How thick should a pillow be for side sleepers?
The best pillows for side sleepers have just the right amount of plushness—and if you’re a side sleeper, you know how much of a pain finding the perfect loft can be (pun intended). Some pillows practically disappear under the weight of your head, while others prop it up so high, you wake up with a kinked neck and sore shoulders. Furthermore, the ideal pillow shouldn’t require a routine of fluffing and re-fluffing every time you shift throughout the night.
Generally speaking, side sleepers should opt for a firmer, medium-density side sleepers pillow that has a balance of support and softness to contour your head and keep your neck and spine aligned.
So side sleepers should aim for a pillow that's 3 to 6 inches thick; the goal is to keep your head and neck in a straight line with your spine.
How We Chose The Best Side sleepers pillow
To make the cut, each pillow had to offer the ideal loft (or adjustability) for side sleepers.
For side sleepers, we recommend a medium to soft fill that allows the head, neck and shoulder to fall gracefully into the pillow, with enough balance to keep the head and spine neutral. Good fill materials to achieve this include memory foam, down and down alternatives.
What To Consider When Buying A Pillow For Side Sleepers
The fill is important; after all, it can completely change the way the pillow feels underneath your head. Dr. Grant Radermacher, a chiropractor in Brookfield, Wisconsin, recommends a firm memory foam pillow for side sleepers over more malleable fills like down, poly-fil or natural fiber materials. “Side sleepers generally need more support than back or stomach sleepers to keep their neck, upper back and shoulders in proper alignment throughout the night,” he explains. If you really want something more malleable, he suggests the firmest shredded foam pillow you can find.
Most pillows come with different firmness options, but Dr. Radermacher strongly recommends a medium-firm pillow for side sleepers. “Anything softer will usually end with your head sinking down too deep while your sleep,” he says. Pillow for side sleepers just doesn't fit that well.
The loft of a pillow refers to its height when your head is on it. Choosing the wrong loft can lead to neck pain, shoulder pain and tension headaches. “Your pillow should lift your head high enough that it keeps your neck in line with your spine, but not so high that it cranes your neck to the opposite side,” Dr. Radermacher says.
The best way to determine the right loft for you is to test out several different options. If you can, get someone else to help you. Lie down on your pillow and ask them to tell you if your head and neck are straight. If not, you likely haven’t found the right pillow for you.
If you don’t want a memory foam pillow, you might want to look into an adjustable pillow, which allows you to remove or add fill to make it as plump as you want it to be. “A customizable fill level can help you figure out the loft that works best for your body,” Dr. Radermacher says. This isn’t a necessary option, but it certainly is a nice feature.
& Trial Period
Many pillows come with trial periods (usually 30 days) that allow you to test out the pillow as needed. This is really the best way to find a pillow that works for you, since pillows can change shape as you lay on them. Buying a pillow with a trial period makes it a little easier for you to find the pillow that is most comfortable for you.
The above article is mainly to give some reference to side sleepers, and I hope it can give you some help.