The Best Pillows for Side-Sleepers to Nix Neck and Shoulder Pain


If you’re a side-sleeper, you know that it can come with the unpleasant side effect of waking up with a stiff neck and other resulting aches and pains. Luckily, this can often be resolved simply by investing in one of the best pillows for side-sleepers.

Side-sleeping is common: A 2012 poll showed that 74 percent of Americans snooze on their sides, with stomach sleepers and back sleepers coming in close behind. As comfortable as side-sleeping can be, however, it can also cause issues in the neck and shoulder departments.

Side-sleeping has its pros and cons. On the plus side, there are many health benefits to reposing in this position. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it can help those suffering from sleep apnea, acid reflux, heartburn, GERD. Due to the positioning of certain organs, like the stomach, however, the latter statements are only true when sleeping on your left side.

On the other hand, given that sleeping on your side may require resting on one arm, this position can also result in numbness and neck pain — particularly if you also pull your chin down into a fetal position.

This position also means placing a good amount of your weight on one of your shoulders, which can lead to additional aching and straining over time.

As such, it’s very important to be conscious of the alignment of your head, neck, and spine, as well as the overall straightness of your legs and back when you sleep on your side. For added support with alignment, fit can help to place a body pillow between your knees to alleviate pressure on your hips and lower back.

What is the best pillow for side sleepers? 

Grab a sleep mask and your favorite mattress topper and get ready to drift off in comfort, because we’ve rounded up the best-rated pillows for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain. Keep scrolling to shop our picks!

See more of our best product recommendations.

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