The Ten Best Organic Pillows for Side Sleepers
Buying a new pillow is always stressful. You can’t really tell in the store if the pillow will be the right degree of firmness for how you like to sleep. If you tend to sleep on your side, this can lead to a real nightmare, as a poorly supported neck can twist into unnatural positions while side-sleeping. This causes cramps and back pain, as well as poor sleep with tossing and turning all night long. Too soft of a pillow allows your neck to droop down onto the lower shoulder or twist forward. An overly firm pillow can elevate your head too far in the other direction.
The following pillows are all firm without being rock-hard. They will cradle your neck comfortably as you side sleep, allowing you to sleep peacefully and wake well rested. A good pillow is key to a perfect night of sleep, and good sleep is imperative to a good life. Getting the right pillow will make a huge difference in your daily well-being.
Additionally, all of these pillows are made with organic materials. These range from bamboo and cotton to wool and buckwheat (a traditional Japanese pillow filling). The materials are made into pillows using all organic processes as well.
1. SnugglePedic Cooling Bamboo Memory Foam
If the many awards this pillow has won for comfort aren’t enough to convince you to try it, the 20 year warranty should be. This pillow is reasonably priced and available in standard, queen and king sizes. The snuggle-pedic blend of shredded fill and memory foam is firm enough to support your neck and conform to your preferred position without wearing out or losing density in often-used spots.
The pillow is dust mite resistant. Because it is made of a blend of bamboo-origin fibers, it resists dirtying for a long time. It also comes in a breathable organic cover that zips closed. You can wash this. Unlike other “allergen free” pillow cases, this one is not crinkly or plastic. Because of the combination of breathable cover and shredded fill, the pillow stays cool throughout the night.
This pillow is great for side sleepers, even those in various stages of pregnancy. The fill adjusts according to pressure, stabilizing your neck and cradling your torso when purchased in body-pillow size. The normalization of pressure can be a big relief!
2. Magnolia Cotton
Magnolia Organics offers this pillow in only two sizes- king and toddler. However, any adult sleeper will be thrilled to have a bigger version of this great pick regardless of their bed size. This pillow is one of the few that is 100% organic cotton. It contains no other filler material. Even the pillow cover, which can be removed and washed, is pure cotton.
Magnolia Organics takes the organic claim seriously, ensuring cotton crops used to make this pillow are not exposed to pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals, or any other contaminants. Many of these common allergens are the cause of night-time stuffiness, and as side-sleepers breathe so close to their pillows (compared to back sleepers), a change to organic can improve sleep quality.
The cotton is malleable despite being fairly firm. You can plump it into any shape you prefer. If it begins to thin in certain areas of the pillow from use over time, you can shake out the pillow and plush it back into its original shape with ease. This is rarely true of non-organic cotton pillow options, as batting does not return to its original shape once distorted.
3. NapYou Cotton Memory Foam
NapYou is another pillow option with a warranty guarantee. You can try the pillow for up to thirty days and return it without any charge. It is made of CertiPur foam. This memory foam molds to your preferred sleeping position to support you night after night. It can start out feeling firm until it begins to break into the shape you like, but the initial patience required pays off with superior comfort later on. As one of the best budget-friendly options, this isn’t a bad deal. You even get two pillows per order, whether queen or king sized.
The pillows come in organic cotton covers. You can wash them, and by running the pillows in an appropriately gentle dryer cycle, you can freshen the pillows themselves. However, the pillows will continue looking full and good as new for a long time.
4. Langria Hypoallergenic Bamboo
The Langria pillow comes in four standard sizes. It is filled with bamboo filling that is spiralized rather than simply shredded. This improves longevity and helps the pillow keep its shape long-term. While the pillow could technically be considered only partially organic, the very small amount of polyester plays a valuable role. It smooths the pillow, so there is no hard seam or lumpy filling pouch to make you uncomfortable. It also increases the breathability of the pillow exponentially. This means cool, sweat-free sleep. If you tend to get warm at night, this is a great pillow for you.
While the pillow’s filling is in a cotton casing, there is a zippered pillowcase made of the same bamboo blended material as the filling. This smooths the pillowcase. A smoother pillowcase decreases wrinkles and hair breakage, two potential concerns for side sleepers. It also increases your comfort with its touchable, silky texture and cool temperature.
5. OT Cotton Wool Hybrid
Organic Textiles offers this pillow as a standard size, extra-plush queen, or king. The filling is all-natural, organic wool. Because the filling is entirely wool, it regulates heat and moisture continuously and decreases the risk of odor. It also is very firm but malleable. You can fit this pillow to your sleeping style- especially if you are a side sleeper. It will support your neck and keep you cozy.
The cover on this pillow is organic cotton. The cotton combines well with the wool to create a great pillow with a neutral temperature- it won’t make you too warm or cool you off too much in the winter. The cotton cover can be removed and washed. To clean the pillow, allow it to set in the sunlight (indoors or outside) for a few hours. You can also tumble dry it with no heat. This makes it a great low-maintenance pillow for all ages.
6. Toddler’s Cotton
Even kids need a great pillow. Lots of children sleep curled up or in the fetal position, a natural occurrence of childhood. This means their developing necks need support as they side-sleep. As this pillow is all cotton fill with bunched fiber, it will be easy for a child to get comfortable with this pillow.
Children also tend to move a lot in their sleep, or wake up in the night. This pillow can endure a lot! It is made to be washable, with a removable cotton cover. The company also sells matching, fitted organic pillowcases. It is very easy to fluff this pillow back into shape, too. This pillow will last a child throughout their toddler years.
7. Infinite Nature SobaKowa Style
The Infinite Nature brand pillow is unique from other options offered so far. This is a buckwheat pillow. Popular in Japan, the pillow is filled with buckwheat hulls and husks rather than fiber or cotton. This can sound uncomfortable, but the plant material is soft and pliable, with a pleasant scent that will help you drift off to sleep.
This buckwheat pillow has filling contained in a zippered shell, so you can add or remove buckwheat husks to achieve the perfect fullness for your sleeping style. Outside of this shell is an organic cotton case, and an organic cotton storage bag for those who prefer to stash their bedding during the day. This is great if you use a futon.
8. Zen Chi Buckwheat Hull
This buckwheat pillow comes in three different sizes. It is a more standard pillow shape than other buckwheat pillows. You can still add or remove buckwheat to the interior shell. As a side-sleeper, adding extra buckwheat filling will increase support for your neck and spine for comfortable sleep.
The Zen Chi pillow is unique in that the buckwheat filling comes in an organic cotton cooling case. The combination of all organic filling and case means you will enjoy a sweat-free, comfortable night of sleep.
One downside of this pillow is that you may find you need to exchange the old buckwheat filling for new after a couple of years.
9. Beans72 Buckwheat Cotton Blend
This pillow combines all of the best features of buckwheat and traditional cotton pillows. The filling is firm, as the cotton fiber interweaves with the buckwheat husks to create a moldable filling. The combination will contour to your sleeping position as well as any memory foam, but is all organic plant matter.
This pillow comes in three standard sizes in an organic cotton pillowcase. While this pillow has the benefit of being all plant-derived, it does not last as long as most foam-filled pillows. You will need to replace it yearly. However, this pillow is an economical choice, lessening the impact of this necessity.
While you can’t add or remove filling as with traditional all-buckwheat pillows, you can firm or soften the pillow by manipulating the filling material.
10. OT Cotton Fiber Shred
Organic Textiles offers a second type of all cotton pillows. It can be ordered in standard, queen or king sizes, and a pair can be bought at a discounted price. With a guarantee that allows you to try the pillow for 30 days, it is hard to go wrong with this pillow. If it doesn’t meet your needs, return it and choose a different Organic Textiles pillow.
An additional benefit of this pillow is that the company allows you to choose whether you want a light, medium, or firm density pillow. The option to order a firmer type of pillow will help you sleep more comfortably on your side. You can also order the medium pillow, allowing you to adjust no matter which sleeping position you prefer- especially if you tend to switch positions during the night.
What to Look For in an Organic Pillow
As a side sleeper, your first focus should be on the density of the pillow. A good pillow for a side sleeper is more firm, as it needs to hold your neck in alignment with the rest of your spine all night. If you tend to sleep with an arm under your pillow as you side-sleep, you may prefer a medium density pillow. Only certain cotton pillows come in this firm style, while most foam pillows meet this requirement.
As you check out organic pillows, look at all aspects of the production process. The fill material and case should be made from organic sources, grown without pesticides or chemicals. The sewing and filling process should not involve bleach or dyes, which can irritate your breathing passages even weeks after you start using your pillow. They tend to linger. Finally, look for a pillow that has an organic pillowcase as well as an organic filling and shell.