Welcome to the redesigned SleepJudge! Click here to send us feedback

Best Soft Pillow Reviews

Updated July 15, 2019

Your sleep comfort is important to us here at The Sleep Judge, and what many people don’t realize is how influential their pillow choices are to their overall sleep health. When shopping for pillows you need to take into account more than just your personal preferences. Your sleep position, personal needs, and even mattress comfort choices should be taken into effect before choosing a pillow that compliments all of the above.

Soft pillows are often popular with a large range of sleepers due to how well they compress to provide spinal alignment for back and stomach sleepers. They are also liked due to how versatile they are for shaping to support the head and neck when in a side sleeping position as well as other body parts to alleviate pressure points. Because of this, The Sleep Judge Team has compiled a series of soft pillows that we have personally slept with and reviewed to provide you with some of our top-rated choices found below.

Back and Neck Alignment

When at rest you want to influence your body position to support your spinal alignment as much as possible. Not only is how well your head and neck supported a part of your overall comfort, but the added body strain of poor positioning can lead to restlessness and interrupted sleep. Over time this can lead to not only muscle aches and pain as your soft tissues are stressed to support your body correctly, but a lack of quality sleep can also begin to wear upon your overall health.

Your mental and physical function is highly dependent on how much sleep you get each night, and how well you sleep. Choosing the incorrect pillow can twist, raise, or lower your head more than what is considered healthy and creates tension in your cervical spine- the gateway of your central nervous system to your brain. When this area of your body becomes compromised, much more than just your sleep may be interrupted.

Sleep Position vs. Pillow Comfort

The natural position we fall into each night to sleep can occasionally be influenced, but what we do unconsciously is often difficult to change. Because of this, one of the most important considerations you need to think about when making a pillow choice is how you most naturally sleep. Pillow choices are not a one size fits all product, so use the following guide to help you determine what type of soft pillow may work best for your personal comfort:

— Back Sleep Position Needs

Thin, supportive pillows are the go-to for back sleepers in order to properly provide material between the shoulders and head to keep the neck at rest. It’s also important to provide a loft that keeps the head aligned with the neck, but it doesn’t lift it too high, or allow it to fall too far back – both of which can place strain on your shoulders, neck, and lower back.

Soft pillows that are filled with a support material can better conform to this area of your body, and also are often shapeable to use for additional neck support. These work well beneath the legs to take the stress away from the lower back region as well.

— Stomach Sleep Position Needs

This is not the best position to place your body in, but if you fall naturally into this posture each night, then it is important to find a pillow that provides the best support. Sleeping on your stomach will unfortunately always compromise your spine as you will need to turn your head from one side to another, placing a strain on your neck and your lower back.

Placing your head directly upon the mattress is often the best choice when in this position, but many people find they need a fluffy pillow for creature comforts or as a support due to where they place their arms. Soft pillows generally provide ample opportunity to allow for a lower head positioning as well as a place to rest your arms and hands through the night without disrupting your spinal alignment. They also are an excellent choice to place under your hips and shoulder regions to better help support your body in a more aligned posture.

— Side Sleep Position Needs

Higher lofted pillows with good contouring and support are the best choices for side sleepers since they need enough fill to keep the space between their head and neck supported. Often thicker, gusseted pillows are a preferred choice, but too firm a filling can sometimes keep from allowing your head to rest in alignment with the rest of your spine.

This is especially true for those who like to tuck their arm up under their head or have narrow shoulders. In these situations, a softer but well-filled pillow is a better choice as it will have more give and contouring than something more firm. Plus, softer pillows are often filled with more shapeable filling choices which allow you to create support where it is needed.

Some people love a pile of pillows on their bed, despite essentially only sleeping with one, or two, or three? Check this article about How Many Pillows Should Your Sleep With?

Why Would You Want a Softer Pillow?

If you are a stomach or back sleeper then a softer pillow may provide the alignment you need depending on the type of filling being used. Many of these pillows are also more on the thin side in order to better accommodate these positions, but it’s important to note that this may not always be the case. A soft pillow may be too soft for good back sleeping posture, but it also may be well filled to better accommodate a side sleeper.

Looking over the specifications of your soft pillow choices are important because of this. You especially don’t want to end up with a choice that is too thin and underfilled, if you need a good uplifting support. This is also true if you are in need of something thinner but end up with an overfilled, high loft.

Soft pillows generally have excellent contouring benefits and are good go-to choices when you need a surface to manipulate for comfort or even to provide an added layer of softness to an existing pillow.

Pillow Loft

When you hear the term loft applied to your pillow, what is actually being mentioned is how high the pillow sits when laid upon a flat surface. Loft is often confused with the firmness or softness of a pillow with people mistakenly believing a high loft equals a more firm surface and a low loft being softer. This isn’t true at all, and pillows of varying comforts can be found at almost any loft height.

What is important to pay attention to concerning loft though, is how it relates to the fill of the pillow. The material your pillow is filled with not only helps determine comfort level but also the amount of space left available when compressed. For example, natural fillings, such as goose down, will plump up and give the impression of a higher loft but compress much more easily into a flatter pillow when in use. A polyfill or polyfill-blend may give the impression of a more thin pillow, but it does hold up under applied weight to provide a more contouring surface.

Pillow Size and Care

The sleep industry offers a generally accepted standard of pillow sizes in order to best fit pillowcases or other types of bed coverings. Pillows often are available in 3 sizes, occasionally with variable differences between each. A good rule of thumb is to consider a standard size pillow to measure 20×26 inches with a queen and king-sized measuring 20×30 or -36 inches respectfully.

Standard and queen sized pillows are the most often purchased to both fit the size of the bed they are used with as well as to better accommodate a larger range of body sizes. King sized pillows are generally used only for decorative pillows on larger sized beds or for larger bodies, who have wide shoulders and need the extra support accommodations.

Pillows also only last around 18 months to 3 years, and it should be changed out as soon as they are unable to bounce back after being folded in half. Many are also washable, but be aware that some type of fillings can be damaged by machine washing and should only be spot cleaned or left out in the sun to help air it out and be exposed to UV rays which can help kill off allergens and bacteria.

What to Consider When Choosing a Soft Pillow

Soft pillows aren’t for everyone, and they most certainly also aren’t all made the same. Below we’ve outlined some of our top picks in the industry for you to review to determine which, if any, may fit your particular needs. But before you get started you may want to consider a few of the following in order to better determine what, exactly, your needs actually are.

What is your sleep position?

As mentioned, your sleep position is highly influential to your comfort level and should be a deciding factor in which types of pillows you are researching in order to influence a better night’s sleep. Soft pillows can be used for any type of sleep position depending upon their fill, loft, and comfort level- so be sure to understand the difference between fillings and how well they contour or support your body as well as what the loft is and how it behaves when compressed.

Do you have any allergies?

Softer pillows often use more natural fillings, such as goose down, feathers, or even kapok, a soft cotton-like material. Unfortunately, natural fillings may cause sensitivities in people who suffer from allergies. If you are unsure if you have allergies to certain fibers, you may want to find out for sure before you decide upon a pillow that uses these types of materials within the pillow fill.

Do you sleep warm?

Some materials provide better airflow than others. Because of this, you will want to look towards pillows that are constructed with natural fiber covers for good breathability as well as durable fillings that provide good airflow and structural support. Pillows that compress too much may also cut off airflow and may not be the best option.

Test your pillow age every 18 months to 2 years

As your pillow ages, it won’t provide the same amount of comfort as it once did when it was new. The filling may compress over time, and it becomes less supportive. This is often the reason why a pillow that once worked well no longer does. After about 18 months begin to regularly test your pillow by folding it in half. If it springs back to shape then you are still good to go., if not you may want to consider replacing it.

Our Top Soft Pillow Picks

We’ve purchased each of the following to try out on our own, and these are the ones that have made the grade, per se, concerning holding up to material quality and comfort claims. As a stomach and side sleeper myself, soft pillows are often my go-to in order to allow for proper spinal alignment. Each of the following picks allowed for various comfort positioning no matter whether you sleep on your back, stomach, or side.

#1. eLuxurySupply Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow


  • Filling: Goose/duck down and feathers
  • Loft: ~ 6 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach and Back sleepers
  • Warranty: 30-day returns

This luxury 80% goose/duck down and 20% feather filled pillow was created specifically to provide soft comfort to stomach sleepers. Natural down and feather fillings are popular due to their quality of strength and durability over the years. Also, these hold up to the weight of your body all while providing a soft underlying support.

All materials are gathered in a humane way and are subjected to sanitization in order to provide a wholly hypoallergenic filling. The 100% cotton, 230 thread count Cambric woven casing is also smooth and soft to the touch and provides excellent airflow through the pillow. Best of all is that the pillow is completely machine washable and dryable, and it is easily refreshed and plumped back up with a quick 10 minute run through the dryer once a month. This practice also helps remove dust mites or outside allergens that may have accumulated through use.


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


  • 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

This is an incredibly versatile pillow that although created specifically for stomach sleepers, it also supports many back sleepers as well due to how well it contours to your weight. Side sleepers may also find it comforting to layer upon another pillow or even shape to provide added support between the head and shoulders. Like most soft pillows, it serves well as support under the legs, hips, and between the knees to alleviate lower back stress and pressure points.

#2. WENERSI White Goose Feather and Down Pillow


  • Filling: Goose down and feathers
  • Loft: ~ 7 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back sleepers
  • Warranty: 30-day return

Filled with 5% goose down, and 95% micro feathers, this is an all natural comfort that provides excellent contouring for both head and neck support when in a back or side sleeping position depending on your body type and personal needs. The high amount of fill provides soft comfort without sacrificing any type of support and also shapes well for personal needs to alleviate pressure points or provide relief to your back or hips. The fill also redistributes well when you lay upon it and doesn’t loft up directly around your face.

The 100% cotton cover and double stitched, contrasting seams allow for good airflow to provide a cooler night’s sleep. This pair of pillows also come vacuum sealed but begins to fluff up almost immediately upon opening. With a little plumping, you quickly have a pliable, soft sleeping surface that allows for use in a variety of ways. Although it is not suggested to machine wash it, it can be plumped up in the dryer to help refresh it regularly.


  • Very contouring
  • Easy to shape for comfort
  • Great neck support


  • May be too plush, rather than soft, for some people
  • Cover may make a bit of noise

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

This is a very versatile pillow that is more specific to back sleepers but may work well with stomach sleepers depending on body shape as well as side sleepers- especially if they like to shape and fluff up their pillow. The overall pliability of the pillow showcases a high quality, durable product that is obviously made for specific comfort needs.

#3. Smart Home Bedding Super Plush Down Alternative Pillow


  • Filling: Polyfill
  • Loft: ~7.5 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Side sleepers
  • Warranty: 30-day returns

Filled with a hypoallergenic polyester filling, there are 25 ounces of microfiber in each pillow to provide a soft, pliable, yet supportive sleeping surface. Specifically created to provide soft comfort to side sleepers, the microfiber redistributes nicely to fill in the spaces between your head and neck to allow for an excellent comfort and allows your neck to relax into correct spinal alignment.

The 50% cotton, 50% poly blend cover breathes well and is soft and pliable, allowing the fill to move freely within it without bunching up. Although a slightly higher loft, a bit of a more supportive feel is noticeable with these pillows. The soft filling allows for excellent compression so it can be used for more than just a side sleeping pillow. It is also completely machine washable and dryable, with a stain resistant cover.


  • Great neck support
  • Compresses well for comfort
  • Fluffs well in dryer


  • May begin to flatten out with use
  • Slightly high loft

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

Although very soft, the high amount of filling included does make this pillow more of a soft choice for side sleepers rather than back and stomach sleepers. Larger bodies may find it comfortable for back sleeping, but it does raise the head a bit too much for proper positioning otherwise. Because it is so soft and easily compresses, it also is a great choice for body pressure point reduction as well as use for shoulder support.

#4. Layla Copper Infused Down Alternative Pillow


  • Filling: kapok and shredded memory foam
  • Loft: ~4 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and side sleepers
  • Warranty: 5 years prorated, 120-night trial

Filled with natural Kapok fibers and shredded memory foam, the feel of this pillow mimics plush down but is blended without the use of any animal byproducts. Kapok is a soft fiber found in the seed pods of the Kapok tree. Softer than cotton, and more airy than wool, it is an excellent material to blend with more supportive fibers to provide a light, soft, and airy sleeping surface.

The poly blend cover is infused with copper which helps add coolness and additional antimicrobial protection for your pillow. Plus, it is believed that copper helps produce positive ions that help promote health through support of your body’s blood flow. It’s also important to note that the cover is a very thick, plush, comforting feel. Completely machine washable and dryable, the pillow may take some time to dry, but with patience and fluffing between cycles, you should be able to get back to its original shape. Additionally, you can place it in the dryer to fluff and refresh at any time.


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


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

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

Side and back sleepers are going to benefit the most from this pillow. Although super plush and soft, the memory foam provides excellent underlying support that may be just a tad bit too high for most stomach sleepers. That same memory foam also makes this pillow wonderfully shapeable for added support under legs and hips as well.

#5. Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow


  • Filling: Down alternative polyfill
  • Loft: ~ 6 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Stomach and back sleepers
  • Warranty: 30 days

Available in multiple comfort choices, the softest of these pillows are made with stomach sleepers in mind- with the occasional back sleeper able to take full advantage of it as well. The alternative down filling is a fine polyfill that provides a lofty appearance, with a very malleable yet soft and durable pillow choice. These types of fills generally provide an excellent underlying support all while contouring and compressing under your weight to help with spinal alignment.

The cover is an Outlast fabric shell combined with a 100% cotton, 300 thread count cover- constructed to help pull heat from your body while you sleep as well as providing a soft surface. It is entirely machine washable and dryable without losing its soft feel or creating any sort of fill clumping.


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


  • Too soft for side sleepers
  • Needs plumping

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

Depending on the comfort level you choose to purchase, these pillows are available for back, stomach, and side sleeper. Occasionally a side sleeper feels the pillows could be a bit more firm- but much of this has to do with personal preference. The capability of these pillows also makes them an excellent choice for providing comfort where needed.

#6. Super Plush Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Pillow


  • Filling: Poly Fiber Gel
  • Loft: ~ 4 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and stomach sleepers
  • Warranty: 30-day satisfaction

This super plush pillow is an excellent thin, soft pillow that has the added comfort of a cooling effect due to the gel-infused poly fiber fill. Gel fiber materials have the ability to pull heat from surfaces they come in contact with through the process of heat transfer (no, not magic, just simple physics). This allows you to feel a cooling sensation if your body temperature is higher than the surface of the pillow. This polyfill is also durable and strong to provide excellent contouring without creating a bottoming out effect.

The 100% cotton, 240 thread count casing allows for excellent breathability as well- which adds to the cooling process. Soft, yet durable, the pillow shouldn’t be washed. Instead, dry cleaning is preferable, although spot cleaning and machine drying and fluffing are considered to be ok as long as it is low heat or air dry to keep from damaging the fibers.


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


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

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

Perfect for back sleepers, this pillow is soft enough to create a supportive cradle for the head and neck with excellent fill distribution under pressure. It also may be a good solution for stomach sleepers due to how thin it is. Due to the construction, self-proclaimed hot sleepers will also like how cool this pillow sleeps.

#7. The Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow


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

Filled with a shredded memory foam and soft polyfill filling, this pillow allows you the capabilities of adjusting your loft to create a unique and completely individualized sleep experience. This customized blend allows for soft, malleable comfort which can be shaped and formed to provide contouring and support where it is specifically needed. When the filling is removed, you can adjust the softness levels of this particular pillow to create your own customized comfort.

The natural eucalyptus wood pulp fiber blended casing is also thick and plush to the touch and is somewhat reminiscent of bamboo material blends in its feel and stretch. It is also strong, moisture wicking, and highly breathable- which allows for a free flow of air through your pillow and the many air pockets shredded memory foam provides. Although for spot clean only (including the cover), it is highly dirt resistant and wipes clean fairly easily.


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


  • Not washable
  • Slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

Anyone suffering from any sort of back or neck discomfort should take a closer look at this product as it does offer such a degree of customization. The soft fill that can be manipulated into a cushioning supportive loft or a more malleable thin cushion keeps its shape well and can aide in comfort for any sleeping position imaginable.

#8. The Pancake Pillow


  • Filling: Gel-infused, down alternative polyfill
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 30 days unused

This wholly unique design concept uses 6, two-inch pillow layers to create an adjustable pillow that can be measured as a very firm or incredibly soft comfort scale. The use of 2 to 3 polyfill layers creates the perfect soft yet supportive loft for stomach and back sleepers respectively, with its additional layers, added for side sleeping preferences. It is important to note that the more layers used, the more firm the pillow becomes due to the compressed state they are in when placed on the pillow cover.

The 100% cotton, 300 thread count casing is highly breathable and is also lined by a three-sided zipper for easy access and adjustability of your layers. The entire pillow is washable, and what’s more, depending on your preferences, you can actually create more than one pillow by using your own personal pillowcases to layer each pillow.


  • Great adjustability
  • Keeps shape well over time
  • Is very versatile


  • May take time to find the best comfort
  • Slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase This Pillow

Although any style of sleeper could find comfort with this pillow, in order for it to be the top soft choice pillow contender, it does have to have about 4 or fewer layers in use (preferably 2 to 3). Each layer is soft and pliable, and also keeps its shape well without lofting up too much with the help of the casing design. Plus, it sleeps incredibly cool due to the gel and cotton casing combination.


Soft pillow choices should be considered carefully in order to meet your specific needs. Just because they are considered soft, it does not mean they are thin or too flat to support your head and neck correctly in a side sleeping position. This is also true if you are looking for a thinner pillow, as not all soft choices are thin enough for proper stomach support.

Soft pillows are also very popular for their versatility and how well they can ease hip or back pain and provide an extra layer of cushioning to pressure points and other body parts. Because of this, you need to consider your specific needs and preferences and take the time to review your choices before making a final decision.