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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.

Like a mattress, the perfect pillow can be tough to find on the first try. Many companies claim to have the “most comfortable” pillow, but it’s impossible to verify those claims without actually laying your head down on the pile of fluffy stuff. And what makes a pillow comfortable anyhow?

Below, we cover pillow shopping basics and go into detail about our own pillow-testing adventures. Just remember, though, pillow preference is highly personal — what works for one person might leave you tossing and turning.

Here’s how we narrowed down our most comfortable pillow picks:

  • 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

Unless we mention otherwise, 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

Not only does this pillow have over 30,000 positive reviews on Amazon, but it’s also a Healthline favorite.

We love the fact that it’s adjustable and comes with an extra bag of fill that you can add or remove from the pillow to find the perfect height and feel. We also think the shredded memory foam fill is a game-changer, since you can move the fill around to add more support where you need it most.

In short, this pillow is super comfy and supportive. Being adjustable makes it an awesome option for any sleeping position or preference, too. Coop Home Goods also offers a 100-night sleep trial, so you can return it if it isn’t your comfiest fit.

– Ruby Thompson, Associate Editor

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Most comfortable pillow for side sleepers

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

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

This comfy pillow pick comes from Healthline editor Candice Abellon, who loves its versatility. She says it works for both her and her partner, who have different body types. She also says it’s great for side sleepers who want their head and neck to be cradled and supported. She’s also a fan of the washable cotton cover, which adds another layer of comfort over the foam.

Over 1,500 reviewers give the pillow 5 stars and agree that it’s worth every penny. Customers say the pillow prevents morning stiffness and provides comfortable support. The firm feel won’t appeal to everyone, but back and side sleepers may want to give it a try.

Most comfortable down alternative pillow

Casper Original Pillow

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

The Casper Original Pillow is also a Healthline favorite. It’s fluffy but still manages to provide support, cradling your head and neck.

Casper achieves this pillowy yet supportive feel by wrapping a pillow within a pillow. The inner pillow offers a touch of firmness, while the exterior layer is nice and soft. Seriously — in our honest opinion — if you could touch a cloud, it might feel like this pillow. Reviewers tend to agree.

Not sure if it’s right for you? We’d recommend it if you’re a combo sleeper or tend to end up on your side or back. Thankfully, you don’t have to gamble with your comfort. You can try out the Casper Original Pillow for 30 nights and return it if it’s not right for you.

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 that it’s a bit too thick for stomach sleeping, but it has a softness that many really enjoy. Additionally, while many reviewers love the pillow’s cooling properties, a few say they still sleep hot.

Most comfortable medium-firm pillow

Leesa Pillow

  • Price: $$
  • Fill type: memory foam

With an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, the Leesa Pillow gets top marks for comfort, support, and pain relief. Side sleepers, in particular, love the firm yet soft pillow.

Healthline editor Jamey Powell is also a huge fan of this pick. She says it comfortably conforms to her head and shoulders, providing the perfect amount of support without losing its shape. She also says that while it’s not a soft pillow, its cover makes it super snuggly — even through the pillowcase.

Most comfortable ergonomic pillow


  • 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.

IKEA’s popular ergonomic pillow has a slight curve to it, which helps support the neck and proper spinal alignment. If you find one side too high, you can flip it over to reveal a shorter height. The medium-firm foam is also a good fit for back and side sleepers.

While this isn’t our first choice for a pillow to sleep with every night, it may be a good option if you’re experiencing any back and neck pain. It’s a bit too firm for combo sleepers who change positions throughout the night, but it’s definitely a solid pick if you’re a back or side sleeper.

We also noticed a bit of off-gassing from this pillow, so you may want to skip this one if that tends to bother you.

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.

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What makes one pillow more comfortable than another? Personal preference is important, but you should also consider firmness, sleeping position, price, and materials.

Pillow fill

What’s inside the pillow matters. Feathers or down are soft and fluffy, but they’re not supportive like memory foam. Foam materials come in a range of firmness levels, and some models are even adjustable.

Gel foam is great for people who sleep hot because it doesn’t trap heat as easily as memory foam. Latex is a bit more responsive than memory foam, but people with latex allergies should steer clear.

You might also prefer the feel of shredded foam or a down alternative instead of a slab of foam.


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.

In general, look for a height that helps keep your neck aligned with your spine, no matter what position you sleep in.


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.


Most pillows that claim to be cooling don’t have mini AC units tucked inside them. Very few actually actively cool you down. If you’re a hot sleeper, opt for pillows with phase-changing materials or gel. They won’t necessarily turn your face into an icicle — wouldn’t that be the dream? — but they won’t trap heat like other materials, including down.

Trial period

These days many pillows come with trial periods, just like mattresses do. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect pillow, opt to buy from a company that’ll let you test it out for a few weeks — just make sure there’s a no-hassle return policy.

The pillow you prefer will also depend on your preferred sleeping position. Different sleeping styles require varying degrees of head and neck support. A good rule of thumb is that:

  • Side sleepers need less support.
  • Back sleepers require medium to firm support.
  • Stomach sleepers should have more support, with medium-firm to firm pillows.

According to Casper, down pillows, which are moldable and offer head support, are good for all types of sleepers, including side, back, and stomach sleepers. Down alternative pillows, such as those filled with polyester, are less moldable and best for back and side sleepers. Feather pillows are moldable but hold their shape better than down pillows. They tend to be best for back and side sleeping.

Cotton pillows are light but not moldable. Depending on how filled they are, they can work for side, back, and stomach sleepers. Latex pillows are moldable but tend to have a higher loft than other kinds of pillows. They are recommended for side and back sleepers. Finally, memory foam pillows tend to be firmer than other kinds of pillows and are best for side and back sleeping.

Sleep issues are common and you will likely need more than a new pillow to fully solve them. Talk with your doctor if you notice any changes in your sleeping patterns. Let your doctor know if you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or if you have concerns about the quality of your sleep and often wake up tired. If you have difficulty sleeping due to back or neck pain, you may need treatment from your 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$$down alternative (polyester microfiber fill) inner core pillow provides firmness
Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow$$foamfoam fill provides cooling and firm neck and head support
Leesa Pillow$$memory foamfoam is moldable yet firm
IKEA ROSENSKÄRM$foamergonomic curved shape offers orthopedic support on a budget
Novaform Overnight Recovery Gel Memory Foam Pillow$foamcontains a cooling gel for comfortable sleep

What’s the most comfortable pillow on the market?

The most comfortable pillow for you depends on your sleeping style and pillow preferences. We’ve outlined some of the best choices for each type of pillow above.

Which pillows do hotels have?

Different chains of hotels use different types of pillows in their beds. Some chains use top quality pillow brands such as the ones mentioned above. Hotel pillows may 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.

Ultimately, comfort is personal. Sure, a medium-firm pillow might be the best option for a side sleeper, but those recommendations mean nothing if you end up feeling uncomfortable all night.

Trial and error is sometimes the only way to find what works best and leaves you feeling the comfiest. But with a few tips to get you started, you might be able to find the most comfortable pillow a little quicker.

Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.