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Best Pillow for Side Sleepers in Canada

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Written by: Anna Chiranova
Last updated on

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.

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Our Reviews of the Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

Best Overall - Editor's Choice — Douglas

Douglas Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow

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Highlights

  • Removable pillow filling that ensures user satisfaction and comfort.
  • Patented foam design creates channels for heat dispersion with every movement made.
  • Provides targeted relief and support for head, neck, and shoulders.
  • The down-alternative pillow cover is machine-washable, excellent for cleaning scenarios. 
  • Pillow cover along with filling design enhances breathability and temperature regulation.

Our top pick for the best pillows for side sleepers is the Douglas memory foam pillow mainly because of the high customization on offer to users while also delivering on other vital pillow qualities like support and thermoregulation. 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.

Second Best — Polysleep

Polysleep Pillow

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Highlights

  • Removable zippered cover for easy maintenance.
  • Crafted from high-quality materials that offer optimal support.
  • Uses 4 different kinds of foam to make up its hybrid construct.
  • Natural cotton cover is great for breathability and heat dispersal.
  • Its antimicrobial foam layers are adept at identifying and eliminating pressure points.

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.

Best for Hot Sleepers — GhostPillow Memory Foam Pillow

GhostPillow - Memory Foam

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Highlights

  • Excellent for creating a perfect balance between neck support and spinal alignment.
  • Pillow construction allows optimal breathability for increased thermoregulation.
  • Reduces pressure from the pressure points.

If a pillow was ever designed to accommodate the body temperature while consistently delivering comfort, this pillow is it. This pillow has different layers of pores with different sizing. Even though you don’t see it that often in memory foam, this product has tried to ace the cooling and give memory foam the benefit of being able to cool down the body once and for all. Memory foam can get pretty hot, but not if it was gel-infused, as well, just like the  GhostPillow. 

Adding up to that, this pillow has a cover of super smooth fabric, making you feel like you’re sleeping on clouds. At least, that is what we felt like sleeping on GhostPillow. Finally, don’t even worry about the height, since it is 6 inches and ready to relieve all the pressure your neck and shoulders were undergoing.

Overall, the GhostPillow is not only ideal for strict side sleepers alone, it is also one the best pillows for side and back sleepers in Canada, as it molds to your neck and cushions your head, thus offering you sound and pain-free sleep.

Best Material in a Pillow — GoodMorning's Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow

gGoodmorning Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow

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Highlights

  • Fine cover of cotton and cover filling with polyester to keep your head on a soft place.
  • Adjustable pillow that allows you to choose how you want to sleep.
  • Removable and washable cover to keep your sleep experience hygienic.

This pillow might not be in the top 3 or reach the Douglas pillow as its closest alternative, but it is definitely a fantastic choice for its own unique characteristics. First of all, this pillow is filled with the finest memory foam. It goes without saying that as an adjustable pillow, you can remove the memory foam as much as needed to keep it in a loft level desired only by you. Your bed, your rules!

The cover of the pillow doesn’t have anything less than its filling when it comes to quality. Cotton is one of the best materials to sleep on, and this pillow aces at it. Ever feel like it needs cleaning? Remove the cover and renew it by simply machine washing it.

Best Performance - Recore Memory Foam Pillow

Recore Memory Foam Pillow

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Highlights

  • Shredded pillow which is great for breathing.
  • Washable and removable cover that keeps the allergens away.
  • Extra memory foam can be removed to reach a desired loft height.

This pillow makes it to the end of this list, but it so deserves to be here. That is because this pillow does every single thing it should do to relieve pain and pressure from a back sleeper and give them comfort. We love it because it does it so simply yet so amazingly. 

First of all, it is filled with shredded memory foam. Memory foam is infamous for trapping heat, but this pillow has it shredded, which increases the space for air regulation in the pillow and boosts breathability. We also loved the cotton cover, because it will help the pillow remain cool. The great thing about such pillows is that no dust mite and no moisture will remain in it since it will be constantly exchanging air with the surrounding.

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.

Also read: Best Pillows in Canada

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.

Why?

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.

Consider The Materials

The materials of the pillow you're looking for should be a consideration when you buy one. If you're someone with allergies, hypoallergenic pillows are perfect for you. It's also a good idea to make sure that the pillow is made from either natural or organic fibers. This way, the chances of causing any allergic reactions will be reduced.

The Fill

The fill of a pillow is what gives it its shape and support. For side sleepers, the best type of fill is memory foam. This material will contour your head and neck, providing the perfect support. Other good options for side sleepers include latex foam and buckwheat hulls.

Don't Forget The Care Instruction

When looking at pillows, be sure to check the care instructions. Some pillows need to be dry cleaned, while others can be machine washed. You will also want to consider how often you need to fluff or plump the pillow. Down and feather pillows usually need to be fluffed more often than memory foam or latex pillows.

FAQ

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.

Conclusion

Picking the best pillow for side sleepers is easier said than done, which is why we have undertaken the task for you. However, if you need to give your research a personal touch, you can always follow our guidelines on the dos and don’ts of the top pillows. 

While considering the relative performance in the quality of these pillows, one pillow still stands out: the Douglas pillow. Apart from its indisputable balance and cool touch, the adjustable loft provides a nice touch for a more personalized pillow setting. With side sleepers needing enough neck cradle, you are assured of generous support with this pillow, regardless of size and weight.
What do you consider a top priority in a pillow? Which pillow will you replace in our list? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.    

References

  1. Sleep Position Gives a Personality Clue (2003, September 16). Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3112170.stm 
  2. 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
  3. 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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