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Best Soft Pillow Reviews

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’re also well-liked due to how versatile they are for supporting 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’ve personally slept with and reviewed to provide you with some of our top-rated choices found below.

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 these things. We’ve purchased each of the following to try out on our own, and these are the ones that have made the cut. Each of the following picks allowed for various comfort positioning – no matter whether you sleep on your back, stomach, or side.

Rank Product Highlights Trial / Warranty
#1

 SlumberCloud Core Down Alternative Pillow

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  • Thin enough for many stomach sleepers
  • Feels cool
  • Very shapeable
  • 60-Night Trial
  • 180-Day Warranty
#2

Le’vista Pillows for Sleeping

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  • Great neck support
  • Compresses well for comfort
  • Fluffs well in dryer
  • 30 Day Warranty
#3

Adjustable Layla Pillow

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  • Sleeps cool
  • Copper infusion may promote health
  • Very soft and contouring
  • 120 Day Trial Period
  • 5 Year Warranty
#4

Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Filled Pillow

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  • Very cooling
  • Keeps its shape well
  • Soft comfort with good neck and head support
  • 30 Day Trial Period
  • 30 Day Warranty
#5

Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

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  • Fully adjustable
  • Excellent body support and contouring
  • Sleeps cool
  • 30 Night Trial Period
  • 2 Year Warranty
#6

The Pancake Pillow

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  • Great adjustability
  • Keeps shape well over time
  • Is very versatile
  • 30 Day Trial Period
  • 30 Day Warranty
#7

Tempur-Cloud Soft & Conforming Pillow

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  • Sleeps cool
  • Reduces neck pain
  • Maintains shape
  • 5 Year Warranty
#8

Casper Pillow

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  • Can be adjusted for thickness and support
  • Very cooling
  • Provides excellent neck support
  • 30 Day Trial Period
  • 1 Year Warranty

The Best Soft Pillows

1. Editor’s Choice – Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow

 

SPECS

  • Filling: Polyfill
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: Side and back sleepers
  • Warranty: 60-Night Trial, 180-Day Warranty

The SlumberCloud Core Down Alternative pillow is designed to absorb excess heat from your head as you sleep, using technology that manages your sleep microclimate. This is supposed to ensure that you get the ‘cool’ side of the pillow every time, and was originally designed by NASA for astronauts. As a result, the pillow provides a consistent cooling sensation through the night, depending on your ambient room climate. The Outlast fabric (which helps pull heat from your body) is effective and helps provide consistent comfort throughout the night.

This Slumber Cloud pillow is highly breathable and comfortable for more than one sleep style, but many of their choices are considered a bit soft by some people (fortunately, that won’t be a problem for anyone reading this list!). The 180-day hassle-free warranty also makes this a strong choice as it lets you give the pillow a trial run before deciding if it’s a great fit. This is an ideal option for anyone seeking a soft pillow to rest their weary head on.

Pros Cons
  • Very well made
  • Sleeps cool
  • Excellent customer service
  • Overall very soft pillows
  • Loft may rise around your face
  • Firm may be too firm

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2. Runner Up – Le’vista Pillows for Sleeping

SPECS

  • 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 excellent comfort, while also letting your neck fully 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 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’s also completely machine washable and dryable, with a stain-resistant cover.

Pros Cons
  • Great neck support
  • Compresses well for comfort
  • Fluffs well in dryer
  • May begin to flatten out with use
  • Slightly high loft

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3. Best Adjustable – Layla Copper Infused Down Alternative Pillow

 

SPECS

  • 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 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’s 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’s 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 and 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.

Pros Cons
  • Sleeps cool
  • Copper infusion may promote health
  • Very soft and contouring
  • Slight off-gassing
  • May be too firm for stomach sleepers

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4. Best for Hot Sleepers – Super Plush Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Pillow

SPECS

  • 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, this pillow shouldn’t be washed. Instead, dry cleaning is preferable, although spot cleaning, machine drying and fluffing are considered ok as long as it’s using low heat or air drying to keep from damaging the fibers.

Pros Cons
  • 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

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5. Best Shredded Memory Foam – The Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Shredded memory foam polyfill blend
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 30 Night Trial Period, 2 Year Warranty

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’s 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, somewhat reminiscent of bamboo material blends in its feel and stretch. It’s 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 it’s best to spot clean only (including the cover), it’s highly dirt-resistant and wipes will clean it fairly easily.

Pros Cons
  • Fully adjustable
  • Excellent body support and contouring
  • Sleeps cool
  • Not washable
  • Slight off-gassing

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6. Customer’s Choice – The Pancake Pillow

SPECS

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

This 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, with its additional layers added for side sleepers. It’s important to note that the more layers used, the more firm the pillow becomes due to their compressed state.

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 depending on your preferences, you can actually create more than one pillow by using your own personal pillowcases to layer each pillow.

Pros Cons
  • Great adjustability
  • Keeps shape well over time
  • Is very versatile
  • May take time to find the best comfort
  • Slight off-gassing

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7. Best for Neck Pain – Tempur-Cloud Soft & Conforming Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Memory foam
  • Loft: 6.5 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and side sleepers
  • Warranty: 5 years

Tempur-Pedic claims this is a back, side and stomach sleeping choice, but it definitely isn’t a good stomach sleeping choice from both a comfort and health standpoint. However, side and back sleepers will find this to be a comforting and satisfying option. The responsiveness of the memory foam is perfect for alleviating pressure points and providing some seriously comfortable contouring.

The cover is a really nice touch as well. The layered quilting provides a plush, cool surface to lay your head on if you don’t use your own pillowcase. Overall, the slightly squishy, slightly malleable, highly contouring foam provides an overall comfort that’s worth taking note of, since the comfort level it provides is very high.

Pros Cons
  • Sleeps cool
  • Reduces neck pain
  • Maintains shape
  • Memory foam may feel too solid for some
  • Slight offgassing

8. Best for Combo Sleepers – The Original Casper Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Polyester Microfiber Fill
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 30 day trial, 1 year warranty

The Casper Pillow can be easily manipulated, and the design seems to lend itself well to a wide variety of sleepers. It’s easy to adjust and manipulate, and although no pillow is a true one-size-fits-all, the unique design seems to be well-liked by a variety of  body shapes and sizes.

The pillow is extremely soft, and though it offers a supportive firmness underneath the plush exterior, it’s not considered a thick pillow. The shaping and construction of it definitely support folding and bunching for added height and firmness. Out of the box, this is a thinner plush pillow design.

Pros Cons
  • Can be adjusted for thickness and support
  • Very cooling
  • Provides excellent neck support
  • May be too soft for some body types
  • Requires regular fluffing and care

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Soft Pillow Buyers Guide

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 head and neck support a big 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 poor quality sleep which can begin to wear upon your overall health.

Your mental and physical functioning 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’s considered healthy, which creates tension in your cervical spine. When this area of your body becomes compromised, much more than just your sleep may be interrupted.

Sleep Position vs. Pillow Comfort

The natural sleeping position we fall into each night 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. Pillows aren’t a one-size-fits-all, 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 to properly provide support between the shoulders and head to keep the neck at rest. It’s also important to offer enough loft to keep the head aligned with the neck, but that won’t lift it too high, or allow it to fall too far back. Both of these 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 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

Sleeping on your stomach will unfortunately always compromise your spine, as you’ll need to turn your head from one side to another, placing a strain on your neck and 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 through the night without disrupting your spinal alignment. They’re also an excellent choice to place under your hips and shoulders to better support your body’s natural alignment.

— 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 arms up under their heads, or those with narrow shoulders. In these situations, a softer but well-filled pillow is a better choice, as it’ll have more give and contouring than firmer options. Plus, softer pillows are often filled with shapeable filling choices which allow you to create support where it’s needed.

Why Would You Want a Softer Pillow?

If you’re a stomach or back sleeper, a softer pillow may provide the alignment you need depending on the type of filling used. Many of these pillows are also more on the thin side 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 don’t want to end up with a choice that is too thin and underfilled if you need good, uplifting support. This is also true if you’re 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’s 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.

Concerning loft, what’s important to consider is how it relates to the fill of the pillow. The material your pillow is filled with not only helps determine its 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 will 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.

What to Consider When Choosing a Soft Pillow

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 on their fill, loft and comfort level. Be sure to understand the difference between fillings and how well they contour or support your body, as well as their loft and how the pillow behaves when compressed.

Do you have any allergies?

Softer pillows often use more natural fillings such as goose down, feathers or even kapok. Unfortunately, natural fillings may cause sensitivities in people who suffer from allergies. If you’re unsure if you have allergies to certain fibers, you may want to find out for sure before you decide on a pillow that uses these materials in the pillow’s fill.

Do you sleep warm?

Some materials provide better airflow than others. Because of this, you’ll want to look at pillows that are constructed with natural fiber covers for good breathability, as well as durable fillings that provide enough airflow and structural support. Pillows that compress too easily 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’re good to go. If not, you may want to consider replacing it.

Conclusion

Soft pillow choices should be considered carefully in order to meet your specific needs. Just because they’re considered soft, it doesn’t mean that they’re thin or too flat to support your head and neck correctly in a side sleeping position. This is also true if you’re 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 to provide an extra layer of cushioning to pressure points. 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.

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Are soft pillows any good?

Yes, soft pillows are a good option for various types of sleepers. They are especially popular amongst side and stomach sleepers. The ability of a soft pillow to compress and conform allows for spinal alignment that is crucial to a good night’s sleep. These pillows are highly versatile and can be used to relieve pressure points in the neck while sleeping in the side position or other areas of the body. When placed between the legs, they can destress the lower back and when placed under the hip, they can be used for additional support to align the body. Be sure to take into consideration the pillow loft and material before deciding if a soft pillow is good for you or not. A soft pillow doesn’t necessarily mean it will be thin or thick and based on your needs, you may prefer something with less or more fill.

Is a soft or firm pillow better?

When choosing a pillow, it’s important to take into consideration not just your personal preference but also your sleeping position, mattress, posture needs, body weight, and any injuries or pains. A soft pillow works well for stomach sleepers because of their conforming ability. Whereas, a firm pillow is ideal for back sleepers who need support. You will want to carefully consider both types of pillows and the loft before determining which works better for you.

What is the best soft pillow?

Our pick for the best overall soft pillow on the market is the Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow, which we've personally tried and tested and has had many raving reviews by customers. While its price point is a little steeper than others, you can't look past the great reputation of the Slumber Cloud brand.