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When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, research shows the right bed pillow can greatly improve your overall sleep quality, so your pillow choice is just as important as your mattress and sheets. Whether you prefer firm or fluffy, the best pillows offer the perfect amount of softness and support to keep you comfortable all night long.
Your sleep position can help determine which pillow is right for you, and we’ve tested and researched pillows with different heights, materials, and fills to help you find the most comfortable option. With one of these high-quality pillows, your bed is sure to feel comfier than ever.
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. Think about whether you like your pillows firm, super soft, or somewhere in between before you buy.
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 wide pillow with a gusset or extra height, while those who sleep on their stomachs need a soft, thin pillow to maintain their neck’s natural curve.
Here, the best pillows for all your sleep position needs.
Best Overall: Xtreme Comforts Loft Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
Adjustable fill for custom height
Soft outer shell that washes easily
Hypoallergenic and eco-friendly
Shredded fill is messy to remove
Slight chemical smell when first opened
There are many types of bed pillows on the market, but one of the best products available is the Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic Bed Pillow, which uses adjustable bamboo memory foam to cradle your head all night long. This pillow comes in standard, queen, king, and body pillow sizes, and because it’s adjustable, it can be used in a variety of sleeping positions.
This pillow has an inner zipper that allows you to remove or add its shredded memory foam fill to meet your needs. Plus, the fill will bounce back each day, ensuring your pillow isn’t flat after a few months. The Xtreme Comforts Pillow also has a micro-vented bamboo cover that provides superior air circulation, regulating your temperature throughout the night to keep you comfortable. If you suffer from allergies, rest assured that the cover is hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, and machine washable (a room air purifier can also help allergy-proof your bedroom).
"The high-quality outer shell, cool sleeping experience, and customization options make this memory foam pillow worth the price."—Michelle Hainer, Product Tester
Best Memory Foam: Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow
Easy to add or remove filling
Extra foam included
Thick, luxurious outer shell
Slight odor when unpackaged
A bit pricey
Memory foam is a popular material for pillows thanks to its ability to contour to your head. Products like the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow will provide superior support and comfort, and they won’t get flat as quickly since memory foam bounces back to its original form after each use.
These pillows from Coop Home Goods come in queen and king sizes, and they have a washable cover to make care easier. You can easily add or remove some of the shredded memory foam to cater to your individual sleep position, and they’re resistant to dust mites and other pesky allergens. Plus, you can feel good about resting your head on these pillows, as they’re made with CertiPUR-US certified foam, which means they don’t contain any harmful chemicals.
You may find the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is far superior to standard pillows, as it provides better support and retains its shape with a little bit of daily fluffing, and it may help minimize your neck and back pain during the night.
"The individual pieces of foam inside this pillow are larger and softer than others we tested, making them easier to remove or adjust without making a mess." — Michelle Hainer, Product Tester
Best for Side Sleepers: Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Impressive 20-year warranty
120-night sleep trial
Eco-friendly and made in the USA
Messy to remove shredded fill
Initial odor when unpackaged
Pricier compared to similar options
Your sleep position will often dictate what type of pillow will be most comfortable. One of the most common sleeping positions is on your side, and if you tend to snooze in this position, you’ll want a pillow that’s thick enough to keep your spine in alignment. One great option for side sleepers is the Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Pillow, another product that you can adjust to fit your body.
This shredded memory foam pillow has a zipper so you can add or remove filling to suit your needs—if you sleep on your side, make sure the pillow is thick enough to fill the gap between your head and the mattress. It’s covered in a breathable bamboo cover to keep you cool during the night, and the foam is non-toxic and resistant to dust mites.
"The pillow feels almost like jumping into a foam pit: soft, yet with enough spring to support your weight." — Michelle Hainer, Product Tester
Best Down Alternative: Parachute Down Alternative Pillow
Available in soft, medium, and firm densities
May be too soft for some
Down alternative pillows are a great choice because they closely mirror down pillows but they're less expensive and hypoallergenic, which makes them a much better choice for anyone with allergies. They’re also slightly more breathable than feathered options.
The Parachute Down Alternative Pillow is plush and lofty with a 100 percent hypoallergenic microfiber fill. With a 100 percent sateen cotton shell, it's also soft, smooth, and breathable. The pillow is available in standard or king sizes, and there are three densities to choose from—soft, medium, or firm—so there's an option for side, back, and stomach sleepers.
Best Budget: DreamNorth PREMIUM Gel Pillow Loft
Luxe look and feel
Too soft for some sleepers
Not as supportive as other options
High-end pillows can get pretty expensive, so if you’re looking for spare pillows for your guest room or another seldom-used location, you may want to consider a budget option like the DreamNorth Premium Gel Pillows. These affordable gel pillows come in standard, queen, and king sizes, and they’ll be easy on your budget while still providing your guests with a restful night’s sleep.
The DreamNorth Pillows are filled with a special gel fiber that’s soft and breathable, and the covers are made from 100 percent cotton with a subtle striped design. The fabric is breathable to keep your head cool at night, and the pillows are hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant. These pillows are both soft and supportive, and they’re best for back or stomach sleepers.
"We were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the fabric—especially for such a low price." — Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best Down: Parachute Down Pillow
Sustainable and ethically sourced
Plush, high-quality materials
Available in soft, medium, and firm densities
Down, which is another term for duck or goose feathers, is known as one of the most luxurious pillow materials, as it’s extremely light and soft. It's also relatively simple to wash and maintain. If you’re partial to down pillows, you’ll love the Parachute Down Pillows, which are filled with premium European white down and wrapped in a 100 percent sateen-cotton shell.
These pillows come in standard and king sizes, and you can choose from soft, medium, or firm densities. The down filling comes from humanely treated animals, and the shell is reinforced with a double-stitched piping seam. These pillows come with a three-year warranty, and they’re well worth the investment for a luxurious night’s sleep.
"We enjoyed several good nights’ sleep with this pillow and were pleasantly surprised by how firm and supportive it is for a down pillow. We woke up feeling refreshed and free from any neck or back pain." — Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best Plush: Casper Original Pillow
Good balance of softness and support
Only one firmness option
If you like feeling like you’re sleeping on a cloud, you’ll love the Casper Pillow, which has a plush feel thanks to its pillow-in-a-pillow design. This unique pillow has a supportive inner section surrounded by a plush, soft outer shell that effortlessly adjusts as you shift position.
The Casper Pillow has a 100 percent cotton cover in a breathable percale weave that keeps it from overheating during the night. Casper claims this pillow can be used in any sleeping position, but it may be too soft for back and side sleepers. This pillow is quite comfortable and soft, and it can help reduce aches and pains in the morning.
"The inner core of the pillow prevented our heads from sinking straight through to the mattress, while the outer fluff amped up the comfort factor." — Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best for Neck Pain: UTTU Sandwich Pillow
Takes time to expand after opening
If you suffer from neck pain, experts recommend changing your sleeping position (just that alone could do the trick!) or swapping out your pillow. When you have neck pain, it could mean you’re not getting enough support while you sleep. Choose a more rounded pillow to mirror the natural curvature of the neck. And opt for soft memory foam or feathers, because a pillow that’s too hard may exacerbate neck pain.
Though the UTTU Sandwich Pillow has an affordable price, it may be one of the best pillows to help relieve neck pain and prevent a stiff neck. Like many of the best options out there, it’s customizable, so you can find the right height and firmness that works for you.
If you’re looking for a versatile, comfortable, and hypoallergenic bed pillow that most sleepers will love (regardless of their sleeping position), the Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow is our top choice. However, if you need a little more support at night, try the Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow, which will contour to your head and retain its shape better.
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.
Down pillows are naturally breathable, but if you prefer 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. And 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.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and researched by Cristina Sanza, a lifestyle writer specializing in home products and organization hacks. To keep our product picks current and help you choose the right pillow, she reads customer reviews, third-party articles, and brand websites.