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If you're having trouble feeling comfortable at night, a new pillow could be all you need. With so many options, from memory foam to latex to cotton or down feathers, the selection is endless, but finding in the right choice to invest in can feel overwhelming.
You want to find a pillow with the right loft height that suits your sleep position. We researched all the different materials and types to present the pros and cons of each, so you can find the best pillow for your needs.
For all the details on how to choose your pillow, check out our buyer's guide, or just click through our favorite pillow options 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|
|eLuxurySupply (Hotel White Goose)|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Naturepedic Organic Cotton/PLA Pillow|| ||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|eLuxurySupply (Overfilled 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
- Made in the USA
Nest Bedding introduced a new and revamped version of their Easy Breather pillow recently. Since the day it was reviewed, it has remained a favorite on our best pillow list, even though we've reviewed a lot of products. There are many reasons to love it and, if you choose it, you may find yourself relying on it for a long time to come!
It comes with two material choices:
- Noodle natural latex – Great moldability, classic feel, and a fantastic 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 hotter but should provide superior pressure relief.
With both versions, you can adjust the height to your preference. There should be no smell or off-gassing at all, and it’s made in the United States. We think side and back sleepers should sleep well on this pillow. Do yourself a favor and try Easy Breather, it might just change your life.
- Two Size Choices (Standard and King)
- Copper Cooling Technology
- CertiPur-US® Certified
- Made in the USA
Layla has integrated its copper cooling technology into the cover of this sleek pillow, which features shredded memory foam fill and kapok fill. The memory foam fill also contains the conductive copper, so you will likely not find your head overheating – a big plus for anyone who loves the memory feel but finds it can make them too warm.
Kapok is unique because it is taken from fibers found in seed pods of the Kapok tree. The trees are mostly found throughout the rainforest, and it is pesticide and chemical-free.
If you have allergies or prefer to use a pillow that does not include down, this could be the hypoallergenic pillow you have been searching for. It comes in two sizes, Standard and King, and 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.
Coop Home Goods
- Affordable Price Range
- Machine Washable Bamboo Cover
- Soft and Supportive
- Made in the USA
If you are looking for an affordable yet fantastic shredded memory foam pillow this pillow is spot on for you. Like other products with this type of filling, you can adjust it to your liking and almost flatten it completely if you prefer to sleep on your stomach.
The cover is a machine washable bamboo/polyester blend designed to regulate body temperature. It also has a nice and soft feel to it.
Tip: If the pillow is going flat, just put it in the dryer for 10 minutes, and it will be nice and fluffy again.
It comes with two sizes options, Queen and King. We mainly recommend this pillow for back and side sleepers, however, its adjustable loft allows it to be a good option for stomach sleepers as well if you don't mind removing a little memory foam.
- Advanced Hyper-Elastic Material
- Responsive and Cool
- Inflatable Adjustable Loft
- USA based company
If you are familiar with Purple mattress technology, you will instantly notice the same grid with their pillow. The Hyper-Elastic polymer creates a very cool surface with good support, response, and air circulation. It should conform nicely to the head and neck without losing its shape.
It comes with an inflatable “booster” so you can adjust the height (loft). It can be easily removed if needed. The cover is constructed from polyester, bamboo viscose, and spandex. It’s also 100% machine washable as an added bonus.
You will love Purple pillow if you:
- You are a side or back sleeper
- Want something that’s not memory foam or feathers
- Want an exceptional cooling pillow
- Want a supportive pillow that conforms well
Malouf (Talalay Latex)
- 100% Natural Talalay Latex
- Fantastic Airflow and Cooling
- Soft Machine Washable Bamboo Cover
- Exceptional Head and Neck Support
- Great Value
- USA based company
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 perfectly and to provide better than average support. This design also helps with cooling, breathability, and airflow.
The cover is machine washable and made from a blend of rayon from bamboo and polyester. It feels very soft to touch.
This particular model comes with several firmness levels (plush, medium, firm) and loft heights (low, medium, high). This means it will fit any sleeper style.
If you want a customizable latex pillow at a fantastic value that cradles your head and provides above average support, you should consider Malouf.
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo
- Certipur Certified Memory Foam
- Hypoallergenic and Dust Mite resistant
- Organic Bamboo cover
- Multiple Sizes
- Made in the United States
This particular option caught our attention due to its fantastic reviews on Amazon. It seems better than higher-priced options on the market, and our analysis proves that's true. The pillow itself is filled with shredded memory foam so you can easily adjust it and find the perfect height. The cover is made from “Kool-Flow” material as they call it and it’s intended to help with breathability and heat distribution.
Another interesting feature is that you can wash the entire pillow in a machine washer, but it’s difficult to dry, especially during winter. You may also need to fluff it once in a while to get it back into the original shape.
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, there aren’t many options that can beat Snuggle-Pedic at this price range.
- Re-Distribute and Adjust the Loft
- Ideal for back or side sleepers
- Good breathability
- Organic Cotton Cover
- USA Grown Buckwheat
If you want to try something new, I would recommend this 100% USA grown buckwheat pillow from ComfyComfy (or ComfySleep). This type and material allow for much better cooling and airflow since buckwheat husks do not retain heat. But it also makes it a bit harder and not suitable for stomach sleepers, although for back and side sleeping it’s perfect and cradles to head and neck nicely. Of course, you can re-distribute the husks and adjust the loft however you like.
This model comes with an organic cotton cover. It provides a soft surface, and it’s machine washable.
Keep in mind that for active sleepers, buckwheat pillows may create noise that could disturb partners.
But, for anyone who would like to try something different and completely natural and organic, try Comfy, it’s one of the best out there.
eLuxurySupply (Goose Down)
- Very soft feel
- Machine washable and dryer friendly
- Multiple Sizes
- The USA made materials
I’ve slept on down pillows for most of my life, and I have to say nothing comes close to this model from eLuxurySupply. When you get your hands on it, you will notice it’s lightweight (2.7 pounds) and very soft. It has medium/high loft but it’s fluffy enough to mold to your head, and it will suit almost anyone. The cover is made from 100% cotton and is machine washable and dryer friendly, so maintenance is that much easier.
For anyone who wants a traditional down pillow feel that’s also durable and has a long lifespan, you would struggle to find a better option.
Naturepedic Organic Cotton
- 100% organic materials
- Balanced Feel
- Easy to clean
- No Flame Retardants
- The USA made components
Naturepedic builds all of its pillows with organic and safe materials, and we feel the company does this well. This particular pillow is made from cotton grown in the US without any chemicals or flame retardants. It comes in three sizes and a toddler and flat version. It has a very balanced feel to it, not too firm or soft.
In conclusion, if you want a homegrown organic pillow that’s easy to clean, has no smell or artificial dyes and chemicals and has a balanced feel to it, you won’t be disappointed with Naturepedic.
eLuxurySupply Down Alternative
- Lightweight Polyester fill
- Similar Feel to Traditional Down
- Good Value
- Made in the USA
The Revoloft pillow is filled with lightweight microfiber pillow fill (polyester), and it’s designed to mimic the feel of traditional down feather pillows. This makes it 100% hypoallergenic, unlike feathers who collect more dust mites and can cause allergies themselves. This type of polyester also means it’s more durable than other “alternative” types. The cover is very basic although it has a nice and soft feel to it. The loft is likely too high for most stomach sleeping, so we feel it’s more suited for back or side sleepers.
In the end, it's a budget-friendly option with a medium-high loft that’s also hypoallergenic. There is no better down alternative pillow than this.
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 important 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 type 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
If you opt 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.
Learn more: 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 feathers may need to be hand-washed 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.
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 pillow with adjustable loft 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 pillow with adjustable loft, 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.
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.
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 type 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.
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 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 type 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 type 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.