What are the benefits of using a contour pillow for side sleeping?

benefits of using a contour pillow for side sleeping

The right pillow can transform your sleep experience, making it more comfortable and restorative. However, not all pillows are created equal. The best contour pillow for side sleeping provides support that correctly aligns the neck and spine, alleviating strain from the shoulders and reducing pressure points throughout the body.

Typically made of memory foam, contour best side sleeper pillows are designed to support the head and neck. They usually have a higher ridge on one long edge and a lower side for positioning, which helps keep the neck in a natural curve to prevent back and neck strain. When using a contour pillow as a side sleeper, position the lower edge of the pillow under your neck, with the higher side touching your shoulder. This will help to keep your ears in line with your shoulders to prevent the neck from extending either forward or backward while you’re asleep, which can cause pain or discomfort.

In addition to supporting the neck, a good contour pillow for side sleepers will have enough height so that your head doesn’t sink too low into the pillow. The loft (the official term for the height of the pillow when it’s laid flat) can vary between pillows, so be sure to check that yours is high enough to achieve proper alignment. The ideal loft can depend on your height and body type, so some trial and error may be necessary to find the perfect fit.

What are the benefits of using a contour pillow for side sleeping?

When shopping for the best contour pillow for side sleepers, consider the type of fill. A memory foam option is a great choice for most people because it has a firmer feel and is designed to mold to the body, which offers superb support for neck and spine alignment. However, solid memory foam is also a bit dense and may not offer the breathable properties of other options such as shredded foam or down/feathers.

Another option for side sleepers is a latex contour pillow, which features a responsive feel that adjusts to the shape of your neck and head for optimal comfort. The material also resists compression, so it stays in shape better than a standard pillow and can help reduce pain from pressure points and a stiff neck. However, a latex pillow can be too firm for some side sleepers.

If you’re a combination side sleeper, consider a gusseted pillow, which has a unique design that adds more support to the curved sides of your neck. Our pick, the Malouf Dough Pillow, has a gusseted contour section and a standard side portion that you can switch out to suit your needs.

Regardless of the type of pillow you choose, it’s important to regularly replace it. Odors, stains, lumps and other signs of wear can indicate that it’s time to upgrade to a new pillow. Some experts recommend replacing your pillow every two years or sooner if it starts to lose its shape. Keeping your pillow clean can also help reduce dust mites, which can lead to allergies and asthma.

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