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Pillow Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on August 16, 2017

Editor's note:
Over the last several years, Snuggle-Pedic and Coop Home Goods have duked it out in the memory foam and body pillow categories, but for this update Snuggle-Pedic is the overwhelming favorite. Royal Hotel still makes the top down pillow, but if you'd prefer a more affordable down alternative, we name a top choice.

Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Sizes - Standard, queen, king Machine washable - Yes Removable cover - Yes

Best memory foam pillow

No other memory foam pillow gets the rave reviews of the Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Combination Memory Foam Pillow. It's equally popular with side- and back-sleepers, with almost universal agreement that it strikes the perfect balance of comfort and support. Many say it helps to relieve back, neck or shoulder pain, and that they awaken without headaches. The micro-vented bamboo cover helps keep sleepers cool at night, too. See our full review »

Buy for $149.00
Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Sizes - Standard/queen, king Machine washable - No, dry clean only Removable cover - No

Best down pillow

Back and side sleepers love the Royal Hotel Goose Down Pillow, saying it's got the cushy feel of down, with the firmness of a traditional pillow. These pillows are generously stuffed with 100 percent down feathers, and have a 500 thread count Egyptian cotton cover that reviewers say is very soft and comfortable. These pillows are allergen-free, so you can enjoy them even if you're sensitive to feathers. See our full review »

Buy for $299.99
Five Star Down Alternative Pillow Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Sizes - Standard. queen, king, Euro Machine washable - Yes Removable cover - No

Down alternative pillow

If you're worried about the possibility of allergy issues with down or feathers; or don't want to pay the premium price that down can bring, we suggest you consider the Five Star Down Alternative Pillow. Reviewers say these pillows are soft, not lumpy like some cotton pillows can be. The 300-thread count, 100 percent cotton fabric is soft and the pillow is machine washable. It also holds its shape very well -- even after months of use.

Buy for $69.99
Body Pillow By Snuggle-Pedic Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Sizes - One Machine washable - Yes Removable cover - No

Best body pillow

The Body Pillow By Snuggle-Pedic gets rave reviews from owners -- especially side sleepers -- who say that this body pillow is the best they've ever owned. It's supportive, yet comfortable, and users say it keeps its shape throughout the night. Many say its ability to support their body has helped reduce snoring. The pillow is made from shredded memory foam and is machine washable. It comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. See our full review »

Buy for $199.99

Types of Pillows

Memory Foam Pillows

Usually made of polyurethane-based memory foam, which molds to the shape of your head and constantly adjusts as you move, memory foam pillows provide a good balance of softness and support. Experts and users say this type of pillow can help ease head and neck pain. Memory foam also won't shift or clump like down or synthetic fibers can. Memory foam pillows can be either stuffed with shreds or feature a one-piece design; although the former seems to be the most popular.

Down and Feather Pillows

People who like the softest type of pillow love down. These are made from the soft, fine feathers found on a baby bird or beneath the outer feathers of an adult bird. Pillows may be stuffed with just down, all regular feathers, or a combination of the two. Down and feather pillows are soft, cuddly and easy to mold to a desired shape. However, they compress easily and need to be regularly fluffed or shaken to restore their loft. These pillows are generally durable, and some are machine washable; others must be dry-cleaned. Down pillows tend to be the priciest, although the price range can vary widely.

Down Alternative Pillows

A less-expensive alternative to down, down alternative pillows are filled with polyester and are easy to find in your local department store. They are also easy to care for, as most can be machine washed. However, their contents tend to shift around over time, becoming lumpy and less supportive. A newer alternative to this type is pillows filled with polyester gel fibers. These are less lumpy than polyester and mold better to the shape of the head. However, like feather pillows, they require fluffing and may not be supportive enough.

Body Pillows

Rather than just supporting the head, body pillows are designed to cradle and support the entire length of the sleeper's body. Some of these look just like regular pillows stretched out to full-body length, while others are specially shaped to support specific parts of the body. The latter type are particularly helpful for pregnant women, but they can also be used to help with problems such as back or hip pain.

The right pillow can improve your sleep

If you wake up with headaches, neck or shoulder pain, or just toss and turn all night, you may want to try changing your pillow. Although most people probably just grab a likely-looking pillow from the department store, a more careful choice may give you a better night's sleep.

A good pillow will support your head and neck, keeping your spine properly aligned as you sleep. Pillow comfort also depends a lot on personal preference -- a pillow that is too soft for one person can be the perfect loft for another. Some sleep experts put a lot of stock in how pillows relate to sleep position, that is, whether you're a back sleeper, side sleeper or stomach sleeper and what type or firmness of pillow is best for each preference, but, quite frankly, those recommendations are often diametrically opposed from one "expert" to the next. In fact, most pillows aren't specifically made to target a particular sleep position; although a few do bill themselves as such. What's most important is to find the pillow that supports your head comfortably and comes in the loft that you prefer: If you like a soft pillow, someone telling you that you need a firm pillow for your sleep position probably won't help you sleep better -- get the soft pillow.

Of course, a pillow isn't the only component of a good night's sleep. The right mattress may be even more crucial in helping you rest well since it supports your entire body. And, if your mattress isn't all that great but you can't afford a new one, a mattress topper can rejuvenate an old or worn mattress at a fraction of the price of a new mattress. Meanwhile, the right set of sheets can help regulate temperature or just help add comfort to your bed. We cover mattresses, mattress toppers and bed sheets in their own reports.

Finding The Best Pillows
Our Sources
"Pillow Reviews, Ratings & Comparison"
"Bed Pillows"
"Sleep Pillows"

While there are few professional tests of pillows, we did find a comprehensive roundup at TheSweethome.com. Moreover, editors at SleepLikeTheDead.com analyze thousands of owner reviews and break down the data to provide specific information about different pillow types and brands. In addition, feedback at retail sites such as Amazon.com andOverstock.com offer valuable insight into how a pillow works in real world use -- and how they hold up over time.  

Pillows are a pretty straightforward purchase, but there are two main factors to consider when picking the right one: Comfort and durability. The best pillow for you has to have the right thickness and softness, or firmness, to keep you comfortable all night. It also needs to be durable enough to last for a reasonable amount of time, as well as survive a number of washings or airings. Based on these factors, we identify the best pillows of each type; one is sure to be the perfect choice for your best night's sleep.

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Pillows buying guide

What every best Pillows has:

  • Comfort.
  • Breathability.
  • Easy care instructions.

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