Its memory foam provides unmatched support and all-around comfort. Incredible durability and longevity.
Takes a long time to dry after washing.
A top choice for health-conscious consumers thanks to its anti-microbial polyester filling.
May have a strong initial "factory smell," but it goes away over time.
Stands out for its generous polyester fiber filling, which holds up well over time. Very affordable.
Can be a bit too firm for some people.
Luxuriously soft and easy to wash. Hypo-allergenic.
Tends to go flat over time.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Did you know that a pillow is one of the most important sleeping accessories you own? The right pillow not only supports your head and neck, but it helps maintain proper alignment of your spine while you sleep. Knowing that, it's easy to see why just any old pillow isn't good enough. For a healthy sleep, you need the best.
You need a pillow that is properly sized for your bed and your preferred sleeping position – side sleepers, for instance, need firmer pillows than others. If you have allergies, you do not want a pillow filled with material that causes a reaction. An antimicrobial pillow can reduce unpleasantries like bacteria, making it a desirable option.
For more information on materials, cost, tips on when to replace your pillow, and a look at pillows that are designed for specific sleeping conditions, keep reading. If you're all set to purchase, consider one of the highly recommended options that we've listed.
Pillows don't last forever, but quality pillows can last a decent amount of time. That said, it's important to know when it's time to replace a pillow.
People lose an average of one pint of sweat per night. Some of that sweat inevitably seeps into your pillow. A discolored pillow is an indicator that it's probably harboring a fair amount of bacteria. If your pillow is discolored, it's time to get a new one
If your pillow has flattened and won’t plump back up, or if you can feel lumps in the filling, throw it out and get a new one.
The easiest way to get pillowcases that match the color/design of your sheets — and the size of your bed — is to buy them in a set. Yes, pillowcases are sold separately, but it may be more difficult to match the color/pattern and material of said pillowcases to your existing bedding.
Waking up with back or neck pain can be a sign that your spine isn't properly aligned while you sleep. Your pillow is a likely culprit. If you wake up with back or neck pain, it’s time to get a new pillow.
If you wake up with a wheeze or nasal congestion, it's time to get a new pillow. Barring any other health issues, these signs point to a possible allergic reaction to the dust mites living in your pillow.
Many people place sole responsibility for their quality of sleep on their mattress. But don’t underestimate the power of a good pillow.
A pillow protector can extend the life of your pillow. It is a tight casing that reduces the accumulation of bacteria,mold, and other allergens inside your pillow.
Pillows come in different firmness degrees. A pillow's firmness dictates how well it can keep your neck properly aligned, based on how you sleep.
Feather and down pillows have been known to trigger allergies or asthma. That said, they generally have a longer shelf-life than most synthetic pillows.
Now that you know when to get a new pillow, you might be wondering why it's so important to choose the right one.
The pillow you use affects your spinal alignment when you’re snoozing. Consider the fact that most people spend roughly one third of their lives asleep. It follows, then, that your nighttime posture affects your wellbeing during the day.
Choosing the correct pillow will help keep your spine in proper alignment when you sleep. The result: more hours of uninterrupted rest and fewer, if any, back and neck aches in the morning. (This is assuming that you don’t have any other issues, of course.)
Some pillows include phase-change material (PCM) beads in its filling. These beads react to their surrounding temperature in an “opposite” manner. During times of high heat, they absorb heat. In colder temperatures, they release heat.
Pillows come with a variety of fillings. Here, we review some of the most common fillings so you can decide which is best for you:
The majority of pillows are sold in one of three sizes: standard (20 by 26 inches), queen (20 by 30 inches). and king (20 by 36 inches). The right size for you depends on the size of your bed.
Some pillows are sold in non-standard sizes. Finding pillowcases for these products could prove to be more difficult.
Pillows flatten and attract bacteria over time. Whether you notice problems or not, it’s wise to replace them regularly.
Some people think that pillow firmness should be all about personal preference. But really, the degree of firmness that’s best for you depends on how you sleep. Take these guidelines into account when choosing between a soft, medium, or firm pillow:
If you want your pillow’s outer covering to be soft and luxurious, look for a product with a high thread count. The Serta Perfect Sleeper has a decent 300 thread count that yields good quality without breaking the bank.
That said, most people focus more on the thread count of their pillowcase than the thread count of the pillow inside it. It may be more practical to spend your money on bedding with a high thread count than pillows with a high thread count.
If you have any health issues that affect your sleep, it's worth doing your research to see if a particular type of pillow — material and filling — might help.
If you like the feel of down but would prefer a synthetic pillow due to allergies or ethical concerns, a microfiber pillow could be your best bet.
Your neck, during sleep, should be “neutral” — that is, in the same position as when you’re standing up. Thus a side sleeper requires more support than a front sleeper.
There's no right or wrong price to pay for a pillow. You’ll find a product out there for every budget.
Some of the most expensive memory foam or down pillows can cost in excess of $60 for just one pillow. On the other end of the spectrum, you can find packs of two pillows for less than $10.
If you’re looking for a middle-of-the-road solution, $30 will get you a very respectable two-pack of pillows that should keep you comfortable and your spine well-aligned.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions in the world of pillows:
Q. What is the best pillow filling?
A. There isn't a single best pillow filling; what works for you depends on your needs and preferences. If you're not sure what your preferred filling is, it can take some trial and error to get it right. If in doubt, hollowfiber pillows are generally comfortable, affordable all-rounders. However, they won't necessarily be right for everyone.
Q. How often should you replace your pillow?
A. There's no hard and fast answer to this question. If your pillows are stained or lumpy, or you wake up with a sore back or neck, it's probably time to get some new pillows. Even if you don’t note these problems, it’s smart to replace hollowfiber pillows every six months to a year. High-quality memory foam pillows should be replaced every three to four years.
Q. Should you get an antimicrobial pillow?
A. While they’re not essential, antimicrobial pillows reduce the amount of bacteria and other nasties that build up in your pillow. If you have a compromised immune system or are particularly concerned about bacteria, an antimicrobial pillow affords you some peace of mind.
Q. Are there any specialist pillows to help with specific issues?
A. Yes. If you suffer a particular issue or condition, certain pillows could be more suitable for you. For instance, if you suffer from sleep apnea or acid reflux, you can get a wedge pillow to help you maintain a near-upright position during sleep. If you experience severe neck pain, you may wish to consider an orthopedic pillow for neck support.
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