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The Best Pillows - 2021

Last updated on October 1, 2020
Best Pillows

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Our Picks For The Top Pillows

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

Beckham Luxury Linens Hotel Gel Pillows, 2-Pack

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Beckham Luxury Linens

Hotel Gel Pillows, 2-Pack

Overall Take

Gel FillingThis pillow uses gel fiber to keep you both comfortable and cool while you sleep.

  Great Down Alternative

Viewstar Down Alternative Pillows, 2-Pack

Viewstar

Down Alternative Pillows, 2-Pack

Overall Take

For Allergy SufferersThis pillow uses polyester filling rather than down to give you the benefits of down without the allergens.

  Best for Hot Sleepers

Coop Home Goods Eden Hypoallergenic Adjustable Pillow

Coop Home Goods

Eden Hypoallergenic Adjustable Pillow

Overall Take

Shredded Memory Foam FillingThe filling in this pillow is made of shredded memory foam mixed with poly fibers, a process that keeps it from clumping and blocking airflow.

  Versatile Pick

Plixio Bamboo Memory Foam Pillows, 2-Pack

Plixio

Bamboo Memory Foam Pillows, 2-Pack

Overall Take

For Side, Back or Stomach SleepersThese pillows have a high loft designed to support side, back and stomach sleepers equally.

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Guide written by Stephanie Faris
Last updated on October 1, 2020

Pillows have come a long way over the years. Today, sleepers can find a pillow that matches exactly the support they need while also keeping them cool and comfortable throughout the night. But the problem is, there are so many different options now, it can be tough to find exactly the right one.

While you can go to the store and try out various pillows, you won’t really know how well it holds up until you’ve slept on it. That pillow that seems to both retain its shape and conform may actually start to sag or bunch up in places over time. You may also find that you didn’t account for factors like breathability.

One of the best ways to find a pillow that meets your needs is to know how each pillow is constructed. Today’s pillows often use materials like gel and memory foam to conform to your head and neck without permanently flattening.

The way you sleep should factor into your choice of a pillow. Side sleepers will likely want one on the firmer side, while back sleepers need a flatter pillow to keep the neck in alignment with the spine. Stomach sleepers may benefit from no pillow at all or a very soft one. Since many sleepers change position throughout the night, though, you may have difficulty finding all these features at once in your choice of a pillow.

The Best Pillows

1
  Best Overall

Beckham Luxury Linens Hotel Gel Pillows, 2-Pack

Gel filling ensure these pillows conform to your head and neck as you sleep for optimum comfort. You'll get two pillows in each set, with the option of sizing in either king or queen. The pillows are resistant to irritants like dust mites, mold and mildew and are manufactured without including harmful chemicals.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Beckham Luxury Linens
Model
2
  Great Down Alternative

Viewstar Down Alternative Pillows, 2-Pack

This pillow features a breathable microfiber exterior along with a polyester filling to give you plumpness while still providing comfort. It's built with a side band that helps the pillow hold its shape. They're machine washable to allow you to not only wash your pillowcases, but your pillows, as well.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Viewstar
Model
3
  Best for Hot Sleepers

Coop Home Goods Eden Hypoallergenic Adjustable Pillow

This pillow uses a gusseted design to keep your pillow full even in the area where your head rests. This provides edge-to-edge support that frees you up to move around throughout the night. The pillow is made from 40% bamboo-derived viscose rayon and 60% polyester to keep the design breathable, as well as cooling gel memory foam to help keep you at a comfortable temperature while you sleep.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Coop Home Goods
Model
4
  Versatile Pick

Plixio Bamboo Memory Foam Pillows, 2-Pack

These pillows use shredded foam infused with cooling gel to reduce sleeping temperature and keep you cool and comfortable. The high loft makes it a comfortable option whether you sleep on your back, side, stomach or a combination of all three. You'll get a two-pack of queen pillows that are vacuum sealed for shipping.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Plixio
Model
6
  Best Basic

DreamNorth Hypoallergenic Gel Pillows, 2-Pack

These pillows feature a breathable cotton exterior with a poly gel fiber insert to provide both comfort and support while you sleep. The support of these pillows falls in the medium range, so if you're a fan of extra-firm or extra-soft pillows, this might not be the best option for you. It's hypoallergenic and built to resist dust mites, mold and mildew, as well as resisting dirt. You'll get two pillows in the set and can choose from standard, queen or king size.

Features


Specifications

Brand
DreamNorth
Model

Our Pillow Buying Guide

Pillows have come a long way over the years. Today, sleepers can find a pillow that matches exactly the support they need while also keeping them cool and comfortable throughout the night. But the problem is, there are so many different options now, it can be tough to find exactly the right one.

While you can go to the store and try out various pillows, you won’t really know how well it holds up until you’ve slept on it. That pillow that seems to both retain its shape and conform may actually start to sag or bunch up in places over time. You may also find that you didn’t account for factors like breathability.

One of the best ways to find a pillow that meets your needs is to know how each pillow is constructed. Today’s pillows often use materials like gel and memory foam to conform to your head and neck without permanently flattening.

The way you sleep should factor into your choice of a pillow. Side sleepers will likely want one on the firmer side, while back sleepers need a flatter pillow to keep the neck in alignment with the spine. Stomach sleepers may benefit from no pillow at all or a very soft one. Since many sleepers change position throughout the night, though, you may have difficulty finding all these features at once in your choice of a pillow.

DWYM Fun Fact

There’s an easy test you can try to see if your pillow needs to be replaced. Fold it in half and if it stays that way rather than returning to its original position, it’s time to toss it. If it’s a natural fill pillow, fold it over your arm. If it hangs down, rather than somewhat holding its shape, it needs to be replaced. King-size pillows will need to be folded in third rather than half due to the larger length.

You’ll also need to replace your pillow if it has noticeable lumps or permanent stains. Sometimes the way you feel when you wake in the morning is a telltale sign. If you have headaches, neck strain or allergy issues, upgrading to a new pillow could resolve those issues.

The Pillow Tips and Advice

  • You may not realize it, but pillows need to be replaced fairly frequently. Memory foams can last up to three years, but other types of pillows need to be switched out after about 18 months.
  • If you purchase a pillow online, it will likely be vacuum sealed for compactness during shipping. Once it arrives and you remove it from the packaging, it will begin to expand. Give it at least 24 hours to come to its full size before sleeping on it.
  • Temperature is also a consideration. Some pillows are built with breathability in mind, which will help if you tend to sweat while you sleep. Gel filling can have more cooling properties than other types of inserts, which also helps with temperature control.
  • Some pillows are designed with a sideband that helps them keep their shape.
  • Although you’ll probably use a pillowcase with your pillows, having a pillow you can toss in the machine comes in handy. Some also have an exterior that resists dirt buildup to ensure it looks new longer.
  • You’ll find pillows are sized similarly to mattresses and sheets: standard, queen and king are the most popular. You don’t have to match your pillow size to your mattress size, though. Just be aware that with a king-size, bed, you may need three standard pillows to reach from one side to the other, whereas two king pillows will fit solidly side by side across that area.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She lives in a beautiful one-acre home in the suburbs on the outskirts of Nashville. Her home and garden work has appeared on popular home sites. She's a true homebody and loves looking at new houses for sale for inspiration on her own home remodeling projects.