These 11 Pillows Will Change the Way You Sleep

·7 min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Photo credit: Courtesy of Retailer

Sleeping seems like a simple enough thing—after all, we all do it. Sleeping well, though, requires a little bit more work, from getting the right room temperature, the perfect sheets, and yes, the best pillow. It’s not as simple as just finding the best pillow brand or searching “what type of pillow is the best for sleep?” Because the answer depends on what kind of sleeper you are. Do you sleep on your side? Back? Stomach? Do you want a firm pillow with lots of support, or one you can sink right into?

We’re here to help. We’ve broken down the top-rated pillows into twelve different categories, designed to fit the way you sleep. From the best pillows for side sleepers to anti-snoring pillows to CBD pillows, we’ve got you covered. If you want the best hotel pillow, we’ve got that. The best luxury pillow, that’s here, too. If you’re a hot sleeper and need a cooling pillow, we’ve chosen the best. Foam, gel, down alternatives—they’re all here.

Read more: Best Sleep Gadgets

Choosing the right pillow can feel like a daunting task once you really consider your options. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s more like a journey toward a better night’s sleep. And we’re happy to help guide you on your way to finding the best pillow for all your needs.

Fill material: Talalay latex, Down Alternative

Firmness level: Medium-soft

After a year of testing, Saatva's Latex Pillow easily takes the cake as the best pillow for most sleepers. Its plush-yet-firm feel offers five-star resort comfort, while still providing ample neck support for guys who like to sleep on their side. This Goldilocks fit is made possible by its thick Talalay latex fill, which provides ample cushion and extra bounce for the head and neck. If you prefer your pillows with less height, you can remove the outer pillow to remove its loft. Plus, we found that the breathable fill does a pretty job of keeping us cool, making it great for hot sleepers. Overall, Saatva's marquee pillow received top marks from most of our testers.

Read more: Best Pillows for Neck Pain

Fill material: Polyurethane Foam, Viscoelastic Polyurethane Foam

Firmness level: Medium-firm

For an alternative to traditional down pillows, memory foam is a popular option, though for some sleepers it can feel too hot. Casper's answer to that problem features a quilted memory foam outer shell, while active ventilation and a cooling fabric helps keep it from overheating, ensuring you a comfortable rest.

Read more: Best Memory Foam Pillows

Fill material: White down

Firmness level: Medium

The Parachute Down Pillow has the luxurious feel you expect from a down pillow, and a medium-level firmness that’s ideal for back and side sleepers. The white-down fill naturally cradles your head and neck for a better night’s sleep, providing the perfect amount of support without smothering you.

Read more: Best Sheets

Fill material: Polyester

Firmness level: Medium-soft

While most sleepers choose down alternative pillows, most of them can feel like sleeping on bricks. Not so with Sobel's resort-like pillows, which offer plenty of support for side sleepers, yet are almost as plush as our favorite down pillows. Plus, testers found that these cushions still hold their shape after months of use. No wonder it's received hundreds of five-star ratings on Amazon.

Read more: Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

Fill material: Gel down alternative

Firmness level: Plush

Filled with gel fibers, Beckham Hotel Collection hypoallergenic pillows keep their shape—they won’t bunch up or get lumpy—while also staying cool. They’re supportive for any kind of sleeper, and the 100-percent sateen cotton cover has a luxurious feel. Most importantly, they’re certified for anyone with allergies, respiratory issues, or sensitive skin. If you want the pillows hotels use, this is your choice.

Read more: Best Mattresses

Fill material: Shredded gel

Firmness level: Medium-soft

Anyone who “sleeps hot” should consider the Sleepy's Reactex Pillow. It features a down alternative can be adjusted to suit any kind of sleeper, whether that’s back, side, or stomach. Most importantly, its pressure-activated Reactex technology draws heat away when you're sleeping on it, an automatically cools itself when you're not on it. Perfect for those who need a little extra chill to sleep.

Fill material: Memory foam, Down alternative

Goldilocks sleepers—those who have a tough time finding a pillow that’s just right—should consider LAYR's premium adjustable loft pillow. It’s filled with a mix of memory foam and down alternative, which can be removed to provide the perfect customized balance of softness and support. The cover, made of cooling bamboo, is both soft and breathable.

Fill material: Memory foam

Firmness level: Firm

Stomach sleepers need a different kind of pillow, and the Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper is for them. It’s made of familiar materials—a memory foam core with a cotton cover—but at just 2.5 inches thick, it’s one of the thinnest pillows you can buy. The half-pillow design means it lays flat while curving up, ready to cradle the heads of stomach sleepers without stressing their necks.

Read more: Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

Fill material: Down alternative

Firmness level: Medium

Crane & Canopy's Ultimate Down Alternative Sleeper Pillow is a good all-around pillow, but it’s especially good for back and side sleepers looking for extra neck support. It sports a 400 thread count, 100-percent cotton cover, and a down-alternative core made of springy fibers that give it a nice lift.

Fill material: Polyester

Firmness level: Medium

A good pillow doesn’t have to break the bank, and the Simply Essential Down Alternative proves it. For less than a Benjamin, you can get this no-frills pillow with an antimicrobial polyester fill and cotton sateen shell. They’re not as firm as other options—some may find them too soft—but when it comes to value they’re hard to beat.

Snoring isn’t just hard on your bedmate—waking up groggy and unrested because you can’t breathe right is tough on you, too. Solutions usually involve sticking something in your mouth or nose, which also makes for an uncomfortable night. Enter the Smart Snoring Pillow, which uses a high-tech combo of microphones and software to nudge whenever you start to snore, leaving you to wake up refreshed.

Read more: Best Anti-Snoring Pillows

How We Selected

For the past three years, we thoroughly researched and tested more than 200 pillows for this roundup. We paid close attention to everything from its firmness, to long-term durability to comfort level and price. The list above represents our honest opinion of the best pillows to shop in 2022.

How to Find the Right Pillows

Nothing feels better than plopping your head down on a luxurious pillow after a long day. But before you get ahead of yourself, you need to make sure it’s the right pillow for you:

Sleep position: If you’re a side-sleeper, then a papery-thin pillow, where your head sinks down, will end up causing you neck pain. You need a thick, firm pillow, ideally one made of foam or with gel.

By the same turn, if you tend to sleep on your stomach, you don’t want your neck propped up and your head in an unnatural position–opt for a thinner pillow. One with feathers is a little retro, but will work fine. And if you sleep on your back, well, you’ll need something in between to keep your neck at a nice angle without causing it to raise or lower too much.

Read more: Best Bedding

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