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Top Of The Best Pillow Covers Reviewed In 2018Last Updated March 1, 2019
№1 – Set of 2 Standard Size SureGuard Pillow Protectors – 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic – Premium Zippered Cotton Terry Covers – 10 Year Warranty
№2 – Bedecor Waterproof Zippered Pillow Encasement -Cotton Terry Covers- Hypoallergenic, Breathable, Queen(21″ x 35″) -2 PCS
№3 – 4-Pack Premium Allergy Protection Pillow Protectors. Hypoallergenic Dust Mite & Bed Bug Resistant Anti-Microbial 400 Thread Count 100% Cotton Zippered Pillow Covers. (Standard)
Washing a pillow
How long you can keep your pillow is also influenced by how your treat your pillow. How many times have you washed it in a year (if it can be)? Generally good quality pillows are washable and ideally should be washed at least 2-times per year! Why? Just like any other bedding item, they do capture dust, mites and particles of skin. Regular washing keeps it clean – if you leave to once a year, it’s a big job to restore it to its white glory.
However, whether they can be washed or not depends upon the composition you choose. Most microfibre pillows can be machine washed gently although the cheaper polyester pillows can go lumpy after a wash and pretty much not useful for anyone’s head anymore! Latex and down-based pillows can be washed gently or hand-washed although some cheaper latex pillows cannot be washed at all. Most pillows cannot be dry cleaned unless the manufacturer instructions permit it.
Polyester vs Microfibre Pillows
Synthetic pillows are another name for Polyster pillows and are the most popular around due as they are not expensive. They are filled with a polyester filling and are nice and bouncy initially but overtime will lose the ‘bounce’. Some Polyester pillows have had the filling anti-bacterial treated and have a higher gsm filling than others ensuring a better quality pillow as a result.
Microfibre pillows are another type of polyester and are the result of a different and newer manufacturing technique. Microfibre is definitely one of the wonder fabrics of modern day (see our Buying Sheets/Doona Cover Guide where Microfibre is explored in more detail) as they are generally easy to care for, breathe just like cotton and dry quicker. Microfibre pillows are filled by blowing in a fine denier fibre to give the effect of being filled like ‘down’. Obviously microfibre pillows will be a little more expensive than your standard polyester range.
Most quality synthetic pillows are excellent for those suffering allergies as compared to natural down, feather or wool pillows.
Down & Feather Pillows
The newer down and feather pillows manufactured these days tend to be in the more expensive range. They do offer great insulation and come in a quality casing to ensure no feathers escape (a problem with older duck and down pillows!). These pillows tend to need more maintenance and fluffing to keep them in shape. They are not as easily washable (the recommendation is to use a commercial grade washing machine due to size) compared to a microfibre option. Certainly the equivalent price range in latex or memory foam pillow options will hold their shape and are more allergy-free than down/feather options.
Soft vs Medium vs Hard pillows
Pillows are made to a scale of soft, medium and then firm. The most popular pillows sold and therefore made by manufacturers are ‘medium’. There are a few brands that make a ‘soft’ and you can see these on our site with ‘soft’ in the title. ‘Firm’ pillows are not so popular. Any new pillow is going to seem very soft in comparison to older pillows.
The amount of fill for non-latex/non-memory foam pillows also determines ‘fluffiness’ or ‘plumpness’ of a pillow. The average budget pillow has about 500gsm of filling, whereas your more expensive (and softer/fluffier) pillows could have up to 800gsm+ of filling.
The best way to choose how soft a pillow you need is to examine how you sleep. If you tend to sleep mainly on your stomach, then softer is better. If you are a side or back sleeper, you can go for a firmer type. The most popular is medium by far.
The Insider Pick
A good pillow means a good night’s sleep. We reviewed dozens of pillows to narrow down the choices to the ones you’ll love best. The Premium Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow from Coop Home Goods is our top pick. You’ll enjoy sweet dreams on this supremely comfortable pillow.
Back in the days of Ancient Egypt, a carved stone was considered a very comfortable and supportive pillow, but in today’s world, you’re probably looking for something a bit softer. Luckily, you’ve got a lot more to choose from than the people of ancient times.
There’s a nearly dizzying array of pillows on display in any bed ‘n bath shop, or on the virtual shelves of your favorite online home store. That can make it a bit difficult to choose the best pillow for your needs.
Is memory foam best? How about down? Or maybe you’re confused about all the different shapes: standard, contour, bolster. Well, have no fear, because we’ve done the research for you.
While ultimately, there is no “best for everyone” pillow — personal preference plays a huge part in determining the pillow you’ll like the most — we checked out all the top recommendations from consumer buying websites, listened to what pillow buyers had to say, and even tried out some of the pillows ourselves to bring you the five picks most likely to send you off to the land of Nod comfortably. Here’s what you need to know before we jump into the pillow fight.
Sorting out the different pillow fills
The main difference between types of pillows is their filling. While there are many specialty fills, the most common are the following six.
Memory foam : Originally created by NASA to cushion astronauts during reentry to Earth’s atmosphere, today, memory foam is one of the most popular types of pillow. It’s very supportive, conforms to your head and neck, is naturally hypoallergenic, and is especially good for those suffering from neck, shoulder, or upper body pain and stiffness. On the downside, it tends to be hot and is heavy.
Shredded memory foam : Take memory foam, shred it into small chunks, and you have a supportive, firm, and comfortable pillow filling without the heat and sweat of a traditional memory foam. Shredded memory foam molds and conforms to your body, but if you want it even more customized to your liking, it’s easy to push or pull into just the right loft and shape for your sleeping pleasure. : Real down has a luxurious, “sleeping on a cloud” fluffiness that some people love, and others hate. Down is very soft and lightweight, so it easily molds to the perfect loft and shape for your needs. It’s not very supportive, however, and tends to be expensive.
Polyester : Polyester is the typical fill in budget pillows. It’s soft, lightweight, and machine-washable, but not exceptionally supportive or firm. Still, it’s a good middle ground between the softness of down and the firmness of memory foam.
Buckwheat hulls : Buckwheat hull pillows are not nearly as popular in the United States as they are in Asia, but they definitely have their fan club. A buckwheat hull pillow feels a lot like a beanbag; the hulls move freely inside the pillow, allowing you to adjust the shape, loft, and firmness to your liking. This is one of the best pillow fills for those who “sleep hot,” as well. However, these pillows are heavy, and the hulls can make a rustling sound as you move. : There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love latex pillows, and those who hate them. For those who love them, the firm support with a slightly bouncy feel provides superior sleep comfort. For those who hate them, the usual complaint is that the pillow is just too firm. Latex pillows are heavy and usually expensive, but also very durable, naturally antimicrobial, and not too hot.
Pillow shapes and sizes
Along with different pillow fills, there are also different pillow shapes. Some, such as shams and throw pillows, are purely decorative. Others, such as body pillows, neck bolsters, and various chiropractic designs are specialty pillows. For basic sleep, the following four are the most popular pillow shapes.
Traditional : This is the basic, rectangular shape most people prefer. You’ll find three sizes: standard, queen, and king.
Contour : These pillows have raised rounded edges to snugly support your neck and a “valley” for your head. Most are made of memory foam and are quite firm.
Cervical : These pillows are shaped something like a cat bed: There’s a hollow in the center for your head, which is surrounded on all sides by higher neck rolls. Most are filled with polyester. Cervical pillows are a good choice for people with neck or spine pain and are often recommended by chiropractors.
Bolster : Bolsters are cylindrical pillows mostly used for comfortable support of arms and legs during sleep, but some people use them as regular bed pillows. They gently support the neck without placing any pressure on the shoulders or back.
What makes the
Coop Home Goods pillow particularly wonderful is that it’s adjustable. You can unzip the inner pillow cover to add or remove foam until the pillow is just the way you like it. It’s also hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant, so you won’t wake up sniffly or congested. When it’s time to clean the pillow, no problem — Just toss it in your washing machine and dryer. We recommend that you add another pillow or a blanket to balance the load, along with a couple of clean tennis balls to help fluff up the foam.
Coop Home Goods’ proprietary shredded memory foam is CertiPUR-US certified, meaning it’s guaranteed to be free of chemicals and toxins you really don’t want to sleep with, such as formaldehyde, lead, mercury, ozone depleters, PBDEs, phthalates, and TCEP flame retardants. Manufactured in California, the pillow has a 30-day guarantee, so if you don’t love it, you can return it with no questions asked.
Sleep Like the Dead found that 8percent of buyers love the Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow. In fact, it’s the highest-rated memory foam pillow on the site. That matches numbers, where out of an astounding 12,200+ reviews, 8percent give the pillow four or more stars.
Front Page Tips & Resources Buying Guide Everything You Need To Know About Throw Pillows, Cushions, And Bed Pillows, Including What To Stuff Inside
Everything You Need To Know About Throw Pillows, Cushions, And Bed Pillows, Including What To Stuff Inside
A brief history of pillows
As long as humans have laid down to sleep, we’ve used pillows. Nobody has found a caveman pillow, because soft items don’t last for tens of thousands of years. But we do have pillows that have survived from ancient times, from both China and Egypt.
You can go to a museum and see an unwrapped mummy with his head still resting on his original pillow. (We’re not showing that here in case you’re reading this at lunch.)
What survives better than soft pillows are the ancient depictions of them. Carvings from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Americas all show royalty seated on cushions. Below is a re-created Roman sitting room.
Until the mid-1800s, people slept in a position that was closer to sitting up than lying down. Using a combination of a large bolster pillow and two or three smaller square pillows, the sleeper would prop herself against the bed’s headboard. This was thought to be a healthier position for repose
An ancient pillow tradition we still honor today
In Ancient Egypt, pillows were a sign of wealth and prestige and were often used to carry ornamental items, such as precious jewels. The amount of money a family had determined the number of jewel-covered pillows on display. Similarly, the Romans used pillows to present precious items to the bride and groom during a wedding ceremony. A page would be selected to bring in pillows laden with gifts during the ceremony.
Royal families would present the couple with crowns brought in on a pillow.
Today, the pillow continues as the traditional way to transport wedding rings down the aisle, usually in the shaky hands of the bride or groom’s youngest male relative.
Your basic pillow. The side seams taper into nice, sharp corners.
If your pillow has depth and dimension, you have a box-edge pillow, which doesn’t always have to be “box shaped” as shown above. Usually the edges are defined with contrasting piping to show off the added dimension.
A flange is fabric that extends out from the side seams, usually at least two inches or more. It softens the look of the pillow, and can also be done in a contrasting fabric.
Also known as welting, this is a covered cord that is sewn into the seam as a decorative detail. It’s like an outline for the pillow. Self-piped means the cord is covered in the exact same fabric as the body of the pillow. Contrasting is just that: a different color, pattern or texture to define the edge.
Our favorite kind. The one our head crashes into at the end of a long, home-décor-sewing day. In this case, you’re often better off simply buying the actual pillow insert, but it’s super fun to make your own pillowcases. They make great, personalized gifts! Just remember the four basic sizes:
The most choices in pillow inserts
Today, Fairfield is still family run (led by the founder’s grandson, Jordan). After revolutionizing the quilt batting and pillow form markets with innovative polyester fiber, the company has returned to its natural fiber roots. They now produce the most innovative and diverse line of products you can find anywhere.
In case you’re new to this, a pillow insert is a pre-filled pillow form in a plain white case that’s ready for you to stuff into the beautiful pillow cover you’re making. These inserts can be square, round, rectangular, or made of foam.
Fairfield has combined numerous types of fiber content and cover fabrics. That’s a real plus, because you want to be able to choose exactly the right kind of insert to match your pillow’s purpose. Another thing we like about Fairfield pillow inserts is that they’re super easy to find. They’re available at the big box stores, national fabric stores, as well as your favorite local quilt shop and online retailers.
Choosing the right insert
Below is a brief guide matching the most common pillow types to the best natural options, synthetics, and blends. The links will take you directly to the Fairfield Factory Store, which sells a good variety of the the popular shapes and sizes. But as mentioned above, Fairfield products are easy to find at numerous online and in-store locations, and the variety of available sizes and styles will vary at each outlet.
Medium-firm support – a great all-around pillow choice for everyday use. They have a 100% polypropylene cover and 100% polyester fiberfill stuffing.
Thanks to a special, fine denier polyester gel fiberfill, these inserts provide a luxurious feel and high-end plushness. The cover is a 100% cotton, 300-thread count jacquard.
The links below for these more specialized options will take you to the main Fairfield World website for all the product details.
Looking for something plush but a little different? Nature-Fil™ inserts are filled with 50% polyester and 50% rayon fiber made from bamboo.
Long-lasting beauty outside, earth-friendly inside. A uniquely soft and silky texture. The cover is 100% cotton and the filler is 100% rayon fiber made from bamboo.
Alternative pillow stuffing
Because you keep your face on your pillow for hours each night, you should be careful about “alternative” stuffing. For instance, we haven’t been impressed by the people filling their homemade bed pillows with old pantyhose, fabric scraps or shredded newspaper.
But there are some alternative fillers that people do use for health reasons precisely because they have a beneficial fragrance or other property. Some of these are buckwheat, millet, and even hemp.
So now you know everything you need to know to sew a slew of pillows.
Part of the fun is that they’re so easy to make, you can try something just to see if it works. Take a look through the Pillow & Cushions category under the Projects tab above. Or browse through all the pillow possibilities in our Project Index.
Feather and Black
There’s nothing more luxurious than real duck down to nestle your face into at the end of a tough day. This one is plump and bouncy despite its weighty 70 per cent down filling. Its high quality 100 per cent cotton exterior means it will stand the test of time, too – gone are the days of pulling feathers out of dog-eared pillow corners in the middle of the night.
Debenhams ‘J’ by Jasper Conran Feels Like Down Pillow Pair
Silent Night Studio Pillow
This could well be the cleverest pillow yet. It’s made of three layers of filling, each of slightly different heaviness and thickness, adding up to seven potential combinations. Remove one or more layers to find the right level of support to suit you. In reality it’s a genius option for a guest bedroom, where each visitor is likely to have a slightly different preference. The machine washable pillow is finished with a soft touch, anti-allergy cover designed to keep dust mites at bay.
From the award-winning mattress makers, this has what the brand calls a “pillow-in-pillow” design. In practise, that means inside there’s a smaller supportive cushion that zips into a softer outer made comfy by a filled gusset. The supportive part ensures the neck and spine are looked after and works with the body’s movement, while the outer keeps things soft-feeling. The outside cover’s 100 per cent cotton so it feels cool against the skin. Our tester found it springier than her usual down bedding and really comfortable, though the loft is relatively high, so bear in mind your pillow size preferences before buying. Comes in two sizes.
Ikea Ärenpris Pillow
You can’t go far wrong with Ikea’s bargain priced microfibre everyday options. They come rolled up and slowly fill out once unravelled to give a reliable pillow that is soft and – for those who like something to grab – large enough to manipulate. Its flat, wide design makes it ideal for back sleepers.
Pharmedoc memory foam pillow is made in USA It has the dimensions 23.by 15.by 5.This is the standard size for most pillows. It has two sides consisting of the plush memory foam and the cooling gel. Both act hand in hand to provide the best sleep comfort.
For instance, the cooling gel has a unique way of cooling the body during warm nights. One would ask how this is possible. I will be quick to explain this. The cooling phenomenon occurs by dispersion of body heat and thus heat is not concentrated at one point. It helps a lot in controlling hot night flashes. The cooling gel is usually found on one side of the pillow.
The other side consists of the plush memory foam that helps provide head, neck and back support by proper spine alignment for appropriate body sleeping posture. We can also give credit to the memory foam for the warmth it provides during cooler nights. This is because it doesn’t have a cooling gel for heat distribution. Moreover, it gives relief to back and neck pain by lessening the pain on pressure points.
Pharmedoc memory foam pillow has squares on it that are meant for decoration but you rarely feel them when sleeping. This should therefore be a non issue. For hygiene purposes, the pillow has a removable washable pillow case. However, you cannot wash the pillow itself. After removal of the pillowcase one can easily see the two layers of the pillow. The pillow case is also hypoallergenic and so harmful chemicals of lead, arsenic and dust mites are not likely to harm you.
Pharmedoc memory foam pillow has a smell that goes off after a while. For those allergic to smells, you can air it after removing from the pack for the smell to go away. Also for those who have the smell even after using it, the same can be employed to get rid of it.
Classic brand reversible cool gel memory pillow consists of the memory foam layer and the gel layer. Both layers give the maximum comfort by playing unique roles. The memory foam layer is basically a support layer that conforms to the body shape or head shape by forming a contour once your lie on it. Additionally, the contour aligns the neck and back in the best sleep posture. The memory foam layer is also made in a way that ensures adequate airflow through the pillow giving fresh air once you lie on it. I can attest that this was a major relief to me during the time I had the neck injury.
Classic brand reversible cool gel memory pillow has another layer of cooling g el. As the name goes, the layer helps to distribute heat heavenly giving a cooling effect. It also true that other pillows five a cooling effect but these type of pillow has a longer cooling effect. I would recommend it for people with fever, hot flashes or for couples who obviously sleep together and can warm the bed easily.
Ghostbed pillow is designed using the latest airflow technology to ensure optimal coolness. It has a special type of cooling gel which releases or absorbs heat based on the body temperature. It is crafted so as to adjust depending on the body temperature. This aids in providing an environment that is moderately warm and cool at the same time.
Embroidered pillowcase cover is seamlessly designed to provide a soft and cool sleeping surface. The cover allows free dispersal of heat from the body into the cooling gel. As well, the breathability of the cover is vital among stomach sleepers.
Firmness of a pillow determines its suitability to an individual depending on his/her sleeping position. Side sleepers need a very firm mattress so as to cater for adequate support for the space in between shoulder and head. Whereas back sleepers need a moderately firm mattress. Stomach sleepers are most comfortable on a thinner pillow.
Price is a sensitive part which can never the ignored. However, most pillows are moderately priced. Actually, some of the cheapest pillows are less comfy and durable. It goes hand in hand with the saying you get what you pay for.
The materials used determines the overall comfort and durability of the pillow. A pillow which has top premium foam regains its original size when it’s pressed and released. The fastness of retaining its original size determines its durability. Also, some cooling present in some pillows becomes nonfunctional after some time.
Materials used in the manufacture should also be hypoallergenic. This is because individuals who are sensitive to allergens or suffer from asthma may be affected if the pillow has allergic materials. The pillow should also be easily cleaned so as to ensure the hygienic sleeping environment is upheld.
Check how full the pillow is. Higher the fill, the firmer the pillow is.
Select a soft pillow if you sleep on your stomach or frequently move around. This will prevent you from straining your neck.
Buy a medium-feel pillow for good support if you sleep on your back.
Use a firm pillow for your support if you tend to sleep on your side.
Choose a cover fabric that’s soft and let the pillow breathe.
Make sure the pillow’s seams are tightly sewn to prevent fill leakage.
Look for labels that say ‘hypoallergenic’ if you have allergies to certain types of pillow-fill such as down.
Purchase a zip-on anti-allergy pillow cover if you suffer from allergies. It goes under your pillow case and protects you from dust mites.
Orthopedic pillows are designed to fit the contours of the neck and shoulder and are ideal for people suffering from neck and shoulder pain or joint stiffness, insomnia or snoring problems. Air pillows are recommended for people suffering from acute spondylitis.
Doctors recommend that you change your pillow every year. Even the most durable pillow should be get rid of after 2-years.
Using inner pillow slips – plain cotton cover slips with zippers that go under the pillow cases – helps maintain hygiene, protects against allergy and increases the life of the pillows.
Different fillings will suit different needs and budgets. Pillows filled with duck down are a popular, but costly, choice. A down/feather mix is a more economical option. Polyester pillows are machine washable and budget friendly, while memory foam offers good upper-body support. Latex is a great option for allergy sufferers.
Tip: Pillows should be frequently aired in the sun to keep them fresh and plump.
Let me show you some good ones in this list below! 🙂
Maternity is that phase of the life when a woman needs to be pampered the most. Ushering a new life into this world might be a very happy occasion but it takes a toll on the health of the mother. There are a number of physical changes that the woman has to endure in order to complete the journey of pregnancy.
She needs to be at her most comfortable self and needs to be surrounded with commodities that ensure her comfort above anything else. The body of the mother expands and its size increases considerably to accommodate the new life that is going to take birth. The postures that a mother has to maintain and the sleeping positions matter a lot when a woman is pregnant., then we have just the right options for you.
Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow of full size This one is a U-shaped pillow which is oversized in nature. The great part of this pillow is that it is long enough so that you can stretch out as well as support both parts of your body. This maternity pillow will be perfect for you if you want to use it as a support while you are watching TV, nursing or even reading books. Also, this pillow will help you to keep your back as well as shoulders and neck and hips aligned in the right manner all through the night. This pillow is filled with Fusion Foss which is a premium fiber that is a revolutionary polymer which is known to the scientists to be an “extended polymer”. This polymer has the capability to allow the free flow of air. If you want to purchase this, then have a look at the pros and cons of the product. They are as follows:
This pillow is made out of 100% cotton, and it never flattens or clumps or has lumps in it.
This pillow will act as a great component against which you can cradle yourself, and it will help you if you want to eliminate tossing as well as turning.
Since this u-shaped full body pillow has the shape of a horse-shoe, it will support both the sides of your body, unlike other maternity pillows. Therefore, you do not have to move a huge pillow from one side to another for every time that you roll over. If you are a side sleeper, then you can lay on your side and then curl around the pillow with the front of your body.
This pillow is a great combination of being soft as well as supportive.
Some customers have reported the size of the pillow to be huge, considering they are sleeping in a regular bed. However, if you are sleeping in a king-sized bed, then the size of the pillow would be fine.
After the first wash, the stitching present in the zipper seam of the body pillow for pregnancy has chances of getting frayed. However, you do not have to worry about the pillowcase falling apart as that will not happen.
Our Favourite Luxury Pillows
Personally commissioned by William Woods, this lovingly handmade Luxury White Goose Down Pillow has been made to Woods’ own exacting specification. The Woods’ family name has been synonymous with luxury linens since 173and their wealth of experience and knowledge in sourcing the finest fabrics from across the world has led to the manufacture of one of the finest quality pillows available on the market today.
This luxury pillow has been filled with the purest white European goose down for unparalleled comfort, softness and support as you sleep. Goose down is renowned for its breathability and naturally regulates your temperature throughout the night so you can keep cool and comfortable. The superior softness can be felt right through to the outer casing of the pillow which is woven using the finest cotton cambric.
If you are on a stricter budget, our Woods Essentials Anti-Allergy Pillow is the perfect pillow for sleepers who suffer from allergies. Care for your body without compromising on comfort and choose an anti-allergy pillow with a quality blend of natural and polyester fibre filling, encased in a cotton jacquard cover.
Part of the esteemed Woods Essentials range, this pillow proves great value for money and is designed to repel dust mites and reduce symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing and breathlessness.
This pillow is also easy to care for and can be machine washed at 40 degrees centigrade and tumble dried intermittingly to prevent a build-up of allergens.
Browse our entire range of luxury pillows, featuring sumptuous down and feather pillows, supportive bolster pillows and 100-percent natural filled travel pillows. Shop online or visit our shop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Pillows can actually change how your body responds to a mattress overall. … Start with the pillow first, then bring that pillow to the store when testing mattresses.
Another time to buy a pillow: when you’re buying a mattress (we have a full guide to foam mattresses). Pillows can actually change how your body responds to a mattress overall. Sean Bergman of pillow manufacturer PureCare recommends that customers buying a new mattress start with the pillow, then bring that pillow to the store when testing mattresses.
And if you have the budget for it, having a selection of pillows is ideal. Michael Breus, psychologist and American Academy of Sleep Medicine fellow, points out that sleepers have different support needs over the course of the week. “If you’re typing at a desk all week, by Friday, you’re going to need more support,” he said. “If you’re out and about, you don’t need that type of support; your neck is looser.” Your needs might even change throughout the night, given that the average person changes positions 1times as they sleep, according to Cralle. But due to expense and negligible long-term impacts, we don’t think you need to buy multiple pillows with different support unless a doctor advises you to do so.
How we picked
We tried a range of down, artificial down, and foam pillows for our testing. Less than a fourth of them are pictured here.
We hate to say it in a guide to the best pillow, but the experts we spoke with were unanimous: There is no best pillow. That is, there’s no best pillow for everyone, but there is a best pillow (or pillows) for you. This guide can educate you on what can help you find the best pillow for you, and our picks are trusted starting points that might indeed lead you to your choice. (And if our top picks aren’t quite right for you, you may want to look at what we tested in our competition section.) But to find out what your needs really are, you have to try out a variety yourself and see what enables you to rest most comfortably. It’s a trial-and-error process that the science of sleep can inform but not replace. “Comfort is what you need to seek out,” Bergman said. “Whatever gives you that level of comfort and relaxation is the correct pillow for you.”
Pull Quote “Comfort is what you need to seek out. Whatever gives you that level of comfort and relaxation is the correct pillow for you.” —Sean Bergman, CMO, PureCare
To begin, what is your sleep position most of the night? Most of us switch it up but still have one dominant position that we fall asleep and wake up in: on the back, side, or stomach. You want a pillow that will keep your head and neck in the same relative position as when you’re standing with good posture, so you’ll need a pillow that supports that alignment. You don’t want your head flexed backward or tipped too far forward (a common pillow error, since big, fluffy pillows appeal to our preference for decadence, even though they provide too much loft).
Side-sleepers will need the most support (roughly to inches). Most people are side-sleepers.
Back-sleepers usually need somewhat less loft to stay properly aligned.
Stomach-sleepers are a trickier bunch: If you’re a stomach-sleeper who simply sleeps with your head turned to the side resting on a pillow, you need the least amount of support because your head is already being supported by the mattress. But if you’re a stomach-sleeper who tucks your arms under your torso, sleeps in a half-side, half-stomach position, or has sensitive breasts, you may prefer more cushioning. If you’re a stomach-sleeper, we particularly recommend that you look through our competition section to identify the right pillow for you.
Even within those side/back/stomach guidelines there’s plenty of wiggle room, depending on body size and preference. A side-sleeper built like a linebacker is going to need more height from his pillow than a side-sleeper with narrow shoulders would, in order to be well-aligned—but he might like a pillow with less give than his twin brother who prefers a softer, more cushiony surface. And, like our testers, you may find that you go to sleep one way and wake up another.
Some manufacturers market their pillows as targeted toward back-, stomach-, or side-sleepers, which can be a helpful starting point since it indicates the loft of the pillow, but as there are no industry standards about what makes a side-sleeper pillow versus one for a back-sleeper (or, for that matter, what makes a “medium” pillow versus a “soft” or “firm”), at the end of the day it’s meaningless.
Pros: Good neck support and comfort, lower price, not sourced from animals
Cons: Less durable than down, less fluffy than down, still requires maintenance
Pros: Recommended for neck pain, medium price, easy to maintain, fewer allergy concerns, natural material
Cons: Can have off-smell and shorter lifespan, is not moldable; some people are allergic
A cool environment helps ensure a good night’s sleep, and some pillows have cooling technologies, like gel or wicking fabric. Memory foam is particularly prone to retaining body heat, so cooling properties in the covers of these pillows is particularly important, though we didn’t have heat complaints for any memory foam pillows we tested.
Allergies and irritants are another consideration, but a pillow protector that keeps out moisture and dust mites essentially makes any pillow hypoallergenic, so you don’t need to strictly buy a pillow that’s marketed for that. As for down allergies, they do exist, but most people who have an allergic reaction to down pillows are actually reacting to dust mites, not down itself.
A well-constructed pillow will have at least five to eight stitches per inch along the seams of the outer covering, known as the shell. (All the pillows we tested had at least nine stitches per inch.) For down and down-alternative, the shell fabric should have a weave that’s dense enough to prevent the filling from migrating outside of the shell. In the store, shake the pillow and run your hand across it to see if any filling pokes through. Higher-quality pillows may have a piping or binding at the seams that lend the pillow more strength, giving it more stability over time.
Higher-end pillows should include a warranty; part of what you’re paying for is that protection. Some down-pillow manufacturers may include cleaning, shell replacement, and even refilling as a part of their warranty. Length of coverage varies widely. A lifetime warranty is the gold standard for down. Five years is reasonable for a memory foam warranty, and latex warranties hover at three. You’re less likely to find a warranty for down-alternative pillows. Consider the return policy of the retailer you buy your pillow from. It’s worth seeking out a place with a generous policy—full refund (with receipt) even if it’s been slept on for a night—since you won’t know until you’ve spent a few nights on it whether it’s the right pillow for you. Ask your retailer about its policy before buying, since many won’t take back a pillow that’s been taken out of the package, or will give only a partial refund.
How we tested
For our 201guide, we had six testers test and take copious notes. For this update, we recruited our 201testers and added five new testers, so you’ll see 1people’s opinions reflected here—four back-sleepers, four side-sleepers, and three stomach-sleepers, though most of us spend some time throughout the night in a variety of positions. We had each tester sleep with all of the pillows that are sold as specific to that position’s needs, as well as all pillows that are billed as being appropriate for all sleepers. Most pillows were slept on for at least one full night (usually more), but we told our testers not to sacrifice a night’s sleep if a pillow felt wrong to them right off the bat.
We had testers fill out a questionnaire on each pillow, inquiring about comfort level, support, construction, any hassle factors (like ease of fitting into a pillowcase), price, and overall impressions. All testers for this update used Protect-A-Bed AllerZip Smooth Pillow Protectors, which minimized any sensitivities to each pillow’s fill (and also made sure things like pet hair, drool, or even the dreaded possibility of bedbugs didn’t make testers regret accepting pillows into their home). All pillows were the standard size.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The main trouble with any shredded memory foam pillow (and the Xtreme Comforts is no exception) is that you’re … sleeping on shreds of foam. That can make it feel lumpy, something testers noted. “It felt weird at first—I had to get used to it,” noted one tester. Still, only one of our testers said that lumps wound up detracting from her overall experience, and testers did get used to it—it’s a popular pick among staffers, some of whom had been sleeping on the Xtreme Comforts for months before volunteering to test these pillows. It also looks a little lumpy. By the time it was in the pillow protector and pillowcase it looked smooth enough to be presentable, but if you adore that perfectly smooth, round shape of a down pillow, it’s something to keep in mind. But the lumps of shredded memory foam in these pillows aren’t the kind of lumps that might have shown up in your old pillows that you’re looking to replace. They’re just characteristic of what makes shredded foam moldable and supportive. Shredded foam won’t make for a night of high-end luxury, but it’ll make for a night of good sleep.
One feature of the Xtreme Comforts might be a bug to some: To reap the most benefit from it, you have to mold it a little. Sometimes this is as simple as putting your head on it and letting the weight of your head shift the foam around, but sometimes it means pinching and pushing the filling into a mound (for your neck) or divot (for your skull). It’s easy and doesn’t require you to sit up and manipulate the pillow in the middle of the night—it’s just a matter of adjusting the pillow a little—but people who toss and turn a lot might find it annoying to tweak it throughout the night to get the most from it.
Several staffers who bought the Xtreme Comforts based on the last iteration of this guide found it to be a little small. Those with this complaint who upgraded to the queen size reported that the larger size addressed the concern, and they didn’t find it too hefty. But one who had purchased the queen based on word of mouth found that while testing the standard size for this guide, she preferred the slightly smaller size. So just keep your size preference in mind when ordering—if you tend to like big, huggable pillows, the queen-size Xtreme Comforts might be more your style, but don’t feel like you need to upgrade automatically.
One more thing: It should take a spin in the dryer whenever it starts to feel hard or compressed, which can be a hassle for people who don’t have a dryer. It also requires a little bit of prep out of the box, since it arrives compressed. A few minutes in a dryer or just a manual fluffing will get it to the right loft, with a dryer being preferable.
Long-term test notes
Long-term testers report that they got used to the lumpy texture pretty quickly, to the point where they no longer notice it. They also say this pillow can feel a little stiff. This can be helped to a degree by fluffing it every morning to keep the pieces of foam separated, and by periodically fluffing it in the dryer. One long-term tester regularly alternates between the Xtreme Comforts and a firm down pillow, depending on how much support she needs on any given day, with the Xtreme Comforts giving superior comfort but less luxury. And two long-term testers say that it’s helped with neck pain.
Our pick for (some) stomach-sleepers: Parachute Down Pillow
Many of our stomach-sleepers liked the no-lumps surface of the Parachute Down in the soft-density version and noted that it provided just enough support for the head and neck.
Premier Down-like Personal Choice Density Pillow (medium)
Note that side- and stomach-testers didn’t much care for the firm- and soft-density versions of the Premier Down-like, and Wirecutter readers agreed. Readers who bought various densities of this pillow found it either too dense or not supportive enough. If you sleep in one of those positions and are looking for a bargain pillow, stick with the Xtreme Comforts.
We recommend reading this section with your own preferences in mind; a factor that knocked some pillows out of the running for us might be just what you love in a pillow. Our top picks aside, testers’ responses were all over the place, so consider your own sleeping patterns when choosing. Stomach-sleepers, in particular, were split, which is why we put a caveat in our stomach-sleeper pick. One stomach-sleeper hated that pillow, preferring a pillow as lofty as most side-sleepers, but another tester adored the “kitten fur” aspect of the flattish, soft-density Parachute Down Pillow.
While we think the picks above will work for most people, the following key can help you find the right pillow if you’d like to branch out.
Crane & Canopy Down Alternative Sham Pillow
One stomach-tester who tends to prefer pillows with ample loft said that this is the first conventional (i.e., not memory foam or buckwheat) pillow she’s loved enough to buy herself. She stood alone, though: Other testers reported that it felt supportive but dense, and that it felt “deflated and hard” by the morning. We also had heat-retention complaints.
Hotel Collection Primaloft Down Alternative Pillows
In our very first pillows guide, we ranked this as our runner-up. But the rise of shredded memory foam has knocked this out of contention. Back-sleepers didn’t find the medium or firm quite supportive enough, reporting that their head bottomed out even with the firm fill. It also ran warmer than other pillows. The comfort level was fine, though; one tester
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Pillow Covers wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Pillow Covers
- №1 — Set of 2 Standard Size SureGuard Pillow Protectors – 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic – Premium Zippered Cotton Terry Covers – 10 Year Warranty
- №2 — Bedecor Waterproof Zippered Pillow Encasement -Cotton Terry Covers- Hypoallergenic, Breathable, Queen(21″ x 35″) -2 PCS
- №3 — 4-Pack Premium Allergy Protection Pillow Protectors. Hypoallergenic Dust Mite & Bed Bug Resistant Anti-Microbial 400 Thread Count 100% Cotton Zippered Pillow Covers. (Standard)