What Firmness of Pillow for Side Sleeper

pillow firmnessWe spend 1/3 of our life sleeping on average, so having a comfortable, quality pillow is imperative to get a good night’s rest. Choosing the right pillow depends on your preferences but with so many choices, you may feel overwhelmed. We’ve taken the guess work out of selecting the pillow that’s right for you. Here are a few important factors to consider.

SLEEPING POSITION – The way you sleep will determine the firmness of your pillow.

Pillows for Back Sleepers Back sleepers prefer a medium support pillow that cradles the natural curvature of the upper spine, and achieves the perfect position for your head and neck.

Pillows for Side Sleepers Side sleepers prefer a firm or super-firm pillow that contours and cradles the head, neck and shoulders, providing an even sleeping surface to help keep the body in a horizontal line.

Pillows for Stomach Sleepers Stomach sleepers do best with a soft, plump pillow that cushions the head and neck at a comfortable angle and prevents an unnatural turning to either side.

Generally those who don’t maintain a particular position through the night prefer a medium density pillow to accommodate all positions.


Down Pillows Down is the most luxurious of all fills and is Mother Nature’s warmest, lightest and most efficient insulator. Down has superior loft, fill power and breathability. Down is the light, fluffy insulating undercoat clustered beneath the feathers of geese and ducks which protect them from severe winter temperatures. Why is down ideal for pillows? Down conforms wonderfully to your head and neck. It holds up better than synthetic fills.

Down/Feather Mix Fill refers to the actual feathers on geese and ducks. Feather pillows are often firmer which provide excellent support. The more down in the mix the loftier the pillow. Down/feather mixes tend to be more economical than all down pillows.

Down Alternative Pillows Down alternative fill is made of synthetic or natural fibers which mimic the lofting and warmth of down, without allergy worries.

Synthetic Fill is man-made, usually polyester. Like down-alternative, synthetic pillows are hypoallergenic making them ideal for allergy sufferers. However, they have a shorter life span and do not conform to the head and neck as well as down, feather or down-alternative fill.

Memory Foam Pillows Memory Foam is a dense, temperature-sensitive sponge-like material which molds or contours to your body heat and weight. It is best for sleepers who prefer a firm pillow, and have neck and spine issues.


Fill power is the measurement used to explain the quality and insulating value of down, as all down is not equal. The higher the fill power, the better the down, meaning the down will loft more, insulate better and provide greater warmth and comfort. A good quality down will usually have a fill power of at least 500. Below that level, the fill may contain a lot of feathers or small, damaged down clusters.


The most luxurious pillows have a quality fabric cover with a high thread count. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric. Higher thread count covers (230 or more) will be softer, silkier and more durable, and, most of all, keep the fill from getting out and impurities from getting in. Some pillow covers are also treated with fabric protection that makes them stain- and water-repellent as well as anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.


There are 4 basic pillow sizes:

Standard Pillow, 20″ x 26″. Put one standard pillow on a Twin bed, two across a Full or Queen bed, and three across a King bed. Uses a standard pillowcase.

Queen Pillow, 20″ x 30″. Perfectly paired across the top of a Full or Queen bed. Uses a standard pillowcase.

King Pillow, 20″ x 36″. Extra long and ideal in pairs across the top of King beds. Uses a King pillowcase.

Euro Pillow, 26″ x 26″. This large, square pillow is a great backdrop for a bedding ensemble and a good cushion for sitting up in bed. Uses a Euro sham.

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