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Bedding • May 02, 2017
04

The Best Pillows For Every Sleeper

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Top Rated

Pillows by Sleeping Position

By Position

Pillows by Filling

Filling

Pillows by Use Case

Use case

No matter whether you're a back sleeper or side sleeper, prefer natural down or engineered memory foam, we've got pillow recommendations to suit your sleeping style.

We reviewed 12 popular bed pillows commonly available online. Analyzing a combined 30,000 customer comments we filtered and categorized them by sleeping position, use case or filling type. So, toss and turn no longer. Here are our picks for the best bed pillows of 2017.

Wamsutta Extra Firm Side Sleeper
Wamsutta Side Sleeper
4.5 star rating
88
% Recommended
Firmness
Extra firm
Best for...
Side sleepers
Price Range
$15 - $30
Filling
100% cotton
Wamsutta Side Sleeper
88
% Recommended
Check Price
Premier Down-like Personal Choice
Premier Down-like Personal Choice
4.5 star rating
86
% Recommended
Firmness
Medium
Best for...
Back sleepers
Price Range
$40 - $50
Filling
Cotton, polyfiber
Premier Down-like Personal Choice
86
% Recommended
Check Price
Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam
Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam
4.5 star rating
86
% Recommended
Firmness
Universal slim design
Best for...
Stomach sleepers
Price Range
$35 - $45
Filling
Memory foam, bamboo
Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam
86
% Recommended
Check Price
Casper Pillow
Casper Pillow
4 star rating
80
% Recommended
Firmness
Soft touch
Best for...
Combination sleepers
Price Range
$70 - $80
Filling
Coated fibers
Casper Pillow
80
% Recommended
Check Price

For most Americans, getting enough sleep is a daily struggle that many people face. One of the biggest issues is the quality of sleep, which means that even if you are sleeping for eight or more hours, you still might feel exhausted because you’re not getting rested enough during that time. 

While many different factors can affect one’s sleep, one of the most important is the pillow that you use. Most people don’t really think about their pillows and buy whatever is the softest or most comfortable at the time, but if you put some thought and research into it, then you can vastly improve your quality of sleep almost immediately. 

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the different ways we sleep and how finding the right pillow can make all the difference. If all goes well, you should be waking up well rested every morning without fail. 

We examined four pillows perfectly suited to which ever way you sleep: the Wamsutta Extra Firm (for side sleepers), the Premier Down-Like Personal Choice (for back sleepers), the Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam (for stomach sleepers) and the Casper Pillow (for combo sleepers).

Many people like to fall asleep on their side, but that can lead to problems if you’re not careful. 

The biggest issue that you face with side sleeping is that you create pressure points on your neck and legs due to the distance between your head and the mattress and your leg placement. Thus, it’s imperative that you get a pillow that can compensate for this and allow you to put your spine in its ideal alignment.

Usually, the biggest issue with finding a pillow is that you get one that creates a bend or kink in your spine. This then creates soreness and fatigue in your body which leads to lower quality sleep. Overall, you should have your whole body in proper alignment as you fall and stay asleep so that you can wake up feeling better than ever. 

What to look for

While we do advise that you get two pillows if you sleep on your side (one for your head and one for your knees), we’ll focus on your neck in this case.

To help make sure that your body is well aligned you need something that is a little firmer and thicker than most other pillows so as to bridge the gap between your head and the mattress. Because there is so much more space between the two than if you slept on your back or stomach, these pillows need to hold your head up better and not go flat after a few hours.

Side sleeper pillows

Overall, the best pillows for this position will have thicker materials inside and will conform to your head. When looking at any pillow, you should pay attention to the fill material and the pillow casing so as to make sure that you’re getting the right specifications for your sleep needs. In this case, something like memory foam or buckwheat will be an excellent choice as they can hold their shape better throughout the night. 

Gusseting

This is when you have an extra piece of material to add loft to the pillow and make it thicker overall. Whereas most pillows are tapered on all sides to make the whole thing narrower on the edges, a gusseted model will have a thick layer in between the top and the bottom to allow for a more stable structure that won’t go flat overnight.

This is a great option for side sleepers as it means that you don’t have to sleep in the center of the pillow to maintain the proper amount of loft. 

Wamsutta extra-firm review

When most people choose a pillow for sleeping on their sides, they will invariably pick something that lays too flat or doesn’t hold its shape throughout the night. The reason for that is because they are buying a pillow that is not designed specifically for side sleeping. Since most people sleep on their backs, most pillow makers create models for them. 

Thankfully, this Side Sleeper from Wamsutta is specifically designed for you. Let’s see what makes the difference. 

The first thing you’ll notice about this pillow is that it comes with a two-inch gusset around the edge. As we discussed, this means that you can get the same level of firmness along the whole pillow rather than just the middle. The other great thing about this model is that it uses a 300 thread count to provide soft comfort to your face and head as you sleep. 

The outside of the pillow is made of 100% cotton, which is both breathable and super soft against your skin. The inside is polyester to provide better support and allow the pillow to be machine washable without losing its shape or softness. 

Finally, this pillow also comes with a three-year limited warranty and is made in the USA for quality assurance and a reliability guarantee. 

A couple of drawbacks

When looking at what people are saying about this pillow, it seems that for some users the loft doesn’t hold up over time. While the pillow usually starts out by being extra firm, after a few months and washes through the spin cycle, it loses a lot of its firmness and winds up being rather flat. This doesn’t happen all the time, however, so it may be that the people who complain about it have heavier heads or are using it in such a way to create flat spots faster than usual. 

To help maintain the best loft, you should be rotating the pillow on a regular basis so that you aren’t putting too much pressure on a single point. This will help lengthen the pillow’s lifespan and ensure that you get the best support every night. 

Our verdict

Overall, this is an excellent pillow for side sleepers as it is specifically designed with them in mind. While other models can be modified to allow for better sleep on one’s side, this is perfectly shaped and filled to provide the best comfort without having to fold it over or double it up with other pillows.

As far as sleeping positions go, the vast majority of people prefer to sleep on their backs. Thankfully, this is usually the easiest way to ensure that your spine and body are in proper alignment as there is not a lot of distance between your head and the mattress. 

However, it is also incredibly easy to throw this alignment out of whack if you have a pillow that is too thick or too thin. Most people like to sleep on two pillows to have extra comfort, but if you like to sleep on your back, then this is a mistake.

Overall, you want something that has a bit more loft at the bottom and won’t cause your head to sink in too much. 

What to look for

When looking at pillows for back sleepers, it’s imperative that you find models that give just the right amount of cushion around your neck. If it’s too soft, then your head will sink in, and it will feel a bit claustrophobic as it presses against your ears and face. If it’s too hard, then it will throw your head too far forward and disrupt your alignment and lead to back or neck pain in the morning. 

Back sleeper pillow

The other thing to consider is that the pillow will flatten overnight, so even if it is slightly high as you fall asleep it should even out by the time you fall into deep sleep. The best pillow for back sleepers will have a soft upper loft and a thicker bottom loft to allow your head to sink in slightly while providing the best neck support. 

How to choose

Usually, when looking for this type of pillow, you should be paying the most attention to the fill as that will determine how much support you get around your neck. A popular option these days is to use memory foam that comes in an S shape because it will hug your neck while conforming to your head, allowing for maximum comfort and support. Down or synthetic pillows can also work, but those will usually flatten out too much over time and cause you to either double up or fold them in half. In either case, you are often adding too much loft which will lead to a kink in your neck. 

In the end, there is some debate about whether back sleepers should use one or two pillows, but we find that it doesn’t make much of a difference as long as your alignment is straight throughout the night. Two softer pillows can sometimes be a better choice, especially if you change positions throughout the evening. 

Our Premier down-like personal choice review

As we just mentioned, having two pillows can be more beneficial than just one, which is why this set of two Premier Down-Like Personal Choice Pillows from National Sleep Products is so excellent.

Overall, you get more support without putting your head too far forward, and you have options to adjust the thickness by removing a pillow or offsetting them for the best results. 

These pillows use a synthetic down substance to ensure that you get the same comfort as down without the risk of them going flat too soon.

The exterior is made of cotton for breathability and softness while the inside is a polyester blend to retain its shape better and allow you to wash them without damaging them.

Best of all, you can pick the level of firmness for these pillows so that you can utilize both of them at the same time or have one for yourself and your sleeping partner. 

A few drawbacks

As with any pillow, flatness is a huge issue, and it seems like these are not immune. Overall, the biggest complaint is that using two pillows can throw your head too far forward, which means that you need to get the right density to ensure that that doesn’t happen.

Most users seem to think that you have to use both simultaneously, but you can adjust as needed throughout the night. 

Our verdict

As far as soft pillows go, these are some of the best as they aren’t too big or too flat. Overall, they hold their shape rather well and provide excellent back support.

In the end, pick a density that works for you and stick to it and you should get a great night’s sleep with these pillows. 

There is some debate about whether or not sleeping on your stomach is right or wrong for your body. 

Some people claim that it’s terrible for your spinal alignment while others say that it reduces the overall pressure on your body and will result in a better night’s sleep.

No matter what anyone says, if you feel most comfortable on your stomach and you aren’t waking up with pain in your lower back as a result then go for it. 

The best sleep is in the position that makes the most sense for you, so don’t think that you have to sleep on your side or back because some “expert” said that sleeping on your stomach is bad for you. Unless you have constant pain or soreness, don’t worry about it. 

What to look for

Overall, because you’re putting your face much closer to the mattress, you don’t need as much support from your pillow. Also, most stomach sleepers use their arms as further support as they sleep, further necessitating a need for a thinner pillow. 

Usually, the best pillow for stomach sleepers is one that is soft to the touch and isn’t too firm. In this case, flatter can be better as you don’t want to have your neck bent too far back as you sleep as that can cause issues with your spine or alignment over time. 

Another thing to consider is using a body pillow instead of a standard model as that can provide better support for your whole body instead of just your neck and head. This is usually true of pregnant women who like to sleep on their sides or stomach as it provides extra cushioning. It’s something to think about if you are not getting the best sleep possible. 

How to choose

In this case, the most important factor that you should be looking at is the outside of the pillow. Because you are planting your face into it all night long, you want something that is breathable and cool and won’t get too hot overnight. This is particularly the case during the summertime as you don’t want to wake up in a pool of your own sweat. 

Another thing to consider is that you will be breathing and drooling into the pillow while you sleep, which means that it’s imperative that you can clean it on a regular basis. If you suffer from allergies or reactions to mold you need to watch out for any fungus or other bacteria that may grow on your pillow as a result of your face being on it all night. To that effect, having a hypoallergenic model is the best way to go. 

Our Xtreme Comforts review

As far as stomach sleeping goes, you cannot do much better than this model from Xtreme Comforts. We already talked about having something thin, soft, and hypoallergenic, and this particular model hits all three points perfectly to make the ideal trifecta.

If you love to sleep on your stomach, this is one of the best pillows you can have, hands down. Best of all, it’s environmentally friendly so you can feel even better about buying it. 

The inside of this pillow is shredded memory foam, which is perfect for stomach sleepers for a couple of reasons. First, you get the same support and comfort of standard memory foam, but you don’t have to worry about the heat and extra firmness that comes along with that. Because it’s shredded, you can adjust the fill to your liking, so it’s not too flat or lofty while you sleep. 

The other great benefit of using this pillow is that it uses micro-vented Kool Flow technology to allow for better breathability at night and it wicks away sweat, so you aren’t waking up in a heat daze during the evening. 

Finally, the fact that this unit is hypoallergenic is huge because mould and dust are a much bigger problem when you’re breathing right next to your pillow all night long. In this case, you don’t have to wash it as frequently (although it is machine washable) to avoid developing any breathing issues over time. 

A few drawbacks

When you look at reviews from stomach sleepers, there are not a whole lot of complaints about this pillow. Some people say that it can still get hot, but we think that that is a problem you may face with just about any pillow regardless of make or model. The real issue, however, is when people try to use this unit on their side or back and complain that it’s either too firm or not firm enough. Although the manufacturer does claim that this unit is ideal for side sleepers the fact is that it’s best for stomach sleeping and not much else. So, if you’re trying to use this for other purposes, you may be disappointed. 

Our verdict

Overall, this pillow is the best for anyone sleeping on their stomach, and there is not a whole lot else to say about that. 

So far, we’ve been looking at pillows that are geared for people who have a dominant sleeping position. But what if you change throughout the night? 

How can you be sure that you’re getting adequate support if you move from your back to your side to your stomach in the span of several hours? 

Well, in that case, you will need a combination pillow. 

These are designed to have a thin side and a thick side so that you can utilize it to your advantage as you switch positions while you sleep. 

Unfortunately, because each person has different needs regarding how much support is best, it can be difficult to find a combo pillow that will cater to you specifically. Nonetheless, the model we are about to see does provide some excellent features and benefits for most combination sleepers. 

What makes a good combination pillow?

Overall, the best combo pillows are the ones that allow you to move between positions seamlessly and without having to wake up to readjust too much. 

Pillow for combination sleepers

Realistically, you will still have to make some changes throughout the night, but the right combo pillow will either conform to your needs as you sleep or will make it so easy to adjust that you can do it with your eyes closed. In the end, you want something that can change firmness and loft at a moment’s notice and won’t flatten out quickly. 

How to choose

In this case, the most important aspect you should be thinking about with a combo pillow is the fill material. Because it has to be adjustable and maintain the right amount of loft regardless of your position you need something that is flexible but will hold its shape. As we mentioned, it can be difficult to find the right pillow because it’s hard to avoid flattening when you are changing the pillow’s shape so often throughout the night. Also, combo pillows can be more expensive if you want to ensure the best results. 

Our Casper pillow review

What makes this such a great model for combo sleepers? Well, the Casper Pillow is actually two pillows in one, that’s why. This unit has a smaller pillow inside of a larger one which allows you to customize its shape and loft without having it go flat over time. In fact, the design of this pillow is so unique and revolutionary that it might just become your best bedtime friend. 

The inner pillow is designed to be supportive but also flexible, almost like it’s filled with water. You can adjust how it feels throughout the night without losing loft, thereby ensuring that it will conform to your needs whether you’re on your stomach, side, or back. The outer pillow is soft and plush to provide extra comfort and breathability as you sleep, and because the cover has a gusset, you don’t need to worry about deflation over time. 

The other great thing about the Casper Pillow is that you can wash it over and over again without it losing consistency or performance. Also, the outer layer stays cool at night so even if you wind up on your stomach you won’t wake up in a puddle of sweat. Overall, this pillow has everything you need for a great night’s sleep. 

A few drawbacks

This is one of the more expensive pillows out there which might be prohibitive for some people. However, you are getting high-quality results so keep that in mind as well. If this is a pillow that can last longer than any other you get then the price should be worth it.

Also, the other biggest complaint about this model is that it can be hard to adjust. However, it can take a little bit of time to get used to the Pillow-in-pillow construction, so don’t think that you’ll get used to it overnight. Take some time to figure out how best to utilize the structure to your advantage. 

Our verdict

Overall, this is by far the best pillow for combination sleepers. If you toss and turn throughout the night, this model can help alleviate your discomfort and give you a better night’s sleep all the time.

When it comes to sleeping, nothing is as satisfying as having a soft and comfortable pillow.  Thus, it’s imperative that you pick out the best pillow for your needs. If you haven’t put a lot of thought into this before now, we strongly urge to start thinking about how it can impact your sleep. In fact, we have even compiled a list of the best pillows that you can find to help you drift off to dreamland faster and more comfortably. 

Don’t wake up without feeling your best every morning. Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will have found the perfect pillow, and you will notice a significant improvement in your sleep pattern. Happy sleeping!

So how can you measure the best pillow to have? Well, for our purposes, we’ve classified pillows into four different categories based on their material. As far as components go, having the right material for your pillow can make or break your sleep. The four materials are: down, memory foam, bamboo, and latex. Let’s see how each one can benefit you at night.

We looked at the top rated pillows for four different types of filling: the Parachute Down Pillow, the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Pillow, and the Latex Foam Pillow by Simmons Beautyrest.

Coming soon...

A Quick Recap
Pillow Filling Best for...
Wamsutta Firm 100% cotton Side sleepers
Premier Down-like Cotton, polyfiber Back sleepers
Xtreme Comforts Memory foam Stomach sleepers
Casper Pillow Coated fibers Combo sleepers