Getting a good night's sleep is undeniably one of the most important things we can do for our overall health and wellbeing.
Experts recommend adults get between 7-9 hours of shut-eye a night to maintain proper cognitive and behavioural functions.
Sleep deprivation has been linked to a myriad of health issues, including impaired brain function, weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease — as well as poor mental health.
How to sleep better
In general, getting enough quality sleep, i.e. reaching that oh-so-important REM stage, requires individuals to adopt good sleeping habits and conditions.
This means abstaining from caffeine before bedtime, maintaining a comfortable temperature in your bedroom, finding a suitable mattress, wrapping up in quality sheets, and of course, investing in a good quality pillow.
Why your pillow matters
Pillows are vital to healthy sleep habits as they keep the head aligned with the neck and backbone during the night. If a person's alignment is off, they may suffer from neck and back pain, sleep loss or overall poor sleep quality.
Unsurprisingly, not all pillows are created equally. Depending on your preferred sleeping position, you may require a pillow that keeps your neck straight or supports its natural curve.
According to JD Velilla, Serta Simmons Bedding's Head of Sleep Experience and member of the Global Wellness Institute, pillow thickness is an important quality to look out for.
"Whether a side, back, or stomach sleeper, pillow thickness makes a big difference," he tells Yahoo Canada."Finding a pillow thickness or height that keeps your neck in a neutral position [...] often helps many sleepers release neck pressure or tension."
Once you find the right thickness, you can look for features like touch foam or temperature cooling, he says.
To help you snooze better in 2023, these are the 15 best pillows for side, back and stomach sleepers, according to ratings and reviewers.
Best pillows for side sleepers
Brooklinen's Down Pillow made Apartment Therapy's "The Best List" for 2021 pillows, and if you read customer reviews, it's easy to understand why. The Firm Pillow is the brand's most supportive, and yet, reviewers say it's "extremely soft." Shoppers have given the pillow an average rating of 4.5 stars out of more than 3,300 reviews and call it the "best pillow ever."
Stuffed with a blend of down and feathers, these machine-washable pillows are perfect for side and back sleepers. With an average rating of 4.4 stars based on more than 3,300 reviews, Wayfair shoppers call the two-pack of pillows "really nice." They're "stuffed full, medium-firm, not squishy, [and have] soft feathers," writes one reviewer. "They'll keep their shape and they reinflate after using."
This revier-loved Polysleep pillow can be fully customized to your liking by adjusting its layers of hybrid foam. Shoppers can adjust the thickness between two and nine inches, depending on their sleep preferences. "I can honestly say that this pillow is perfect," writes one Polysleep reviewer. "It's neither too squishy nor too firm."
The Simba Hybrid Pillow is a great option for side sleepers as it's designed using hundreds of foam Nanocubes which enables the sleeper to adjust height and firmness. "They are amazingly comfortable and make me fall asleep way quicker," writes one shopper. "I highly recommend."
Designed specifically for side sleepers, this medium-density pillow takes the strain off of your neck and shoulders while you rest. It's stuffed with Parachute's fluffy and 100 per cent hypoallergenic down alternative. The pillow is also available in a down-filled option (click here to shop).
Best pillows for back sleepers
As Casper's most supportive pillow, the Foam Pillow aligns your head and neck for all-night comfort. Plus, its perforated foam pushes heat away to help keep you cool at night, perfect for those who tend to run hot. "No more neck aches," writes one shopper. "Finally, a pillow that helps me get a great night's sleep!"
This breathable, charcoal-infused memory foam pillow provides optimal comfort and support for side sleepers, stomach sleepers and back sleepers alike. It's designed using quick-response memory foam that contours to you, cradling your head while supporting your neck.
Dubbed the "Best Pillow For Back And Stomach Sleepers," this hotel-quality pillow comes backed by dozens of glowing reviews from Wayfair shoppers. "It's like putting your head in the lap of heaven," writes one reviewer. "I just ordered two more for the guest room!"
Emma's adjustable three-layer foam pillow provides bespoke comfort for any type of sleeper. It's breathable and hypoallergenic and has a cooling cover to wick away moisture and heat. "My shoulder and neck pains are gone, thanks to these pillows," lauds one Emma shopper. "They're the perfect balance of firm and soft."
Despite its high price tag, Amazon shoppers say the Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow is worth the money, especially if you're a back sleeper. Its filling can be added or removed to suit your sleep style and body type. It's "one of the best — really," writes one shopper.
Best pillows for stomach sleepers
This low-profile pillow from Tempur-Pedic has won over Amazon Canada reviewers. Its pressure-relieving material adapts to your head, neck and shoulders for personalized comfort. Racking up 8,500 reviews, shoppers call it a "dream pillow" and say it's "super comfy."
If a fluffy pillow isn't your jam, Amazon reviewers suggest checking out this thin memory foam pillow from Blissbury. Thanks to its slim design, the pillow reduces strain on the neck and back, soothing pain and stiffness. I'm "so surprised" by how comfortable it is, writes one shopper. It's "helped my neck and back pain" so much!
This adjustable pillow is stuffed with shredded memory foam that moulds to your head and thickness preferences. Both the internal sleeve and the plush outer cover are zippered, so you can adjust as many times as you need to get the pillow right for you.
With an average rating of 4.3 stars and more than 4,100 five-star reviews singing its praises, Amazon shoppers say this gel memory foam pillow is the "best pillow ever" for stomach sleepers. "Seriously, I've been sleeping much better" and for longer than I used to, writes one shopper. It's really soft, so your "neck won't get sore" when you wake up in the morning.
This gel memory foam pillow offers the support and pressure relief you need to catch your Zs in comfort. It's "beautifully engineered for comfort and support," says one Wayfair reviewer. "It feels like sleeping on a cloud!"