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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 | 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 | 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.

The best memory foam pillow

The Fox Pillow against a blue background.H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Lagoon)
Molds to the shape of your head for custom comfort

Specifications

Sizes: Standard, King
Firmness : Adjustable
Filling: Shredded memory foam and microfiber
Cover type: Bamboo-derived viscose rayon and polyester

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable
+
100-night sleep trial
+
Foam is CertiPUR-US certified

Reasons to avoid

-
On the more expensive side
-
Too firm for some sleepers

It couldn't be easier to alter the look and feel of The Fox Pillow. With their intuitive zipper design, Lagoon grants you instant access to all that shredded memory foam. From there, you can remove and replace handfuls of foam until you find your best fit. Just make sure to keep a bag on hand to store the surplus fluff. 

Like all the best memory foam pillows, The Fox Pillow is made to mold to the shape of your head to cushion your neck and shoulders. I'd recommend it for back and side sleepers, in particular. As soon as you remove the weight of your head, The Fox Pillow should spring right back into shape. You won't get those ugly indentations, the way you do with down pillows.

For a memory foam model, The Fox Pillow is highly breathable. It comes wrapped in a bamboo blend cover to enhance breathability, keeping you cool and comfortable all night long.

You might be tempted by the look of this pillow, but put off by the practicalities: after all, can you even wash memory foam pillows? The answer is 'yes', as long as you're careful about it. Make sure to avoid the washing machine and stick to spot cleaning to protect and preserve your fill.

You can find more detail in our Lagoon Fox Pillow review.

The Fox Pillow | $119.99 at Lagoon

The Fox Pillow | $119.99 at Lagoon
Sure, this pillow is on the more expensive side, but you get what you pay for: custom comfort to alleviate your aches and pains.

The best pillow for back pain

A Purple Harmony PillowH&G gold badge

(Image credit: Purple)

5. Purple Harmony Pillow

This supportive pillow could change the game for sleepers with chronic pain

Specifications

Sizes: Standard, King
Firmness: Medium
Filling: Talalay latex
Cover type: Stretch knit

Reasons to buy

+
Custom comfort
+
Relieves pain and pressure
+
100-night sleep trial

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty expensive

The Purple Harmony Pillow is designed to alleviate aches and pains. Filled with Talalay Latex for supportive squish and reinforced with a GelFlex Grid to enhance cooling, I'd recommend the Purple Harmony Pillow to anyone who suffers from back or neck pain. 

So far, we've seen pillows with custom comfort levels, ranging from super-soft to highly supportive. The bad news is that the Purple Harmony Pillow only comes in Medium: the good news is that Medium should suit a wide array of sleep styles.

Although you can't alter the feel of your pillow, you can choose the height. I'd recommend the Low Pillow for front and back sleepers, as well as anyone with a smaller frame. The Medium Pillow is more suitable for side sleepers, while the Tall Pillow gives a little extra lift for sleepers with larger frames. 

There's no escaping the fact that the Purple Harmony Pillow is seriously expensive. We're talking almost $200 for a Standard. If you can afford it, and you're keen to ease your aches and pains, then you might be able to justify the price. If you're buying on a budget, you might be better off at Marlow. 

The best down alternative pillow

Saatva Latex Pillow against a white background.H&G gold badge

(Image credit: Saatva)

6. Saatva Latex Pillow

Sustainable support from shredded natural latex

Specifications

Sizes: Standard, King
Firmness : Medium-firm
Filling: Microdenier fiber, Talalay latex
Cover type: Removable 100% organic cotton

Reasons to buy

+
Suitable for vegan shoppers
+
Mildew and dust mite-resistant
+
Cooling cotton cover

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive 
-
Too dense for some

It's hard enough to find a premium pillow that meets your sleep needs. When you narrow the search to vegan products, it becomes almost impossible. Key word: almost. The Saatva Latex Pillow offers hotel-quality comfort at home and it's suitable for vegan sleepers and eco-conscious shoppers alike. 

The Saatva Latex Pillow is filled with shredded natural latex, which works a lot like memory foam to mold to the shape of your head, neck, and shoulders. That's why it comes highly recommended by chiropractors and orthopedists. 

Unlike memory foam, natural latex is eco-friendly and suitable for hot sleepers. It's also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial to resist the growth of dust mites and mildew. 

The Saatva Latex Pillow comes in two heights: Standard Loft, which is roughly five inches tall, and High Loft, which goes up to seven inches. I'd recommend the Standard Saatva for back and stomach sleepers, and the High Loft for anyone who prefers a plusher pillow. Neither comes cheap, but both are near-perfect pillows.