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The Best Bed Pillows Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Pillows of 2022

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The Best Bed Pillows Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Reviewed's mission is to help you buy the best stuff and get the most out of what you already own. Our team of product experts thoroughly vet every product we recommend to help you cut through the clutter and find what you need.

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Editor's Choice Product image of  Coop Home Goods Original Pillow
Best Overall

Coop Home Goods Original Pillow

Anyone willing to tinker with the amount of fill in the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow for a few days will see major payoffs with this comfortable, washable pillow. Read More

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Adjustable fill
  • Washable

Cons

  • May need to tinker with fill levels
  • Needs to air out
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow - 2 Pack
Best Value

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow - 2 Pack

These pillows are a great option for guest rooms and folks willing to get a new pillow more often—but many side sleepers won't find them supportive enough. Read More

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Washable
  • Didn't smell after opening

Cons

  • May not provide sufficient loft for some side sleepers
3
Product image of Brooklinen Down Pillow - Firm
Best Down

Brooklinen Down Pillow - Firm

Brooklinen doesn't falsely advertise how firm this pillow is. It's a quality pillow, and what it lacks in washability, it makes up for in comfort. Read More

Pros

  • Firm
  • Supportive
  • Comfortable and plush

Cons

  • Dry clean only
  • May compress over time
4
Product image of Original Casper Pillow
Best Down Alternative

Original Casper Pillow

The Casper pillow is two pillows in one. As a unit it worked for side sleeping, but it's too thick for those who prefer back and stomach sleeping. Read More

Pros

  • Good support for side sleeping
  • Washable
  • Little odor

Cons

  • Not great for back and stomach sleepers
  • Not adjustable
5
Editor's Choice Product image of Leesa Premium Foam Pillow
Best Memory Foam

Leesa Premium Foam Pillow

The Leesa Pillow offers a springy, supportive surface that many back and side sleepers will like, though some may find it too thick. Read More

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Washable cover
  • Good support for back sleepers

Cons

  • May be too thin for some back sleepers
  • Little odor after opening

Pillows play an important role in getting a good night’s sleep—and a bad one can keep you tossing and turning all night. That’s why our experts tested a number of brands over several months to find the best pillows.

We found that our favorite pillows are from Coop Home Goods (available at Amazon). They’re filled with lofty-yet-soft shredded foam, and you can add or subtract stuffing to suit your preferences and spine-alignment needs.

For those with a smaller budget, the Beckham Hotel Gel Pillow 2-Pack (available at Amazon) is our pick for best value pillow.

Regardless of the type of pillow you’re looking for—or how you sleep—we have a pillow recommendation we hope will help you rest better at night.

Here are the best bed pillows we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Coop Home Goods
  2. Brooklinen
  3. Leesa Pillow
  4. Original Casper Pillow
  5. Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud
  6. Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
  7. AmazonBasics Down Alternative Pillows
  8. Tuft & Needle Original Pillow
  9. Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud Dual Breeze
  10. Beckham Hotel Gel Pillow
a hand pulling out filling from the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Coop Home Goods Pillow is great for everyone because of its adjustable, shredded-foam fill.

Best Overall
Coop Home Goods Original Pillow
  • Fill material: Shredded memory foam
  • Who it's best for: All types of sleepers
  • Trial period: 100 nights
  • Care: Machine washable and dryer safe

After a battery of tests, we determined the best pillows for most sleepers are made by Coop Home Goods. Both the Original and Eden, ranked as top picks, and work across multiple sleep positions for combination sleepers.

Coop Home Goods pillows are stuffed with soft and supportive shredded memory foam. The pillow feels plush like down or down-alternative fills. However, you can add or remove fill for customized loft and feel. Both the Original and Eden pillows come with an extra half-pound bag of stuffing.

We tested other adjustable pillows, but these outpaced them in comfort. They also have minimal chemical smell, fixing a common issue for foam bedding. Getting the fill level just right may be a chore—our testers fussed with it over several nights—but after that, the pillows are a dream.

Coop Home Goods pillows are covered in a super soft fabric derived from bamboo, which our testers appreciated even though they encased them in pillow protectors. The Original pillow is an excellent choice for different sleep styles, including side and back sleeping. It provides the right amount of support, and anyone who prefers a softer or less-lofty feel can remove filling.

Those seeking an even softer pillow, particularly stomach sleepers, should look to the Coop Home Goods Eden. It has a softer texture, but the same fill level adjustability.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Adjustable fill

  • Washable

Cons

  • May need to tinker with fill levels

  • Needs to air out

a man sleeping on one of the Beckham Hotel Gel pillows
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Beckham Hotel Pillows provide a surprising level of comfort, and are a great option for a guest room or people who prefer to replace their pillows more often.

Best Value
Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow - 2 Pack
  • Fill material: Gel memory foam
  • Who it's best for: Side sleepers
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Care: Machine washable; air dry

The Beckham Hotel Pillows come in a package of two, at a lower price than many individual pillows we tested. They offered greater support for our side sleeper than other affordable pillows we tested, and were far fluffier. Their fill feels much more similar to down than the quilt-batting sensation of other synthetic-fill pillows we tried.

Also, unlike some others, the Beckham Hotel pillows didn’t show signs of wear from testing. The covers didn’t crinkle or pucker from the heated blanket, the fill bounced back nicely after being weighted overnight, and the entire pillow came out of the laundry unscathed. This resilience makes them the best budget choice for outfitting a guest room, for filling pillow shams as extra decor, or for folks who prefer to replace their pillows more regularly.

A word of warning, though, if you plan to use these pillows yourself night after night: Our side sleeper, whose frame is on the narrow side, thought the Beckham Hotel pillow kept her aligned and supported just fine. However, side sleepers with broader shoulders may be less comfortable. Stomach sleepers and many back sleepers will likely feel overly propped up by the mid-level loft.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Washable

  • Didn't smell after opening

Cons

  • May not provide sufficient loft for some side sleepers

hands pressing into a Brooklinen down pillow
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Brooklinen Down Pillows are treated with "antimicrobials," which will help keep the dry-clean-only pillow clean.

Best Down
Brooklinen Down Pillow
  • Fill material: "Plush" filled with down clusters; "mid-plush" and "firm" filled with down clusters and feathers
  • Who it's best for: All types of sleepers (3 densities to choose from)
  • Trial period: 365 days
  • Care: Spot clean; dry clean when needed

For devotees of classic natural-feather filling, look no further than the Brooklinen Down Pillow. It comes in three densities, catering to different sleep positions. The firm pillow is best for side sleepers, the mid-plush is intended for back sleepers, and the plush is best for stomach sleepers.

In our side and back sleeper tests, our tester selected the firm and plush Brooklinen pillows as her absolute favorites. The firm pillow cradled and supported her head and neck with its dense loft, which has far less squish (in a good way) than you might expect.

The plush pillow felt like a thin, puffy cloud when used for stomach sleeping. Back sleepers, however, may not be as thrilled with the mid-plush offering: Our tester’s head sunk through it within hours. That said, down isn’t the recommended fill for back sleepers, anyway.

Other considerations before selecting down: On top of generally being pricier, down is often dry clean only, and Brooklinen’s pillows are no exception. The surface can be spot-cleaned. For what it's worth, Brooklinen says its pillows are treated with “antimicrobials” to help inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Down and down alternative face one mutual challenge: They usually lose the ability to spring back over time. The Brooklinen pillows didn’t show any immediate signs of that, though, as they readily sprung back in our weighted-pressure lab test.

Pros

  • Firm

  • Supportive

  • Comfortable and plush

Cons

  • Dry clean only

  • May compress over time

The Casper Original pillow on a yellow bedspread
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Original Casper Pillow is composed of two pieces to provide cushion without compromising on support.

Best Down Alternative
Original Casper Pillow
  • Fill material: Polyester microfiber
  • Who it's best for: Side sleepers
  • Trial period: 30 nights
  • Care: Machine washable and dryer safe

The Original Casper Pillow provides a similar sensation to down without compromising supportiveness or loft. It’s constructed in two pieces, a pillow within a pillow to give you the best of both worlds. The inner pillow is a densely packed core that provides structure, while the fluffy outer shell lends a welcoming surface to rest your head on.

The thickness makes it a great choice for side sleepers. It performed well for stomach sleepers, too, but with one major caveat: Our tester used it as two separate units, not the package deal it’s intended to be. She loved sleeping on just the inner core, which had enough structure to support her neck but was flat enough that it didn’t push her head up from the mattress.

Unfortunately, the Casper pillow didn’t hit a happy medium for back sleeping: Our tester found that it was too thick with both components and too thin with only the core. Nonetheless, this pillow will meet the needs of the vast majority of folks looking for a great down-alternative option.

Experts say that being able to wash a pillow is the best way to clear out allergens. The Casper pillow’s construction makes it even easier to launder than other pillows we tested. The outer shell can be washed separately from the inner core—and since the core is already buffered by the outer layer, it may need less washing.

Pros

  • Good support for side sleeping

  • Washable

  • Little odor

Cons

  • Not great for back and stomach sleepers

  • Not adjustable

hands pressing into the Leesa memory foam pillow
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Leesa Pillow, which is made with one solid piece of memory foam, provides a great balance of support and give.

Best Memory Foam
Leesa Pillow
  • Fill material: Memory foam
  • Who it's best for: Back sleepers
  • Trial period: 30 nights
  • Care: Spot-clean foam; machine-washable cover

The solid-foam Leesa pillow provides a good balance of supportiveness and surface give. It’s made with one big piece of memory foam, giving it more structure than all our other top picks. It's ideal for back sleepers, but it’s also a great choice for anyone who prefers something low-maintenance in terms of fluffing and reshaping.

What’s more, the foam may lend the pillow greater longevity because it won’t compress or become unevenly distributed over time. Leesa also claims the pillow’s “ventilation channels” improve airflow to keep you cool throughout the night.

Our back sleeper actually did find it cooler than other pillows she tested, and our lab testing confirmed that it doesn’t retain heat. This pillow also had a less noticeable odor upon arrival than other foam pillows we tested.

For all the great qualities foam has, it isn’t without its flaws. For starters, the Leesa pillow isn’t fully machine-washable. The fabric cover, a soft polyester-lycra blend, can be removed and laundered, but the foam itself is spot-clean only. In addition, most stomach sleepers will find the pillow too thick.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Washable cover

  • Good support for back sleepers

Cons

  • May be too thin for some back sleepers

  • Little odor after opening


Other Pillows We Tested

Product image of Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Cloud Pillow
  • Fill material: Memory foam
  • Who it's best for: Back sleepers; side sleepers with small frames
  • Trial period: None
  • Care: Spot-clean foam; machine-washable cover

The Tempur-Cloud is made from solid memory foam, which you can feel slowly molding to your head as you settle down to rest. That’s not to say this is a soft pillow. In fact, our back-sleeping tester said it skews firm—and that it was among her favorites. She found it just thick enough to provide support, but not so lofty that it pushed her chin or head up.

In fact, this low-profile pillow is far thinner than many others we tested. That makes it well-suited to side sleepers with small frames, but our stomach sleeper still found it pushed her head up at an uncomfortable angle. (The company says it works for this position, but we’d recommend against it.)

The pillow has a couple of minor downsides. The foam is wrapped in a removable, machine-washable cover, but the foam itself can only be spot-cleaned. In addition, it retained a little heat in lab testing. Also, Tempur-Pedic’s return policy for pillows is unforgiving—the pillow is yours after you’ve used it.

Pros

  • Moderate thickness for back sleepers

  • Affordable

  • Softer memory foam surface

Cons

  • Limited versatility

  • Profile too low for many

  • Retains heat

Product image of Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
  • Fill material: Shredded memory foam
  • Who it's best for: All types of sleepers
  • Trial period: 365 days
  • Care: Machine-washable cover

The Xtreme Comforts Shredded Memory Foam Pillow was previously a top pillow pick, but in our revamped recent testing, it didn’t perform as well. The pillow is similar to the Coop Home Goods pillows, with one major flaw: its smell. We received two samples of this pillow, and both testers noted just how noxious it was. Unlike most of the foam pillows we tested, this took days to air out.

Other than that, it performed comparably to the Coop pillows, thanks to its adjustability. But our testers found that the shredded-foam fill in this pillow was harder to wrangle, as some of the bits were no bigger than a grain of rice.

Pros

  • Adjustable

  • Machine Washable

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Smelly for days after opening

  • Tiny fill shreds were difficult to remove

Product image of AmazonBasics Down Alternative Pillow Firm Density
Amazon Basics Firm Pillow
  • Fill material: Polyester down alternative
  • Who it's best for: Soft density best for stomach sleepers; firm density best for back sleepers
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Care: Machine washable and dryer safe

The AmazonBasics pillows are great for what they are, but they’re not as supportive as our top picks, don’t offer options for customizing fill, and retained some heat in lab testing.

What they do bring to the table is a relatively low price. They're fine for folks who replace pillows more frequently. They may also work in guest rooms, or as fillings for decorative pillows.

The AmazonBasics pillows come in soft and firm densities. They’re filled with a polyester down alternative, but both our testers remarked that they felt more like quilt batting than the puffy light sensation you want in a down alternative.

The soft version fared fine for stomach sleeping, but our back sleeper was less impressed. It failed to support her, collapsing under her head. Our side sleeper worried the firm version isn’t lofty enough to support most side sleepers’ heads.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Little smell after opening

  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Insufficient loft

  • Didn’t capture down sensation

  • Retained heat

Product image of Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
Tuft & Needle Pillow
  • Fill material: Foam
  • Who it's best for: Side sleepers
  • Trial period: 100 nights if purchased from Tuft & Needle site; 30 days if bought through Amazon
  • Care: Machine-washable cover

Our side sleeper tester found the Tuft & Needle solid-foam pillow supportive, with a nice surface springiness. It’s a good height for many side sleepers, even though it was a skosh too tall for her preference. Most stomach and back sleepers will find it too thick.

While the foam insert can't be laundered, the pillow is encased in a washable microfiber cover. Microfiber covers tend to be tightly woven, which can provide extra protection for allergy sufferers, another added bonus of this pillow. (Still, there's never harm in covering it with another case, to be extra hygienic.)

Tuft & Needle offers a substantial 100-night trial if purchased from its site, or 30 days if bought through Amazon.

Pros

  • Supportive

  • Good for people with broad shoulders

  • Spongy and springy sensation

Cons

  • May be too thick for some

  • Foam doesn’t cradle

Product image of Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow
Tempur-Cloud Breeze Pillow
  • Fill material: Foam
  • Who it's best for: Side sleepers
  • Trial period: None
  • Care: Machine-washable cover; foam is spot-clean only

While many of the pillows we tested claimed to have cooling properties, this was one of just two that came through in the end. The pillow is made with a single piece of Tempur foam and infused with a cooling gel on both sides.

We can’t pin down exactly what that is. But if it works, it works, and our tester said it’s a dream for hot sleepers.

But being cool comes at a cost. The Tempur-Cloud Dual Breeze is one of the most expensive pillows we tested. Still, this pillow could be life-changing and worth the price for people who wake up sweating in the night.

For anyone who doesn’t, we’d say pass. That goes extra if you sleep on your back or stomach, as it’s too thick and firm for spinal alignment in those positions.

The cooling pillow has a thin, removable cotton cover, but the foam itself is spot clean only. The other major downside of all Tempur-Pedic pillows is the unforgiving return policy. Unlike most companies, Tempur-Pedic won’t take opened or used items back—you can’t sleep on it to decide if it’s for you.

Pros

  • Firm

  • Supportive

  • Cooling features that perform

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Limited washability


How We Tested Pillows

an array of pillows on a bed
Credit: Reviewed / Lindsey Vickers

Our testers rotated through a variety of pillows, sleeping on each for at least two nights.

The Tester

I’m Lindsey Vickers, the sleep writer here at Reviewed. I cover everything from meditation apps to bed sheets. I’m a hybrid sleeper and alternate between my side and stomach, so I was excited to test pillows for both of those positions.

Of course, we couldn’t neglect back sleepers, so we recruited editor Sarah Hagman, a self-proclaimed “reformed side sleeper." She started sleeping on her back after a shoulder injury, and hasn’t looked back since, making her the perfect person to find the best pillow for the position.

The Tests

For several months we had a rotating cast of pillows in and out of our bedrooms—occasionally the same one, if the manufacturer claimed it suited multiple sleep positions. We slept on each pillow for at least two nights while evaluating its performance.

Is the pillow comfortable and sufficiently supportive from the moment our heads touched down on the fluff until our morning alarms went off? Is it customizable? If so, how easy is it to remove and add fill? Does it get hot overnight? How well does the pillow’s performance match company claims? Does the fill feel lumpy? If so, can the lumps be smoothed away? (You get the idea.)

Afterward, we sent the pillows to our lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where our scientists put them through the wringer. They tested for heat retention with temperature sensors and a heated blanket. They also weighted the pillows down overnight to check how well the material responded and sprung back the next day, and washed them according to care label instructions, to see how they held up.

How to Find the Right Pillow for You

Pillows are perhaps the second most important piece of bedding after your mattress, but they should have a much higher rate of turnover. Here are some things to consider when you’re shopping for pillows.

Types of Sleepers

Some pillows are marketed for all sleep positions, but since each position has unique support needs, pillows are seldom truly effective in every position.

  • Side sleepers: People who sleep on their sides need “firm” pillows, which are taller and denser, to prevent their neck from drooping down. However, they shouldn’t be so thick and dense that they push the neck and head up. Side sleepers want to look for a pillow that keeps their spine horizontally aligned while they lie in bed.

  • Stomach sleepers: People who sleep on their stomachs want to look for thin, soft pillows with ample give, because craning the head upward can trigger neck pain. These pillows are often called “plush.” Down and down-alternative fillings are often great choices for stomach sleepers.

  • Back sleepers: People who sleep on their backs need something in the middle, to cradle their neck and head without letting it loll back or causing their chin to jut forward. These pillows may be labeled “medium density” or “mid-plush.” Foam pillows designed for back sleepers are often a good choice, though some may find happiness in medium-firm down or down-alternative options.

Types of Pillow Fill

the Nectar foam pillow has a gusset panel
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Nectar Foam Pillow has a "gusset," or rectangular panel of fabric sewn around the perimeter, that provides more loft for side sleepers.

There are numerous types of pillows, with different fills that offer unique benefits and create different sensations when they cradle your head.

  • Down fill: These pillows have long dominated the industry, creating a plush surface that's responsive to pressure. They may be less durable because the delicate feathers become permanently compressed, generally after a year or so of use. Down pillows are also frequently pricier and usually dry-clean-only.

Down feathers are less structured than other fills, and can leave side sleepers’ heads and necks unsupported. Back sleepers still need support, but an adequately-packed down pillow can often do the trick just fine. For stomach sleepers, some of whom can get by without a pillow at all, the softness is a non-issue or even a selling point.

  • Down-alternative fill: This pillow fill is generally made from polyester or a rayon-polyester blend. This is meant to replicate the feel of down, often with a lower price tag. Down-alternative products were once thought to be better for people with allergies. However, research has shown that they may actually trap more allergens than down bedding, says John McKeon, CEO of Allergy Standards Limited and spokesperson for The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Further research is needed, he added.

One possible explanation for this allergen accumulation is manufacturers using looser weave encasements. Traditional down pillows are often encased in tightly woven fabric to prevent feathers from escaping, which also helps buffer the fill from allergens. Regardless, an allergy-protective encasement can help, as does regular washing of these pillows, which are generally machine-washable.

  • Solid foam: These pillows are made with one thick piece of foam or several layers of it fused together. Sometimes they look like a giant sponge; other times they’re contoured and look like a “B” rotated onto its back. Typically, these pillows offer more longevity than down and down alternative, as the foam won’t compress over time.

In our testing, solid-foam pillows often emitted a chemical odor for a few days after being opened—likely due to off-gassing of the foam. Once the air is clear, foam can be great for side sleepers and some back sleepers, as it provides support and shape but still offers some give. However, these same qualities also make this pillow material a poor choice for stomach-sleeping.

  • Shredded foam: These pillows feel more like down or down-alternative than solid foam. They often come super stuffed, with extra fill enclosed, so sleepers can add or remove fill until they find the right loft and feel. That means these pillows can serve all positions. Shredded foam may be less likely to compress over time than down and down-alternative.

  • Latex: This fill is actually another type of foam. It's generally naturally-derived, which can mean it's more eco-friendly than other types of foam.

Latex pillows can be made with one of two types of latex: Talalay, or Dunlop, with different manufacturing processes. Dunlop latex tends to have a firmer feel, whereas Talalay latex can feel softer.

How Often Should You Replace Pillows?

You should replace your pillow every one to two years, according to the AAFA’s McKeon. Some pillow companies offer as long as 10-year warranties, which is a nice vote of confidence in their products, but even a 5-year warranty will amply cover a pillow's recommended lifespan.


Meet the tester

Lindsey Vickers

Lindsey Vickers

Senior Staff Writer, Sleep

@lindseyvix

Lindsey writes about sleep, lifestyle, and more for Reviewed. In her waking hours, she likes to spend time outside, read, cook, and bake. She holds a master’s in journalism from Boston University and bachelors' degrees in English Literature and Anthropology from the University of Utah.

See all of Lindsey Vickers's reviews

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