Best pillows

The Best Pillows for All Types of Sleepers

We chose pillows to meet a variety of price points, from value to high end. At first glance, it may seem steep to spend more than $50 on a pillow, but we believe in investing in your sleep—it’s worth the cost.

I tested out 10 different pillows and this is my subjective experience as a back/side sleeper

First off, this post is inspired by a post here by u/riotkitty and their experience testing out a whole bunch of pillows. Last year, I realized that I had been using the same pillows for as long as I could remember, and my sleep quality had been consistently poor. I’d wake up many times throughout the night feeling uncomfortable and having to shift positions. This jumpstarted my deep research into finding the best pillow that would improve my quality of sleep. Since November, I have tested 10 different pillows in hopes of finding the perfect one for me. These are my experiences testing out those pillows. I realize that pillows are extremely subjective, but I hope I’m able to provide any sort of insight if you’re looking to get a new pillow.

For reference, I’m 5’9 130lbs. I sleep mostly on my back and a little on my side (probably 75% back, 25% side). I currently sleep on a medium-firm spring mattress (nothing fancy). I used to sleep on two pillows (one memory foam and one feather) before I went down this pillow rabbit hole.

TL;DR I tested 10 different pillows over the last six months and these are the ones I found to be the best for myself as a back/side sleeper.

  • Best Pillow for Back Sleeper: Saatva Latex Pillow
  • Best Pillow for Side Sleeper: Leesa Foam Pillow
  • Best Pillow for Combo Back/Side Sleeper: Layla Kapok Pillow


Casper Original Pillow — This pillow feels like any regular pillow you would buy at Walmart or Target (except this one costs $60). It’s a very soft pillow and my head sinks deep into it. It’s cozy, but way too soft for me.

Brooklinen Down Pillow (Firm) — There is nothing firm about this pillow. My head sinks into it completely. I don’t understand why it cost $100+ because once again, it feels like any generic feather or down alternative pillow. It flattens completely like a pancake when it’s laid on. I had poor sleeps with this pillow and would wake up with neck pains in the middle of the night. Hard pass. Honestly it feels like they may have sent me the wrong pillow.


Hullo Buckwheat — A buckwheat pillow feels like you’re laying on a bean bag or meditation pillow. The beads that fill the inside of the pillow conform to your body nicely. It’s a good pillow for lounging. The pillow makes light rustling sounds, which is honestly fine and not as loud as some people say it is. The beads need to be constantly “fluffed” back up to retain the height of the pillow. I found this pillow to be too hard, and not cozy enough to want to sleep on it every night. The Hullo pillow did not have free returns, so you may want to look for a different brand if you’re interested in a buckwheat pillow.

Nest EasyBreathe — This is another noticeably hard pillow. It’s not a pillow that I would describe as cozy or squishy. It’s very firm and my head and body lightly mold to it. I can feel the coolness that the pillow claims to provide, but it warms up quickly wherever my body touches it. This pillow provides great support for lounging. Side sleeping was very uncomfortable with this pillow. It’s just too bulky and I weirdly couldn’t find room to put my arms. It’s better for someone who is strictly a back sleeper.


Purple Harmony — This is a very unique feeling pillow. Your head kinda bobbles around on the rubber/latex grid that it’s made of- like a water bed for your head. I purchased the medium height, which was perfect at first, but it fully compressed to a low height. Because of this, I decided to exchange it for the tall height in hopes that it would compress back down to a medium height. It did not. The tall height felt really comfortable at first, but it started to give me a sore neck the more I used it. I’d say this pillow is still worth checking out though, especially with the long trial period that comes with it. I did not get to try out the Purple Original pillow.

Coop Original — I could not find a comfortable amount of filling with this pillow. There was either too little filling and my head would fall deep into it, or there was too much filling and it was too firm. It felt like it was putting strain on my neck. I will say that this is the fan favorite pillow when people stay over at my house (and a seemingly fan favorite on the Internet), so I do think it’s worth checking out. I did not get to test out the Coop Eden pillow.

Parachute Down Pillow (Firm) — This is a great, genuine, down pillow that feels appropriately firm. This is the lightest weight pillow of all the ones I tried, and I think that’s a really nice quality about it. When I lay on it, it doesn’t flatten down completely and my head doesn’t sink too low into it. For me, the loft could be a little higher, especially when it does go flat. The pillow needs to be fluffed back up every day to maintain its loft/firmness, which is the only downside, although it’s an expected one with down. It’s comfortable for sleeping on your back and side.


Leesa Foam Pillow — This is easily the firmest pillow that I tried. It’s like if a firm mattress was turned into a pillow. My head sits right on top of it and barely sinks into the memory foam. It has a medium-low loft. This pillow is super comfortable when laying on my side. On my back, I feel like there’s a bit of tension in the back of my head/neck since my head doesn’t sink at all into the pillow. I have great sleeps with this pillow and notice myself side-sleeping more when I use it.

Saatva Latex Pillow — This is a very cozy pillow that feels like a hybrid between latex and down. It’s plush yet also supportive, and it’s cozier than the Purple or Coop pillows. This is definitely a better pillow for back sleeping. It’s not the most comfortable to lay on your side because your face sinks into it. After sleeping on this pillow, the filling gets pushed to the other end of it, so it needs to be slightly fluffed/evened out every night. You can purchase additional “latex cores” that come in different firmness levels that can be swapped in/out of the pillow. They’re kinda sad and useless though. They’re these flimsy sacks half filled with latex cubes. I requested a firm one, but it felt almost exactly the same as the medium one that came in the pillow, so I’ve stuck with the default one. It’s just a very cozy, comfortable, luxurious feeling pillow.

Layla Kapok Pillow — This is a very dense pillow. At first, it felt just like the Coop pillow, but after giving it a day or two to expand, I can tell how much more firm and dense it is. I prefer this to the Coop because my head can lightly rest on top of the pillow without sinking too far into it, while also being very supportive of my neck. It’s not as cozy as the Saatva pillow, but it’s very comfortable on my back and my side. The pillow will flatten down where your head/body sits against it and the insides get pushed to the other end of the pillow. So every night I flip the pillow around to the other side to get the loft back. It’s a good pillow for lounging because it‘s so firm. In my opinion, the firmness of the pillow is perfect which makes it very comfortable to lay on both your back and side.

After all this testing- I’m sad to report that none of these pillows have consistently improved the quality of my sleep. To me, a great sleep is one where I wake up two or less times during the night. I’ve had great sleeps on the pillows that I consider to be the “best”, but those great sleeps do not happen every single night. I’ve learned that I can get consistently better sleeps if I meditate before bed, I stop using screens about an hour before I go to sleep, and I don’t eat sugar before bed. I’m glad that I discovered new pillows that I think are comfortable, but I should have realized they would not be a magic fix for my sleep troubles (although maybe that perfect pillow is still out there…). Still, I have zero regrets! If anyone thinks I should try out any other pillows please let me know!

The Best Pillows for All Types of Sleepers

Best Pillows

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more.

A good night’s sleep is key to a productive day. One essential element of restful sleep is having the right pillow for your body and sleep profile. To that end, we analyzed the top pillow brands on the market and separated them into the categories that matter most to buyers— cooling pillows, down alternative pillows, memory foam pillows, and even anti-snore pillows. Our well-rounded list of the best pillows has something for everyone.

We chose pillows to meet a variety of price points, from value to high end. At first glance, it may seem steep to spend more than $50 on a pillow, but we believe in investing in your sleep—it’s worth the cost.

Factors to consider when buying pillows

What size is right?

Pillows come in all shapes and sizes from standard (20 inches x 26 inches) to king sized (20 inches x 36 inches) and everything in between. If you are looking for a custom-made size, it may be possible to order one.

What is my budget?

Depending on the make, model and retailer, there is a wide range of prices for pillows. A memory foam or organic pillow will probably cost more than a non-specialized fiber one.

Is it from a reputable retailer?

A good sleep isn’t something to ignore and your bedding, like a pillow, can improve or hinder it. Purchasing a pillow from a reputable bedding company may make all the difference in your nightly rest.

Our top picks

Best for all body types: Tempur-Pedic Cloud Pillow

Tempur-Pedic Cloud Pillow

The best pillow for a multitude of sleeping needs is the Tempur-Pedic Cloud Pillow. Made of memory foam, it’s suitable for back and side sleepers. Its high quality material ensures a long life, while the hypoallergenic polyester knit cover is removable for easy washing.

The Tempur-Pedic Cloud helps with back and neck alignment. It supports the weight of your upper frame with just enough give to allow you to sink in comfortably. Constructed of one block of Tempur-Pedic’s proprietary memory foam, the firmness of the foam may be too constricting for some sleepers, though with regular use, the foam will open up and conform to your shape and weight.

Who isn’t it for? Sleepers who tend to overheat. The Tempur-Pedic Cloud is not a cooling pillow and has a tendency to trap heat emitted from the sleeper. It also may not be as comfortable for stomach sleeper due to the firmness of the pillow. If you have a king size mattress and want a larger pillow, note that the Tempur-Pedic Cloud only comes in one size.


  • Fill material: Tempur-Material foam
  • Outer cover material: Polyester knit
  • Firmness level: Medium-firm
  • Available sizes: Standard
  • Price: $89


  • Machine washable cover
  • Hypoallergenic cover
  • Great for back and side sleepers


  • Retains heat
  • Higher loft may make it uncomfortable for stomach sleepers

Tempur-Pedic Cloud Pillow

Tempur-Pedic Cloud Pillow

Best value: Sleep Innovations Contour Pillow

Sleep Innovations Contour Pillow

This pillow was designed with a therapeutic contour meant to adapt to your body’s unique shape. It features a large and small contour, you can choose what’s most comfortable. The Sleep Innovations is a great value—it offers a quality contouring pillow at a good price.

Back and side sleepers will appreciate how the contour fits the shape of your neck for gentle cervical support and alignment. Sleep Innovations memory foam is made with an open-cell design, which encourages air flow and dissipates heat to ensure your optimal sleep temperature. Naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, it keeps your pillow safe and clean.

Sleepers of all types, rejoice: The Sleep Innovations Contour Pillow promises to never go flat, so you’ll get the best bang for your buck. All pillow materials are made in the USA and buyers will be thrilled that the pillow comes with a 5-year warranty.


  • Fill material: Sleep Innovations memory foam
  • Outer cover material: 75% Cotton 25% Polyester
  • Firmness level: Medium-firm
  • Available sizes: Travel, Standard, Queen
  • Price: $34


  • Machine washable cover
  • Always keeps its shape
  • Great for back and side sleepers
  • Price


Sleep Innovations Contour Pillow

Sleep Innovations Contour Pillow

Best eco-friendly pillow: Avocado Green Pillow

Avocado Green Pillow

Most of us are paying more attention to the materials we’re using in our day-to-day. Are these materials sustainable, environmentally friendly, and safe for all family members to use? The Avocado Green Pillow addresses these concerns with its eco-friendly pillow. The environmentally conscious company is known for its quality mattresses.

Avocado specializes in products made from organic, non-toxic, and natural materials. They are also carbon-neutral. The Green Pillow is handmade in the U.S. from all organic materials and features an adjustable loft to customize sleep position for a range of sleepers. The pillow itself is on the firmer side, and unfortunately, does not come in less firm iterations.

The Avocado Green Pillow may be less comfortable for stomach sleepers because of this firmness level. Because the loft is higher than the average pillow, it can strain the neck and spine of sleepers who prefer to sleep on their stomach.

The price point is steep for some buyers, but the Avocado Green Pillow ships for free and comes with a 100-night sleep trial—so you can try it out before deciding if it’s right for you.


  • Fill material: GOLS-Certified Shredded Latex, GOTS-Certified Kapok Fibers
  • Outer cover material: GOTS-Certified Organic Cotton
  • Firmness level: Firm
  • Available sizes: Standard, Queen, King
  • Price: $109


  • Organic materials
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Naturally cool


Green Pillow - King

Green Pillow – King

Best down alternative pillow: Saatva Down Alternative Pillow

Saatva Down Alternative Pillow

Love the feeling of down but don’t love those little feathers floating all over your bedroom after changing sheets? The Saatva Down Alternative is a great choice for you. It boasts everything you love about down—plushness, softness, and comfort—without the hassle of down. This is also ideal for those allergic or sensitive to traditional goose-down pillows and bedding.

Saatva’s Down Alternative Pillow is filled with hypoallergenic down alternative fibers that create air pockets for a plush, silky-soft feel while providing support and structure. Designed for all sleepers, it works especially well for those who like to cuddle their pillow at night.

Durable and 100% hypoallergenic, this plush alternative down pillow contains an organic cotton shell which is not removable, so be aware. The Saatva Down Alternative pillow is spot clean-only. This won’t be a problem if you plan to use your own washable pillow case to cover it during use.

If you’re unsure about investing in the Saatva Down Alternative Pillow, you’ll like that it comes with a 45-day trial period with no restocking or penalty fees for returns. There’s no risk to try this highly rated down alternative pillow.


  • Fill material: Hypoallergenic down alternative fibers
  • Outer cover material: Organic cotton shell
  • Firmness level: Soft-medium
  • Available sizes: Queen, King
  • Price: $115



Down alternative pillow - King - White | By Saatva

Down alternative pillow – King – White | By Saatva

Best organic pillow: Coyuchi Down-Free Fill Organic Pillow

Coyuchi Down-Free Fill Organic Pillow

If organic materials are top of mind, the Coyuchi Down-Free Fill Organic Pillow is a high quality option. The Coyuchi down-alternative pillow is filled with fluffy shreds of hypoallergenic, certified organic latex. Mold it to your ideal sleep shape; it’ll remain billowy and lofty thanks to the air pockets created by the latex shreds. Good for all sleep styles, you can add or remove e latex shreds to adjust the amount of loft to meet your sleep needs.

The Coyuchi Down-Free Fill Organic Pillow is extremely durable, filled with GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex. One of the purest pillows on the market, its latex harvested by tapping trees for a chemical-free, compostable foam that’s breathable and mold-, mildew, and dust-mite-resistant. It’s hypoallergenic, environmentally friendly, and comes with a 400-thread count organic cotton washable pillow protector.

The Coyuchi Down-Free Fill Organic Pillow is shipped using the most sustainable and environmentally friendly materials available and also offers a no-risk 30-day trial period. Returns are free before 30 days—after that, you’re still able to receive store credit for another pillow selection.


  • Fill material: GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex
  • Outer cover material: Organic cotton jersey knit
  • Firmness level: Soft-medium
  • Available sizes: Standard, Queen, King
  • Price: $128


  • Purest organic latex composition
  • Adjustable for all sleep styles
  • Washable cover
  • Dedicated to the environment


Coyuchi Organic Shredded Latex Pillow King Alpine White

Coyuchi Organic Shredded Latex Pillow King Alpine White

Best latex pillow: Saatva Latex Pillow

Saatva Latex Pillow

Latex pillows are a solid option for buyers concerned about allergies but still want the durability and comfort of other materials. The Saatva Latex Pillow is a hotel-quality pillow with responsive and ultra-breathable support. The shredded latex allows for moldable customization as it adjusts to the weight distribution of the sleeper and provides excellent neck and head support.

Known to be more breathable than synthetic foams, latex may also stay cooler than traditional memory foam—which is great for hot sleepers. Natural latex is buoyant, creating pressure-free support for your head, neck, and shoulders. All Saatva latex undergoes a thorough washing process to remove all allergy-causing proteins, to ensure the purest product possible.

The Saatva Latex Pillow also includes a machine-washable, silky-soft Breathable Fair Trade Certified cotton pillow cover. The removable inner pillow can be spot cleaned.

Unsure about investing in the Saatva Latex Pillow? You can try the pillow for up to 45 days and if you aren’t in love, you can return it without restocking or penalty fees.


  • Fill material: Shredded natural latex
  • Outer cover material: Organic cotton
  • Firmness level: Medium
  • Available sizes: Queen, King
  • Price: $165


  • High quality, responsive pillow
  • Breathable
  • Washable cover
  • Excellent neck and head support