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Best Pillows for Side Sleepers in Australia

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According to a 2019 survey conducted by Ecosa, side sleeping is considered the most comfortable position among Australians: 55% of all respondents prefer it (1). 

You might certainly doubt that, however, if you’re constantly waking up with the stiff neck.

But guess what? Maybe your pillow is the culprit.

So be sure to check this review of the best pillows for side sleepers in Australia and upgrade your current one so that you can enjoy the comfiest sleep.

A Quick Preview

Peacelily Latex Pillow
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice

Peacelily Latex Pillow
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Emma Foam Pillow
Best for Adjustable Comfort

Emma Foam Pillow
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Tontine Comfortech gel-infused memory foam pillow
Best for Cooling

Tontine Comfortech gel-infused memory foam pillow- Medium & Firm
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Adairs
Best for Neck Problems

Adairs
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Tontine Luxe Supremely Soft Pillow
Best for Larger Frames

Tontine Luxe Supremely Soft Pillow
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Our List of the Best Pillows for Side Sleepers in Australia

Best Overall - Editor’s Choice — Peacelily Latex Pillow 

Peacelily Latex Pillow (Firm)

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Highlights

  • 12.5-cm loft for proper head and neck support;
  • sleeps cool due to the open-cell structure of the latex and additional perforation;
  • natural cotton cover wicks away moisture and keeps your sleep cool;
  • completely odourless pillow for very sensitive sleepers;
  • made with organic and renewable materials without any harmful chemicals.

When you sleep on your side, your face and body come into direct contact with the pillow. And if it doesn’t remove your body heat properly, you may wake up all sweaty and groggy, which isn’t the definition of rest at all. So, here’s one of the best pillows for side sleepers in Australia that will spare you of hot sleeping while maintaining the proper support of your head and neck.

The Fern Earth is made of a 12.5-cm Dunlop latex slab. This material is perfect for side sleepers in two ways: first, its density can sufficiently support your neck alignment. Second, it has a pretty good pressure-relieving effect and can relax your stiff shoulder. 

Plus, the latex is naturally cool material because it has an open-cell structure that allows your body heat to escape. And the Fern Earth pillow is even more breathable because it has small holes across the surface that enhance the aeration.

Also, the pillow is encased in a natural cotton cover. This material performs great at absorbing moisture and is soft to the touch. 

So, if you’re a side sleeper and need a long-lasting pillow that doesn’t pack any hidden chemicals inside — the Fern Earth will be your way to go!

Peacelily Latex Pillow-2
Peacelily Latex Pillow-4

Best for Adjustable Comfort — Emma Foam Pillow

Emma Foam Pillow

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Highlights

  • multi-layered construction to deliver optimal support levels;
  • adjustable loft to work for a wide range of sleepers and body types;
  • breathable open-cell foam to create a temperature-neutral sleeping environment;
  • removable and machine-washable cover for fuss-free maintenance;
  • includes a 100-night trial, ideal for hesitant shoppers.

Another item I would love to share with you is the Emma pillow. This model surprised me with its “just right” feel. The pillow is well-balanced and offers just enough support and cradling. My head felt weightless when I was sleeping on the Emma, which is enough reason to call it one of the best pillows for side sleepers in Australia.

And it gets better: the layers are removable (or swappable, whatever you wish). This means every sleeper can achieve their perfect comfort level. After all, each layer of the Emma pillow has a different feel. So, sleepers can test different configurations and adjust not only the height of the pillow but also the way it feels. For instance, I experimented with various setups and found the right one by placing the Airgocell layer on top (as I enjoyed its deeper hug).

Emma Original Pillow
Emma Original Pillow - 2

Best for Cooling — Tontine Comfortech gel-infused memory foam pillow- Medium & Firm

Tontine Comfortech gel-infused memory foam pillow-min

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Highlights

  • Gel-infused Aircell™ Memory Foam construction;
  • Compact size for optimal utilization of space on your bed;
  • Convenient form-fitting design for outdoor or indoor use;
  • No loss of loft or shape retention over time; the pillow stays comfortable for years.

At home or on the go, the Tontine Comfortech pillow ensures comfort and stability with its unique gel-infused Aircell™ Memory Foam construction. 

The smooth inner core provides a supportive and luxurious feel for your head and neck while keeping cool air locked into the plush outer cover.

With Tontine's innovative, one-piece design, side sleepers can finally have a pillow that stays in place all night long.  

This pillow keeps you cool and comfortable all night long.

 It's perfect for side sleepers, thanks to its ergonomically shaped design. Cool gel pockets keep you from overheating, while the inner Aircell™ Memory Foam creates a softer sleeping environment for your head and neck.

Best for Neck Problems — Adairs

adairs pillow

 

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Highlights

  • combined core made of memory foam and fiberfill for better contouring;
  • available in Medium and High loft — can fit fellows with the broadest shoulders;
  • doesn’t trap your body heat, so you can expect breeze-like sleep;
  • has a washable polyester cover for easy care;
  • supports proper neck alignment in the lateral position.

The Adairs pillow is the last, but not least pick on this list, and the main reason for that is its perfect pain-relieving effect. Side sleepers are more prone to neck pain than those who sleep in other positions, so the solid support of the Adairs can easily address that issue.

The pillow features a compound core made of solid memory foam centre surrounded by alternative down from all sides. This construction makes the pillow conform to your neck curve and relieve pain. Plus, the fibres create a breathable layer between you and memory foam, so you’ll sleep cool.

Another great thing about this pillow is its removable cover. It’s made of polyester, so you can expect great moisture-wicking effect and the ability to withstand years of active use. Plus, the fabric is hypoallergenic, so it won’t provoke rashes or hypersensitivities.

The Adairs offers you a choice between Medium and High lofts, so you can pick the pillow depending on how broad your shoulders are.

With that being said, the Adairs pillow might become your lifesaver if you sleep on your side and are prone to nack pain. It’s very moldable, supportive and can alleviate pressure points in the cervical region pretty easily.

Best for Larger Frames — Tontine Luxe Supremely Soft Pillow

TONTINE LUXE Pillow

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 Shop Now on Tontine.com.au

Highlights

  • Made out of superfine microfibre.
  • Complete washable with a machine to prevent bacteria build-up.
  • Higher and firmer features.

This pillow is one of the finest ones we have seen out there. The first thing that attracts the eye is how much the manufacturer invested in the quality of this pillow. Besides being filled with super fine microfiber that is soft and comfortable, it is covered with a layer of premium cotton. 

The next best thing about it is that it's perfect for people with larger frames who prefer higher heights for relieving pressure from their necks. What we love about this pillow is how it affected our neck pain in such a good way. We didn't have to worry about it feeling heavy and becoming dirty either, because we could easily fit it in a washing machine and receive it as good as new.

How Does Side Sleeping Affect Pillow Choice?

Every sleeping style has its own requirements for the perfect pillow but side sleeping probably has the most.

See, that’s because the lateral position isn’t the best for our spinal health. First, your head is pretty heavy, and if the pillow fails to support it, you may strain your neck (2). Second, when you sleep on your side, you put your body weight on the shoulder and this can result in stiffness as well.

So, what features should a good pillow for side sleepers have to successfully address these problems?

Here they are:

  • Loft. For side sleepers, the pillow should fill in the space between the ear and the bed (3), which is basically equal to your shoulder width. So, you can measure the distance from the base of the neck to your shoulder joint (spoiler: it will be around 12-13 cm, which is pretty average pillow loft). Or, go for the pillow with an adjustable loft, especially if you shift through back and side sleeping: in this case, the pillow should be compatible with both positions, so it’s recommended that you adjust it manually.
  • Firmness. Side sleepers might need a firmer pillow that can maintain its shape without sinking too deep under the head. Typically, solid memory foam, latex, or overstuffed shredded foam pillows make a good pick for that. A regular fiberfill model might do the trick as well, but only if it’s generously stuffed and can guarantee sturdy support. That being said, shoppers need to remember that most fiberfill pillows tend to lose their loft with time. This means sleepers will have to buy a new pillow sooner than with other types.
  • Cover. When you sleep on the side, the pillow touches your face. Also, it collects oils from the skin and hair and gathers tiny skin cells and dust that can turn into an allergic bomb when combined. The best way to prevent this is to opt for models with washable cover: they prevent dust buildup and let you enjoy the freshness for longer.

What Are the Best Pillows for Side Sleepers in Australia Made Of?

When looking for the best pillow for side sleepers in Australia, one can’t help but wonder:

What is the best pillow type I can use to feel the most comfortable during sleep?

The thing is, none of the pillow types is perfect. However, some may work for you better than others. So, let’s take a closer look at what pillows for side sleepers are made of to find the best solution for you:

  • Memory foam (solid). What makes memory foam a good option for side sleepers is its ability to conform to the curves of one’s body. Therefore, a foam pillow can deliver the needed support (if it’s firm enough) while gently cradling your neck and reducing tension.  This is why memory foam models are often considered the best pillows for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain in Australia. Foam can redistribute the pressure evenly, which often helps with pain alleviation.  However, it’s important to remember that most solid memory foam pillows sleep warmer than usual unless they are infused with cooling components.
  • Memory foam (shredded). Shredded foam pillows are more breathable, so they might sleep cooler than solid memory foam. Many of them also allow for height adjustability to satisfy more users. At the same time, shredded memory foam pillows can be just as cradling and supportive. That being said, keep in mind that pieces of foam may form lumps with time (which would vary depending on the pillow quality).
  • Latex. Latex is a great choice for side sleepers because this material can deliver resilient support without neglecting pressure alleviation. Just like foam, latex is able to mold to the curves of one’s neck and head. However, it won’t hug you that much. Additionally, latex pillows sleep cool naturally, which makes them an ideal solution for hot sleepers and those who experience hot flashes during the night. On the other hand, such pillows belong to a rather expensive category. 
  • Poly-fiber. Poly-fiber pillows are meant to imitate the airy feel of natural down. That’s why most of them aren’t that firm. Therefore, side sleepers typically feel the most comfortable on slightly overstuffed poly-fiber pillows. In this case, they can enjoy resilient support. These pillows are usually super affordable and can be an excellent solution for budget shoppers. Nevertheless, poly-fiber pillows are less durable than other types and can flatten or form lumps. In this case, it might be a good idea to get an adjustable, zippered pillow. Once it loses its loft, you can simply add more filling and extend its life.
  • Buckwheat. The reason why buckwheat pillows work for side sleepers is that they can offer firm, sturdy support. Plus, many of them come in a medium-high loft, which should work for the majority of side sleepers. Furthermore, buckwheat pillows sleep cool. However, I have to warn you: buckwheat shells can be pretty noisy. When sleeping on such a pillow, you will hear rattling noises when moving or adjusting the pillow. And while the sound isn’t that loud, it can disturb some individuals, especially light sleepers.

Now, I did not include the popular down pillows deliberately. The thing is, they are typically extra squishy, soft, and airy. Chances are, this won’t be enough to deliver enough support when sleeping on one side (unless you use a couple of down pillows, but it’s not that comfortable and can be very expensive).

Other Things to Consider

These features can make your side sleeping experience more comfortable, so be sure to include them in your list when choosing a decent pillow for side sleepers.

Neck and Shoulder Issues

If you don’t have neck or shoulder pain, a properly chosen pillow will prevent you from getting these issues anytime soon. But if you have some problems, you should take them into consideration. For example, if you have osteoarthritis, you may need a more moldable pillow with a fiberfill layer. Those with shoulder pain can benefit from a higher and firmer pillow that will remove the load from the shoulder belt.

Be sure to consult your healthcare specialist to determine which pillow type will suit your needs.

Thermoregulation

Cool sleep is more restorative sleep, that’s a fact

So, a good pillow — especially for a side sleeper, who rubs their face on it — should be able to remove all the body heat and excess moisture to keep your sleep cool and dry.

Natural latex and latex shreds, as well as open-cell and gel-infused foams, work really great for that. Also, you can look for the pillow with a removable get insert. You can place this insert in a fridge and then put it back into your pillow and enjoy a breezy sleep.

Comfort adjustments or sleep trial

There’s no such thing as “one size fits all” in the world of pillows. Therefore, to be on the safe side (or if you don’t know what you need exactly), you may want to pick a model that offers loft adjustments. Such pillows usually have a zippered cover that allows users to add or remove some amount of the filling. Such a design would let you tailor your new pillow to your needs and according to your body peculiarities.

Another vital aspect is the in-home sleep trial. It would allow you to test a pillow and return it for a full refund in case it doesn’t work for you. Again, it’s an awesome problem-solving “tool” for uncertain and hesitant shoppers.

Weight and Mattress Firmness

Each of these aspects can determine how much sinkage the sleeper will experience. And sinkage can affect the loft of the pillow

If the sleeper sinks deeper into the mattress, they will need a slightly thinner pillow. Why? Because when sinking deeper, there’s less space between the head and the surface of the mattress. Naturally, the pillow doesn’t have to be too tall to fill in all that space.

Now, heavier side sleepers typically experience more sinkage, which means they might require a thinner pillow. The same rule applies to owners of soft mattresses. 

F.A.Q.

What is the best pillow type for side sleepers?

A proper pillow for sleeping on one’s side has to be tall and should deliver firmer support. When sleeping on the side, your pillow has to prevent your head from tilting. Therefore, it has to be lofty enough to fill in all that space between your head and the surface of your mattress.

How thick should a pillow be for sleeping on your side?

It would depend on your height and body type, but on average, pillows for side sleepers range from around 7 to 15 cm.

Is memory foam good for side sleepers?

Generally, yes, if it’s firm enough. Memory foam is a highly adaptive material that can nicely cradle the head and contour the neck when you’re lying on one side. However, it should be tall and firm enough, not soft and squishy.

Wrapping Up


Choosing a good pillow for a side sleeper isn’t rocket science.
Be sure to choose a higher loft, so you can maintain healthy spinal alignment while sleeping, go for natural and breathable materials, and don’t forget about the washable cover.

You can also skip this and try the Peacelily Latex pillow. This pillow is just fantastic with the use of latex in it, which is perfect for side sleepers who tend to get hot a lot. Peacelily is famous for using natural latex, so you cannot find any harmful material in this pillow. This latex will support your neck and keep your head in a proper position so you don't experience any neck pain. Overall, perfect choice for people who love natural products.

So, does that sound like a perfect pillow for you? Or have you chosen another one among the four? Let us know in the comments! And what about you? Which model among the four has got your heart? Write your answer in the comments!

References

  1. Emilia Mazza (2019, September 26). Australian Research Reveals the Best and the Worst Sleeping Positions. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7505569/Australian-research-reveals-best-worst-sleeping-positions-mental-physical-health.html
  2. Harvard Medical School (March 2018). Is Your Pillow Hurting Your Health? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/is-your-pillow-hurting-your-health
  3. DePaul University (n.d.).Sleeping Posture. Retrieved from https://offices.depaul.edu/environmental-health-and-safety/ergonomics/back-safety/Pages/sleeping-posture.aspx

Our research

45

Pillows Considered

150

Hours of Research

2

Sleep Experts Consulted

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