Best Pillow for Side Sleepers in Canada
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According to a study conducted by Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, side sleepers — those who sleep in the fetal, log, and yearner positions — are viewed as easy-going, open-minded, and generally good fellows (1).
However, there’s one thing that can wreck this positive image: the wrong pillow.
See for yourself: if your pillow isn’t compatible with side sleeping, chances are that you’ll wake up grumpy and with a sore neck, and those don’t sit right with an easy-going mood.
Luckily, we’ve found the best pillows for side sleepers in Canada, so you can check our findings and a detailed buying guide to help yourself make the right choice.
A Quick Preview
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Our Reviews of the Best Pillows for Side Sleepers
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice - Polysleep
- adjustable loft: 4 foam layers;
- breathable construction with mesh inserts;
- washing machine-friendly cotton cover;
- comes in Standard and King size;
- medical-grade foam for exceptional cradling.
The Polysleep kicks off this list of the best pillows for side sleepers in Canada, due to its incredible adjustability, great supportive properties, and temperature neutrality.
The pillow features a sandwich structure and contains four layers of dense (3PCF) and soft memory foam. You can adjust the loft from 2” up to 9” based on your preferences, to create proper alignment for your cervical region.
The pillow molds to your head and removes the pressure in your neck and shoulders, which can bring you relief if you’re prone to neck pain. Also, it doesn’t sink too deeply even if you choose the highest loft possible and doesn’t make you feel uncomfortably stuck.
Thermoregulation of the Polysleep is great too. First, the pillow features mesh inserts along the perimeter that release the heat into the air and contribute to proper air circulation. Second, the pillow is encased into a breathable cotton cover that can absorb moisture and enhance cooling effects.
Overall, the Polysleep is a great option for side sleepers, as it molds to your neck and cushions your head, thus offering you sound and pain-free sleep.
- can be adjusted to any side sleeper’s needs;
- washable cover makes the pillow easy to maintain;
- doesn’t sleep hot;
- medical-grade viscous foam keeps its shape better than polyfoam pillows;
- a good pick for side sleepers with broad shoulders.
- may have a slight off-gassing;
- some users might not like the feel of traditional memory foam.
Best Budget Pick - Beauty Life Solution
The Life Solution pillow is a perfect budget-friendly option, so it deserves its place on this list. It’s filled with shredded gel memory foam and can adapt to your sleeping style in no time, thus proving that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to sleep soundly.
The pillow is temperature-neutral not only because it features gel foam but also because it’s encased in a breathable cover made of bamboo rayon and polyester. The cover feels cool to the touch and helps dissipate your body heat, so you’ll feel cool even on summer nights.
The Beauty Life Solution comes slightly overstuffed, and such a loft is actually perfect for an average side sleeper. However, if you feel that the pillow is a bit too high for you, you can just unzip the inner cover and remove some fill to make it thinner.
With all of that being said, the Beauty Life Solutions is a great pick for a solid side sleeper or mixed side and back sleeper Its shredded fill can mold to any position and doesn’t make you sweat in your sleep, which is a key to a sound shut-eye.
- feels soft and cushioning for neck and shoulders;
- comes slightly overstuffed, so you can adjust the loft for your sleeping style;
- doesn’t sleep hot;
- washable, hypoallergenic cover;
- perfect for users with a limited budget.
- needs some time to expand properly, and might feel a bit flat during the first couple of nights;
- the gel-infused foam may have an odor.
Best for Adjustable Loft - Douglas
- you can adjust the fill amount to your sleeping style;
- microfiber padding and shredded memory foam core;
- washable 100% cotton cover;
- available in Standard (18”x26”) size, which suits most users;
- reduced waste and environmentally-friendly manufacturing process.
The things that make the Douglas one of the best pillows for side sleepers in Canada is its adjustability and a balanced feel it comes with. The pillow features the proprietary Popcorn-Cut memory foam and a cotton cover with microfiber padding to add plush touches and pain to your overnight comfort, which is crucial for side sleepers.
You can regulate the pillow’s height according to your demands by removing the fill or adding it back. The Douglas, as most shredded memory foam pillows, comes slightly overfilled, so setting the right height shouldn’t be a problem.
The raised pillow perimeter promotes proper airflow between you and your pillow, thus ensuring cooler sleep, while a soft cotton cover deals with moisture.
Finally, the Douglas really stands for its pressure-relieving properties. The pillow instantly molds to your body and removes the tension from your neck and shoulders. The pillow feels cushioning yet bouncy enough to support your head properly.
The Douglas can win your heart over because it’s customizable and can be adjusted to your needs in seconds. Plus, the pillow is easy to maintain and can withstand years of active use.
- allows for precise loft adjustments;
- pressure-relieving design;
- raised edges for better airflow promotion;
- feels cushioning yet supportive;
- easy to maintain thanks to a washable cover.
- the microfiber padding might trap a bit of heat;
- might feel too soft for some users.
Best Eco-Friendly Option - ComfySleep
Buckwheat pillows are incredibly moldable, odor-free, temperature neutral, and completely eco-friendly. So, as you can see, this buckwheat pillow by ComfySleep has earned its place on the list for at least four reasons.
The ComfySleep is pretty high and can support proper neck alignment with ease. It’s filled with 5 lbs of buckwheat hulls and comes with an additional pound in case you find that the loft isn’t high enough for you.
Now, buckwheat hulls are very small and separated, so they can ensure good air circulation within the pillow. Plus, the hulls have high thermal conductivity, which means they don’t retain heat and can actually cool you down during summer nights.
Finally, buckwheat pillows are made of natural and renewable materials and are completely eco-friendly. You can even dispose of the fill through composting when your pillow loses its support.
Overall, the ComfySleep will make a good go-to model for you. If you’re a side sleeper. It’s supportive for your neck alignment, doesn’t sleep hot and can offer you the proper support for years.
- made of natural and renewable materials, great for people with allergies;
- has absolutely no odor, perfect for those with a sensitive nose;
- easy to maintain: you can wash the cover and even take the fill and air it out if needed;
- can be adjusted to your preferences;
- provides a slight massage effect.
- takes time to adjust, as the hulls can be a bit too stiff at first;
- the hulls are noisy (but they’ll become quieter with use).
Best Contour Pillow for a Side Sleeper - Mkicesky
- ergonomic curved design;
- slow-rebound memory foam for better pressure relief;
- washable skin-friendly outer cover;
- medium firmness, optimal for side sleeping;
- available in solid gray, silver gray and white/blue colors.
Every sleeper is different, and while some love the moldability of shredded foam pillows, others find solid slabs of foam more comfortable. If the latter is about you, then meet the Mkicesky, an ergonomic cervical pillow that will keep your spine aligned throughout the night, which is crucial for side sleepers.
The standard curved design the Mkicesky has is a great reason to place it in my review of the best pillows for side sleepers in Canada. The low contour is 3.93” high, and the high one measures 5.12”, which can suit most average-weight side sleepers.
The pillow has a medium to medium-firm feel and is made of slow-response memory foam, which means that it will hug your head precisely.
The cover of the Mkicesky pillow feels soft and cool to the touch. It’s made of polyester, so it can deal with moisture easily and create good airflow to keep you cool. The cover is removable, so just take it off when needed and toss it in the washing machine to refresh.
The main reason that makes the Mkicesky its contour design. It properly cradles your head and neck and ensures great pressure relief.
- works for almost any side sleeper, regardless of how broad their shoulders are;
- provides awesome pressure relief;
- suitable for individuals with neck pain;
- removable cover for easy washing;
- odor-free foams.
- the pillow is made of temperature-sensitive foams and may sleep hot;
- the zipper on the cover seems a bit weak.
What Type of Pillow Is Best for a Side Sleeper?
Most of the highly rated pillows for side sleepers in Canada are those that contain shredded fill, be it memory foam shreds, latex shreds, or buckwheat hulls.
And here’s why:
- They come overstuffed. Side sleepers usually need a higher pillow to fill the gap between their head and the mattress. Pillows with shredded fill typically are generously stuffed and can deliver the needed level of support.
- They conform to your body more closely. The shreds adapt to the natural body curves better and can distribute the weight more evenly, so your neck can relax and take a good rest after a long day.
- They sleep cooler than solid pillows. Shredded fill creates more ways for your body heat to escape and dissipate into the air. Plus, shredded foams are often infused with cooling gel, and natural materials like latex and buckwheat are initially temperature-neutral.
But solid materials can work for side sleepers too, right?
Absolutely! In fact, traditionally shaped or cervical pillows with a curved design are no worse than pillows with shredded fill in terms of support for side sleepers. Some users just find them less moldable and customizable or prefer the fluffiness of the shredded fill to the traditional feel of memory foam.
Want to know a trick?
If you end up with a contour pillow, try rotating it in such a way that its higher contour is under your neck. This may create better support for your cervical region and help you maintain proper spinal alignment (2).
How to Choose a Good Pillow for a Side Sleeper in Canada?
Even though side sleeping is pretty common among the global population, every person has their own manner of sleeping on their side.
This may affect the recommendations of the right pillow.
But guess what?
With the tips below, you can easily choose the right pillow for your unique sleeping style.
Pay Attention to Firmness
The pillow’s firmness defines the amount of sinkage your head will get when you sleep on it. Soft pillows tend to have more give and make you sink in, whereas firmer pillows keep your head atop and don’t hug it too much.
Choosing the right pillow firmness is essential for your comfort.
And if you’re a side sleeper, you will benefit the most from a medium-firm pillow. This firmness level offers a good balance between support and contouring.
Heavier sleepers, especially if they have a softer mattress, might need a firmer pillow. It will balance out the sinkage in the shoulder area and keep their neck in the neutral alignment.
Opt for the Adjustable Loft
Adjustability is common for pillows with shredded filling. They typically have a zipper on the inner cover that allows you to remove or add the needed amount of filling to make the pillow lower or higher and thus adjust it to your sleeping style. Some pillows made of solid slabs of foam may also be adjusted by removing or adding foam inserts.
Note that the recommended loft for side sleepers is 5 to 7 inches, but it’s always good to have an ability to customize your pillow.
Look for Gussets
Another great option for side sleepers is pillows with the gussets (3).
A gusset is a piece of fabric that goes around the perimeter of the pillow and sews the top and the bottom parts of the cover together. The idea is to bridge the distance between your ear and your shoulder so that your neck would stay relaxed all through the night.
Also, gussets can be made of mesh fabric. In this case, they will also contribute to heat removal and will keep you cool at night.
Pick the Right Size
Most pillows today are available in three sizes:
- Standard (20” x 26”);
- Queen (20” x 30”);
- King (20” x 36”).
Note that not all brands use the exact same measurements: some might make their pillows a couple of inches smaller or larger.
Now, if you’re a side sleeper, you might want to pick a larger size.
Because our head has a larger contact area with a pillow when we’re sleeping on our side than when we’re in the supine position. And if your pillow isn’t large enough, your head may slide off — after all, it’s quite heavy — and ruin the proper spinal alignment.
Also, consider pillows that can keep your head fixed — for example, those with a cervical design and an indentation in the center.
Should side sleepers use a pillow?
Yes, they definitely should. Sleeping on your side without a pillow results in incorrect spinal alignment and may lead to neck and upper back pain.
How thick should a side sleeper pillow be?
The ideal pillow height for a side sleeper is 5 to 7 inches. However, depending on your shoulders’ width, you may need a lower or higher pillow for proper support.
Do side sleepers need a firm pillow?
The optimal pillow firmness for those who snooze on their side is medium-firm. Overly firm pillows may cause your ears to hurt in the morning, especially if you spend most of the night on one side.
The modern market has a lot of decent pillows for those who sleep on their side. All you need to do is consider your preferences and health issues (in case you have any).
Now, during testing different models, there was one pillow that impressed me the most — the Polysleep. I fell in love with this pillow once I tried sleeping on it. It’s made of dense foams, which means that it won’t lose its shape too soon, and can adapt to your head’s shape in no time. Top it with an adjustable loft and great cooling effects, and you’ll understand that the Polysleep is worth every cent.
Have you found an appealing option among the reviewed ones? What kind of pillow have you used before? Feel free to share below!
- Sleep Position Gives a Personality Clue (2003, September 16). Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3112170.stm
- Harvard Medical School (n.d.). Say “Good Night” to Neck Pain. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/say-good-night-to-neck-pain
- The National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). What Pillow is Best for You? Retrieved from https://www.sleep.org/articles/what-pillow-is-best-for-you/
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