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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
|Fill: solid viscoelastic foam|
Loft: 12 cm
Sizes available: Standard (45 x 65 cm)
|Shop Now on ergoflex.com.au|
Read more about this pillow
Best Adjustable Pick
|Fill: shredded memory foam|
Sizes available: Standard (45 x 60 cm), Queen (45 x 65 cm), and King (45 x 85 cm)
|Shop Now on amazon.com.au|
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Best for Cooler Sleep
|Fill: solid Dunlop latex|
Cover: organic cotton
Loft: 12.5 cm
Sizes available: Standard (43 x 74 cm)
|Shop Now on fernearth.com.au|
Read more about this pillow
Best for Neck Problems
|Fill: solid memory foam + synthetic down fibres|
Loft: Medium & High options
Sizes available: Standard (48 x 74 cm)
|Shop Now on adairs.com.au|
Read more about this pillow
Our List of the Best Pillows for Side Sleepers in Australia
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice
- traditional memory foam fill for excellent cradling;
- breathable and odour-repellent Tencel cover;
- firm feel for proper support of your neck;
- inner cover for better dust mite protection and durability;
- proprietary materials for better performance.
Ergoflex has one distinctive feature that easily puts this pillow on top of the list: it’s made of the traditional memory foam with a soft viscous feel. This foam quickly adapts to your neck curve, supports the head and removes the load from the shoulders, which is what the best pillow for side sleepers in Australia should do.
Moreover, the Ergoflex uses the proprietary memory foam which is made to suit the needs of the pickiest sleeper. This foam is pretty dense, so you can expect good lifespan and proper support where you need it, and it’s odour-free as well, so even sensitive side sleepers won’t feel disturbed by the scent.
The loft of the Ergoflex is 12-cm high, which is a good thickness to compensate for the shoulder gap and ensure proper shoulder and neck support without awkward twists. Plus, the pillow has a firm feel, so it won’t sink under your head.
Finally, the Ergoflex is incredibly easy to maintain: you don’t have to re-fluff it because the fill is solid, and you can just unzip the cover and wash it when needed to maintain a fresh look.
So, let’s wrap this up: the Ergoflex is a perfect pillow for side sleepers: it’s made of supportive and dense memory foam, conforms to your neck, and doesn’t make sleeping on the side uncomfortable do its odour-free structure.
- Holds its shape and keeps your neck supported;
- A washable cover prevents gunk and debris buildup near your face;
- Memory foam relieves pressure points and prevents pain;
- Odour-free, so it won’t disrupt your sleep;
- The dense foam ensures a longer lifespan.
- Firm feel might be too rigid for some;
- Traditional memory foam may retain some heat.
Best Adjustable Pick
- add or remove the fill to create your ideal pillow loft;
- soft to the touch bamboo cover;
- comes in four options: Standard, Queen, King, and Body Pillow;
- can be washed all the way through, which makes it resistant to dust mites;
- comes a bit overstuffed, which is awesome for side sleeping.
The sleeping preferences of every side sleeper will differ a bit, but there’s a pillow that can suit the majority. The Xtreme Comfort features an adjustable loft: initially, it comes overstuffed, which is perfect for an average side sleeper but if you feel that it’s a bit too high, just remove some amount and you’ll be set.
Another great thing about the Xtreme Comforts is that it features gel-infused foam as a fill, which kills two birds with one stone. First, gel particles adapt to changes in body temperature and help you maintain cool sleep. Also, these particles make the foam feel softer without sacrificing its supportive properties, which brings you even more comfort.
Now, the cover of the Xtreme Comforts pillow is made of bamboo fibres. It’s soft, moisture-wicking and super breathable, which is enhanced by small perforations around the surface. Plus, the cover is removable and washing machine-friendly, and the manufacturer states that you can wash the whole pillow through, which makes it incredibly easy to maintain.
As you can see, this pillow combines all the features you need if you’re a side sleeper: it can adjust to your sleeping style, won’t make you hot and is immune to dust and debris buildup near your face.
- Can be adjusted to a perfect fit for your sleeping position;
- Gel particles in the foam keep your sleep cool;
- A soft and washable cover makes the maintenance very easy;
- You can choose the body pillow for better body support when sleeping on your side;
- Can relieve tension in the neck and shoulder region.
- Gel-infused foams are more prone to odours;
- Bamboo fabric can generate static in dry air.
Best for Cooler Sleep
- 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!
- The 12.5-cm loft is comfortable for most side sleepers;
- Doesn’t sleep hot;
- Easy to maintain due to a washable cover;
- Latex is more resilient than foam, so the pillow will support you longer;
- Makes a great pick for sensitive sleepers, as it’s made of neutral and hypoallergenic materials.
- May not work for those who look for a traditional memory foam feel;
- Only one firmness level available, which limits the choice.
Best for Neck Problems
- 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.
- A memory foam core easily relieves pain and tension;
- A washable cover keeps the dust mites away;
- High loft can make a great pick for side sleepers with broad shoulders;
- Doesn’t retain your body heat and sleeps cool;
- Doesn’t have harsh odours, which is great for sensitive sleepers.
- The fiberfill may go flat pretty quickly;
- The polyester cover may lint with time.
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 feel 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.
- 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 Top-Rated Mattress Toppers in Australia Made Of?
The modern market can offer you dozens of models when it comes to mattress pads, which can make a choice pretty difficult. However, you can narrow the choice down by the materials, as there are only four most common configurations:
- Foam. Polyfoam, memory foam, infused foams, or any other variations are the most popular configuration you can get. They all have roughly the same properties: great pressure relief, close conforming to your body shape, and good motion absorption. Foam toppers come in a vast range of firmnesses and thicknesses, so you can pair them with any type of mattress.
- Latex. Latex is a vulcanized sap of rubber trees mixed with some additives to improve density and longevity. It’s pretty different from the traditional foams and doesn’t have the ‘memory’ effect. Also, latex is denser than synthetic foams, so you can expect a longer lifespan (and heavier weight). Finally, thanks to its open-cell structure, natural latex sleeps cool even on summer nights.
- Fiberfill. These typically have fitted sheet design with a quilted fiberfill top. The main features of fiberfill toppers are their exceptional moldability, light weight, and temperature neutrality. However, depending on the fill density and material, the lifespan of the fiberfill toppers can fluctuate significantly, so you may replace them more frequently compared to other types (2).
- Composite. As the name implies, these mattress pads combine two or more materials (foam and latex layers, foam core with fiberfill top, etc). Composite mattresses are generally thicker and more durable but the final properties will depend on the materials used.
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.
Materials of the pillow directly influence its performance and compatibility with different sleeping styles. For side sleeping, the best choice would be the following:
- solid latex;
- solid and dense memory foam;
- memory foam or latex shreds;
- a compound fill with a solid core and fluffy materials, such as down or feathers, around this core.
These materials can maintain the shape longer, and hence, offer you the proper spinal support in the lateral position.
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.
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.
Or, just skip this part and pick the Ergoflex pillow that combines all these things. The Ergoflex is incredibly cradling yet sturdy, so your head won’t strain your neck. It’s also made of hypoallergenic materials and doesn’t rely on your body heat to feel comfortable.
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!
- 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
- 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
- DePaul University (n.d.).Sleeping Posture. Retrieved from https://offices.depaul.edu/environmental-health-and-safety/ergonomics/back-safety/Pages/sleeping-posture.aspx
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted