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The best affordable pillows combine high-quality materials and budget-friendly prices — and there are more options on the market today than you might think. Determining which is the right pillow for you involves considering aspects like adjustability, temperature regulation, durability, and support.

Although affordable pillows may have a lower price tag than luxury options, they can still be made with durable, high-quality materials that offer comfort and support without breaking the bank. A wide range of pillows are available at affordable prices, including down, down alternative, and memory foam options that come in different firmness levels and lofts.

When choosing a pillow, it’s important to take into account your sleeping position, body weight, and personal preferences. Different pillows have different strengths. For example, some pillows are designed to sleep cool, making them particularly useful for hot sleepers. Other pillows focus on adjustability, which makes them more versatile. These pillows might appeal to combination sleepers who change positions throughout the night and may need different kinds of support.

Based on our in-house testing, we’ll discuss our picks for the best affordable pillows, including their performance, what they’re made of, and how they feel. 

In-Depth Reviews

Brooklinen’s Down Alternative Pillow is a cut above its other affordable competitors due to its premium materials and impeccable craftsmanship. A generous sleep trial and discount options for bundles further sweeten the deal for shoppers with tight budgets.

  • Pros

    1. Plush, hypoallergenic fill is derived from recycled plastic bottles

    2. Cotton sateen shell is soft and silky-smooth

    3. Bundle shoppers receive a discount up to 15%

  • Cons

    1. May require frequent fluffing to keep the fill evenly distributed

    2. Free shipping is only available for purchases over $75

Price Range

$45 – $85

Fill

Shaved microfiber fill

Firmness

Mid-Plush

Why It’s Best Overall

Brooklinen is best known for sleep products that are both affordably priced and thoughtfully constructed. The Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow nicely exemplifies both qualities. As seen during our hands-on tests, the eco-friendly fill and soft, breathable shell prove to be a winning combo. You won’t find many down alternative pillows of this quality that match Brooklinen’s sticker price.

How It Performed

The fill compresses to a noticeable extent, making the Down Alternative Pillow a solid choice for back and stomach sleepers hoping to minimize neck strain. At the same time, the pillow is dense and lofty enough to provide ample cushioning between the head and downward-facing shoulder — a major selling point for side sleepers. Since the shell is so soft and gentle, we’re also recommending this pillow to people with sensitive skin.

What It’s Made of

The fill is composed of down alternative fibers derived from recycled plastic, which nicely mimic the plushness and fluffiness of real down without triggering allergies, retaining excess heat, or relying on animal-based materials. A silky-smooth cotton sateen shell with piped seams encases the fill. 

The pillow is available in queen and king sizes, as well as a square-shaped Euro option that makes a suitable throw. Brooklinen recommends dry cleaning or spot cleaning the pillow if stains and smudges occur, as it’s too large for most household washing machines. Fluffing once per day can help minimize flattening and recover the shape before you go to bed. 

Not only is the Down Alternative Pillow affordably priced, but you’ll receive a 10% discount when you purchase two and a 15% discount when you purchase four. Orders of $100 or more qualify for free delivery within the contiguous U.S., but if your purchase falls below this threshold, Brooklinen’s shipping rates are reasonable. The company’s 365-night trial is one of the longest in the online bedding industry. If you opt to keep the pillow after the trial ends, you’ll receive an additional year of warranty coverage.

The SweetZzz Plant-Based Pillow is a comfortable, vegan-friendly option with a down-like feel. Designed using a plant-based down alternative, this pillow has a two-chamber design that provides support and comfort at a reasonable price-point.

  • Pros

    1. Multilayer design balances comfort and support

    2. Cooling cotton cover allows for good air circulation

    3. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified

  • Cons

    1. Some stomach sleepers may find the pillow too thick

    2. Customers are responsible for return shipping fee

Price Range

$135 – $150

Fill

Plant-based down alternative fibers

Firmness

Medium

The SweetZzz Plant-Based Pillow combines a fluffy, medium feel with close contouring for a pillow that is comfortable for most sleeping positions. The pillow’s plant-based, natural fill is vegan-friendly and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means it is free of many common harmful substances. 

How It Performed

We found that the dual-layer system provided good support for most of our side sleepers, and our back sleepers appreciated the blend of a soft exterior and firmer interior. Stomach sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds also felt this pillow was comfortable, but those over 130 pounds found that the loft kept their head at an awkward angle.

The pillow’s two-chamber design and natural cotton cover also promote airflow, leaving the pillow cool to the touch. 

What It’s Made Of

The SweetZzz Plant-Based Pillow uses a plant-based down alternative fill inside a dual-layer structure. The outer layer is softer to provide more pressure relief. The inner layer is firmer and provides more support and contouring. A 100% cotton cover encases the pillow. 

For a pillow made with vegan materials and a high-quality construction, the Sweet Zzz Plant-Based Pillow has a competitive price-point. It also comes with free shipping in the contiguous U.S. and a one-year limited warranty.

If you’re in the market for a soft, affordable pillow that you can customize to meet your needs, the Silk & Snow Pillow could be a good fit. Its shredded memory core enables you to easily remove or add fill to achieve your ideal pillow firmness and loft.

  • Pros

    1. Adjustable shredded memory foam enables sleepers to personalize the loft

    2. OEKO-TEX and CertiPUR-US certified

    3. Down alternative microfiber fill is both soft and supportive

  • Cons

    1. Foam fill may retain some heat

    2. Only the cover is machine-washable

Price Range

$75 – $85

Fill

Shredded memory foam core with down alternative microfiber outer chamber

Firmness

Medium

Harnessing the pressure-relieving qualities of memory foam and the softness of down alternative microfibers, the Silk & Snow Pillow cradles the head while maintaining a plush feel. The pillow’s adjustable fill makes it a good option for anyone who wants to try different lofts or changes sleeping positions during the night.

How It Performed

We found that the Silk & Snow Pillow performed well for a variety of sleeping positions. Stomach and back sleepers can remove some fill to achieve good spinal alignment, while side sleepers can add fill to heighten the loft. 

Our tests showed that the shredded memory foam and cotton cover help promote temperature neutrality, keeping the pillow cool enough for hot sleepers or those who live in warmer climates. The cover can also be removed and machine-washed. 

What It’s Made Of

The Silk & Snow Pillow has a CertiPUR-US certified shredded memory foam core and a down alternative microfiber outer chamber. The pillow’s machine-washable outer shell is made from soft cotton. The entire pillow is OEKO-TEX certified, meaning it’s free of many common harmful chemicals. 

This pillow comes with a 100-night sleep trial, during which it can be returned for a full refund. Silk & Snow also provides a three-year limited warranty.

A pillow that excels at temperature control like Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay Latex can make a world of difference for hot sleepers. We’re also recommending this pillow to anyone seeking a responsive alternative to memory foam that won’t hug the head and neck too closely.

  • Pros

    1. Solid latex is responsive and won’t hug too closely

    2. Available in two loft levels to accommodate different sleep positions

    3. Ventilated core and breathable cover promote consistent cooling

  • Cons

    1. Not a good fit for people who are allergic to latex

    2. Latex insert cannot be machine washed

Price Range

$89 – $99

Fill

Talalay latex

Firmness

Medium Firm

Thermoregulation is key to a good night’s rest, and your pillow can help or hurt this cause. The Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow is constructed with breathable core and cover materials to help ensure you stay cool and comfortable — even if the weather outside your bedroom is anything but. 

How It Performed

We personally tested both of the pillow’s profiles, and found the 5-inch model delivers ample cushioning for side sleepers. People who use this position often need extra padding between their head and downward-facing shoulder, which promotes even alignment and reduces pressure along the spine. Back sleepers on our team preferred the mid-range 4-inch profile instead. They could lie comfortably without too much elevation — a common source of neck strain for back sleepers.

Both versions of the pillow aced our temperature control tests. We’ve attributed this to the ventilated latex core and Tencel cover, both designed to promote air circulation and maintain a comfortable temperature with minimal heat retention. Since the core is composed of solid latex, shape retention is another major strength and you should never need to fluff the pillow.

What It’s Made of

A Talalay latex core gives the pillow a light, responsive feel and produces a mellow bounce when you lay down your head. The material contours gently but won’t sink like memory foam. A Tencel cover encases the latex. You may remove and machine wash the cover as needed, so the pillow is very easy to keep clean. Queen and king sizes are available.

In addition to its below-average price, the Talalay Latex Pillow qualifies for free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. You’ll have 30 nights to test out the pillow before deciding whether to return it for a refund or keep it. Those who opt for the latter receive an additional three years of warranty coverage.

Quince’s Premium Down Alternative Gusset Pillow resists compression and maintains its shape better than most competing pillows with the same fill material. This dense, lofty design is ideal for side sleepers who need extra cushioning for their heads and necks.

  • Pros

    1. Thick gusset helps the pillow resist flattening and maintain a full shape

    2. Cotton shell is exceptionally breathable

    3. All orders include a generous yearlong sleep trial

  • Cons

    1. Might need to fluff frequently to ensure even distribution of fill

    2. Too thick for most stomach sleepers

Price

$45

Fill

Down alternative microfibers

Firmness

Medium

As with your mattress, you should choose a pillow based in large part on your primary sleep position. The Quince Premium Down Alternative Gusset Pillow is a solid choice for anyone who sleeps on their side some or all of the time. While the fill compresses a bit beneath your head and neck, the 2-inch gusset helps the pillow maintain a full shape to promote even alignment and prevent pressure from building up in your shoulders.

How It Performed

Many down alternative pillows struggle with shape retention, but this model’s gusseted design makes a world of difference. None of our testers noticed uncomfortable sinkage when lying on the pillow. That said, regularly fluffing will help ensure full loft each night. The down alternative fibers also retain less heat than real down, so the pillow should be suitable for hot sleepers. 

All of our side sleepers awarded the pillow high marks. Some of our back sleepers also enjoyed the pillow and didn’t feel any neck strain, while other testers who use this position — as well as our stomach sleepers — found that the pillow elevated their heads a bit too much.

What It’s Made of

The pillow contains down alternative fibers designed to mimic the plushness and lightness of authentic down, but the fibers are hypoallergenic and animal-free. A breathable cotton sateen shell encases the fill. A gusset measuring 2 inches thick helps the pillow maintain a full shape, and double-stitched seams minimize the potential for rips and tears. 

Standard and king sizes are available. The pillow is technically machine-washable, though may be too large for some household appliances. You have the option for professional cleaning as an alternative.

Quince offers free standard shipping for all U.S. orders. The company’s generous sleep trial allows you to test the pillow up to 365 nights before deciding whether to return it for a refund or keep it.

The adjustable Layla Memory Foam Pillow delivers customizable comfort for any sleep position. Moldable shredded foam and down alternative clusters create a cloud-like surface to alleviate pain and minimize pressure buildup.

  • Pros

    1. Adjustable design lets you add or remove fill to change the firmness and loft

    2. Shredded foam and down alternative fibers offer a nice balance of contouring and plushness

    3. Entire pillow can be machine-washed for quick, easy care

  • Cons

    1. Foam design is prone to trapping heat

    2. Sleepers who are sensitive to smells may notice some off-gassing odors at first

Price Range

$89 – $104

Fill

70% shredded memory foam, 30% polyester fiber

Firmness

Medium Firm

People with frequent neck pain can find that buying a new pillow makes a world of difference. The Layla Memory Foam Pillow is fully adjustable, meaning you can add or remove the fill to achieve your ideal loft and support levels. This quality is particularly beneficial for combination sleepers who switch between positions during the night. An inner pouch contains the pillow, and the zippered cover grants easy access.

How It Performed

Most of our testers found the Layla Memory Foam Pillow comfortable, though preferred loft varied by sleep position. Side sleepers on our team removed little to no fill to ensure ample cushioning between their heads and downward-facing shoulders — this keeps the head and neck aligned with the rest of the spine. Back sleepers removed 25% to 40% of the fill to create a mid-range loft that supported their necks without craning or straining too much. For the majority of our stomach sleepers, a volume of 25% to 30% was ideal. 

The shredded foam absorbs some heat, but our tests show the breathable cover offsets heat retention to a noticeable degree. This keeps the pillow reasonably cool. Frequent fluffing may be needed if you use less than 50% of the fill. Ease of cleaning is a major selling point, as the entire pillow can be washed and dried in your household machines. Periodic tumble drying can also help the pillow recover its shape after continuous use.

What It’s Made of

The pillow’s fill consists of 70% shredded memory foam and 30% down alternative fibers. This blend is both plush and squishy, allowing the pillow to mold evenly around your head and neck. A polyester cover encases the fill. To clean the pillow, separate the cover from the inner pouch containing the fill. Queen and king sizes are available.

Layla offers free ground delivery throughout the contiguous U.S. The company’s trial period lets you test the Memory Foam Pillow for up to 30 nights before deciding whether to return it for a refund or keep it.

Thanks to its adjustable fill, the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Adjustable Pillow allows for a high level of customization so sleepers can choose the right loft for good spinal alignment. This affordable, easily moldable pillow is also designed to sleep cool.

  • Pros

    1. Cover is removable and machine-washable

    2. Adjustable fill allows sleepers to customize the loft for good spinal alignment

    3. Breathable fill and cooling cover promote air circulation and help sleepers stay cool

  • Cons

    1. Pillow is not eligible for returns

    2. High potential for heat retention due to foam design

Price Range

$69 – $89

Fill

Shredded memory foam

Firmness

Medium Soft

Equipped with a cooling cover and adjustable fill, the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Adjustable Pillow can help prevent overheating while also promoting healthy spinal alignment for a wide variety of sleeping positions and body types. 

How It Performed

When it comes to spinal alignment, different types of sleepers need different kinds of support. For example, side sleepers usually need a thicker pillow that provides extra cushioning for the head and shoulders, while stomach sleepers usually need a pillow with a lower loft in order to avoid neck strain. Adjustable pillows allow the sleeper to make their own choices about things like loft and firmness, which is why the TEMPUR-Cloud Adjustable Pillow worked for so many of our testers.

We also found that the pillow’s materials and construction aided in its durability and ability to retain its shape. The fill and lining let our testers mold the pillow, folding it to achieve a higher loft or scrunching it up to attain a different shape. 

What It’s Made Of

The medium soft TEMPUR-Cloud Adjustable Pillow contains a blend of three proprietary shredded memory foams. Sleepers can add or remove fill through a zippered opening. A liner surrounds the fill, enabling sleepers to mold the pillow to meet their needs. The pillow’s removable, washable cover is made of 100% polyester and is treated with Surface Guard Technology, which is designed to prevent bacterial growth. 

This budget-friendly pillow comes with free shipping to the contiguous U.S. and a five-year limited warranty. Shoppers can also bundle multiple pillows for additional savings.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our team has personally tested hundreds of pillows using our rigorous testing methodology. Our team consists of industry experts who have years of experience assessing and reviewing a wide variety of sleep products. Our testing team comprises a diverse group with a range of body types and preferred sleeping positions so we can make sure that our recommendations will be helpful for a variety of readers.

Our testers lie on each pillow and provide feedback on how the pillow performs in areas like support, conforming, and moldability. We also use technology to test other areas, such as temperature regulation and odor potential.

Types of Pillows

Like mattresses and bed sheets, pillows play a major role in sleep comfort. The main differentiator among pillows is the fill, which is the inner stuffing material. Fill is a significant determinant of how a pillow will feel, as well as how much it costs.

Polyfoam

Shorthand for polyurethane foam, polyfoam is a synthetic fill found in many affordable pillows. This spongy material compresses under pressure but then reverts back to its original shape when weight is removed. It quickly contours to the head and neck without feeling bouncy. However, some sleepers find that foam-based pillows retain more heat than other pillow types. 

Memory Foam

Originally developed by NASA as a shock-absorbing material, memory foam is a subtype of polyfoam that has been chemically altered to make it more elastic. Because of this property, memory foam does a good job of relieving pressure and absorbing body movements, though it has a tendency to sleep warm. 

Down

The soft insulating feathers in the underlayers of waterfowl such as ducks and geese are known as down. These feathers are used to make plush pillows with an all-natural fill. Long associated with higher-end pillows, down is appreciated for its soft and lofty texture. Many down pillows are mixed with less expensive quilled feathers, so check labels carefully to get clear on what you are buying.

Down Alternative

Down alternative pillows may appeal to people who appreciate the feel of down but want to avoid materials derived from animals. The specific materials used may include cotton, microfiber, or polyester, but all are manufactured to mimic the feeling of down. They are typically priced below comparable down pillows.

Latex

Derived from the sap of rubber trees, natural latex is lightly contouring and moderately springy. When used in pillows, it can either be shredded or inserted as a solid latex core. Solid latex pillows tend to be firmer and more supportive, while shredded latex is generally softer and more breathable.

Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fiber used as pillow fill in many affordable models. Sleepers often appreciate that most polyester-filled pillows are machine-washable and tend to be soft and breathable. However, they are generally less durable than other pillow types.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat pillows are filled with the hard outer casing of buckwheat seeds, making them a viable alternative for sleepers who want natural fill with a firmer feel. They are also a good choice for people with changing thickness preferences, as many models have zippered designs that let you add or remove the buckwheat hulls to achieve your ideal pillow height.

What Can Affect the Price of a Pillow?

Pillows come in a wide range of prices that reflect materials, craftsmanship, and brand. However, it is possible to find a good pillow at any price-point. An affordable pillow, when paired with an affordable mattress, can contribute to a quality night’s sleep that doesn’t require a large budget.

  • Type of pillow: Down, latex, and memory foam pillows tend to have a higher average price-point than polyester and other down alternatives. That said, each of these pillow types comes in a wide range of prices.
  • Quality of materials: Higher-quality materials often lead to a higher price-point, but the initial investment will often result in a pillow that lasts longer. In addition to the fill material, pillow covers also vary in materials, thread count, and durability.
  • Size: Most pillows are sold in standardized sizes that correspond with standardized pillowcase sizes. The most common sizes are standard (20 by 26 inches), queen (20 by 30 inches), and king (20 by 36 inches). Some individuals use body pillows, which typically measure at least 48 inches long. Price usually increases with the size of the pillow.
  • Manufacturer: Pillow brands may cater to different segments of the sleep market, which can influence the prices they charge. Some manufacturers also offer perks like free shipping or extended warranties, which may affect pillow pricing.

How to Choose a Pillow

We advise considering a few major pillow characteristics and how they relate to your individual needs and comfort. A good value pillow is one that meets your needs while remaining inside your budget.

Loft

Loft describes the height of a pillow when it rests on the bed without any weight on top. Side sleepers tend to prefer a pillow with a high loft that provides adequate support under the neck. Back sleepers often gravitate toward a medium loft. Most stomach sleepers prefer a low-loft pillow to provide a thin layer of comfort between their head and the mattress. Some back sleepers who are prone to snoring appreciate a high-loft pillow to keep their head upright.

Firmness Level

Firmness describes the rigidity and support a pillow has when someone rests on it. While stomach sleepers generally prefer a soft pillow and side sleepers a firmer one, back sleepers often find their ideal firmness level is somewhere in the middle. Those with a heavier head often find that a firmer pillow helps them maintain comfortable head and neck alignment.

Fill

Fill is the material inside the pillow that gives it its loft, firmness, and other characteristics. Some pillows are designed to let you add or remove fill to adjust the loft and firmness.

Pressure Relief

Pillows that gently contour to the head and neck, such as memory foam and down pillows, are often lauded for their ability to relieve pressure in the neck. However, a pillow also needs to have appropriate firmness and loft to deliver sufficient pressure relief, particularly for sleepers prone to neck pain.

Cooling Properties

Those who sleep hot may want to focus on a pillow’s cooling qualities. Breathable fill materials such as polyester, down, and latex are known for promoting temperature neutrality. While foam pillows tend to trap more heat, some foams include a cooling gel designed to help with temperature regulation.

Price

Pillow pricing varies, especially based on the fill and material quality. For example, pillows made of down alternative, polyester, or polyfoam tend to have lower price-points than latex, memory foam, or down. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I pay for a good pillow?

While some luxury pillows cost several hundred dollars or more, many high-quality pillows are available for less than $100. Keep in mind that price ranges vary by pillow type, so affordability is relative to the materials used.

How often should you replace pillows?

Many experts advise replacing your pillows every one to two years because as a pillow flattens over time, it offers less support. However, pillow replacement schedules vary depending on the materials used in their construction. Down alternative and polyester pillows may last only one to two years, while memory foam and down pillows may last two to three years. Latex is a very durable material that may last up to four years.

Do expensive pillows last longer?

Price often correlates with quality of materials, with more expensive pillows typically containing higher-quality materials that last longer. That said, durability is also influenced by pillow type, frequency of use, and how well the pillow is cared for over time.

Which pillow type is most affordable?

While good deals can be found for any pillow type, consumers generally find more affordable options among polyester, polyfoam, and down alternative pillows. Down pillows are often priced a bit higher, but there are some less expensive models, particularly among those that use a down blend.

How do I get the best deal on a pillow?

Many pillow manufacturers offer discounted prices around popular shopping periods, such as Memorial Day weekend, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. For pillows that are sold by multiple third-party vendors, it’s worth comparison shopping to find the best deal. Manufacturers often charge less per item when you buy multipacks of two or more pillows.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] or call us at (877) 672-8966 with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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