Last night I was rolling around in bed, trying to fall asleep. My quest to find the elusive land of dreams began on my stomach. That was comfortable for a while, but then my neck started to hurt, so I switched sides. But then my legs started to feel funny, so I fluffed up my pillow and switched on to my side. After twitching a while longer, I finally fell asleep…
...only to wake up in the morning lying on my back! I am a combination sleeper. I am never content in one position, and use multiple pillows of different sizes to find the perfect configuration for sleep each night.
If you are like me, then you are not satisfied with one pillow. However, there are a few pillows on the market that use clever tricks and tech to help us out and give the best bang for the buck. I’ll break down all the best pillows for combination sleepers, and give you some inside info on how to make the most of them. This post is for you, my fellow combo sleeper, so let’s get started!
Here’s a quick view of my picks if you are ready for bed and want to get right to the action:
Why Pick this?
Super fast and easy customization
Dual Chamber Pillow-cool!
Awesome accessory for awkward sleep positions
Great solid all around pillow
High quality, will keep you cool
All bamboo, great for allergy sufferers *not for panda owners
Super value-2 pillow pack!
“Combination sleepers” don’t only sleep on their side, or back, or stomach. They change their sleeping positions multiple times during the night. Many pillows are only designed for one function (support, loft, etc.). The wrong pillow can cause a combination sleeper to toss and turn more than normal. It may begin to affect overall health and spinal alignment with the eventual result of pain, headaches, and general grumpiness.
Our bodies prefer the most comfortable and well-supported position whether we are awake or asleep. As a result, our bodies reposition themselves multiple times during the night to relieve various pressure points.
Selecting a pillow that cushions your neck and aligns your spine in any sleep position is of utmost importance to help maximize sleep quality.
There are many sizes, shapes, styles, and types of pillows on the market from which to choose, so there is no need to suffer morning pain or stiffness. If you tend to shift positions during the night, you need to be more selective with your pillows. Ideally, your pillow should be durable and adjustable, and by all means, comfortable!
Combination sleeping pillows are compared not only according to their affordability, but also on their construction and material (hypoallergenic? dust-mite resistant?), adjustability, and other features the combination sleeper finds personally important. It is also important that the pillow retains its shape, is easily washed and dried, and lasts a reasonably long time.
The best-rated combination sleeping pillow provides comfort and support and adjusts to any sleeping position. The goal is to provide back/spine support while cushioning your head and neck. It is hard to find a single pillow that can do everything at one time, so you may want to consider getting multiple pillows with varying loft.
You may be a back sleeper if you need more head and neck support or annoy your bed partner snoring! Failure to adequately support the head/neck area can cause you to wake with a headache or neck or shoulder/back pain and stiffness. A pillow that’s too soft allows your head to sink too far into it, putting more pressure on your unsupported neck. If you find yourself folding, bunching up, or fluffing your pillow during the night, your pillow is too soft.
Conversely, a pillow that’s too firm may feel like sleeping on a log. If you experience headache, neck, or upper shoulder pain the following morning, your pillow may be too firm. A thicker, overly-firm pillow forces your head so high your neck tends to curve up and tuck under your chin. This lack of pillow flexibility also restricts head movement while you sleep, causing you to wake with a head or neck ache.
The best back-sleeper pillow is firm as well as soft and comfortable. Medium-firm pillows provide the best support-comfort balance. They are usually thicker (than those preferred by stomach sleepers) and allow your head to sink into the cushion while firmly supporting your neck and spine.
Medium-firm pillows are typically made from memory foam, down, or a down alternative. Pillow life may be extended with routine care (wash/dry annually) and by using pillow protectors. Follow “Pillow Care” instructions carefully. Memory foam material tends to clump if not dried properly and down and down-alternative pillows slowly lose loft each time they are laundered.
Stomach sleepers require less pillow support. You may be a stomach sleeper if you prefer a pillow you can clutch or reposition under you during the night. The best type of pillow for stomach sleepers is a thin one. You tend to put more pressure on sensitive body parts sleeping on your stomach, so more attention to comfort rather than support is the focus here.
A moldable pillow type is best suited for stomach sleepers because the stomach sleeper tends to move, shift, and reposition during the night. You may tuck an arm under yourself or under your pillow for added support for your body or head. The best stomach pillow adjusts to each new position as you reposition throughout the night.
A shredded memory foam type of pillow provides precisely the amount of support and sink. This type of pillow is made from foam shreds rather than from a single foam block. The shredded material is moldable and instantly adjusts, allowing your head to sink in. Shredded foam and down alternative pillows are hypoallergenic, as opposed to a down or feather pillow.
Most of us end up sleeping on our sides sometime during the night. It’s more difficult for side sleepers to maintain a proper body curve, as well as head and neck support. Overly thick firm pillows provide adequate support, but they should also be comfortable, and moldable too!
Side sleepers’ pillows should be slightly thicker (approx. 4-6 inches) than those used by back and stomach sleepers. A thicker pillow keeps the spine in line with the hips, and your neck and head in line with your spine.
Buying a firm pillow made from memory foam, down, or a down alternative provide the best support for side sleepers.
Simply put, buying a combination sleeping pillow alleviates the expense and need for multiple pillows!
Combination sleeping pillow options allow you to sleep through the night without waking to reposition yourself and your pillow. Regardless of how long you sleep, if you toss and turn, your quality of sleep plummets and you wake up feeling as tired as before you went to bed.
Spine alignment and posture also improve when you use a pillow that can adjust to any of your sleeping positions. Since your pillow affects your body alignment, the way you walk, sit, stand, and look will improve – as well as your mood because, as we all know, when you look good you feel good!
Tension headaches, tingling arms/legs, and neck and/or back pain are reduced when your pillow provides the right support and firmness.
Snoring is also reduced when your head and neck are adequately supported and your airways remain unobstructed. A pillow having a wave design helps ensure your neck is supported and your airways remain open.
Heat retention is a primary drawback of some combination sleeping pillows that do not have “breathable” designs or materials. There are some pillows that have special cooling powers, however.
Another drawback of some pillow products (mainly memory foam) is their initial smell out of the box. Generally allowing them 24 hours to air-out reduces the odor. Laundering may also work.
Memory Foam molds to your body contours but has a higher density that tends to retain heat, which makes sound sleep uncomfortable for some. Manufacturers have developed various “breathable pillow” designs that make their shredded memory foam pillows some of the most moldable, responsive, and comfortable on the market.
Note that single-piece memory foam pillows are not suitable for combination sleeping due to their high loft and general firmness.
Buckwheat (hull) pillows are breathable and keep “hot sleepers” cool. They move with you and provide comfort and continued support as you reposition throughout the night. Buckwheat pillows have more loft but aren’t overly firm. They are easy to shape and adjust and provide comfort and support. A buckwheat pillow may not be your first choice, however, since they (the hulls) tend to make noise when you move or adjust it.
Feather (exterior duck and geese plumage) pillows are soft and cushy. They are easily scrunched and shaped and a feather pillow is less expensive than comparable down pillows. Feather pillows perform the same as down pillows but are not as long-lasting. They also need to be re-fluffed often because they tend to get lumpy.
Down (soft interior duck and geese feathers) pillows are plush, lightweight, durable, and easily moldable. The soft interior feathers make them more expensive than feather pillows. They also tend to get lumpy and they probably are not a good choice if you have allergy sensitivities.
Down alternative (cotton, polyester, or blend materials) pillows are the pillows you want if you have allergy sensitivities but still want the qualities of a feather or down pillow. Also, like feather and down pillows, down alternative pillows tend to get lumpy. They also do not last as long as feather or down pillows. A higher fill count can extend pillow life though.
Shredded Latex (a natural or synthetic rubber product) is a firm, hypoallergenic, and mold- and mildew-proof pillow. It contours and supports your body, has high loft, and is very firm. It won’t lose its shape. Latex pillows are heavy and expensive though, and there is not a large selection.
If you are a back-sleeper who wants maximum firmness, you may want to choose a one-piece latex pillow.
Gel pillows are newer products that combine fluidity with the firmness of latex and memory foam.
Bamboo- A pillow that has an outer casing made from bamboo fibers is super soft and allows more airflow than normal. These are great for combo sleepers in warmer environments. Check out a breakdown of the best ones here.
Look for a sleeping pillow that is suitable to your primary (if not only) sleeping position. It should have long-lasting quality at a reasonable price.
Price significantly varies among pillow products. The more expensive combination sleeping pillows are typically more innovative products made from new or upgraded materials. The most expensive pillow is not necessarily “the best.” Nor is the least expensive one always the cheapest or worst.
The material the pillow is made from not only affects its cost but also its durability. Some encased materials withstand pressure, moisture, heat/coolness, and laundering better than others. For example, solid memory foam easily molds to your head but feels hot. Down and feather pillows are higher quality, but may not be well-suited for those with allergy sensitivities. Natural bamboo material is less expensive and hypoallergenic.
Pillows made from higher-end quality materials tend to last longer, providing full performance for at least 2-4 years of continued use.
Sleeping pillow comfort is subjective. Pillow construction, thickness, and firmness feel differently to different people. For example, softer pillows that initially feel more comfortable may not guarantee better sleep. Softer pillows have little support and are more likely to shift your spine out of alignment over time with consistent use.
Pillows that are too firm may restrict your movement. This puts strain and pressure on your neck and back, causing stiffness or pain upon waking.
Polyester filled pillows are the cheapest to make. They are hypoallergenic and medium-firm for comfort, which may be the sweet spot for us combination sleepers!
The most expensive quality pillows to manufacture are feather and down pillows. The more down in the pillow, the softer and more expensive it is. Not only do these pillows lack support, they may not be a good choice for someone prone to allergies.
Check the pillow tag before buying the pillow. This tag is required by law to alert you, the consumer, to pillow fill contents that may cause allergic reactions.
If the pillow doesn’t adequately support your body, you will become uncomfortable sometime during the night. A pillow’s loft (its thickness or height) may be so high it forces your head into an unnatural position.
Luckily a lot of these pillows have trial periods. Take one home, test it out, and if it doesn’t quite fit right… send it back!
If you want the ultimate combination sleeper pillow, you’re gonna have to like pancakes. What makes this one so cool is that it is basically 6 pillows in one. You can add or subtract layers at will, making it perfectly customizable. When you try this one, just make sure to save the butter and maple syrup for the morning, they don’t belong in bed.
This pillow will never feel too thick or too thin. The innovative Pancake Pillow is a layered queen-size down alternative pillow. It combines inside and outside luxury with six stackable pillow layers that can be removed or added to achieve the perfect sleeping position.
The fill is a synthetic gel-infused polyester that helps remove body heat for a cool feel. It has a quality 300-count, 100% premium cotton fabric outer case. The open weave allows free airflow, which also helps mitigate heat buildup and retention. The soft, smooth pillowcase zips open on three sides to allow easy adjustment, additions, or removal of the pillow layers. Gussets accommodate the thickness as layers are added.
It is a soft hypoallergenic and microbial-resistant down alternative puff fill. It is machine washable/dryable and easy care.
Pancake offers superior customer service. They also give you a 30-day money-back guarantee of satisfaction with the product.
2. Snuz Sleep Bed Pillow
What is awesome about this pillow for combination sleepers is that it actually has two chambers with different filling, offering different levels of firmness in the same pillow!
The design is a unique polyester fiberfill, micro-fiber combination pillow that gives you maximum support. This pillow has a firm hourglass design that is guaranteed not to pancake, deteriorate, or lose its shape. The indentation between the two pillow chambers forms the pillow’s hourglass shape that conforms to whatever position you choose to sleep in.
The Snuz pillow is made from high-performing polyester fiberfill. The outside cover is 300-count, 100% premium cotton fabric front and back. This finely-knit, open-cell mesh cover is breathable, allowing air to flow through, which helps the pillow fluff up naturally and keep you cool throughout the night. The Snuz pillow’s hourglass shape ergonomically aligns your neck and spine. It smoothly flexes to alleviate pressure on your head as well as your neck and spine.
This pillow is formaldehyde-free. It has NO odor and is hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, smooth, and comfortable. Also, the entire pillow is machine washable, you can just throw the whole thing in the wash!
Snuz also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
What is unique about this one is it is not a traditional pillow. It is a wedge that you can use under your knees and between your legs to give supplemental support to any position you find yourself in, making it awesome for combination sleepers.
The Cushy Form Half-Moon Bolster pillow is a memory foam orthopedic support pillow endorsed and recommended by numerous physicians, sports trainers, physical therapists, and customers. It is a unique two-layer, memory-foam on top of a foam core design. It will not deflate or go flat. It effectively eases leg, ankle, and back pains when it is placed between your legs during sleep.
It is especially highly rated by back and side sleepers who use it to relieve their lower back pain. You can relax and elevate your legs for better circulation, reduce varicose veins, during pregnancy or after surgery.
Replace those towel-rolls! This non-collapsible half-pillow wedge is made from hypoallergenic visco-elastic memory foam. Its cotton outer cover is machine washable and dryable and easy care.
Cushy Form offers you a 100% No-Hassle money-back guarantee of satisfaction. It is a unique dual-layer, half-pillow leg spacer design delivered in a vacuum-sealed package. It adapts to anyone seeing relief from joint, leg, and back pain. If you are a back or side sleeper with orthopedic issues, try the half-moon spacer pillow for overnight relief!
The Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow is another eco-friendly, popular, high-ranking, shredded memory foam-filled combination sleeping pillow that cushions while providing maximum support for the spine and head/neck areas. If you are mainly a side sleeper, this is a good choice for you! If you don’t like the feel, add or remove some memory foam to fit your comfort needs.
It is easy to fluff, and guaranteed not to lose its thickness (loft). It easily molds to your stomach and back, as well as to your side-sleeping pattern. If you are pregnant, you’ll appreciate cozying up to this combination pillow.
This shredded memory foam pillow is a mix of CertiPUR-US Certified shredded visco elastic memory foam that can be added or removed to adjust the loft to your desired comfort. The removable 60% polyester and 40% bamboo-derived rayon cover promotes ventilation and allows the pillow to breathe and keep cool throughout the night.
It is odorless, hypoallergenic and well-suited for allergy sufferers. It is dust mite-resistant and the removable bamboo cover is machine washable/dryable and easy care.
Coop Home Goods offers a 100-Day “No Questions Asked” money-back guarantee if not satisfied, and a 5-year Warranty on their shredded memory foam pillow.
To appeal to the majority, the Coop Home Goods designed their shredded memory foam pillow to remain cool and combine the soft sinking feeling of down with the support of memory foam. It has a significantly long warranty and allows adding/removing of fill to personalize it.
Like the pillow from Coop Home goods, Snuggle-pedic has a great offering for combination sleepers. It has a quality bamboo casing and shredded memory foam filling. It provides maximum support and is guaranteed to “never go flat.”
It will also help you stay cool all night! The bamboo shredded memory foam pillow is made from 56.4% polyester, 0.6% lycra, and 43% viscose of bamboo. Snuggle-Pedic’s Kool-Flow® technology and micro-vented cover lets the pillow breathe.
Snuggle-Pedic’s Biogreen process and testing ensures these bamboo shredded memory foam pillows are manufactured mercury- and lead-free, and without ozone depleters, PBDE flame retardants, formaldehyde, or other heavy metals. These pillows are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and proved to be low in VOC (memory foam emissions).
This pillow IS for everybody! It is hypoallergenic, dust mite-resistant, and fully machine washable and easy care. You can unzip the outer cover and adjust the thickness and support to your own comfort specifications!
Snuggle-Pedic products are guaranteed genuine and backed by an industry leading 20-year warranty They also offer a 120-night (4-month) sleep trial and free personal customization if you are not satisfied.
Be warned! Some customers have experienced an initial odor when they removed the pillow from its packaging. The odor quickly dissipates after it has been aired-out 24 hours, or laundered. Sleep well!
If you’re looking for a cool, all-natural, eco-friendly combination pillow, you have come to the right place! The Xtreme Comforts 100% Bamboo Pillow is a very responsive, all-natural, eco-friendly, fully adjustable combination sleeping pillow that provides maximum support. Its fill does not shift so you’ll never find yourself waking up to fluff it!
You can also easily adjust the thickness and density to conform to any sleep position. The inner zipper lets you add or remove pillow fill as desired. Because of its extraordinary all-natural construction, we recommend this pillow for allergy sufferers or if you have dust mite issues.
What makes this product unique is that both the case and the filling are made from bamboo fibers. Usually only the casing is made from viscose of bamboo, while the innards are memory foam.
This pillow is odorless and the bamboo fibers are naturally antibacterial, hypoallergenic, and dust mite-resistant. The easy-care machine washable cover absorbs perspiration away from your face and neck.
Xtreme Comforts boasts superior customer service and a 30-Day “No Questions Asked” money-back guarantee if not satisfied. "Try us, you’ll like us!"
This product is 100% bamboo inside and out with a naturally-cooling cover that allows your pillow to remain cooler than buckwheat, shredded memory foam, feather, or latex competitors. It provides superior comfort, support, easy maintenance, and durability.
The perfect soft down-like pillow for allergy and asthma suffers is here! This is a NO ODOR, NO NOISE, hypoallergenic, soft, cool pillow for sensitive combination sleepers. The Superior Down Alternative Pillow is a premium down-quality, thick, microfiber polyester fiberfill, combination sleeping pillow that provides maximum comfort and support. It easily molds to any position you choose. It is the ideal comfortable, responsive, and adjustable down pillow alternative for allergy and asthma sensitive sleepers. If you are one, this is your pillow!
This down alternative pillow is made from soft classic polyester microfibers. The outer covering is soft, smooth, and easily moldable. The down alternative pillow is made from breathable fabric and materials that are immediately responsive to head and body pressures. Fluff and shape this pillow into any position to aid a quality sound sleep.
The outer cover is durable and machine washable microfiber that quickly absorbs perspiration and moisture away from your face and neck. Pillow and cover may be laundered in a gentle/cold cycle and tumbled dry on your low temp setting to re-fluff it. Remove it from the dryer immediately to minimize wrinkling. And the best deal – it comes two to a package!
This is an affordable set of two, hypoallergenic, soft, down alternative, polyester microfiber fill pillow that is well-suited for all-body position-sleepers with allergy/asthma sensitivities.
We combination sleepers have a unique problem, and luckily there are a few companies out there offering some great solutions.
The Pancake pillow wins this roundup of top pillows for combination sleepers. You can quickly adjust the firmness of the pillow on the fly. While a couple other pillows on the list offer adjustability, you have to find a place to cleanly store the filling. With the pancake, you just have another smaller pillow on your hands to do with what you will!
You can’t go wrong with any of these suggestions though. All are highly rated and offer at least one cool benefit. Let us know which one you chose in the comments, along with any other tips or tricks you have to help win the battle for a good night’s rest!