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How Important Is Pillow Loft For Side Sleepers?

Pillow Loft For Side Sleepers

If you’re a side sleeper, you probably know that pillow loft—or thickness—is a critical component to your comfort. Pillows with a higher loft help keep your head in alignment with your spine, but you also want to avoid pillows that are too thick and push your head and neck into an unnatural position that can lead to neck pain. A good rule of thumb is to choose a pillow that’s medium-firm, but this varies by personal preference (we have an entire roundup of the best pillows for neck pain for more guidance).

As you conduct your search for the ideal Best pillow for side sleeper, you may come across claims from various brands that their products are suitable for all sleep positions and body types, but this type of marketing can be misleading. The right pillow for you depends on your sleep position, and your personal preferences and body type will affect your ideal pillow height. For example, broad shoulders will cause your head to be further away from the mattress and require a loftier pillow, while narrow shoulders can mean that you need a lower-loft pillow.

The construction and materials of a pillow can also impact your loft needs. For instance, memory foam and latex pillows tend to be a little firmer than down and down-alternative pillows, which can reduce the amount of loft you need to feel comfortable. Other factors that can influence your ideal pillow include whether you have allergies and/or sensitive skin, and if you prefer a squishy or hard-feeling pillow.

How Important Is Pillow Loft For Side Sleepers?

Generally, we’ve found that side sleepers like a medium-density pillow with high-loft (five inches or more), but this can vary by individual preference. If you’re unsure what your ideal pillow thickness is, start with a higher-loft pillow and fluff it up regularly for optimal comfort. Pillow loft, or the height and thickness of a pillow, is a critical factor for side sleepers, significantly impacting sleep quality and spinal alignment. For side sleepers, the pillow loft needs to be carefully chosen to ensure that the neck and head are adequately supported, aligning with the spine to prevent discomfort and long-term health issues.

The primary importance of the pillow loft for side sleepers lies in its ability to maintain a neutral spine position. When the head is properly supported by a pillow with the correct loft, it prevents the neck from bending unnaturally. A pillow that is too high can cause the neck to bend upwards, leading to stiffness and pain. Conversely, a pillow that is too low can cause the neck to bend downwards, resulting in similar discomfort. Both scenarios can lead to disrupted sleep and potential chronic pain.

This hypoallergenic pillow combines natural Tencel—a soft, lightweight fiber made from the pulp of the eucalyptus tree—with shredded natural latex to create a light and airy, yet supportive, pillow that would please Goldilocks. Its zippered cover allows you to adjust the amount of filling, allowing you to customize the level of loft and firmness to your personal preferences.

The result is a pillow that’s neither too hard nor too soft, while retaining its shape over time and offering consistent support. It’s also easy to care for: The perforated bamboo cover is cool and breathable, and the filling can be easily fluffed up by running it through your dryer with clean tennis balls. It’s an excellent option for both back and side sleepers, as well as pregnant women and those with sensitive skin.


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