When you lay your head to sleep, you deserve a soft yet supportive landing. Not only does a comfortable pillow feel better, it can improve sleep and help you reap the benefits of a good night’s rest. In this article I spotlight 5 of the best pillows on the market, so you can find the best pillow for your specific sleep needs.
How a Better Pillow Can Help Improve Your Health
Ask any health professional, and they’ll confirm that sleep quality can have an enormous impact on your physical wellbeing. A good night’s rest—or lack thereof—impacts every part of your day, from physical performance in the gym or at work, to mood and energy level, to mental focus and acuity throughout the day. Poor sleep may cause weight gain, exacerbate existing medical conditions, and even erode your resilience to infection.
Sound sleep cannot be overrated.
But sleep products often are, and that can make it difficult to shop sensibly when you’re ready to replace a worn-out or uncomfortable pillow. So here’s a roundup of 5 of the best pillows available on the market, starting with the best pillow overall.
Best Pillow Overall: Coop’s The Original
It has a plain name, but The Original pillow from Coop is anything but ordinary. Rated #1 by Consumer Reports in 2023, it tops the charts in comfort, support, and value for money.
Coop fills The Original pillow with a hypoallergenic blend of microfiber and cross-cut memory foam. The washable liner and case are made from polyester and bamboo-derived viscose rayon. Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US certifications mean the materials in this pillow meet top safety standards that its competitors often skirt. A Queen size measures 19” x 29” while a King size measures 19” x 35”.
Memory foam provides medium-firm support that won’t spread or flatten out during the night.
Cross-cutting memory foam—as opposed to shredding it—not only makes the pillow more breathable but also keeps the foam pieces more consistently shaped and less prone to clumping.
The fill level on The Original is entirely adjustable; simply unzip to add or remove fill. An extra .5lb of fill is included with each purchase.
- Sleep Position
Because this pillow is so adjustable, it can suit any sleep position. Stomach sleepers should keep the pillow’s loft low, while side sleepers will benefit from a higher loft. But Coop also sells pillows specifically designed for side-sleeping, such as their Cut-Out and Crescent pillows.
Value for Money:
At $72 for a standard Queen, The Original will cost you half the price of its more luxury-line competitors. Each purchase comes with a generous 5-year warranty and a lengthy 100-night, risk-free trial.
Best Pillow for Side Sleepers: Saatva’s Natural Latex, High Loft
You know Saatva as a luxury mattress brand, but did you know they make pillows as well? Their Natural Latex pillow provides all the world-class comfort of a swanky hotel, for less than one night’s stay. And if you’re a side sleeper, the High Loft version will ensure proper neck alignment that keeps morning aches and pains at bay.
Saatva’s latex pillow contains three layers: a natural latex core, a microdenier fill, and a smooth pillowcase made from fair-trade, organic cotton. The Queen size measures 18” x 28” while the King spans 18” x 34”.
Featuring multiple layers and gusseted sides, this pillow is exceptionally supportive. Plus, natural latex is more durable than memory foam and will stand up to regular wear and tear.
Buoyant and luxuriously soft, natural latex offers both comfort and quality support. If you sleep hot, you’ll appreciate how breathable latex is—especially compared to regular memory foam.
Instead of a customizable pillow, Saatva offers the latex one in two loft heights: 4–5” or 6–7”.
- Sleep Position
The High Loft will be better suited for side and back sleepers or anyone needing more support. If you sleep on your stomach or back exclusively, check out the Standard Loft option.
Value for Money:
Saatva is a reputable company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and extremely high customer satisfaction. But their pillow’s the priciest on this list, at $165 for a standard Queen and only a 1-year limited warranty. Returns are free for up to 45 days after purchase.
Best Pillow for Back Sleepers: Layla Kapok
Back sleepers need a pillow that’s not too squishy, not too hard, and not going to overheat. Layla offers a Goldilocks solution in a soft, supportive, and breathable pillow that will keep you cool and comfortable, night after night.
The Kapok pillow gets its name from a silky fiber found in the seed pods of the kapok tree. This fiber, mixed with shredded memory foam, provides the fill, while a breathable polyester/viscose blend constitutes the case. A Queen size is 18” x 28”, while a King size measures 18” x 34”.
The unique blend of kapok fiber and memory foam offers firm and long-lasting support for your head and neck.
Natural kapok fiber gives the pillow a light, down-like feel that maintains its shape and stays cool all night long.
With a 4” loft, this pillow contains a generous amount of fill, but you can remove some if it’s too high for comfort.
- Sleep Position
Although this pillow isn’t as thick as some on the market, you may find it offers plenty of support for side sleeping as well as back sleeping. Simply remove some fill to flatten the pillow for stomach sleeping.
Value for Money:
Built to last, the Layla Kapok Pillow boasts a 5-year warranty and costs $109 for a standard Queen. Try it for up to 30 nights, risk free.
Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers: Tempur-pedic Tempur-Cloud
For over 30 years, the Tempur-pedic brand has led the industry in memory foam mattresses, toppers, and pillows. Their Tempur-Cloud is the Lite version of their famous memory foam, providing billowy comfort that will make you think you’re sleeping on an eponymous cloud.
Smart and simple, the Tempur-Cloud consists of a single piece of memory foam enveloped in a super-soft, machine-washable, hypoallergenic case. Unlike bulkier pillows, the Tempur-Cloud can be compressed and rolled up for easy portability. A standard Queen size measures 15 ¾” x 24”.
At its core, the Tempur-Cloud provides pressure-relieving support that conforms to your head and neck at every turn.
Other memory foam can be dense and unforgiving, but the Tempur-Cloud is extra soft while still being supportive.
Because it’s a single piece of foam, the fill is not customizable.
- Sleep Position
With its low profile, the Tempur-Cloud is designed for back and stomach sleepers. It may not offer enough loft to support a side-sleeping position.
Value for Money: Despite the household name and 5-year limited warranty, this pillow is relatively affordable at $89 from the Tempur-pedic website. Be sure to price-compare on Amazon, where it’s currently just $70.
Best Down Pillow: Casper Down
Nothing does “fluffy” like natural down. For a billowy-soft, light-as-air sleep experience every time your head hits the pillow, try Casper Down.
This pillow consists of 100% natural down and feather filling, with a machine-washable, 100% cotton case and polyester paneling. A Queen size measures 18” x 26”, while a King size measures 18” x 34”.
The filling may be simple, but the design is sophisticated. A 2-inch gusset keeps the pillow aloft, while five inner chambers ensure the support doesn’t spread as you sleep.
Despite the structure, this soft pillow will give you that “sinking in” sensation you crave after a long day. Natural down feathers help regulate temperature so your pillow stays cool year round.
There is no extra fill included, nor is the pillow designed to be adjustable. Keep in mind you should fluff up the pillow each morning to keep the feathers airy and light.
Down is best suited for stomach and back sleepers, and anyone who sleeps hot. Side sleepers should look for a pillow with firmer support and a higher loft.
Value for Money:
Down feels luxurious, so it’s no wonder this pillow fetches a fine price: $139 for a standard Queen. You can try it for 30 days risk-free and expect a 1-year limited warranty on the purchase.
For a similar feel at a fraction of the price, check out Casper’s Down alternative pillow, which costs just $65 for a Standard Queen.
Where to Buy Pillows
The easiest way to find a pillow you like is to shop in-person. Until you’ve felt the pillow, squeezed the pillow, even laid your head on the pillow, it’s hard to judge from a picture whether or not you’ll find it comfortable.
But a little online research can go a long way and help you avoid impulse buys. Plus, sleep companies are making it easier than ever to make smart purchases. Thanks to their 30-, 45-, sometimes even 100-day trial, you can give each pillow a solid shot before determining if it’s a keeper.
When buying online, always compare prices between retailers. Sometimes the brand website will host a special sale or bundle price that the same listing on Amazon doesn’t reflect.
Some things to consider when trying out a pillow:
If this is your first time seriously pillow-shopping, keep in mind that it could take a couple weeks to fully adjust. The lengthy trial offered by these sleep companies isn’t an over-the-top perk but a necessary part of ensuring you find your forever pillow.
Don’t forget to take into account your preferred sleeping position(s), bearing in mind that some sleep positions just aren’t good for your spinal alignment, no matter your pillow. Check out this article to learn more.
Best Pillows for Neck Pain
Ever wake up with neck pain from sleeping wrong? If this is a regular occurrence for you, then you may need a different style of pillow from what you’re used to. In this post I share some of the best pillows for neck pain that will help you reset your sleep posture and wake up feeling refreshed.