Man lying in bed with head on pillow

There are a variety of factors that influence the quality of your sleep. The mattress you choose, lifestyle habits, and bedtime rituals can all play a role in how well you are able to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night. However, one factor that does not get discussed enough is pillow choice. In this guide, we will examine all of the different positions people sleep in and what pillows they should choose to sleep even better.

What Are the Different Sleep Styles?

It’s commonly understood that there are four main sleep styles.

Back Sleepers

Back sleepers spend the whole night sleeping on their backs. There are claims that sleeping facing up reduces the chance of developing wrinkles but some people may prefer this position as a way to keep their spines aligned. The drawback of sleeping on your back is that it can cause snoring, sleep paralysis, and sleep apnea.

Stomach Sleepers

Some people prefer to sleep on their bellies. This can help any snoring that people experience and may even alleviate sleep apnea in some cases. However, sleeping on your stomach has been reported to worsen lower back pain.

view from above, man lying on his stomach, spread out

Side Sleepers

Sleeping on your side is another way to address snoring and sleep apnea while also reducing acid reflux symptoms. However, if you happen to sleep on your arm it could cause pain during the day.

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers do not commit to one sleep position, often switching between different styles during the night.

How Do Pillows Differ?

The market is flooded with an uncountable number of pillows designed for general and niche target customers. However, the characteristics that influence sleep can be boiled down to a handful of categories.

Woman inspecting and holding a pillow


Pillows can be filled with a range of different materials to suit various needs. Memory foam pillows contour to the shape of your head and neck for support; down and feather pillows are softer and fluffier; latex pillows are firmer and better for breathability; and polyester pillows are hypoallergenic but not very supportive.


Pillow loft refers to the thickness of the pillow when laid flat. Some pillows are loftier than others which has an effect on the alignment of your neck with your spine.


Firmness can range quite broadly depending on the pillow manufacturer. As a standard, pillows are available in soft, medium and firm, but there can be intermediate levels of firmness in between. Firmness is a comfortability issue, with some sleepers preferring the plushness of soft pillows while others prefer sturdier pillows to rest their heads.

Which Pillow Matches Your Sleep Style?

 Based on everything we have covered, these are the pillows sleepers should choose.

Back Sleepers

Side view of man lying on his back on bed

The best pillow for back sleepers is a memory foam pillow with medium loft and firmness. This pillow will cradle your head and neck while maintaining proper alignment.

Stomach Sleepers

A soft pillow with the least firmness and loft is ideal for stomach sleepers. Down or feather pillows work well as they conform to the head’s shape without causing strain, but polyester pillows can be more affordable and work just as well.

Side Sleepers

If you are a side sleeper, go for a memory foam pillow with a contour. This will cradle your head perfectly, support your neck and reduce any strain on your spine.

Tip: Side sleepers can use an extra pillow between their legs to reduce back pain.

Combination Sleepers

Combination sleepers might benefit from several different pillows but the safest option to start with is a feather or down pillow with medium loft and firmness.

What Else Influences Pillow Choice?


If you have allergies, consider hypoallergenic materials like memory foam or latex. Regularly washing pillow covers can further reduce allergens.

Temperature and Airflow

Breathable pillow materials like bamboo-derived fabrics have better airflow and are excellent for those who heat up during the night. For those who tend to run cold, consider using down or memory foam pillows are ideal.

Are you unsatisfied with the quality of your sleep? Your pillow might be the issue. Browse our wide selection of pillows that are handmade from premium raw materials to give you life-changing and restorative rest.


The average person spends 33 years of their life sleeping. Sleeping well makes us feel better, more alert, energetic, and better able to concentrate and perform. Getting quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing. Read our magazine for the ultimate guide to a good night’s rest!