Best Pillows 2020 – Our Top 10 Favorites!

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Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to review more than 50 pillows. I’m talking pretty much every type of pillow, including a huge range of fillings, cover materials, innovative designs, and one-of-a-kind features I honestly didn’t know existed until now. With all of this in mind, I’ve created a comprehensive list of the best pillows for 2020 that should suit all sleep needs and preferences.

Is there one perfect pillow that meets everyone’s needs? No way! That’s because we all sleep differently and our differences are one reason there are what feels like a million pillows on the market, with new fabrics and technologies all geared towards helping people sleep better.

This enormous amount of options can seem daunting initially, but I’ve included a list of my favorite tips or tricks for narrowing down the many choices out there and making it simpler to find the best match. As always, leave a comment below for me and I’ll help as well!

Most Luxurious
TEMPUR-Down Precise Support
TEMPUR-Down Precise Support
TEMPUR-Down Precise Support

The TEMPUR-Down Precise Support provides a more traditional and luxurious down feel in combination with a supportive shredded foam core. 

Doesn't expire

Most Eco-Friendly
Birch Living
Birch Living
Birch Living

The Birch Pillow is a natural and sustainably-made pillow featuring filling made with Birch Wool and Talalay Latex shreds.

Doesn't expire

Best Personalized
Pluto
Pluto
Pluto

Each Pluto pillow is personalized to the customer's needs - all pillows are a hybrid (or a "pillow in a pillow" design) with a solid foam core and plush outer cover.

Doesn't expire

Best for Side Sleepers
Eli & Elm Organic Cotton Side-sleeper
Eli & Elm Organic Cotton Side-sleeper
Eli & Elm Organic 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.

Doesn't expire

Best for Combination Sleepers
Layla Kapok
Layla Kapok
Layla Kapok

The Layla pillow has a gorgeous soft knit cover and features a zipper on the side that lets sleepers access the Kapok fiber and shredded memory foam mixed filling.

Doesn't expire

Best for Stomach Sleepers
Sleepgram
Sleepgram
Sleepgram

Sleepgram has smaller pillows inside a larger outer pillow - each pillow (all down alternative) has its own distinctive support level and can be mixed and matched. 

Doesn't expire

Best for Back Sleepers
Coop Home Goods Eden
Coop Home Goods Eden
Coop Home Goods Eden

Coop Home Goods Eden pillow is adjustable and filled with a mix of cross-cut gel memory foam and polyester fibers.

Doesn't expire

Best for Heavier Sleepers
TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro
TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro
TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro

The TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro encompasses height, support, and coolness and is excellent for larger body types with its two height profiles.

Doesn't expire

Best Cooling
GhostPillow Gel Memory Foam
GhostPillow Gel Memory Foam
GhostPillow Gel Memory Foam

The Gel Memory Foam 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.

Doesn't expire

Best Value
Purple Plush
Purple Plush
Purple Plush

The Purple Plush pillow is super affordable and adjustable - it features a smooth cover and core filled with Smart Fluff that gives it a down alternative-like feel. 

Doesn't expire

Check Out The Details!

There’s so much to know about each of these awesome pillows – keep scrolling for more details on why they made the top of our list of best pillows.

Most Luxurious

TEMPUR-Down Precise Support

The TEMPUR-Down Precise Support pillow from TEMPUR-Pedic is hands down one of the most luxurious pillows I’ve had a chance to review. I love the feeling of the down surrounded by the crisp premium 100% cotton and the support of the shredded Tempur-material (proprietary memory foam) in the core. It’s got all that gorgeousness that down pillows provide but it won’t fall flat because of the foam center.

Unlike many down pillows, the cover – which features the cotton and the down – is completely machine washable and dryer friendly. It’s an easy way to keep the pillow clean and performing as it should. From my experience, I slept the best on my back and stomach, but petite side sleepers can enjoy this one as well. At full price, the pillow is $149 and TEMPUR-Pedic does not offer trial periods on their pillows or returns. 

Pillow Details:

  • Dimensions (Queen): 25.25″ x 17″ x 7.88″
  • Cover: Premium 500 thread count 100% cotton and filled with authentic, premium down filling 51% white duck down
  • Core: The core is made with medium TEMPUR-Material (shredded)
  • The cover is removable and washable
  • Comes in Queen and King sizes
  • Full price: $149

Learn more about this TEMPUR-Pedic pillow and others in our ultimate list. 

Most Eco-Friendly

Birch Living

The Birch Living pillow focuses on high-quality, eco-friendly materials in its construction – but that’s not all it has to offer. The filling, which is a mix of shredded, natural and organic New Zealand Birch Wool and 100% natural Talalay Latex from southeast Asia, gives the pillow a “best of both worlds” feel.

It brings the support from the latex foam but the softness of the natural wool provides a down alternative type feel – it smoothes out any potential lumps from the foam pieces and provides its own unique feel. This one will work for back and stomach sleepers, but some smaller side sleepers may like it, too!

The cover is 100% certified organic cotton and it’s all made in the USA with materials from across the globe. The pillow comes in two sizes and the Standard is $99 – plus customers get 100 nights to try it out.

Pillow Details:

  • Comes in Standard and King sizes
  • Dimensions: 26” x 20” wide and 5” in height (Standard size)
  • The pillow cover is made with 100% certified organic cotton
  • The filling is a mix of shredded, natural and organic New Zealand Birch Wool and 100% natural Talalay Latex from southeast Asia
  • 100-night sleep trial and 3-year warranty
  • Care: cannot wash in the machine; spot clean only
  • Made in the USA
  • Full price: $99 for Standard and $119 for King

Read the full Birch pillow review

Best Personalized

Pluto

In addition to being a pillow expert, I’m also a certified sleep science coach. That means I know a lot about pillows and a lot about sleep! A good pillow can absolutely help a person fall asleep and stay asleep and the better the fit, the better they will rest – which is why I’m a fan of brands out there making a personalized pillow.

My absolute favorite one I’ve tried is the Pluto pillow. A big reason for that is that Pluto’s personalization survey asks just about every question I tend to ask when I’m making a personal pillow recommendation for someone. This level of detail is key to helping make sure individuals get the best match. Pluto’s pillows are all hybrids, with a softer outer cover and a solid inner foam core, but they have enough different materials and options to offer more than 35 variations. This is the pillow I received, and after telling them I tend to sleep hot I fell in love with this cooling cover.

The pillow comes in two sizes and the Standard runs around $85 at full price with a trial period to test it out. The pillow arrives with a recap of the customer’s survey answers and some more information about the choices they made while constructing the pillow – what’s not to love about that?

Pillow Details:

  • Each pillow is a hybrid design or a “pillow in a pillow” construction
  • Each of the 35 possible variants has an inner core made from a high-performance foam and an outer plush pillow filled with tiny polyester microfibers, both tailored to one’s individual profile
  • Each pillow will vary in features, height, and even colors depending on a person’s questionnaire results
  • Some covers will have polyethylene to help them stay cool and others will not
  • One size and costs $85
  • Pluto recommends washing the pillow(s) often. Remove the cover from the foam (don’t wash the foam!), and throw it in the wash. Machine wash cold on a normal cycle and use only non-chlorine bleach when needed
  • The company offers a 100-night trial

Best for Side Sleepers

Eli & Elm Organic Cotton Side Sleeper

The unique design and supportive fill of the Eli & Elm Organic Cotton Side-sleeping pillow are two features that helped earn its name as my pick for the best pillow for side sleepers. This curvature allows for proper head and neck alignment while side sleeping, giving the shoulder ample room next to the pillow without pressing into the pillow itself and adding extra unnecessary pressure and/or pain.

The cover is a super-soft, 100% organic cotton and it’s also hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, mildew-proof, and dust-mite-resistant! The core of this side sleeping pillow is made up of 75% engineered latex and 25% polyester fibers, giving it a supportive but smooth feel overall. A zipper along the side makes it adjustable so larger or petite side sleepers can adjust the overall height and firmness level with ease.

Right now the pillow comes in just one size and at full price, it’s $99.

Pillow Details:

  • The pillow comes in one size
  • Specially designed to support side sleepers while conforming to the precise contours of the head and neck with curved construction
  • The cover is 37% organic cotton, 2% spandex, and 61% polyester. It’s also a temperature-managing material that is designed to dissipate heat
  • The filling is made up of engineered latex (75%) and polyester fibers (25%). It’s adjustable so one can customize the firmness
  • Noodle latex foam is mixed with extremely soft, cooling gels to regulate body temperature throughout the night
  • Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, mildew-proof, and dust-mite-resistant
  • $99 at full price
  • 45-day return policy

Read the full Eli & Elm Review

Best for Combination Sleepers

Layla Kapok

Combination sleepers are the people who fall asleep in one position and wake up in another; no two days are the same and nearly every sleep position or a combo of some, feels good.  Combo sleepers tend to need the most versatile pillow and that’s where the Layla pillow comes in. First of all, the cover is super soft, a mix of  66% polyester, 30% viscose, 4% poly/lycra woven with CuTEC Yarn (copper-infused performance fiber) so stomach sleepers and side sleepers will absolutely love that.

The filing is natural, organic, and pesticide-free Kapok fibers plus pieces of responsive memory foam. Sleepers are getting support from the memory foam but the Kapok fibers (which is the seed pod fluff from a rainforest tree that has a down-like feel) smooth out the chunks of foam and makes it comfortable for every sleep position.

The key to making it a good fit for the combo sleepers is the adjustable nature, the zipper along the side lets a person access the filling to add or remove his or her desired amount. At its fullest, it’s probably best for back and side sleepers and the more that comes out the better it will be for stomach sleepers of all sizes.

The pillow is hypoallergenic, comes with a 120-night trial and is available in two sizes – the Queen is $99 at full price.

Pillow Details:

  • Dimension: 18″ x 26″ x 4″ (Standard) and 18″ x 32″ x 4″ (King)
  • Filling: natural, organic, and pesticide-free Kapok fibers plus pieces of responsive memory foam
  • Cover: Blend of polyester, rayon, viscose, and Lycra. Woven with copper fibers to add coolness and antimicrobial protection
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Potentially suitable for all sleep positions
  • Made in the USA
  • 5-year prorated warranty and a 120-night trial

To learn more, check out the full review of the Layla pillow.

Best for Stomach Sleepers

Sleepgram

Stomach sleeping is a tricky sleeping position because stomach sleeping requires a pillow flat enough to avoid neck strain but comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. There is often a lot of trial and error finding a pillow that offers that right balance of comfort and support, and Sleepgram has the answer with its deceptively simple design.

The Sleepgram is a “pillows in a pillow” design; there are two separate smaller pillows inside a cushioned outer cover that acts as a larger outer pillow. Now each pillow is color-coded with a small tag to help differentiate the changes in firmness each feature. 

The beauty here is that a person’s particular height, weight and body size will help to determine which combination of these three individual pillows works best for the stomach sleepers. The outer cover of all three is a percale weave and the inner filling is polyester microfibers (think down alternative.)

The pillows are allergen-resistant and one of my favorite parts is that they’re all machine washable and dryer friendly. It comes with a 100-night trial and is priced about $50 for Standard/Queen, $65 for King (but prices seem to change).

Pillow Details:

  • Three-in-one pillow design: outer pillow unzips and two additional pillows with different levels of filling are inside for a total of three individual pillows
  • Two sizes available: Standard/Queen and King (Both have a 2” gusset)
  • 100 percent cotton cover percale weave
  • Polyester microfiber fill (mimics down)
  • Allergen-resistant
  • Machine washable and dryer friendly
  • Adjustable
  • Comes with a 100-night trial
  • Price: $50 for Standard/Queen, $65 for King

Check out our full review of the Sleepgram pillow.

Best for Back Sleepers

Coop Home Goods Eden

To achieve a solid neutral back and spinal alignment, back sleepers tend to need a medium amount of loft and support in their pillows. However, no two people are the same so one of the best ways to find this perfect balance is with an adjustable pillow. Enter the Eden pillow by Coop Home Goods – this pillow a little slice of heaven with its soft outer cover (60% polyester and 40% viscose-rayon derived from Bamboo) and the hybrid filling of crosscut gel memory foam and polyester microfibers.

The small and uniform size of this gel-infused foam means a lot of blissful support but without the lumps and chunks. The polyester microfibers basically wrap around the foam and hold it in place, creating smoothness and a little more of a down alternative feel and help to keep the foam filling from separating and creating gaps overnight.

I love that back sleepers can adjust it to their liking – the pillow will also most likely come with extra filling if needed. It’s also entirely machine washable and dryable. Sleepers get 100 nights to try it out and at full price, it’s $70 for Standard (Queen and King size also available).

Pillow Details:

  • The idea behind this pillow is that it’s made for those who want the support of memory foam and the comfort of down in one pillow
  • The Eden is adjustable – one can add/remove the filling
  • It is filled with a lush blend of gel-infused memory foam and microfiber
  • The cover is 60 percent polyester and 40 percent viscose rayon derived from Bamboo (soft and breathable)
  • Machine-washable and dryer friendly (both the cover and inner filling are removable)
  • $80 for Queen ($70 for Standard and $90 for King)

Check out my full review of the Coop Home Goods Eden pillow.

Best for Heavier Sleepers

TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro

I’m a huge fan of this particular pillow from TEMPUR-Pedic! I consulted Marten, my colleague who is 6’7” and over 250 lbs, and we both agreed that the TEMPUR-Cloud Cooling Pro was no brainer to put on the list as the best pillow for heavier sleepers.

First of all, it comes in two sizes and two height profiles: Lo is 5” tall and Hi is 6.6” tall. Both of those height options are great for larger body types and broader shoulders, which tend to put more pressure onto pillows and could use the additional support. The outer cover is a stretch performance panel cover made up of 90% polyester and 10% elastane for a little stretch and overall so appealing to look at and feel with its soft knit texture and baby blue color.

The inside fill is a solid piece of medium Tempur material sandwiched between dual-sided cooling gel panels. Tempur material is essentially proprietary memory foam; it offers very similar characteristics to standard memory foam, and gel pads on either side are where that cooling factor comes into play. Heavier individuals who are side and back sleepers would like the Hi profile option while stomach sleepers may prefer the Lo.

At full price the pillow is $169, making it one of the most expensive on the list. However, this pillow will last in both support and coolness for 3 to 5 years.

Pillow Details:

  • Dimensions (Queen ProHi): 25″ x 16″ x 6.6″
  • Removable Cover: High stretch performance panel cover that’s made up of 90% polyester and 10% elastane
  • Core: A solid piece of medium Tempur material sandwiched between dual-sided cooling gel pads
  • Removable and washable cover
  • Available in Queen and King sizes and Hi and Lo profile (6.6″ vs. 5″) 
  • Full price: $169

Learn more about this TEMPUR-Pedic pillow and others in our ultimate list. 

Best Cooling

GhostPillow – Gel Memory Foam

The Gel Memory Foam GhostPillow features inventive cooling technology in both the ice-cold cover and the ventilated foam filling, resulting in a superb coolness that will keep the hottest hot sleeper comfortable.

The outer cover is made out of what the team at GhostBed calls “GhostIce” fabric – it’s  53% polyethylene and 47% polyester and has that performance wear, 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.

In general, the pillow has a  plusher feel so it may be good for average-sized back and stomach sleepers. The pillow comes in one size for $85 and customers get a 101-night sleep trial.

Pillow Details:

  • As of this review, only one size is available and the dimensions are 16″ x  23″ x 6″
  • Cover: Ghost Ice Fabric Zippered Cover – made out of 53% polyethylene and 47% polyester
  • Core: A solid piece of aerated Gel Memory Foam with a performance cooling side. This is a layer of the brand’s proprietary Phase Change Material (PCM). PCM helps absorb body heat and dissipates it throughout the night.
  • The core has a plusher feel and slow-moving response
  • The cover is removable and washable (line dry only)
  • GhostBed offers a 101- night sleep trial and 5-year warranty
  • $85 full price, one size only

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

Best Value

Purple Plush

Last but not least, my pick for the pillow with the best value goes to the Purple Plush pillow! I selected this pillow because, for the quality of the material and the innovative design; customers are getting a good bang for their buck.  The outer cover is super smooth, made up of 60% lyocell (synthetic fabric known for breathability) and 40% nylon with a moisture-wicking treatment.

The filling is what Purple calls their “Smart Fluff,” or interlocking, denier poly-fiber puffballs (say that five times fast!) It definitely has that soft and fluffy down alternative feel but the design doesn’t allow it to fall flat or lose a lot of air when compressed by a head and neck.

The innovative part really has to do with the adjustable nature of the pillow – sleepers can unzip to make the pillow plusher and then zip one or both sides to make it firmer. 

The pillow is $49 for a Standard size, which is a great deal for an adjustable pillow that’s super easy to care for, and easy to change the overall feel without any mess and comes with a 100-night trial. Average sized back and side sleepers will enjoy this pillow the most!

Pillow Details:

  • Currently comes in one size: 26″ x 18″ and weighs 3.6 lb
  • The cover is 60% Lyocell and 40% Nylon with a moisture-wicking treatment
  • The filling is what Purple calls “Smart Fluff,” or interlocking denier poly fiber puff balls
  • Feels like polyester fibers that won’t fall flat or lose a lot of air when one presses down
  • Adjustable in that sleepers unzip to make it softer and zip it to make it firmer. Features two zippers so one can combine or do half and half for even more preciseness with no mess
  • 100-night trial and 1- year warranty
  • Care: Machine wash in cold water, gentle cycle. Tumble dry low heat with a clean dryer or tennis ball

Read the complete Purple Plush pillow review

How To Start The Search

I always suggest that people start by looking at their primary sleep position, this is the position a person typically wakes up in the morning. Pro Tip: Those who wake up in different positions consistently can consider themselves to be combination sleepers!

Finding The Right Loft

People who wake up with a stiff head or neck may be sleeping on a pillow that is an incorrect height – also called loft – or firmness for their primary sleep position. One way to reduce the risk of neck pain is to ensure the 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.)bad head and neck alignment while sleepinggood head and neck alignment while sleepingGenerally speaking, side sleepers need pillows with the most support, loft, and height while back sleepers need a smaller amount, and stomach sleepers need the softest and flattest pillows. The goal here is to get the head, neck, and spine in neutral alignment so a person wakes up refreshed and feeling great and not sore and stiff.

Different Types Of Fillings

The next factor to consider is what materials feel good in a pillow. Some prefer the slow sinking feeling of memory foam while others love the bounce of latex. Even those with allergies who prefer the soft feel of a down pillow can consider hypoallergenic down alternative options.

Honestly, it can be overwhelming to figure out which pillow is going to be the best match just from a quick glance and squeeze to assess the fill and support level. Below is a list of some of the most popular and lesser-known fillings today.

Well-KnownLesser-Known
DownGel
Down AlternativeMicrobeads
Memory FoamKapok Fibers
HybridBuckwheat
Adjustable

Final Thoughts

The final tip is to combine all of these elements and let the primary sleep position, corresponding support level, and desired materials  – plus price – guide the process of picking out a new pillow. I always love companies that offer generous trial periods so sleepers can test if the pillow is a good fit before committing entirely.

Individuals can rest easy knowing that a dream pillow is out there waiting to be selected! There are so many different pillows and brands out there along with many risk-free options.

This list is intended to be an informational and helpful guide – in some cases, it may take several nights testing a couple of pillows before the best one is discovered. Waking up reinvigorated and ready to start the day is one way to know the pillow is a good fit.

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.

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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.