The 14 Best Pillows We Found After Months Of Nightly Testing (2024)

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Finding the best Finding a pillow that fits your needs can be a painful experience. Get a pillow that’s too hard, too soft or just not right for your head and you could wake up the next day in a lot of pain. Don’t worry, WIRED is here. We’ve tested all of these recommended pillows and many more, using each for at least several weeks to get a sense of how comfortable they are, how well they hold up to repeated use and what kind of sleep they’re best suited for. These are our top picks, but there’s a huge number of pillows out there. We’ll update this guide as we test more. All prices below are for the queen-size version unless otherwise specified.

If you want even better sleep, check out our other guides, including the best mattresses, best mattresses for side sleepers, best organic mattresses, best sheets, and best bed frames.

June 2024 Update: We’ve added the Avocado Down Pillow, the Bearaby Cuddler, and the Eli & Elm Memory Foam Pregnancy Body Pillow.

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What type of pillow do you need?

You probably think a pillow is just a pillow. It should just be soft and fit under your head, right? Your head, neck and back don’t agree. Getting a good night’s sleep depends a lot on your pillow, so when choosing a pillow, here are some important questions to ask.

What type of sleeper are you? Do you sleep on your back, side or stomach? Do you stay relatively still, or do you toss and turn a lot? Do you usually put a pillow under your head, or do you bury yourself in a pillowcase? This is probably the most important thing to consider when you decide what kind of pillow works best for you, and we’ve listed our picks based on the way you sleep below.

What is the pillow made of? Pillows can be filled with all sorts of materials, from feathers to foam. Down and synthetic down are fluffy clusters of fibers that can feel soft and comfortable, while memory foam is designed to compress with the weight of your head but still return to its previous shape. Organic latex pillows can be heavy and spongy, making it harder to keep a side sleeper’s head in place. There are also hybrid pillows that use multiple layers of different materials for a more structured feel.

How firm is it? However you sleep, you need a pillow that keeps your spine straight and your head aligned with your back. This means you need a pillow that supports your head but is soft enough so that it doesn’t dig into your ears or face.

how high is it? “Loft” is a term often used to describe how high a pillow keeps your head above the bed. For example, if the pillow is too tall, your neck may arch upward, putting pressure on it throughout the night. Most pillows generally fall into one of three categories: low loft, which is relatively small and ideal for back sleepers; high loft, which is better for side sleepers (since your head will be farther off the bed when you sleep on your back); and medium loft, which is somewhere in the middle and is best if you’re a combination sleeper who doesn’t stick to one particular sleep style.

What is the pillow’s warranty and return policy? You might not think a pillow you sleep (and sweat and drool) on would have a strong warranty, but many pillow manufacturers offer generous policies. For example, Purple offers a 1-year warranty and even a 100-night trial period. Casper has a similar warranty and a 30-day trial. If you’re not sure if your new pillow is right for you, check out the company’s policies to see what exemptions you have and what you can try before you buy — and make sure you’re protected if something goes wrong.

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