Purchasing a comfortable bed is fundamental if you’re looking to improve the way you sleep. Even so, getting your hands on a new pillow is almost as important. The manufacturing of pillows to suit specific types of sleepers is a practice that began not too long ago, but it has gained a lot of traction in the last decade.
Some mattress companies even offer to include their own pillows whenever you purchase one of their products – and most of them are surprisingly very comfortable.
Even so, not every pillow is going to suit your sleeping position or your sleeping habits. We’ve reviewed the top 10 best pillows of 2019 and compiled a list of things you need to know before purchasing one of these products. Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll be prepared to make a decision that will end up being the right one – we’re sure of it.
The Best Pillow for Your Sleeping Position
The pillow you’ll want to purchase is one that adapts to the way you sleep. You might feel uncomfortable sleeping in the same position that you’ve had for all your life if you purchase the wrong pillow. The most important thing is choosing the right level of firmness to suit your needs.
Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleepers should always aim to get their hands on a soft pillow. Soft pillows allow your body to sink in towards your bed, a necessary feature if you sleep on your stomach given that the posture tends to push your head towards the mattress. Using a firm pillow could cause you health issues in the long run. Foam pillows are great for stomach sleepers.
Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
Side sleepers will want to purchase a relatively firm product to avoid putting too much pressure on their shoulders. Ideally, side sleepers should opt for a relatively soft mattress and combine it with a firm pillow. This combo provides the best amount of pressure relief to their shoulders while keeping them as comfortable as possible.
Best Pillow for Back Sleepers
You might want to opt for a pillow with an average firmness if you’re a back sleeper. These sorts of pillows provide enough comfort for you to rest your head in them without sinking too much. This also means that the bones in your spine will be able to transition smoothly between your back and your neck, decreasing and avoiding chronic pain.
We recommend purchasing a shredded memory foam pillow if you like to sleep on your back. These provide the best comfort out of all the average firmness pillows.
Information About the Different Types of Pillows
Pillows can be manufactured by using different types of fabric and materials. These materials determine the features that the pillow offers, such as its firmness, breathability, and comfort.
Foam Pillow Features
Foam is the most popular material used in the manufacture of pillows. It’s the most hypoallergenic fabric that also offers comfort to the sleeper. Modern foam pillows tend to be constructed with shredded memory foam, which is often combined with a cover that adapts to the changes inside the pillow.
These pillows respond very rapidly to changes in shape. You can move your head as much as you want when sleeping on top of one of these.
Latex Pillow Features
Latex pillows, just like latex mattresses, are the most durable type of products on the market. Latex is also very friendly to the environment, as rubber trees don’t need to be cut down to extract the rubber from them.
The densities of latex are altered according to the purpose of each pillow. Even though none of them tend to be as soft as memory foam, their firmness can be adapted to fit the needs of each type of sleeper.
Cotton Pillow Features
Cotton and wool are materials that rarely make up the entirety of a pillow on their own. In most cases, pillow manufacturers combine cotton with other types of materials to create hybrid pillows. Cotton is often used to make the pillow more comfortable. It’s common that you find some pillows with cotton or wool layers on top of their construction.
Cotton pillows are extremely breathable and comfortable. Pillows and layers made of cotton are rarely firm, but they suit most types of sleepers well.
Feather Pillow Features
Feather pillows are often created in combination with another material called down. Down is very expensive to manufacture, so most pillow companies tend to use alternatives to down, like certain fibers. Regardless, down and down-like materials are often very expensive, and the more of them used to create a pillow, the higher its cost will be.
These pillows aren’t as breathable as others, but they can conform around any type of neck or head shape. Its firmness is determined by the amount of down on its build.
Polyester Pillow Features
Polyester pillows are very popular, but they aren’t as durable as their latex or memory foam counterparts. The problem with polyester is that it tends to form lumps after just a few years of usage, rendering the pillows uncomfortable and too soft.
In most cases, polyester is used in a similar way to cotton in the manufacturing of pillows. In fact, most of the pillows in this review have some parts that are made with polyester.
Layla Pillow – Best Memory Foam Pillow
The Layla pillow is a memory foam pillow specifically designed to support many different sleeping positions. The pillow is made with the same type of technology used to manufacture the Layla mattresses; in fact, the pillow’s memory foam (which is shredded, to make it more comfortable) is also infused with copper, just like the memory foam of the Layla mattresses.
It also contains a type of material called kapok, which is a type of tree that helps preserve the pillow from chemicals and other harmful pests.
The presence of copper allows air to flow through the pillow, preventing it from getting too hot at night. This is an especially important feature because memory foam tends to get hot when exposed to a constant temperature for a long period of time (it would be your head, in this case, which is naturally hot because of the blood flow).
We’ve ranked this pillow so high up on our list because of its comfort, but also thanks to its versatility. The way the company cuts the pillow’s foam allows the inside of the bolster to adapt to the shape of your head. It’s ideal for all sorts of sleepers.
Purple Pillow – Best Pillow for Back Sleepers
The Purple pillow is a type of pillow that’s designed to be used by back sleepers only. Its shape and all its features are beneficial for back sleepers who don’t enjoy sleeping too hot; the material used to manufacture this pillow cools down very quickly and doesn’t retain heat. It retains less heat than the Layla pillow, for that matter.
It’s made of an elastic polymer that adapts to different shapes rather quickly. It responds to pressure very well and its conforming is very similar to the one you get with the Purple mattress’. It’s the same technology, after all.
The Purple pillow even comes with an adjustable pad that can you can use to increase the height of your cushion. This responsive pillow might not be as versatile as others, but it’s still the best option on the market if you’re a back sleeper.
Saatva Pillow – Best Deluxe Pillow
The Saatva pillow is a luxurious cushion that will surely improve your sleep. It’s a very expensive product, but also one of the best pillows we’ve reviewed so far. As you might know, Saatva is a mattress manufacturer. The design of their pillows follows a very similar concept to the one used in their mattresses. This pillow is therefore layered, just like their beds.
Unlike other pillows, the Saatva pillow will not flatten at any moment. The layers allow it to return to its original shape very quickly. It doesn’t lose its shape anytime soon – you’ll have to use it for many years before you start noticing any issues with it.
Each layer serves a specific purpose as well. It has a latex layer meant to increase comfort, a cotton layer to make the pillow breathable and a special layer that aims to mimic the effects of feather pillows using special fiber.
Smart Home Bedding Super Plush Pillow – Best Budget Pillow
The Smart Home Bedding Super Plush pillow is the best budget option that we’ve come across while making this review. It’s affordable, but it’s also very comfortable and versatile. It’s not filled with 100% natural products, but the Super Plush pillow is manufactured using polyester and cotton, which still ranks it very high in the comfort scale.
You can machine wash this pillow, which is great if you suffer from allergies (it’s also hypoallergenic). It has a relatively high firmness level, especially when compared to most of the other pillows in this list. Regardless, it offers great support to your neck and is well-designed to incorporate to the shape of your bed.
It has some issues with flattening (it seems to give in to pressure too quickly). Other than that, it’s one of the most comfortable pillows that you can get for a very low price.
Beautyrest Latex Foam Pillow – Best Hybrid Pillow
Latex pillows are known to be some of the most expensive products on the market, like their mattress counterparts. This is due to the expenses that come with the manufacturing process of latex (be it Dunlop or Taylala). Regardless, the Beautyrest Latex Foam pillow lets you enjoy the feeling of sleeping on a latex surface without having to spend too much money on it.
This pillow will allow your spine to stay fully aligned through the night if you sleep in a firm bed. It has a rather particular firmness level – it doesn’t feel too soft, but it’s also not firm at all. The average level of firmness offered by this pillow is what makes it such a good option for almost any type of sleeper.
The Beautyrest Latex Foam pillow combines the best features of latex with the comfort and conforming of memory foam. You’ll feel how the pillow adapts to the shape of your head, but you’ll also notice how the cushion doesn’t retain heat through the night. This happens mainly because of the presence of latex, which doesn’t retain heat at all.
It only comes with a single firmness option, though. You’ll have to move on to another pillow if you don’t like it.
Xtreme Comforts Memory Foam Pillow – Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
The Xtreme Comforts Memory Foam Pillow is the second shredded-memory foam pillow on our list, and it offers very similar characteristics to the first one we reviewed. It’s a very supportive product that will make any type of sleeper feel well rested. Even so, its firmness levels are just above average, making this pillow a very supportive cushion for your neck muscles.
The pillow cover feels very smooth, and the design allows you to customize the inside of the pillow to your liking. You might want to add more firmness to it if you sleep on your back. You’ll want to make it feel softer if you sleep on your sides. It’s a matter of personal preference, but it’s always good to have the option to modify it yourself.
The Xtreme Comforts Memory Foam Pillow comes with a one-month trial – if you don’t like the product after testing it for 30 days, you’ll be able to return it and get back all your money.
Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow – Best Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
The Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow is the direct competitor of the Xtreme Comforts Memory Foam pillow. The main difference between these pillows is the cover of the Nest Bedding Easy Breather, which is also its signature feature. The cover counteracts the annoying lumps created by shredded memory foam, making it feel smoother than its Xtreme Comforts competitor product.
The fabric used to manufacture the cover of this pillow isn’t as comfortable as others, but it does a great job at compensating for the irregularities of memory foam.
The Nest Bedding Easy Breather pillow is capable of conforming close to the user’s head and shoulders. You might want to give this pillow a try if you’re a chronic sufferer of pain in your neck or in your shoulders.
The cover and the interior part of the pillow work together to allow air to circulate freely. This also makes it one of the cooler pillows on our list.
Coop Home Goods Pillow – Best Adjustable Pillow
This fully adjustable pillow, manufactured by Coop Home Goods, is one of the few shredded foam pillows that made their way into our list. It comes at a very affordable price. Like some other shredded foam pillows, this product can be adjusted as much as you like by adding or removing content from its interior.
What makes this pillow so great is its very comfortable cover. Most pillow manufacturers use cotton or polyester to create the cover for their pillows, but the Coop Home Goods pillow has a special cover which is made by blending polyester with bamboo. The manufacturing process is a bit trickier than the usual, but it’s very well worth the results.
The pillow feels soft and you can feel how your head sinks into it, but it still offers very good support for your neck.
ComfyComfy Pillow – Best Buckwheat Pillow
The ComfyComfy pillow is manufactured using buckwheat, which is a very peculiar, yet effective material used to create certain types of pillows. The nature of buckwheat doesn’t allow the pillow to be as soft as others, which is not too ideal for you if you’re a stomach sleeper. Regardless, its firmness makes it ideal for back sleepers.
The ComfyComfy pillow is fully customizable – you can distribute its filling however you see fit. Its very resistant cover allows the pillow to be washed in any modern washing machine as well. You don’t have to worry about handwashing anything.
Buckwheat allows air to flow through the pillow just fine. Its heat retention features are comparable to the coolest types of fabrics on the market. It manages to stay cool through the entire night.
Zen Chi Buckwheat Hull Pillow – Best Pillow for Combo Sleepers
The Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow is the second product in our list manufactured with buckwheat, and it shares the same cooling similarities as the ComfyComfy pillow that we just reviewed. These types of pillows are very good for people who don’t like to stay in one place when they sleep – you can move it around and the pillow will adapt to whichever position you put it in.
The Zen Chi Buckwheat Hull pillow will not retain humidity, meaning that you won’t wake up to the pillow drenched in sweat – even if you like to sleep hot. The cover of the pillow is made of cotton and all its interior consists of buckwheat filling.
We do want you to keep in mind that buckwheat pillows feel different to memory foam and latex pillows. You might need to take a few days before giving up on this product if you don’t like it at first. We think you’ll grow to like it very soon.
Our Final Verdict
We’ve seen and reviewed the best pillows on the market. Each of these has unique features that make them stand out from the rest. It’s up to you to decide which of these features you like most before making a final decision. Every pillow we’ve shown today is made to last – you’ll have a quality product on your hands regardless of which one you pick!