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Let me tell you something:
While there are people that can sleep solely on their back or side, most of the global population switches a couple of positions during the night.
If you’ve noticed yourself falling asleep in one position and waking up in another, congratulations — you’re a combination sleeper! Just like me.
And I want to help you increase your comfort by offering 5 best pillows for combination sleepers that I picked up after thorough research and testing.
So, read on and try to find the model that will level up your sleeping experience!
A Quick Preview
Best Eco-Friendly Choice
Plushbeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow
|Shop Now on PlushBeds.com|
Read more about this pillow
Best Cheap Pick
|Shop Now on LaylaSleep.com|
Read more about this pillow
Best for Adjustable Loft
Coop Home Goods
|Shop Now on Amazon|
Read more about this pillow
Best for Moldability
|Shop Now on Amazon|
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Best for Cooler Sleep
|Shop Now on WinkBeds.com|
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Our Reviews of 5 Best Pillows for Mixed Sleepers
Best Eco-Friendly Choice - Plushbeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow
The pillow is an item that directly touches your face in certain sleeping positions, so you want it to be made of breathable and high-quality materials. The Plushbeds pillow totally suits this description, as it’s made of shredded latex and organic cotton. Plus, it has some other features which make it one of the best pillows for combo sleepers.
So, the Plushbeds contains shredded filling and can easily mold into any shape you want. Latex generally feels more springy and responds to the pressure created by your body more quickly, which results in almost instant pressure relief. Plus, this material is more resilient than foam, so you can expect a longer lifespan from your Plushbeds pillow.
Now, latex initially sleeps cooler, and the shredded option enhances air circulation within the pillow even further. So, if you’re prone to overheating or live in a hot climate, this pillow can easily become your lifesaver.
Organic cotton cover is smooth and soft to the touch. Due to the hygroscopic nature of the cotton, the cover easily wicks away excess moisture and adds overall comfort to your sleep.
To sum up, I enjoyed sleeping on the Plushbeds pillow. It easily molds to your head and neck and provides great pressure relief and support. Plus, it can serve you for years without losing its fluffy shape.
- very moldable but doesn’t restrict your movements;
- temperature-neutral, great for hot sleepers;
- completely natural;
- hypoallergenic and immune to dust mites;
- resilient and long-lasting.
- the loft isn’t adjustable, so it might not work for some users;
- you may need to purchase the pillowcase separately.
Best Cheap Pick - Layla Pillow
If you think that the best pillow for combination sleepers on the market will cost you a lot of money, I’m here to prove you wrong. The Layla pillow can be adjusted to any sleeping position in a couple of minutes and will make your shut-eye deep and restorative. At the same time, it’s a very budget-friendly pick.
The Layla is a memory foam pillow stuffed with a shredded fill that easily molds to the contour of your head and neck. The pillow helps your spine maintain proper positioning and relaxes the muscles of your shoulder belt.
Moreover, the Layla uses open-cell memory foam that traps less heat and can cool you down on hot summer nights. Plus, open-cell memory foam is less viscous and can adjust to your positions more quickly.
Now, the cover. It’s made of polyester and stitched in Layla’s signature hexagonal pattern. The cover features a quality-made zipper and is removable and washing machine-friendly, which makes the pillow’s maintenance pretty easy.
Overall, the Layla pillow is a great budget-friendly pick for mixed sleepers. It’s comfortable, fluffy, and easy to maintain during active use.
- adjustable loft, suitable for any sleeper type;
- properly contours your head and neck, which may help relieve pain;
- odor-free foam;
- doesn’t make you sleep hot;
- easy to maintain and pretty durable.
- the zipper on the inner encasement might be a bit weak;
- needs regular re-fluffing.
Best for Adjustable Loft - Coop Home Goods
Now, most pillows with adjustable height allow you to only remove the filling to make them softer and thinner. But what if you need a higher loft? No problem. The Eden pillow by Coop Home Goods comes with an additional pack of filling so that you can add more if you feel like your pillow isn’t supportive enough. That’s the main reason I’ve placed the Eden in my review of the best pillows for combo sleepers. But there’s more to it.
The fill of the pillow is shredded memory foam infused with gel particles. According to my experience, it sleeps cooler than other foams and feels softer and more cradling. I believe that this is the reason why the manufacturer has added that extra fill: some users might want to make it more of a medium feel.Speaking of the cover, it’s a blend of bamboo rayon and polyester. Both materials are pretty breathable and can promote cool sleep even if you struggle with hot flashes. Also, according to the brand, the cover is dust mite-resistant, which means it’s less prone to collecting dust inside. This could be good news for sensitive sleepers.
- comes slightly overstuffed and with an additional package of filling;
- sleeps cooler than similar models;
- feels soft and fluffy;
- has a washable bamboo cover, easy to maintain;
- relieves tension in the neck and shoulders.
- the zipper on the inner encasement is a bit fragile;
- might have some odor at the beginning.
Best for Moldability - WENERSI
When doing my research on pillows, I’ve noticed that many doctors and chiropractors recommend models with natural down filling for better cradling. So, meet the WENERSI, another option in my review of the best pillows for mixed sleepers! It’s available in two sizes and two firmness levels, so you can easily find a perfect fit for yourself.
Now, although you cannot adjust the loft in this model, you won’t suffer a lot from that. I tested the firm option and found it to be pretty moldable. This pillow can easily support your head and neck whether you sleep on your back or side. It doesn’t flatten too much and keeps your spine aligned.The blend of natural down and feathers adjusts to the changes in your body temperature and creates an optimal microclimate in your bed, so you won’t sleep hot. But note that the manufacturer suggests exposing pillow to sunshine to maintain its lifespan and fresh look.
- made of natural and hypoallergenic materials;
- incredibly moldable;
- high loft, good for side and back sleepers;
- relieves pressure in the neck;
- the loft isn’t adjustable, so the pillow might feel too high for some sleepers;
- down pillows require more maintenance than other models.
Best for Cooler Sleep - WinkBed Pillow
The WinkBed Adjust-a-Cube pillow is a perfect option for those sleepers who want decent support and pressure relief without sacrificing cool sleep. Because the filling of this pillow uses gel-infused memory foam that is “shredded” into cubes, it draws the heat away from the body and allows for unobstructed air circulation. The result? You get both cooler sleep and high comfort levels.
Now, the cover is made of textured polyester that has a circular-knit design. It is soft, smooth, and very pleasant to the touch, which means it won’t annoy you during sleep. Another cool thing about the cover is that it can easily be removed. It is machine washable, which will make cleaning much easier for you.
Additionally, the cover is zippered. This means you can open up your pillow and either add or remove the memory foam cubes, adjusting the loft according to your comfort preferences.
And here’s the kicker: no matter how many cubes there are, you will not feel them. Why? Because the WinkBed pillow has an inner memory foam liner under the cover, which offers additional comfort and eliminates the potential tiny lumps of foam cubes you may feel.
All things considered, the Adjust-a-Cube pillow by WinkBeds is a great find. It has a smart construction and offers both customization and high comfort levels to sleepers.
- adjustable loft to accommodate all sleeping positions;
- sleeps cool thanks to the materials used;
- offers close conforming and reliable support for your neck and head;
- easy to clean;
- comes in 2 sizes for different body types;
- inner lining for improved comfort;
- ensures optimal air circulation during the night.
- not 100% memory foam (also uses polyurethane foam), which might disappoint some sleepers.
Why Do Mixed Sleepers Need a Specific Pillow?
Okay, let’s clarify something first:
Even though most of the population are mixed sleepers, the majority of the pillows on the market are designed to support only one particular sleeping position.
Because that’s just how the market works, you know.
So, the pillow for a solid side sleeper may be too high for a supine sleeper and totally unsuitable for a stomach sleeper. And vice versa.
That’s why we, mixed sleepers, need a golden middle: a pillow that can contour our head, neck, and shoulders in any position we choose, without feeling too flat or too bulky. That’s the only way we can sleep comfortably and restore our energy instead of tossing and turning for hours.
Despite the fact that there are three main sleeping positions, most people prefer side and back sleeping to stomach sleeping. According to a 1027 cohort study (1), people spent 54.1% of overall time in bed lying on the side, and 37.5% sleeping on the back. Stomach sleeping was popular only among 7.3% of the cohort. That’s why if you’re a mixed sleeper, in most cases, you might need a pillow that is compatible with side and back sleeping.
Best and Worst Types of Pillows for Combination Sleepers
Pillow shape and content plays a crucial role not only for proper neck support but also for maintaining optimal temperature in bed (2).
If you want to find a suitable pillow for a combination sleeper, you should first define the type.
Depending on your preferred sleeping positions, some types of pillows will suit you more than others (3).
So, let’s break down each of them and see how well it goes with mixed sleeping.
- Shredded foams. Shredded foam pillows, regardless of the type of foam used, are the most common option today. And there’s a reason for that. Shredded foam sleeps neutral, is incredibly cradling and can support your neck alignment in any sleeping position, be it on your back, side, or stomach. Also, shredded foam pillows typically come overstuffed and have an adjustable height, so you can easily tailor them to your needs.
- Shredded latex. The only significant difference between shredded latex and shredded foam is that the former is natural. This adds to the cooling effect and overall durability, but generally, shredded latex shares the same properties. You can use it for any sleeping position and their combinations and feel comfortable.
- Fibers. Pillows filled with synthetic down alternatives are lightweight and fluffy, so you can expect great moldability. But fibers tend to have a shorter lifespan and may go flat sooner. This doesn’t make them a bad choice, though: those who shift between back and stomach sleeping can still use these pillows and enjoy their cradling and pressure-relieving properties.
- Feathers and down. Natural down and feathers are denser compared to their synthetic analogs while remaining lightweight and fluffy. They can cradle your head pretty well and offer decent pressure relief. Also, natural down adapts to the body temperature and creates a cooling cloud around you, preventing you from sweating and hot sleeping. Depending on the amount of filling, feather and down pillows can make a great purchase for people sleeping in different positions (4).
- Buckwheat hulls. Being a completely natural material, buckwheat hulls have great supportive properties. They might feel more rigid than other types of filling, but they offer close conforming to your body curves and easily adjust to any sleeping position. A fluffed and thick buckwheat pillow can perfectly suit those who shift between side and back sleeping. If you’re a mixed sleeper who loves snoozing on the stomach among other options, you can choose a thinner buckwheat pillow (or, remove some of the filling).
- Solid memory foam. And we’re slowly moving to the least suitable materials. Of course, you might find a solid memory foam pillow that will support you in any sleeping position. But typically, the fixed loft and firmness can only give proper support in one particular position.
- Solid latex. Solid latex pillows are more bouncy and responsive than foam ones, so they might be compatible with mixed sleeping. But again, they may not be malleable enough, so in my opinion, it’s better to go with some of the other options.
One more thing to know about finding a suitable pillow type is that you should give your pillow a test before you buy it (if possible). If you prefer shopping online, you can still stop by a sleep accessories store on your way home, just to see how different options feel.
“Do not underestimate the value of user reviews and expert opinions on a particular model. You can always check them online to learn about how the chosen model is likely to perform in real life.”
Important Factors to Consider
Choosing the right pillow type is only half of a successful purchase. The other half is much more intricate and consists of numerous details you need to consider.
Because it’s the attention to detail what will ensure that you’ve picked not just a good pillow for combo sleepers but the right pillow for your needs.
So, I will list the important factors just below for your comfort.
- Adjustability. Pillows with an adjustable loft are pretty common today, which is a plus for mixed sleepers. By adding or removing some filling, you can make your pillow work specifically for your sleeping preferences. Some studies suggest that the most optimal pillow height for cervical health is about 10 cm (or 3.93”) (5), so you can try this as your starting point and then adjust it more precisely.
- Firmness. Different sleeping positions require different firmness levels. For example, side sleepers will benefit from firm pillows, whereas stomach sleepers need something softer and more moldable. Back sleepers can use pillows of medium firmness, as they offer a balance between contouring and neck support. I advise you to monitor how you sleep during a couple of days to find your most preferred sleeping positions and choose the firmness level accordingly.
- Thermoregulation. Sleeping on the wrong pillow can be pretty disturbing, but if it also makes you sweat a lot, your slumber may easily turn into an unbearable nightmare. To avoid that, choose pillows made of natural materials, such as shredded latex, feathers, or buckwheat hulls. They’re breathable and temperature-neutral. Gel-infused foam can be an alternative, as well as a breathable cover.
- Warranty and return policies. Sometimes it just happens: you choose a pillow, sleep on it for a couple of weeks, and realize that it’s not your type. Returns can be a lot of fuss, so try to choose reliable and well-known brands.
Choosing a pillow for a mixed sleeper might seem complicated, but in fact, it's way easier than it sounds. Make sure to know your prevalent sleeping positions — you can keep a sleep log for about a week to define them — so that you can choose the model accordingly. Opt for pillows with adjustable loft and good cooling effect — in most cases, this would be enough to ensure good sleep.
Now, all the pillows reviewed above can offer good comfort levels and optimal support for combo sleepers. But as for me, the most restorative sleep I’ve got was with the Dreamcloud Rest pillow. It offers the ideal height and softness for an average mixed sleeper who switches between side and back sleeping. The Dreamcloud properly supports your head and relaxes neck muscles to prevent soreness.
What are your most preferred sleeping positions? How do you choose a pillow based on them? Feel free to share below!
- Eivind Schjelderup Skarpsno, Paul Jarle Mork, Tom Ivar Lund Nilsen, and Andreas Holtermann (2017, November 1) Sleep Positions and Nocturnal Body Movements Based on Free-Living Accelerometer Recordings: Association With Demographics, Lifestyle, and Insomnia Symptoms. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5677378/
- Mi Yang Jeon, HyeonCheol Jeong, SeungWon Lee, Wonjae Choi, Jun Hyuck Park, Sa Jin Tak, Dae Ho Choi, Jongeun Yim. (2014, July 9) Improving the Quality of Sleep With an Optimal Pillow: A Randomized, Comparative Study. Retrieved from https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/tjem/233/3/233_183/_article
- John Schubbe, DC (2016, March 3). Best Pillows for Different Sleeping Positions. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/pillows-different-sleeping-positions
- Ron Miller, PT (2016, April 6). Pillow Types to Consider. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/sleep/pillow-types-consider
- Hyung Cheol Kim, Hyo Sub Jun, Jihee Kim, Jun Hyong Ahn, In Bok Chang, Joon Ho Song, Jae Keun Oh. (2015, September 30) The Effect of Different Pillow Heights on the Parameters of Cervicothoracic Spine Segments. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283326363_The_Effect_of_Different_Pillow_Heights_on_the_Parameters_of_Cervicothoracic_Spine_Segments
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted