Best Pillows of 2023, Tested for All Types of Sleepers

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Not to add too much pressure to your hunt for the perfect pillow, but the pillow you choose can have huge impact on how well you sleep. Besides factoring in your personal preferences for materials and shape, the key to buying a pillow is finding one that keeps you properly aligned all night. To help stay in the proper position, side sleepers should choose a thick, firm pillow; stomach sleepers need a soft, thinner one; and back sleepers need something in between.

The scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab thoroughly evaluate pillows of all types — from down and down alternative to memory foam, latex and more. We also look at pillows by specific needs, like cooling pillows for hot sleepers, organic pillows for sustainable shoppers, pillows for people with neck pain and pillows to help prevent snoring. In recent years, we’ve tested more than 130 different pillows and reviewed over 4,000 data points between our Lab at at-home consumer tests before making these recommendations.

Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow

Fill materialMemory foam/polyester down-alternative blend
Outer coverPolyester/rayon blend
Firmness levelMedium-firm
Available sizesQueen, King

An ideal balance of soft and firm, this pillow is filled with a blend of memory foam pieces and microfiber clusters. As a result, we found that it feels surprisingly supportive and plush at the same time. Its suitable for all positions because it comes with extra stuffing that you can add or remove at home to create your own perfect height. Just be cautious when you’re adjusting the fill; it can get a bit messy and it’s not something you’ll want to redo on a regular basis.

It’s machine washable so you can easily keep it clean, and it immediately bounced back to shape after our Lab’s pressure tests. It’s also a best-seller on Amazon with over 50,000 reviews and an average 4.5-star rating, with users calling it “best pillow ever.” And if you’re a hot sleeper, the brand’s Eden pillow has the same construction, but with cooling gel added to the memory foam.

Amazon Basics Down-Alternative Pillows 2-Pack

Fill materialPolyester down alternative
Outer coverPolyester microfiber
Firmness levelsSoft, Medium
Available sizesStandard, King

This Amazon-branded pillow offers the best bang for your buck: It’s sold as a pair and outperformed other styles on the market that cost over triple its price in our tests. And even though its polyester down-alternative fill helps it cost less, we found it still washed well without shrinkage, making it a solid choice for people with allergies that constantly need to clean their bedding.

The pillow comes in two firmness levels, with the softer one being more ideal for stomach or back sleepers. It’s also perfect for kids, who need a lower profile to match their smaller frames. The medium one is designed for side and back sleepers, though it may not feel sturdy enough for larger frames that need more support.

Pillow Cube Side Sleeper Pro

Fill materialMemory foam
Outer coverPolyester
Firmness levelMedium-firm
Available sizesStandard, Thin, Thick

A game-changer for side sleepers who struggle to find perfect alignment, this pillow’s unique shape doesn’t taper off like a traditional pillow and instead fills the gap between your shoulder and neck. To make sure it matches your body type, it’s available in three heights, with standard being the most popular, as it ranges for heights 5’3″ to 6’4″.

Pillow Cube also sells a stretchy pillowcase made of polyester and spandex that’s ultrasoft and perfectly fits this pillow. (You can still use a regular pillowcase if you prefer, it just won’t fit as well.) And if you’re a hot sleeper, check out the Ice Cube version of this pillow, which has an outer cover with a cool-to-the-touch feel.

Layla Sleep Kapok Pillow

Fill materialMemory foam/kapok blend
Outer coverPolyester/viscose blend
Firmness levelMedium-plush
Available sizesQueen, King

With comfort you have to feel to believe, we found this pillow to be surprisingly plush yet still supportive, thanks to its innovative blend of shredded memory foam with soft and fluffy kapok (a natural fiber that’s similar to cotton, but feels silkier). The fill is also adjustable, so it works for multiple sleep styles or for people who often change positions.

That said, we think its softer feel is especially suited for stomach and back sleepers because a too-firm fill can cause the neck to tilt. And even though it’s plush, it easily bounced back to shape after we applied weights in our tests to mimic a head lying on it overnight. Just note that because the pillow uses a grey pattern on its outer cover, it may be visible under white pillowcases, if that sort of thing bothers you.

Tuft & Needle Original Foam Pillow

Fill materialFoam
Outer coverPolyamide/polyester blend
Firmness levelMedium-firm
Available sizesStandard, King

Tuft & Needle uses solid foam instead of foam clusters for a more supportive surface, but it has ventilated holes to make it breathable along with graphite and cooling gel to prevent overheating. The brand describes the feel as “squishy while remaining supportive” and we fully agree based on our evaluations.

In Lab tests, it bounced back to shape immediately after we applied pressure. It fit fairly well into a pillowcase but is just a bit smaller than other pillows so there’s a slightly loose fit. Only the cover is machine washable, but we found that it laundered well without any shrinkage.

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