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Best pillow 2024 – tried and tested for every sleepy head

Ranked and reviewed by our sleep editor, these are the best pillows for deeper sleep free from aches and pains

Some of the best pillows from Boll & Branch on a bed.
(Image credit: Boll & Branch)
Best pillow 2024: Jump Menu

The Emma Foam Pillow against a white wall.

(Image credit: Emma)

1. Best overall: The Marlow Pillow
2. Best cooling: Sleep Number True Temp
3. Best down: Brooklinen Down Pillow
4. Best memory foam: The Lagoon Fox Pillow
5. Best for back pain: Purple Harmony Pillow
6. Best down alternative: Saatva Latex Pillow
7. How we test
8. Meet the team
9. FAQs

If you ask a handful of people what makes the best pillow, they'll give you radically different answers, depending on their sleep style. I sleep on my stomach, so I prefer a softer pillow that flattens beneath my head and saves my neck from straining. My dad lies on his side, and he can't sleep without a firmer, thicker pillow to cushion his neck and shoulders. If we swapped pillows for the night, we wouldn't sleep a wink, but we've managed to find the best pillow that meets our needs. 

Once you've established the firmness and feel of your ideal pillow, it's time to choose the filling. There are down pillows, stuffed with real duck and goose feathers, as well as down alternative options, ranging from high-density memory foam to natural latex. With so many choices to make, it can be difficult to know where to start.

That's where I come in. As H&G's resident sleep writer, I've developed a series of pillow buying rules to help you find the right fit. I know all the best places to buy pillows and I've scoured the sites of the specialist sleep stores to bring you the best pillows for every style of sleeper and size of budget. 

Many of these pillows are tried and trusted by one of our expert product testers. Where we haven't been able to get our hands on a pillow, we've scoured the specifications and read countless customer reviews to ensure we're recommending premium pillows. If you want to learn how to sleep better, I suggest you take a look.

Best pillow deals

To get the lowest price on the best pillow, I recommend reading the whole article. If you're in a rush, and you just want to get shopping already, you might want to take advantage of these deep discounts. 

Nappler Cooling Pillow | Was $38.99, now $31.10 at Amazon

Nappler Cooling Pillow | <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=107655&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fdp%2FB0BJ8VMQLG%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Was $38.99, now $31.10 at Amazon
Calling all hot sleepers: the Nappler Cooling Pillow makes it feel like you're always sleeping on the fresh side of the bed. This pillow is totally adjustable, so you can set it to the ideal feel and firmness for front, back, and side sleepers alike. 

Luxury Cloud Bed Pillows | Was $64.99, now $44.99 at Amazon

Luxury Cloud Bed Pillows | <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=107655&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fdp%2FB0CD24YZHS%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Was $64.99, now $44.99 at Amazon
When you shop the Amazon Big Spring Sale, you get two luxury pillows for just over $20 per piece. These pillows are filled with down alternative, so they're suitable for vegan shoppers and sensitive sleepers alike.

The quick list

If you've already got a particular pillow in mind, you can skip straight to that section using our jump menu. If you'd prefer to take stock of your options, browse the best pillows below. 

Best pillows 2024: tried and tested

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best pillow overall

Two Marlow Pillows stacked on top of each other against a white background.H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Marlow)
Adjustable comfort to suit every style of sleeper

Specifications

Size: Standard, King
Fill: Chopped gel memory foam
Firmness: Adjustable
Cover : 100% cotton sateen

Reasons to buy

+
Totally adjustable
+
Naturally cooling
+
Minimizes mess

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks the loft of real down
-
Takes a little trial and error

Perhaps you're on the hunt for the best pillow to suit all sorts of sleepers, so that you can stick it in your guest bedroom and help your friends and family sleep comfortably. If so, you need an adjustable pillow, and The Marlow Pillow is the best of the best. 

The idea of an adjustable pillow is that you can alter it to your exact sleep specifications. Some brands use a series of pillow inserts or heaped handfuls of fluff, which you can remove and replace until your pillow reaches your desired height. The problem with these methods is that they're a little messy. You'd need to find somewhere to store whichever inserts you aren't using and take care not to spread your fluff all over the floor. 

Instead, the Marlow Pillow incorporates an intuitive design to maximize comfort and minimize mess. There are two zippers: one at the top and one at the bottom of the pillow. All you need to do is open and close the zippers, letting air in and out until you reach your optimal firmness and feel. 

Good news for hot sleepers: The Marlow Pillow is filled with gel-infused memory foam to dissipate heat and wick moisture. If you don't like the feel of memory foam, or you prefer to purchase natural products, I'd encourage you to consider real down or a latex alternative, instead. 

You can find more detail in our Marlow Pillow review.

The best cooling pillow

True Temp Pillows stacked on top of each other against a white background.H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Sleep Number)

2. Sleep Number True Temp Pillow

Thermoregulating to keep you just the right side of cool and comfortable

Specifications

Size : Standard, King
Shape: Classic, Contour, Ultimate
Firmness: Medium Plush
Filling: Polyurethane Foam
Cover type: Polyester/ Spandex

Reasons to buy

+
Custom shapes to suit all sleepers
+
Thermoregulating
+
Hypoallergenic

Reasons to avoid

-
A little too thick for stomach sleepers
-
On the more expensive side

This thermoregulating pillow comes in three distinct shapes to support all sleep positions. First, there's the Classic: rectangular, with tapered corners, like almost every other pillow on the market. Then, there's the Contour, which dips a little in the middle: I'd recommend this design for back sleepers and anybody else who wants to support the nape of their neck while maintaining the natural alignment of the spine. 

Last, but by no means least, is the Sleep Number True Temp Ultimate Pillow. This is the model that our expert tester, Jaclyn, sampled a few years back, and she still raves about it. The Ultimate Pillow contains three foam inserts, which you can remove and replace to achieve specialized support. Just make sure you find somewhere to store whichever inserts you aren't using. 

The Sleep Number True Temp Pillow is designed to support all sleep styles and all sleep temperatures, too. You know what I mean: if you suffer from night sweats and hot flashes, or you simply tend to run a little warm, you're a hot sleeper. If you tend to wake up in a cold sweat, or you live in a cooler climate, then you're a cold sleeper. 

This pillow incorporates thermoregulating technology to maintain your body temperature at 99.5°F: not too hot, not too cold, but just right. It's wrapped in a unique blend of spandex and polyester, designed to stay cool to the touch so that you always feel like you're sleeping on the fresh side of the bed. That's why it's one of the best cooling pillows on the market.

The best down pillow

Brooklinen Down Pillow against a white background.H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Brooklinen)
Soft yet supportive, with plenty of natural loft

Specifications

Sizes: Standard, King
Firmness: Plush, Mid-Plush, Firm
Filling: Responsibly sourced down
Cover type: 100% organic cotton

Reasons to buy

+
Custom comfort
+
Responsibly sourced down 
+
Plenty of natural loft

Reasons to avoid

-
Gets more expensive the firmer you go
-
Needs regular fluffing

For plush comfort, there's nothing like real down. The Brooklinen Down Pillow is filled with fluffy clusters of duck down and features lots of little air pockets with retain heat and maintain loft. I'd recommend a down pillow for anyone who wants a beautiful bedspread, though hot sleepers might want to steer clear. 

Inferior down pillows are filled with feathers, whose sharp little shafts can poke through the pillowcase and scratch your skin. Not to worry: the Brooklinen Down Pillow uses clusters of duck down, incorporating all the fluff and leaving the filaments behind.

The Brooklinen Down Pillow comes in three styles to suit every sleeper. I tested the Mid-Plush Pillow, and I'd say it's suitable for just about everybody: it's the best bet for your guest bedroom. If you prefer a more supportive surface, you might want to go for the Firm Pillow. For a super-soft pillow, try the Plush. 

If you're an animal lover, you might be asking yourself: are down pillows ethical? I can confirm that the duck feathers in the Brooklinen Down Pillow are responsibly sourced and certified by DOWNMARK, the seal of approval issued by the Down Association of Canada. If you prefer to purchase vegan products, though, you'll be better off with a down alternative pillow. 

You can find more detail in our Brooklinen Down Pillow review.