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I’ll be the first to admit it — I love to sleep. I’ve never been a napper, and I’m definitely a night-owl, but for me, nothing beats a full night of uninterrupted sleep without having to wake up to an alarm.
As much as I love to sleep, it’s the falling asleep part I struggle with. Living in several New York City apartments over the years, I quickly learned that making a temporary place feel like home starts in your bedroom. And no matter how cliché that sounds, it’s true. Creating a dreamy bedroom (starting with quality pillows and bedding!) finally helped me sleep better.
So when I finally invested in a pillow meant for my sleeping position, I knew I could finally say goodbye to nights of tossing and turning. Not all pillows are made for every sleeping position: there are options for side, back, and stomach sleepers that will make all the difference in your quality of sleep because of the way they can help support your neck. For example, side sleepers like me will feel the most comfortable with a softer pillow (think a down, feather, or cotton option), yet one that has a higher loft to prevent neck strain, according to the sleep experts at Casper.
Out of almost a dozen pillows I’ve tested so far, Parachute’s Down Side Sleeper Pillow ($129) is my winner as a side sleeper because it’s just the right amount of cushion, thanks to its European white down fill. It’s also supportive enough because of its 3.5-inch gusset design.
In a perfect world, we would all have one sleeping position all night long, but chances are, you’re not waking up the same way you fell asleep. So if you like to have a pillow that will work for many positions, you can completely customize a pillow based on your sleeping habits with Pluto Pillow. Or if you want to adjust your pillow’s loftiness day-to-day, Brooklinen’s new pillow brand Marlow might be more up your alley.
Stop scrolling for hours online, and check out the best pillow options for side, stomach, and back sleepers below.
For Side Sleepers
When it comes to pillows for side sleepers, one with a higher loft that also has some softness to it is key to support your neck. As a side sleeper, this option from Parachute ($129) is a game-changer. While it will mold to your head and neck, it also provides enough support as it still feels like you’re sleeping on a cushiony cloud. Even though it does look extra-lofty, it’s medium density has never been uncomfortable for me — it provides the support I had been looking for to not wake up with a stabbing pain in my neck.
For Back Sleepers
The best type of pillows for back sleepers will be ones that have just the right amount of firmness for support without pushing your neck too far forward. Back sleepers — when you’re on the hunt for a new pillow, be on the lookout for down alternative, memory foam, cotton or even down options (if it has a decent amount of loft!). Two of the best pillows I’ve found that fit this criteria for back sleepers are Casper’s Original Down Alternative Pillow ($65) and Allswell’s Gel Cooling Pillow ($40).
Not only does Casper’s option come in both mid-loft and low-loft, but it’s also made with a “pillow-in-pillow” design, which means it has both a super soft outer layer but a supportive inner layer. And for those back sleepers who tend to overheat at night, Allswell’s Cooling pillow is a must-try. The memory foam provides the firmness for support, but the gel layer helps transfer heat from your body all night long.
For Stomach Sleepers
While finding a pillow for stomach sleepers might seem tricky, medium to medium-firm pillows with a lower loft will do the trick. This type ensures your neck will be propped up at a comfortable position without it being too high and thus causing strain. While down pillows are some of the best types for stomach sleepers due to their natural softness, Buffy’s Cloud Pillow ($49) also fits the bill. You can choose one that’s either soft, medium, and firm for your desired support. But the best part about this pillow is its cool-to-the-touch feeling because it’s made with a 100% eucalyptus fiber shell. And this is a purchase you can feel good about — each pillow recycles about 24-30 plastic bottles.
For All Sleeping Positions
If you’re a fan of the buttery-soft, internet-famous sheets by Brooklinen, say hello to the company’s new venture and brand: a one-of-a-kind pillow called Marlow. Marlow is a great option for all sleeping positions because of its unique zip-to-comfort feature. To add extra loft, simply unzip the outer cover of the pillow. Nicknamed the “The People’s Pillow,” it’s one that’s made with an antimicrobial exterior and an aerated foam and microfiber interior that not only provides a cooling effect but also provides support all night long.
Another one of my favorite pillow brands happens to be an option for all types of sleeping positions because you can completely personalize it. Yes, you read that right! Pluto Pillow ($95), which was recently seen on ABC’s Shark Tank, gathers your sleep preferences via a short questionnaire and is able to customize a pillow that will fit your sleep style and position. Through the company’s patent-pending process, you will receive one of the 35 pillow variations possible, and it’s delivered straight to you. You can literally say goodbye to hours of pillow shopping thanks to Pluto Pillow.
After hours of shopping for a new pillow online, you might feel like you’ve been up all night, but once you find your match, there’s no turning back from a better night’s rest.