Best Pillow Reviews: Our Personal Top Comfort Picks

by | Pillows | 0 comments

The amount of attention the sleep industry receives surrounding personal sleep comfort is often focused on mattress choices, but what many people don’t realize is how crucial their pillow choices are to a healthy, productive night’s rest.

Because of this, The Sleep Judge Team has set out to discover some of the top rated pillows concerning the many varied needs associated with sleep positions and personal preference to help provide you with a list of top pillow picks. These picks are all chosen from our own personal experiences with each pillow to provide unbiased, honest reviews surrounding why, exactly, they are found at the top of each list.

Best Pillows Comparison Table

Pillows
More Details
Warranty
Purple Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Hyper-elastic Polymer
  • Comfort: Medium-firm
  • Comfort Positions: Back-Side adjustability

100 night sleep trial
Layla Copper Pillow


  • Filling: Kapok and Shredded memory foam
  • Comfort: Soft/Plush
  • Comfort Positions: Back and side sleepers

5 years prorated, 120-night trial
Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Down alternative polyfill
  • Comfort: Soft/Thin
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach and back sleepers

30 days
Sleep Restoration Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Poly Fiber Gel
  • Comfort: Soft/medium-thin
  • Comfort Positions: Back and combo sleepers

30-day satisfaction
Nest Bedding Easy Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Shredded Memory Foam polyfill blend
  • Comfort: Soft/Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All

100 night trial period
Bluewave Bedding Gel-Infused Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Memory Foam
  • Loft: Firm/Thin
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach/Back

30 Day
GhostPillow Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Memory Foam
  • Comfort: Medium Firm
  • Comfort Positions: Side/Back

100-night sleep trial, 5-year warranty
Beautyrest Extra Firm Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Poly Fiberfill
  • Comfort: Firm
  • Comfort Positions: Side

30-day returns
eLuxurySupply Pillow


  • Filling: Goose/duck down and feathers
  • Comfort: Soft/thin
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach

30-day returns
Tempur-Cloud Breeze Pillow


Read Our Review

  • Filling: Memory Foam
  • Comfort: Firm
  • Comfort Positions: Side

5 year

Back and Neck Alignment

How well your head and neck are supported each night is directly related to your spinal health. Poor positioning can lead to body aches and pains due to muscle strain, and often leads to restless and interrupted sleep. This disruption can play havoc with both your mental and physical health rather quickly and can have detrimental effects on your well-being over time.

Quality pillow choices, combined with the correct pillow type, can help support cervical spine health- the gateway between your brain and central nervous system. Your whole body is dependent upon this process, and if you compromise it night after night with poor product choices, much more than just your sleep may become interrupted.

Sleep Position vs. Pillow Comfort

How we sleep naturally determines which sort of mattress and pillow combination we need to support our bodies. Many people purchase pillows solely on what they THINK they need, and not what is best for body support just because it feels soft or looks thick and supportive. These are not good determining factors when choosing a pillow that works best for your body type. Rather, when starting out which pillow you need, you first need to understand your sleep position and what it needs to be properly supported.

— Back Sleep Position Needs

Sleeping on your back requires your neck and head to be kept in alignment with your spine. A thin yet supportive pillow that holds your head level with your shoulders, and fills the space between your head and shoulders is exactly what you should be searching for. If your head is lifted to high or is allowed to fall back, the strain will be caused along your shoulders and through your neck. You also will add stress to your lower back.

— Stomach Sleep Position Needs

This is the absolute worst position to sleep in, but one cannot help what they fall into naturally. Since your head and neck will always be out of alignment when you sleep this way due to having to turn your head to one side or another, it is important to support what you can to reduce added strain and stress to your spinal column. Sleeping with your head flat upon the mattress is truly your best bet, but most people need a little extra padding – so a thin, soft pillow that allows your head to rest as flat as possible is what you should be focused on finding.

— Side Sleep Position Needs

This is the most common sleep position and is what most pillow manufacturers and bedding stores offer for sale. When you sleep on your side, you are placing a strain on your entire spinal column. The proper sleep surfaces are important to allow for pressure reduction to let your body naturally align itself while you rest. A thicker, supportive pillow needs to hold your head between your shoulders but also fill in the larger gap left by your neck. Gusseted, thicker pillow choices of various feel will work best for this situation.

Pillow Material Choices

Pillows are made with a variety of different materials that influence their quality and durability over time as well as personal comfort preferences. Many times materials are chosen specifically to provide differing comfort levels or to support specific claims such as cooling effects and washability.

• Fillings

What your pillow is filled with has much to do with how soft or firm a surface it creates. Many times it also supports good ventilation, cooling, or allergen relief as well.

Poly Fill

Polyfill is a synthetic polyester fiber that is used to create a faux down pillow feel or added support due to how strong and durable it is when under pressure. Typically, it is machine washable and dryable without compromising its integrity.

Down & Feather Blends

Down and feather blends are a traditional bedding fill and are popular due to how well it shapes and molds to your weight- all while providing a soft feel and decent underlying support. A good down and feather fill can last for many years and is considered high quality.

Memory Foam

Memory foam provides contouring comfort and usually a firmer support for thin pillow choices. It also can be shredded to allow for adjustability, contouring, shaping, and proper support.

Kapok

Kapok is a natural fiber that is extremely soft and airy, and it is often used with other materials (such as shredded memory foam) to achieve a soft yet supportive balance.

Gel

Gel layers and gel-infused poly-fiber are popular additions to many pillow fillings due to their conductive properties that help draw heat from surfaces that are warmer than they are- creating a cooling sensation.

• Covers

Pillow covers, although often covered by pillowcases, are important to the overall integrity and pillow claims. These material choices for many times determine the quality of an overall pillow as well due to their workmanship and attention to detail.

Thread Count

The thread count of a pillowcase is important as it can influence how well a pillow breathes. Contrary to popular belief, a low thread count is a desirable choice because this means the material is woven more loosely to allow for airflow without compromising the quality of the fabric materials. Good airflow allows for a cooler nights sleep.

Bamboo

Bamboo is a natural moisture wicking, breathable fiber that is often blended with a polyester to allow for a soft plush surface that breathes well. It is often seen with shredded memory foam filled pillows.

Cotton

Cotton is by far one of the most used and popular choices because of how well it naturally breathes and wicks moisture. It can be woven into various surface textures for differing comfort preferences.

Poly-Blends

Although synthetic in nature, polyester blends well with a variety of natural fibers to provide durability and good breathability when woven loosely enough.

Pillow Loft

Pillow loft is determined by how thick it is when laying on a flat surface. This is often typically misunderstood as many people mistakenly believe that a high loft equals to a firm pillow and vice versa. This is not always true, and in actuality, the filling and the amount of filling in a pillow better determine both loft and comfort level more than anything else.

Pillow Size and Care

There is a generally accepted standard pillow size in the industry to ensure that your pillowcase sizes do, in fact, match up with your pillow size. In general, you can expect to see 3 common sizes: standard, queen, and king sized pillow that measure 20x26, x30, and x36 inches respectively. Some companies do variate from this slightly, but for the most part, those changes are slight and will fit existing or future pillowcase sizes without any issue.

Most pillows only last on average between 18 months to 3 years before their filling and material begin to wear due to use and compression. Although some may last longer, a good rule of thumb is to test your pillow life regularly starting after 18 months of regular use to see if you should be replacing this important part of your sleep support. To do this, you can fold your pillow in half and see if it ‘bounces’ back to shape. If not, then you may want to consider replacing it.

What to Consider When Choosing a Pillow

As mentioned, there are many variables you need to consider when looking for a new pillow. Your personal preferences are important but are less needed than a supportive product that allows for proper body positioning. Below are a few questions you can ask yourself when looking at pillow options:

What is your sleep position?
  • Before choosing a pillow, you need to consider your sleep position and buy according to your body’s alignment needs. As described above, a back and stomach sleeper need a much thinner, possibly softer, pillow choice.
Do you have any allergies?
  • Occasionally, some people may have some issues surrounding allergens with more natural products. Although very detailed material care is included with each product, care should be taken to ensure you are getting a product that doesn’t create any issues.
Do you sleep warm?
  • Some pillows construction includes specific materials that are more conducive to a cooler nights’ sleep. If you sleep warm, looking into natural fibers, low thread-counts, and gel materials are definitely worth your time.

Our Top Pillow Picks

#1. Layla Copper Infused Down Alternative Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Kapok and shredded memory foam
  • Comfort: Soft/Plush
  • Comfort Positions: Back and side sleepers
  • Warranty: 5 years prorated, 120-night trial

Natural Kapok fibers and shredded memory foam help create a plush, shapeable down feel to this soft yet supportive pillow. Kapok is a soft fiber found within the seed pods of a Kapok tree. It is considered the softest natural fiber to be found and is considered the best material to blend for a customizable feel. The Layla Pillow uses it to provide a light, soft, and airy sleep surface.

The cover is a thick, quilted poly blend that is infused with copper threads for added coolness and microbial protection. Copper is supposed to promote blood flow and healing due to the production of positive ions. Plus, the pillow is wholly machine washable and dryable- making it a convenient choice.

R

Pros

  • Sleeps cool
  • Copper infusion may promote health
  • Very soft and contouring
Q

Cons

  • Slight off-gassing
  • May be too firm for stomach sleepers

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

This is a pillow made for side and back sleepers. Although a very soft feel, this pillow does have excellent underlying support due to the shredded memory. It is not adjustable and is a bit thick to allow for proper stomach contouring.

#2. Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Down alternative polyfill
  • Comfort: Soft/Thin
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach and back sleepers
  • Warranty: 30 days

The Slumber Cloud Cumulus is available in multiple comfort levels, but the softest of these pillows are made with stomach sleepers in mind. Although filled with an alternative down polyfill, it mimics the feel of a real down and feather blend very well to provide a shapeable, soft, durable pillow.

The 100% cotton Outlast Fabric shell has a 300 thread count construction to help pull heat from your body while you sleep and provide excellent breathability. The pillow is also machine washable and dryable, and it does not create any sort of fill matting as some cheaper polyfills do.

R

Pros

  • Thin enough for many stomach sleepers
  • Feels cool
  • Very shapeable
Q

Cons

  • Too soft for side sleepers
  • Needs plumping

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

The pillow we reviewed is specific to stomach sleepers and even to a lighter weight back sleeper. But depending on your purchase preference, there are thicker, firmer choices available. Because of how malleable the pillow is, it works well for folding or tucking under the back, hips, and even between the knees for further support.

#3. Super Plush Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Poly Fiber Gel
  • Comfort: Soft/medium-thin
  • Comfort Positions: Back and combo sleepers
  • Warranty: 30-day satisfaction

This is a super plush pillow that provides excellent give to your weight but still provides underlying support to keep your head from bottoming out. It also is filled with a gel-infused poly fiber fill that helps draw heat from your body and dissipates it away for a cooling sensation.

The smooth, luxurious feel to the case is due to it being 100% cotton, and the low thread count ensures good airflow as well as the proper use of gel technology. Because of this combination, the pillow is not washable and should only be dry cleaned. Air fluffing is considered alright for it as long as low heat or no heat is used in a tumble dry.

R

Pros

  • Very cooling
  • Keeps its shape well
  • Soft comfort with good neck and head support
Q

Cons

  • Too soft for side sleepers
  • Loft might be too high for stomach sleepers.

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

Perfect for back sleepers, the soft contouring cradles the head and allows for excellent neck support. Because of how thin it compresses, it may also be a decent stomach sleeping support although for larger, more broad shoulder bodies.

#4. The Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Shredded Memory Foam polyfill blend
  • Comfort: Soft/Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 100 night trial period

This fully adjustable pillow is filled with a shredded memory foam and soft polyfill blend to allow for complete customization. By removing or adding the fill, you can adjust the loft and the softness level to create a wholly individualized sleep experience. The pillow is also highly malleable and shapes easily for your specific comfort needs. The shredded memory foam provides contouring comfort while the material blend keeps your head feeling as if it is resting on a soft cloud.

The casing is a natural eucalyptus wood pulp fiber blend that is thick and stretchy. It is strong and moisture wicking, and it’s very breathable to allow for flow through the pillow along the many air pockets provided by the shredded memory foam. It is a spot clean only pillow but is highly dirt resistant and wipes clean easily.

R

Pros

  • Fully adjustable
  • Excellent body support and contouring
  • Sleeps cool
Q

Cons

  • Not washable
  • Slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

Back and neck discomfort may be somewhat alleviated by the adjustability of this pillow. The customization of comfort, along with the soft, manipulative fill is popular for all sleep positions and can be used as a support pillow as well for the back or hips.

#5. Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Memory Foam
  • Comfort: Firm/Thin
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach/Back
  • Warranty: 30 Day

The memory foam of this pillow is infused with a heat drawing gel to help provide a cooler night’s sleep. With only a 2.5 inch profile, this is a full 2 to 3 inches thinner than most other similar products on the market making it a popular stomach support pillow as it keeps your head only slightly above the surface of the mattress without bottoming out.

The soft, breathable bamboo blended cover is washable as well as naturally hypoallergenic to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. This protects the shaped pillow that boasts both a rounded and flat side to help provide further comfort choices as well as excellent pressure relief.

R

Pros

  • Good for back and stomach sleepers
  • Good for side sleepers that prop their arm beneath their head
  • Sleeps cool
Q

Cons

  • May be too firm
  • Not good for combo or side sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

This is a pillow made specifically for stomach sleepers as well as many back sleepers looking for proper head and neck placement through the night. The memory foam contours perfectly to your weight and keeps from bottoming out.

#6. GhostPillow Real-Time Cooling Aerated Gel Memory Foam Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Memory Foam
  • Comfort: Medium Firm
  • Comfort Positions: Side/Back
  • Warranty- 100-night sleep trial, 5-year warranty

New, innovative sleep products can be quite influential within the sleep industry, and The Ghostpillow Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow is exactly that. With a plush layer of responsive memory foam, it is infused with gel to absorb and dissipate body heat to help you sleep cooler.

The air pockets built into the foam also release a burst of air upon compression which is subtle but noticeable enough due to the cooling it aids in. The thick, quilted covering is completely washable and is so soft it could easily serve as a stand-alone casing to rest your head upon.

R

Pros

  • Absorbs and dissipates heat
  • Quick foam response time
  • Smells like lavender when opened
Q

Cons

  • May compress slightly over time
  • Fairly flat
  • May need a second pillow for side sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

This is a popular pillow for back sleepers and smaller bodied side sleepers. Many side sleepers like to layer the pillow upon another in order to take advantage of the cooling and comfort effects.

#7. Beautyrest Extra Firm Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Poly Fiberfill
  • Comfort: Firm
  • Comfort Positions: Side
  • Warranty: 30-day returns

This overstuffed, gusseted pillow is specific for contouring head and neck support. The 2 inch high gussets are reinforced to help keep the polyfill filling in place and well distributed under the weight of your body. The 400 thread count Pima cotton provides decent breathability and is soft and smooth to the touch, and it also provides a cooling sensation.

The high fill content provides a firm surface that responds well to weight to keep your head and neck in proper alignment. Plus, the pillow is machine washable and dryable making it a durable and long-lasting product.

R

Pros

  • High, contouring loft
  • Firm support
  • Excellent neck support
Q

Cons

  • May be too ‘springy’
  • May be too firm for back sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

This pillow was made specifically for side sleepers to provide excellent neck support, and all reviews seem to support these claims. Although not made for back sleepers, this pillow may work well for broader shoulder bodies in this position as well.

#8. eLuxurySupply Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Goose/duck down and feathers
  • Comfort: Soft/thin
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach
  • Warranty: 30-day returns

This is a luxury grade pillow made specifically for thinner, soft comfort. The 80% goose and duck down as well as the 20% micro-feather filled pillow is strong and durable, and is made to hold up for years to come. Natural feather and down blends are popular due to how long they last, and the soft underlying support it provides.

Incredibly shapeable, this is a great ‘squishy’ pillow that can be formed to work for whatever pressure point reduction or comfort you need it for. This pillow is also completely machine washable and dryable making it convenient as well. Although it shows a high loft upon initial glance, it does compress easily due to its slightly underfilled interior in order to make it a true thin choice.

R

Pros

  • Easy to shape for comfort
  • High quality and durable
  • True down and feather feel
Q

Cons

  • Cover makes a little bit of noise
  • Can loft up around your face
  • May not have enough fill for some sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

Made specifically for stomach sleepers, this is also an excellent choice for lighter back sleepers and works well for side sleepers if layered upon another pillow. It’s lightweight design and soft comfort makes it a definite favorite.

#9. Tempur-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Memory Foam
  • Comfort: Firm
  • Comfort Positions: Side
  • Warranty: 5 year

This Tempurpedic cooling design pillow was created to help answer the heat sinks memory foam is often associated with. This innovative design incorporates a gel layer upon breathable memory foam to contour your weight and provide a comforting night’s sleep.

Created with an ES (extra-soft) foam, the dual-sided gel pillow is usable on either side to create a plush yet supportive yield to fill the gap between your head and shoulders to allow for a truly restful experience. This innovative design has been popular enough to be one that is often used in competitive products, but this particular pillow very much stands above the rest.

R

Pros

  • Draws heat from your body
  • Washable protective casing
  • Memory foam contour head and neck
Q

Cons

  • May be too soft for side sleepers without an added pillow
  • Very heavy
  • Cooling may dissipate over time

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

Created for back sleep comfort, this is a pillow that may have some additional versatile comfort for back sleepers especially if used with a thin layering pillow. This is also an awesome choice for anyone who sleeps hot as the gel is very effective for drawing heat from the body.

#10. The Purple Pillow

Specs

  • Filling: Hyper-elastic Polymer
  • Comfort: Medium-firm
  • Comfort Positions: Back-Side adjustability
  • Warranty: 100 night sleep trial

The Purple Pillow is a unique design unlike anything else currently on the market. Instead of a traditional filling, it uses a hyper-elastic polymer to provide unparalleled support and contouring. In not only flexes to your weight and compression, the open celled design allows for consistent airflow and breathability to keep you sleeping at an ideal body temperature.

This is a completely adjustable pillow as well. It includes an air pillow that you can use within the unique casing to help raise the loft of your pillow to better fit the needs of a variety of sleepers, as well as personal preferences. This design takes a very different approach than other, more traditional designs, but it has become an increasingly popular pick due to the support it lends to sleepers suffering from neck and back pain.

R

Pros

  • Excellent airflow
  • Fully adjustable
  • No fluffing required
Q

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Awkward
  • Affected by ambient temperature

Who Should Purchase this Pillow

This is a pillow that may take some time getting used to, but it is well worth the patience and time it takes to find just the right feel. Focused more for back and side sleepers, the elastic polymer is heavy, yet extremely yielding and provides excellent pressure relief. It is made to hold your head and neck in alignment, and truly does work to help alleviate neck and back strain

Conclusion

Although there truly are many excellent pillow choices to meet the variable needs of your sleep positions and preferences, our top picks highlight the best of the best we have personally reviewed. Whether or not you need a thin pillow or thick, prefer soft or firm, hopefully, we’ve given you a selection above to help you get started in your search for the perfect nighttime comfort. If you have any questions about any of the above reviews or would like to know what else may be similar, please let us know below!

To support our work we earn a commission if you purchase through some of the links listed below at no additional cost to you. We may also review products we’ve received for free. This does not influence our opinions, but we believe in transparency so you can make informed choices. Read more here.