The 14 Best Pillows We Found After Months of Night-Time Testing (2024)


Finding the best pillow for your needs can be an agonizing ordeal. Get something that’s too firm, too soft, or just not quite right for your head and you can wake up with a lot of pain the next day. Never fear, WIRED is here. We’ve tested all these recommended pillows and several more, using each one for a minimum of several weeks to get a sense of how comfortable they are, how well they hold up to repeated use, and what sleeping style they’re best suited for. These are our top picks, but there are an innumerable number of pillows out there. We’ll update this guide as we test more. All of the prices below are for the queen-size version unless otherwise specified.

If you want to get 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.

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

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What Kind of Pillow Do You Need?

You might think a pillow is a pillow. It just has to be soft and fit under your head, right? Your head, neck, and back disagree. Getting a good night’s sleep can depend heavily on your pillow, so when choosing one, here are a few key questions to ask.

What kind 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 have one pillow under your head, or do you cocoon yourself into a pillow chrysalis? This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when deciding what type of pillow works best for you and we’ve noted our picks below based on sleeping style.

What is the pillow made of? Pillows can be filled with all types of materials, from feathers to foam. Down and synthetic down are fluffy clusters of fiber that can feel soft and comfortable, whereas 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 spongey, holding 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’ll want a pillow that keeps your spine straight and your head aligned with your back. That means you want something firm enough to support your head yet soft enough that it doesn’t dig into your ear or face.

How lofty is it? “Loft” is a term often used to describe how high off the bed the pillow keeps your head. If a pillow is too tall, for example, you might end up with your neck tilted upward, straining it throughout the night. Most pillows typically fall into one of three categories: Low Loft, which is relatively short and ideal for back sleepers; high loft, which is better for side sleepers (since your head will be further off the bed than when you’re on your back); and medium loft, which is somewhere in the middle and 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 the pillow you sleep (and sweat and drool) on would have a robust 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 unsure whether your new pillow is right for you, check out the company’s policies to see what leeway you have to try before you commit—and make sure you’re protected if something goes wrong.


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