Our team has tested most of the popular pillows out there and created this list based on what we think is important for consumers. You might notice that we don’t rank our list, but rather point out categories for which the pillows are best suited. We do this because we recognize that the best pillow for side sleepers, for example, is likely different than what it would be for stomach sleepers. Knowing that, let’s take a look at the best pillows:
Best Cooling Pillow –Purple Harmony Pillow
Best Down Pillow –Casper Down Pillow
Best Value Pillow –Tuft Needle Pillow
Best Adjustable Firmness PIllow –Layla Kapok Pillow
Best Hypoallergenic Pillow –Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow
Best Memory Foam Pillow –TempurPedic Breeze Cooling Pillow
As you can see, we tried to keep our list to a minimum, but we do have a page that shows all of our pillows reviews if you want to explore other options.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see our list and read a brief overview of each of our selections, let’s go through a deep dive on each pillow. Keep in mind that we do have individual reviews of them available as well. You can see those by using our search bar or going to our “Pillow Reviews” archive page.
Purple Harmony Pillow – Best Cooling Pillow
While the Original Purple Pillow remains one of the most popular pillows online, Purple Harmony is our favorite. It’s still a great pillow for hot sleepers, but it offers a fluffier, softer feel to it. Not only that, but Purple Harmony comes in two lofts (Standard – 6.5” and Tall – 7.5”) so you have more options to get the right fit for you.
That’s all well and good, but what does this pillow actually feel like? Well, it’s really interesting and quite comfortable. The first thing that you’ll notice is that it’s unlike any other pillow you’ve tried in the past.
It has a core of Talalay latex foam, giving it a fluffy, bouncy feel—this also helps with airflow. Wrapping the latex foam core entirely is a thin layer of the “Purple Hex Grid” which is a bit like the company’s famous Hyper-Elastic Polymer material on the Purple Mattress, and other products.
Casper Down Pillow – Best Down Pillow
Casper makes several pillows, all of which are quite nice. However, if you want a more traditional down-like feel, you have two options: the Casper Down Pillow and Casper Original Pillow. Both of these have a fluffy feel and are really comfy to lay your head on.
When you use the pillows it’s almost as if you’re sleeping at a luxurious hotel with their big fluffy pillows. In fact, the pillows even have a multi-chamber design with a more solid inner core and cushiony, plush outer section.
While these aren’t the most affordable pillows out there, they do come with free shipping and free returns, and we’re pretty confident that you’ll end up liking them if you prefer the more traditional feel of a feather pillow.
Tuft and Needle – Best Value Pillow
For those of you looking for a foam pillow, Tuft & Needle undoubtedly makes one of the best. It’s a fairly simple pillow, but it sure is comfortable. The pillow consists of two elements: a foam core and soft, smooth cover.
Interestingly, the pillow uses the company’s T&N Adaptive foam that you’ll see on the Tuft & Needle Mattress. This foam has a light and airy feel to it, not to mention it’s breathable and responsive. The Tuft and Needle Pillow is a suitable option for hot sleepers, but more than anything we think it’s a universally comfortable pillow that most people will enjoy, so long as they want a foam pillow.
Layla Kopak Pillow – Best Adjustable Firmness Pillow
Anyone that’s looking for an adjustable pillow should at least consider the Layla Kapok Pillow. This is a shredded memory foam pillow that comes in two sizes (queen and king) and features a fully adjustable design. It’s not quite as high tech as it sounds (more in our full review), but it does ensure that nearly everyone can find the right loft with the Layla Kapok Pillow.
That’s all great, but let’s get into the feel of the pillow. It’s filled with shredded memory foam, so it has a fluffy, cuddly feel that’s uber comfortable; it’s the type of pillow that you want to snuggle into.
Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex – Best Hypoallergenic
If you’ve never tried a latex foam pillow before, you have to at least test one out sometime. We can’t guarantee that you’ll like them, but there’s a good chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Our favorite latex pillow, as of now, is the Brooklyn Bedding Talalay Latex Pillow, which is made with natural and organic materials. For starters, the Talalay latex is derived from the sap of a rubber tree and is responsive, breathable, and naturally hypoallergenic. On top of that (literally), is a plush cover made of organic cotton.
All in all, the pillow has a fluffy and responsive feel, which we find to be tremendously comfortable and unique. The pillow also comes with a 30-day trial period and free returns just in case it’s a little too unique, but we doubt that will be the case so long as you know what to expect.
TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Pillow – Best Memory Foam Pillow
For hot sleepers who love memory foam, allow us to introduce you to the TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze pillow from TempurPedic. This pillow sure isn’t cheap, but it works as advertised in terms of being a great cooling pillow.
This is a memory foam pillow with gel cooling strips on top and bottom, ensuring that both sides are cool-to-the-touch. If you want a comfortable memory foam pillow with maximum cooling elements, that is indeed the TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze pillow. The one thing we should add is that you may want to test this particular pillow in-person, or know for sure that you want it, since it does not come with free returns.
Buying A Pillow Online
Most mattresses that you buy online nowadays come with free shipping and returns, so it makes sense for pillows to be similar. And that is indeed the case. The majority of bedding brands will offer completely free shipping and returns with their pillows. In rare instances you will see free shipping and no return option, but most brands do offer a free prepaid label for returns if you aren’t completely satisfied with your purchase.
As for trial periods and warranties, these are all over the board. Some brands will offer 100 night trial periods, while others think that 30 nights is plenty (and we can’t really argue with them). Similarly, you will see warranties for as little as 30 days and as long as five years.
We aren’t aware of many people making warranty claims with their pillows, but just keep in mind that the warranty length will change from brand to brand, and even product to product.
Different Pillow Materials
Before you run out and buy a brand new fancy (or cheap) pillow, it’s important to understand which materials you prefer. In other words, do you like memory foam or neutral foam or maybe a more traditional down-like feel? If you aren’t totally certain what you like, we’d recommend making sure that any pillow you purchase comes with free returns so you’re not out anything if you try a new type of pillow and don’t like it. With all of that in mind, generally speaking, we see four different types of pillows.
The most common, and most traditional, type of pillow is one that has down or feathers. These pillows typically have a fluffy feel and do require a little maintenance over time to make sure they retain their loft. Usually they’re fully machine washable as well.
Typically you will see either neutral foam (aka polyurethane foam) or memory foam. An example of a neutral foam pillow is the Leesa Pillow, which is soft, comfy, and responsive and is made entirely of one slab of foam. As for memory foam pillows, a good example is the Ghost Pillow, which is soft, but has the conforming, sink-in feeling that typically comes with memory foam.
A less common form of foam pillow is latex foam. This is generally a naturally-derived material that has an open-cell construction. The net result is a responsive, soft pillow that offers a good deal of airflow. In fact, latex pillows tend to be good options for hot sleepers.
This is a bit of a catch-all category since it could encompass anything from shredded foams (like you see with MyPillow) to down alternatives (like you see in the Helix Pillow). The main advantages of pillows with shredded foams or fibers is that they are typically adjustable (simply remove some of the filling) and highly conforming. In other words, people tend to really like these types of pillows because they are versatile.