Best Pillows of 2022 for Every Type of Sleeper

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Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to review more than 50 pillows. These products have spanned a wide range of fillings, cover materials, innovative designs, as well as one-of-a-kind features I honestly didn’t know existed.

With all this in mind, I’ve created a comprehensive list of the best pillows for 2022 that address all sleep needs and preferences! The seemingly unending options can seem daunting, but I’ve included a list of my favorite tips and tricks for narrowing down the many choices out there and making it simpler to find the best match.

The Best Pillows of 2022 Detailed

Here is our comprehensive list of the best pillows:

 

Best Down Pillow

Casper Down

If you’re on the hunt for a high-quality down pillow, look no further than the Casper. It has a unique five-chamber design, which makes it feel more supportive than traditional down pillows. When your head hits the pillow, it will sink through the fluffy feathers, and you’ll feel its plush softness all around you. Best of all, it’s available in two loft sizes. The low loft works best for lightweight people, and the mid loft is better suited for heavier people. 

What Makes The Casper Down Pillow Stand Out?

  • It has a light and fluffy feel.
  • It’s made from responsibly sourced down feathers. 
  • It works especially well for back and stomach sleepers. 

Read our full Casper Down Pillow review.

Best Down Pillow
Casper Down
Casper Down
Casper Down

With a unique five-chamber design, the Casper Down Pillow surrounds your head, neck, and shoulders with soothing plushness. 

Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper

The Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper is specially designed to support side sleepers while conforming to the precise contours of the head. Essentially, it has a unique shape with a curvature that allows for proper head and neck alignment. It also gives side sleepers’ shoulders ample room next to the pillow without pressing into the pillow itself, thus preventing unnecessary pressure and/or pain.

What Makes The Eli & Elm Side-Sleeper Pillow Stand Out?

  • The cover is made of super-soft, 100% organic cotton. It’s also hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, mildew-proof, and dust-mite-resistant.
  • A zipper along the side makes it adjustable so larger or petite side sleepers can customize the overall height and firmness level with ease.
  •  The core of the pillow contains noodle latex foam mixed with extremely soft, cooling gels to regulate body temperature throughout the night.

Read our full Eli & Elm Side-Sleeper Pillow review.

Best for Side Sleepers
Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper
Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper
Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper

The Eli & Elm Organic Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow is designed with a shoulder-friendly curvature and offers great support with its latex foam and polyester fiber combination. Get the best deal on their current pillows when clicking the CHECK PRICE link.

Best Soft Pillow

TEMPUR-Cooling Cloud Pro

The TEMPUR-Cooling Cloud Pro Pillow is a cooling pillow that also has the height and support that side sleepers really need. It’s also the softest pillow produced by Tempur-Pedic. The star feature is the solid piece of the brand’s renowned TEMPUR material (proprietary memory foam) that features two cooling gel panels on each side. It’s part of the reason this pillow feels so soft to touch. 

What Makes The TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow Stand Out?

  • The pillow is beyond durable, with a thin cover that’s 100% cotton.
  • The core is a solid piece of medium TEMPUR material sandwiched between dual-sided cooling gel pads
  • It comes with a removable, washable cover

Read our full TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow review.

Best Cooling Pillow
TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow
TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow
TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Pillow

The TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro encompasses height, support, and coolness and is excellent for larger body types with its two height profiles. Click the link to the right for the best deals on TEMPUR-Pedic's many pillow offerings.

Best Pillow For Back Sleepers

Saatva Latex Pillow

If you’re a back sleeper, you’ll want a pillow that provides both comfort and support. That’s exactly what you’ll find in the Saatva Latex. It’s a hypoallergenic pillow that boasts an organic cotton cover, microfiber fill, and a shredded latex core. When you’re back-sleeping, you should feel your head sink in a fair amount, but the shredded latex will make sure you don’t bottom out. It also has loose fill and a breathable cover that should allow for plenty of airflow. 

What Makes The Saatva Latex Pillow Stand Out?

  • It’s made with hypoallergenic and high-quality materials. 
  • Shredded Talalay latex provides support in the center of the pillow, while soft microfiber provides soft comfort. Also, the inner pillow is removable. 
  • Saatva offers 45-day free returns and one-year limited warranty.

Read our full Saatva Latex Pillow review.

Saatva
Saatva
Saatva

With microfiber fill and a shredded latex core, the Saatva Latex Pillow offers both comfort and support — a combination that should bode well for back sleepers.

Best Cooling Pillow

Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow

Per its name, Brooklyn Bedding’s Talalay Latex Pillow is a solid piece of aerated Talalay latex foam. This breathable design helps it sleep incredibly cool, as does the bamboo blend fabric on the removable outer cover. Feel-wise, your head should sink far enough into the latex foam to create a neutral angle, but the bouncier feel will keep it supported without going flat all night.

What Makes The Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow Stand Out?

  • It’s available in both a high and low loft.
  • Back sleepers should be comfortable with either loft. Side sleepers should choose the high loft and stomach sleepers should choose the low loft.
  • It’s hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.

Read our full Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow review.

Best Cooling Pillow
Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex
Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex
Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex

Brooklyn Bedding's Talalay Latex Pillow is a supportive and pressure-relieving blended latex foam pillow. It has a ventilated core and removable soft knit cover. It comes in two loft options, making it a good choice for any sleep position.

Best Pillow For Combination Sleepers

Purple Harmony

If you switch sleeping positions in the night, you’ll need a pillow that provides comfort and support all night long. Sound like you? Then we recommend checking out the Purple Harmony pillow. Made with a thin layer of the brand’s classic Purple hex, this pillow has a completely unique feel. The cover, made with a stretchy and breathable mesh material, easily moves with the gel grid underneath. When you unzip the cover, you’ll find a thick piece of ventilated Talalay latex foam. Like memory foam, this material creates plenty of pressure relief and body-contouring.

What Makes The Purple Harmony Pillow Stand Out?

  • The Talalay latex core has a slow-moving feel, but it won’t trap heat easily. 
  • Because your head will gently sink into the Purple hex grid, the pillow should keep you supported in all three sleeping positions. 
  • The Purple Harmony has three loft sizes: low, medium, and tall. 

Read our full Purple Harmony Pillow review

Best Pillow For Combination Sleepers
Purple Harmony
Purple Harmony
Purple Harmony

The Purple Harmony Pillow soothes with its unique hex grid, offering a good amount of plushness while still being responsive enough for combination sleepers.

Best Pillow For Neck Pain

Tuft & Needle Original Foam

Because the Tuft & Needle pillow is made with a thick piece of custom-cut foam, it will create plenty of support and won’t sag as the night goes on. This is especially great for side and back sleepers who frequently deal with neck pain. The pillow also helps you maintain a neutral alignment. This means, when you’re resting on your side, your ears will align with your shoulders. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, you’ll want your chin to line up with your sternum. 

What Makes The Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow Stand Out?

  • This pillow has a soft and breathable cover that is completely machine-washable.
  • The foam core is infused with gel for added cooling, and it’s ventilated for airflow. 
  • The core is custom-cut, which makes it especially durable. 

Read our full Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow review.

Tuft & Needle Original Foam
Tuft & Needle Original Foam
Tuft & Needle Original Foam

Thanks to its core of custom-cut foam, the Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow creates plenty of support and won't sag. This helps sleepers prevent neck pain and achieve proper spinal alignment.

Best Memory Foam Pillow

GhostPillow

The GhostPillow features inventive cooling technology in both the ice-cold cover and the ventilated foam filling, resulting in a superb coolness that should keep the hottest hot sleeper comfortable. The outer cover is made out of what the team at GhostBed calls “GhostIce” fabric — a material with a moisture-wicking feel to it. Inside the pillow is a solid piece of aerated Gel Memory Foam. One side has a layer of proprietary Phase Change Material (PCM) which is known for absorbing heat and then re-releasing it slowly and evenly to keep a person’s body temperature as neutral as possible overnight.

What Makes the GhostPillow Stand Out?

  • The pillow has a  plusher feel, so it may be good for average-sized back and stomach sleepers.
  • The cover is removable and washable (line-dry only).
  • GhostBed offers a 101-night sleep trial and five-year warranty.

Read our full review of this GhostPillow (and the Faux Down option).

Best Memory Foam Pillow
GhostPillow
GhostPillow
GhostPillow

The GhostPillow offers a variety of cooling features, starting with a Ghost Ice Fabric cover and an aerated gel memory foam core with a layer of Phase Change Material. 

How to Choose a Pillow

In this buyer’s guide section, I’ll explain everything you need to know and look out for when you’re shopping for your next pillow.

what are the best pillows - A woman sleeps on a pillow

Alignment

One way to reduce the risk of neck pain is to ensure that your head is resting on a pillow that allows for the head, neck, and spine to be in a straight line. This is also referred to as neutral alignment.

If you sleep on your back or stomach, make sure your chin lines up with your sternum. If you fall out of this neutral alignment, you may develop neck pain over time.

Side sleepers, you’ll also want to make sure your chin lines up with your sternum. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure your ear lines up with your shoulder. Otherwise, you may crane your neck into an unnatural position.

 

bad head and neck alignment while sleeping on a pillow

good pillow alignment
Sleeping Position

I always suggest that people start by looking at their primary sleep position. This is the position a person typically wakes up in every morning.

Side sleepers need a thicker, more supportive pillow to keep their neck properly aligned. Side sleepers can be comfortable on any type of pillow as long as it provides enough loft and support.

RELATED: Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

Stomach sleepers need a thinner pillow for neutral alignment. I generally recommend softer pillows like down, down alternative, and feather pillows for stomach sleepers. If stomach sleepers want a foam pillow, they should look for shredded foam for a less dense feel, or adjustable pillows that allow you to remove excess filling.

RELATED: Best Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

Back sleepers, like stomach sleepers, also need a thinner pillow to keep their neck in proper alignment. Avoid pillows that are extra firm or extra-soft. Many of the pillows that work for stomach sleepers will also work well for back sleepers.

RELATED: Best Pillows for Back Sleepers

Pro Tip: Those who wake up in different positions consistently can consider themselves to be combination sleepers!

Body Type

When you’re buying a new mattress, it’s always a good idea to find something that suits your body type. The same thing applies to pillows. Larger people may apply more pressure to a pillow, causing it to fall flat. Because of this, heavier people over 230 lbs will want to find a pillow made of supportive materials. Oftentimes, down pillows aren’t supportive enough for people with larger frames.

Because lightweight people won’t compress a pillow as much, they’ll want to make sure to find a pillow with a lower loft. Many pillows allow sleepers to adjust the height by removing the interior filling.

Firmness

A pillow’s firmness will also greatly impact how comfortable it feels. Side sleepers, generally, need pillows that feel more supportive and firm. Oftentimes, soft pillows compress as the night goes on, causing the sleeper to get out of a neutral alignment.

Stomach sleepers should look for an especially soft pillow, because this will help them maintain the proper spine alignment. Back sleepers, however, should find a pillow that feels medium firm. It’s important for the head to gently compress the center of the pillow without bottoming out.

Feel

How a pillow feels is a matter of personal preference. Some people love the slow-moving feel of memory foam. Others prefer a malleable and soft pillow stuffed with goose down. Many people opt for a traditional pillow stuffed with microfiber.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Pillow

In addition to the elements we outlined above, it’s valuable to consider the pillow’s practical details. How long will it last? Is it difficult to maintain? Find out below!

Shape

Most pillows have a traditional rectangular shape, but you’ll occasionally come across products with different dimensions.

The Eli & Elm Side Cotton Sleeper Pillow, for example, as a U-shape design, which specifically helps side sleepers maintain the correct spinal alignment.

Wedge pillows have a triangular shape, making them especially useful for lounging.

Loft

Loft, also known as height, greatly impacts how comfortable a pillow feels. A side sleeper will need a loftier pillow than a stomach sleeper, because taller pillows usually create more support.

If you’re unsure what loft size you need, purchase a pillow you can customize.

RELATED: Snuggle-Pedic vs Coop Home Goods Customizable Pillow

Cover

Whether or not you use a pillowcase, it’s important to pay attention to the pillow’s cover. If you’re a hot sleeper, pillow covers can help dissipate heat. Oftentimes, companies use breathable fabrics to aid in airflow. Some products have special materials sewn in.

Many pillow covers also have zippers around the edges, which allows sleepers to easily remove them for cleaning. Sometimes, you can even take out the filling to adjust the pillow’s firmness level.

RELATED: How to Clean Your Pillow

Core

You’ll find all kinds of different materials inside pillows. Sometimes, you’ll find shredded pieces of memory foam and microfiber. This gives the pillow a malleable feel, almost like down feathers. If a pillow has a thick piece of latex or memory foam inside, it usually feels especially supportive. This works well for many side sleepers, although these types of pillows are more difficult to customize.

Budget

Some pillows are especially budget-friendly, but they may not last a long time. Sometimes, it’s worthwhile to spring for the luxurious model. However, it’s not impossible to find affordable pillows that don’t sacrifice on quality. When shopping for new pillows, make sure to keep your budget in mind.

Durability

Most pillows last at least three years, but if they aren’t made well, they may not have a long lifespan. If you’re especially concerned about a pillow’s durability, check the warranty information. Oftentimes, companies will replace your pillow if it gets severely damaged during the first year.

Care Instructions

Most pillows have machine-washable covers, but sometimes you’ll come across a pillow that does not. Before buying a new pillow, make sure you fully understand how to care for it and keep it fresh.

Types of Pillows

With so many different types of pillows on the market, the selection can feel daunting. To make sure you get the right one, it’s always helpful to understand the different materials and constructions. Keep reading to learn about the most popular types of pillows.

Dual Profile

Dual profile pillows allow you to easily change the loft by adding inserts underneath the cover. Because they’re so versatile, they work well for a variety of different sleeping positions and body types.

Adjustable

Adjustable pillows are quite similar to dual profile models. With both types, you can easily adjust the construction and change the loft. Adjustable pillows, however, don’t use foam inserts. With an adjustable pillow, you’ll take out some of the interior fluff or filling to change how it looks and feels.

Memory Foam

Memory foam pillows have a soft, cushioning feel. These pillows offer nice pressure relief, so they’re especially good for sleepers with neck pain. Some pillows contain shredded memory foam, creating a less dense feel. Memory foam pillows can also contain materials like gel to add cooling features to the pillow.

Latex

Latex pillows offer great support like memory foam pillows, though they have a different feel. Latex pillows will offer pressure relief, but you won’t feel like you’re “sinking in” to them as much as a memory foam pillow because latex is resilient and bouncy. Latex pillows can contain completely natural, synthetic, or blended materials, and are generally pretty cooling.

Microfiber

Pillows stuffed with microfiber tend to feel soft and plush. And because microfiber is completely synthetic, these pillows tend to cost less than memory foam or down pillows. If you’re a budget, this could be a great pick!

Neck Pillow

Often used for traveling, neck pillows have a special U-shape that allows people to sleep in tight spaces. These pillows gently cradle the neck, and they’re typically made out of memory foam.

RELATED: Best Travel Pillows

Down

Down pillows have a classic, soft feel that many sleepers are accustomed to. If you’ve ever slept on a hotel pillow, you’ve probably slept on a down pillow. These pillows are less dense and supportive than memory foam and latex pillows, so they make a good fit for back and stomach sleepers.

Down Alternative

Down alternative pillows have the same soft, classic feel of down pillows, but instead contain a synthetic down alternative material. Down alternative pillows are cheaper than down pillows. Plus, they’re hypoallergenic.

Summary

Pillow Best For
Casper Down Best Down Pillow
Eli & Elm Cotton Side Sleeper Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro Best Soft Pillow
Saatva Latex Best Pillow for Back Sleepers
Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Best Cooling Pillow
Purple Harmony Best Pillow for Combination Sleepers
Tuft & Needle Original Foam Best Pillow for Neck Pain
GhostPillow Best Memory Foam Pillow

FAQs

Which is the best pillow for sleeping?

There is no single best pillow for everyone out there. We wish it was that easy! The best pillow for sleeping is going to depend on a person's primary sleeping position and their personal preferences — whether they prefer down or foam, cotton, or a different knit blend.

How do I pick the right pillow?

To pick the best pillow, individuals need to figure out what sleep position they most often wake up in. In general, stomach sleepers tend to need the flattest pillows that are the softest or most plush. Back sleepers do best with a medium-sized lofted pillow and a medium range of support. Lastly, side sleepers tend to need the most loft (height) and support to fill the gap between their shoulders and their heads and necks.

What are the best affordable pillows?

The right pillow doesn't necessarily have to be an expensive one. There are plenty of options for under $50 including a few on our list: Sleepgram and Purple Plush. Other options include:

What is the best kind of pillow for a side sleeper?

Side sleepers need to fill a 4" to 6" gap of space between their shoulder and their head and neck when sleeping on their sides. For this reason, side sleepers tend to need the most height, loft and overall support from a pillow. Look for pillows that are labeled for side sleepers and/or come overstuffed. Adjustable pillows that offer additional filling can also be a good option.

What is the best type of pillow?

There is no “best” pillow. Depending on your preferences, your body, sleep position and more, you will like different things. Check our many lists of the best pillows, including the best pillows for side sleepers, best foam pillows and best pillows for neck pain. 

Gravatar for Katie Golde

Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news. She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.