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Like mattresses, pillows play a major role in how well you sleep — and finding the right one can be challenging. Your sleeping position and weight can all affect how your pillow feels. People with neck and shoulder pain may need a pillow with an orthopedic shape, while heavy snorers often require a high-loft pillow to keep their heads upright. 

Our team evaluates factors like shape retention, moldability, temperature control, and odor potential when testing pillows in our lab. We also look at each pillow’s density, firmness options, and ease of cleaning. We based our picks below on our testers’ scores along with in-depth research and analysis.

What’s the Best Pillow of the Year?

We’ve named the Saatva Latex Pillow the best pillow of the year thanks to its strong balance of contouring and support, plus excellent cooling properties. Neither too firm nor too squishy, this pillow is just right for a wide array of sleepers.

In-Depth Reviews

“The Saatva Latex’s combination of down alternative and shredded Talalay latex fill results in an ideal combination of plushness and support. Our field tester has been using the pillow for over a month and loves how moldable it feels while still offering lots of support for the head and neck.” – Mark Horiuchi, Lead Product Tester

  • Pros

    1. Shredded Talalay latex core offers a balance of contouring and responsiveness

    2. Removable outer pillow for adjustable loft

    3. Optional pillowcases made of silky-soft organic cotton

  • Cons

    1. Minimal cushioning for those who prefer the “hug” of memory foam

    2. Loft may be too thick for stomach sleepers

Price Range

$165 – $185


Shredded Talalay latex and down alternative


Medium Soft

Saatva is best known for luxury sleep products made from premium materials. The Saatva Latex Pillow is a prime example of the brand’s commitment to quality and sustainable production. We found the pillow quite balanced, with plenty of cushioning for the head and neck without sacrificing support. At 8 inches thick, the Latex Pillow is among the loftiest we’ve tested firsthand.

How It Performed

Our side sleepers enjoyed the Latex Pillow’s high-loft profile. We’ve found people who primarily use the side position need thick pillows to fill the gap between their head and downward-facing shoulder, which in turn promotes even alignment. Some of our back sleepers also enjoyed the pillow, while the stomach sleepers on our team found it a bit too thick.

Shredded fill makes the pillow quite moldable and snuggly, but we also noticed decent shape retention due to the chambered design. Temperature control was another highlight during our tests. Air circulates nicely throughout the inner chamber to minimize heat retention, and the breathable cover also helps ensure consistent cooling.

What It’s Made of

The Saatva Latex Pillow features shredded Talalay latex in the core chamber, and down-like microdenier fibers in the outer chamber. Latex is highly responsive compared to foam, so the pillow shouldn’t sink too much beneath your head and neck, but the microdenier chamber keeps the surface invitingly plush. An organic cotton sateen cover encases the fill. After separating the three components, you can wash and dry the cover and microdenier in your household machines.

The Latex Pillow is competitively priced, and Saatva offers substantial discounts if you include two pillows with your purchase. Queen and king sizes are available. Shipping is free for customers in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. Your order includes a 45-night sleep trial and a 1-year warranty against structural and material defects.

“I enjoyed Sleep Is the Foundation’s Shredded Memory Foam Pillow for its customizable design. You can add or remove as much fill as you need to sleep comfortably.” – Brad Nehring, Senior Product Manager

  • Pros

    1. Shredded foam may be added or removed to change the loft

    2. Quilted cover is soft and breathable

    3. Bag of extra fill included with each purchase

  • Cons

    1. Fill must be completely removed to launder the inner pouch

    2. Sleep trial limited to 30 nights




Shredded memory foam (gel-infused)



The Sleep Is the Foundation Loft Pillow is fully adjustable, allowing you to customize the design based on your ideal thickness and support levels. Shredded memory foam fill ensures the best of both worlds if you’re looking for a pillow that contours evenly and feels exceptionally plush without sacrificing support.

How It Performed

Most of our testers enjoyed the Loft Pillow, though their opinions varied on how much fill felt most comfortable. Side sleepers preferred the pillow at or close to full volume, as this provided ample cushioning for their head and promoted even spinal alignment. Our back sleepers received adequate support when the pillow was at medium loft, whereas stomach sleepers emptied most of the fill to create a low profile that didn’t elevate their necks too much.

The fill is moldable and ideal for our testers who enjoy snuggling with pillows while they sleep. Temperature control proved to be another strength during testing, as the cover — made from a breathable and moisture-wicking fabric blend — offset excessive heat retention and kept us cool. The pillow’s outer cover is fairly easy to keep clean, though you’ll need to remove all of the fill before laundering the inner pouch.

What It’s Made of

The Loft Pillow contains shredded memory foam infused with cooling gel to help you sleep cool. An inner pouch holds the foam, and the pouch is encased in a cover made of polyester and moisture-wicking viscose derived from bamboo. Both the cover and pouch are fully machine-washable.

When all fill is used, the pillow measures 8 inches thick and is considered very high-loft. Removing the fill gradually reduces the profile. Each Loft Pillow comes with a bag of supplemental fill whenever the original supply needs to be replenished. Queen and king sizes are available.

The Sleep Is the Foundation Loft Pillow is exclusively available through Amazon.com. All orders include 30-night trial periods, and Amazon Prime members qualify for free ground shipping.

“The thing I dig most about the Brooklinen Down Pillow line is how each of the firmness options is fine-tuned to different comfort needs. Our field tester has used the firm model for 2 years and loves how plush it feels, almost like a hotel pillow. It also does a great job of keeping him cool at night.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Three firmness options to suit different sleeper preferences

    2. Down and feather clusters with a cotton sateen shell ensure a soft, cloud-like feel

    3. Each order comes with a trial period spanning an entire year

  • Cons

    1. Fill may trigger down allergies

    2. Pillow should not be machine washed

Price Range

$109 – $149


Canadian white down clusters or down/feather blend


Plush, Mid-Plush, Firm

Brooklinen delivers everything we love about down pillows — a plush, cloud-like feel with chambered construction to keep your head aloft and a breathable cover that reduces heat retention. The pillow is available in three density levels, each with a distinct firmness to accommodate different sleep positions.

How It Performed

Our testers evaluated all three of the Brooklinen Down Pillow’s density levels. The Plush pillow is the softest option, resulting in notable sinkage and minimal neck strain for our stomach sleepers. If you sleep on your side, we recommend the Firm pillow for its high loft. Our back sleepers awarded the highest ratings to the Mid-Plush feel, but this pillow is suitable for anyone who wants a compromise between soft cushioning and strong support.

Each density has a different construction, but we found all three pillows quite moldable and snuggly. The chambered design also helps maintain a full shape. That said, Brooklinen recommends daily fluffing to distribute the fill. While the down retains some heat, the breathable cover promotes cooling and none of our testers found the pillows overly warm.

What It’s Made of

Each of the three Brooklinen Down Pillows has a unique construction. The Plush design only contains down, creating an exceptionally soft surface for your head and neck. Mid-Plush pillows are structured with feather cores and down outer chambers. Since feathers provide better support, this design provides excellent cushioning without sinking too much. The Firm pillow also has a chambered design, but with a higher ratio of feathers to elevate your head even further.

Silky-smooth cotton covers encase the fill. To avoid damaging the down and feathers, you should only spot clean the pillow if stains occur. Dry cleaning is another option. Standard and king sizes are available.

The Brooklinen Down Pillow is reasonably priced and you’ll receive a discount when ordering two or four. Shipping is free for all customers in the contiguous U.S. Brooklinen’s 365-night sleep trial is one of the longest in the online bedding industry, and the pillow is backed by an additional year of warranty coverage against structural defects.

“I enjoyed the customizability of the Silk & Snow Pillow, since it allowed me to select the exact amount of fill to properly support my head without straining my neck. The crisp percale cover and shredded foam core kept the pillow from retaining heat, which I appreciated as someone who tends to overheat easily.” – Lauren Fountain, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Shredded memory foam and down alternative chambers offer great contouring for the neck

    2. Breathable cotton percale cover helps regulate temperature

    3. Adjustable design lets you customize the loft

  • Cons

    1. Too plush for some sleepers

    2. Supplemental fill not available for purchase

Price Range

$75 – $85


Shredded memory foam core with down alternative microfiber outer chamber



If you’re shopping with a limited budget, you may find that low-cost pillows sacrifice quality to carry an affordable cost. The Silk & Snow is a notable exception. With an adjustable core and chambered design to cushion your head and neck, the pillow is thoughtfully constructed and practical if you frequently change your pillow’s thickness and firmness.

How It Performed

To accurately evaluate the Silk & Snow Pillow, our tests involved multiple loft adjustments. The side sleepers on our team preferred the pillow’s fill at maximum volume, whereas our back sleepers needed to remove some of the foam to avoid neck strain. For our stomach sleepers, the pillow felt most comfortable when the core chamber was half full.

For the remainder of our tests, we evaluated the pillow at about 90% volume. The shredded foam and synthetic down outer chamber gave the pillow an exceptionally moldable feel, and the chambered design helped to distribute the fill evenly and maintain a full shape. Thanks to the cotton cover, none of our testers felt excessively hot.

What It’s Made of

The core contains shredded memory foam that provides deep cushioning and close contouring for your head and neck. In the outer chamber, microfiber fill creates a down-like softness. The cover is composed of crisp cotton percale. You may machine wash the cover, but should avoid exposing the other components to water.

To adjust the loft, simply unzip the cover and inner pouch containing the foam. We recommend using a receptacle if you are removing foam, as the strands can create a mess. Silk & Snow does not sell additional foam fill in bulk.

Not only does the Silk & Snow Pillow carry an affordable price-point, but shipping is free of charge to all customers in the contiguous U.S. and provincial Canada. The company’s sleep trial runs for 100 nights, and you may return the pillow for a full refund after testing it for 30 nights. Those who keep their pillow also receive a 3-year warranty.

“Boll & Branch’s Down Chamber Pillow delivers plenty of cushioning without the lumpiness or deep compression many have come to expect from down and feather fill. As a side sleeper, I prefer the firm design and appreciate how it fills the entire space between my head and shoulder without losing shape.” – Jackson Lindeke, Executive Director

  • Pros

    1. Plush fill cradles the head and neck

    2. Three firmness options to accommodate different sleeper types

    3. IDS certification ensures ethical animal treatment

  • Cons

    1. Not suitable for people with down allergies

    2. Some owners report an unpleasant odor when the pillow is new

Price Range

$159 – $219


White down, down/feather blend



Many people enjoy the luxurious plushness and cradling of down and feather pillows — but for others, this type of fill sinks too much and doesn’t feel comfortable. Boll & Branch remedies this problem with the Down Chamber Pillow, which consists of three internal compartments to distribute the fill and maintain a full shape. You can choose from three firmness levels, including two options with feathers in the core chamber to ensure even support for your head and neck.

How It Performed

The pillow’s soft, all-down design compresses very deeply. Our tests show stomach sleepers are the best candidates for this model — a flatter profile helps prevent neck strain for people who prefer the stomach position. Back sleepers on our team preferred the mid-range height and semi-plush feel of the medium pillow, while our side sleepers appreciated the full loft and sturdy support of the firm design.

Although you may need to fluff it from time to time, the chambered construction allows the pillow to retain shape better than many competing models. The fill also retains minimal heat and the shell is composed of breathable organic cotton, so the pillow should sleep nice and cool. We noticed a fair amount of initial odor, which is common for pillows with down and feather fill. These smells may persist for several nights, but washing the pillow can mitigate this issue.

What It’s Made of

The soft Down Chamber Pillow contains pure down in all three compartments, whereas the medium and firm models contain feathers in the core chamber and down in the outer chambers. A shell made of smooth organic cotton encases the fill. An International Down Standard certification indicates the fill meets strict animal welfare guidelines at each stage of its supply chain.

You may wash the pillow in cold water on a gentle cycle. Tumble drying on low heat helps extend its lifespan, but this may require multiple cycles to remove all moisture. Standard and king sizes are available.

The Down Chamber Pillow is reasonably priced given its luxurious design, and Boll & Branch offers free ground shipping for domestic U.S. orders. The company’s standard return and exchange window runs 30 nights from the delivery date. This trial period is extended to 100 nights during the winter holiday season.

“Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay Latex Pillow feels really buoyant, and I didn’t notice any of the hugging or sinkage I’ve encountered with memory foam pillows. As a side sleeper, I preferred the higher-loft design, but a lot of the back sleepers on our team found the 4-inch pillow comfortable.” – Tom Ryan, Head of Product Testing

  • Pros

    1. Responsive Talalay latex cushions the head and neck without hugging too deeply

    2. Ventilated core and breathable cover help ensure excellent cooling

    3. Two profile options to accommodate different sleep positions

  • Cons

    1. Both lofts may be too thick for stomach sleeping

    2. Limited contouring and moldability for those who prioritize these qualities

Price Range

$89 – $99


Talalay latex


Medium Firm

Choosing the right pillow is crucial if you frequently experience neck pain — you’ll want to find the right balance between gentle cushioning and even support. Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay Latex Pillow should check these boxes for most people. The latex is quite responsive, resulting in a light bounce when you lay down your head, but the material also feels soft and adaptive enough to reduce soreness and stiffness while you sleep.

How It Performed

Most of the side and back sleepers on our team awarded the pillow favorable ratings, though these testers were divided about which loft felt most comfortable. Side sleepers appreciated the extra cushioning of the 5-inch pillow, while back sleepers preferred the lower profile of the 4-inch model. Some of our stomach sleepers also liked the 4-inch design, though others experienced neck strain on both pillows.

Our tests show the pillow excels at temperature control. The ventilated core promotes plenty of air circulation, and the cover is made of breathable Tencel for added cooling. Shape retention was another testing highlight. The pillow never needs to be fluffed, and the latex bounces back quickly when not in use.

What It’s Made of

The pillow’s core consists of solid Talalay latex. This material is more resilient than Dunlop latex, making it bouncier and less dense. The latex is ventilated with small holes allowing air to circulate throughout the interior. A Tencel cover encases the core. You can remove and machine wash the cover whenever it needs to be cleaned. The pillow is available in queen and king sizes, as well as lofts of 4 or 5 inches.

The Talalay Latex Pillow is affordably priced compared to the average latex model, and Brooklyn Bedding offers free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. Your order comes with a 30-night trial period. If you decide to keep the pillow, it’s further backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

“Eli & Elm is a great option for folks who like a contoured pillow, especially side sleepers who experience neck and back pain. It’s on the firmer side, which helped fill the gap between my head and the mattress while I slept on my side.” – Logan Foley, Editorial Director

  • Pros

    1. Ergonomic shape promotes even spinal alignment for left and right side sleepers

    2. Latex and fiber fill blend can be added or removed to optimize the pillow's loft

    3. Breathable components help the pillow resist overheating and sleep cool

  • Cons

    1. Design may not be comfortable for stomach sleeping

    2. All fill must be removed prior to machine washing




75% Latex and 25% Polyester Fiber


Medium, Adjustable

If you sleep on your side, you’ll probably feel most comfortable on a high-loft pillow that fills the space between your head and downward-facing shoulder — but this isn’t always the case. Regardless of your personal preferences, the Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow features an adjustable design that lets you customize the profile to your liking. The pillow’s ergonomic shape also aligns the neck and shoulders with the rest of your spine, reducing pressure in these areas while you sleep.

How It Performed

Not surprisingly, the side sleepers on our team all felt comfortable on the pillow. We were particularly impressed with how the pillow’s ergonomic shape promoted even spinal alignment — a constant struggle for side sleepers who use traditional rectangular pillows. Our back sleepers also enjoyed the pillow, though they preferred less fill and lower loft than their side-sleeping counterparts.

The fill didn’t retain too much heat during our temperature control tests and the cotton-blend cover is highly breathable, so we recommend the pillow to hot sleepers and those who reside in warm or humid climates. We also found that the pillow provides above-average support compared to adjustable models with foam fill. The latex has some springiness to keep your head aloft and prevent uncomfortable sinkage.

What It’s Made of

The Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow’s fill blend contains 75% shredded latex and 25% down alternative fibers. Although the higher ratio of latex makes the pillow feel responsive, the fibers add a touch of softness to cushion your head and neck. The oblong shape is designed to support your head and neck while bending around your shoulders to ensure even alignment for side sleepers.

You can unzip the cotton cover to add or remove fill as needed, and Eli & Elm sells extra fill if you want to replenish your supply. The cover is fully machine-washable. For added protection, you can purchase a matching pillowcase.

The Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow is reasonably priced, and you’ll receive a substantial discount if you order two pillows. Standard ground delivery is free for most customers in the contiguous U.S., but California residents must pay shipping fees. Each purchase is backed by a 45-night trial period and a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.

“The Cozy Earth Silk Pillow did not disappoint our testers. The pillow was luxuriously plush but was also great at retaining its shape. I would recommend this pillow to anyone who’s willing to spend some money on a high-end pillow, especially if you tend to overheat at night.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Testing Manager

  • Pros

    1. Mulberry silk fill is both plush and durable

    2. Cover composed of breathable, moisture-wicking viscose derived from bamboo

    3. Excellent shape retention and little to no flattening

  • Cons

    1. Potentially too soft for people who prefer supportive pillows

    2. Expensive pricing in all sizes

Price Range

$279 – $329


Long-Strand Mulberry Silk


Medium Soft

Mulberry silk is one of the most luxurious bedding materials on the planet. As such, products made from this material tend to be fairly expensive. The Cozy Earth Silk Pillow delivers exceptional softness, cooling, and overall comfort, yet carries a price-point that’s accessible to many shoppers. Above-average durability also makes this pillow a solid long-term investment.

How It Performed

Our testers found the Cozy Earth Silk Pillow quite soft, yet the silk fibers didn’t sink too much and overall support was excellent. A mid-range loft made the pillow best suited to the back sleepers on our team, though it also earned favorable ratings from some of our side and stomach sleepers.

During our temperature control tests, we found the pillow very breathable. Our testers attribute this to silk’s natural cooling properties and the moisture-wicking cover. Shape retention is another strong point. The silk shouldn’t clump or flatten even after years of use — in fact, this is a defect covered under Cozy Earth’s warranty — but the fill still gives the pillow a plush, moldable feel.

What It’s Made of

Long strands of mulberry silk comprise the pillow’s fill. Silk is an ideal pillow material if you enjoy soft surfaces for your head and neck, but also want consistent shape retention and breathability. The cover is made of viscose derived from bamboo. A sateen weave gives the cover fabric a silky-smooth feel that’s ideal if you have sensitive skin. You can machine wash the pillow if needed, but Cozy Earth recommends spot cleaning or dry cleaning instead. Standard and king sizes are available.

Shipping is free for orders in the contiguous U.S. Your order comes with a sleep trial spanning 100 nights in length. If you decide to keep your Silk Pillow, Cozy Earth backs your purchase with a 10-year warranty against shifting fill, pilling, and other material defects.

“The Luxome LAYR’s unique layered design really lets you go to town with customization, so it’s a great option for sleepers who are particular about neck support — simply arrange the layers until you get a feel that works for you.” – Colin Simpson, Product Research Manager

  • Pros

    1. Each purchase comes with soft, medium, and firm inserts to adjust the firmness and loft

    2. Shell composed of breathable, moisture-wicking viscose derived from bamboo

    3. Shoppers save 50% on second pillow when they purchase two

  • Cons

    1. Sleepers may need several nights to determine best configuration

    2. Pillow is fairly heavy when three or more inserts are used

Price Range

$100 – $115


Down alternative, shredded gel-infused memory foam, and solid gel-infused memory foam



A pillow with good neck support can greatly reduce pain and pressure buildup that occurs while you sleep. The Luxome LAYR comes with four different inserts, allowing you to customize the feel and loft based on your personal preferences and sleep position. This level of adjustability makes the LAYR suitable for side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers.

How It Performed

Our team tested most of the LAYR’s insert combinations to get a sense of the pillow’s overall performance. Side sleepers on our team felt comfortable with most or all of the inserts in place, and preferred the shredded foam or down alternative inserts on top. Our back sleepers were a little more divided between using both solid foam inserts or the shredded foam and fiber inserts, but all agreed two was ideal. For our stomach sleepers, a single insert — down alternative, in most cases — felt most comfortable.

How well the pillow performs largely depends on which inserts you use. The down alternative insert retains less heat than the others, so this may be the best top layer if you’re a hot sleeper — though the vented, moisture-wicking cover kept most of our testers cool and comfortable no matter which inserts they used. Those who feel pain and pressure points in their neck and shoulders should get adequate relief from the solid foam or shredded foam inserts.

What It’s Made of

Each LAYR comes with inserts containing down alternative fibers, shredded memory foam, and solid memory foam. For the latter, you’ll receive inserts measuring 1 inch and 2 inches thick. You can add, remove, and rearrange the inserts to achieve the most comfortable configuration. Each insert is encased in a pouch to keep the materials hygienic and easy to separate.

A cover made of bamboo-derived viscose encases the inserts. This fabric is highly breathable and has moisture-wicking properties. Ventilated side panels provide additional cooling. The cover and insert pouches are fully machine-washable, but you should avoid laundering the inserts themselves. Standard and king sizes are available.

The LAYR is very reasonably priced compared to other customizable pillows we’ve tested, and you’ll receive a significant discount if you order two pillows. Standard shipping is free for customers in the contiguous U.S. Luxome allows you to return undamaged pillows within 30 days of delivery.

“The Company Store Legends Hotel Best Down Pillow has a luxurious, cloud-like feel that epitomizes five-star bedding. It’s the kind of pillow you’ll want to snuggle into at the end of a long day.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Testing Manager

  • Pros

    1. Available in three firmness and density levels to accommodate different sleep positions

    2. Plush down and feather blend cradles the head and neck

    3. Cotton sateen shell is smooth and breathable

  • Cons

    1. May trigger allergies for some sleepers

    2. Pillow requires daily fluffing for a full shape

Price Range

$119 – $149


600 fill power down


Soft, Medium, Firm, Extra Firm

The Legends Hotel Best Down Pillow from The Company Store has a tailored design and plush down feel that you’d expect from a pillow in a quality hotel. It’s also available in multiple firmness options and sizes to benefit a wide variety of sleepers.

How It Performed

With its strong cushioning and four firmness levels, the Best Down Pillow is suitable for all sleep positions. The soft model is best suited for stomach sleepers, who typically need pillow lofts that are on the thinner side. The medium and firm options should feel comfortable for side and back sleepers, and the extra firm model is a good fit for side sleepers who need extra support to prevent awkward angling of the neck.

What It’s Made of

The pillow is filled with 600 fill power down and comes encased in a breathable cotton cover with 245 thread count. You can choose between three sizes — standard, queen, and king. Whichever firmness option you choose, the down cushions your head and neck to prevent painful pressure buildup or uncomfortable neck and spinal alignment. The Company Store recommends dry cleaning the pillow to promote longevity.

The pillow qualifies for free shipping in the contiguous U.S., and you’ll receive a 30-day trial to test the pillow at home.

“The Sweet Zzz is a really solid pick in the down alternative department. I experienced down-like softness as my head sank gently into the fluffy outer chamber of fill, but the denser inner core kept my head well-supported. The plant-based fibers are a bonus for eco-conscious shoppers.” – Danny Noyed, Senior Product Editor

  • Pros

    1. Breathable cotton cover helps regulate temperature

    2. Plant-based down alternative fibers cushion the head and neck to relieve pressure

    3. 50-night sleep trial for all customers

  • Cons

    1. Stomach sleepers may find the fill too lofty and lacking in support

    2. Frequent fluffing needed to evenly distribute the fill

Price Range

$135 – $150


Plant-based down alternative fibers



The hotel-style Sweet Zzz Plant-Based Pillow uses a plant-based down alternative derived from soybeans to create a well-cushioned sleep surface. Animal-conscious shoppers and people with down allergies should appreciate this pick.

How It Performed

A medium feel and 5- to 6-inch loft made the Plant-Based Pillow a hit with our side and back sleepers. Our side sleepers found the profile thick enough to maintain proper alignment, while the plush down alternative fill cushioned the head and neck to relieve pressure. Our back sleepers also felt comfortable. If you sleep on your stomach, you may find the pillow cranes your neck too high and causes discomfort.

We also recommend the pillow for hot sleepers, thanks to the naturally breathable materials. Our heat guns detected very little heat buildup on the pillow’s surface. The fiberfill also made the pillow quite moldable during our tests, which is great if you prefer to snuggle your pillow at night.

What It’s Made of

The outer chamber is filled with plush fibers to give extra cushioning for the head and neck. Meanwhile, denser fibers in the inner chamber prevent the pillow from sinking too deeply. A breathable shell made from natural cotton keeps your head cool throughout the night. You can machine-wash the pillow for easy care. Simply wash on a gentle cycle and tumble dry on low heat.

Standard and king sizes are available. Sweet Zzz ships free to customers living in the contiguous U.S. The pillow comes with a 50-night sleep trial and a 1-year warranty against structural defects.

“Quince’s Luxe Goose Down Pillow showcases its namesake material with a plush, lofty design that gently cradles your head and neck. You can choose from three densities based on which sleep position you primarily use and your preferred softness level.” – Jackson Lindeke, Executive Director

  • Pros

    1. European white goose down creates a cloud-like surface for the head and neck

    2. Available in three density levels to accommodate different sleep positions

    3. All orders include a 365-night sleep trial

  • Cons

    1. Owners may notice a pungent, earthy smell for the first few nights

    2. Not suitable for people who are allergic to down

Price Range

$120 – $159


100% European white goose down


Medium Soft, Medium Firm

If you’re a combination sleeper, your pillow should provide enough loft to keep you comfy in all of your sleep positions. The Quince Luxe Down Pillow is sold in three density levels, so you can choose a design that best meets your needs however you sleep. Reasonable pricing and a lengthy trial period further sweeten the deal if you’re shopping with a limited budget.

How It Performed

Our team tested all three of the pillow’s density options. The soft/medium design feels quite plush and compresses deeply, making it a solid choice for stomach sleepers. Combination sleepers who switch between their stomach and back should consider the medium/firm pillow, which resists deep sinkage without elevating the head and neck too much. Since side sleepers need extra cushioning to fill the space between their head and downward-facing shoulder, we recommend the firm/extra firm for any combination sleeper who sometimes lies on their side.

The pure down fill makes this pillow feel quite moldable and snuggly. At the same time, you may need to fluff the pillow frequently to maintain a full shape. Down has a tendency to absorb and trap heat, but in this case, a breathable cotton cover helps to offset heat retention and keep you cool.

What It’s Made of

European white goose down with 700 fill power gives the pillow a luxuriously plush and lofty feel. Many of our testing team members described the pillow as “cloud-like.” How dense or firm the pillow feels depends on which density you select, but all three feel somewhat soft — especially compared to models with other fill materials like memory foam or latex.

A shell made of smooth cotton sateen encases the fill. Thick piping along the seams helps protect the fabric from rips and tears. Standard and king sizes are available. The pillow is technically machine-washable, but may be too large for washers with agitators — dry cleaning is an alternative care method.

The Luxe Goose Down Pillow is approachably priced and standard ground shipping is free for all orders. Quince’s 365-night sleep trial is one of the longest in the online bedding industry, ensuring plenty of time to test out the pillow and decide if it’s right for you. During this time frame, you may exchange the pillow for a model with a different density if your initial selection doesn’t meet your needs.

“The Noble Head Pillow is one of the most customizable pillows our team has ever come across. You can adjust the loft and firmness, and you can pick the type of fill. It’s ideal for people who are trying to alleviate neck or shoulder pain, especially when conventional pillows fall short.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Testing Manager

  • Pros

    1. Adjustable loft with nine customizable compartments

    2. Available with three types of fill

    3. GOTS and GOLS certifications ensure sustainable material sourcing

  • Cons

    1. Price-point may be high for shoppers on a budget

    2. Foam fill might emit off-gassing odor at first

Price Range

$349 – $399


Wool, shredded latex, or memory foam


Medium Soft, Medium Firm, Firm

Persistent shoulder pain can occur if your pillow’s loft is too high or too low for your preferred sleep position, or if your pillow is too firm. The Noble Head Pillow is designed for advanced customization with nine individual chambers, each of which can be adjusted for loft and firmness at any given time.

How It Performed

Depending on the size you choose, you can change the loft anywhere from 1 to 10 inches and sleep comfortably in the side, back, or stomach positions. The Head Pillow is also available with three types of fill. We recommend the shredded memory foam for those who prefer a plush, adaptive feel. If you want some light cushioning without a close hug, the shredded latex fill may be more comfortable. The shredded wool fill is fairly firm, and also has natural moisture-wicking properties to help prevent night sweats. Your Head Pillow is fully adjustable regardless of which fill you choose.

What It’s Made of

A machine-washable organic cotton cover is included with your order. The fabric has Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, as does the wool fill, while the latex has earned certification from the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS). These credentials ensure the materials have been sustainably sourced. Noble also allows customers to opt for plastic-free shipping containers during checkout.

Standard ground delivery is free of charge for customers in the contiguous U.S. You may test out the pillow for up to 30 nights. Exchanges for size and fill type are also available during the trial period. A manufacturer’s warranty covers structural and material defects in the Head Pillow for up to five years.

“I’ve always loved the cloud-like feel of down pillows, but I’ve often found them lacking in support since I sleep on my side. The Luxe Pillow is a welcome exception. It has that classic fluffy down feel but it’s also lofty and dense enough to keep my head and shoulders supported.” – Jeremy Klein, Senior Product Testing Manager

  • Pros

    1. Firmer waterfowl-feather core provides structured support

    2. Softer white goose down exterior layers offer a plush feel and soft contouring

    3. 300 thread count pillow protector included

  • Cons

    1. Pillow may feel overly thick for stomach sleepers

    2. Washing and drying the pillow can be time-consuming

Price Range

$129 – $149


RDS-certified down and feather fill



If you prefer pillows that feel exceptionally soft and sink deeply beneath your head, you’re a prime candidate for a model containing down and feathers. The Luxe Pillow is affordably priced compared to its competitors, and a chambered design ensures a plush feel without sacrificing support. You can also rest easy knowing the pillow holds a Responsible Down Standard certification, meaning all birds providing the fill are humanely treated, housed, and fed.

How It Performed

During our tests, the Luxe Pillow earned its most favorable ratings from side and back sleepers. A mid-range profile and lofty feel helped ensure adequate elevation without straining the neck, and the chambered design provided enough support to reduce sinkage. Stomach sleepers may need a thinner pillow, but those who prefer extra cushioning may also find the Luxe comfortable.

The down and feather fill makes this pillow highly moldable, though you may need to fluff it often to maintain a full shape. Our tests also showed the pillow provides above-average temperature control. This is largely due to a breathable cotton cover that promotes airflow and helps offset the down’s heat-retaining properties.

What It’s Made of

The Luxe Pillow’s interior consists of three chambers. The core contains waterfowl feathers, which provide decent support, and plush down fills the two surrounding chambers to create an exceptionally soft feel. A cotton shell encases the fill, and your purchase includes a cotton pillow protector. You can machine wash the pillow and protector, but should separate these items before doing so. Standard and king sizes are available.

In addition to its below-average pricing, the Luxe Pillow qualifies for free ground delivery throughout the contiguous U.S. and low flat-rate shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada. The pillow’s trial period spans 100 nights, but you must test it out for at least 3 weeks before initiating a return.

Best Pillows of 2024 Video

Watch the video below to learn more about our lab’s top pillows of 2024.

Below our top picks you’ll find a buyer’s guide that can help you learn tips for finding your perfect pillow. This guide includes a complete rundown on pillow types and important criteria for shoppers. We’ll take an extensive look at pillow materials, loft, firmness, and shape so that you can choose the best one for your personal preferences. You can also find helpful information on what to expect when it comes to average costs, cover materials, and sizing.

How We Test: Rigor, Data, and Sleeper Feedback

Every sleeper has unique needs and preferences when it comes to choosing the best pillow. Our team tests each pillow using an objective rating system that examines each pillow’s pros and cons. This holistic approach is intended to help each reader find the best pillow for them.

Our team of experts personally evaluates each pillow in our Seattle-based Test Lab. Each pillow undergoes the same hands-on process, which involves testing across different performance categories. Guidelines for our pillow testing system are listed below.

Construction analysis: Our team carefully reviews the loft, firmness, and material composition of each pillow. This helps us determine overall quality, expected lifespan, and ease of care.

Product testing: We take turns lying on each pillow in different sleep positions — this helps us determine whether it is best suited to side, back, stomach, or combination sleeping. We also hold and handle the pillow to measure qualities like temperature control, shape retention, and moldability.

Field testing: In addition to evaluations in our Seattle Test Lab, we assign performance ratings to pillows based on experiences of our field testers who use the pillows in their own homes. Field test data is collected over the course of several weeks to ensure accurate results.

User testing: We use feedback from real pillow owners collected from surveys and product reviews. This real-world data gives us insights into how each pillow performs over time, and whether our initial ratings reflect owner experiences.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team at Sleep Foundation has tested hundreds of pillows in order to determine the best models for every type of sleeper. Each pillow undergoes the same extensive testing process, during which we examine and handle the pillow to assess performance areas such as shape retention, moldability, and overall support. We also consider weight, firmness, ease of care, and pricing when assigning pillow ratings. Our test team is comprised of sleepers with various sleep preferences and body types. This helps ensure that our testing represents a wide array of sleepers.


How We Evaluated These Pillows

To evaluate pillows, our testers lay their head on each model and change sleep positions to assess qualities such as firmness, feel, contouring, and support. We physically handle the pillows to see if they are moldable, or if they maintain a full shape and spring back after being compressed. Based on our hands-on testing, we’ve determined that the above list of picks represents the best of the pillows on the market today.

Below are more details about our product testing methodology for pillows:

Conforming: A pillow with strong conforming will closely hug your head and neck, reducing pressure buildup that can sometimes cause pain or discomfort. We evaluate conforming by lying on the pillow and observing how deeply our head sinks. We also compress the pillow and measure the indentation’s depth.

Support: Pillows offer varying levels of support depending on factors such as fill material, firmness, and loft. We evaluate support by laying our head on a pillow for several minutes and assessing how well it supports our head and neck for proper spinal alignment. We’ve tested more than 100 pillows to compare against each other.

Temperature Control: Depending on the materials they’re made of, some pillows retain more heat than others. Our testers use thermal sensors to measure heat buildup while lying on the pillow. We also collect subjective feedback from testers who lie on the pillow.

Off-Gassing: Certain pillows made with synthetic materials may initially off-gas volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. VOCs are relatively harmless and the odors eventually dissipate, but some people may find them unpleasant at first. Our testers use a VOC meter to detect off-gassing odors in pillows.

In-Depth Pillow Guides

For more personalized pillow guides, check out the following pages:

Best Pillows by Price

How to Choose a Pillow

The best pillow for sleeping varies from person to person, and there is no single perfect pillow for everyone. To find your ideal pillow, you must consider your sleep position preferences, as well as many aspects of pillows you’re considering.

This section guides you through the various pillow qualities to evaluate while pillow shopping. Once you know what to look for, you can feel confident that you’re truly buying the pillow that best fits your needs.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Pillow

Marketing hype shouldn’t drive your decision-making as you shop for the perfect pillow. Companies may claim that their pillow feels like sleeping on a cloud, works well for all sleepers, and stays cool all night. Instead of being swayed by advertising, it’s best to evaluate the facts.

You should consider many factors when pillow shopping. First, your personal sleep position preference heavily influences which pillows best fit your body. Of course, many shoppers are limited by a budget. Keep these factors at the forefront of your mind while examining your pillow options.

“Your personal sleep position preference heavily influences which pillows best fit your body.”

Learn each pillow’s loft and firmness level to determine if it’s a good option for you. Identify the materials each pillow is made of, if it has cooling properties, and if it will relieve pressure in your neck and shoulders.

In this section, we provide more information about the factors to consider when pillow shopping.

  • Sleeping Position: Your preferred sleep position majorly affects which pillows you find comfortable. Stomach sleepers tend to like softer, flatter pillows, since thick pillows can prop the head too high, causing neck pain. Side sleepers generally prefer thicker pillows, which keep the head up and the spine aligned. Back sleepers likely prefer medium pillows, though they are the most flexible group.
  • Loft: “Loft” refers to a pillow’s height or thickness, specifically when the pillow is sitting flat with nothing on top of it. People with different sleep position preferences generally prefer pillows with different lofts. Loft and firmness level combine to determine a pillow’s height once weight is put on it.
  • Firmness Level: Just like mattresses, pillows come in different firmness levels. Firmness affects how a pillow feels, as well as how high it holds your head. For example, a pillow with a high loft might not hold your head up as high as you’d expect if it is extremely soft and sinks under weight.
  • Price: Pillows are available at nearly every price-point, ranging from under $10 to upwards of $1,000. Most pillows are sold for under $200, however. The price of a pillow is generally determined by the pillow’s materials and construction. Price loosely correlates with quality, though there are plenty of decent pillows available at affordable prices.
  • Pressure Relief: Like mattresses, pillows can be pressure-relieving or create pressure points. Since pressure points lead to discomfort or even neck pain, pressure relief is an important pillow quality for many sleepers. Pillow materials, loft, and firmness level combined with a person’s preferred sleeping position determines how well a pillow performs in terms of pressure relief.
  • Quality Materials: There is no single pillow cover or fill material that stands out as being the highest quality. Varying qualities exist within each material type. Customers can research down, polyfill, memory foam, and other types of material to better understand what determines quality within each material type.
  • Cooling Properties: Like mattresses, some pillows sleep cooler than others. Down alternatives tend to sleep cooler than down, and buckwheat hulls are known for sleeping exceptionally cool. Memory foam pillows can trap heat, but most contain cooling gel or another cooling material to counteract that tendency.

What Types of Pillows Are There?

Pillows are constructed with a variety of materials. Understanding what these materials are and how they generally perform will help you determine which pillows best fit your needs.

  • Polyfoam: Polyfoam, or polyurethane foam, is a type of foam used in both mattresses and pillows. Although polyfoam can vary widely in terms of both quality and firmness, it’s generally lower cost than memory foam. When used as pillow fill, polyfoam is often shredded or cut into small pieces.
  • Memory Foam: Memory foam pillows often provide a soft, conforming feel. Since memory foam tends to trap heat, manufacturers typically infuse it with a cooling agent or construct the pillow in a way that encourages airflow. Some memory foam pillows are constructed of full blocks of memory foam, while others contain shredded or cut memory foam.
  • Down: Perhaps the most traditional pillow fill, down is the soft, fluffy feather found beneath the outer, harder feathers of many birds. Most down pillows contain goose down, and some contain down mixed with feathers. Down is known for its durability, but it may bother some people with allergies or asthma.
  • Down Alternative: Any pillow that was created to feel like down, but does not contain down, is considered a down alternative pillow. Down alternative pillows offer options for vegans and people with allergies who like the feel of down. They are most commonly filled with a polyester microfiber filling.
  • Latex: Latex pillows are pressure relieving and extremely durable. They tend to have a high loft and be more dense, so they’re better for side and back sleepers than stomach sleepers. Latex pillows can be made of one piece of latex or shredded latex fill. Latex feels similar to foam, but is more cooling, especially when aerated.
  • Feather: Generally, the term “feather pillow” is used to refer to pillows that contain both feathers and down. Since feathers are harder than down, 100% feather pillows are less common. Feather pillows are soft, breathable, and a good option for people who sleep hot and want a lower loft.
  • Buckwheat: Buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls, the small outer casings of buckwheat grain kernels. These pillows closely conform to the body, and some people liken their feel to that of a bean bag. Many buckwheat pillows are vegan and organic, making them appealing to eco-conscious shoppers.
  • Wool: Wool is a less common fill material that is growing in popularity as customers search for natural pillow options. Most wool pillows are hypoallergenic, organic, and on the luxury end of the price spectrum. Wool is naturally temperature neutral and not extremely conforming.
  • Water: Water pillows typically contain water along with another fill material, such as memory foam or polyfill. Most water pillows require customers to fill the pillow with water themselves. This system allows for adjustable firmness levels. Water pillows are known for being supportive and cooling.

Pillow covers also come in a variety of materials. Most pillow covers are made of cotton, polyester, or a cotton-poly blend. Some are made of other materials, such as bamboo-derived fabric or satin.

Cotton covers tend to be more breathable than polyester. Different cover materials feel different to the touch, but the feel is less important since most customers use pillow cases over their pillows.

What is Pillow Loft?

A pillow’s “loft” refers to its height when it is lying flat with nothing sitting on top of it.

Pillows are generally divided into low, medium, and high lofts. A low loft pillow measures 3 inches or less in height. A medium loft pillow measures between 3 and 5 inches thick. A high loft pillow measures over 5 inches in height.

Unfortunately, these measurements haven’t been universally adopted across pillow companies. Some companies might call their pillow “low loft” or “high loft” when it is in fact medium or average in height.

Your ideal loft will depend on factors such as preferred sleep position and head size.

Check actual pillow measurements rather than descriptions whenever possible. Though some companies provide an exact measurement of their pillow’s loft, many do not.

How to Determine the Right Pillow Loft

The ideal pillow loft varies from sleeper to sleeper. Your sleep position preference, head size, body weight, and mattress firmness are all factors that influence which pillow loft is ideal for you.

  • Sleep Position: Stomach sleepers generally require low loft pillows. Medium and high loft pillows can push a stomach sleeper’s head up too high, putting strain on the neck. Back sleepers tend to prefer low or medium loft pillows. Finally, side sleepers tend to require high loft pillows. A high loft pillow can promote spinal alignment by keeping the sleeper’s head as high as their neck and shoulders.

“Side sleepers tend to need a high-loft pillow for support and to fill the space beneath the head and neck to promote proper spinal alignment. Keep your head and neck in alignment at around 30 degrees with the help of a good pillow so your airway stays open during the night, allowing air to flow from your nose to your lungs without obstruction.”

Sarah Silverman, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist and holistic sleep wellness consultant who treats patients in New York and Florida.

  • Head Size: Your head size also helps determine the ideal pillow loft for you. Larger heads tend to sink more deeply into pillows. Therefore, people with larger heads tend to prefer high loft pillows. Similarly, people with smaller heads tend to prefer lower loft pillows.
  • Body Weight: Your body weight also influences your ideal pillow loft. The more a person weighs, the higher loft they should seek out. Lightweight sleepers tend to prefer pillows with lower lofts. Of course, other factors such as preferred sleep position and pillow firmness play a role. Body weight alone shouldn’t be used to choose which pillow to purchase.
  • Mattress Firmness: Since you’ll sink more deeply into a softer mattress, you won’t need as much pillow loft to feel comfortable. A low or medium loft pillow will feel more comfortable and provide adequate support for your head and neck. Less sinkage occurs on firmer mattresses, so you may need a pillow with higher loft to feel supported.

What Pillow Sizes Are Available?

Pillows come in a variety of sizes to fit beds of different sizes and people of different body weights and sleeping habits. Pillow size can be as important as firmness and loft when it comes to finding the pillow that best fits you.

  • Standard: Standard pillows measure 20 inches wide by 26 inches long. Standard pillows are the smallest, and therefore the least expensive, pillows on the market today. They are also the most commonly sold pillows.
  • Super Standard: Super Standard pillows measure 20 inches wide by 28 inches long. Like standard pillows, they are usually used one per twin or full bed, and two per larger bed. Super Standard pillows provide 2 more inches of length for sleepers who need it due to head size, body weight, or propensity to move during the night.
  • Queen: Queen pillows measure 20 inches wide by 30 inches long, 2 inches longer than Super Standard pillows. Queen pillows give extra room to sleepers who tend to toss and turn throughout the night or find themselves slipping off of smaller pillows.
  • King: King pillows measure 20 inches wide by 36 inches long. King pillows are much larger than most pillows, measuring 10 inches longer than standard pillows and 6 inches longer than queen pillows. King pillows work well with king beds and larger sleepers.
  • Body Pillow: Body pillow dimensions vary, though 48 or 54 inches wide by 20 inches long are common sizes. Body pillows are meant to be hugged. Side sleepers and pregnant women tend to most enjoy them.

How Much Does a Pillow Cost?

While pillow prices can range as high as several hundred dollars or more, most will cost you less than $200 — even luxury models. A major factor in pillow pricing is the type and quality of the fill material. We’ve found that pillows containing polyfoam and down alternative tend to cost less than pillows filled with latex, down, memory foam, or buckwheat.

Below are some other factors that may play a role in a pillow’s price:

  • Fabric quality
  • Enhanced cooling features like cooling gel or specialized fabric
  • Organic or sustainable sourcing of materials
  • Durability of seams
  • Design embellishments such as piping or embroidery

Frequently Asked Questions

What pillow types are best for side sleepers?

Side sleepers generally prefer pillows with medium to high loft, or about 4 to 6 inches thick (if not thicker). Due to the nature of this sleep position, extra padding is needed to cushion the head, neck, and shoulders and ensure even alignment.

Side sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds may prefer mid-loft pillows because they will sink more deeply into their mattress than lighter individuals, and thus not need as much padding. Specialty pillows for side sleepers often have contoured shapes or cutouts that mold around the shoulders and cushion the head without sacrificing loft elsewhere.

What pillows are best for sleepers with back pain?

The best pillow for any given sleeper should promote even spinal alignment by providing optimal cushioning for the head, neck, and shoulders. This factor is especially crucial for people with back pain, many of whom experience discomfort due to alignment issues in the first place.

Stomach sleepers with back pain should choose a low-loft pillow that won’t elevate their head to a significant extent. The same is somewhat true for back sleepers, though they may need a bit more loft to prevent their heads from falling back too much. Side sleepers with back pain may want to consider a medium- to high-loft pillow to ensure adequate cushioning for the head, neck, and shoulders.

What pillows are best for sleepers with neck pain?

The best pillows for people with neck pain will provide sufficient support without feeling too stiff or sinking excessively. In terms of composition, materials like solid memory foam, latex, and buckwheat hulls reinforce the head and neck quite well.

The pillow should also be firm and thick enough to maintain a full shape throughout the night. Pillows that contain down, feather, or down alternative fiber fill tend to be quite soft and overall support is fair at best, so sleepers with neck pain may want to bypass these products.

Which fill is best for pillows?

Since comfort is a subjective quality, the best pillow filling depends entirely on your personal needs and preferences. Down, down alternative, and shredded foam pillows tend to feel softer, while solid foam, latex, and buckwheat pillows are usually firmer. If you desire close contouring, foam or latex are more adaptive than other fill materials. Those who want a pillow with adjustable fill should opt for a shredded foam, shredded latex, or buckwheat pillow.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market.

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Learn more about our Editorial Team