Utopia Bedding Gusseted Pillow

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We don’t seem to put as much stock in pillows as we do mattresses. Many people know that a good mattress can significantly improve sleep quality. Still, those same people will spend months — even years! — sleeping with an old, lifeless pillow that isn’t right for their sleeping style.

It can be difficult to find the perfect pillow on the first try. It is impossible to verify claims of being the most comfortable pillow without actually laying your head down on the pile of fluffy stuff. What makes a pillow comfortable?

“We cover pillow shopping basics and detail our pillow-testing adventures. It’s very personal, and what works for one person might leave you tossing and turning.”

We narrowed down our picks to the most comfortable ones.

  • Real-world testing and impressions. Deciding whether a pillow is comfortable is pretty personal. However, knowing how other people describe the feel of a pillow can help you decide whether it’s right for you. Our first consideration for putting together this list was how the pillows felt when we took them for a test run — or test nap.
  • Customer reviews. We also took customer reviews into account because it allowed us to see how other people — with different sleeping styles, body types, and health conditions — respond to the pillows. If a pillow doesn’t have consistently top marks from customers, it’s not listed here.
  • Variety. We also aim to include a variety of pillows that fit different needs and budgets.

Pricing guide

Pricing is based on a queen-size pillow.

  • $ = under $60
  • $$ = $60–$120
  • $$$ = over $120

Editor’s pick

Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow

  • Price: $$
  • Fill type: shredded memory foam

The pillow has over 30,000 positive reviews on Amazon and is a Healthline favorite.

It is a great option for people who want to add or remove a bag of fill to find the perfect height and feel. The shredded memory foam fill is a game-changer since you can move it around to add more support where you need it most.

“This pillow is supportive and comfy. It’s an awesome option for any sleeping position or preference. If you don’t like it, you can return it for a 100 night sleep trial.”

Ruby Thompson is an associate editor.

Buy the Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow online.

Most comfortable pillow for side sleepers

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

  • Price: $$$
  • Fill type: proprietary foam fill

Healthline editor Candice Abellon loves the pillow pick. She says it works for her and her partner, who have different body types. She says it is great for side sleepers who want their head and neck to be cradled. She likes the cotton cover which adds another layer of comfort.

“Reviewers agree that the pillow is worth every penny. Customers say the pillow provides support. Back and side sleepers may want to try it out, because it won’t appeal to everyone.”

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

Most comfortable down alternative pillow

Casper Original Pillow

  • Price: $$ (standard size)
  • Fill type: down alternative (polyester microfiber fill)

The Healthline favorite is the original pillow from the Casper company. It provides support, cradling your head and neck.

The pillowy feel is achieved by wrapping a pillow within a pillow. The inner pillow is soft and supple, while the exterior is not. It might feel like this pillow if you could touch a cloud. Reviewers tend to agree.

“Is it right for you? If you are a combo sleeper, we would recommend it. You don’t have to gamble with your comfort. If you don’t like the pillow, you can return it for 30 nights.”

Buy the Casper Original Pillow online.

Most comfortable cooling pillow

Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow

  • Price: $$ (for standard size)
  • Fill type: foam

Graphite and gel help give this foam pillow its cooling, breathable qualities. Back and side sleepers say the pillow helps reduce neck and back pain and also boosts their sleep quality.

Reviewers say it is too thick for stomach sleeping, but it is soft and enjoyable. Many reviewers love the pillow, but a few say they still sleep hot.

Buy the Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow online.

Most comfortable medium-firm pillow

Leesa Pillow

  • Price: $$
  • Fill type: memory foam

The Leesa Pillow has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and is rated for comfort, support, and pain relief. Side sleepers love the soft pillow.

Jamey Powell is a huge fan of this pick. She says it provides the perfect amount of support without losing its shape. She says that the cover makes the pillow super snug even through the pillowcase.

Buy the Leesa Pillow online.

Most comfortable ergonomic pillow

IKEA ROSENSKÄRM

  • Price: $
  • Fill type: foam

One study from 2014 suggests that an orthopedic pillow might be the best for improving sleep quality. The study followed only 20 participants, who tried the pillows for a short period of time. But the results showed that an orthopedic pillow was better at supporting the natural curve of the spine.

The curve of the pillow helps support the neck and spine. You can flip it over to see a shorter height if you find one side too high. The medium-firm foam is a good fit for back and side sleeping areas.

If you are experiencing neck and back pain, this may be a good option. It is a good pick for combo sleepers who change positions throughout the night, but it is too firm for side sleepers.

If you notice off-gassing from this pillow, you may want to skip it.

Buy the IKEA ROSENSKÄRM online.

Still searching for the right sleep products?

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

What makes a pillow more comfortable? You should consider more than just personal preference, including price, sleeping position, and materials.

Pillow fill

What is inside the pillow matters. The down is soft and fluffy, but not supportive like memory foam. Some foam materials are even able to be adjusted.

“Gel foam is great for people who sleep hot because it doesn’t trap heat as easily as memory foam. People with latex allergies should not use latex.”

You could prefer shredded foam or a down alternative instead of a slab of foam.

Loft

Pillow loft refers to the height of a pillow. High loft translates to a thicker pillow. A small 2015 study suggests that a pillow that’s 10 centimeters (or just under 4 inches) high is most comfortable for side sleepers. Stomach sleepers might prefer one that’s flatter, or no pillow at all. Meanwhile, back sleepers usually find medium loft pillows to be most comfortable.

If you sleep in a position that makes your neck move, look for a height that helps keep your spine straight.

Firmness

You’ll want to go with personal preference here while also taking into account your favorite sleeping position. Generally, people who sleep on their back or side prefer medium-firm pillows. Stomach sleepers tend to prefer softer pillows because they don’t put as much pressure on the neck when lying on the belly.

Cooling

“Most pillows don’t have mini AC units inside. Few actually cool you down. If you are a hot sleeper, you should use pillows with phase-changing materials. They won’t turn your face into an icicle, but they won’t trap heat like other materials.”

Trial period

Many pillows come with trial periods. If you have trouble finding a pillow that you like, you can buy it from a company that will let you try it out for a few weeks.

The pillow you choose will be dependent on your sleeping position. Different sleeping styles require different levels of support. A good rule of thumb is that.

  • Side sleepers need more support.
  • Medium to firm support is required for back sleepers.
  • Medium-firm to firm pillows should be used for stomach sleepers.

Down pillows are good for all types of sleeping, including side, back, and stomach. Down pillows filled with polyester are better for back and side sleeping. The shape of feather pillows is better than down pillows. They are best for side sleeping.

Cotton pillows are light but not moldable. Depending on how full they are, they can work for side, back, and stomach sleeping. The higher the loft, the more moldable latex pillows are. They are recommended for side and back sleeping. The best pillows for side and back sleeping are memory foam pillows.

You will need more than a new pillow to fully solve sleep issues. If you notice any changes in your sleeping habits, talk to your doctor. If you have a concern about the quality of your sleep, or if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, please let your doctor know. If you have trouble sleeping due to a neck or back pain, you may need treatment from a doctor, Chiropractor, or Physiotherapist.

Also, let your doctor know if you experience heartburn or acid reflux that makes it uncomfortable to lay down completely flat, or if you have difficulty breathing at night. Sleep problems can be a side effect of changes in your body, such as hormonal changes, and chronic conditions, such as sleep apnea or snoring. You may need specialized treatment such as a sleep study or test to help you find and address the underlying cause.

According to the Better Sleep Council, you should be replacing your pillow about every 2.8 years.

It’s probably time to swap your pillow if you’re regularly waking up with a stiff neck or shoulder pain. Over time, a pillow will also lose its fluff factor. When it starts to look like a pancake, it’s time to go pillow shopping. Think your mattress may be to blame? Change your pillows first. It’s a cheaper fix than replacing a mattress.

Product Price Fill type Key features
Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow $$ shredded memory foam adjustable fill, comes with extra bag of fill
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow $$$ proprietary foam fill firm support and washable cover
Casper Original Pillow $$ down alternative (polyester microfiber fill) inner core pillow provides firmness
Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow $$ foam foam fill provides cooling and firm neck and head support
Leesa Pillow $$ memory foam foam is moldable yet firm
IKEA ROSENSKÄRM $ foam ergonomic curved shape offers orthopedic support on a budget
Novaform Overnight Recovery Gel Memory Foam Pillow $ foam contains a cooling gel for comfortable sleep

What’s the most comfortable pillow on the market?

Depending on your sleeping style and pillow preferences, the most comfortable pillow is not always the best one. We have outlined the best choices for each pillow.

Which pillows do hotels have?

Different types of pillows are used in hotels. The brands mentioned above are top quality pillow brands. Hotel pillows can be down, down and feather, memory foam, or gel-filled.

What pillows do chiropractors recommend?

If you have neck or back pain, your chiropractor may recommend a firmer pillow for more neck support. Find out more about the best pillows for neck pain.

Comfort is personal. If you end up feeling uncomfortable all night, a medium-firm pillow is not the best option.

Sometimes trial and error is the only way to find the best solution. You can find the most comfortable pillow a little quicker with a few tips.


A writer with chronic migraines, Steph Coelho is interested in health and well being. She is probably nose-deep in a good book when she is not on her keyboard.