There are many options to choose from, with down and alternative fillings and varying degrees of firmness to suit every sleep position. The perfect pillow for you will ensure that your head and neck stay aligned when lying down. Side sleepers, back, and stomach sleepers all need different levels of support to ensure that they are in the correct position for the entire eight hours of bedtime.  While the best mattress is part of the foundation of getting a great night’s sleep, the right pillow is just as essential. To help, we’ve researched and slept on the best pillows to help you decide. 

Best pillows of 2023

Why we love it I found as much comfort and support with just a single Casper Original as the mountain of pillows I usually have on my bed. This is thanks to a unique design that combines two specialised pillows — an inner pillow with shorter fibers to support the head and neck and a super-soft, fluffy outer pillow. It’ll stay plump for longer thanks to the individually blown cluster of clump-resistant fibers, and it reshapes without the need to re-plump. This two-in-one design also makes it super easy to pop the outer pillow into the washing machine. If you run a little hot at night, this soft but supportive down-alternative pillow comes with a breathable cotton cover that will keep you cool. Good to know While Casper set out to develop a pillow that suits all sleep types, it also took into consideration the height of the pillows, offering a 1.25" low loft and a 2" mid loft. If you’re unsure which to choose, they offer a quick questionnaire to give you personalized advice on the appropriate height for you.  Why we love it If you love the feel of down but are uncomfortable with how it’s produced, the Boll & Branch Down Pillow is the perfect median. The down fill is sourced from a cruelty-free farm that is then triple-washed using environmentally-friendly detergent and encased in a 100% organic cotton shell. If you still aren’t convinced, they also offer a down alternative. A three-chamber construction helps the pillow keep its shape both through the night and over time, and it’s available in three firmnesses. The Soft density is filled with adjustable down in all the chambers while the Medium and Firm pillows feature a more supportive feather and down inner pillow, surrounded by a soft layer of down. I’ve found that the soft option is perfect for stomach sleepers, but Side sleepers report loving the medium version, and back sleepers typically select the firm.  Good to know Like most traditional down pillows, you’ll still have to plump the pillow every so often. This hypoallergenic design is a great choice if you suffer from allergies, and also means this pillow is odorless. Why we love it Down alternative, or polyfill, is a great choice if you don’t want a down pillow.  Whether you want to avoid allergies or pointy feathers, the Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow somehow to mimics the feel of down with shaved microfibers made from recycled plastic bottles. These mold so well to the weight of your head that you won’t even notice the difference. Of course, that also means you still will have to plump here and there, and it eventually will go flat. The cotton sateen cover is breathable and cooling, so this is another good option if you get hot in the night. Best of all, Brooklinen offers one of the most lenient returns on pillows that we’ve seen. Its 365-day return policy is coupled with an additional year of warranty, so if the pillow goes flat or doesn’t meet your expectations, you can get a refund, hassle-free.   Good to know This pillow only comes with one density, so it might not fit your sleeping style. It’s also not machine washable, which is a little inconvenient.  Why we love it The long-time best-selling COOP Adjustable Loft Pillow lets you precisely control the loft and fill of your pillow. Simply stuff as much of the shredded memory foam into your pillow as you need to make your pillow firmer or softer. This memory foam is hypoallergenic, has CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certification, sleeps cool, and you get 100 nights to decide if it’s the best pillow for you.  To adjust your pillow, unzip the outer quilted shell, and then the secondary inner lining that contains the shredded memory foam and microfiber fill. The quilted cover is soft and cooling, thanks to Coop’s special Lulltra fabric, featuring bamboo-derived viscose rayon blended with polyester. The design also makes it incredibly easy to wash the outer cover in the washing machine.  Good to know The best feature of this pillow is also it’s least convenient. Once you’ve adjusted your pillow exactly as you want it, you’re left with a load of extra filling to store. I’ve ended up with mine shoved in a grocery bag under my bed. There’s also some lingering off-gassing odor, so this pillow might take a little getting used to. Why we love it I’ve never slept with anything quite like the Purple Harmony Pillow before, and over a year later, I’m still obsessed. The Harmony is the perfect mixture of a uniquely Purple Grid Hex gel layer woven into the removable cover with a ventilated Talalay latex core. Together, these two technologies combine to offer insane no-pressure support and stay temperature neutral for airflow and breathability all night long.  This pillow is heavy and dense, so it’s not the kind of thing you would want to be swinging around in a pillow fight. But this makes it perfectly squeezable, and if you love to hug your pillow, it will bounce back to its original shape.  Good to know The Harmony pillow is available in three lofts to help you find the best support for your sleep style and body: tall and medium for combo and side sleepers, and a recently debuted low model. I tried the low (recommended for back and stomach sleepers and smaller framed people), but found that particular loft too low for me. It’s also a pretty pricey option. Fortunately, Purple offers a 100-day trial for you to decide if you’ve gotten the right pillow and loft for your needs.   Why we love it Everything about the Saatva Latex Pillow is luxurious, but this eco-friendly pillow won’t cost the earth. The pillow-in-pillow design features a down-alternative shell with a shredded natural latex core for responsive head and neck support, all wrapped in a 100% organic cotton cover. This buoyant and responsive pillow cushions around my head. While it feels incredibly soft, there’s no sinking feeling, as it stays supportive for excellent neck and spine alignment. Saatva offers a 45-day trial period and a 1-year warranty on its pillow, so you can make sure that it suits your sleep style.  Good to know The pillow has a medium firmness that makes it excellent for side sleepers and back sleepers who seek loft, but stomach sleepers will need something with less loft.  Why we love it Sleep Number’s True Temp Pillow looks a little utilitarian, but it’s worth it for an extremely supportive pillow that also sleeps cool. It’s easy to open the pillow right up and see what you’re getting. A specially molded foam top layer with perforations for breathability and support, followed by two inch-thick foam layers that can be removed. It has an undulating contour design for better head and neck support. The washable cover also has a thin layer of fiberfill on the top for added cushion. All the foams are CERTIPUR-US, meaning they’re free of harmful materials and emissions. As a back sleeper, I particularly liked the pillow at its 5-inch level, with one foam block removed. It’s a dense pillow, but just squeezable enough. Reviewers with chronic neck pain seem to like the design too. Sleep Number offers a 100-day trial for its pillows and a one-year warranty, so if you don’t require the customized design, Sleep Number also offers a Classic for stomach and back sleepers and a contour pillow offering for side and back sleepers. Good to know This pillow is marketed to work for all sleep types, but I think it may be too thick for front sleepers.  There’s also the typical memory foam off-gassing for the first few nights.  Why we love it The Avocado Molded Latex Pillow is optimized for side and back sleepers looking for neck support. The firm pillow has about a 5" loft that takes all the pressure off your neck, giving it immediate relief. I found it much firmer than I’m used to and my head just rested on top of the pillow instead of sinking in. The organic cotton cover also sleeps cool. Avocado uses 100% natural latex, sustainably sourced from their own factories in India that are then poured into a mold the share of a pillow. They infused their molded pillow with charcoal to reduce odor and manage temperature and moisture. The materials have been recognized by eco-INSTITUT to be free of dangerous emissions and synthetic materials, as well as GreenGuard Gold and Formaldehyde free by the UL Environment.  Good to know Avocado Green offers a 100-night trial for its pillows, so seeing if this latex design can solve all your sleep dreams is as risk-free as it gets. Why we love it Pluto takes personalization even further with its customizable pillow. After filling out a questionnaire with some demographics, sleep preferences, and some comments on what you want out of your pillow, you’ll find yourself with a made-to-order pillow. This means that their pillows have varying cover materials and fills, but the hybrid design with a foam inner core and an outer plush pillow can be found in every variation. Depending on your responses, your pillow will be finished with a smooth, soft, quilted, or cooling cover, and will have varying fills according to whether you like your pillows soft and squishy or supportive. I received a medium-fill pillow with a smooth cotton cover that was perfect for sleeping on my back.  Good to know If you’re planning to buy as a gift or to share with a partner, you’ll want to have them fill out their own questionnaire and make their own account. Shipping is free, though you might have to go through multiple transactions.  When we last checked in January 2023, Pluto warned that these made-to-order pillows could take up to four weeks to process.  Why we love it The Brentwood Home Zuma Foam Wedge will suit anyonewho needs to keep their head elevated in the night. The Zuma pillow is available in three different “heights” to tailor-make your wedge pillow to your needs. The 10-inch size is the most popular and provides a medium amount of lift when laying down; the 7-inch provides a gentler slope and less lift and is recommended for those that just need to be slightly elevated while sleeping, and lastly, the 12-inch provides the highest amount of lift and is best for those that need to sleep in a more upright position. The wedge pillow is extremely useful to flip the pillow to the sharply inclined side for support when watching TV or reading in bed. It can also improve circulation in the lower half of your body and relieve lower back pain. That in turn makes it a good choice if you’re pregnant, and also helps to relieve any reflux from pregnancy and keeps moms-to-be from rolling onto their backs.  Good to know At 24" wide and deep, the design comfortably supports the width of your body but may push you closer to the edge of the bed, depending on how high up on the pillow you choose to sleep. 

How we tested the best pillows

Jaclyn has slept on more than two dozen different pillows over the course of the last year to deliver you pillows that will transform how you think about sleep. A pillow that feels great the first night might not hold up in the long run, while a pillow that takes getting used to can become a  firm favorite. On test, these pillows are slept on for weeks at a time, but our picks are the ones that continue to make it back into the rotation.  She also enlisted the help of her family, who all sleep in different positions, to give their feedback on the pillows, and try them for themselves. For picks that Jaclyn has personally not tried yet, she crowdsourced from co-workers and friends about the pillow that changed their life and backed up those recommendations by looking into customer reviews. For more insight into our hands-on review process, refer to our how we review guidelines. 

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According to The Sleep Council, a pillow that is too soft will cause your head to flop and a pillow that is too hard will cause neck pain and stiffness. To choose the right pillow for you, think about your sleep position. There are pillows recommended for side, back, front, and combination sleepers but there’s also different fillings to consider.  Back sleepers will benefit most from a medium-firm pillow with a medium loft. If it’s too soft, your head will sink to a point of little support, and if the pillow is too high, you could be causing undesired strain on your neck. You also want a pillow that won’t go flat during the night, so memory foam or latex pillows are a smart choice. Side sleepers will love all the loft to cushion their heads and necks. They’ll do best with a firmer pillow that keeps them from sinking too far down, which could cause neck strain if your body is not in alignment. A little sink-in motion and a fluffy, moldable feeling are a good call too.  Stomach sleepers have the highest risk of dealing with neck pain, and even trouble in the lower back or abdomen. These sleepers will need a flat, soft pillow to help keep heads and necks more in line with the rest of their bodies. A huggable or moldable design is especially beneficial for helping your head conform to the pillow, and for holding on to the pillow while you sleep.  Additionally, allergy sufferers might want to consider microfiber, silk, or memory foam. Other important features to consider are the pillow height or loft, support, and breathability.  Down This premium pillow type is perfect for snuggling, moldable, and oh so soft. Officially, a down pillow has to be made up of at least 70% down feathers – down is fluffier and more delicate and they tend to form a cluster as opposed to a more rigid feather which has a quill that runs down the middle and sometimes pokes out of your pillowcase.  The feathers come from ducks or geese – the latter is more expensive as the clusters formed on geese are larger and therefore softer. They will need regular plumping and may not suit side sleepers who need more height.  Other things to note: they’re not vegan, some people are allergic and you can experience pillow noise from some.   Our favorites: Boll & Branch Down Pillow Down Alternative This synthetic man-made filling is often made from polyester or microfiber. It is basically plastic but woven into tiny soft and silky fibers. Premium designs can feel down-like whereas cheaper designs can flatten quickly and therefore don’t have much of a lifespan.  This is also a good option for allergy sufferers as they tend to be naturally hypoallergenic, they also come in a range of heights and levels of firmness so should suit all types of sleepers.  If you’re concerned about your plastic usage, there are more sustainable fillings out there but if you prefer to sleep on microfiber look for brands that only make their filling from recycled plastics.  Our favorites: Casper Original Pillow, Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow, COOP Home Goods Adjustable Loft Pillow, Saatva Latex Pillow Memory Foam First invented in the 1960s by NASA scientists who were looking for ways to improve seat cushioning for astronauts and crash protection, memory foam can offer really good support for anyone suffering from back pain or joint problems. Memory foam pillows can be subbed into solid core and shredded memory foam types. For solid core, a singular foam piece molds to the shape of your head, neck, and shoulders, and when the pressure is removed the pillow bounces back to its original shape so no plumping is required.  These Memory foam pillows tend to be very firm and heavy and the height for most cannot be adjusted so they are best suited for side or back sleepers who don’t shift positions often – if you wake up on your front you will find it very uncomfortable on your neck and lower back. On cheaper designs, the airflow isn’t great so you might complain of overheating or prefer to sleep on a different filling during the warmer summer months.  Pillows with shredded memory foam are typically welcomed for their adjustable properties and can nicely conform to the shape of your head. They’re also cheaper to produce, making them more affordable than other options.  Our favorites: COOP Home Goods Adjustable Loft Pillow, Sleep Number True Temp Pillow (opens in new tab) Latex Pillows Latex pillows are finding their moment in popularity right now, thanks to their ability to conform closely to the sleeper’s neck and shoulders to alleviate pressure points for excellent neck and shoulder pain relief. It’s similar to memory foam but known to sleep cooler than most foams and is more durable. A latex pillow can last you as long as three or four years, but they usually do have a more expensive upfront cost due to their materials.  We’ve seen latex pillows in the shape of single-piece molds or shredded, to more or less mimic your favorite down or down-alternative pillows. While hypoallergenic, if you do have latex allergies, it is most prudent to avoid these types of pillows. You’ll also find that these latex pillows are not feather-light, and do have a density to them that can make them sleep more firm, though you can still find latex pillows that sleep plush.  Our favorites: Purple Harmony Pillow, Avocado Molded Latex Pillow, Saatva Latex Pillow They are always super fluffy, plumped to perfection, and tend to be larger than standard size for a positively luxurious experience. Hotel beds always come with an abundance of pillows, too (plenty to prop you up for your morning coffee and paper) and they often use crisp, white Egyptian cotton bed linen with a high thread count of at least 250.  The lifespan of a pillow varies based on how you care for it, but it is advised to change pillows at least every two years.  We also love the Purple Harmony Pillow, which if you have traditionally gone down the down or memory foam route, it’s a great innovative and cooling option. 

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