We have affiliate relationships where we are paid a commission on sales through some of our links. See our disclosures.

Best Pillows 2020 Guide

Let me start by congratulating you for embarking on a quest to find the perfect pillow. With so many options out there, pillow-shopping can get pretty overwhelming, and it might be tempting to just keep snoozing with the same ones you’ve had since high school (we’ve all been there, trust me). But why settle for less when you can sleep with the pillow that’s best for you?

Well, settle in, folks, because I’m about to take you through my Best Pillows of 2020 review! That’s right — I hand-picked nine pillows that appeal to a wide variety of sleep styles, temperature preferences, and budgets so that everyone can find their perfect match. Plus, I’ll fill you in on my personal methodology behind choosing the right pillow. Let’s get started!

Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
Layla Pillow
Layla Pillow
Layla Pillow

A copper infusion in the cover helps to make the Layla pillow ultra cool and comfortable. 

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers
Casper Foam Pillow
Casper Foam Pillow
Casper Foam Pillow

The Casper Foam Pillow sleeps cool and has the balanced support that's great for back and side sleepers!

Doesn't expire

Best Cooling Pillow
Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow

With a phase change cover, the Bear pillow is best for back sleepers who run hot. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save 20% on your purchase!

Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review

Hot sleepers that are tired of flipping the pillow looking for the cool side will love the Brooklyn Luxury Cooling Pillow! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS10 to take 10% off your order!

Best Down Pillow
Brooklinen Pillow
Brooklinen Pillow
Brooklinen Pillow

Brooklinen's Pillow provides plush and fluffy comfort for those interested in ethically sourced down! Enjoy 10% off your order with code SLEEPOPOLIS10!

Best Pillow For Neck Pain
Purple Harmony Pillow
Purple Harmony Pillow
Purple Harmony Pillow

The Purple Harmony is great for any position sleeper and is extremely breathable to help you sleep cool through the night!

Doesn't expire

Best Memory Foam Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

The TEMPUR-Cloud pillow provides the great body contouring memory foam feel that Tempur-Pedic is known for and is a great choice for the back sleepers out there!

Doesn't expire

Best Travel Pillow
TRTL Travel Pillow
TRTL Travel Pillow
TRTL Travel Pillow

The TRTL travel pillow is a unique way to handle the common problem of needing neck support while trying to sleep on planes. Click the button to check current pricing on Amazon.

Doesn't expire

Best Body Pillow
COOP Home Goods Body Pillow
COOP Home Goods Body Pillow
COOP Home Goods Body Pillow

This pillow is perfect for folks who love the feel of memory foam so much, they want to enjoy that support across their whole body. COOP makes this pillow in a standard version as well! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS15 to save 15% on your purchase!

Methodology: How Do I Pick The Right Pillow?

Before we focus on each individual pillow, let’s start from square one: How do you choose the pillow that’s best for your go-to sleeping position?

Well, there’s no rule that assigns one pillow to each position, and sleep is something we all do differently. But regardless of your preferred position, your pillow’s most important job is to support healthy posture by keeping your head, neck and spine in neutral alignment.

“Neutral spine alignment” is a phrase you’ll see a lot in this review, and it basically means that the natural C-curve of your spine is being supported rather than craned into an unsafe position. If you want to know if your spine is in neutral alignment, simply check to see if your ears are in line with your shoulders and your chin is in line with your sternum.

Below, I’m going to briefly break down the main factors to consider when shopping for the pillow that’s perfect for your preferred sleep style. But for even more details, be sure to check out my guide to picking the best pillow for your position.

  • Side Sleeping – Side sleepers are typically most compatible with pillows that offer a firmer feel and a lofty profile. A pillow with a tall loft of 4” or higher serves to hold your head in alignment with your spine, while relieving pressure at the shoulder and hips. Meanwhile, a firmer level of support will prevent your head from gradually sinking down throughout the course of the night.If you want to know more about side sleeping, check out my guide to the best pillows for side sleepers!
  • Back Sleeping – When it comes to firmness and feel, back sleepers should stick to what I call a “happy medium” build. Essentially, this means that the loft and firmness should both have a medium rating in order to promote healthy posture. But back sleepers have a little more room to experiment with loft and firmness, keeping in mind that neutral spine alignment is the name of the game.Of course, if you’re a back sleeper who alternates between different positions, you’ll need a pillow for combination sleepers!
  • Stomach Sleeping – Unlike back sleepers, stomach sleepers have to stick to a hard and fast rule in order to keep neutral spine alignment. If you’re a stomach sleeper, a soft pillow with a low loft is going to support the natural curvature of your spine, and prevent your head/neck from being craned upwards. Because it can be easy to strain your neck in this position, finding a stomach sleeper pillow can be kind of tricky. For a range of options, check out my best pillows for stomach sleepers review.

Once you’ve found the pillow that supports healthy sleeping posture, you’re ready to dive into the exciting details! For example, take some time to decide if you want a pillow that feels silky or fuzzy. Warming or cooling. Traditionally shaped or ergonomic. The world of pillows is vast, and it’s worth it to find that one that’s just right.

Lucky for you, I’ve rounded up the best pillows for sleepers of all styles to help guide you in your search. So without further ado, let’s get into this roundup!

Top 9 Pillows 2020

Best Pillow for Side Sleepers

Trying out the Layla pillow for side sleeping

Layla Pillow

Here we have the Layla Kapok pillow, a big ol’ sleep accessory that’s perfect for broad-shouldered side sleepers. 

Amply stuffed with shredded memory foam and Kapok, this pillow offers a cozy balance between plush and supportive. The shreds of Kapok (which is a natural tree fiber) combine with the memory foam in a way that makes this pillow uniquely fluffy, dense, and moldable. Not to mention, copper threads are infused into the cotton cover fabric in order to draw heat away from your sleeping head! 

But the thing that really stands out, in my opinion, is this pillow’s exceptionally lofty profile. It’s about 7-inches tall, making Layla a very good pick for broad-shouldered side sleepers. It’s high-profile and dense-yet-fluffy feel serve to relieve pressure at the shoulders and align the spine when in the side sleeping position. 

Of course, one of the very handy things about this pillow is that it’s adjustable! So, if you decide that it’s a bit too lofty or firm, simply reach in and manipulate the fill to your liking. As I said, side sleepers might want to enjoy this pillow exactly as it comes, but back and stomach sleepers should feel free to remove as much stuffing as they need to find the right fit.

For more info on this, check out my full Layla pillow review!

Price: $99-$119, with a 120-night trial period and a 5-year warranty.

Perfect For: Side sleepers looking for a fluffy, lofty pillow to alleviate shoulder pain!

Layla Pillow
Layla Pillow
Layla Pillow

A copper infusion in the cover helps to make the Layla pillow ultra cool and comfortable. 

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

The Casper Foam Pillow is great for Back Sleepers

Casper Foam Pillow

Okay, back sleepers, you’re up next. Introducing the Casper Foam Pillow (a.k.a. this mega-popular brand’s first all-foam pillow!). 

The Casper Foam Pillow features a three-layer design that incorporates both high and low-density foams for a cozy, balanced feel. The outer layers are softer and give this pillow a cloud-like comfort, while the inner layer is more firmly supportive. Now, I should note that I enjoyed testing this pillow in the side sleeping position too but, in my opinion, this construction is ideal for back sleeping. 

Essentially, the soft outer layers of foam are meant to cradle the head and neck while the inner layer promotes neutral spine alignment, and prevents the pillow from going flat. Plus, it’s got a medium loft and level of firmness which, as I mentioned up top, is typically best for back sleeping

Hot sleepers might also like to know that the cover fabric is made from a moisture-wicking blend of Spandex and polyester, and each layer of foam inside this pillow is ventilated for optimized breathability. And as a hot sleeper myself, I was pretty impressed by this pillow’s ability to keep me cool. 

Keep in mind, though, that this foam is the brand’s proprietary formula, and it’s designed to offer a light and buoyant feel. So, if you’re looking for that deep sink into memory foam, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you’re someone who loves the comfy feel of foam but wish it didn’t offer such a slow response to pressure, you should definitely take this pillow for a spin or read my full Casper Foam Pillow review to learn more.

Price: $89-$$119 (depending on size) and you get a very generous trial period of 100 nights to test it out!

Perfect For: Back sleepers looking for a cozy all-foam pillow with a balanced feel.

Casper Foam Pillow
Casper Foam Pillow
Casper Foam Pillow

The Casper Foam Pillow sleeps cool and has the balanced support that's great for back and side sleepers!

Best Cooling Pillow

The Bear Pillow has Phase Change Material that helps it sleep cool all night

Bear Pillow

We’ve seen some amazing cooling pillows in this roundup, but if there were a cooling pillow Olympics, Bear Pillow would take home the gold. 

Every part of this pillow’s construction was designed to promote breathability and draw heat away from your sleeping head. The entire pillow is covered in Phase Change Material (that super cooling textile we talked about earlier), so it’s going to feel cool to the touch no matter upon which side you snooze. 

It’s filled with one piece of the brand’s proprietary foam, which offers springy support and a medium level of firmness. Plus, the foam is ventilated to promote better breathability, and prevent it from trapping your body’s heat. But if that’s not cooling enough for you, two mesh panels cap each end of this pillow to really double down on that airflow. 

Keep in mind, though, that this pillow has a lofty profile of about  five inches as well as a medium firm feel, so stomach sleepers may want to steer clear. But if you’re a back or side sleeper looking for one of the coolest pillows I’ve ever tested, I heartily suggest you check my full Bear Pillow review

Price: $99-$115, which is a great value for a cooling pillow like this! 

Perfect For: Back and side sleepers who need extra help keeping cool at night.

Save 20%
Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow
Bear Pillow

With a phase change cover, the Bear pillow is best for back sleepers who run hot. Use code SLEEPOPOLIS to save 20% on your purchase!

Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

The low loft of the Brooklyn Cooling Pillow is perfect for stomach sleepers

Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows Review

Okay, stomach sleepers, this is your moment. I give you the Luxury Cooling Pillow from Brooklyn Bedding. 

Let me start by saying that this pillow is offered in a low-profile and a high-profile option, but I’m picking the low-profile for stomach sleepers. Remember — stomach sleepers need a pillow with a low loft in order to maintain healthy posture and guard against neck pain. That said, this pillow has a loft of about three inches, and compresses further under the weight of your head. Essentially, its low loft and soft feel make sure your head is never craned upward out of alignment with your neck. 

After thoroughly testing this pillow, I think stomach sleepers of all kinds can find their comfort zone here. But if you’re a stomach sleeper who also runs hot, this might be your perfect match. From the phase change cover fabric to the ventilated foam, this pillow was specifically designed to keep sleepers cool. 

For those who are unfamiliar, Phase Change Material is an icy-cool textile that’s become pretty popular in the bedding industry thanks to its ability to dissipate heat. And I can tell you that the first time I laid my head on this pillow, I thought it had been refrigerated. Not to mention, the ventilated foam that fills this pillow is also infused with copper and graphite, both of which serve to draw heat away from the body. 

Keep in mind that this low-profile pillow is meant to keep stomach sleepers in a comfortable position whether they run hot or not. But those prone to night sweats or have a tough time keeping cool should definitely check out my Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow review

Price: $130-$150, which is about average for pillows that feature advanced cooling properties like we see here. 

Perfect For: The stomach sleeper who runs hot!

Take 10% off your order!
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillows

Hot sleepers that are tired of flipping the pillow looking for the cool side will love the Brooklyn Luxury Cooling Pillow! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS10 to take 10% off your order!

Best Down Pillow

Brooklinen makes the Down Pillow of 2020

Brooklinen Pillow

Have you ever spent the night at a fancy hotel and thought, “Man, I wish I could take these fluffy down pillows home with me!” If so, the Brooklinen Natural Down pillow might be right up your alley.

Amply stuffed with Canadian white duck down, the Brooklinen Natural Down pillow offers a luxuriously fluffy feel that’s super huggable. Not to mention, it features a high fill power of 600, which gives it a nice lofty profile of about 5-inches tall. Fill power is the term used to measure the loft (or fluffiness) of a down product, and 600 is on the super fluffy end of the spectrum.

This is a traditionally shaped pillow, which means sleepers should feel free to dress it with a pillowcase if they like. However, the 400 thread count cotton that covers this pillow is so soft you may decide to ditch the pillowcase altogether (that’s what I did).

Personally, one of my favorite things about this pillow is that the down has been treated with Ultra Fresh Antibacterial Additives, which is an OEKO-Tex certified technology used to make it hypoallergenic. It also makes the down more resistant to mold and mildew, so if you’re someone who avoids real down because of allergies or sensitive skin, you might want to give this one a try! 

Price: $99-$119, which is pretty reasonable for a natural down pillow. But check this out: Brooklinen also offers a 365-day return policy and a lifetime warranty!

Perfect For: The down-lover looking for a fluffy, feathery, all-position pillow! 

Think you’ve found the pillow of your dreams? Learn everything there is to know about it in my full Brooklinen Natural Down pillow review

Save 10%
Brooklinen Pillow
Brooklinen Pillow
Brooklinen Pillow

Brooklinen's Pillow provides plush and fluffy comfort for those interested in ethically sourced down! Enjoy 10% off your order with code SLEEPOPOLIS10!

Best Pillow For Neck Pain

The Purple Harmony is the Best Pillow for Neck Pain 2020

Purple Harmony Pillow

Next up on my list is the Purple Harmony pillow, and I picked it specifically for those looking to alleviate neck pain. 

But before I tell you why this pillow is great for dealing with neck pain, let’s talk about the cover fabric (because it’s one of my favorite features). It’s made from a very breathable spandex mesh material that wicks moisture and promotes a ton of airflow through the pillow. As a hot sleeper, I can tell you that this served to draw heat away from my head, and make for a nice, cool snooze. 

That said, the real magic lies directly beneath the cover fabric. I’m talking, of course, about the brand’s propriety Hyper-Elastic Polymer. Hyper-Elastic Polymer is a unique material that’s exceptionally bouncy and durable, and it’s prominently featured in Purple’s mattresses and original pillow.

With the Purple Harmony, the Hyper-Elastic Polymer gives the pillow its shape, and helps it maintain its integrity night after night. Meanwhile, one piece of Talalay latex makes up the core of this pillow, which only adds to its bouncy-quick response to pressure. Why would you want a bouncy pillow, you ask? Well, its buoyant resilience keeps it from going flat no matter the sleeping position

In my experience, that’s what makes this pillow great for neck pain. The Purple Harmony supported me in every sleeping position, conformed to the natural contours of my head and neck, and bounced back to its original shape every morning.

Price: $159 which, I’ll admit, is on the pricey side. But keep in mind that it comes with a generous 100-night trial period, and is backed by a 1-year warranty. 

Perfect For: Sleepers looking for a bouncy, durable, and cooling pillow to help them alleviate neck pain! 

For the full scoop, check out my Purple Harmony pillow review!

Purple Harmony Pillow
Purple Harmony Pillow
Purple Harmony Pillow

The Purple Harmony is great for any position sleeper and is extremely breathable to help you sleep cool through the night!

Best Memory Foam Pillow

The TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze uses cooling gel pads!

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

Calling all memory foam fans — I picked this pillow especially for you. 

 

The TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze is filled with one thick piece of Tempur-Pedic’s proprietary memory foam which, in my opinion, sets the standard for this material. It’s super moldable, offers a slow response to pressure, and tightly conforms to your head and neck. If you’re someone who loves to deeply sink into your pillow, this might be the one for you. 

That said, some of you may already know that memory foam has the tendency to trap heat and warm up over the course of the night (which is why us hot sleepers often avoid it). But fear not! This pillow is called “Breeze” for a reason. 

There’s a cooling gel pad on each side of this pillow so that no matter which side you’re snoozing on, your face will feel comfortable and cool. Not to mention, the breathable cotton fabric covering the pillow promotes great airflow, which further prevents it from retaining body heat. 

But I wouldn’t consider this an all-position pillow, as it’s lofty profile and medium firm feel are best-suited for back and side sleepers (don’t worry, stomach sleepers, I’ve got something special pillow lined up for y’all). But if you’re a back or side sleeper in the market for a cooling memory foam pillow, I can’t recommend this one enough! 

Price: $170-$200, which is a bit pricier than the other pillows in this roundup, but about average for the Tempur-Pedic brand. And remember — this pillow is backed by a 5-year warranty!

Perfect For: Back and side sleepers who love the feel of memory foam, but wish it didn’t heat up during the night! 

Confident this is the pillow for you? Learn all the details in my Tempur-Pedic pillows review!

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Pillow

The TEMPUR-Cloud pillow provides the great body contouring memory foam feel that Tempur-Pedic is known for and is a great choice for the back sleepers out there!

Best Travel Pillow

The TRTL provides the support you need when trying to sleep why traveling

TRTL Travel Pillow

Next up on my list is the trtl Travel Pillow, and it’s uniquely designed to support sleepers on the go. 

I’ll be honest — when I first unpackaged the trtl travel pillow, I was a little skeptical. It looks like a cross between a scarf and a neck brace and, frankly, I’ve never seen a sleep accessory like it. But once I tried it on, I was very impressed by how cozy and supportive and it is. 

Here’s how it works: A C-shaped plastic support system that’s tucked inside this pillow’s soft fleece fabric serves to hold the head and neck in a safe position when you’re on the go. Obviously, we’re usually sitting in an upright position when we travel, and this pillow’s hard-yet-flexible design is meant to support you no matter how long your journey is. 

This pillow’s ability to maintain its shape over time is one of my favorite things about it. In my experience, a plush travel pillow is great… until it compresses and drags your head down with it. But the plastic insert inside this pillow made me feel like I could rest against it for days, and my head would never fall out of healthy alignment with my spine. 

And let’s not forget that it’s super lightweight, compact, and fits perfectly in a carry-on bag. Personally, I like to wrap the sleeve of this pillow around the handle of my suitcase so I can easily grab it and go. If you’re looking for a small and very supportive pillow to take on your next journey, I suggest you read my full trtl travel pillow review

Price: Only $29.99!

Perfect For: Sleepers looking for a soft, supportive, and easy-to-pack travel pillow!

TRTL Travel Pillow
TRTL Travel Pillow
TRTL Travel Pillow

The TRTL travel pillow is a unique way to handle the common problem of needing neck support while trying to sleep on planes. Click the button to check current pricing on Amazon.

Best Body Pillow

Enjoying the body pillow from COOP Home Goods

COOP Home Goods Pillow

Last but definitely not least is the Coop Home Goods body pillow, perfect for sleepers looking to enjoy some full-body pressure relief. 

Stuffed full of shredded memory foam, this pillow does an excellent job of conforming to your shape and supporting your whole body. It’s plush, lofty and, at 54-inches tall, it’s pretty big! For context, I’m about 60-inches tall, so I kind of treat this pillow like a mini-mattress.  

Additionally, the memory foam in this pillow is quite moldable, so feel free to hug it between your legs or  under your arms to relieve pressure at your hips. For me, I find that hugging this pillow while I’m on my side relieves tension in my lower back and helps to align my spine.

Meanwhile, this is one of the only body pillows I’ve ever tested that’s completely machine washable (yes, the whole thing)! Of course, it works best if you’ve got a bigger washing machine and a mild detergent, but take comfort in the fact that you can wash this big ol’ sleep accessory without damaging the materials. 

Of course, if you prefer a standard-sized memory foam pillow, don’t worry — this brand makes one of those too. So check out my full review of the Coop Home Goods body pillow and the Coop Home Goods memory foam pillow to determine which is the best fit for you! But if you need both in your life… I totally relate. 

Price: $70, which is such a good value for a high-quality body pillow like this. Plus, it’s backed by a 5-year warranty!

Perfect for: Memory foam fans looking for full-body pressure relief!

Save 15%
COOP Home Goods Body Pillow
COOP Home Goods Body Pillow
COOP Home Goods Body Pillow

This pillow is perfect for folks who love the feel of memory foam so much, they want to enjoy that support across their whole body. COOP makes this pillow in a standard version as well! Use code SLEEPOPOLIS15 to save 15% on your purchase!

Final Thoughts

Well folks, you’ve seen my top 9 favorite pillows of 2020, and you’re ready to get shopping. But, before you do, remember to keep a close eye on loft, firmness, and all the little details that cater to your unique sleep needs. And take advantage of those trial periods when they’re offered! After all, personally testing a pillow can be a great way to make sure that it will support you all night long. Happy shopping, everybody!

FAQS

What is the best pillow for side sleepers?

In general, side sleepers need a pillow with a lofty profile and firmer feel in order to maintain neutral spine alignment and relieve pressure at the shoulders.

What is the best pillow for neck pain?

The best pillow for neck pain is the one that promotes neutral spine alignment when you’re in your go-to sleeping position. Of course, this looks different for each position, but making sure that your head and neck are never craned out of alignment with your spine is the best way to alleviate neck pain.

How long should you keep pillows?

In general, you should replace your pillow every 1-2 years. However, the lifespan of your pillow largely depends on the materials used to make it! I suggest checking in with your pillows every 6 months to make sure they’re still supporting you properly.

What pillow is best for stomach sleepers?

Typically, stomach sleepers need a pillow with a low profile and a soft feel in order to maintain neutral spine alignment and relieve pressure in the lower back and abdomen.

The following two tabs change content below.
Avatar
Sarah is the Senior Writer and bedding expert at Sleepopolis. Every week, she personally tests and reviews new pillows, sheet sets, and other sleep accessories. She accompanies every video review with a meticulously detailed article to ensure her audience has all the pertinent info they need for the best shopping experience possible. Perhaps that’s why her fans have dubbed her “the most thorough pillow reviewer on the Internet.” Having tested everything from sleep trackers to mattress toppers, Sarah's expertise runs deep and is always expanding. She received her degree in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College and spends her free time doing stand-up, making pasta, and hanging with her cats.
Avatar

Latest posts by Sarah Riccio (see all)