Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Tuft & Needle

We Put 31 of the Best Pillows to the Test, and These 11 Were the Most Comfortable

We were especially wowed by the Snuggle-Pedic Original Memory Foam Pillow, which was equally comfortable when sleeping on our sides, stomach, or back.
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Finding a comfortable and supportive pillow can be the difference between a restful night of sleep and one that's spent tossing and turning. But with the overwhelming list of options on the market—including down pillows, memory foam pillows, cooling pillows, and more—it can be difficult to determine which one is the best pillow for you.

The best pillows will be compatible with your sleeping position and keep your neck supported throughout the night, says Logan Foley, Sleep Science Coach and Managing Editor at The Sleep Foundation

"You want to ensure your neck is aligned with your spine and it stays that way as you sleep," Foley says. "There are pillows that are specifically designed for neck pain…and these can be a good option for folks who have a tough time staying in one position throughout the night."

We put 31 of the best pillows to the test in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa, to determine which ones are actually comfortable and which aren't worth the money. As part of our testing, we had a team of experts inspect each pillow for quality, lay on the pillows for an extended period of time to determine how comfortable they were, and even test them with an infrared thermometer before and after using them to see whether they held or wicked away heat. We also tested their durability before and after washing, and overall value when assigning final scores to each. 

After two full days of testing, we chose the Snuggle-Pedic Original Memory Foam Pillow as our best overall choice, because of its supportive yet surprisingly plush design and cooling gel interior. Keep reading to find our full list of the best pillows for every type of sleeper. 

What We Recommend

Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: Snuggle-Pedic Original Memory Foam Pillow

View at Amazon ($69)

Why You Should Get It: This shredded memory foam pillow has a zipper on one side and comes with additional filling, so you can add or remove cushioning depending on your preference. 

Keep in Mind: Taking out or adding foam to this pillow can be a little messy. 

If you tend to move around in your sleep a lot, it can be difficult to find a pillow that is equally comfortable and supportive when snoozing on your back, side, or stomach. However, our testers fell in love with the Snuggle-Pedic memory foam pillow, which kept them cozy when switching between different sleeping positions. 

The outer layer of this pillow is structured memory foam, while the inside is filled with shredded foam pieces to create the squishy, plush texture our testers loved. For people who like a bit of firmness to their pillow, we found that this one kept our necks supported and comfortable without being too stiff. 

However, if you prefer your pillow to be a little more full, you can add the extra shredded memory foam that comes with your purchase. We did find the process of adding or removing foam to be slightly messy, so plan to do this in a place that's easy to sweep or vacuum

When testing the cooling capabilities of the Snuggle-Pedic pillow, our testers noted that it felt refreshing and cool against their head the entire time they lay on it, not just the first few minutes. This is thanks in part to its breathable bamboo cover, which allows ample ventilation to keep stuffy air from warming the pillow's surface. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Memory foam
  • Dimensions: Adjustable
  • Recommended for: Back, side, and stomach sleepers
Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Coop

Best for Back Sleepers: Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

View at Coop ($72)

Why You Should Get It: This pillow is made with a combination of memory foam and microfiber for a medium-firm yet comfortable fill. 

Keep in Mind: It doesn't have cooling properties, so hot sleepers may not find it as comfortable. 

People who sleep on their back at night often need a pillow with a higher loft (aka the measured height of a pillow when compressed) than a stomach sleeper needs. This keeps your neck supported and your spine in a neutral position while laying down, and our testers found the Coop Original pillow to be a great option for sleeping on your back. 

It's made from a blend of memory foam and microfiber, combining the inviting plushness of a soft pillow with the structured support you need for a good night's sleep. The pillow also comes with an extra half-pound bag of filling, so you'll be able to adjust its loft to meet your needs. 

When we tested it in the lab, our experts found that adding and removing stuffing was super easy and didn't make a mess. It's quite squishy, which balances the firmness of the memory foam layer inside. The entire pillow is also hypoallergenic, so it's a great option for people allergic to down. 

The only thing missing from this ultra-comfortable pillow is cooling capabilities. Unlike some of the other best pillows we tested, the Coop Original pillow doesn't include cooling features or added breathability to help regulate temperature as you sleep. However, even without this, our testers didn't feel overheated or stuffy when laying on it. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Memory foam and microfiber
  • Dimensions: 20 x 30 inches
  • Recommended for: Back and side sleepers
Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Best for Stomach Sleepers: L.L.Bean Down-Alternative Damask Pillow

View at L.L.Bean ($50)

Why You Should Get It: This pillow is extremely fluffy with a high-quality feel, according to our testers. 

Keep in Mind: It's not great for back or side sleepers, as this pillow doesn't provide as much support as others we tested. 

When testing out the L.L.Bean Down-Alternative Damask Pillow, our testers reported that this pillow had the look and feel of a luxury hotel pillow. Filled with hypo-allergenic polyester and covered in a soothing cotton fill, this pillow is quite fluffy while maintaining medium-firm support to your head and neck. 

During the temperature tests, we found that while this pillow isn't advertised as a cooling pillow, it didn't seem to get overly warm or stuffy when we used it. The overall temperature of the pillow increased after our testers laid on it for 15 minutes, but not enough to make them uncomfortable or prevent them from dozing off. 

We also liked that the L.L.Bean down-alternative pillow is washable, earning perfect scores for durability and overall quality in our tests. Even after being run through the washer and dryer, this pillow remained just as plush and soft as it had been when brand-new. 

Keep in mind that this pillow doesn't have as much support to your head and neck as a memory foam pillow might. However, since stomach sleepers typically need less loft and structure to keep their neck in a neutral position, the L.L.Bean pillow is perfect for this type of sleeper. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Polyester and cotton
  • Dimensions: 20 x 30 inches
  • Recommended for: Stomach sleepers
Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Marlow

Best for Side Sleepers: Marlow The Pillow

View at Marlow ($65)

Why You Should Get It: A hidden side zipper allows you to adjust the firmness of this pillow without having to add or remove stuffing. 

Keep in Mind: Though advertised as a cooling pillow, our testers didn't feel any difference in temperature between it and other non-cooling pillows. 

If you prefer to snooze on your right or left side during the night, it's important to find a thick, supportive pillow that will keep your body in alignment without creating pressure on your neck or shoulder. We chose Marlow The Pillow as the best pillow for side sleepers because of its mess-free adjustability, which makes it easier to find a loft and firmness that fits your needs. 

While a lot of adjustable pillows come with additional stuffing that you can add or remove, our testers liked that they could change the firmness of the Marlow pillow simply by zipping or unzipping the sides. When fully zipped, we found the pillow to be quite firm, but when fully unzipped, the pillow has room to expand on each side, making it more squishy. 

It's made from gel-infused shredded memory foam, so you can expect a fluffy, lightweight texture similar to a down pillow combined with the supportive cushion of a memory foam one. When unzipped, the pillow has greater airflow, which can help clear out stuffy air and keep you from overheating at night. 

Though it's advertised as a cooling pillow, our testers didn't notice any particular difference between the Marlow pillow's performance and other non-cooling pillows we tested. It seemed to warm up slightly when our testers laid on it for an extended period of time, but not enough to make them uncomfortable. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Memory foam and polyester
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 26 inches
  • Recommended for: Side and back sleepers

Related: The 8 Best Heated Blankets That Keep You Warm All Night

Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Tuft & Needle

Best for Neck Pain: Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow

View at Tuft and Needle ($85)

Why You Should Get It: Our testers liked that this pillow conforms to your head as you lay on it for added support. 

Keep in Mind: For the price, we didn't find this pillow to be quite as cooling as we'd expected. 

There's nothing quite as cozy as the feeling of laying down on a memory foam pillow that perfectly envelopes your head as you snooze. However, finding one that's the right combination of comfy and supportive can be pretty difficult. 

When we tested the Tuft & Needle Original memory foam pillow, our experts loved how the pillow cradled their heads as they laid on it, providing a perfect mix of plushness without the sinking feeling. The pillow is slightly less firm than other memory foam pillows we tested—it felt quite squishy when we pressed into it—but had enough firmness to keep our heads in a relaxed and neutral position.

According to the manufacturer (and confirmed by our testers), the Tuft & Needle pillow is designed to provide support for all sleeping positions, making it a versatile solution to neck pain no matter how you sleep at night. We also loved its high-quality polyester cover, which felt luxurious and remained super soft even after washing. 

The Tuft & Needle Original pillow is infused with graphite and cooling gel to help wick away stuffy air and keep you cool overnight. And while our experts did note that the pillow stayed at a comfortable temperature the entire time, it didn't have the major cooling effect we'd expected. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Memory foam and polyester
  • Dimensions: 25 x 16 inches
  • Recommended for: Back, side, and stomach sleepers
Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Casper

Best Memory Foam: Casper Foam Pillow with Snow Technology

View at Casper ($139)

Why You Should Get It: Though memory foam tends to trap heat, we found this pillow to be quite breathable and cool. 

Keep in Mind: This pillow is likely too firm for a stomach sleeper. 

The Casper Foam Pillow received perfect scores in our tests for its quality and value for the price. In fact, one of our experts loved it so much, she purchased it herself immediately after testing was over.

With a washable cooling cover that our testers described as "luxurious" and three different layers of supportive memory foam, the Casper Foam pillow is great for side and back sleepers alike. We liked its medium-firm support, which allows your head to sink comfortably into the pillow while still cradling your neck. 

This memory foam pillow is also designed to stay cool even on hot summer nights, thanks to its breathable cover and perforated memory foam. This allows the air to circulate through the foam instead getting trapped and warming up the surface of the pillow. 

Its "snow technology" is designed to draw heat away from your head as you sleep. During testing, our experts noted that the pillow felt equally cool when resting on it after 15 minutes as it had when they'd first laid down. 

We also found that the duality and durability of this pillow made it well worth the title of best memory foam pillow. Our testers raved about the quality of its material, especially the cover, which remained just as soft after being washed and dried. 

.Product Details:

  • Material: Polyurethane memory foam and polyester
  • Dimensions: 16 x 24 inches
  • Recommended for: Back and side sleepers

Related: The All-Season Duvet Insert Amazon Shoppers Say Is 'Like Sleeping on a Cloud' Is Under $40

Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Boll & Branch

Best Down: Boll & Branch Down Pillow

View at Boll & Branch ($158)

Why You Should Get It: This pillow provides a great combination of plushness and support

Keep in Mind: People who prefer a more firm pillow may not like how soft and fluffy it is.

When laying on the Boll & Branch Down pillow, our testers were surprised by its supportiveness, which had excellent cushioning while keeping our necks in a neutral position. It's made from organically sourced down and wrapped in a 100% cotton shell, which minimizes the possibility of sharp feather tips prickling you in the night. 

When shopping, you'll be able to choose your pillow density between soft, medium and firm. We tested the medium-density pillow, and found it to be a great all-around option for any sleeping position. Even our testers who naturally sleep on their sides felt that this pillow offered enough support to keep them comfortable all night long. 

While it isn't built with any particular cooling capabilities, our experts found that this pillow remained quite cool during our temperature tests. This is likely because the down pillow is more breathable than a dense memory foam one, allowing for better air circulation as you sleep. 

Keep in mind that most down pillows are quite fluffy, and the Boll & Branch pillow is no exception. Shoppers who are accustomed to more dense and firm pillows may find this one to be too soft. 

Product Details: 

  • Material: Down and cotton
  • Dimensions: 20 x 28 inches
  • Recommended for: Back, stomach, and side sleepers
Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Down Alternative: Amazon Basics Down Alternative for Stomach & Back Sleepers

View at Amazon ($25)

Why You Should Get It: For the price, our testers were amazed by its support and cooling capabilities.

Keep in Mind: The surface texture of this pillow felt slightly low-quality to our testers. 

At first glance, we didn't see anything special about the Amazon Basics Down Alternative pillow—its microfiber cover felt pretty standard, there weren't any special cooling capabilities, and its plushness didn't feel particularly spectacular. 

However, once we started testing this pillow, we were stunned to find that it possessed a similar quality to pillows more than three times the price. During our temperature tests, the Amazon Basics down alternative pillow barely increased in temperature, and our experts reported that it still felt quite cool and breathable. 

When laying on it in different sleeping positions, we also found that this pillow was also extremely supportive, keeping our necks in neutral alignment while providing superior cushioning. It has a medium loft, making it comfortable even when sleeping on your stomach, but it's still firm enough to cradle your head if you sleep on your back. Plus, this cozy pillow comes in a set of two. 

Our testers didn't like the texture of this pillow's surface, so we recommend putting an extra-soft pillowcase over it for a more premium sleeping experience. 

Product Details: 

  • Material: Polyester microfiber
  • Dimensions: 20 x 26 inches
  • Recommended for: Back, stomach, and side sleepers

Related: The 10 Best Organic Sheets for a Dreamy Bedroom

Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Saatva

Best Luxury: Saatva Latex Pillow

View at Saatva ($165)

Why You Should Get It: The high-quality materials and responsive natural latex core made this pillow extremely comfortable in all sleeping positions. 

Keep in Mind: The pillow cover shrank in the wash, so we don't recommend machine-washing it.

If you're looking for a luxury hotel-quality pillow that's worth the splurge, look no further than the Saatva Latex pillow. During testing, our experts gave it a perfect score for its quality, saying its material and plushness were the best they'd seen. 

Filled with natural latex and organic cotton and surrounded by a cotton sateen cover, this pillow feels extremely plush and cozy to the touch. It was quick to rise after we pressed our hand into the center of it, and when laying on it, our testers found that it kept their heads lightly supported on all sides. This helped them doze off without feeling the need to toss and turn to find a more suitable position.

During our temperature tests, the Saatva pillow only became a few degrees warmer when laying on it for 15 minutes, and our testers didn't report feeling any heat when laying on it. We also felt that it had great air flow and breathability without the feeling of stale or stuffy air. 

Though the manufacturer says this pillow's removable cover is washable, our testers found that it shrank by an inch and a half after washing and drying it. While we suspect this occurred during the drying cycle, we recommend hand washing and air drying this pillow's cover to be safe. 

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton and latex
  • Dimensions: 18 x 28 inches
  • Recommended for: Back, stomach, and side sleepers
Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Slumber Cloud

Best Firm: Slumber Cloud Core Down Alternative Pillow

View at Slumber Cloud ($48)

Why You Should Get It: This pillow remains surprisingly fluffy, despite its firmness. 

Keep in Mind: We found that this pillow shrank slightly after being put in the washer and dryer. 

While many people prefer their pillows to be soft and squishy, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't pick out the right firm pillow. Our testers really liked the combination of support and softness that the Slumber Cloud Core pillow offered, making it our choice for the best firm pillow. 

We tested the medium-firm version of this pillow, which looked and felt quite fluffy to the touch, but still held its shape extremely well when we rested our heads on it. It didn't feel like our heads were sinking deep into the pillow the way you might expect from a down-alternative option, but we still felt quite cozy. 

The pillow's cotton cover is infused with a special inner coating of fabric developed by NASA to help regulate heat, and during testing, our testers mentioned that it felt quite cool and comfortable in all positions. 

We also liked that this pillow was machine-washable, making it easy to clean if you accidentally spill on it or if it gets dirty. The Slumber Cloud Core pillow did shrink slightly in the wash, but it was just as fluffy as before when we took it out of the washer. Because of this, we don't recommend washing this pillow too often in order to preserve its quality. 

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton and latex
  • Dimensions: 18 x 28 inches
  • Recommended for: Back, stomach, and side sleepers
Pillow
Credit: Courtesy of Avocado

Best Organic: Avocado Green Pillow

View at Avocado ($109)

Why You Should Get It: The sustainable filling in this pillow was surprisingly comfortable and supportive, rivaling the plushness of synthetic pillows we tested. 

Keep in Mind: The stuffing can get stuck in the zipper when trying to add or remove filling. 

Choosing organic bedding for your home can be a sustainable and eco-friendly option without sacrificing comfort as you sleep. The Avocado Green Pillow earned the title of best organic pillow after testing because of its supportive yet soft filling and cozy textured cover. 

This pillow is made from certified organic cotton, kapok (a vegan alternative to down that's made of tree fiber), and latex, but it received equally high scores to the synthetic pillows we tested in our lab. We were particularly impressed by the coolness of this pillow, which remained the exact same temperature even after our testers laid on it for a long period of time.

We also found that this pillow was extremely comfortable, offering a firm support but maintaining a cozy squishiness that made it extra inviting to fall asleep on. Our experts loved that its cover was machine washable for easy cleaning without losing any softness. 

The Avocado Green pillow has a medium-firm feel to it, but you can always add or remove stuffing using the zipper opening and the extra stuffing that comes with your purchase. However, our testers had trouble with the stuffing getting caught inside the zipper, so keep this in mind if you plan to add extra filling. 

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton, kapok, and latex
  • Dimensions: 19 x 25 inches
  • Recommended for: Back, stomach, and side sleepers

The Bottom Line

When shopping for the best pillows, it's important to find a pillow that accommodates your sleeping position and will provide enough support to your neck and spine as you sleep. During testing, we found the Snuggle-Pedic Original Memory Foam Pillow to be the best pillow overall, since it's adjustable to suit all sleeping positions. We also loved its cooling capabilities and plush yet supportive cushioning. 

Our Testing Process

To put the best pillows to the test, we spent two full days examining the quality, comfort, and durability of some of the most popular options on the market in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. Our team of home experts laid on each pillow for an extended period of time on their stomachs, backs, and sides to determine which pillows were supportive and comfortable enough for each sleeping position.

They also used an infrared thermometer to test the cooling capabilities of the pillows, noting any that had exceptionally good airflow and breathability. For pillows that were safe to use in the wash, we tested their durability by running them through a laundry cycle and looking for shrinkage or flatness. 

What to Know About Pillows Before Shopping

Pillow Filling Type

Depending on how fluffy or supportive you like your pillow to be, different filling types may be right for you. For people who like a plush, lightweight pillow to sink into, down or feather pillows provide extra soft cushioning without much support. 

If you prefer a little more structure, memory foam pillows are popular because they mold to the shape of your head and neck as you sleep, providing customized support. During testing, many of our experts also really liked the combined cushioning and support of shredded memory foam pillows. 

"Memory foam pillows are made up of foam and down pillows are filled with either goose or duck feathers," Foley says. "There's not a huge difference as far as effectiveness in the two, so a lot of it comes down to personal preference. However, if you're a hot sleeper, you may want to avoid memory foam because it tends to trap heat."

Loft Height

The loft height refers to how thick your pillow is when lying flat on your bed. There are typically three loft heights to choose from: low loft (less than three inches thick), medium (between three to five inches thick), and high loft (greater than five inches).

These measurements can help you determine the correct pillow for your sleeping position. The appropriate pillow loft will keep your neck supported and relieve pressure on your spine, but depending on how you typically fall asleep, you'll probably need a different pillow loft.

Your Sleeping Position

You'll also want to shop for a pillow that keeps your neck and spine in a neutral position as you sleep, which is why some pillows are better suited to certain sleeping positions than others. 

If you're a stomach sleeper, try shopping for a pillow with a low loft height and a lightweight filling. This keeps you from feeling suffocated by dense memory foam and allows your head to rest more naturally than it might on a high loft pillow. 

Most back sleepers will find a medium loft pillow to be the most comfortable, which are usually between three to five inches thick. Side sleepers will likely need a high loft pillow to fill the space between their head and neck, providing even spinal alignment and relieving pressure. 

Cooling Capability

On sticky summer nights, the last thing you probably want is to curl up on a pillow that traps heat and stuffy air right next to your face. Instead, shopping for pillows that have cooling features such as graphite-infused filling or breathable fabric covers can help wick heat away from your head. This eliminates the need for constantly flipping your pillow in the middle of the night while keeping you more comfortable. 

Other Pillows We Tested

Purple Harmony Pillow

The Purple Harmony pillow stood out during our tests for its cool-to-the-touch design and its surprising texture. When we initially performed the temperature tests, our experts found that it instantly felt cool against their necks, but that cooling sensation seemed to disappear over time, making it ineffective after a few minutes.

While we liked how firm and supportive it was, our testers didn't love the honeycomb texture of the pillow, which is why it ultimately didn't make our list. 

Brooklinen Down Pillow

We normally love Brooklinen's bedding products, but the brand's down pillows didn't perform as well as others in our lab tests. Our testers noted that the pillow seemed to deflate when they rested their heads on it, providing very little support or cushioning, even for someone who sleeps on their stomach.

It also increased in temperature by 14 degrees when our testers laid on it for a long period of time, making us question how cool it would feel if sleeping on it overnight. 

Buffy Cloud Pillow

While we initially liked the silky exterior of the Buffy Cloud Pillow, we found that it lacked support when actually in use. Our testers' heads immediately sank through all of the fluffy down cushioning, making it quite uncomfortable in all sleeping positions. It also retained quite a bit of heat during our temperature tests, causing our testers to feel overly warm when laying on it. 

Your Questions, Answered

How often should I replace my pillow? 

It's important to replace your pillow every few years, not just to keep you more comfortable as you sleep, but also to ensure your neck and spine are adequately supported overnight. 

"You should replace your pillow every one to two years," Foley said. "If your pillow is starting to sag, stain, or lose its shape, this may be a sign that it's time to get a new one." 

If you notice that you're waking up with soreness, you're tossing and turning at night, or your allergies start to get worse, this could be a sign that it's time to replace your pillow. Old pillows will lose their cushioning, providing less comfortable support, and begin to accumulate allergens inside the fibers that can worsen your allergies. 

How do I know if I'm using the right pillow? 

Picking out the best pillow for you is a combination of personal preference and matching your sleeping position with the right loft and support. You'll know you've found the right pillow when it's approximately as thick as the distance between your neck and the mattress when laying down on it. 

This keeps your neck or back from curving in an uncomfortable position all night. You'll also find that you're not tossing and turning all night long to find the right sleeping position, because the pillow provides adequate support and cushioning. 

What type of pillow is best for cooling? 

There are plenty of cooling pillows on the market designed to help wick away heat and avoid trapping stuffy air right next to your head as you sleep. However, some pillows do this better than others. 

As part of our tests, we used infrared thermometers to measure the temperature of each pillow before and after laying on it for an extended period of time. This helped us determine which were the best cooling pillows and which became uncomfortably warm. 

If heat resistance and breathability are important to you, look for lightweight pillows like a down or a shredded memory foam pillow that has cooling gel inside its filling. Some memory foam pillows will have graphite infused into the layers, which can also help to diffuse heat. 

Who We Are

Samantha Jones is an associate home editor at Better Homes & Gardens, writing about topics such as window air conditioners, hammocks, fans, and more. For this story, she combined her research on the best pillows with tester insights gathered during our pillow tests in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. Samantha also spoke with Logan Foley, Sleep Science Coach and Managing Editor at The Sleep Foundation for expert insights on what to look for in the best pillows.