Who knew something so simple could cause you so much trouble, huh?
That’s why the goal of this article is not only to present to you the best pillow reviews on the market but to break down the factors that determine which pillows are “good“ or “bad“ for you.
Learning about different circumstances – including sleeping positions, body weight, medical conditions, and even mattress firmness – and ultimately listening to what your body’s telling you is all an essential part of selecting the best pillow for your needs.
You need to spend less time adjusting your pillow and more time sleeping, so let’s get to it!
- Best-Rated Pillows On The Market: Comparison Chart
- Infographic: How To Find The Best Pillow To Rest Your Head On
- Best Pillow Reviews: My Top 15 Recommendations
- How To Choose The Best Pillow: A Detailed Buyer’s Guide
- Any Particular Condition You Should Take Into Account?
- FAQ: Everything You Wanted To Know About Pillows – And More
Best-Rated Pillows On The Market: Comparison Chart
Before you have the chance to check out the in-depth best pillow reviews, you can take a look at their most notable features in the following comparison chart:
ComfySleep Rectangular Buckwheat Hull Pillow
|Standard, Queen, Classis, Classic Plus, Traditional||Natural buckwheat hulls (eight pounds)||Organic cotton||Customizable||Back, side, and stomach sleepers||4.8/5.0||Check|
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
|Standard, Queen, King||Mixed shredded memory foam||Polyester (56.4%), Bamboo (43%), Lycra (0.6%)||Customizable||Side, stomach and back sleepers||4.7/5.0||Check|
Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
|Standard, Queen, King||Shredded memory foam||Bamboo||Customizable||Back, side, and stomach sleepers||4.4/5.0||Check|
Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
|Queen, King||Shredded visco-elastic memory foam||Polyester (60%), Bamboo (40%)||Customizable||Back, side, and stomach sleepers||4.7/5.0||Check|
Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Memory Foam Pillow
|Slim, Super Slim, Ultra Slim, Ultra Slim Full||Gel-infused memory foam||Polyester (60%), Bamboo (40%)||Extra Low (2.5 to 2.75 inches)||Back and stomach sleepers||4.6/5.0||Check|
Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow (2-Pack)
|Queen, King||Gel-filled fiber||Polyester||Medium (4 to 5 inches)||Back and stomach sleepers||4.1/5.0||Check|
Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow (Set of 2)
|Queen, King||Fiber||Microfiber||Medium||Back and stomach sleepers||4.5/5.0||Check|
The Water Pillow by Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow
|Standard||Fiber, down or memory foam, water||Dacron Hollofil fiber, cotton||Customizable||Back, side, and stomach sleepers||4.8/5.0||Check|
Nature's Guest Cervical Support Pillow
|Standard, Queen||Microfiber||Cotton||Medium loft (5 inches), adjustable||Back, and back to side sleepers||4.8/5.0||Check|
Down Alternative Pillow
|Standard, Queen, King||Down alternative fiber||ZCotton||High loft (6.5 inches)||Side sleepers||4.6/5.0||Check|
Digital Decor Two 100% Cotton Hotel Down-Alternative Pillows
|Standard, Queen, King||Virgin polyester||Cotton||Low, medium, and high loft||Side, stomach, and back sleepers||4.3/5.0||Check|
WonderSleep PREMIUM Adjustable Loft
|Queen||Shredded memory foam||Polyester (60%), Bamboo (40%)||Customizable||Side, stomach, and back sleepers||4.1/5.0||Check|
BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow
|XL-Adult, Adult, Child||Polyester blend||Polyester||N/A||Upright position||4.7/5.0||Check|
PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Jersey Cover, C Shaped Body Pillow
|Full body pillow||Polyfill blend||Jersey-knit cotton||High loft||Side sleepers||4.6/5.0||Check|
Original Bamboo Luxury PREMIUM Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
|Standard/Queen, King||Shredded memory foam||Bamboo||Customizable||Side and back sleepers||4.6/5.0||Check|
Best Pillow Reviews: My Top 15 Recommendations
You’ve seen the comparison chart, so you probably have a vague idea of what these pillows have to offer – but now it’s time to dig into the detailed best pillow reviews.
The following roundup will feature 15 of the top-rated pillows, all hand-picked by me – for you!
1Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow The Best Cooling Pillow
Okay, the first one up is one of the most popular models by Snuggle-Pedic, the Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow.
- Shredded memory foam fill
- The foam is CertiPUR-US certified
- Kool-Flow micro-vented cover improves breathability
- The loft is fully customizable
- The entire pillow is machine-washable
- It’s hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant
- It flattens out relatively fast
- It’s a bit pricey
And it’s not popular without reason, either – the pillow features a shredded memory foam fill, both CertiPUR-US certified and bio-green, which can be customized so that it fits your sleeping style, whether you’re a stomach, back, or a side sleeper!
Moreover, if you have any trouble adjusting the pillow’s loft, you can ask for personal customization – for free!
Here it goes from “good” to “great,” though – the bamboo-based cover is made with breathability in mind. It features the Snuggle-Pedic Kool-Flow technology, a micro-vented design that’s sure to keep you cool throughout the night.
Now, this Snuggle-Pedic model isn’t the most affordable option out there. That said, I firmly believe that it’s worth every penny you spend on it – you can’t put a price on quality sleep, now, can you?
The only real downside is that the fill doesn’t maintain its fluff for long, which means you’re going to have to get in the habit of fluffing your pillow more regularly – a couple of times a week, if not daily.
If you’re a hot sleeper, finding a pillow that won’t retain your body heat should be a priority. That’s why I’d like you to consider getting this Snuggle-Pedic pillow! In case you want to know more, you can find my detailed review here.
2ComfySleep Rectangular Buckwheat Hull Pillow Best Natural And Organic Pillow
If you haven’t tried it before, the idea of having a pillow full of buckwheat seed shells might sound strange, but hear me out:
A pillow like this will conform to the unique curve of your neck without going flat in the process.
Moreover, because the hulls don’t compress and flatten out, the circulation of air throughout the pillow is never compromised. Paired with an organic cotton cover, the ComfySleep pillow’s becomes every hot sleeper’s dream!
- It’s filled with natural buckwheat hulls
- Comes with an additional two pounds of filling for customization
- It conforms to the shape of your neck
- Invisible zipper allows for loft adjustments
- It’s breathable
- Features an organic, handmade cotton cover
- The hulls make noise when you move
- It’s heavy
- Very expensive
The loft is completely customizable, too, thanks to the invisible zipper that gives you direct access to the pillow’s eight-pound filling. On top of that, you get two more pounds of buckwheat hulls on the side, in case you need them.
As you can imagine, it’s massive – ten pounds total, if you pour in all that extra filling!
However, if you tend to toss and turn a lot in your sleep, they’re going to make some noise. It won’t be enough to wake you up, but it will take some time to get used to the sound.
That’s something you can expect from a buckwheat pillow, though, but more on that later on in the article.
Getting used to the sound and weight of this ComfySleep pillow might take some time, but if you’re big on natural sleep remedies, you should know that this is, by far, one of the best natural and organic pillows currently available on the market!
3Coop Home Goods Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam PillowBest Pillow For Allergies
Filled with Coop Home Goods’ proprietary combination of shredded memory foam, and neatly wrapped up in a pillowcase that combines polyester with bamboo-based rayon, this pillow is all about comfort and breathability. It’s no wonder it always ends up on my round-ups of the best pillow reviews!
- Mixed shredded visco-elastic memory foam filling
- Uses CertiPUR-US certified foam
- The polyester-bamboo pillowcase keeps you cool
- Fully customizable loft
- Hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites
- The price is a bit high
- The filling presses together and forms clumps
The foam is not only CertiPUR-US certified but visco-elastic, as well, meaning it conforms to your body’s temperature. More importantly, the loft is fully customizable, so if its contouring properties weren’t enough for you, there’s always the option of customizing it yourself.
One thing I noticed is that the filling keeps forming clumps, which, as you can imagine, is neither comfortable or supporting. That said, you do have access to the pillow’s insides, and while it’s a bit of a drag, you can adjust it yourself when it does happen.
Also, you should probably know that it’s not the most affordable pillow out there. And while I always encourage you to not buy into the whole „expensive is better“ thing, sometimes spending more is worth it – and that’s the case with this Coop Home Goods pillow.
If you’re interested in reading an in-depth review of this particular pillow, and learn more about my personal experience with it, you can do so here.
4PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Jersey Cover, C Shaped Body PillowBest Pregnancy Pillow
Now, here’s a little twist – since I’m not pregnant, I asked a trusted friend to help me out with this one. I still tried it myself, but I wanted to hear her opinions on the matter, too.
So, moms-to-be, now that you have not one, but two people vouching for this particular model, let’s see what makes this C-shaped pillow the one that will change your sleeping experience throughout the pregnancy – and maternity.
- It eliminates the need for having multiple pillows
- The adjustable polyfill adapts to several purposes
- It features a 100-percent jersey-knit cotton cover
- The cover is removable and machine-washable
- It’s relatively affordable
- It’s a bit too flat
- Putting the case back on is quite a workout
The polyfill in the pillow will contour to your back and belly, whether it is for sleeping, reading, or nursing your newborn, while the 100-percent cotton jersey-knit cover will ensure you stay comfy.
And while washing the cover is a breeze, putting it back on the pillow is anything but – you’re going to need some help with that. I’m not joking; it’s quite a workout, even for two people!
Another thing I’ve noticed is that it doesn’t quite live up to the expectations thickness-wise. I found several spots where there was hardly any filling at all, too. So, while it’s, by all means, a good pregnancy pillow, you’ll probably have to fold it to get some extra height.
Every pregnancy is a unique experience, but one thing’s always the same – the lack of sleep every mom-to-be goes through. One of the surest ways to address this is to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible, and this C-shaped body pillow by PharMeDoc will take care of that.
5The Water Pillow by Mediflow Original Waterbase PillowBest Pillow For Neck Pain
Yes, you read that right – a water-based pillow! Waterbeds were all the rage back in the day, so it was about time for water pillows to enter the scene, don’t you agree? I admit that it was a bit unconventional, even for me, but once I got over the initial adjustment period, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
- Clinically proven to reduce neck pain
- You can adjust the firmness level
- It comes with cotton, 100-percent hypoallergenic shell
- It will conform to your neck’s curve
- It takes some getting used to
- It’s heavy
- It might make some noises when you move
It seems to works with every sleeping position, because the water moves with your head and adjusts to you, instead of working against you. On top of that, if you change the water level a bit, you get to customize your pillow firmness level – from soft all the way to firm.
And no, there’s no risk of leaking –the insulated and sealed water pouch is topped off with a layer of Dacron Hollofil fiber.
Now, you have to remember that there’s water in there, and it will make some noise when you move – that’s pretty much unavoidable. It wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, but I thought I should mention it, nonetheless.
Lastly, you can forget about carrying this thing around with you. With all that water inside, it’s neither lightweight nor portable.
When you’re suffering from neck pain, a regular pillow won’t cut it – and if that’s the case with you, I’d suggest to keep an open mind and give a water-based pillow a try!
6BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel PillowBest Travel Pillow
If your lifestyle is all about traveling, either for work or leisure, I don’t have to tell you how uncomfortable napping on the plane can be. You probably know it better than most of us. Here’s what I can tell you, though:
There’s a way to improve the situation. That’s right; I’m talking about the Bcozzy chin-supporting travel pillow!
- The ergonomic shape wraps around your neck and supports it
- Adjustable chin support prevents your head from falling forward
- It’s lightweight and easy to carry around
- The pillow is machine-washable
- It’s reasonably priced
- There’s nothing to stop it from unwinding
- It gets a little warm
These ergonomically-shaped pillows will wrap around your neck and not only help support your chin to prevent those awkward drooping moments but keep your neck and head in a comfortable position, as well.
Most importantly, they come in sizes suitable for both adults, and kids. I mean, why would we be the only ones who get to experience the comfort of a good travel pillow, right?
However, I feel like having a clasp, or a Velcro strap would’ve been useful because right now, nothing is stopping the pillow from unwinding. It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s still a problem.
Furthermore, you should know that things will get sweaty. The material isn’t very breathable; combine that with a tight fit and warm weather, and you have a sauna around your neck.
I have a feeling that this one’s going to be my trusted travel companion for years to come, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for you, too!
7Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Best Pillow For Side Sleepers
This one’s marketed as a pillow for side sleepers, which made me wonder:
Can it do more than that?
- Clinically proven to reduce neck pain
- You can adjust the firmness level
- It comes with cotton, 100-percent hypoallergenic shell
- It will conform to your neck’s curve
- It takes some getting used to
- It’s heavy
- It might make some noises when you move
The fact that it features a shredded memory foam fill (CertiPUR-US certified foam, in case you were wondering) is nothing new, but the new inner zipper is quite an innovation in their line of sleep products. Now you have a chance to adjust the pillow’s loft the way it suits you the most.
That’s why I’m pretty confident that it would work not only for side sleepers but back and stomach sleepers, as well.
On top of that, they incorporated Kool-Flow technology into the bamboo cover for improved breathability and minimal heat retention.
Being able to adjust your pillow’s loft is always a plus, but having to readjust it pretty much every day is not. Unfortunately, that’s a problem I’ve had with the Xtreme Comforts pillow – it kept going flat, so fluffing it and re-adjusting the fill was a daily task.
Also, I should warn you that the pillow does have a weird initial smell, almost like a chemical odor. It’s not overbearing one, though, and it doesn’t last more than a week or so, but it’s there.
Getting the best pillow for side sleepers, such as this one, is only a part of the solution – you can find the rest in my article about shoulder pain, a common problem among people who sleep on their side!
8Nature’s Guest Cervical Support PillowBest Pillow For Back Sleepers
Okay, since I’m already talking about ground-breaking pillow designs that have a potential to change the way we sleep, it’s only fair to mention the Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow, a model recommended by both chiropractors and orthopedic doctors.
- The contoured design encourages neck support and proper spinal alignment
- Chiropractors and orthopedic doctors recommend it
- An ideal choice for back sleepers
- The firmness and loft are adjustable
- It’s hypoallergenic
- It’s rather heavy
- The price isn’t exactly budget-friendly
What makes its cervical support design so special is the fact that it has an integrated neck roll cushion, paired with a gusseted edge design. As a result, you get a pillow that’s not only perfect for back sleepers but for those that tend to switch from back to side sleeping, too.
To make matters even more comfortable, you can customize the pillow to fit your needs by adjusting the fill in both the back and side-sleeping areas.
One thing I noticed straight away was that the pillow was pretty heavy. That’s not an issue in itself, because it was made with a more substantial filling for a reason, but it could turn out to be a problem portability-wise.
Also, keep in mind that it’s not the most affordable model on the market, either. Proper cervical support is an essential part of recovering from chronic neck pain, though, and in that aspect, it’s worth every penny.
I know this is a bit off-topic, but did you know back sleepers are more likely to have lucid dreams? If you want to give it a try, my comprehensive guide to lucid dreaming could help!
9Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow (2-Pack)Best Pillows For Stomach Sleepers
Okay, it’s time to discuss pillow sets, and the first one up is a two-piece set from Beckham Luxury Linens Hotel Collection.
The pillows contain gel-filled fiber encased in a polyester cover, so right off the bat, you can expect these to have a plush feel to them. Moreover, the pillows feature a no-shift construction, which means you can throw them in the washing machine and not worry about the filling clumping up and ruining the pillows.
- It has a gel-filled fiber filling
- The pillow features a no-shift construction
- Resistant to dust mites, mildew, and mold
- It’s hypoallergenic and free of chemicals
- The cover is resistant to fading and stains
- It’s machine-washable
- It’s too soft
- There’s not enough neck support
Most importantly, though, they’re free of any chemicals and allergens, as well as resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew, and that’s always a plus in an allergy sufferer’s book.
That said, I have to be honest with you – there are some pretty severe downsides to be noted here, too.
One of my main concerns was the firmness level – or the lack of it, thereof. As mentioned previously, these are medium-loft pillows, having around four to five inches in thickness, which looked promising until I laid my head on it and it sank all the way to the mattress. They’re too soft and, as a result, won’t be nearly as supportive for your head and neck.
The only scenario in which I could see these pillows work, and keep your spine correctly aligned, is if you were a stomach sleeper, and needed as low of a loft as possible – they’re perfect for the job! If you want to learn more about your sleeping position, check out my definitive guide for stomach sleepers!
10Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow (Set of 2)Best Pillows For Back And Stomach Sleepers
Just because you don’t have a substantial pillow-shopping budget at your disposal, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a decent set of pillows – and this Utopia Bedding two-piece set is here to prove that!
These microfiber pillows are filled with a blend of medium-firm fibers, but at the same time, they’re soft enough for you to mold them whichever way you want. More importantly, they’re 100-percent free of chemicals that could potentially be harmful to your health.
- The pillows are filled with a medium-firm fiber blend
- Blue piping on the microfiber cover is a nice touch
- They’re soft and easily moldable
- They’re free of harmful chemicals
- They can be washed by hand or machine-washed
- They should be dry cleaned
- The sizes are off
They’re marketed as suitable for every sleeping position, but since there’s no way to adjust the loft, I’d suggest you stay away from them if you’re a side sleeper.
These pillows can be both washed by hand and machine-washed, but if you want them to last longer, it’s recommended to dry clean them, instead. So, you have two options here – either you take the easy route, and cut your pillow’s lifespan short, or you pay for dry cleaning every few months. What’s it going to be?
Also, watch out for the pillow sizes. The dimensions are off, and they run small. I’d recommend going a size up if you want to be on the safe side.
Expensive isn’t always better – and these Utopia Bedding pillows are a perfect example of that. Not only are they affordable but they’re pretty comfortable, as well. The only downside is that they don’t have an adjustable loft, so finding out if they’ll work for you is a bit of a gamble.
11Digital Decor Two 100% Cotton Hotel Down-Alternative PillowsThe Budget-Friendly Choice
You’re convinced that comfortable pillows are only reserved for the time you spend in a hotel?
Well, I’d say these Digital Decor Hotel Down-Alternative Pillows beg to differ. The two-piece set is one of the most affordable ones on my round-up of the best pillow reviews, so before we go any further, I’d like you to remember that you can experience that hotel-like comfort at a budget-friendly price.
- They feature a virgin polyester fiberfill
- The covers are 100-percent cotton
- The no-shift construction will ensure the fill stays in place
- The pillows are hypoallergenic and free of chemicals
- They come in three firmness levels
- They’re machine-washable
- They go flat pretty easily
The pillows feature down-alternative filling – virgin polyester, to be exact – and 100-percent cotton covers, which work together to give you not only a durable, comfortable, and breathable pillow, but a hypoallergenic one, as well. Moreover, you can choose between three firmness levels, or rather, fill weights, which should help you find one that’s optimal for your sleeping position.
The fill clumps up, though, making the entire pillow flat and thus, less comfortable. It wouldn’t be a problem if you could fluff it back into its original state, but without any access to the filling, it’s impossible to get rid of the clumps once they form.
You get what you paid for, huh?
If you feel like you can never get your pillows to be as comfortable as the ones you see in hotels no matter what you do, chances are you merely haven’t found the right ones for the job yet. The Digital Decor two-piece set is here to change that, though. These down-alternative pillows will make every night at home feel like a vacation!
12WonderSleep PREMIUM Adjustable LoftBest Pillow Set For Couples
Next one up is a set of two pillows by WonderSleep – ideal for sleeping partners!
I’m usually against couples buying identical pillows, because, as individuals, you have different needs, but this is a set for two even I would recommend!
- The shredded memory foam fill is fully adjustable
- The breathable cover combines polyester and bamboo-based fabric
- It’s resistant to dust mites and hypoallergenic
- The entire pillow is machine-washable
- They have a slight chemical smell
- They tend to go flat overnight
The secret is in the shredded memory foam filling and the fact that you get to customize it whichever way you want. Maybe one of you requires a low loft, while the other prefers pillows with a medium thickness level – and you can both get what you want from the same model!
Furthermore, the cover is a polyester and bamboo combination, which means two things – it’s breathable, and it’s hypoallergenic.
Does the fact that it took me almost ten whole minutes to open the package count as a downside? I recognize and appreciate the effort that went into the packaging, but this was too much, even for me. And once I finally managed to open one, I was greeted with a not so pleasant chemical smell.
All jokes aside, though, here’s what bothered me – they tend to go flat during the night, leaving your head and neck with virtually no support.
I don’t like the one-size-fits-all idea that goes into buying a set of pillows, but with their customizable loft, the WonderSleep Premium two-piece set might be what you and your sleeping partner need.
13Down Alternative PillowBest Down Alternative Pillow
You love the fluffiness of down pillows, but your allergy to feathers is stopping you from experiencing their plushness? You’re not alone – after all, down alternative pillows are there for a reason!
- It comes with a 100-percent cotton cover
- The microfiber fill is hypoallergenic, and so is the cover
- It doesn’t retain heat and is suitable to use throughout the year
- The entire pillow is machine-washable
- It’s reasonably priced
- The extremely high loft isn’t for everyone
- It requires regular fluffing
In many ways, this MASTERTEX is raising the bar on what it means for a pillow to have a „down alternative“ fill. The down-like fibers are so soft and fluffy, but at the same time, they manage to hit that thin line between squishy and firm. You get the comfort of down pillows, without dealing with the actual feathers.
Moreover, that soft fiber fill is encased in 100-percent cotton, a material known for its breathability and minimal heat retention.
All in all, this is a pillow you can use throughout the year without worrying about allergies or nighttime sweating.
Even though they look amazing, all that thickness isn’t for everyone. I won’t go into details right now, but an extremely high loft could do more harm than good if used by the „wrong“ sleepers, as it could push your spine out of alignment, rather than support you. And sadly, you can’t adjust the amount of filling – it is what it is.
When you’re allergic to feathers, but enjoy the fluffiness of feather down pillows, finding an alternative fix that feels just as good as the real deal can be tricky – but it’s not impossible. Give this down-alternative pillow a try, and you’ll see for yourself!
14Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Memory Foam PillowBest Solid Memory Foam Pillow
I get that not everyone’s a fan of shredded foam, which is why I decided to look into pillows with molded memory foam filling – and I wasn’t disappointed. The Bluewave Bedding has a phenomenal low-loft pillow targeted at back and stomach sleepers.
Besides the ultra slim profile, it also features a dual sleeping surface, one side being round, and the other completely flat, which gives you a chance to choose based on what feels more comfortable to you.
- Molded gel-infused memory foam
- It’s CertiPUR-US certified
- Additional holes for improved airflow
- Features a low loft for stomach and back sleepers
- The cover is removable and machine-washable
- It’s hypoallergenic
- It has an initial chemical odor
- It’s on the firmer side
And speaking of comfort, there’s no need to worry about this solid piece of memory foam getting hot – the foam is not only gel-infused but additionally ventilated through the holes in its body, too. Thanks to all the air circulating throughout the pillow, heat retention won’t be a problem.
Now, let’s talk about the pillow’s firmness level.
The molded memory foam was slightly too firm for me, but that’s a matter of personal preference, rather than a downside. I know a lot of you could benefit from a firm, supportive pillow like this Bluewave Bedding model (back sleepers, I’m looking at you), so if you’re a fan, by all means, give it a go.
You already know my thoughts on this, so let’s not beat around the bush – it’s, without a doubt, one of the best pillows out there for back and stomach sleepers. The ultra-low profile combined with the firmness will keep your spine aligned, and your neck supported properly, which already brings you a step (or two) closer to getting a good night’s rest.
15Original Bamboo Luxury PREMIUM Shredded Memory Foam PillowBest Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Okay, it’s time for the last model in my round-up of the best pillow reviews. Did I save the best for last, though?
Well, keep on reading and find out for yourself!
- The bamboo-derived fiber cover is hypoallergenic
- Comes with a stretchy inner cover with a zipper
- The fill combines shredded memory foam with different density levels
- The loft can be customized
- It can be machine-washed
- It has an initial smell
- It may be too firm for some
The Luxury Diamond series memory foam pillow by Original Bamboo features, as many other models on this list do, a customizable shredded memory foam filling. But here’s what makes it stand out – instead of throwing together a bunch of shredded foam without paying attention to quality, they handcrafted a mixture of different density level foam that makes their pillows comfortable, supportive, and breathable.
And since I already mentioned breathability, you should know that the fill is encased in hypoallergenic bamboo-based fabric, known for its ability to help keep heat retention under control.
Now, I’d like to point out that this “downside” is mostly a matter of preference:
There’s nothing wrong with the pillow itself, but it seems to me that it’s a tad bit too firm. As I said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some of you might find the firmness enjoyable, but if you prefer your pillows plush and fluffy, move along – this is not it.
Shredded memory foam pillows might seem like they’re all the same, but it’s the kind of memory foam they contain that makes all the difference. Original Bamboo recognized that and made sure their Luxury Diamond series is all about finding a blend of different density level foam that will be comfortable, breathable, and supportive, at the same time.
How To Choose The Best Pillow: A Detailed Buyer’s Guide
I’d say a list of 15 of the best pillows on the market leaves you with more than enough room to make a choice – and an informed one, for that matter.
Start By Picking The Right Size: A Guide On Pillow Sizes
It’s going to get complicated in here, so let’s kick things off with something basic – pillow sizes.
First things first, right?
The table below will show you the dimensions of various pillow sizes available on the market, as well as their corresponding pillowcase sizes:
|Standard||20x26 inches||20-21x30-32 inches|
|Super Standard||20x28 inches||20-21x30-32 inches|
|King||20x36 inches||20-21x36-41 inches|
|Euro||26x26 inches 24x24 inches 22x22 inches 20x20 inches 18x18 inches 16x16 inches||Dimensions may vary|
|Body||54x20 inches 48x20 inches||Dimensions may vary|
|Toddler||14x20 inches||14x21 inches|
|Queen||20x30 inches||20-21x30-32 inches 20-22x30-34 inches|
Choosing a pillow size always comes down to two factors – your mattress’ size and personal preference. Here’s what I mean by that:
- Standard As the name suggests, this is the most common pillow size on the market. Being short and compact, they’re also the most affordable option out there. As a general rule, one standard pillow fits twin and full-size mattresses, while two should be more than enough for Queen or King-size beds.
- Super StandardIf you find that the standard-sized pillow is a bit too compact for your liking, the super standard one features a couple of extra inches in length.
- Queen For those of you that tend to change your sleeping position throughout the night, a Queen-size pillow might be a suitable fit – they offer some additional space on both sides of your head.
- King Similarly to the Queen-sized variety, this pillow size not only offers plenty of extra room on the sides for those that keep tossing and turning but serves as a backrest if you’re sitting up in bed, too.
- Euro Although they come in a variety of sizes, they all have one thing in common – their square shape. They’re mostly used as headrests or backrests by people who like to read in bed. That said, in Europe, it’s not uncommon for them to serve as primary sleep pillows, as well.
- Body PillowsIf you like to hold on to your pillow when you’re sleeping, you’ll love these! Plus, they’re an excellent choice for side sleepers, especially moms-to-be.
- Toddler Lastly, you have toddler-size pillows. These tiny pillows are your best bet if your child is transitioning from a crib to a proper bed.
Additional Tip: When choosing a suitable pillowcase for your pillow, make sure that it’s slightly bigger than the pillow itself. A good rule of thumb is adding two to four inches in length, and one or two inches in width – it will fit the pillow better, and make putting it on a lot easier.
Since it determines the level of support and comfort a pillow will provide to the sleeper, the pillow’s height or thickness – also known as loft – is not a feature you should overlook.
Every sleeper is different, though, which is why there’s a need to separate loft levels into three categories:
- Low Loft – Pillows that have less than three inches in height (or thickness) are considered to have a low loft.
- Medium Loft – If it falls in the three to five inches range, the pillow is said to have a medium loft.
- High Loft – If the pillow is more than five inches thick, it has a high loft.
It seems relatively simple at first glance – all you have to do is choose between three pillow loft levels, right?
Well, no, it’s a tad bit more complicated than that.
And while personal preference should always be one of your main guideline for choosing the right pillow loft level, there are various other factors you shouldn’t overlook, including:
Your Sleeping Position
As I said, everyone has different sleeping preferences – and what works for side sleepers could never work for those that sleep on their stomach!
Here’s what you need to remember:
- Side Sleepers – These guys are notorious for punching their pillows or sleeping with one arm tucked underneath it, and if you’re one of them, you should consider getting a pillow with customizable loft. Being able to adjust it to your preference is vital, but remember not to go below the medium-loft mark.
- Back Sleepers – The key word here is „balance“; as a back sleeper, you should focus your attention on low to medium-loft pillows, as they tend to strike that note between softness and thickness perfectly. That said, your weight is a huge factor here, so if you’re on the heavier side, you should go with a slightly higher loft to make up for the increased upper body weight, mainly head and shoulders.
- Stomach Sleepers – Generally speaking, people that sleep on their stomach require a minimal amount of loft, because there’s not much space between the head and the mattress’ surface, and a higher loft pillow would only push their spine out of alignment. Moreover, stomach sleepers could choose to go pillow-free, as well!
Your Prefered Pillow Placement
Yes, this is a thing – how you place your pillow under your head play a role in the loft level you might need, too.
So, for instance, if you tend to sleep with the pillow completely under your head, support and comfort-wise, you’ll benefit from low to medium loft pillows. If, on the other hand, it sits only partially underneath your head, you might want to look into high loft pillows, as you need to compensate for those areas that are left unsupported.
Your Weight And Body Type
The higher your body weight, the more pressure you put on the mattress’ surface – remember to consider that when choosing pillow loft. Here are some general guidelines:
- Below Average (Less Than 130 Pounds) – Lightweight sleepers will benefit from high-loft pillows. The extra height will fill the space between their heads and the mattress.
- Average Weight (130-230 Pounds) – Average weights call for average lofts – so, medium-loft it is.
- Above Average (More Than 230 Pounds) – If you’re tipping the scales on the heavier side, you’ll benefit from a low to a medium-loft pillow, since you’re already pretty close to the mattress’ surface.
And speaking of body types, it makes perfect sense to factor in the two parts of your body that come in direct contact with the pillow – your head and shoulders.
The size of your head and the weight it puts on the pillow can determine the loft level you’ll need. If your head is on the heavier side, you’ll need a high-loft pillow to maintain the same level of support and comfort a person with a smaller, lighter head gets from a medium-loft one.
I know thinking about your head’s size isn’t something you’d typically do, so if you’re not quite sure whether it’s considered large or not, you can always compare it to the global average values.
Okay, time to sum it up – the following table should help you find a suitable loft level based on all previously mentioned criteria:
Most Common Pillow Types
The type of material you choose will have a massive impact on how the pillow feels and performs under pressure. That said, there’s no such thing as the best pillow type – as with everything else, it’s a matter of finding what works in your particular case!
Foam Pillows 101: What To Expect
Memory foam and latex have been ruling the market for the past couple of decades – and with a good reason, too. These are the three common shapes you’ll find them in:
- Shredded Foam – It was a staple in my best pillow reviews, so you know its main advantage is adjustability – you can customize the pillow’s loft so that it fits your needs. As a result, shredded foam works for every sleeping position, from back and stomach to side sleepers. Moreover, since the foam is shredded into tiny pieces, it’s also more breathable than the molded variety.
- Molded Foam – The most basic type of foam found in pillows is the molded one – solid pieces of foam that can’t change their shape or be customized the way other forms of foam can. That doesn’t mean it’s not as comfortable, though. People suffering from neck or back pain turn to contoured foam pillows for relief!
- Noodle Foam – While it’s relatively similar to shredded foam regarding moldability and breathability, the critical difference is in its noodle-like shape. When it comes to sleeping positions, I’d say they’re suitable for all sleep types. That said, side and stomach sleepers seem to be particularly fond of this type of pillows.
If you want a pillow that will give you that cradled feel, memory foam is the way to go. Thanks to its slow response time and the exceptional ability to contour to your head and neck, memory foam will provide support precisely where it’s needed the most!
Unfortunately, its superior contouring ability proves to be a downside, too, as it leads to poor air circulation. As a result, memory foam tends to retain body heat and “sleeps hot.“
If you’re worried about nighttime sweats, opt for gel-infused memory foam, instead.
- Pain and pressure relief
- Slow response time
- Superior contouring ability
- Initial off-gassing odor
- Heat retention
Emily’s Top Choices:
- Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Original Bamboo Luxury PREMIUM Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Memory Foam Pillow
You have two options here – 100-percent natural and synthetic latex – but you’ll probably encounter some pillows that contain a mix of both, too. In its natural form, latex is the white sap extracted from rubber trees and whisked into a frothy material. In that regard, it’s one of the best eco-friendly materials out there.
If you want a pillow that will support your neck, conform to its natural curve, and alleviate pain and pressure the same way memory foam would but don’t want to deal with heat retention, latex is the way to go!
Now, remember that all-natural latex pillows can be pretty expensive – if you want all the benefits for a fraction of the price, go with a synthetic latex pillow, instead.
- Pain and pressure relief
- Doesn’t require fluffing
- Doesn’t retain body heat
Emily’s Top Choice: All Natural Latex Pillow With Organic Cotton Outer Covering
For some people, down pillows are not an option due to health-related reasons, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get to experience their numerous benefits. Down alternative pillows, which are often filled with polyester or cotton fibers, are perfectly capable of mimicking the breathability, comfort, and support seen in genuine down pillows.
That said, they do have a slightly firmer feel to them, but that’s hardly a downside – if anything, it ensures more support for your neck.
- Short break-in periods
- Not as durable as genuine down
- Non-natural material
Emily’s Top Choice: Down Alternative Pillow
What About Natural And Organic Pillows?
Let’s make one thing clear – “natural“ and “organic“ are not the same thing. Remember:
While every organic pillow is natural, not every natural pillow is organic.
If this doesn’t make much sense to you, don’t worry – there’s a lot of confusion revolving around these two terms. Here’s where the difference comes from:
- Natural – When I label a specific pillow as „natural,“ I’m addressing the fact that it’s made from natural materials found in our environment, either plant or animal-based sources. Cotton, wool, natural latex, and down feathers all fall into the “natural“ category.
- Organic – As mentioned previously, all organic pillows are made from natural materials, as well, the difference being that they’re certified organic. Pesticides, harmful chemicals and procedures are all eliminated from the manufacturing process.
Commonly made using down feathers of geese, ducks, swans, and sometimes other waterfowl, they are, without a doubt, the softest pillows out there. That said, in some cases, they might contain a combination of down feathers and much denser ones. These “combo“ pillows are an excellent choice if you want some extra firmness, but you’re not willing to give up on down fills.
Down pillows are overall a good – and comfy – choice regardless of your sleeping position, and I’m sure you’ll be glad to learn that they sleep cool, as well, due to all that air circulating between the feathers.
But all that softness comes with a downside – they flatten easily and will require daily fluffing to maintain their shape. Speaking of maintenance, you should know that washing down pillows is not an option; they have to be dry cleaned.
- Extremely soft and fluffy
- Excellent breathability
- Requires daily fluffing
- Has to be dry cleaned
Emily’s Top Choice: Continental Bedding Superior 100% Down Pillows
Besides being all-natural (or even organic), inside and out, cotton pillows are also hypoallergenic, breathable, and cool enough for hot sleepers. Furthermore, cotton pillows are widely available, and at a somewhat affordable price, too, so I don’t see why you wouldn’t want one for yourself!
Now, I should probably warn you that if you opt for a cotton pillow, you have to commit to replacing it quite often – they have a relatively short lifespan since the fill tends to flatten or become clumpy over time.
- Widely available and relatively affordable
- Short lifespan
Emily’s Top Choice: 100% All Organic Cotton Fiber Medium Filled Standard Size Pillow
Whether you’re looking for a natural or an organic pillow, buckwheat is a smart choice, even more so if you sleep hot. Since they’re so densely packed with buckwheat hulls, which allows the air to circulate throughout the pillow, they’re outstandingly breathable and known for their low heat retention.
I’d recommend a buckwheat pillow to stomach and side sleepers, and most importantly, allergy sufferers – being hypoallergenic is one of their main advantages.
However, the hulls are quite noisy, which is terrible news for anyone who tends to toss and turn a lot in their sleep.
- Outstandingly breathable and don’t retain heat
- Excellent neck support
- Can’t be washed
- The hulls make noises when you move
Emily’s Top Choice: ComfySleep Rectangular Buckwheat Hull Pillow
Final Pillow Type Comparison Chart
Okay, I know this was quite a read, and it might be hard to take it all in at once, so I think it might be time for another comparison chart! You’ll find common pillow types, as well as all their vital qualities – so, essentially, everything I previously discussed – neatly summed up in the table below:
|Pillow Type||Durability||Support||Heat Retention||Maintenance||Weight||Customizable Loft||Price|
|Memory Foam||Good||Excellent||High||Sometimes||Heavy||Sometimes||Reasonably Priced|
|Natural & Organic||Good||Excellent||Minimal||Non-washable||rage||Sometimes||Expensive|
Any Particular Condition You Should Take Into Account?
Certain conditions will have a significant impact on your choice of pillow, too. Here’s what you need to know:
While it’s a magical time in every woman’s life, it can be an exhausting experience, too. Quality sleep is essential for a healthy pregnancy, which is why you should consider getting a pregnancy pillow, either a C or a U-shaped one. Not only are they comfortable but they support your growing belly and relieve back pressure, as well!
It’s no wonder many moms continue using their pregnancy pillows well after giving birth!
Tips for choosing the best pregnancy pillow:
- Down feathers are perfect for body pillows, but if you’re allergic, you could go with memory foam, instead, as it provides more hug and contours to the curves of your body.
- Watch out for sizes – if the pillow is too big for your frame, it won’t support you properly.
- Make sure it has a machine-washable cover.
Emily’s Top Choice: PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow with Jersey Cover, C Shaped Body Pillow
Although the list of underlying causes for neck pain is rather long, one thing I always tell people is to start with the most basic stuff – their sleeping arrangements. You’d be surprised at how much trouble an unsuitable, and thus unsupportive pillow can cause.
Tips for choosing the best pillow for neck pain:
- Memory foam and latex are an excellent choice for pressure relief.
- Choosing the right pillow loft is a vital part of proper neck support.
- Don’t forget to take your weight and preferred sleeping position into account.
Emily’s Top Choice: The Water Pillow by Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow –AND– Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow
Disclaimer: If the pain is severe or persists even after you’ve made all the essential lifestyle changes, I strongly advise you to talk to a medical professional.
Since sleeping on your back could only worsen the symptoms and occurrence of sleep apnea episodes, finding a pillow that’s designed in such a way that it „forces“ you to sleep either on your side or stomach is vital. Moreover, a good sleep apnea pillow should be able to support your head and neck properly, as well.
Want to know more? Check out my definitive guide to sleep apnea!
Emily’s Top Choice: CPAP Pillow
FAQ: Everything You Wanted To Know About Pillows – And More
I did my best to cover all the info you might need before you start your search – from best pillow reviews to a detailed buyer’s guide – but I’m guessing there are still some lingering questions left, so I’ll do my best to answer them for you!
Here are some frequently asked questions about all things pillow-related:
And The Best Pillow Is…
That said, you’d probably like to know which one of the models discussed in my best pillow reviews is the best one overall, and since I don’t want to leave my readers hanging, here’s what I think:
Given everything we’ve talked about today, I’d say that the ComfySleep Rectangular Buckwheat Hull Pillow is the best pillow for any – and every – sleeper out there.
Would you agree with me or do you have a personal favorite of your own? Let me know in the comments below!