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Your choice of pillow is a big factor in how well you sleep. A good pillow will cradle your neck while you sleep.

Just like mattresses, pillows can run the gamut of firmness options. What’s best for you depends on your personal sleeping position, body weight, and idea of comfort.

A firm pillow is usually most suitable if you spend much of the night on your side, because it keeps your neck and spine properly aligned.

We have the picks for the eight best firm pillows.

We looked for pillows with high density and loft as an indication of firmness.

We checked for features.

  • It can be adjusted.
  • The cleaning is easy.
  • The material quality is good.

We reviewed customer feedback to make sure the pillows came with good reviews. Every pillow on our list was checked by our medical affairs team for integrity and quality.

Pricing guide

The price of pillows varies from brand to brand, material to material, and size. The prices here reflect standard size pillows. There are pillows in larger queen and king sizes.

  • $ = under $80
  • $$ = $81–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Product Price Sizes Best for
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow $$$ queen and king side sleepers, combination sleepers, and warm sleepers
Purple Harmony Pillow $$ standard and king warm sleepers and combination sleepers
Saatva Memory Foam Pillow $$$ queen and king combination sleepers
Brooklinen Down Pillow $$ standard and king all sleeping positions depending on the firmness you choose
Original Casper Pillow $ standard and king side and back sleepers (mid loft), stomach sleepers (low loft)
Buffy Cloud Pillow $ standard and king stomach sleepers (soft option), back and combination sleepers (the medium firmness), side sleepers (firmest option)
Avocado Green Pillow $ standard, queen, and king all sleeping positions (customizable fill)
Parachute Down Pillow $$ standard and king side sleepers

Best cooling firm pillow

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: queen and king
  • Material and fill: 100 percent cotton cover, TEMPUR material (a type of memory foam) core, and gel layers
  • Who it’s best for: side sleepers, combination sleepers, and warm sleepers

The TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze is made with a single piece of medium-feel TEMPUR foam encased in two layers of gel for cooling. It has a nice balance of soft firmness.

The pillow has been reviewed over 2,500 times. Customers who find the pillow too soft and lacking in support give negative reviews. It is a little larger than your standard pillow because it is only available in queen and king sizes.

The thicker loft of this pillow makes it best for side sleepers and some combination sleepers may find it suitable as well.

It has a 5-year warranty.


  • accommodates all sleeping positions
  • It was designed to stay cool.
  • The material is known for its supportive and pressure-relieving properties.


  • high price tag
  • It was heavy.
  • Some reviews mention a lack of support.
  • Not available in a standard size.

Buy the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow online.

Best latex firm pillow

Purple Harmony Pillow

  • Price: $$
  • Size: standard and king
  • Material and fill: mesh cover, layers of Purple’s unique gel in grid hex design, and a Talalay latex core
  • Who it’s best for: sleepers looking for durability and pressure relief, those who tend to sleep warm, and combination sleepers

The purple harmony pillow is made from grid material and a latex core. It is designed to be both cool and responsive.

The pillow is available in three heights.

The tall height is best for people with large frames, but the medium height is good for side and combination sleepers.

The company says that people with small to medium frames prefer its low height.

The majority of reviews for the Purple Harmony Pillow are 5 stars. Customers say the pillow is supportive. It comes with a trial and warranty.

We have a full review of purple pillows.


  • It is non-toxic.
  • Different height options to accommodate different types of sleepers.
  • It was designed for support and temperature regulation.


  • high price tag
  • It may not be for everyone.

Buy the Purple Harmony Pillow online.

Best firm memory foam pillow

Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

  • Price: $$$
  • Size: queen and king
  • Material and fill: organic cotton cover, memory foam core
  • Who it’s best for: combination sleepers, anyone who prefers the feel of a traditional pillow, and those who want a pillow with CertiPUR certified materials

This graphite-infused, CertiPUR-US certified memory foam pillow is designed to conform to your head and neck for optimal support, no matter how you sleep.

The memory foam is designed to draw heat away from the body and also support the head and neck. Saatva recommends spot cleaning the inner pillow, but the cotton cover can be washed.

This pillow is only available in queen and king sizes.

A 45 day trial is offered by Saatva.


  • “It’s great for combination sleepers who move around a lot.”
  • CertiPUR-US is the certification for foams.
  • cooling and support for the face.


  • high price tag
  • Not offered in a standard size.

Buy the Saatva Memory Foam Pillow online.

Best budget friendly down firm pillow

Brooklinen Down Pillow

  • Price: $$
  • Size: standard and king
  • Material and fill: cotton sateen shell with down clusters and feathers in the core
  • Who it’s best for: down pillow lovers, all sleeping positions depending on the firmness you choose (more on that below)

The down pillow that is offered by Brooklinen is well-reviewed. It is described as comfortable, supportive, and an excellent value by close to 3000 reviews.

It is available in three densities based on the ratio of feathers to down clusters. The firm option is designed to support your head, neck, and back.

It is a great option for side sleepers. This pillow is appropriate for all sleeping positions because it has Three different options for firmness.. The plush and mid plush are best for stomach and back sleeping. The firm option is the best for side sleeping.

“The company cautions that dry cleaning will shorten the lifespan of your pillow by removing the down’s natural oils, which causes clusters to break down faster. They recommend spot cleaning.”

The return and exchange window is also offered by Brooklinen.


  • budget friendly
  • Canadian down is ethicallysourced.
  • Very supportive.


  • It might not be enough for all sleeping positions.
  • “Not great for people who don’t like the feeling of being down.”

Buy the Brooklinen Down Pillow online.

Best firm down alternative pillow

Original Casper Pillow

  • Price: $
  • Size: standard and king
  • Material and fill: cotton cover and polyester microfiber fill
  • Who it’s best for: anyone looking for an alternative to down and a pillow that’s Machine is clean. (yes, the whole thing)

The pillow-in-pillow design is made of down. The inner pillow is designed to be supportive while the outer pillow is soft.

A 2-inch gusset keeps the fiber cluster fill evenly distributed.

It is available in two lofts. The company offers a questionnaire that helps you choose which loft is best for you based on your sleeping position, height, and weight. The mid loft is the most suited for side and back sleepers, but stomach sleepers may benefit from the low loft option.

There is a 30-night, risk-free trial with free shipping and returns. The supportive softness of the pillow was raves about. It is machine washed.

The full review of the Original Casper Pillow can be found here.


  • Machine is clean.
  • budget friendly
  • The down feel has extra support.
  • choice of two heights


  • Hot sleepers might not keep them cool enough.
  • The fill is not as durable as the other types.

Buy the Original Casper Pillow online.

Best It is eco-friendly. firm pillow

Buffy Cloud Pillow

  • Price: $
  • Size: standard and king
  • Material and fill: Lyocell shell and recycled PET, BPA-free core
  • Who it’s best for: those looking for an It is eco-friendly. and hypoallergenic option

The name is correct. The Buffy Cloud Pillow is soft and supportive. Reviewers like to refer to it as sleeping on a marshmallows.

The pillow is available in three different levels. The firmest option is not as fluffy. The soft firmness would be best for stomach sleepers, the medium would be best for back and combination sleepers, and the firmest would be best for side sleepers.

It is made with recycled, air-blown fiber and covered in a fabric that is as soft and durable as cotton. Buffy says that each pillow keeps 30 plastic bottles out of the landfill.

Buffy has a 7-night free trial for this pillow.


  • budget friendly
  • It is eco-friendly.
  • Three different options for firmness.


  • The free trial is on the short side.

Buy the Buffy Cloud Pillow online.

Best adjustable firm pillow

Avocado Green Pillow

  • Price: $
  • Size: standard, queen, and king
  • Material and fill: organic cotton cover, organic latex, and organic kapok fill
  • Who it’s best for: sleepers who want It can be adjusted. and pressure relief and those who want a non-toxic, organic, vegan pillow

This non-toxic pillow is made with Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certified latex and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified kapok tree fiber.

“The included extra fill bag allows you to add as much support as you need, even if it’s just a medium-plush level.”

“It’s great for all sleeping positions, as stomach sleepers can remove fill for a lower loft, and back and side sleepers can add based on what keeps their neck aligned with the rest of their spine.”

The cotton cover can be washed and hung to dry, but the inner liner should only be spot cleaned.

Reviewers say this pillow is the best for support and comfort.


  • Non-toxic, vegan, and organic.
  • All sleeping positions can be accommodated with the fill.
  • budget friendly


  • Some trial and error may be associated with the fill being adjusted.

Buy the Avocado Green Pillow online.

Best classic down firm pillow

Parachute Down Pillow

  • Price: $$
  • Size: standard and king
  • Material and fill: sateen shell with a European white down core
  • Who it’s best for: sleepers who enjoy traditional down and sleepers who need a high loft (side sleepers)

“This is a great option if you love the luxury of down pillows. The pillows are available in three levels of firmness. The firm option is the most supportive of the brand’s options.”

Premium European white down is used in these pillows. The seams are double-stitched.

The pillows also come with a 3-year warranty against defects, and they can be dry cleaned or machine washed.

Over 1,000 reviewers praise the pillow’s quality and comfort.


  • It was luxurious and supportive.
  • Quality construction.


  • It might not be comfortable for back or stomach sleepers to have high loft.
  • higher price tag
  • Hot sleepers might not suit down.

Buy the Parachute Down Pillow online.

Still searching for the right sleep products?

Let us help. Shop our top picks for pillows by condition or sleep position to get the sound sleep you deserve.

There is no standard for measuring pillow firmness. It is a reference to how much you give a pillow when you put your head on it. It is a good place to start because individual manufacturers often have their own scales.

If you are unsure about whether you will like a firm pillow, you should consider how you spend most of the night.

  • Stomach sleepers should avoid firm pillows that have a high loft (flatter pillows are better in this case)
  • Medium-firm to firm pillows are good for back and side sleepers.
  • A pillow that is very responsive is a good choice for combination sleepers.

The material of the pillow plays a role in the level of firmness.

  • The firmest pillows are usually made with latex or memory foam.
  • Firm options can be made with either down or down alternative.

The firmest down pillow might not be as firm as other types of pillows.

A 2011 study of side sleepers found that the cervico-thoracic spinal slope, or the tilt of the neck and upper back, varied the most when changing from a foam, latex, or polyester pillow to a feather pillow.

Side sleepers need adequate support for their head and neck to maintain alignment, so they benefit from firm pillows. Side sleepers may wake up with neck pain if this support is not present.

Firm pillows may be good for back sleepers because they need enough support to maintain their natural curve.

The right pillow is going to be decided by personal preference. It is important to try different pillows to see what works for you. Make sure your pillow supports your spine.

The height of a pillow is described in the loft. It is important to choose the right loft for your sleeping style so that your spine can stay aligned while you sleep. Medium and high options are usually the ones that have pillow lofts.

  • Stomach sleepers should look for a low loft.
  • Side sleepers need a medium to high loft.
  • Back sleepers benefit from lofts that are low to medium.

Can a pillow be too firm?

It can be too firm for a pillow to be soft. If you are waking up with neck pain or sore ears, you may be sleeping on a pillow that is too firm.

Are firm pillows good for you?

A good pillow can help maintain neutral alignment in your neck and spine. The right firmness depends on your sleeping position, weight, and body type.

Not all firm pillows are good for all sleeping people. Firm pillows help back and side sleepers.

How often do you need to replace a firm pillow?

Every other year, most pillows should be replaced. Most pillows flatten and no longer offer the same level of support over time.

We research mattress options and what will work best for our body type, sleeping habits, and preferred sleeping positions. It is equally important to apply that logic to choosing a pillow.

“Side sleepers can benefit from a firm pillow. The best way to ensure you don’t wake up with any pains is to maintain a neutral position.”

Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007, covering everything from pregnancy and parenting to cannabis, chiropractic, stand-up paddling, fitness, martial arts, home decor, and much more. Her work has appeared in mindbodygreen, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee + Crumbs. See what she’s up to now at