Picking the right pillow for a solid sleep can seem like an impossible task. To help you find the perfect one, we created this comprehensive roundup of the best bed pillows around. In it, you’ll discover the top-rated pillows based on three unique categories: sleeping position, material used, and function.
So if you’re going back and forth between that squishy memory foam design or the sinking down fill, read on for our in-depth look at the best bed pillows for a good night’s rest.
Similar to choosing a great mattress, selecting the right pillow largely depends on your prefered sleeping position. Since there is such a wide variety of positions within every sleeping position (aka stomach sleepers who keep one arm tucked under the torso), we read hundreds of reviews to determine which pillow was the most comfortable for the largest number of people in each category. We also referenced articles by sleep experts, The SweetHome, and Sleepopolis.
Before we dive into the best pillow for side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers, it’s important to remember that finding the right pillow often means trial and error. Make sure to read up on company return policies before spending hundreds of dollars on pillow that are not perfect for you. Now, it’s time to find the pillow that will give you maximum comfort and sweet dreams.
With any sleeping position, the most comfort is found when the sleeper’s head and neck in the same position as when standing with good posture. You don’t want too much loft that will force your head upwards or too little life that causes you to strain your neck down. To find the perfect balance, side sleepers often choose pillows with the most support (4 to 6 inches). This height allows the head to remain in line with the neck, which ultimately keeps the spine in alignment with the hips—meaning you won’t wake up with a sore back or neck.
To create the support side sleepers crave, manufacturers have several options for materials. The most common are filled with down, memory foam, or down-alternative. While these options each have pros and cons, it’s the amount of material (or fill) that matters most for comfort. However, it’s almost important to consider the warranty and return policy of the pillows. Some stores will give a full refund with a receipt, while others will offer a partial or no refund if it’s out of the packaging. If you’re spending over $30 on a pillow, it’s worth looking into the store policies first. With that in mind, see which pillow was favored by most side sleepers below.
Unanimously, the favorite pick for side sleepers is the Wamsutta® Extra-Firm Side Sleeper Pillow. This 100% cotton pillow is filled entirely with polyester and has a 300-thread count. It’s extra-firm feel made some reviewers skeptical at first, but many feel in love once they slept on it the first night. Incredibly, this pillow comes in under $30—a great value considering the number of $100+ pillows available today.
In addition to the attractive price point, the Wamsutta pillow has a three-year manufacturer’s warranty and is machine-washable. Unlike many extra-firm pillows on the market, customers report this design keeps its loft even after several months of use.
The most common drawbacks we found with this pillow were the synthetic material and limited warranty. While synthetic filling is not sourced from animals, the material is not as fluffy as down and not as durable. This is likely the reason for the three-year warranty, since more expensive down options often have five to ten-year warranties. One customer reported a split in the middle of the pillow after several months of use and others have said the pillow requires more fluffing than down.
With both the pros and cons in mind, the majority of sleepers have said the Wamsutta Extra-Firm Side Sleeper Pillow does a tremendous job reducing neck pain and retaining its height. Coupled with a low price point, 100% cotton cover, and easy-to-clean factor, it’s no surprise this pillow is best for side sleepers. Wamsutta customer Gloria from Bedford, VA, explained it best, “Finally, a pillow that is truly firm and keeps it shape. My neck feels much better in the morning with the extra support that it has needed!”
Keeping head and neck alignment in mind, the best pillow for back sleepers must have a combination of support and softness. If a pillow is too soft, the head sinks in and the neck doesn’t feel supported. An easy way to tell if your pillow is too soft is if you find yourself bunching or folding it throughout the night. On the other hand, a pillow that is too firm for back sleepers curves the neck up and tucks the chin under, causing strain and pain in the morning.
The perfect balance between support and comfort for back sleepers is often a pillow with medium firmness. This fill density allows the head to sink but has more support than the thin pillows preferred by stomach sleepers. As with all pillows, the material used to create a medium-firm feel can be down, memory foam, or a down-alternative. No matter the material, it’s easy to extend the life of your pillows by using pillow protectors and maintaining a care plan. Most pillows only need to be washed once or twice a year, but keep the material of your pillow in mind while cleaning. Down and down-alternative loses a little bit of loft each time is it washed, and memory foam can clump together if not dried properly. To learn how to best care for the pillow preferred by most back sleepers, learn more about it below in our in-depth look.
For sleepers who rest best on their backs, the Premier Down-like Personal Choice Density Pillow Set is the clear winner. Filled with a hypoallergenic down-alternative, this design is great for people with sensitive skin and allergies. While the company offers a small, medium, and firm density, customers agreed the medium density was best. The pillows come in a set of two, with the standard white cotton cover. As a down-alternative, the pillow can be machine washed but must be fluffed to retain an even distribution of material. Both customers and the company recommend fluffing the pillow once a week to keep the loft.
Since the material used in the pillow is a down-alternative, it doesn’t have quite the same luxurious feel as real down does. However, many customers claim to have slept on down pillows and say the Premier Down-like Personal Choice Density Pillow feels incredibly similar.
Overall, the hypoallergenic down-alternative material, amazing price point ($35 for two pillows), and medium-firm feel is what makes this pillow stand out for back sleepers. The perfect amount of loft comes from the construction—it’s made out of clusters instead of one large piece of polyester. One customer said, “You would never know the pillows weren’t true down by appearance and fill.” For back sleepers, this faux down is sure to help you fall fast asleep.
When searching for the best pillow for side sleepers, we quickly realized that most prefer generous loft but a thinner height. This preference requires a certain balance between cushion and support, since stomach sleepers usually don’t need as much support as back or side sleepers. However, this sleeping position puts more pressure on sensitive body parts, making a comfortable design necessary for a good night’s sleep. Because it’s common for stomach sleepers to shift around in the night or to keep an arm tucked under their torso, the ideal pillow would mold to each new position while still providing the right amount of support and sink.
To solve for this need, manufacturers created a shredded memory foam design that uses shreds of foam instead of one solid block. This material is moldable, allows the head to sink in, and can be moved around to provide more or less support. While there are several pillows with shredded foam available, learn more about the customer favorite for stomach sleepers below.
Which pillow can meet all of the requirements of stomach sleepers? After reading hundreds of customer reviews and consulting expert home review site The SweetHome, it’s clear the right pick is the Xtreme Comforts Slim Shredded Memory Foam Pillow. Made of CertiPUR-US Certified shredded foam, this pillow meets stringent industry manufacturing standards and is also hypoallergenic. It has a breathable, micro-perforated bamboo viscose-polyester–blend cover that allows heat to escape from your head during the night. No more waking up from a sweaty face! Due to the shredded memory foam, it’s easy for sleepers to shift around the foam to add or subtract support. Not surprisingly, this feature makes it popular among stomach sleepers who shift to other positions throughout the night.
Although the shredded foam is what sets this pillow apart from the rest, it’s also the main reason behind most complaints with the design. The shredded foam can stick together with use, requiring users to fluff the pillow occasionally to get distribute the foam. To solve this problem, the manufacturer recommends tossing it in the dryer for a few minutes when it’s brand new and then again whenever you feel it’s becoming too lumpy. The lumpy feeling was another factor several people mentioned, since most are used to the feeling of soft down or down-alternative. However, testers from The SweetHome said they stopped noticing the lumpy design after a day or two and found it ideal for molding the foam into the perfect shape.
All things considered, the Xtreme Comforts Slim Shredded Memory Foam Pillow won over stomach sleepers who spend a majority of the night in one position, or who find themselves shifting around. The unique shredded memory foam fill and cooling bamboo cover allow sleepers to adjust the support and keeps heads cool throughout the night. Another major bonus of this pillow is its price, which lands at $40 for a standard size, $45 for a queen, and $50 for a king. For a memory foam pillow, it’s a great value and has hundreds of five-star reviews to back up the above claims.
Not sure which sleeping position you prefer? If you wake up in a different position every day, it can be difficult to find the perfect pillow. You’re not alone though! Many people prefer more than one sleeping position, which is why there are pillows meant to mold to every possible movement or shift. The aim is to choose a design that has the support for sleeping on your side or back, while also having the loft that lets you stay comfortable on your stomach. Waking up with neck or shoulder pain after moving around all night? It could mean your pillow is too hard or high for your body. With that in mind, it’s best to calculate your own comfort and know when it’s time to try out a new pillow. For a majority of combination sleepers, their overall favorite pillow was the design below.
From side to stomach and back, the best pillow for combination sleepers is the Casper Pillow. Its specialized design gives it a firm feel on the inside but a soft loft on the outer layer. The construction trick is a dual design—the inner layer is composed of almost one billion tiny fibers that provide support and adapt to your movements. Wrapping this layer is the soft out filling of extra-long micro-fibers that give it a plush, sinking feel. Keeping these layers together is a 100% cotton over and 100% polyester lining that is breathable, yet tough enough to keep the fiber filling from poking through. The Casper Cushion Pillow is designed and manufactured in the US, but uses innovative fibers from the EU in its construction. To make sure the Casper pillow will work for you, the company offers a 100-night trial period and provides a three-year warranty on the pillow.
Looking through customer reviews on the Casper pillow, the most common complaint was the amount of noise the cover makes when shifting positions. The review on Sleepopolis said most of the noise comes from the cover, and that the problem can be solved by taking the cover off and using the inner pillow. However, the soft lining is built into the cover so doing this will minimize loft and softness. Other reviewers said the pillow is comfortable when sleeping on the side or back, but it’s simply too high for stomach sleepers. The best way to see if the Casper pillow is right for you? Give it a try, and if it’s not perfect, rest easy knowing returns are simple.
Shifting from position to position can cause problems throughout the night for many sleepers, Luckily, the Casper Cushion Pillow is well-liked by many combination sleepers for its ability to adapt to all positions. Its unique dual-construction makes it ideal for people who want loft but who also need a balance between soft down and supportive memory foam. As a combination sleeper, the Casper could be the right pick for you.
It’s clear selecting the perfect pillow can come with a lot of trial-and-error, but one way to make it easier is to choose based on material. Maybe you love the feel of down, but the best pillow for side sleepers is made of polyester. To know the available options, we looked at customer favorites for down, memory foam, bamboo, and latex pillows. Although you may have a preferred material type, it’s important to consider what sleeping position each pillow is ideal for since this is major factor in overall comfort.
With this in mind, there is an incredible variety in pillow materials today. Each promises more comfort, better support, or the perfect night’s sleep. Below, we look at four of the most-used materials and share the top-rated pillow in each category. You’ll find the benefits of each material, the common complaints, and an in-depth look at what made the best pillows stand out from the competition.
Searching for the best down pillow will give hundreds of results, reviews, and customer testimonials. The price range for down varies, but as far as pillow materials go, it’s typically the most expensive option. However, an increase in sustainable sourcing, online start-up companies, and a more even playing field has allowed some high-quality down pillows to be created for half the price of traditional designs. For a comfortable night sleep on a light lofty pillow, this is great news.
When shopping for a down pillow, it’s important to keep several things in mind. The first is that not all down sourcing is sustainable. While the United States and the EU have increased regulations in the past five years, there are still improvements to be made in down manufacturing around the world. Luckily, companies are understanding the importance of sustainable sourcing and many are transparent about how their down is collected. Secondly, down feathers often poke through pillow covers if the fabric is not tight or strong enough. This leads to loss of feathers and an uncomfortable poking throughout the night. To prevent these main issues, we did research on the featured company and product to see how the down is sourced and what material is being used in the cover.
After looking into customer reviews, product materials, and down sourcing, it’s clear the best down pillow is the Parachute Down Pillow. With a lofty 750 fill of premium white European down, this pillow is light, fluffy, and supportive enough for mixed sleeping positions. The 100% cotton sateen shell is durable enough to keep a large amount of down from escaping, and the double-stitched piping seam ensures the pillow will hold up to years of use and cleaning. For the fill, Parachute uses Responsible Down Standard certified down—meaning it comes from humanely treated animals.
Besides sustainable sourcing and well-designed construction, the Parachute Down Pillow is a hit among stomach sleepers. People who prefer this sleeping position require a smooth, soft surface that offers a sinking feeling. Testers from The SweetHome said the Parachute had more loft than other down pillows they tried, and held up incredibly well over the year-and-a-half testing trial. For $70, this pillow is a steal compared to other real down choices, making it a great value as well.
As with all pillow designs, some will love the pillow and some will hate it. Customers who gave the Parachute less than a five-star rating said it didn’t offer as much support as a side or back sleepers typically need. For a down pillow, this is a typical complaint since down can never be as supportive as memory foam or latex. However, most stomach-sleeper customers love the feel, support, and loft the Parachute provides. It’s important to not that Parachute offers a soft, medium, and firm density in this pillow, so it’s possible to get more support if you’re a side or back sleeper.
Picking the perfect down pillow can make or break a sound sleep. After reviewing customer testimonials and industry review sites, we’re confident the Parachute Down Pillow is going to provide a satisfying sleep for people who lay on their stomachs and who enjoy the light, sinking feeling of real down.
With a range of foam pillows on the market, it can be tough to pick one that is suitable for your sleeping style. The traditional foam pillow is a single block of foam that offers different levels of comfort based on the density rating. Some sink in immediately with little pressure, while others retain their shape until a heavier weight compresses it down. Although there are unique densities of foam, the common complaint among sleepers is that the foam is too hard or it can’t be adjusted for different levels of support.
Fortunately, the latest trend in foam pillows is a shredded memory foam fill that fits a variety of comfort and support needs. This material is exactly what it sounds like—shreds of foam in different sizes that offers compression without acting like a solid block of support. Pillows with shredded memory foam are becoming more popular, so customers have more choices than ever. While this is a plus, it also makes it confusing to choose between so many options. Since shredded memory foam has been available for several years, we gathered reviews and data to see which is the best shredded memory foam pillow available today.
Since shredded memory foam filling is the new wonder material for pillows, we weren’t surprised to find the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is ranked highest in this category. With over 13,521 Amazon reviews, this pillow has been tested by a wide variety of people and 73% have given it a five-star rating. So what makes this pillow so wonderful? To start, the shredded memory foam makes it easy to move around the filling to shape it to your specific shape. The foam is easy to fluff with your hands or a dryer, and the bamboo/viscose cover is designed to keep your head cool all night long.
Additionally, Coop Home Goods offers a five-year warranty on the pillow and an initial 30-night trial period. One of the best features of the Coop Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is the ability to add or subtract the filling. If it’s too high, you can take some out. Need more support? Put foam back in until your head finds the perfect alignment.
Like any pillow, not every customer is going to love this design. It’s important to share what many people wish the pillow had, which is more support. Since the pillow tries to combine the soft, sinking feeling of down with the support of memory foam, there is going to be disconnect with customers who prefer one or the other. If you need a firm pillow that won’t sink much throughout the night, this may not be right for you. Many customers say it’s too soft relative to other foam pillows. Due to the design, we agree. Keep in mind this combination is why it works for so many different individuals as well.
Upgrading your traditional memory foam pillow to the Coop Shredded Memory Foam Pillow might be the right choice is you’re looking for a pillow with the comfort of down but the support of foam. For it’s unique material, warranty, cooling bamboo cover, and ability to add or subtract the filling, this is the clear winner for best memory foam pillow.
Similar to the Coop Home Goods pillow above, the winner for the best bamboo pillow has a shredded memory foam construction and bamboo cover. What sets this pillow apart is a higher percentage of bamboo in the design. When searching for a bamboo pillow, take note of the amount of material used—a higher amount of bamboo means the pillow will be softer, more sustainable, and cooler.
What makes bamboo such a great material to use in pillow design? Unlike cotton or other materials, bamboo doesn’t require pesticides or chemicals before harvest. It also creates a stronger fabric blend, is hypoallergenic, and wicks heat and moisture away from the head. While looking for a bamboo pillow, one of the most essential factors is too research the material used inside the pillow. If the pillow is filled with foam or down, ensure it is certified according to stringent standards. There’s no sense getting a hypoallergenic bamboo cover if the materials inside are made of toxic materials. Not surprisingly, the best bamboo pillow uses eco-friendly and Certipur-US certified foam.
With a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and over 7,915 Amazon reviews, the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is ranked as the best bamboo pillow. The cover uses Kool-Flow® technology, created with a blend of bamboo viscose, polyester, and lycra. On the inside, shredded memory foam gives compression relief and softness to sleepers–there’s even an option to remove or add foam for a custom feel. To show customers this is the best bamboo pillow available, the company offers a hassle-free 90-day return policy and 20-year warranty. Customer C. Richmond sent his pillow back twice for custom modifications, and he reported that they take “every single avenue a company can” to make sure the pillow works for each customer.
Despite the raving reviews about this pillow, there were also several comments about what could be improved. The most common issue was that the memory foam doesn’t spring back as easily as solid memory foam pillows. Due to the shredded foam design, this pillow may not work for sleepers who prefer a firm pillow without much give.
Purchasing a bamboo pillow has benefits for you and for the environment. If you’re ready to buy the best bamboo pillow available and think you would enjoy the comforts of shredded memory foam, you won’t go wrong with the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow. While other bamboo pillows are out there, this one stands out because of its unbeatable warranty, high percentage of bamboo, and shredded foam filling.
Commonly used in mattress designs, latex is a springy material that offers great bounce and compression. Over the years, companies have adapted this material for use in pillows to provide sleepers with above-average comfort and pain relief. Unlike down or shredded foam, latex rarely clumps or shifts which is great for avoiding hollow spots. However, latex is heavier than other pillow materials and is a natural bouncy feel. When deciding whether to purchase a latex pillow, it’s good to consider your sleeping position and the amount of push back you want from a pillow. While latex pillows are the right pick for some, the material can also turn off people who want a light, fluffy feel.
In relation to other materials, latex falls in the the low to medium price range. According to the review site Sleep Like the Dead, an average latex pillow is $30-$80 and the designs tend to hold shape for three years. For people who need a good amount of neck support, they will find latex pillows contour to the head and neck and are great at even weight distribution. With this support comes an above-average firmness, ideal for side sleepers. If you think latex is the right material for you, see which design beat out the competition for the best latex pillow.
Although latex is not the most popular material used in pillows, the Beautyrest Latex Foam Pillow is a customer favorite. Designed with natural latex foam and a 100% cotton cover, this pillow is perfect for sleepers looking for springy support. It has antimicrobial properties built into the latex design, and cleaning is simple with the machine-washable cover. Looking through customer reviews, many people who suffer from chronic neck pain or injury find incredible support with this pillow. Since latex is a heavier material, customers also say it holds up well and retains its shape night after night.
The characteristics that make latex a great choice for some people is also the source of complaints about these pillows. In general, latex retains its shape but also retains heat. For hot sleepers, this can prevent them from getting the best night’s sleep. If you like cuddling up with a comfortable pillow, you likely won’t like this pillow or any other latex design. Unlike down, it takes a decent amount of pressure to compress latex. While this makes it the perfect pick for some, it also means other people will find the pillow too stiff.
Looking for information on latex pillows is more difficult since it’s not one of the most common materials used. However, the benefits of firm support, pressure relief, and durability make it an ideal choice for some sleepers. If you’re searching for a new latex pillow or are ready to switch to a supportive design, the Beautyrest Latex Foam Pillow won’t let you down.
Sometimes, a pillow needs to do more to help you wake up feeling rested. This is why companies have created pillows that cater to specific functions, from supporting the neck to offering cooling covers. If you require a certain type of pillow, we’ve got you covered. In the analysis below, we share what to look for when picking a pillow for neck support, firmness, and cooling. Once you know which function is best for you, look through the top picks for each pillow and see the benefits and disadvantages customers shared.
Since every person is different, everyone needs a pillow specific to their individual sleeping style. If you constantly wake up with a sweaty face, it’s time to consider a pillow with cooling properties. Had neck surgery? There are specialized pillows designed to bring the most comfort and much-needed support. If you like your pillow to be firm but constantly struggle with pillows that flatten after little use, it’s time to learn which can truly hold its weight. Based on the above functions, we found the best pillows for those with unique needs.
Back and side sleepers will agree—a comfortable, yet firm, pillow can make or break the night. Although a pillow that feels luxurious and soft is idolized in media, most people need a medium to high density fill in their pillow. To achieve this firmness, companies have created pillows from foam and latex. Yet a touch of softness seems to be missing in many of these designs. On the opposite side of the spectrum, down pillows always lack the support a truly firm pillow requires. Where does this leave sleepers looking for the best firm pillow? Luckily, we’ve found an option that combines the comfort of down with the firmness of foam.
If you’re searching for a firm pillow (and we mean something that will hold shape after nights and years of use), you’ll find what you’ve been looking for in the Simmons Beautyrest Pima Cotton Extra Firm Pillow. Filled with NaturesLoft® fiber, this pillow uses a down-alternative to achieve the ideal density. Complementing the firm fill, the design has a two-inch gusset that provides additional side support for the head and neck. To make sure you sleep soundly on a soft surface, the pillow is made with a 100% hypoallergenic pima cotton cover and comes in three different sizes. Compared to down and foam options, this choice is a great value at $50 for a set of two standard size pillows.
Because this pillow is known for its firmness, it tends to feel too thick and tall for some sleepers. While it won’t lose it shape after use, it also doesn’t ‘break in’ as other down-alternative pillows do. For some customers, this pillow is not firm enough. However, this largely depends on what pillow you’re using. If you’re transitioning from a soft down pillow to something firmer, this design is going to feel tough. On the other hand, a people coming from a solid memory foam pillow may think the Simmons Beautyrest Pillow is too soft at first. As with all pillows, it can take a few days to adjust to a new design, so many sure you give yourself enough time to make a decision.
Searching for a firm pillow that is durable, soft, and firm seems like an impossible task. Fortunately, the Simmons Beautyrest Pima Cotton Extra Firm Pillow is able to fulfill the needs of picky sleepers. Firmer than a down pillow but offering a soft touch memory foam can’t always provide, this pillow is the best firm pillow you’re likely to find on the market.
Whether you live in a warm climate or turn into a heater as soon as you hit the mattress, there are many reasons to get a pillow with cooling properties. Studies show that sleeping in a cooler environment is better for entering a deep, restful sleep. Since opening the window or using thin sheets isn’t attractive to some, what better way to start than by keeping your head cool?
Cooling pillows are made of many different materials, from gel to aerated foam and beyond. While most manufacturers focus on creating a cooling pillow cover (see the bamboo pillow above), it’s often on the inside that matters most. When searching for a true cooling pillow, it’s best to consider what material is used for the fill. Undoubtedly, a foam pillow is going to absorb heat. There’s also a reason down is used as insulation in winter coats. While not all designs with foam and down are going to make your head sweat, it’s important to recognize aspects of the pillow that will help migrate the heat away from your face. To find the best cooling pillow, we looked through dozens of products, read reviews on The SweetHome and Amazon, and performed extensive research on the properties of pillow materials. See what we discovered as the best pick below.
Ditching traditional down filling, the Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow created a material that claims to adjust to the body’s changing temperature. This technology uses microscopic beads in the cover to absorb and redistribute heat when too warm, while retaining heat when they sense the body is too cool. The cover is also 100% cotton, making it soft and comfortable to sleep on. Inside, a visco-elastic memory foam sits in a gusseted design that makes it ideal for side sleepers. In one Amazon review, a customer places books on the top and side of the pillow to test for support. The books sink in less than halfway, showing it’s perfect for people who need a pillow that won’t fall flat during the night.
While the creators of the Iso-Cool Pillow claim the beads embedded in the design can react to the body temperature, customers didn’t feel significant changes in temperature when ‘too cool’. However, a large number of reviewers said the pillow is incredibly comfortable for side sleepers and that heat isn’t an issue with the design. Some find the pillow to be too supportive, which means a down-alternative or shredded memory foam cooling pillow may be a better option.
Overall, the Iso-Cool is known for its ability to distribute and remove heat—keeping the head cool for a better snooze. The specialized cooling beads embedded in the cover means your head will remain cool no matter how you shift throughout the night. If you need to get rid of nighttime sweats and are looking for support, this could be the best pillow for you.
As with all good things, choosing the perfect pillow can take a few test runs. Hopefully, this analysis helped shed some light on the best pillows for specific sleeping positions, materials, and functions. Before you buy, remember to look into warranties from the company and from the manufacturer. As we showed above, price doesn’t always make a difference in the quality of a pillow but understanding the materials and your sleeping preferences can make a huge difference. Whether your ideal pillow is made of memory foam or soft down, you’re off to a great start with this guide to the best pillows. Here’s to getting a great night’s sleep with the perfect pillow!
Last updated: April 23, 2018