For some, the search for the perfect pillow has become a lifelong quest. However, there is a proven formula to get the right pillow for just about any taste and preference.
In this guide, we share what to look for when buying a pillow and go through some of the best pillows of 2021.
Best Pillows 2021
#1 Best Overall - Good for back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers
#2 Best Eco-friendly – Good for back sleepers
#3 Best Latex Choice – Good for side sleepers
#4 Best for Neck Pain – Good for side and back sleepers
#5 Best Feather – Good for stomach sleepers
Sweet Zzz Pillow
(Best Overall – Good for back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers )
Best Overall – Good for back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers
Most of us have difficulties finding the right pillow because we have more than one sleeping position. We might start on our sides and end up on our backs or vice versa. Because of this, only a pillow made right for “combination” sleepers will work and those are rare.
The Sweet Zzz pillow is made using plant based down alternative that is much better than regular down alternative and offers way better support but is still soft and comfortable. The way this pillow sinks in depending on the position of sleep is amazing, making it perfect for multiple sleeping positions. This patented design is exactly why we chose the Sweet Zzz pillow as our best overall.
This pillow offers excellent support, yet it is very moldable, breathable, and fluffy at the same time.
- Fits all sleeping positions (back, side, stomach, and combination)
- Patented plant-based down alternative fill that provides extreme comfort at no cost to support.
- Natural white cotton cover that feels soft and won’t change the color on your sheets.
- Oeko-Tex Certified as safe for children and sensitive skins.
- Comes in Queen, and King sizes
- 50 days free money back guarantee with no fees on customers.
Plushbeds Wool Pillow
(Best Eco-friendly – Good for back sleepers )
Best Eco-friendly – Good for back sleepers
When it comes to sleeping on your back the Plushbeds wool pillow is a good choice because it isn’t too thin nor too thick. However, it might be a little uncomfortable for stomach sleeping and a bit unsupportive for side sleeping.
Wool as a bedding material has numerous benefits and makes a good green choice. Plushbeds pillow is handmade from natural wool and is ethically sourced. It uses the finest natural materials which makes it hypoallergenic as well. Still some people are allergic to wool and will avoid it no matter how comfortable it is. Also, wool makes for a very pricey commodity.
The Plushbeds wool pillow is a great choice for those that sleep on their backs and are green conscious.
- 100% pure virgin wool filling
- All-natural and hand-filled
- Available in standard, queen, and king sizes.
Saatva Latex Pillow
(Best Latex Choice – Good for side sleepers)
Best Latex Choice – Good for side sleepers
Latex in general is firmer than any other bedding material. This makes it the best fit for heavier heads as well as side sleepers. The Saatva latex pillows is a great example of that.
The pillow is filled with a medium-firm latex fill that does a great job for side sleeping but no so much for stomach sleeping. It also is good for heavier people that sleep on their backs but for stomach sleepers, it can be too high and may cause discomfort. This is mainly because latex has no moldability whatsoever.
Overall, if you like latex and sleep on your side then this is for you.
- Good for side sleeping and heavier people in general.
- Available in Queen and King sizes.
- 45-day free return period.
TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow
(Best for Neck Pain – Good for side and back sleepers )
Best for Neck Pain – Good for side and back sleepers
When it comes to pressure point relief nothing beats memory foam and when it comes to memory foam nothing beats Tempur-pedic. However, memory foam is not without drawbacks. For example, it sleeps hot and can sometimes feel too firm for stomach and back sleepers.
Designed with their legendary Tempur material that offers pressure-relieving support and with the added technology of Tempur- breeze gel, the pillow sleeps cooler than other regular memory foam pillows.
The TEMPUR-Cloud breeze pillow comes with a 100% premium cotton cover for a soft comfortable surface. The pillowcase is removable and machine washable making it easy to maintain the pillow. As such, we found this to be our pick for best for neck pain.
- Removable cover
- TEMPUR-Breeze Gel Layer
- 100% Cotton Quilted Cover
- 5 Year Warranty
- Available in Queen and King sizes
Luxe Down & Feather Pillow
(Best Feather – Good for stomach sleepers )
Best Feather – Good for stomach sleepers
If feather pillows are known for one thing, it would be softness. This same feature makes them ideal for stomach sleepers as they tend to have a lot of give.
The Luxe Down and Feather Pillow is created from sustainably sourced goose down and high-quality waterfowl feathers.
The core is filled with the waterfowl feathers and then it is surrounded with the high-quality white goose down.
That being said this pillow does feel it would lack some support for side sleepers and heavier back sleepers. Also feather pillows have the disadvantage of causing allergies in some people.
- 100 night’s risk-free trial
- Free shipping in the US
- Responsible down standard certified
- Available in standard and king
Pillow Buying Guide
How To Shop For The Best Pillow For You?
Pillows are an essential part of our sleep environment. They help us maintain proper posture while sleeping. Apart from the stomach sleeping position, all other sleeping positions need a pillow.
But buying a pillow is not a walk in the park. The market is flooded with an insane amount of different types of pillows. So how can you pick the right pillow? In the pillow buying guide below we explain some of the things you need to look out for.
What Pillow Type Works for You?
- Down Alternative is most common, moldable, skin and allergy-friendly, and affordable but can lack support for heavier heads
Down Alternative, Latex, Memory foam, and Feather pillows are the most common types of pillows in the market today. To determine which type of pillow is right for you, you need to understand these different pillows, their features, advantages, and disadvantages.
- Down alternative
Down pillows are pillows made to mimic the properties of Down without its disadvantages.
These pillows are made with polyester or cotton fabric. And unlike traditional down, they are much more affordable, breathable, and do not trigger allergies.
Down alternative pillows are soft, fluffy, and, moldable. They are a good option for people looking for a soft comfortable pillow.
They work well for the stomach, back, and combo sleepers. This pillow type, however, might not be the best for people who are primarily looking for a supportive pillow.
Latex pillows come with many benefits such as their highly responsive nature which makes them good candidates for supportive pillows.
Their springy nature ensures that they offer consistent support all through the night. Something crucial in maintaining proper posture and alleviating neck and back pains.
Side sleepers and heavier people looking for a supportive pillow will find a latex pillow a great option.
Other than support, Latex pillows are also hypoallergenic which makes them a perfect choice for people who suffer allergies.
They are also some of the most durable pillows in the market and if you are looking for something that will sleep a lot cooler than memory foam, then a latex pillow is it.
The only disadvantage with Latex pillows is that due to their springy nature, they are not moldable. However, you can opt for a shredded latex pillow that offers some sort of malleability.
- Memory foam
Memory foam pillows are the best for pressure relief. This pillow’s contouring capabilities make it the best pillow for easing pressure pain points.
It is a great pillow for back sleepers and people recovering from any physical pain. It offers a decent amount of support, though not to the level of Latex pillows.
One drawback to memory foam pillows is that they tend to sleep hot and are unadjustable. To create a memory foam pillow that is a bit adjustable, companies came up with the shredded memory foam pillow. Whose major drawbacks are low quality and poor support.
To deal with the overheating problem associated with memory foam, most companies are now adding cooling technology to memory foam pillows. Such technologies, include infusing the pillows with cooling gels and iron.
Feather pillows are very comfortable but can cause allergies. Feather pillows usually contain Down feathers or a combination of both. This type of pillow is great for anyone looking for a plush experience.
Feathers add support to the pillow while down adds the plushy comfort. Feather pillows are great for pressure relief as they conform well to the head and neck.
The only disadvantage to this pillow is that it might cause allergies.
Best Pillows 2021
How Do Your Sleep Position and Sleep Needs Effect Your Pillow Shopping?
When choosing a pillow it is important to consider your sleep position and sleep behaviors.
For example, if you tend to sleep hot, you want to avoid memory foam pillows and get pillows that sleep cool such as wool or down alternative.
Pillow huggers need a light moldable pillow, a latex pillow in this instance might not be the best option because it’s heavy.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a pillow is your sleep position.
There are four commonly known sleep positions, side, back, stomach, and combo sleeping positions. Side sleepers need pillows with a high loft, while back sleepers do well with medium loft, and stomach sleepers need a low loft.
How Much Should a Pillow Cost?
Pillow prices range widely and can fit most budgets types. However, it’s important to understand pillow pricing to ensure you get value for money and pay the correct price for your desired pillow. Pillow prices can range from $10- $350 and some high-end pillows cost in the thousands. However, you are likely to find a good pillow within the $20-$100 range.
A $10 pillow will be budget-friendly but will probably not last and the quality might not be what you want. When determining the amount of money to spend on a pillow, first consider the materials used, quality, and durability of the pillow.
The rarer the material, the fancier the pillow, and the more advanced the technology used, the higher the price point will be. For example, a wool pillow is more expensive than a latex pillow which is more expensive than other types of pillows.
If you are unsure about the type to buy, go for a down alternative which is usually a good pillow at any price point.
What Is the Right Pillow Firmness and Loft for You?
It is important to maintain proper posture while sleeping. Pillows can help make this happen or they can be responsible for causing spine misalignment. This results in a lot of back, neck, and headaches.
Firm- Side sleepers
To determine the right pillow firmness, you need to first consider your sleeping position. If you are a side sleeper, you need a firm pillow that will ensure ample support between your head and the outer edge of your shoulder. Ensure your head is not bent in any direction but that your ear remains in a straight line to the shoulder.
Medium-firm- Back sleepers
For proper spine alignment, back sleepers need medium firmness. For a back sleeper to maintain the natural C curve of the spine, they need a pillow that keeps the head, neck, and back aligned in straight parallel lines to each other. If a pillow is too firm the head might be bent upward throwing the spine out of balance.
Memory foam works well for this type of sleep position because it acts as a soft cushion between the hard mattress surface and the head/neck. It also contours the head and neck relieving pressure points.
Soft- Stomach sleepers
Stomach sleepers need a soft pillow or none since the sleeping style already puts too much pressure on the lower back. A soft fluffy pillow that compresses well will suit this sleep position. Pillows made with materials such as feathers or down alternative fit this bill. If this is your preferred sleep position doctors advise using another pillow under the cervix.
There are three loft options, high, medium, and low loft. Loft otherwise known as pillow height is important to know when choosing a pillow. A low loft is considered to be anything under 3 inches, a medium loft is anything between 3-5 inches and a high loft starts from 5 inches onwards.
Side sleepers require high loft pillows to bridge the gap between the head and edge of the shoulder. Stomach sleepers require a low loft and back sleepers do well with low to medium loft.
Does the Pillow’s, Cover Matter?
Pillow covers play a huge role in our sleep environment. They help keep our pillows clean from dirt, discoloration, and general damage.
A clean pillowcase also protects our face from any dirt in the surrounding environment. A good pillowcase will increase your pillow’s life span.
However, pillowcases are not made equal, natural pillow covers tend to do better. When choosing pillows, go for those with natural covers such as cotton, Tencel, and bamboo covers.
These types of covers offer added benefits such as sleeping cool, being hypoallergenic, and being safe for the skin.
How Is the Company Backing Its Pillow
With the ease of shopping online, it’s important to check important information such as a pillow’s return and warranty policy. You want to do this because you won’t have a chance to test the pillow before purchasing it.
Pillows especially good pillows can cost a pretty penny. You want to make sure you are allowed the chance to test and determine whether you are satisfied with your purchase.
The minimum trial period to look out for is a 30-day return policy. It is said 30 days is the perfect period to test, try, and adapt to new things. So, if you still don’t like a pillow after this amount of time, then it’s probably not w good fit. Some companies will even offer free returns; it can’t hurt to try them out. You won’t be losing anything if the pillow doesn’t work out.
Most pillow warranties cover physical flaws that occur despite normal usage and proper handling of a pillow. They also cover poor workmanship and structural defects during the specified period of the warranty.
These are the basic terms you need to check in your pillow warranty. Also, mark the requirements needed to submit a warranty request and note the warranty period. Different pillow types have different warranty periods.
With the pillow searching tips shared above it’s our hope that your long quest for the perfect pillow has finally come to an end.
To recap, your sleep position, pillow preference, combined with the price factor and the quality of the brand, are the main things needed when searching for that perfect pillow.
Of course, other factors can help you narrow down to a specific type of pillow that is good for you. These factors include the pillow cover, ease of cleaning, whether it’s hypoallergenic, and if it sleeps cool or not.
If this sounds like a lot of work. We have already done the research and came up with 5 of the best pillows in 2021. If you are in the market for a good pillow you can start your search there, or check what is important and replicate it in your search elsewhere.