Stomach Sleeper)
- Your Shoulder Width (Comfort Gap)
1. Sleep Surface Mattress Firmness
No matter if you sleep on the floor, a foam mattress, or a mattress with a pillow top, it is important to understand that your sleep surface impacts your neck and, in turn, your quality of sleep.
Did you know? 65% of Americans sleep on their side as their primary sleep position.
NOTICE: For side sleepers, when your mattress is softer, your shoulder will compress the sleep surface. This reduces the area your pillow needs to fill.
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.
If You Have A 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. Our firm down pillows are the perfect match to fill your comfort gap.
If You Have A 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. Shop our medium down pillows to match your mattress.
If You Have A 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. Shop our soft down pillows today.
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.
Share our infographic today!
Want to share the gift of better sleep with your friends and family? We’ve created an infographic to summarize what you need to know about choosing the right down pillow for side sleepers. Help us educate everyone on better sleeping. Share. Print. Like.
Choosing The Right Luxury Pillow With Down & Feather Company
Here at Down & Feather Company, we specialize in sourcing the finest textiles and Hungarian goose down to make ultra-premium luxury down bedding. Our responsibly-sourced goose down provides the finest experience in sleep for all ages and sleepers. Learn more about why you should choose Down & Feather for your sleep needs.