Whether you're a back, side, or stomach sleeper, finding the right bed pillow is key to a good night’s rest. The perfect pillow is personal and specific to each individual person's needs.
As you start your search, you should first consider your sleeping posture. "You simply need a roll behind the neck for support if you are a back sleeper," says Robert Hayden, DC, chiropractor and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association. "If you're a side sleeper, your pillow should have enough vertical height to keep your head level so you do not create stress points in the joints of the neck." He also points out that your pillow should be firm so when you roll from side to side, the height remains the same.
We tested and researched more than a dozen pillows based on their material, firmness, temperature control, and more to suit sleepers of all styles. Our top pick is the Snuggle-Pedic Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow, which can easily be adjusted to suit virtually any sleeping position. Discover which other pillows made our list of best picks for every sleeping position below.
Snuggle-Pedic Adjustable Memory Foam Pillows
Reduces pressure on the neck
Breathable and cooling
Includes extra memory foam fill
Pillow loft does need fluffing
Some expensive pillows are full of fluff (literally!) but not worth the price. That’s not the case with Snuggle-Pedic’s Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow, which has a slightly higher price tag but is well worth it. It's an especially comfortable pick for anyone who sweats or runs hot while sleeping. This pillow features Kool-Flow technology in its bamboo cover, which is designed to keep sleepers cool and sweat-free. In our testing, we noticed a slight change in temperature (4 degrees) after 15 minutes, but the coolness of the pillow never changed. The firmness supported our head and neck nicely, leading to a more relaxed sleep posture and less pressure on the neck.
The pillow, which has a memory foam outer layer and a zippered compartment with foam fill, comes with an additional bag of foam filling if you want to increase its firmness. You can choose shredded memory foam or gel-infused memory foam for your extra fill. And in our testing, we found that the adjustability is key in allowing this pillow to suit a range of needs.
Just keep in mind that after one month of testing, we found that we needed to fluff the pillow up every morning to maintain its loft; otherwise, it started to flatten over time. Overall, though, we're still highly pleased with the pillow's support for any sleep position.
Price at time of publish: $48 for a Standard
Sizes: Standard, queen, king | Fill Material: Memory foam | Cover Material: Bamboo viscose | Care: Machine-washable | Certifications: CertiPUR-US, GREENGUARD Gold
Rest Haven Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow Set of 2
Two pillows for one affordable price
Plush and fluffy
Molds to head nicely
Requires regular fluffing
The Rest Haven Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillows come in a pack of two for a reasonable price, and we think they’re a great budget-friendly alternative to more expensive shredded memory foam pillows. These pillows come vacuum-sealed and do need to be put in the dryer for several minutes before they’ll fluff up to their full height. But after that, we found them to be plush and comfortable, molding to one's head nicely throughout the night. We immediately noticed the crosshatch texture, which gave the pillows a more luxe look and feel. And although it’s not advertised as a cooling pillow, we were surprised to experience a consistently cool temperature.
These pillows come in standard, queen, and king sizes, but we did notice the standard size pillows are significantly smaller than your average pillow. They’re filled with CertiPUR-US shredded memory foam and wrapped in a polyester cover, and they can be machine-washed for easy maintenance. In our testing, we did note the frayed seams at the edge, which could possibly lead to tears over time and with steady washing.
After about a month of use, we found the pillow still held its shape well. Just take note we wish it molded to our head and neck more when asleep.
Price at time of publish: $19 for a pack of two (Standard)
Sizes: Standard, queen, king | Fill Material: Shredded memory foam | Cover Material: 100% polyester | Care: Machine-washable | Certifications: CertiPUR-US
Best Down Alternative
Amazon Basics Down-Alternative Pillows
Pillows retain shape
Great for stomach sleepers
Tight fit in most standard cases
Don’t let the wallet-friendly price of these pillows fool you. Amazon Basics pillows have a smooth microfiber exterior and are packed with just enough down alternative fill, making them a great choice for back or stomach sleepers. In our testing, we noted that the firmness provided support for neutral spine alignment and neck support. In addition to the comfortable feel, it was one of the pillows that maintained the most consistent temperature throughout the night.
We also noticed minimal shrinkage (just half an inch) when washing and drying the pillows according to the manufacturer's instructions, and additional fluffing was necessary. However, we also found the pillows kept their shape and offered support even after a month of use, making them nicely durable.
And when it comes to price, it's tough to top the value of this duo. Many individual pillows cost more than this set, which includes two pillows–so, for great value at a wallet-friendly price, these can’t be beat.
Price at time of publish: $37 for a pack of two (Standard)
Sizes: Standard, king | Fill Material: Down alternative | Cover Material: 100% polyester microfiber | Care: Machine-washable | Certifications: OEKO-TEX
Best for Side Sleepers
Coop Home Goods The Original Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow
Good balance of support and comfort
Extra fill included
Numerous safety certifications
Doesn't have a cooling feature
If you often find pillows to be too thick or too thin, you’ll like the Coop Home Goods Original Adjustable Pillow. It’s filled with a mixture of shredded memory foam and microfiber, which doesn’t feel lumpy under your head, and it has a side zipper that allows you to remove or add fill to suit your individual sleep preferences. In fact, it even comes with an additional half-pound bag of fill for those who like an overstuffed pillow.
In our testing, we found this pillow to be extremely comfortable yet supportive, especially for side sleepers. We tested Coop Home's pillow as a back and side sleeper, and we found the medium firmness to work the best. But this adjustable pillow can be adapted to work for back and stomach sleepers, too. For example, stomach sleepers might desire a softer feel, which is easy to achieve with the removal of some stuffing.
A pre- and post-wash of the cover saw no change in size, and there were no wrinkles to the cover, which was easy to place back over the pillow. This pillow is well-made, soft, and durable, and easily conforms to your sleeping style, ensuring a more restful night’s sleep. Plus, with such a comprehensive website and care instructions, you’ll be able to truly benefit from the pillow’s customization options. The materials are both CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified, too, and the product is backed by a five-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $72 for a Queen
Sizes: Queen, king | Fill Material: Shredded memory foam and microfiber | Cover Material: 60% polyester, 40% viscose rayon | Care: Machine-washable | Certifications: CertiPUR-US, GREENGUARD Gold
Saatva Latex Pillow
Ideal balance of support and comfort
45-day sleep trial
Some shrinkage after washing
After extensive testing, the Saatva Latex Pillow stood out as one well-constructed, highly supportive option. Its durability and support for sleepers of all types were standout features, and as an added perk, it's made with natural materials. This pillow features a shredded latex core that’s surrounded by plush microdenier fiber, all of which is wrapped in an organic cotton cover. It offers the perfect combination of support and comfort for multiple sleeping positions.
In our testing, we loved the way this pillow cradled our heads without being too squishy. Its slightly oversized form even makes it feel luxurious. That's partly thanks to the pillow's superior materials and construction. The shredded latex inside is hypoallergenic and doesn’t experience any off-gassing like foam, and the organic cotton shell features gusseted sides with elegant piping details that help the pillow keep its shape. The outer cover and fiber portion of the pillow can be machine-washed and dried, and we found that the pillow stayed at a comfortable temperature throughout the night.
Although the cover can be removed and washed, our tester recommends drying it on low, as there was slight shrinkage post-wash, which made placing the pillow back in the case slightly challenging. Even after a month of testing, we found the pillow still provided plenty of support and felt cool to the touch.
Price at time of publish: $165 for a Queen
Sizes: Queen, king | Fill Material: Shredded latex and microdenier fiber | Cover Material: 100% organic cotton | Care: Cover and fiber insert are machine-washable | Certifications: None listed
Boll & Branch Down Pillow
Multiple density and firmness options
30-night trial period
One problem with some down pillows is the feathers annoyingly and uncomfortably poking through, but luckily we didn’t experience that when we put Boll & Branch’s down pillow to the test. Another common issue with down pillows is the lack of support, but we were surprised to find a pillow with a higher amount of filling, sturdy construction, and even enough support for a side sleeper. If you've been disappointed by down in the past, this pillow will offer you better comfort and better all-night support no matter how you prefer to sleep.
The down filling inside this pillow is triple-washed and covered in 100 percent organic cotton. During testing, we experienced the medium-density pillow, but there’s also a soft and firm option for those who want less or more support, respectively. There’s no denying the higher price tag attached to this single pillow, so it’s probably a better solution for someone who’s tried a few other options and is clear on what specific pillow type they desire. The company’s 30-night trial also adds a bit of comfort knowing that you can make a return if necessary.
Price at time of publish: $158 for a soft Standard
Sizes: Standard, king | Fill Material: Triple-washed down | Cover Material: 100% organic cotton | Care: Machine-washable | Certifications: International Down Standard, OEKO-TEX
Best for All Sleep Types
Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
Draws heat away from body
Great for a range of sleepers
Can shrink with washing
Firm but soft, but not too soft, is how we would describe our experience with this pillow. Tuft & Needle’s Original Foam Pillow includes custom cut (not shredded) foam that offers support for side, back, or stomach sleepers. In our testing, we immediately observed that these pieces of foam have a cushy feel when you press on them, but they continue to maintain their shape with use and weight. The pillows molded to our heads without being smooshed down, and they still maintained sufficient head and neck support.
The pillow also contains another "cool" feature: graphite and a cooling gel that’s meant to pull body heat away. We noticed a near 10-degree increase after using the pillow for 15 minutes, but that difference wasn’t actually felt while lying on it. Although the pillow itself isn’t washable, the cover can be easily removed, washed with light colors, and hung to dry. We did see a slight change in size after washing, from 25 x 16 to 24 x 15.1 inches, but the pillow still easily fit into the cover.
Price at time of publish: $80 for a Standard
Sizes: Standard, king | Fill Material: Cut foam and graphite | Cover Material: Micro polyamide and polyester | Care: Machine-washable cover | Certifications: CertiPUR-US, GREENGUARD Gold
Snowe Down Pillow
Maintains shape and loft over time
Easy to machine-wash
Ethically-sourced premium white down fill
Can shed feathers
While Snowe's Down Pillow is advertised to be on the firmer side, we found that it was actually more medium-soft when we put it to the test. That balance of softness and support did keep us comfortable throughout the night–and even after a month's use, the pillow still felt just as fluffy and high-quality as when we first received it. This down pillow maintained its shape well, so much so that we never felt the urge to turn the pillow, either.
We also like that you can machine-wash this pillow—it's easy to toss in your washer and dryer, without worrying about the fill. We found minimal shrinkage after washing and drying, and the pillow still came out fluffy with no deformity. However, do keep in mind that this down pillow, like many others, can shed feathers over time and with use.
We did uncover another great perk: While the pillow isn't necessarily marketed as cooling, we found it to be relatively cooling in our testing. It remained breathable and comfortably cool, even after a month's use, which might be due to the sateen shell.
Price at time of publish: $145 for a soft Standard
Sizes: Standard, queen, king | Fill Material: 85% Grey Goose Feathers and 15% Grey Goose Down | Cover Material: 100% cotton | Care: Machine-washable | Certifications: Responsible Down Standard, OEKO-TEX
Marlow The Pillow
Great neck and back support
Too firm for stomach sleepers
Even some adjustable pillows that come with additional filling can be a bit messy when you have to add or remove the inserts. However, Marlow's The Pillow offers adjustability that’s mess-free and simple. How simple? Just fully unzip for a softer feel, or keep the zipper fully closed for firm support. Even when unzipped, the chopped memory foam remains enclosed in the case. Regardless of the zipper position, we felt after testing this pillow that it was always firm, which is great for a back or side sleeper. However, it's likely not optimal for stomach sleepers who prefer something softer.
Marlow highlights the pillow’s continuous air flow and cooling-infused foam. However, we didn’t find it to be any better at cooling or maintaining its temperature than any other pillows during our testing. The pillow is moderately priced, and when purchased in a bundle of two or four, there’s a discount, which can make it a more value-rich investment.
Price at time of publish: $65 for a Standard
Sizes: Standard, king | Fill Material: 85% down, 15% down and feather fibers | Cover Material: 100% sateen cotton shell | Care: Machine-washable or dry clean | Certifications: Responsible Down Standard, OEKO-TEX
Best Memory Foam
Casper Foam Pillow
Great neck support
Three layers of foam
Additional cost for cooling technology
Too firm for side and stomach sleepers
Casper is pretty well-known as a mattress brand, but its Foam Pillow also scores high marks in our testing process. We were impressed with the neck support it provides, making it well worth its price. We also found that the pillow was comfortable in any sleeping position and maintained its shape. The comfort and malleability can be attributed to the pillow’s three layers of foam.
If you've never invested in a high-quality pillow before, this one will make a noticeable difference in your comfort while sleeping. In our testing, we found that its memory foam construction helped a lot with tossing and turning at night; there was no need for constant re-fluffing or flipping. It can help you stay cool, too. One of the layers, an AirScape foam, has perforations in the material that are designed to move heat away from the body. There’s also the option to purchase the pillow with what the brand calls Snow Technology, which consists of a cool touch to the exterior and bands that direct heat from the head and neck.
We did notice that the pillow absorbed some heat, but we still enjoyed a comfortable sleeping experience throughout the testing period. Keep in mind that this pick works best for back sleepers and may be a bit firm for those who prefer their side or stomach.
Price at time of publish: $89 for a Standard
Sizes: Standard, king | Fill Material: 77% polyurethane foam, 23% viscoelastic Polyurethane foam | Cover Material: 88% polyester, 12% spandex | Care: Machine-washable cover | Certifications: None listed
Avocado Green Pillow
Certified organic materials
Extra fill included
Numerous safety certifications
100-night sleep trial
Stuffing can get caught in the zipper
For a pillow that’s made solely of organic materials, we recommend the Avocado Green Pillow. It has an organic cotton shell stuffed with shredded organic latex and organic kapok, and the fill level is adjustable to suit your sleeping position. During testing, we liked that it came with a bag of extra fill (and you can purchase additional bags from Avocado if needed), and the firmness was extremely supportive, providing comfort for the neck while molding to the head. You can adjust the GOLS-certified organic latex fill, and the quilted cover feels very luxe to the touch. We also felt a consistent temperature, with the pillow remaining cool to touch before and after use.
In terms of safety certifications, this pillow is one of the best we tested—all of its ingredients are certified organic, and the pillow is GREENGUARD Gold and Made Safe certified as well. This means it doesn’t give off any harmful VOCs and is nontoxic. Avocado offers a 100-night sleep trial on the pillow, and we noted that the adjustable design is well-suited for any sleep preference after testing it in various positions.
Price at time of publish: $109 for a Standard
Sizes: Standard, queen, king | Fill Material: Organic latex and organic kapok | Cover Material: 100% organic cotton | Care: Machine-washable cover | Certifications: GREENGUARD Gold, Made Safe
Of all the pillows we’ve tested, the Saatva Latex Pillow (view at Saatva) is our top choice. Its shredded latex core and fiber-filled outer shell provide the perfect level of support and comfort for multiple sleep positions, and it’s extremely well-made, providing a luxurious sleep experience. If you’re fussy about the height of your pillow, we recommend the Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow, which allows you to add or remove its shredded memory foam fill to perfectly suit your individual sleep preferences.
How We Tested the Pillows
For this article, our team of testers who are side, back, stomach, and all-over sleepers spent over 1,500 hours sleeping on these pillows in their own beds. They then rated them across a number of categories, including quality, durability, comfort, and value. We combined their testing results with our writers' and editors' own research to bring you this list.
What is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure that we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all of these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.
What to Look for in a Pillow
Pillows are typically made of materials like foam, down, down alternatives, gel, or polyester fill. Each has its pros and cons. For instance, memory foam pillows are great if you sleep in the same position every night, while down pillows are super fluffy. Consider whether the material you’re buying is conducive to your sleep preferences and whether it might cause any allergies to act up.
Your firmness preference is an essential consideration when purchasing a pillow. Firm pillows offer a greater level of support for your head and neck, making them ideal for side sleepers, while plush pillows allow your head to sink in, which is often better for back or stomach sleepers. Before you buy, you'll want to think about whether you like your pillows firm, soft, or somewhere in between.
The position you sleep in can affect which pillow is best for your needs. Those who sleep on their side typically do best with a thicker pillow with a gusset or extra height, as that helps to keep the neck in proper alignment during the night. On the other hand, those who sleep on their stomachs need a soft, thin pillow to maintain their neck’s natural curve.
When choosing a new pillow, it's helpful to look for options that have been third-party tested for consumer safety and sustainable sourcing. For example, some foam pillows are CertiPUR-US-certified to be free of heavy metals, ozone depleters, and other potentially harmful chemicals. Similarly, down products with Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certification guarantee ethical animal treatment. Other third-party certifications you may encounter as you shop include STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, GREENGUARD Gold, and Made Safe.
Down pillows are naturally breathable, but if you prefer a down alternative or foam pillows, there are a few features that will enhance breathability. If you're shopping for a foam pillow, choose one made with shredded foam for better airflow. With all pillows, it's always a good idea to choose one with a breathable cover made from cotton or bamboo for added comfort.
If you want the option to customize your pillow's loft, look for one with adjustable filling that you can add or remove to reach your desired height. If you like a loftier pillow, choose one that comes with extra filling that's easy to add as needed.
Is it better to use one pillow or have a few?
"If you have a proper pillow, one should do it," Dr. Hayden says. "My rule that I share with patients is that if you are using more than one pillow, any one pillow you’re using must be inadequate for your needs."
Is it okay to sleep on your stomach?
Dr. Hayden says to avoid sleeping on your stomach. "Many stomach sleepers present with severe neck problems in midlife," he explains. "In order to sleep in the prone position, you must turn your head to breathe, which places tremendous stress on the joints in the neck while the muscle tone that protects the joints is greatly reduced. The joints will wear out, which can manifest in disc disease, bone spurs, and possibly extremity pain. This can be avoided just with proper alignment during rest."
Where can you find an affordable pillow?
When it comes to pillows, you tend to get what you pay for, so a cheap pillow may not be very comfortable or durable. Look for sales, coupons, and promotional codes to shop in stores and online for affordable, quality pillows.
Where can you find a good plane pillow?
You can find travel pillows while searching for regular pillows. In fact, many pillow brands offer a smaller portable version so you can enjoy the pillow features while traveling. In stores, look in the pillow sections. When shopping online, search for travel pillows in your desired brand.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, home essentials, and the holidays. In addition to her extensive research of the best brands and top-rated pillows, she utilized the notes and insights from testers (back, stomach, and side sleepers), who had spent hours using the pillows on the list. They examined everything from the quality of the material to temperature control to support.