The mattress gets more respect than the pillow, it seems. Most people understand that investing in a high-quality mattress is the best way to enhance the quality of their sleep. Despite this, many people will use a pillow that isn’t comfortable for them for months, if not years.
Finding the ideal pillow, like the ideal mattress, can be challenging at first. The “most comfortable” pillow claim is made by many different companies, but you can’t tell which one is right for you until you lay your head down on the pillow in question. What, exactly, is it that makes a pillow so cozy?
In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose a pillow and share our experiences with trying out various models. Keep in mind that everybody has different tastes in pillows, so the one that helps your partner sleep might make you toss and turn.
How we chose the most comfortable pillows
Here is how we chose the most relaxing pillows:
- Testing and feedback from the real world. Finding a pillow that is just right is a matter of opinion. You can, however, get a better idea of whether or not a pillow is right for you by reading reviews written by other people. To begin compiling this list, we napped on each pillow to get a feel for how they would perform.
- Reviews from the buying public. Customer reviews were also considered because they provide insight into the pillows’ performance for a wide range of individuals. Here you will only find the highest rated pillows, as we have excluded anything that has received less than 5/5 stars from our customers.
- Variety. We also intend to provide options for a wide range of budgets and preferences in terms of pillows.
Most comfortable pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow
- Price: $$$
- Input format:custom-made polyurethane foam
Editor at Healthline Candice Abellon suggests this soft and flexible pillow. She claims that it is effective for both her and her partner’s bodies. As an added bonus, she says it’s perfect for side sleepers who value having their head and neck propped up. She also appreciates how the removable cotton cover provides an extra layer of softness on top of the foam.
More than 1,500 reviewers have said the pillow is excellent value for the price. Users have reported that the pillow does a good job of keeping them from feeling stiff first thing in the morning. Though stomach and back sleepers may be put off by the mattress’s firmness, side sleepers may find it comfortable.
Casper Original Pillow
- Price: Dollars (typical)
- Input format: synthetic fill (polyester microfiber) for the place of down.
It’s no surprise that the Casper Original Pillow is a top pick on Healthline. It’s soft, but still firm enough to provide a comfortable cradle for your head and neck.
By encasing one pillow within another, Casper is able to create a pillow that is both soft and supportive. The inner layer of the pillow is slightly firmer than the outer layer, but both are comfortable to rest on. If you could reach out and touch a cloud, it might feel like this pillow, in all seriousness. Many critics have expressed agreement.
Don’t know if it’ll work for you? If you’re a toss-and-turn sleeper or alternate between sleeping on your side and back, this is the mattress for you. Fortuitously, your ease of mind isn’t up for grabs. The Casper Original Pillow has a 30-night trial period during which you can try it out and send it back if it doesn’t work for you.
Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow
- Price: Price (at the going rate): $$
- Input format: foam
This foam pillow is breathable and cool because of the graphite and gel that went into making it. The pillow has been praised by those who sleep on their backs and sides for its ability to ease neck and back pain and improve the quality of their slumber.
While some reviewers found the mattress to be too firm for stomach sleeping, many others remarked on its pleasant softness. Some reviewers have complained about continuing to overheat despite the pillow’s cooling properties.
- Price: $$
- Indicate the fill type:the memory foam
The Leesa Pillow has a 4.4 average star rating because of how well it provides comfort, support, and pain relief. The firm but plush design is ideal for side sleepers.
Jamey Powell, editor of Healthline, agrees wholeheartedly. She loves how well it fits her head and shoulders and how well it holds its shape throughout the day. Even though the pillow itself isn’t particularly plush, she finds it to be very comfortable to cuddle up with, case and all.
- Price: $
- Input format: foam
According to one 2014 study, an orthopedic pillow may be the best option for enhancing the quality of your slumber. Twenty people tried the pillows, but only for a short time in the study. The findings, however, demonstrated that an orthopedic pillow does a better job of maintaining the spine’s natural curvature.
The popular ergonomic pillow from IKEA has a slight curve that aids in neck support and spinal alignment. One can simply flip it over to find a lower profile should they find the other side too tall. This mattress is ideal for stomach, back, or side sleepers due to the medium-firm foam.
While this isn’t our go-to pillow, it could be helpful if you’re having trouble sleeping due to neck or back pain. It’s a good choice if you sleep on your back or side but may be too firm for people who switch positions frequently during the night.
We also found that this pillow gave off some gas, so if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to look elsewhere.
A guide to finding the perfect pillow
Why do some pillows seem more inviting than others? Firmness, sleeping position, cost, and quality of construction are all factors to think about, in addition to your own preferences.
It’s important to consider the pillow’s contents. While feathers and down are fluffy and comfortable, they don’t offer the same level of support as memory foam. There is a wide variety of foam materials available, and some models even allow you to change the level of firmness.
For those who tend to overheat during the night, gel foam is a great alternative to memory foam because it doesn’t retain heat the way the latter does. It’s true that latex is more responsive than memory foam, but anyone with a latex allergy should stay away.
Shredded foam or a down alternative may feel better to you than a solid slab of foam.
The term “loft” is used to describe the height of a pillow. For those who prefer a plumper feel, a high loft pillow will do the trick. For side sleepers, the optimal pillow height, according to a small study conducted in 2015, is 10 centimeters (or just under 4 inches). Someone who sleeps on their stomach might do better with a flatter pillow or even none at all. Meanwhile, most people who sleep on their backs prefer pillows with a medium loft.
Look for a height that, no matter how you sleep, will keep your neck in line with your spine.
To determine this, you should think about how you like to sleep and go with your gut. Pillows that are somewhere in the middle of the firmness spectrum are generally the most preferred by back and side sleepers. People who sleep on their bellies prefer softer pillows because their necks are relieved of stress when they are prone.
In reality, even the “coolest” pillows don’t usually have any hidden fans or air conditioners. Not many of them actually work to chill you out. Pillows made of gel or phase-changing materials are great if you tend to get hot during the night. They won’t make your face freeze over (though that would be the dream), but neither will they retain heat like wool or down.
Like mattresses, many pillows today can be tried before buying. A company that allows you to try out the pillow for a few weeks is the best bet if you’re having trouble finding the right one; just make sure there’s a no-hassle return policy.
Finding the most comfortable pillow for your sleeping style
Your preferred sleeping posture can also affect which pillow feels most comfortable. Head and neck support needs vary depending on your preferred sleeping position. For the most part, you can use the following as a rule of thumb:
- Fewer pillows are required for side sleepers.
- Most people who sleep on their backs prefer a firmer mattress.
- Pillows ranging from medium firmness to firmness are best for stomach sleepers.
Casper claims that side, back, and stomach sleepers can all benefit from down pillows because of their malleability and ability to provide support for the head. Pillows made of polyester or another non-down material are better suited for back and side sleepers because they resist compression. Feather pillows can be shaped like a regular pillow, but they keep their form longer than down ones. A majority of users have reported that they are most comfortable when sleeping on their backs or sides.
Pillows made of cotton are fluffy and cool, but they can’t be shaped. When properly inflated, they’re comfortable for a wide variety of sleep positions, including on the side, back, or stomach. The loft of a latex pillow can be adjusted, but it will still be higher than that of most other pillows. People who sleep on their sides or backs should consider purchasing these. Finally, if you sleep on your side or back, you should consider a memory foam pillow, which is typically firmer than other types.
When to contact a doctor for sleep issues
Since sleep problems are so common, a new pillow probably won’t be enough to fix them. Any disruptions to your normal sleep schedule should be discussed with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, if you worry about the quality of your sleep, or if you frequently wake up feeling exhausted. If you’re having trouble nodding off because of neck or back pain, see a medical professional, chiropractor, or physical therapist.
If you have trouble breathing while you sleep, experience heartburn or acid reflux that prevents you from lying completely flat, or both, consult your doctor. Hormonal shifts and long-term conditions like sleep apnea and snoring can both contribute to disrupted sleep. In order to determine and treat the root cause, you may require specialized care, such as a sleep study or test.
Frequently asked questions
What’s the most comfortable pillow on the market?
Your preferred sleeping position and the way you normally like to sleep will determine which pillow is the most conducive to restful slumber. In the sections above, we discussed several excellent options for various pillow needs.
Which pillows do hotels have?
Inns of varying quality use a wide variety of pillows. The aforementioned pillow brands are used by some hotel chains. Pillows in hotels may be down, down and feather, memory foam, or gel.
What pillows do chiropractors recommend?
A chiropractor might suggest a firmer pillow for more neck support if you complain of neck or back pain. Learn more about what kinds of pillows can help alleviate neck pain.
Comfort, in the end, is subjective. While it’s possible that a medium-firm pillow would be ideal for a side sleeper, it wouldn’t do much good if you still felt uncomfortable all night.
Sometimes the only way to discover what works best and makes you feel most at ease is to try different things and see what sticks. Finding the perfect pillow can take some time, but here are some pointers to help you get started.
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