Pillow Reviews & Accessories
We have posted dozens upon dozens of mattress reviews, but your pillow, bed frame, sheets, and other bedding accessories are important as well. In fact, switching out any one of these accessories might actually be the first step you should take in overhauling your sleep game. They can be more affordable than a new bed and yet still affect things like your posture, comfort, sleeping temperature, and more.
You probably knew this, but not all pillows are created equal. And that’s especially true for different sleeping positions. In this section, you’ll find reviews of pillows for side, back, stomach, and combination sleepers. Even more, we have posted reviews of several different styles of pillows, including memory foam pillows, down pillows, cooling pillows, and more. And these aren’t no-name brands—we’ve covered some of the most popular pillows from Purple, Tempur-Pedic, Leesa, and others.
For Side Sleepers
You probably knew this, but not all pillows are created equal. And that’s especially true for different sleeping positions. Side sleepers will tend to prefer a pillow with a decent amount of loft. You’re probably looking for something in 2-4” range when compressed. Any taller or thinner and you’ll likely get neck pain. You really want to keep your neck in proper alignment with your spine.
For Back Sleepers
Similar to side sleepers, back sleepers can usually get away with a pillow that has a bit more loft to it. You’ll probably be looking for something in the 1-4” range when compressed. Even better is a mattress that’s specifically designed to keep the natural C curvature of your neck. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re sleeping on your back, you want to face upward, not forward.
For Stomach Sleepers
If you’re a strict stomach sleeper, you’re probably more fickle when it comes to a pillow. You really want something with minimal loft (0.5 - 2.5” compressed). Stomach sleep is already not ideal for spinal alignment and you don’t want to make it worse with a pillow that has a lot of loft.
This is a relatively new category, but we’re seeing more and more pillows that incorporate materials to active cool you down. For example, the Sealy Chill Pillow and Leesa Hybrid Pillow both have a gel slab that is cool-to-the-touch and will indeed cool you down. Other pillows though, like the Helix Cool Pillow and Bear Pillow use a special textile in the fabric of their respective covers to cool you down. All this is to say that if you sleep especially warm at night, you may consider a cooling pillow.
Different Pillow Materials
The loft is clearly important with a pillow, but the material make is key as well. However, this has more to do with preference than anything. Some pillows are foam slabs, down, foam shreds, etc. Foam slabs tend to be slightly less adjustable since you’re dealing with a chuck of material. Foam shreds and down tend to allow for maximum pressure dispersal because the material can be compressed but also shifted side to side. Again, this all comes down to personal preference, but you may consider trying a few types of pillows before making a final decision.
Bed Frame Reviews
It’s key to select the right bed frame, not only because getting the wrong frame can void your mattress warranty, but also because it actually plays a role in helping you achieve restful sleep. At the bare minimum, you should be looking for a solid, squeak-free bed frame that’s compatible with your mattress. We recommend reading the warranty section for your mattress, but often times brands will mandate that your bed frame have a certain number of support legs and slats, alongside having little to no give.
Bed Frame Guide
The “right” bed frame largely depends on your mattress. For example, you might want an adjustable frame, but if you’re bed isn’t compatible with one, you’re sort of out of luck. With that said, there are numerous types of bed frames and foundations.
Most Popular Online
The most popular, at least online, seem to be the metal platform bed frames that typically sell for under $100 on Amazon. These are affordable, easy to setup and tear down, lightweight, sturdy, and mostly squeak-free. There are plenty of brands—including AmazonBasics, and Zinus—that make these types of bed frames. These are not to be confused with your traditional metal bed frame, which require a foundation or box spring in order to support a mattress.
Then you have platform beds with wood slats. These take a little more time to assemble, but not usually more than 30 minutes. The advantage here is that the frames with wood slats typically have a headboard and generally look more premium.
When To Use Or Not
Foundations and box springs are typically used when your frame has rails but no slats. Box springs are frequently confused with foundations, but are in fact different in that traditional box springs have actual springs inside and foundations do not. Nowadays, if you mention the term box spring, most people know that you’re referring to a foundation, which are usually solid wood foundations wrapped in cloth.
More Expensive, More Features
As for adjustable bed frames, they are the least popular support system, mostly because they’re more expensive, but also because they’re heavier, harder to move, and aren’t compatible with all mattresses. That said, they’re the pinnacle in terms of home comfort, and a lot of modern beds—including Bear, Saatva, and Yogabed—are compatible with adjustable frames. These frames allow you to adjust the angle in which you lay to make it more comfortable for sleeping, TV watching, reading, etc.
Sheets, Blankets & Duvets
They might not be your favorite items to splurge on, but sheets, blankets, and duvets are an easy way to upgrade your sleep environment. And, in comparison to a brand new mattress or even a bed frame, they are relatively low cost, yet still make a big difference in helping you achieve more restful sleep. In this section, we have reviews of products from Purple, Brooklyn Bedding, Serta, and others.
With sheets, blankets, and duvets, there is no hard and fast rule to follow. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and budget. For sheets, as long as they’re soft and you’re not allergic to the material, you’re good to go most of the time. As Colin Cowherd likes to say, “Don’t outthink the room.” Yes, sheets from Boll & Branch are wonderful, but they also cost nearly 10x what some sheets from big box retailers cost. Keep it simple, but get something nice.
As for blankets, don’t spend an arm and a leg on them. You can get blankets at Walmart for under $10, so unless you’re especially intrigued by one particular blanket (or you just don’t know what to do with your money), don’t splurge on blankets. That said, we’ve tested some really nice blankets that might actually be worth splurging on.
Mattress Toppers & Pads
Fixing your mattress might not be as expensive as you thought. Instead of replacing your entire bed, throwing on a mattress topper can be an affordable way to get a few more years out of your existing bed. This is a great solution for college students and anyone that’s watching their wallet at the moment. In this section we review some of the most popular mattress toppers from brands.
Mattress Topper Guide
As mentioned previously, mattress toppers can be an affordable way to get a few extra years out of your current mattress. They come in all shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, but the most popular are memory foam and polyurethane foam pads.
Zinus, Lucid, and Tuft & Needle all sell mattress toppers on Amazon in varying heights. Linenspa also makes a few mattress topper options. You will usually see a topper be between 2” and 4” in height. The thickness of the topper will determine what the topper feels like (i.e. more or less memory foam feel).
You should be looking for a topper that’s nice, but that’s moderate in terms of price since there are a lot of cheap mattresses that aren’t much more than $250. In other words, for the price of some of these mattress toppers, you can almost buy a brand new (albeit cheap) mattress on Amazon.
From time to time we get our hands on products that are still relevant to sleep, but don’t necessarily fit into one of the categories above. Think of this section as the catchall for anything and everything that our editorial team wanted to write about. We’ve covered essential oils, white noise machines, sleep supplements, and more.