Some people may think that all pillows are created equal, but the truth is that there’s a tremendous range of materials that can be used to make a pillow, and these materials directly influence how that pillow will feel.
The Best Bed Pillows for 2022
This guide will help you understand why good pillow matters, what your pillow options are, and which are the best pillows of 2022.
Our Top Picks
Best Memory Foam: Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow
Why We Like it
- Loft level can be easily adjusted by removing some shredded foam
- Cover of bamboo-derived rayon and polyester boosts breathability
- An inner liner that helps with moldability and airflow
- 100-night satisfaction guarantee
The Coop Home Goods Adjustable Memory Foam pillow is one of the most popular pillows sold online thanks to its quality of design and performance, especially at its price point.
It is made with a cover that is a blend of rayon and polyester that, along with an inner liner, keeps the pillow breathable. The shredded memory foam contours to your head and is malleable, and at the same time, the material can be easily removed for those who want less loft (such as stomach sleepers).
Best Down Alternative: Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow
Why We Like it
- Carefully designed to mimic the soft feeling of down
- Hypoallergenic polyfill
- Available in three firmness levels
- Full-year sleep trial
The Brooklinen Down Alternative pillow has polyester fill (polyfill) that has fibers shaved in a way to as closely resemble the feeling of down as possible. A 400 thread count cotton shell provides added softness and breathability, and double-stitched edges hold the fabric tightly inside the pillow. This material is hypoallergenic, soft, light, and lofty.
Brooklinen offers this in a Plush, Mid-Plush, and Firm option to best suit your preferences and sleeping position. For example, the Plush fits best for stomach sleepers, Mid-Plush for back sleepers, and firm for side sleepers.
Brooklinen is a well-regarded bedding company and offers a 365-night sleep trial that lets you return this pillow anytime within a year if you aren’t satisfied with its performance.
Best Down: Kassatex European White Goose Down Pillow
Why We Like it
- High-loft fill with European white goose down
- Fill power of 650
- Three firmness levels to choose from
- Sustainably washed to reduce allergens
- 60-day sleep trial
The down pillows from Kassatex are made with high-quality European white goose down that are carefully washed and treated — using eco-friendly bluesign soaps — to reduce allergen exposure. This material is exceptionally soft and lofty, with a fill power of 650. A cotton shell with a thread count of 350 supplements the softness and adds breathability.
The pillow is available in Soft, Medium, and Firm options to suit sleepers in any position. In addition, the moldability of down makes these pillows extremely useful for people who like to adjust a pillow in real-time.
Kassatex offers free shipping and provides a 60-day no-risk sleep trial to test this pillow out in your own home.
Best Foam: the Tuft & Needle Pillow
Why We Like it
- Employs soft and contouring Adaptive Foam
- Durable, reliable material doesn’t require fluffing
- Softcover is removable and machine-washable
- 100-night sleep trial and 3-year warranty
The Tuft & Needle pillow is made with the same proprietary foam, Adaptive Foam, that the company uses in the comfort layers of its mattresses. This foam is inviting and conforming without giving out or losing its shape. As a result, the pillow can effectively cushion your head and keep your neck and spine in alignment.
The Adaptive Foam is aerated for extra breathability, and the softcover stays cool to the touch. As one piece of foam, you never need to fluff the pillow, and it is built to hold its shape for the long term.
Tuft & Needle ships the pillow for free, provides a 100-night sleep trial, and backs the product with a 3-year limited warranty.
Best Innovative: the Purple Pillow
Why We Like it
- Smart Comfort Grid provides exceptional responsiveness to support your head and neck
- Extra edge support to ensure your neck is well-cushioned
- The ultra-soft cover is removable and washable
- 100-night sleep trial
The Purple Pillow utilizes the same hyper-elastic polymer, the Smart Comfort Grid, that powers the acclaimed Purple Mattress. This material comprises open squares that compress when weight is applied and then rapidly bounce back when removed. This allows the pillow to contour perfectly to your head, and the reinforced edges make sure your neck is well-cushioned as well.
A considerable benefit of the Purple Pillow is the ventilation allowed by the Smart Comfort Grid. Combined with the breathable cover, this pillow is a top choice for people who sleep hot and need their pillow to stay calm.
Purple offers a 1-year limited warranty as well as a 100-night trial during which you can test out the pillow with an option to return it if it isn’t right for you.
Best Latex: Malouf Z Talalay Latex Pillow
Why We Like it
- Cover from polyester and rayon increases breathability
- Aerated latex improves airflow and prevents overheating
- High-end Talalay latex for excellent performance
- Offered in Plush or Firm options for comfort
- Offered in Low or High loft
The Malouf Z pillow employs high-quality Talalay latex to offer a different feel in a buffer. Talalay latex is known for being both responsive and soft simultaneously, allowing it to provide comfort and support to your neck and head.
Customers can choose between two options for firmness (Plush and Firm) and two options for loft (Low or High), meaning that there are versions of this pillow that can work for sleepers in any position.
The aerated latex is breathable, keeping the pillow cool even in the summer months.
Best Buckwheat: Hullo Pillow
Why We Like it
- Buckwheat hulls are malleable and breathable for coolness and support
- Zippered cover allows you to adjust the amount of buckwheat fill
- Soft and smooth organic cotton shell with twill weave
- 60-night sleep trial
The Hullo pillow features a fill made with thousands of buckwheat hulls, a long-standing pillow material in Asia, to provide a comfortable and supportive pillow with a unique feel.
This pillow is both malleable and adjustable. It is malleable because the hulls can be reshaped and molded to fit your needs in real-time. It is also flexible because the cover has a hidden zipper that removes hulls if you want a lower loft level.
A bonus of buckwheat is that it does not retain heat and permits plenty of airflows to keep your head cool all through the night.
Hullo ships the pillow for free and provides a 60-night satisfaction guarantee that lets you get a full refund if you find that the pad doesn’t work for you.
Pillow Buying Guide
Before choosing the right pillow, a handful of factors to consider, including the pillow size, loft, and composition.
In general, pillows are sold in 6 different sizes, as shown below:
|Standard||20″ x 26″|
|Super Standard||20″ x 28″|
|Queen||20″ x 30″|
|King||20″ x 36″|
|Body||54″ x 20″|
|Toddler||14″ x 20″|
- Standard: Most people are used to and compatible with virtually all pillowcases.
- Super Standard: less common but ideal for people who want added width compared with a standard.
- Queen: a larger size and a better fit for a larger bed as two queen pillows stretch across a queen bed.
- King: designed for king beds as two king pillows stretch across a king bed.
- Body: very long and intended to support the body, such as pregnant women or people with back pain.
- Toddler: extra small for little sleepers.
Read Next – Best Pillow For Back Sleepers
Pillow Loft – Determining Your Needs
A key component of determining whether you’ll get what you need out of a pillow is the level of the loft.
The loft is the thickness of the pillow when it is flat on your bed. Some pads have a stable loft level, while others can have their loft adjusted either by molding the pillow or adding or removing some interior material.
Several factors influence the proper loft level for your pillows. These factors are described in the sections below.
Read Next – Best Pillow For Neck Pain
Your choice of the sleeping position directly influences how your neck is aligned about the Mattress and thus the appropriate amount of loft.
The most common position is side sleeping, and people on their side generally need a higher loft to keep the head in line with the shoulders. An adjustable loft pillow or moldable one to change the amount of loft can also be beneficial for side sleepers to make minor modifications to get the right height.
Stomach sleepers need a much lower loft pillow because they lie flat and flush with the Mattress. A too-tall pillow can cause unnatural arching or bending of the neck in a stomach sleeper, so a lower loft pillow (including adjustable cushions) serves these sleepers best.
Back sleepers, who are also flush with the Mattress, generally do not want too much loft in a pillow because it can cause craning of the neck.
The more significant someone’s head is, the more loft they will need since they will put more pressure on the pillow. Additional loft, then, helps prevent the protector from compressing too much.
Body Shape and Size
People who have a more oversized frame and a higher weight (generally 200 pounds or more) are more likely to sink into a mattress, which means they need a pillow with a lower loft.
If they use a high loft pillow, but their body sinks into the bed, there will be an excessive bending or elongation of the neck, potentially leading to aches and pains. On the flip side, a lighter person who won’t sink into the bed much at all will probably be better served by a higher loft pillow.
The firmness of the Mattress
As a general rule, the firmer your Mattress, the higher the loft you want because you will be less prone to sinking into the bed. However, people who have very plush mattresses should err toward a lower loft pillow or a pillow that has an adjustable loft level.
This matters mostly for side sleepers. A higher loft is usually necessary for side sleepers with broad or wide shoulders since the Mattress and the headspace is more elevated.
Placement of the Pillow
There are different ways to rest your head on a pillow. Some people put their head entirely on the pillow, while others only put part of their head on the pillow.
The level of loft you need can depend on how exactly you are placing the pillow under your head and how that affects the angle of your neck.
Pillow Types and Materials
To help determine the type of pillow that you want, it’s essential to know about all of the various materials that can be used to fill a pad.
The characteristics and performance of a pillow will change based on this material, and in this section, we’ll give you an overview of what to expect from each.
Read Next – Best Memory Foam Pillow Reviews
This material, commonly used in mattresses, is known for its compression and ability to contour to pressure. In a pillow, this makes it especially attractive as it can give the kind of support your head needs depending on the weight of your head and how you rest it on the pillow.
There are generally three types of memory foam pillows:
- Shredded: in these, the pillow is filled with many small foam pieces. This makes the pad more moldable while retaining its supportiveness. In many cases, a shredded foam pillow will be adjustable, meaning that you can add or remove pieces of foam to change the pillow’s loft. In general, the flexibility of these pillows makes them viable for sleepers in most positions. In addition, the shredded foam does not retain as much heat as a block of memory foam, helping the pillow stay cool at night.
- Molded: this type of pillow is one single piece of foam, and for this reason, it tends to have a higher and more consistent loft. It also tends to retain more heat. It still will compress to accommodate your head and neck, but it is not moldable like a shredded foam pillow.
- Noodle Foam: these pillows have a noodle or wave shape, meaning they look like a long cylinder. These allow you to have a great deal of flexibility in adjusting your condition. Still, their unconventional size can make them difficult for many people to use as a primary pillow.
Read next – Best Pillow For Side Sleepers
Latex pillows are made with latex rubber known for having qualities of both responsiveness and resilience. This resilience means you are less inclined to feel your head sinking into the pillow, but it can still compress to give support.
These pillows tend to be durable and have a higher loft but generally have limited ability to be reshaped.
Most latex pillows are molded and made of one piece of latex, but some pillows are made with shredded latex. As with memory foam, shredded latex has more moldability and retains less heat.
Read Next – Best Latex Mattress Reviews
Polyfoam is a broad category of foam products distinct from memory foam. Polyfoam can be manufactured with a wide range of characteristics, including some types of polyfoam that take on parts of memory foam.
These pillows tend to be lower cost than memory foam and usually do not have quite as much sink. As a result, they can be a viable option for sleepers in any position, depending on the loft level of the pillow and whether it is adjustable.
Down pillows are made with feathers from ducks or geese and specifically with the down feathers, which are from the underside of the plumage.
These pillows are known for being soft, light, and easily molded. While they have a more excellent loft, they tend to compress a lot and can be adjusted to take on different forms.
Many side sleepers and some back and stomach sleepers like down pillows, but others may find it tedious to keep reshaping them. They also tend to be more expensive, and some people have allergies to down.
Down alternative pillows are designed to perform and feel akin to down but without using actual down feathers.
To accomplish this, pillow makers usually employ synthetic fabrics that are much cheaper and do not have issues with provoking allergies.
Overall, they capture much of the moldability and lightness of down that works well for sleepers who want to adjust their pillow into many different shapes through the night. However, down alternative pillows usually do not last as long as true down and may not be quite as soft.
Thousands of small buckwheat husks are used to make buckwheat pillows. While each of these husks feels hard, they offer a supportive and firm surface when combined in a pillow.
The husks can be pushed around to make the pillow moldable and usable for sleepers in most positions. The nature of the filling also makes these pillows naturally breathable and unlikely to retain heat. This combination of features leads sleepers of all classes to benefit from buckwheat pillows.
The only downsides are that they can be expensive and can also be noisy at night from the movement of the husks. For this reason, they may not be the best choice for people who are easily disturbed by noise while sleeping.
Depending on the filling, the firmer loft level may be an issue for some stomach and back sleepers.
A low-cost option, cotton pillows are stuffed with this ubiquitous textile. Cotton tends to be fluffy and moldable, but it has limited ability to offer real support and tailored contouring from many other pillow types.
Cotton also absorbs heat and is poor at moisture-wicking, so people concerned about temperature may find cotton problematic.
In general, a thin cotton pillow is most likely to work for a back or stomach sleeper who needs less overall support than for a side sleeper who puts more pressure on the head and neck.
Read Next – Best Pillow For Side Sleepers
The Best Pillows 2022 (UPDATED GUIDE)
Read Next – Best Latex Mattress Reviews
Coop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow - Cross-Cut Memory Foam Fill - Lulltra Washable Cover from Bamboo Derived Rayon - CertiPUR-US/GREENGUARD Gold Certified - Queen
Brooklinen Luxe Pillow Cases Standard Size, Cream - Set of 2 (100% Long Staple Cotton with Envelope Enclosure)
Tuft & Needle Foam Pillow, Standard, White & Queen Mattress Protector - Waterproof - Liquid-Proof - Quiet - Protects Against Dust Mites and Allergens - Fitted Sheet Style - Vinyl Free
Purple Harmony Pillow | The Greatest Pillow Ever Invented, Grid Hex, Made in The USA, Good Housekeeping Award Winning, (Medium)
$161.10 in stock
The Purple Pillow | The Most Supportive Pillow Science can Dream up - Now with Adjustable boosters for Personalized Height!
$120.60 in stock