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The Best Pillows by Sleep Position

March 26, 2021


Erin Schrader

Let’s just say, until we started working on this post, I had no idea that there were different pillows for different sleep positions. I figured it was a one-size fits all approach, maybe just a preference of firm or soft! Well, needless to say, I was way off. I also learned that over 70% of people sleep on their side! This is the post of sleep knowledge, friends!

After realizing there were unique pillows for each sleep position, and getting requests for our favorite pillow, we realized there was really only one thing we could do: lay our heads down and get some sleep. It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it, and the LIY Team didn’t hesitate to step up to the plate 😉

PS. If you’re looking for a full bed refresh, be sure to check out our Bed Sheet and Silk Pillowcase comparisons.

How We Tested:

As you can imagine, the true test of a good pillow is sleeping on it for a night or three. We divided up our assigned pillows, took them home, and went to bed. We took notes on firmness/softness, ample support of our head and neck, and the most important question – would you buy this pillow? After a few weeks of testing and narrowing it down to the finalists, we have our results, and are excited to share with you the best pillows by sleep position! Drum roll, please!

And the winners are…

Side Sleeper Results

  • I love that The Coop pillow is adjustable and that you can add or remove stuffing to make it as firm [or not firm] as you need. For side sleepers it recommended not removing any of the stuffing, however, the more I have slept on it I am feeling like it may be too thick for my preference! I love knowing that I can adjust it to make it perfect for me! In regards to the Wamsutta pillow, I slept very well using this pillow and didn’t wake up with any stiffness or knots which was so nice! I can’t believe it’s only $15! I am very impressed at this price point and would recommend for any side sleeper to try! I should also mention, I’m a BIG fan of our Brooklinen sheets and their products and quality. But I was just really on the fence about whether or not I liked their pillow, so it wasn’t a clear “yes”!

We didn’t love these for side sleepers: Tempur-pedic Temper-Cloud // Brooklinen Down Pillow – Firm // Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Back Sleeper Results

  • Waking up without neck pain for the first time in weeks? months? SOLD. The Coop pillow felt so comfortable all night, and felt like my head and neck were supported no matter how I moved, and I loved the ability to add more or less of the little magical foam pieces to fit your needs. Loved it to the point where my husband had to say “I get it – you love it!” aka stop talking about it. Don’t forget to follow the directions on the package by removing the appropriate amount of filler, and throwing it in the dryer! I’d consider the Beckham pillow a good budget friendly option, or maybe a good backup pillow to have on hand, but it wasn’t my first choice.I had high expectations for the Casper and the Tempurpedic pillows, being more “big name” sleep brands, but OUCH those pillows were not for me.

We didn’t love these for back sleepers: Casper Sleep Foam Pillow // Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Symphony


Stomach Sleeper Results

  • This entire testing process made me feel like a real-life Goldilocks. The Tempurpedic was too firm and the Casper was a little too poofy! Beckham and Coop were just right! I love Coop because the pillow is completely adjustable to each sleeping type [or personal preference] and I can sleep soundly know I have additional “fluff” on hand if it ever seems to get flat over time. I personally used and loved the Beckham brand prior to testing, but have noticed that they’ve gone somewhat flat after only several months of use. I would still recommend them to a friend on a budget, but if you’re looking to invest in a good nights sleep, give Coop a try!

We didn’t love these for stomach sleepers: Casper Sleep Pillow // Tempur-Symphony // Brooklinen Down Pillow – Plush

Combo Sleeper Results [side & stomach]

  • If you are a combo sleeper but also have a preference on firmness/fluffiness I would highly recommend trying the Coop or Snuggle-Pedic! I like that it offered the option and not a one size fits all for your sleep preference! I realized while I should prefer a fluffier pillow I tended to dislike those and gravitated towards the firmer options! The Coop and Snuggle-Pedic give you the ability to control how fluffy/firm your pillow is which was helpful! Coop won my vote by a landslide though because of the overall size and adjustability!! Highly recommend! I’m also giving a second honorable mention to the Beckham Hotel pillow due to the price and what it offered but was a little too fluffy compared to the others!!

We didn’t love these for side/stomach combo sleepers: Casper Sleep Pillow

Sleep Aids

If you’re looking for some more ways to get a good night’s sleep, these products are some of our favorites:

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