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The Best Bed Pillows for Nightly Use

Bed pillows are basically necessary for sleeping on a bed, mattress, futon, or just about any other surface. They’re designed to give support and comfort to the body as you sleep, specifically the head, neck, and, in some cases, shoulders. They make sure your neck is in line with the rest of your body while you’re resting. This helps improve your posture by keeping your spine in a neutral position. Depending on your sleeping position, a bed pillow may help to prevent neck pain or pressure since sleeping on a pillow keeps your neck from overextending as you sleep overnight. It’s almost certainly beneficial to always sleep with a bed pillow, whether you’re settling in for the night or laying down for a quick nap. If you’re looking to buy a new bed pillow, here are a few we recommend.

What to Consider in Bed Pillows

Here are a few things to think about before buying a bed pillow:

  • Filling: Almost all bed pillows will be stuffed with one of the following materials: feathers or down (or a combination), synthetic fabric, memory foam, or regular foam. Feathers and down are durable as well as incredibly soft and comfortable, but they can cause symptoms in people with allergies. Synthetic fillings, usually polyester, are hypoallergenic and machine washable, but they have shorter life spans and offer the least amount of head and neck support. Memory foam is also generally hypoallergenic, is nice and dense, and offers extra support since it molds to the shape of your head and neck. However, it can run quite pricey. Foam pillows, which can be one solid piece of foam or come in chunks, offer many of the same benefits as memory foam for a less expensive price tag. They may not mold as well as memory foam, however, so they don’t always offer quite the same level of support.
  • Size: When it comes to a bed pillow that you sleep on every night, there are three main sizes from which to choose: standard, queen, and king pillows. Standard pillows are 20 by 26 inches, queen pillows are 20 by 30 inches, and king pillows are 20 by 36 inches. Generally, you’ll want to buy a pillow that aligns with the size of your mattress, i.e., if you own a queen-sized mattress, you should aim for a queen-sized bed pillow. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. If you prefer smaller pillows but own a king-sized mattress, for example, you can always buy three standard-sized pillows instead of one king-sized pillow. Also keep in mind that if you often have muscle or joint pains or are pregnant, you may want to spring for the extra support of a king-sized pillow regardless of the size of your bed.
  • Thickness: Some pillows are thick and firm, some are flat and soft, and some run between the two. The type you buy can be dependent on your personal preferences or the level of support you need. You may also want to pick your pillow’s thickness depending on your sleeping position. Medium thickness is best for back sleepers, flatter and softer pillows are best for stomach sleepers, while pillows with a lot of support, height, and firmness are ideal for side sleepers. Some pillows have a zipper side closure that allows you to remove or adjust the filling, so you can fine-tune the thickness to suit your needs or preferences.

Top Choice: Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows

This pair of bed pillows have just about every property or feature you might need in your nightly pillow. Made of 100% cotton and filled with gel fibers, these two pillows are luxuriously plush and tailored to suit side, back, and stomach sleepers alike. They’re also designed with no-shift construction to ensure that they retain their shape, plushness, and comfortable feel, even with regular use over a long period of time. The cotton fabric is breathable and cooling, ideal for anyone who tends to run hot as they sleep. Both pillows are anti-fading and anti-staining for increased durability and longer-lasting use. They’re also resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew and are hypoallergenic and chemical-free. If you have sensitive skin, allergies, or respiratory issues, these pillows won’t cause any negative reactions. They’re also machine washable for your convenience. Choose between queen- and king-sized pillows.

Top Choice

Best Premium: Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow

Memory foam is a material widely associated with comfort, adjustability, and conformity. If you want a memory foam bed pillow to bring those benefits to your nightly sleep, look no further. This pillow is full of shredded memory foam and has a zipper along the side that allows you to remove or add filling at your leisure so that you can size and shape the pillow to suit your unique needs and preferences. No matter if you’re a back, stomach, or side sleeper, you can adjust it to offer the right level of support and comfort. This pillow comes with an extra half-pound of memory foam to give you even greater adjustability and make it extra thick and plush if desired. The cover is stretchy to accommodate the expanding or decreasing size and is made of a premium poly-bamboo rayon blend that is both soft and breathable. It’s also machine washable. The entire pillow is free of toxins and chemicals, hypoallergenic, and resistant to dust mites for your safety. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, so you can sleep on the pillow knowing that no animals were harmed during its making. King- and queen-sized options are available.

Best for Side Sleepers: Utopia Bedding Gusseted Pillows

If you sleep on your sides or are trying to train yourself to do so, these bed pillows are a good option for you. Available in a king or queen size, both these pillows are soft and fluffy but not flat, comfortable, and supportive for side sleepers. However, these pillows are also versatile enough that they will suit back and stomach sleepers as well. The filing is made of extra-fluffy, high-quality polyester fibers for maximum comfort and breathability, adjustable into whatever shape or thickness best suits your needs. The poly-cotton fabric cover is double stitched with corded edges for more durability. The covers are white, with side piping available in six different color options for a subtle but stylish look.

Best for Side Sleepers

Utopia Bedding Gusseted Pillow (2-Pack) Premium Quality Bed Pillows - Side Back Sleepers - Grey Gusset - Queen - 18 x 26 Inches

A highly versatile pair of pillows that is great for side sleepers, though plenty supportive for stomach and back sleepers too.

Most Size Options: SORMAG Bed Pillows for Sleeping

Whether you’re looking for a standard-sized, queen-sized, or king-sized bed pillow, this plush, quilted option is available in all three sizes. Regardless of which size you buy, this pillow is filled with imported, premium poly-gel fibers with a five-second rebound that remains fluffy and supportive even over long-term usage. The quilted cover is made of 100% Egyptian cotton for a crisp look. The entire pillow is machine washable for your convenience and won’t lose its fluffiness even after multiple washes. The pillow is ergonomically designed to balance your head, neck, and shoulder, creating a three-point curve that will perfectly support your entire spine to help promote better sleep.

Most Size Options
Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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