Whether you're a back, side, or stomach sleeper, finding the right bed pillow is key to a good night’s rest. That said, the perfect pillow is personal and specific to each individual person's needs.
To help narrow 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 that you do not create stress points in the joints of the neck." He also points out that the pillow should be firm so that 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 picks include the Saatva Latex Pillow for its breathability and great materials and Snuggle-Pedic's adjustability and cooling feature.
Here are the best pillows for any sleeping position.
Best Overall: Snuggle-Pedic Adjustable Memory Foam Pillows
Includes extra fill bag
Great for those with neck pain
Some expensive pillows are full of fluff (literally!) but not worth the price. That’s not the case with Snuggle-Pedic’s memory foam pillow that has a slightly higher price tag, but is well worth it for anyone who sweats or runs hot while sleeping. The pillow features Kool-Flow technology in the bamboo cover, which is said to keep sleepers cool and sweat-free. Our testers noticed a slight change in temperature (four degrees) after 15 minutes, but the coolness of the pillow never changed. Also, the firmness provided great support for our testers neck, leading to a more more relaxed experience 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 an even firmer feel. Also, there’s the option to choose shredded memory foam or a gel-infused memory foam. Testers attest that this is truly an adjustable pillow experience to suit a range of needs.
Jut keep in mind—after one month of testing, one of our testers reported that she needed to fluff the pillow up every morning to maintain its loft, otherwise it starts to get flatter overtime. But otherwise, she's still very pleased with the pillow.
Best Latex: Saatva Latex Pillow
Ideal balance of support and comfort
45-day sleep trial
Some shrinkage after washing
What do buyers say? NBC News and Insider both picked the Saatva Latex Pillow.
After extensive testing, the Saatva Latex Pillow stood out as our all-around favorite for its durability and support for sleepers of all types. This pillow has a shredded latex core that’s surrounded by a plush microdenier fiber, all wrapped in an organic cotton cover, and it offers the perfect combination of support and comfort for multiple sleeping positions. Our testers loved the way this pillow cradles your head without being too squishy, and its slightly oversized form makes it feel luxurious on your bed.
This pillow also stands out thanks to its superior materials and construction. The shredded latex is hypoallergenic and doesn’t experience any off-gassing like foam, and the organic cotton shell has 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.
Though 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, our tester reports that the pillow still provides plenty of support and feels cool to the touch.
Best Down Alternative: Amazon Basics Down-Alternative Pillows
Comes in a pack of two
Great for stomach sleepers
Tight fit in most standard cases
Don’t let the wallet-friendly price fool you. Amazon Basics pillows have a smooth microfiber exterior and is packed with just enough down alternative fill, making it a great choice for back or stomach sleepers. Our testers noted 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.
Our testers noticed minimal shrinkage, just half an inch, when washing and drying the pillows according to the manufacturers instructions and additional fluffing was necessary. However, testers also reported that the pillow kept its shape and offered support even after a month of use.
Some individual pillows cost more than this set, which includes two pillows. So for great value at a wallet-friendly price, this can’t be beat.
Best Splurge: Boll & Branch Down Pillow
Can order specific density
One problem with some down pillows is the feathers annoyingly and uncomfortably poking through, but luckily our testers didn’t experience that with Boll & Branch’s down pillow. Another common issue with down pillows is the lack of support, but testers were surprised to find a pillow with a higher amount of filling, sturdy construction, and even enough support for a side sleeper.
The down filling is triple-washed and covered in 100 percent organic cotton. Our testers 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 you can make a return if necessary.
Best Down: Snowe Down Pillow
While this pillow is listed to be on the firmer side, our tester found that it was more medium-soft and said it kept her comfortable throughout the night. She reported that even after a month's use, the pillow still felt just as fluffy, high quality, and kept its shape from when she first received it. She also appreciated that she never felt the urge to turn the pillow ever.
We like that you can machine wash this pillow—our testers were pleased when trying this out. While they found minimal shrinkage post wash and dry, the pillow still came out fluffy with no deformity.
And while the pillow isn't necessarily marketed as cooling, our testers found it to be relatively cooling even after a month's use, which might be due to the sateen shell.
Best Down: puredown Goose Feathers and Down White Pillow Inserts, Bed Sleeping Hotel Collection Pillows Set of 2 King Size
Great air flow
Comes in a pack of two
Multiple color options
Doesn't wash well
For a pillow that’s not hard on the wallet and works for sleepers of all types, puredown is a solid choice. Our testers described the pillow as balancing the line between perfectly forming to the body, but without being overly firm. That feather-like feel comes from a combo of 85 percent grey goose feathers and 15 percent grey goose down. During testing, there was a 10 degree temperature increase after sleeping on it for 15 minutes. However, this was surprising to testers who didn’t notice the temperature change or feel hot, which was attributed to good airflow of the pillow. Making this a great option for those who tend to get hot while they sleep.
In spite of this being a great pillow for those who appreciate a soft-ish feel and having great airflow, there was one hiccup testers experienced. Though the pillows claim to be machine washable, even when following manufacturers instructions (wash on cold and tumble dry on low), the post-wash pillows had individual feathers that could be felt poking through the covering. So this might be best suited for a spot clean.
Best Budget: Rest Haven Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow Set of 2
Pack of two
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 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 your head nicely throughout the night. Our tester immediately noticed the crosshatch texture that gave the pillows a more luxe look and feel. And though it’s not advertised as a cooling pillow, our tester was surprised to experience a consistently cool temperature.
These pillows come in standard, queen, and king sizes, but we did notice that 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. Our tester 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, our tester found that the pillow still held its shape. Just take note that she says she wishes it molded her head and neck more when she sleeps.
Best for Back Sleepers : Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft 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 Premium 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—it even comes with an additional ½-pound bag of fill for those who like an overstuffed pillow. In testing, we found this pillow to be extremely comfortable yet supportive, especially for back sleepers. Our tester, a back and side sleeper, found the medium firmness to work the best, noting stomach sleepers might desire a softer feel, which is easy to do with the removal of some stuffing.
Also, 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. The materials are both CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified, and the product is backed by a five-year warranty.
Best for All Sleep Types: Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
Draws heat away from body
Great for a range of sleepers
Firm, but soft, but not too soft is how our testers describe the 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. Our testers immediately observed it has a cushy feel when you press on it, but the pillow continues to maintain its shape. Also, the pillow molded to their head without being smooshed down and still maintaining sufficient head and neck support.
The pillow contains graphite and a cooling gel that’s meant to pull body heat away from the body. Our testers noticed a near 10 degree increase after using the pillow for 15 minutes, but that difference wasn’t actually felt while laying on it. Though the pillow itself isn’t washable, the cover can be easily removed, washed with light colors, and hung to dry. Testers saw a slight change in size, 25 x 16 to 24 x 15.1 inches, but the pillow still easily fit into the cover.
Best Organic : Avocado Green Pillow
Certified organic materials
Extra fill included
Numerous safety certifications
100-night sleep trial
The stuffing can get caught in the zipper
For a pillow that’s made solely using 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. Also, our tester observed 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 its ingredients are certified organic, and the pillow is GREENGUARD Gold and Made Safe certified, as well, verifying that it doesn’t give off any harmful VOCs and is non-toxic. The brand offers a 100-night sleep trial on the pillow, and our testers noted that the adjustable design is well-suited for any sleep position.
Best Memory Foam : Casper Foam Pillow
Great neck support
Three layers of foam
Additional cost for cooling technology
Casper is pretty well known as a mattress brand, but their pillows also score high marks with our testers who were impressed with the neck support it provides, making it well worth the price tag. It was also observed as being comfortable in any sleeping position and maintaining its shape. That comfort and mold-ability is attributed to the pillow’s three layers of foam.
One of the layers, an AirScape foam, has perforations in the material that are designed to move heat away from the body. Also, there’s 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. Our testers noticed the pillow absorbed some heat and had a comfortable experience throughout. However, they did note that this pick works best for back sleepers and may be a bit firm for those who prefer their side or stomach.
Best for Back Sleepers: Wayfair Encased Cooling Shredded Memory Foam Medium Support Pillow
May be too firm for stomach sleepers
Support is the name of the game for this pillow that our testers were initially skeptical of. Wayfair’s pillow seemed a bit too thick at first glance, but it proved to offer optimal support while laying on the side, as well as when on the back. The shredded memory foam gives support and can be fluffed or slightly smushed to fit your specific sleep needs and support the head and neck. Our testers noted this as being a pillow that can hold up throughout the night without needing to be refluffed or adjusted.
The pillow features cooling technology and testers confirm the pillow maintained its temperature and it never felt too hot. The 100 percent cotton, zippered cover was easy to machine wash. In spite of an inch of shrinkage after hanging to try, the cover had a few wrinkles but was easy to place back over the pillow.
Best Down Alternative: L.L. Bean Down-Alternative Damask Pillow
Available in three densities
Great return policy
Online guide to choose the best firmness
Too soft for some sleepers
Though some pillows come with an extra bag of filling so you can optimize the firmness to your liking, L.L. Bean’s down alternative comes pre-stuffed in three densities. There’s soft, medium, and firm, with our testers trying out the medium fill. Though this was the medium fill, they noted the pillow sunk quite a bit, not exactly making it the best fit for a heavy head or someone who needs a lot of support. But stomach sleepers might find the softer feel to be comfortable. And those who need more support might opt for the firm fill. Luckily, L.L. Bean has a generous one year return policy so you can find the pillow that’s just right.
In addition to density, testers also felt the pillow held some heat, but it was never hot or uncomfortable. The entire pillow can be washed and testers were glad to report the pillow was perfectly formed and fluffed post-wash.
Best for Side Sleepers: 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 offers adjustability that’s mess free and simple. How simple? Just fully unzip for a softer feel and 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, our testers felt the pillow was always firm, which is great for a side sleeper, but might not be optimal for stomach sleepers who prefer something softer.
The brand highlights the pillow’s continuous air flow and cooling-infused foam. However, testers didn’t find it to be any better at cooling or maintaining its temperature than any other pillows. The pillow is moderately priced and when purchased in a bundle of two or four, there’s a discount
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. Or, 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 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. You'll want to think about whether you like your pillows firm, 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 thicker pillow with a gusset or extra height, as this 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 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.
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 by 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 section. 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 spent hours using the pillows on the list. They examined everything from quality of the material to temperature control to support.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce we want to ensure 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 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.