The Best Pillow, No Matter How You Like to Sleep

image of Leslie Gornstein
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The Best Pillow, No Matter How You Like to Sleep

So what’s the best pillow you can buy? Trick question! There are three main sleeping positions—side, stomach and back—and pillows that specialize in each. In other words, there is no single best pillow for everybody, but there is a best pillow just for you.

See, when you’re ready to shop for a pillow, think about all aspects of your lifestyle: What’s your favorite sleep position? Do you have allergies? Do you care about organic products? More than your wallet?

No matter how you answered the above questions, there is a perfect pillow for you—and we found it.


If you sleep on your side, you’re in the wide majority of sleepers, which means that finding a perfect pillow is no problem. We like the shredded memory foam pillow from Xtreme Comforts. It boasts support for both back and side sleepers. Another bonus: The pillow’s cover is made partly from bamboo, which keeps you cool.

Best Pillow For Side Sleepers

Maybe you don’t like the feel (or heat problems) of memory foam. No problem. But do you like the feel (but not the price) of down? Try the Premier Down-Like Personal Choice Density Pillow. Down is known for its moderate shapeability, and so is this down-like filling.  For people who find themselves replacing pillows yearly, this model also stands out for its durability. We also recommend this pillow for people on a very tight budget. 

Best Pillow For Back Sleepers

Here’s why: Stomach sleepers should seek out an extremely flat pillow to avoid risks of neck injury or aches. If you like memory foam, and sleeping face-down, you’ll love Xtreme Comforts’ SlimSleeper Shredded Memory Foam Pillow With Bamboo Cover. It’s got the low profile that stomach sleepers need, and its 43-percent bamboo cover will help keep the pillow cool.

Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

Maybe you run hot. If you like latex (and we hope you do), try the Nest Bedding Easy Breather Natural Pillow, which promises a cool night’s sleep, thanks to a shell made of cooling cotton and a mesh stripe that lets heat escape out of the sides. It’s also filled with Oeko Tex certified natural latex noodles, which give this pillow shape, moldability and serious fluff--not to mention a chemical structure that allows the pillow to dissipate heat much more efficiently than foam, down or cotton.

Best Pillow For Keeping Cool

This is widely considered to be the best down-like product on the market. Parachute’s hypoallergenic pillows use a microfiber that’s a lot like down, but without all the sneezing. For a shell, you’ll get a 100 percent cotton sateen.

Purity is a big with these folks: Parachute products are Oeko-Tex-certified, meaning they’re free of skin-irritating chemicals often used to process linens and fibers. Heads up, though: This pillow is so popular it’s often out of stock. Best get on the waitlist now.

Best Pillow For Allergy Sufferers

Here’s why: Love the environment? Of course you do. And these days, it’s easy to find a pillow that loves the Earth, too. Consider indulging in a Holy Lamb Organics product, which is stuffed with wool and covered in soft, cool organic cotton. This is also a great option for people who love a malleable pillow they can shape to perfection...or for people who get a little too sweaty at night; after all, wool wicks away moisture.

Yes, you can machine-wash this pillow, and even put it in the dryer. We recommend this option for side and back sleepers, or pull out a bit of the stuffing (yep, that’s an option) if you’re a stomach sleeper.

Best Pillow Made With Organic Materials

If you’re a fan of this Venice, Calif., company’s sumptuous down comforters (if so, hey, you’ve got a LOT of company) then you will recognize the same loft and cloudlike feel that’s found in Parachute down comforters.

This pillow also has a lightweight feel for a down-filled product. And this is a high-quality down, too, meaning you won’t see feathers poking through the sateen cover.

In case you’re wondering, you can put this pillow in the washing machine. But take note: Parachute pillows are popular for a reason: Be prepared join a waitlist.

Best Down Pillow For Side And Back Sleepers

This Canadian-made pillow pulls out all the stops: High-quality down, purity-tested components, hypoallergenic properties, and an Egyptian cotton shell with a whopping 500 thread count. And anyone who’s ever slept on high-thread-count material knows that it’s very, very tough to go back to cheap sheets after that. Plus, it’s the perfect profile for a stomach sleeper.

Best Down Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

Maybe you just can’t sit still, even in bed. That’s OK. The ComfySleep Buckwheat Pillow is built for shifty types (no offense). Inside that pillow are real buckwheat hulls, which, despite their relatively hard-ish texture, have a remarkable malleability similar to down; buckwheat hulls are said to be ideal for keeping a pillow fresh and plump, no matter how much you shift and move and rustle around. You can also remove some of the stuffing if you sleep on your stomach.

Best Pillow For People Who Shift Positions

Many back-pain sufferers swear by these firm-density pillows, pointing out that this buoyant filling means that you’ll never have to fluff your pillow again. The pillow’s outer zone gives the neck extra support, while the middle zone lets the head fall a bit, keeping the head at a natural angle. This pillow comes in different profiles and densities, but start with the low-profile, firm version.

Best Pillow For Back Pain

How about an adjustable pillow that lets you add or remove foam until you have the perfect pillow…at least, until you change your mind. Many pillows let you remove some of the filling to create the perfect shape and density. But Coop Home Goods does that right here in the United States, and with memory foam, which keeps the price lower than many down-filled competitors. Given its versatility, this pillow can be customized for any type of sleep position.

Best Pillow For People Who Can’t Make Up Their Minds