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Best Pillows

Updated November 5, 2020

Everyone loves a good pillow. Try to find someone who doesn’t. You’ll fail. Resting a weary head on a perfect puff of fluff is one of the great joys in life. After all, if you aren’t sleeping properly, it will negatively affect every other aspect of your life. A good pillow can often be the difference between a good night’s rest and a restless night. It’s one of the most important things that you own and yet, far too people actually take the significant responsibility of pillow shopping seriously.

There are so many different types of pillows out there and there’s no such thing as one pillow that fits all. There are different pillows for side sleepers, back sleepers, stomach sleepers. There are adjustable pillows, cooling pillows, and even firm pillows for anyone who dislikes that soft and fluffy feeling that many crave. There is a pillow for everyone out there, but that almost means that it’s easy to be paralyzed by choice. With so many different options available, how can anyone settle in on a single pillow?

It’s possible to find your perfect pillow, but it’s wise to get a little help in order to do so. That’s where our Sleep Judge pillow experts come in. We’ve done the legwork. We’ve tried all the pillows. We know what you need and now, you can benefit from all of our expertise. Below, you’ll find a list of the finest pillows on the market. Bellow that, you’ll find a definitive guide to pillow shopping that will ease you through the process. In other words, by the end of this article you’ll feel empowered by pillow expertise and will be ready to bring home the pillow that you deserve.

Rank Product
#1

Coop Good Homes Premium Adjustable Pillow

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#2

AmazonBasics Down Alternative Bed Pillow For Stomach And Back Sleepers

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#3

Aeris Contour Pillow

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#4

Snuggle-Pedic Ultra Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

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#5

Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow

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Our Picks for Best Pillows

Best Overall Pillow — Coop Good Homes Premium Adjustable Pillow

Anyone seeking a pillow that will change the way that they think about their sleep comfort forever, owes themselves a Coop Good Homes Premium Adjustable Pillow. Filled with an almost unbelievably comfortable combination shredded memory foam and a microfiber clusters, this pillow allows you to adjust the amount of filling inside to ensure that you have the perfect loft to suit your personal sleep needs. The bamboo-rayon cover is breathable and machine washable. Cooling gel will keep your head cool. There’s really nothing negative that can be said about this pillow that truly will fit every sleeper.

Pros

  • Breathable cover.
  • Environmentally friendly filling.
  • Adjustable loft.
  • Cooling gel.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Personalized comfort.

Cons

  • Off-gassing will emit a strange smell for a few days after purchase.
  • Adjusting the loft can get a bit messy. Not something that you’ll want to do regularly.

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Best Pillow For Stomach And Back Sleepers — AmazonBasics Down Alternative Bed Pillow For Stomach And Back Sleepers

If your sleep preference is involves laying on your stomach or on your back, then the Down Alternative Bed Pillows from AmazonBasics should float your boat. Made entirely out of polyester, these pillows are both machine washable and hypoallergenic. Even though the word polyester suggests always conjures an image of cheap, sleazy, and uncomfortable ’70s leisure suits, times have changed and these pillows are incredibly comfortable. They have a soft density and limited loft that makes it ideal for stomach and back sleepers, who generally need a flatter pillow to get the right support for a comfortable night’s sleep. AmazonBasics also offers a gusseted version with a higher raise for side sleepers, but for stomach and back folks out there, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Pros

  • Soft filling and limited loft ideal for back and stomach sleepers.
  • Hypoallergenic filling.
  • Machine washable.
  • Personalized comfort.

Cons

  • Off-gassing will emit a strange smell for a few days after purchase.

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Best Pillow For Side Sleepers — Aeris Contour Pillow

This pillow is quite comfortable under just about any circumstances, but is particularly comfy for side sleepers (especially those suffering from neck pain). The Aeris contour pillow is specifically designed to reduce pressure from back and neck muscles during sleep. If fact, the ergonomic design looks quite different from usual pillows and while it might not appear as fluffy and comfortable as typical pillows, looks can be deceiving. That odd shape will cradle side sleepers throughout the night and provide a rest that you’ll never forget. Throw in a ventilated cover that provides excellent airflow and a machine washable case and you’ve got pillow as practical as it is comfortable. Side sleepers need never even consider another pillow ever again.

Pros

  • Specialized ergonomic specially designed to relieve pressure and pain for side sleepers.
  • Ventilation holes in cover provide a cooling effect.
  • Machine washable cover.

Cons

  • Off-gassing will emit a strange smell for a few days after purchase.

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Best Cooling Pillow — Snuggle-Pedic Ultra Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

You know that satisfyingly cool feeling you get from a fresh pillow at the start of a night? The one that inevitably goes away after your warm head rests on the pillow for a few hours? What if it didn’t dissipate over the night? What if you could enjoy that soothing cool sensation all night long? That’s what you’ll get with the adorably titled Snuggle-Pedic Ultra Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory-Foam Pillow. Thanks to a filling made from a mixture of polyester, bamboo, and lycra, these pillows will never overheat. They are also hypoallergenic, washing machine safe, durable, and available in multiple sizes to suit any sleeper. In other words, if you’re looking for a cooling pillow, there’s no point in even considering an alternative. You just found it.

Pros

  • Specialized hypoallergenic and cooling filling.
  • Available in three sizes to suit a variety of sleepers.
  • Machine washable cover.

Cons

  • Off-gassing will emit a strange smell for a few days after purchase.

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Best Firm Pillow — Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow

A firm pillow might sound like a contradiction in terms, but it’s actually a style of pillow that many sleepers prefer. Not everyone enjoys a ball of fluff to sink into. Some seek a little more support when they rest their weary heads. The Utopia Bedding Gusseted Pillow is an ideal choice for these sleepers. The plush filling is easily to shape for any personal sleep need and it’s only sold in packs of two, offering a variety of sleep options for anyone who decides to buy this option. An ideal choice for all of the firm pillow lovers out there.

Pros

  • Ideal alternative for anyone who dislikes overly soft pillows.
  • Easy to shape the pillow to fit your preferences.
  • Receive two pillows in a set for one fair price.
  • Machine washable cover.

Cons

  • Off-gassing will emit a strange smell for a few days after purchase.
  • Dark edges will show through most pillowcases.

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Things To Look Out For

Here are some things to consider when choosing which pillow is right for you.

What Type Of Sleeper Are You?

There’s a good chance that you’ve never considered what type of sleeper you are. After all, you’re not exactly conscious while sleeping and probably aren’t aware of your position. However, when buying a pillow, this is quite an important factor to consider. If you sleep on your stomach, you would benefit from a different type of support and pillow structure than if you sleep on your back or side. So, it’s worth figuring out your optimal sleep position and then researching which pillows are best suited to that sleep style. You’ll notice the difference immediately.

Don’t Forget The Filling

It’s of course also worth looking into what filling is in your pillow as that will play a major role in the comfort and support that you can expect to receive. While there are certainly other options, there are three main types of pillow filling that you’ll encounter most often: down, memory foam, and down alternative. Down pillows are typically the most pricey and supportive. Memory foam pillows are the easiest to maintain and most versatile. While down alternatives tend to be mid-range in all attributes. Which filling that you ultimately choose will depend on your personal comfort needs (and possibly allergies).

The Pillow Must Fit Your Bed

This might sound obvious, but it’s something that far too few people consider. Your pillow and bed must work in harmony for the best results. So, if you use a single bed, maybe a massive body pillow that stretches over the edges isn’t a good fit. Or if you have a double king bed, you may want to consider more than one pillow. It’s not that complicated of an issue to consider, but it’s easy to forget about and end up with a pillow that you regret. So don’t be that guy and remember to keep this in mind.

Pillow Support

Not all pillows support in the same way. Some people might need a special type of support from their pillow to compensate for a pre-existing condition or recent injury. If that’s the case for you, make sure to consult with a doctor before pillow shopping. There are plenty of pillows that are specially designed to meet special needs. So make sure to find out if one of those pillows is best for you before starting pillow shopping.  

Special Features

In addition to certain pillows offering special features to compensate for medical need, there are also pillows designed with special properties that you might find appealing. For example, some pillows offering cooling properties so that you always feel that you have the cool side of the pillow. Others offer an adjustable firmness that can be changed to fit your needs. So, if you’re looking for more than just a regular old pillow, take the time to research the specialty pillows available on the market.

Don’t Forget About Maintenance

A pillow is something that you’re going to use every day and probably sweat and/or drool into. As a result, you’re going to have to clean the thing and you’re going to want to clean it regularly. As a result, you should look into what your potential pillow requires for maintenance and ensure that you can keep up. Not all pillows are safe to throw in the washing machine. So, if that’s a requirement make sure that you’re pillow is washing machine safe or learn how to embrace and long and slow process of hand washing/drying.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I machine wash or dry my pillow?

It depends on the pillow. In general, it might be best to treat your pillow a little more gently in the cleaning process, but that’s not true in every case. You’ll want to check the manufacturer of your pillow’s website to confirm before popping your pillow into the machine.

Will my pillow affect my allergies?

Again, it depends on the specific pillow as well as your allergies. Plenty of pillows are made out of materials that people are allergic to and it’s also possible for dust mites to fill some pillows and create new allergy problems. The best thing to do is carefully read the materials of any pillow before committing to buying it and then clean it regularly (a few times a year is all that is necessary). It’s also possible to get an allergy case to protect you from any potentially irritating filling. So, it all comes down to your personal needs and comfort level.

Can my choice of pillow affect my back pain?

Absolutely. The wrong pillow will throw off your spinal alignment throughout the night, which will in turn will create back problems. If you suffer from back pain, it’s important to consult with your doctor before pillow shopping to ensure you end up with the right one to suit your needs.

Does it matter which kind of pillowcase I use?

Of course! First of all, if you have allergies, you’ll have to be careful not to end up with a pillow that affects those. Beyond that, it’s most preferable to use a 100% cotton pillowcase or one made from another breathable fabric. Otherwise, your pillowcase might trap heat within your pillow and create an uncomfortable sleep experience.

Why do my pillows all turn yellow over time?

Because they are stained! Pillows will stain overtime from you sleeping on them every time. The most common culprit is sweat, but skincare products can also cause staining over time. The best way to avoid this is to wash your pillow a few times a year and wash your face before bed every night.