Pillow Talk
April 10, 2017 7:55 PM   Subscribe

How do I find the pillow(s) of my dreams?

I'm a side sleeper, and I sleep with my bottom arm underneath the pillow. I tend to hike my bottom shoulder up to my ear, and wake up with a kink in my neck. I've been looking for the perfect pillow to alleviate this, specifically one that would cradle my head without smooshing down flat. I've also seen specialty pillows that have indentations or neck-cradling features. If you have a favorite brand or style of pillow, or any diy alignment tricks, I'd love to hear your suggestions!
posted by Champagne Supernova to Shopping (20 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I could have posted this in my sleep, as it were. But since I didn't, I can say that I have this pillow coming via FedEx tomorrow, in hopes of throwing money at my problem to make it go away. If it works, I will report back. If it doesn't, I will be watching the rest of the thread very carefully.
posted by supercres at 8:00 PM on April 10, 2017

I use that purple pillow. I don't know how it would do with an arm underneath but since it has an air bladder it might be ok. I love it though, and I'm a very picky side sleeper. The ability to adjust the height is really key.
posted by brainmouse at 8:06 PM on April 10, 2017

This is exactly how I sleep, and I have a plain memory foam pillow. I love it, my neck loves it.
posted by chocolatetiara at 8:07 PM on April 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I got a shredded memory foam pillow- less stiff than regular memory foam but plenty sturdy. I love it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:26 PM on April 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Side-sleeper here, although my arm doesn't go under the pillow. I use a medium-firm down-alternative (Land's End Primaloft, I think) that I can fluff to the right shape.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:27 PM on April 10, 2017

I sleep on a V-shaped pillow with a V-shaped airbead pillow on top of it, all in one king-sized case. Plus a memory foam body pillow.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:02 PM on April 10, 2017

Sweethome: the best bed pillows.
posted by medusa at 10:13 PM on April 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought this pillow a couple months ago, and so far so good. (It was considerably more than $3.56 when I ordered it.) At first I thought shredded memory foam was just a way for pillow manufacturers to cheap out, but it's loftier and less sinky than my old Tempur-Pedic brick. Stays cooler, too.

I usually do best with a softer, fluffier (but still somewhat firm) pillow on top of a flatter, firmer one. I have a habit of putting my hand under my pillow, but if I have a body pillow/thick pile of blankets/large stuffed animal to drape my arm over, it's more comfortable and more natural feeling.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:43 AM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am a side sleeper, and use a down pillow that I scrunch into the appropriate shape and size. I have tried plain memory foam pillows and wasn't thrilled with them, although when I steal my partner's, I sleep well. (ha)

I have also tried one of the memory foam contour pillows and I hated it. It's in the bottom of my closet now, waiting for the next thrift store trip. It actually made my neck hurt much worse.
posted by needlegrrl at 5:34 AM on April 11, 2017

I hate all pillows. I guess I sleep funny, I change positions a lot in the night, and I often have neck pain. I've gone through a lot of different pillows (hated buckwheat, memory foam (shredded or solid), all the usual contenders).

Nowadays I'm using this Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow with the water filled a bit low so it has some flexibility and give, and while it's not perfect (nothing is!), it seems to be working out for me a lot better than anything else I've experimented with so far.
posted by 168 at 6:10 AM on April 11, 2017

I'm a side to stomach sleeper with an arm under my head when I'm on my side and I like my wool bolus pillow. I found it ridiculously expensive at the time (though I think they used to have a cheaper non-organic version), but it's very comfortable. Every few weeks I swap it out for a night or two of a DIY buckwheat hull pillow. Soaring Heart also has a side sleeper specific pillow: the side dreamer, but I haven't tried it.
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:29 AM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another side-to-stomach sleeper here, with a similar tendency to shove one arm up under the pillow. After trying out a few fancy pillows with good reviews, I found that the Casper pillow was the right fit for me. Especially when I roll it a forward bit so that, rather than resting on the face of the pillow, I'm sort of halfway toward its long edge. That little adjustment makes the pillow form a little ā€˜Vā€™ that cradles my head a bit, and BOOM. Sleepy time.
posted by D.Billy at 6:49 AM on April 11, 2017

I just spent an agonizing amount of weekend time reading about pillows for my side sleeping preferences. I ended up purchasing a Coop Home which is filled with memory foam. The XTreme comfort and Snuggle Pedic are very similar.

My new pillow arrives today. I'll be stalking this thread as I'm committed to tossing this one back if it isn't epic and perfect.
posted by countrymod at 6:54 AM on April 11, 2017

I used to sleep with my shoulder under the pillow like that, but now I use a memory foam neck pillow and I have never slept better. It kind of hugs you and adjusts to your body in a very pleasant way. Fair warning - it took me a while to get used to it. I actually planned on returning it after the first night, but now you can't pry it away from me. Also, it is really really hard to get pillowcases on.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 7:22 AM on April 11, 2017

I'm a side sleeper and sometimes I put my arm under my pillow. I've been using this latex pillow for about a month and I love it. It's heavy and firm (sorta like memory foam) but it remains a little springier than memory foam does.
posted by workerant at 8:44 AM on April 11, 2017

I sleep like you & I have broad shoulders which makes side sleeping tricky without a thick pillow. I have a high loft memory foam "zoned dough" pillow from Linenspa. My partner switched to them too, we like their pillows a lot. He used to use Tempurpedic memory foam pillows which were quite a bit more expensive. They are firm while being plush, they work for side sleeping, and they don't get all squashed down after a lot of use.

You can look at the selection here or on Amazon. https://www.linenspa.com/products/pillows/
posted by zdravo at 1:23 PM on April 11, 2017

Update: I think I dig the Purple, though I've only test driven, not slept on it. It's firm, but not oppressive on my ear. My arm can squeeze under just fine.
posted by supercres at 1:35 PM on April 11, 2017

As a fellow side sleeper and pillow enthusiast, may I suggest a shredded latex foam pillow?

I find shredded memory foam too hard and unyielding for sleeping, though nice for being propped up. A solid latex pillow is more forgiving than a solid memory foam pillow, and it is nice to have one.

But a shredded latex pillow is the best of all. The benefits of shredded foam, and it doesn't get hard the way that the shredded memory foam ones do. It is also a bit cooler. Kind of expensive, but they last for years. Way longer than any fiberfill pillow.

I don't know what brand mine is, as I bought it several years ago when the Linens n'Things went out of business here. I misremembered what kind of foam it was and I thought I was crazy for not liking new shredded memory foam ones when I bought them until I figured out that my favorite pillow wasn't memory foam.
posted by monopas at 4:31 PM on April 11, 2017

I'm a big big fan of the HIBR side sleeper. first saw it mentioned on Lifehacker
posted by jander03 at 2:47 AM on April 12, 2017

I bought a bunch of pillows two years ago. My wife still laughs at this.

The ones with cutouts for my neck or weird shapes? All full of fail. The ones that were super firm made my ear feel like I was trying to punish it. I spent a lot on pillows in the $75 range, and they made me sad. Repeatedly.

I then stumbled across the Iso-cool Side Sleeper. It was like $35. It has side panels, so the pillow's just thicker, but otherwise pretty normal. Given any choice, I'd make it another 1/2" thicker (I'm pretty wide-shouldered), but when this one dies, I'm ordering another one.
posted by talldean at 7:10 PM on April 15, 2017

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