For those who have trouble getting comfy at night, a new pillow might help you rest with ease. There are multiple options, from memory foam to latex to cotton or down feathers, the selection is endless, and we're here to help you find the right choice for your needs.
You want to find a pillow with the right loft height for your particular sleep position because the ideal size for side sleepers and stomach sleepers could significantly differ.
We researched all the different materials, designs, and brands to provide you a cheat sheet on the pros and cons so you can easily find the best pillow. For all the details on choosing your pillow, check out our buyer's guide, or click through our favorite options and their highlights to make your pick.
10 Top Rated Pillows Comparison
|Nest Bedding Easy Breather|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Layla|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Coop Home Goods|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Purple|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Malouf|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|ComfyComfy|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|WENERSI Goose Down|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Naturepedic Organic Cotton/PLA Pillow|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|eLuxurySupply (Down Alternative)|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
Nest Bedding Easy Breather
- Two Material Choices: Latex or Foam
- Adjustable Loft
- Great Cooling and “Hug”
- No Smell or Off-Gassing
Nest Bedding recently introduced a new and revamped version of their Easy Breather pillow. This tried and true product has remained on our best list since its inception. There are many reasons to love this cushion, so you should find yourself enjoying it for years to come.
Why do we love it?
- Two material options:
- Noodle natural latex – Great moldability, classic feel, and an excellent cooling pillow. It comes with a cover made from organic cotton.
- Shredded memory foam – Slower response time, nice pressure relief, and contouring. It may feel a bit warmer but should provide superior pressure relief.
- Noodle natural latex – Great moldability, classic feel, and an excellent cooling pillow. It comes with a cover made from organic cotton.
- With both versions, you can adjust the height to your preference. There should be no smell or off-gassing at all.
- We think both side and back sleepers should sleep well on this pillow.
- Two Size Choices (Standard and King)
- Copper Cooling Technology
- CertiPur-US® Certified
Layla has integrated its copper cooling technology into the cover of this sleek pillow, which features both shredded memory foam and kapok fill. The memory foam fill also contains conductive copper, which works to regulate temperature, preventing overheating – a big plus for anyone who loves the memory feel but finds it can make them too warm.
The Layla comes in two sizes, Standard and King. The advantage of the shredded material inside is that you can shift it around to accommodate your sleeping position, making it ideal for back and side sleepers.
Why did it make our list?
- Kapok is unique because it is taken from fibers found in seed pods of the Kapok tree. These trees are mostly found throughout the rainforest and are pesticide and chemical-free.
- If you have allergies or prefer to use a pillow that does not include down, this could be the perfect hypoallergenic pillow you have been searching for.
Coop Home Goods
- Affordable Price Range
- Machine Washable Bamboo Cover
- Soft and Supportive
If you are looking for an affordable yet fantastic shredded memory foam pillow this product should be spot on. Like other products with this kind of filling, you can adjust it to your liking and almost flatten it completely if you prefer to sleep on your stomach.
Why do we love it?
- The cover is a machine-wash safe bamboo/polyester blend designed to regulate body temperature and has a plush, soft feel, keeping you cozy all night long.
- The Coop comes with two sizes options, Queen and King. While it’s recommended for back and side sleepers, the adjustable loft allows it to be an excellent option for stomach sleepers as well, as you can remove the memory foam fill to your liking. The customizable option makes this a great choice so you can create the perfect loft for your needs.
- Advanced Hyper-Elastic Material
- Responsive and Cool
- Inflatable Adjustable Loft
If you are familiar with Purple mattress technology, you will instantly notice the same grid with their pillow. The Hyper-Elastic polymer creates a cool surface with excellent support, response, and air circulation. It should conform nicely to the head and neck without losing its shape.
The pillow comes with an inflatable “booster” so you can adjust the height (loft), and can be easily removed if needed, providing a dynamic, customizable product able to cater to a variety of needs. The cover is constructed from polyester, bamboo viscose, and spandex. The pillow is also 100% machine-wash safe for those unexpected events.
Why did it make our list?
- The Purple should help those side and back sleepers who struggle with comfort find plush relief, helping with neck and spinal alignment.
- If you suffer from allergies and need something that’s made without memory foam or feathers, this is an excellent hypoallergenic product.
Malouf (Talalay Latex)
- 100% Natural Talalay Latex
- Fantastic Airflow and Cooling
- Soft Machine Washable Bamboo Cover
- Exceptional Head and Neck Support
Malouf is a premium manufacturer, and its latex pillow caught our attention with its unique latex core. It’s built from 100% Talalay latex without any synthetic additives. It’s constructed with larger and smaller holes to conform to your neck and head with ease and designed to provide better than average support. This design also helps with cooling, breathability, and airflow.
The cover is machine-wash safe and made from a blend of rayon from bamboo and polyester and feels soft.
Why do we love it?
- This particular model comes with several firmness levels (plush, medium, firm) and loft heights (low, medium, high). This means it should suit any sleeper style.
- If you want a customizable latex pillow at a fantastic value that cradles your head and provides above-average support, the Malouf is an excellent option.
- 100% Talalay Latex is known for its premier contouring and response capabilities and should keep you comfortable and supported.
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo
- Certipur Certified Memory Foam
- Hypoallergenic and Dust Mite resistant
- Organic Bamboo cover
- Multiple Sizes
The Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo is filled with shredded memory foam. It includes an external access point, allowing you to remove excess fill to adjust the loft for a perfect height easily. The cover is made from “Kool-Flow” material, and it’s intended to help with breathability and heat distribution.
Why did it make our list?
- You can wash the entire pillow in a machine washer, an excellent bonus for a household with children, letting you quickly tend to unexpected accidents or events without stress.
- This product is great for those who struggle with allergies, as the materials used are all hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
- We recommend this model for side and back sleepers due to its high loft. Overall, if you need a pillow with organic materials and filled with shredded memory foam, the Snuggle-Pedic’s price point creates an excellent value.
- Adjustable Loft
- Ideal for back or side sleepers
- Good breathability and temperature regulation
- USA Grown Buckwheat
This 100% USA-grown buckwheat pillow from ComfyComfy is an excellent option for those interested in American-made products and organic covers. The materials used in its design allow for superior cooling and airflow, as buckwheat husks do not retain heat. The loft is entirely customizable, as the pillow includes an external access point, letting users take out fill and replace it as they need— which could make it great for a guest bedroom as well.
What makes it special?
- The 3D design of the buckwheat hulls makes for an extremely breathable and cool option, making it a great choice for sleepers who run hot.
- This model comes with an organic cotton cover, made without fumigants, with a plush, soft surface. The cushion is machine washable to boot.
- A family-owned business makes this pillow in the USA.
WENERSI Goose Down
- Available in two sizes
- Firm or soft options
- 100 percent Egyptian cotton cover
Shoppers who enjoy the finer things in life should appreciate these high-quality goose down pillows from WENERSI. While the materials appeal to luxury-minded consumers, the price point is much cheaper than some other high-end alternatives.
The shell of these pillows features 100 percent Egyptian cotton, which should feel breathable and cool against your head.
Each pillow’s construction features 85 percent goose feather combined with 15 percent goose down blend that includes polyester to avoid any crunchy feathers. According to WENERSI, the European feathers and down are carefully screened and processed.
Why did we choose it?
- When shopping for bedding, it’s always helpful to have choices in order to find the products that cater best to your needs. The company provides this product in either a queen or king size. Additionally, shoppers can choose between either a firm pillow or a more plush option.
Naturepedic Organic Cotton
- 100% organic materials
- GOTS certified
- GREENGUARD certified
- USA made
Naturepedic builds all of its pillows with organic and safe materials, allowing buyers to sleep with ease, knowing that their families are sleeping on safe products. This particular pillow is made from cotton without any chemicals, petroleum, unpleasant smells or flame retardants.
It comes in three sizes allowing sleepers to pick one that caters to their needs. The product is created entirely in the United States, adhering to strict American manufacturing guidelines, as well as rigorous GOTS and GREENGUARD certification testing, meaning it’s made from safe materials conducive to a wide variety of safety regulations.
Why did it make our list?
- The naturepedic is an organic pillow, providing you a healthy product to rest your head.
- The product’s PLA batting is a luxurious fiber-based material that is non-toxic and made from 100% renewable resources.
- The PLA properties wick moisture away helping keep sleepers cool and comfortable all night long.
eLuxurySupply Down Alternative
- Lightweight Polyester fill
- Similar Feel to Traditional Down
- Good Value
The Revoloft pillow is filled with lightweight microfiber pillow fill and is designed to mimic the feel of traditional down feather pillows, making it a great choice if you enjoy the feel of conventional down cushions but have to resist due to allergies. This specific filling also implies it should be more durable than other “alternative” types of fills.
What makes it great?
- The 100% hypoallergenic construction makes it an excellent product for a wide variety of sleepers. Feathers can cause allergies and exacerbate existing ones, and they tend to attract dust mites.
- The pillow has a medium to a high-sized loft that should provide a suitable height for back and side sleepers, minimizing neck and back pain.
- This product is made entirely in the USA, adhering to strict manufacturing and factory guidelines. If you prefer to support domestic products, this is a great pillow made at home.
A Note on Pillow Sizes
Let’s discuss different sizes you will encounter when shopping for a new pillow. It wouldn’t make sense to purchase a King size for a toddler bed, right? Let’s take a look at these standard dimensions, but have in mind that some manufacturers have their own custom sizes.
|Standard||20" x 26"|
|Super Standard||20" x 28"|
|Queen||20" x 30"|
|King||20" x 36"|
|Euro||26" x 26" |
24" x 24"
22" x 22"
20" x 20"
18" x 18"
16" x 16"
|Body||54" x 20" |
48" x 20"
|Toddler||14" x 20"|
Best by Material and Type
Material plays an important role when it comes to comfort, feel and cooling properties of your pillow. There is no single “best pillow” type. Different sleeping preferences and needs will require different materials and structure. First, let’s take a look at various foams and then, we will take a look at natural and organic options.
Different Types of Foam
Polyurethane, memory foam, and latex pillows have become some of the most popular materials in the last 15 years or so for a variety of sleep positions. All of them offer fantastic support, contouring as well as cooling these days with higher-end pillows. They come in three most common shapes that have different properties.
- Shredded – The most notable feature is that these pillows are adjustable and you can change the loft height until you are satisfied. It’s also much more breathable than molded. Recommended for stomach sleepers.
- Molded – Offers great contouring and support and we recommend this shape of pillow for neck and back pain.
- Noodle – Similar to shredded memory foam when it comes to breathability, and you can also adjust it. Good for all sleeping positions.
For a reason, this material has become the favorite among people suffering from back or neck pain. It has a slower response time and good “hug” which means it will quickly contour to your neck and head, providing support where it’s most needed while relieving the main pressure points.
If we had to list one negative aspect, it’s that it may retain more heat than other materials. But, new and improved design with gel on top can solve this problem quickly.
You will usually find these pillows as shredded, molded or noodle foam (or sometimes a mix).
- Pressure relief
- Sleeps hot
- Stronger smell
Our Top Picks:
You will encounter two pillows, natural and synthetic latex (or a blend of these two). Natural latex is extracted from tree sap and is one of the most eco-friendly materials you can find. A blend is also a great option if you are looking for a less expensive pillow, and it still retains many qualities like hypoallergenic properties. Even though a latex pillow may cost more, fantastic cooling, durability and natural materials make it worthwhile.
Some pillows are a hybrid of latex and other materials, often only including a latex core with an outer shell of memory foam or other foam types.
- Eco Friendly
- Great Cooling
- More Expensive
- Less hug and contouring
- Malouf Z Talalay Latex
- NaturePedic Organic
When opting for polyfoam pillows, you will notice a more balanced feel compared to memory foam or latex pillows. It’s also the least expensive of the three. It’s often cooler than a memory foam pillow but not as cool as a latex pillow. While foam will still relieve pressure points, it may not be the best option for those with tender spots.
One thing to note is that it may have a stronger smell when it arrives and can be less durable. But, higher-tier custom poly-foam-based pillows offer all of the benefits with none of the cons, like our selected pillow for this category.
- Less Expensive (in general)
- Balanced feel
- Good cooling
- Odor (with lower tier pillows)
Alternative Pillow Types
Alternative pillows are created to provide a similar feel and features of natural materials at a much lower price. Obviously, the biggest downside is that these may not last as long.
Because many people suffer from allergies to down, manufacturers created an alternative that provides the same feel, but uses cotton or polyester as the main fill. If you are looking for better cooling, in some cases an alternative pillow may retain less heat than a natural down pillow, providing a much cooler sleep experience.
Some down alternatives also have adjustable pillow loft, which is recommended for stomach sleepers. If you love that soft down feel, but you suffer from allergies, try one of these, and you may love it.
- Less expensive
- Shorter Lifespan
- Not as natural
- The Duck And Goose Co
Polyester provides a more traditional feel like cotton does. Most pillows feature a polyester cover as it provides good cooling and is pretty inexpensive, but a big downside is that polyester fill has the lowest lifespan of all pillow fill types. These are often recognized as the universal hotel pillow that gets the job done but is nothing special.
You will notice that a polyester pillow may flatten easily and can be somewhat noisy. With all this being said, we do not recommend buying polyester filled pillows since there are many other natural options you can buy that provide a similar feel for the same amount of money.
Recommended Natural and Organic Pillow Types
Something worth noting is that organic pillows are always natural, but natural doesn’t always mean it’s organic. Let’s take a look at these examples:
- Wool, cotton, natural latex and down feathers are all extracted from plants or animals, meaning these materials are natural.
- Organic pillows must be certified. Each of these materials can be organic, but this means the whole manufacturing process and materials used do not contain pesticides or dangerous chemicals. These certifications are a must have for people suffering from allergies.
Check Out Our Guide: Highest-Rated Organic Pillows
Let’s take a look at different types and natural materials used as pillow filling.
These pillows are made from down feathers of ducks, geese or swans. They can be a mix of down (soft and fine feathers found under harder outside layer) and denser feathers if you want a firm pillow.
It’s typical for a down feather pillow to flatten after some time, that’s why they have greater loft at first, with a moderate firmness level. Keep in mind that you may need to dry clean them, which can be somewhat a disadvantage. If you tend to sleep hot, down is good until it flattens, then it may lose its ability to regulate heat.
For More Info: Top Down Pillows
- Nice and Soft feel
- Good breathability
- Difficult maintenance and cleaning
- More expensive
- Some people have down allergies
Adjustable pillows allow you to add or remove fill to your desired loft, allowing you to choose higher or lower density pillows. These dense pillows are packed with buckwheat hulls and have a high firmness level. They are among the best adjustable pillows for cooling due to low heat retention and they also make the list for the best down alternative pillow options.
The biggest downside is that the hulls can be quite noisy and unresponsive to movement, similar to a bean bag. This may not be the best option for you if you like to change your position a lot during the night or if you need targeted pressure point relief. One of the biggest advantages is that it’s hypoallergenic and it’s suitable for anyone suffering from allergies.
Have in mind that you cannot machine wash the hulls. You can either replace them or put them in the sun for a few hours.
Learn More: Highest Rated Buckwheat Pillows
- Great Cooling
- Natural and healthy material
- Difficult to clean
- Low response
Cotton is a natural material and can be manufactured as organic. It’s also hypoallergenic and has great breathability and cooling. You will find many pillows with an affordable price tag. With all these above mentions pros, we have to mention that cotton pillows may have a shorter lifespan and tend to flatten over time, though the firmness level may vary by the amount of fill you add. If you choose a suitable loft, you can use it for any sleeping position.
- Lower Price
- Sleeps Cool
- Shorter Lifespan
- May clump and flatten easily
Care and Maintenance
Pillows might not be the first thing you think of cleaning when it’s time to wash your sheets, but they can be hosts to dust mites, bed bugs, and lots of other critters you want nowhere near your face. It’s probably a good idea to clean them a few times a year, especially once you've found the best pillow for you.
To help your pillows last longer, we recommend using a pillow protector to prevent the oils of your skin from entering the pillow or causing stains. While some cotton pillows can be thrown directly in the washing machine and dryer, others like down feather pillows can be washed under special precautions and tumble dry without heat. It's important to always reference the manufacturer's care instructions.
If you have severe allergies, or pets that cause you to wash your cushions more frequently, it’s always a good idea to look at the manufacturer’s care label before treating your pillow or buying in the first place.
Get More Info: How to Wash Pillows
Top Choices by Sleeping Position
We all have a different sleeping style. Some of us like to sleep on the stomach while some are side sleepers and back sleepers, or a combination of a few. When it comes to your pillow choice, the sleep position will play a major role. For example, loft, density, and firmness level play a significant role in overall comfort and experience.
If you are not familiar what loft is, it’s the height of the pillow when it’s on a flat surface without any additional pressure applied. It’s useful to determine which type of sleeper you are and choose according to that.
Side sleepers may want to consider a adjustable loft pillow because you can set the height to your preference. This will allow perfect neck and spine alignment. As far as materials, shredded foam pillows (memory or latex) would be a much better choice because of their pressure point relief properties. But, if you want to go natural, you can pick goose down pillow and adjust it to your liking.
Keeping your neck and spine in healthy alignment is a priority for any back sleeper. You don’t want your head raised too much (even though some of us prefer that) or too flat against the mattress. However in most cases, low or medium loft is better for your neck than high loft if you sleep on your back.
Memory foam pillows or latex should be able to provide sustained support throughout the night in this arena. Heavier back sleepers might want to opt for couple degrees higher to compensate for increased head and shoulder weight, and may consider an adjustable loft pillow, like shredded memory foam or down feathers.
Stomach sleepers will require the least amount of loft. You could even sleep without a pillow if that’s what you prefer. The key here is that your head remains in alignment and that it’s not raised too high. If you combine high loft with a mattress with soft mattress, you will most likely suffer from back or neck pain in the long run.
We recommend going with a adjustable loft pillow, such as shredded memory foam pillows. Again, heavier people can opt for medium loft to compensate but you should never go for high.
In the last few years, quality cooling pillows have become very popular. We emphasize “quality” because many companies advertise their pillows as “cool,” but in reality, they may lack the qualifications.
Wondering how to choose the right pillow, material, and type? Let’s take a look at our graph here and see the cooling properties of different materials.
Here are three fantastic choices that utilize different technologies to achieve cool feel.
- Classic Brands – A layer of gel memory foam is applied on top, providing better heat distribution.
- Carboncool Pillow – Phase Change Covers help regulate the temperature along with aerated foam.
- Nest Bedding Active X – Filled with Energex foam which does not retain heat. It feels like a mix of latex and memory foam and also has phase change fabric for additional cooling properties.
Interested in exploring further? Check out our complete guide for cooling pillows here.
Best by Specific Medical Condition or Needs
If you suffer from neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain or even more chronic issues like snoring and sleep apnea, your pillow can be one of the causes and it can play an important role in minimizing the symptoms. Let’s take a look at various medical conditions and needs and how to choose a great pillow based on that.
Keep in mind that changing your pillow is only one of many treatment options for these conditions, and consulting your doctor can help you make the right choice moving forward.
Allergic reactions during sleep can often be caused by incorrect pillow type. Materials such as feather pillows may collect more dust mites and some people are directly allergic to it. On the other hand, latex, buckwheat, cotton and high-quality memory foam pillows are hypoallergenic and rarely cause allergies.
Our Tip: If you love that soft down feel, you can buy an alternative (usually made from cotton) and make sure that you place the pillow outside in the sun to kill off any mites.
Find Out More: Is My Pillow Toxic?
Snoring, as you know can be a big problem for your partner. But, there is a solution for that, and it’s not some complicated machine or a mouthpiece. In most cases of light snoring, it’s just a matter of finding the right pillow and head elevation.
Side sleepers and stomach sleepers will rarely snore anyway, so this is a back sleeper problem most of the time. If you're a back sleeper, slightly elevating your head is good, but it can cause neck pain in the long run. This is why we recommend a memory foam pillow more than any other option for this, to help your neck and head with pressure relief while it still helps with snoring.
Memory foam pillows may also help to reduce neck pain in some sleepers.
- InteVision Foam Wedge
- LANGRIA Anti Snore
One of the most common causes of neck pain is your mattress and old or improper pillows. Although there could be many underlying conditions, so it’s advised that you consult a doctor before making any decision. Many people make a mistake and do not consider their preferred sleeping position and weight, which could lead to further neck strain.
- Stomach sleepers require lower loft (almost flat) so that your neck doesn’t get curved.
- Side Sleepers need a contour pillow, curving from the base of the neck to the ear (slightly heightened).
- Back sleepers require medium loft with contouring toward the spine.
- Combination sleepers require a contoured pillow with medium loft that is preferably adjustable to accommodate all sleeping preferences.
As for types, a memory foam pillow will likely work wonders when it comes to pressure relief but if you prefer natural materials go for latex or down (if you are not allergic).
If you ever suffered from migraines, you know how deeply they can affect your sleep. Not only can they up to 72 hours, but it can severely impact your ability to perform even the simplest tasks. Migraines can be caused by a spasm of the main artery that supplies the brain with blood. When it contracts, it causes this familiar pain, pulsing, and nausea.
One indirect migraine cause is incorrect sleeping posture. In some cases you can correct this with an alternative pillow design to align your spine and neck naturally and to prevent any further nerve irritation.
Recommendations: The best pillows for migraines will include memory foam, latex or buckwheat pillows with good cooling properties that keep your spine and neck naturally aligned. These are coincidentally some of the best pillows for neck pain and back sleepers as well.
Pillows designed to help with obstructive sleep apnea force you to be a side sleeper or stomach sleeper while providing enough head and neck support to keep you aligned. As some of you may already know, sleeping on your back is not recommended for this condition as it can increase the number and occurrence of apnea episodes. If you have OSA, you may want to consider this alternative pillow.
We recommend: EnduriMed CPAP Pillow
Memory foam pillows like this one offer fantastic contouring while the indentations and shape allow for CPAP machines to remain in place without discomfort.
Looking for more info? Visit our in-depth guide for best sleep apnea pillows.
You might be wondering why toddlers can’t sleep on regular pillows. It’s only partly because a child doesn’t have the same neck and head proportions as a fully grown adult. There are several factors to keep in mind before choosing the best pillows for your toddler.
- Allergies – Many babies suffer from allergic reactions even though we don’t know it yet. If you want to be extra safe, choose a hypoallergenic material and pillow cover.
- Firmness – Toddlers will need a firm pillow. You likely don't want to buy a very soft pillow as it increases the risk of suffocation. Go with medium firm pillow options, most kids love it, and it’s safe. Additionally be careful with memory foam pillows that may become too soft with heat.
- Cover – Here, you may go organic if you prefer covers without dyes and harmful chemicals. Cotton or polyester blend is a good choice.
- Fill Material – A memory foam pillow is one of the most popular choices these days but may not be suitable for children under the age of three. If your child is not allergic, you could opt for a down feather firm pillow.
Pregnancy pillows are a special model of body pillow, shaped as U or C letter to allow maximum comfort during sleep without the added pressure to the stomach. Because many expectant moms are side sleepers, they may choose to continue to use it even after giving birth. Let’s take a look at a few buying considerations for this alternative pillow:
- Does it have a washable cover? – Most higher-end body pillows will have machine washable covers. You can imagine the stress of trying to clean them while still attached to the pillow.
- Size – Most brands don't offer multiple pillow sizes but keep in mind that if you have a petite body shape and choose a bigger pillow, you may not have the full comfort and experience of a body pillow that fits just right.
- Filling – If you are not allergic to down than feathers pillows are an option for some higher end body pillows. Memory foam pillows are an option too if you require a bit more support and contouring.
As you can see, there is no such thing as the “best pillow” that will suit everyone in any situation. We all have different needs, and in the end, it’s down to our personal preference. Different pillow fill and cover materials have different cooling, firmness levels and comfort properties. The definition of “best pillows” will be the products that fit your needs the best.
We hope that this roundup helped you understand which is the right pillow for your needs. Whether you're among the back and side sleepers, or you prefer your stomach, we've gone over the ultimate pillow brands and products you can buy from every category and for specific medical needs, but if you need any help or you would like us to review a certain pillow brand, feel free to drop a comment or contact us.