When the time comes to invest in a new bed pillow, where should one begin their search? If you’ve ever spent hours scrolling through bedding reviews, you've probably noticed that it’s hard to find any consensus on what the best one actually is. In truth, there may not be an uncontested “perfect pillow” out there since everyone’s physical, emotional, and environmental factors are different.

But despite the abundance of choice on the market today, you can use what you already know about your current sleep preferences to help narrow your options down.

The Best Bed Pillows for Sleeping

    “Selecting a pillow is a very individualized process,” says Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist also known as The Sleep Doctor. “When it comes to picking the right pillow, there is really no one pillow size, shape, or material that fits all. The best way to find the pillow that’s right for you is to determine your individual criteria and then use your instinct about what feels most comfortable and appropriate for you.”

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    In our testing, we’ve found that a bed pillow's fill material and firmness are two of the most important factors to take into account when beginning your search, as you can immediately rule out a lot of products that way. Think about the pillow that you currently sleep with, and try to specify what you like and dislike about it. Is your pillow way too firm, or does it completely lack support? Is it made of solid memory foam, or is it filled with a malleable material, and would the opposite type be a better fit?

    Your usual sleep position can also help indicate what type of firmness is best for you. We asked Lexie Sachs, the senior product analyst in the Textiles Lab of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, what the most important factor in buying a new pillow is, and she told us, “The goal is to have your head and neck aligned. When you lie on your pillow, your neck shouldn’t be tilting in any direction. Side sleepers need a thick, firm pillow; stomach sleepers need a thin, soft one; back sleepers need somewhere in between.”

    It’s important to note that some fill materials, like memory foam, will inherently be heavier and have a more supportive core than other materials, like a fiber or feather blend, which will be softer but potentially less structural.

    What remains true for all types, though, is that there should be no neck pain whatsoever, even in the first few days of sleeping on a new pillow. Sachs adds, “new pillows may feel unusual at first, especially if you are making a switch to a material you’re not used to, but a pillow should never leave you feeling sore.”

    With that in mind, make sure you check the retailer’s return policy before you make a new pillow purchase, just in case it ends up not working for you!

    How We Chose:


    As Best Products’ senior home decor editor, I’ve been testing bed pillows for nearly 6 years, experiencing firsthand the differences in various firmness levels, fill types, and heat-wicking fabric technology. While not every pillow that I test at home may be right for me as a side/stomach sleeper, I try to take into consideration the benefits that a product does offer in terms of support, fill material, and quality of construction that may be better suited for a different sleeper.

    Some of the pillows that we tested are from brands that I or other editors have tried for previous iterations of this piece. I've also consulted pillow reviews from Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, Business Insider, and Apartment Therapy to get a sense of which products those outlets had tested and touted as being the best.

    Finally, I searched the top-selling pillows on Amazon and consulted the reviews of the highest-rated products, to take into consideration which ones might be best suited for budget- or convenience-minded buyers.

    How We Tested:

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    We revisited many of the top-rated pillows from previous versions of this pillow review and asked the editors who’d tested them before to provide longer-term feedback. We also conducted 3-week tests of a few new pillows. Any products that didn’t meet our criteria were either cut or added to our “Honorable Mentions” section at the very bottom.

    All testers involved judged their pillows on a five-point scale based on the following criteria:

    • Support: Does the pillow provide balanced head and neck support, or is it much too soft or firm?
    • Responsiveness: Is the pillow malleable, or does it only have one form?
    • Pillow weight: Does the pillow’s heaviness or lightness impact the comfort of sleeping with it?
    • Heat Retention: Does the pillow hold onto or wick away body heat?

      After receiving feedback from our testers after the 3-week trial period, we narrowed down our final list to the 12 best bed pillows for sleeping. Check out what we had to say below!

      Best Foam Pillow

      Tuft & Needle Premium Pillow
      Tuft & Needle amazon.com

      The Tuft & Needle pillow is made of one piece of adaptive foam that is ventilated with small holes for airflow, and it has a removable, quilted cover that adds a little extra padding.

      While our editor Bridget Clegg did note that this pillow’s buoyant, extra-supportive form doesn't provide that “sinking-into-a-cloud feeling,” she really liked the Tuft & Needle pillow's round-cornered shape, saying “this pillow firmly holds up my head and supports my neck.”

      She also said that for a foam pillow, the product is also comfortably lightweight and the graphite-infused foam does feel cool to the touch and breathable. After close to a year of nightly use, she reports that there’s still no sagging.

      The pillow's soft, lightly padded cover is also touted as a plus, sliding easily into a pillowcase. Overall, the single-foam construction of this pillow offers enough pushback to keep the head and neck aligned, and is moderately firm without feeling heavy.

      The Tuft & Needle Premium Pillow starts at $75 and is available in a standard and king size.

      Best Shredded Foam Pillow

      Coop Home Goods Eden Adjustable Pillow
      Coop Home Goods walmart.com

      The Coop Home Goods pillow is a shredded-memory-foam pillow that can be zipped open to add or remove stuffing — it even comes with an extra bag of foam, in case you want it super jet-puffed! The foam is lightweight and slow reacting, and it feels significantly airier than a solid piece of foam.

      If you’re searching for the best pillow on Amazon, the Eden pillow typically appears as a top choice, with 73% of its current 10K reviewers giving it a five-star rating. It’s also a favorite of Business Insider, and Consumer Reports specifically touts the pillow’s resilience!

      Our editor Leanna Yip described the pillow after a year of use as "hefty but not heavy, and nice and cool in the summer." The pillow’s quilted cover is a bonus, because not only does it make the pillow feel extra soft, but it effectively grips onto a pillowcase so that it doesn’t slide around in the night. It’s even equipped with a ventilated gusset around the sides to push out hot air.

      We think that sleepers of all types who prefer a soft, cozy pillow would enjoy the Eden — just as long as you’re OK with removing some of the memory foam to get its loftiness just right for you.

      The Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow starts at $80 is available in a queen and king size.

      Best Down Pillow

      Parachute Down Side Sleeper Pillow
      Parachute Home parachutehome.com

      We originally tested the down-stuffed Parachute Side-Sleeper Pillow as part of a separate month-long down-pillow test, and it ended up being one of our favorite pillows that we've ever tried. (It's also available in a down-alternative version.) Its construction is unique in that it is more rectangular in shape than a regular pillow, and it features a 3.5-inch border gusset.

      This gusset is a standout feature that really helps the pillow retain its structure. I've found that it helps keep my neck in alignment, and it gives this pillow a backbone that most down pillows completely lack. The down fill comprises European white duck down and feather fibers and comes from a certified Responsible Down Standard (RDS) supplier.

      This pillow is generously stuffed, light as a feather, and very responsive — and it’s remained that way in the 6 months that I've slept on it. While the gusseted border doesn't make it great for spooning, the Parachute Side-Sleeper Pillow is intelligently constructed and a pleasure to sleep on.

      The Parachute Down Side-Sleeper Pillow starts at $129 and is available in a standard and king size.

      Best Down-Alternative Pillow

      Snowe Down Alternative Pillow
      Snowe snowehome.com

      Another pick to hit our "best bed pillows" list for the first time is the Snowe Down-Alternative Pillow, which two of our testers, Bridget Clegg and Sanah Faroke, tested for 3 weeks in the medium and firm densities respectively. Clegg, a side sleeper, gave her medium-density pillow top marks for support, while Faroke, a back sleeper, felt that the firm density could actually be firmer. Both editors gave a perfect rating to the pillow's breathability.

      Filled with soft microfiber that mimics the airiness of down, this pillow retains its shape incredibly well while also being incredibly responsive to the sleeper's movements. "I love the feeling of letting my head drop onto this pillow. It is fluffy and plump and gives a lot when your head lands," said Clegg." She also enjoyed the "silky smooth" feel of the Oeko-Tex-certified cotton pillow cover. Faroke echoed Clegg’s statement in her own review by saying, "this pillow was soft and pretty fluffy, but lacked the support I really want."

      While the Snowe Down-Alternative pillow was superior from other fiber fill pillows that we tested, we definitely recommend the medium- and firm-density pillows for side sleepers over back sleepers.

      The Snowe Down-Alternative Pillow starts at $75 and is available in a standard and king size.

      Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

      Leesa Hybrid Pillow
      Leesa leesa.com

      The Leesa Hybrid pillow’s unique construction may look a little strange, but it actually checks a lot of boxes, comfort-wise. Each side offers a completely different textural experience — one side has cushioned microfiber quilting that nestles the head and neck, and the other is flatter and much firmer, but is layered with a ventilated cooling gel directly underneath the pillow's surface. Even when covered with a thick pillowcase, the cooling sensation is still effectively transferred to the skin.

      In using this pillow for over a year, I’ve found that it’s on the heavier side, but it's much more breathable and cushy than it looks. It has a low loft and is decently spoonable, but its form isn’t adjustable. The ability to experience different sensations depending on which part of my body is making contact with the pillow is definitely unique and conducive to the sleep experience.

      The pillow doesn't make you feel like you're sinking, overheating, or like you have to fluff it up at any point. No matter which side of it you sleep on, the Leesa Hybrid pillow is engineered to keep the user feeling nestled and cool, while maintaining correct body alignment for side sleepers.

      The Leesa Hybrid Pillow starts at $109 and is available in a standard and queen size.

      Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

      Snuggle-Pedic Pillow
      Snuggle-Pedic amazon.com

      It can be tough to find a cozy pillow for back sleepers, who usually need to sleep on something firm, but not brick-like, with mid-level loftiness. The Snuggle-Pedic Pillow provided exactly what our tester Sanah Faroke needed in a pillow, as she gave it a perfect score for back-sleeping support. “Conforming to my upper body, this pillow provides much-needed support to my head and neck so that I can comfortably sleep on my back in a happy spinal position.”

      The Snuggle-Pedic contains shredded memory-foam fill that can be adjusted as the sleeper sees fit. It’s covered by a bamboo-polyester-lycra pillow cover that’s both breathable and stretchy, and the pillow is also completely machine-washable!

      Faroke rated the Snuggle-Pedic pillow as being near-perfect in terms of weightiness and breathability, and she noted that to make it comfy for back-sleeping, she added a bit more fill to the pillow to puff it up even more. Even over 6 months after initially testing it, she says that it’s still “one of her favorite pillows.”

      The Snuggle-Pedic Pillow starts at $70 and is available in a standard, queen, and king size.

      Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

      Original Casper Pillow
      Casper casper.com

      Another unconventional design, the Original Casper Pillow features a unique 2-pillows-in-1 structure that is meant to support every sleep position. We think it's a particularly great choice for stomach sleepers. Its firm core pillow is filled with tiny coated microfibers that give it a gel-like texture, and it’s zipped inside of a soft, cushioned outer shell, filled with longer-strand microfibers for an airier feel.

      Our editor Danielle St. Pierre has been sleeping on the Casper Pillow for over a year and she says it's still her go-to. She touts the pillow's "balance of firmness from the supportive inner core plus the softness and malleability of the outer cover." Because she sleeps on her stomach, this balance is also important for maintaining a comfortable spinal position.

      While this 2-in-1 down-alternative pillow from Casper may not have the responsiveness of a down or memory foam pillow, its plush construction offers just the right combination of fluffiness and support.

      The Original Casper Pillow starts at $65 and is available in a standard and king size.

      Best Pillow for Omni-Sleepers

      Layla Kapok Pillow
      Layla laylasleep.com

      The Layla Kapok pillow is an adjustable pillow that is filled with a combination of CertiPur-US-certified memory foam and plant-based kapok fibers. Its hexagonal-patterned pillow cover is made of polyester and viscose woven with CuTEC, a copper-infused yarn.

      Tester Kayla Ramsey, who is a back-and-side sleeper, tested out the Kapok Pillow and found it to be very conducive to her sleep type, as she felt cozy and supported in both positions. Although she did say that the pillow was quite "firm and heavy," she loved its cooling properties and plushness.

      "It provided the exact right amount of support I needed and I never woke up with a sore neck once, even during the adjustment period." Stomach sleepers would probably enjoy the Kapok pillow's responsiveness as well, as long as they adjust the fill to their preferred height before sleeping on it.

      The Layla Kapok Pillow starts at $99 and is available in a queen and king size.

      Best Adjustable Pillow

      Purple Plush Pillow
      Purple purple.com

      While many pillows on this list are adjustable, this descriptor usually means that the pillow cover can be unzipped to add or remove fill. This helps the pillow be a more versatile product for different sleepers, but the disposal of excess foam fill feels wasteful. The Purple Plush Pillow is one of the only adjustable pillows we've found that zips and unzips to change the firmness and loft of the pillow, without having to remove any of its fill at all!

      The Purple Plush Pillow comprises interior "interlocking fiber balls" inside of a cooling Lyocell-blend cover. This cover works so well to regulate body temperature that it's why we've previously named the Purple Plush Pillow our top pick for best cooling pillows! Our tester Zarah Kavarana has lived with this pillow for close to a year and still loves its dreamy feel and light weight. She says, "it’s an incredibly breathable option that combines a cozy, cloud-like feel with an airy construction."

      Kavarana, a side sleeper, also touts its adjustable support as a major plus for those with frequent back pain. "I suffer from upper back and shoulder pain, so it's nice to have the option to make my pillow more supportive on days when I need it, and make it more cushy and relaxed on the days that I don't." Her one critique of the Purple Plush Pillow is that although it conforms nicely to the body and has stayed comfortable over time, it can get a little lumpy and needs to be fluffed nearly every day.

      The Purple Plush Pillow starts at $49 and is available in a standard and king size.

      Best Hybrid Pillow

      Storm 1.0 Pillow
      Bedgear macys.com

      The Bedgear Storm 1.0 pillow is a cooling hybrid pillow, which has a firm, solid memory-foam feel on one side and a softer shredded foam texture on the other. Its cool-to-the-touch properties are why editor Stefan Vazharov continues to love it after 6 months of use. He says, "I love that the cooling feature works! It's very effective at drawing heat away from the body."

      The Storm 1.0 pillow is part of a collection of Bedgear pillows that are all the same apart from their ventilated border gusset, which is available in four different heights. Vazharov took Bedgear’s brief "Pillow ID'' assessment on their site, which paired him with the second-loftiest 1.0 pillow, taking into account his stomach-sleeping position and body size.

      Bedgear’s pillow materials and construction are entirely proprietary to the brand, and engineered for full-body recovery for the most restful night of sleep possible. It’s in an entirely different class of sleep products, which is the reason for the higher price tag. After testing this pillow, along with several other pillows from the brand, we find this premium sleep product to be worth every penny.

      The Bedgear Storm 1.0 Pillow starts at $286 and is only available in a standard size.

      Best Neck Pillow

      TEMPUR-Breeze Neck +Advanced Cooling Pillow
      Tempur-Pedic tempurpedic.com

      While a lot of neck pillows tend to be a little too firm, hot, and awkward to get comfortable with, the TEMPUR-breeze Neck + Advanced Cooling Pillow is a standout exception.

      As far as construction, this 3-pound pillow comprises a proprietary memory-foam core layered with gel sheets that are meant to provide a cooling sensation to the sleeper. Its sloped shape is encased in a stretchy, smooth, 500-thread-count performance cover that's removable and washable. This results in a support level that's firm without providing active, exhausting pushback and responsiveness that's slow-reacting and adaptive to the shape of the sleeper's body. In other words, it's not a light, fluffy, bouncy pillow, but it supports the head in a gentle and effective way.

      In my testing, I found its cooling factor to be just as enjoyable as its weight and support level. It's not as ice-cold as the aforementioned Bedgear Pillow that we've named our Best Hybrid pick, but the surface is cool to the touch and the core does seem to wick away heat upon lying on it initially — though, after hours of sleeping on it, it will no longer feel this way.

      For anyone living with chronic pain, specifically in the neck and shoulder areas, this sloped memory-foam pillow helps to minimize any fussing or wrestling with it, so that supportive spinal alignment can be achieved as soon as your head hits the pillow. This pillow is best for side sleepers, though back sleepers might find its contoured shape really comfortable as well. Stomach sleepers might be better off with something a little softer and squishier.

      The TEMPUR-Breeze Neck +Advanced Cooling Pillow is $149 and is only available in a standard size.

      Best Firm Pillow

      Bear Pillow
      Bear bearmattress.com

      The Bear Pillow is an adaptive-foam pillow that is covered with a cooling fabric and equipped with mesh panels at either end to help facilitate airflow.

      Our tester Scott Simone, a side sleeper, finds that its combination of low loft and high buoyancy has just the right balance to keep his spine in alignment throughout the night. He says, "after more than 6 months of sleeping on the Bear pillow, it's as comfortable and supportive as the first night I used it."

      Its flat 5-inch height and firm structure won't be for everybody, but it's incredibly well made and durable, and according to Simone, "stays cool all night long." For those who suffer persistent body aches, particularly in the shoulders, the Bear Pillow's gentle, firm support and cool-to-the-touch feel may be just what the doctor ordered.

      The Bear Pillow starts at $100 and is available in a queen and king size.

      Honorable Mentions

      While these didn't quite make the cut in our testing trial, they may be good options for other sleepers to consider.

      Brooklinen Mid-Plush Down Alternative Pillow ($59): While editor Danielle St. Pierre liked this pillow's breathability, she said that it simply didn't have adequate firmness for stomach sleepers. She said, "I found the pillow overall to have too much volume and not enough support." This pillow would be a better fit for someone who likes a soft, squishy pillow with lots of volume.

      Tulo Firm Pillow ($89): Editor Stefan Vazharov liked this pillow, saying that although it's weighty, it has a low loft and offers decent support for stomach sleepers. We recommend it as an alternative firm pillow pick if you're more of a stomach sleeper than a side or back sleeper.

      Read More:

      These Are the Best Bed Sheets That Our Team Has Ever Tested

      The Coziest Down Comforters That Our Editors Most Recommend

      How to Find the Best Mattress for You, According to Sleep Experts

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