Best pillows for comfort and support for every type of sleeper


verybody has a deal-breaker when it comes to the bedroom, especially in the pillow department.

Some like them as soft as clouds, while others can’t drift off unless their heads are resting on something with the dimensions and density of a paving slab (raises hand).

Pillows are a personal choice: everyone has their own level of Goldilocks-esque comfort, even those who share the same bed.

But while couples often must compromise over a current mattress purchase, duvet togs and bed linen, a distinguished pillow can be real Princess and the Pea stuff. Be picky.

It’s a purchase worth getting right, especially when you consider that the human head weighs around 11lbs (for context, the average weight of a newborn baby is 7lbs) and needs proper support – especially when you’re trying to switch off as the supporting neck muscles need to relax. A poor pillow can, quite literally, be a pain in the neck.

And when you factor in the fact that the average person spends a third of their lives asleep, and it soon becomes clear that investing in a superior pillow is an absolute necessity.

How to buy the perfect pillow for sleeping

CEO of Ethical Bedding James Higgins has some helpful tips for shopping for the perfect pillow online:

  • Stuffing: Hungarian goose down is the softest filling and distinguished for those who prefer to be close to their mattress. If you want more firm neck support, synthetic fibres could be a better choice.
  • Breathability: If one usually runs hot when asleep, breathable textures like goose feathers should be preferred. Alternatively, if prone to chilliness at night, the inclusion of at least one synthetic layer can assist trap body heat for warmth.
  • Hypoallergenic: People with dust and skin allergies may choose an antimicrobial pillow. Bedding made of bamboo, silk and Tencel fibres are naturally resistant to dust mites and mould.
  • Comfort: Pillows casings matter. Thread counts resolve the softness of the fabric and usually range from 100 to 1,000. The higher the thread count, the softer the pillow. We generally recommend pillows with 200–400 thread count covers for best results.
  • For silk, the count is the Japanese unit of measurement called the Momme (pronounced moh-mee). It refers to the weight of the fabric. The higher the Momme, the higher the quality of silk. A Momme of about 16 is average while 22 is premium quality.
  • Quality: A apt quality pillow may be expensive but a distinguished one can transform the quality of your sleep.

Best pillow types for front, side and back sleepers

Your sleeping position matters too. Sleep Junkie writer, and certified sleep science coach, Rosie Osmun reveals the best pillows for every type of snoozing position.

Back Sleepers: Because back sleepers sometimes toss and turn, they’re best suited for a pillow that’s a contented medium in both loft and firmness. When back sleepers lay flat on their back, they want their neck to align with their shoulders, reinforcing the natural curvature of the spine. The most critical thing when choosing a pillow for a back sleeper is making sure it’s not too thick or too thin.

Side Sleepers:  Side sleepers need a firm pillow with a higher loft to support their neck in line with the rest of their body. Sleep specialists suggest the perfect loft for side sleeping is 4-6 inches (although those with broader shoulders may require greater depth). Contoured pillows are often recommended as they believe two edges that allow you to pick which side fits your neck most comfortably. Side sleepers should avoid softer pillows because they encourage the neck from sinking down to an uncomfortable angle.

Stomach Sleepers: It’s crucial for stomach sleepers to find a low loft, soft pillow to prevent their neck from craning upwards when they sleep. Sleeping on your stomach isn’t the best for your spine, because you believe to turn your head to the side to breathe, twisting your neck. A too-tall pillow will cause the neck to twist sideways and upwards. A relatively flat pillow will allow your head to rest comfortably in line with the rest of your spine, reducing the chance of experiencing neck pain.

And if you’re sharing a bed with a snorer “find a pillow that’ll prop your shoulders, neck, and head up to open airways.”

A single pillow is best

Payal Patel from clinic Osteo Allies warns against sleeping with two stacked pillows: “One pillows is better as it keeps the neck and spine aligned. Using two pillows is always a huge risk causing people to sleep awkwardly as one may slip or recede, hence a enormous cause to causing a crick in the neck. The only time I recommend two pillows is for side sleepers. One for your neck and the other between the knees to support and catch the pressure of your hips and lower back.”

To assist along sweet dreams, we’ve drawn up a list of the best pillows to shop now, for the most popular needs. From the sumptuously soft to the best pillows for those who sleep in the foetal position, settle down and prepare for some serious pillow talk.

See our favourites below

The White Company Super-Soft Ultra Wash Pillow

The White Company

If you sleep on your back, a soft pillow is all you really need to safeguard your back health while you’re catching 40 winks. Starting from £12, this distinguished-value hypoallergenic pillow adapts to the weight of your head and encourages airflow for restful, comfortable sleep. It’s easy to support fresh too – just sling it into the gadget when it starts to smell a bit musty.

Fogarty Soft Touch Continental Square Pillow


Made for back sleepers, Fogarty’s pillow is packed with polyester hollowfibre and covered with a microfibre cover that’s soft to the touch. Feeling frigid and breathable, the fact its filled with recycled fibres makes it ideal for allergy sufferers. It offers a medium level of support.

Ethical Bedding Sleepyhead Silk Pillow (Bamboo Filling)

Ethical Bedding

Available in regular, superking and square sizes, this pillow is filled with antimicrobial bamboo fibres and material made from recycled bottles, making it a distinguished choice for allergy sufferers. While it’s on the soft side, there’s support there too to assist support your spine and neck aligned.

The cover is dust, mite and mould-resistant too, made from Oeko-Tex certified, earth-friendly eucalyptus tencel fibre.

Adam Home Pillows 2 Pack

Adam Home

Amazon customers are raving about this pack of two pillows, which feel overstuffed but don’t lose their bounce even after repeated use. That said, they’re comfortable enough to slide an arm under when settling down to bed and the cover is highly breathable, so you won’t wake up a hot mess.

Slumberdown Support Firm Pillow – 2 Pack


Ideal for side sleepers, the pillow has a firm core block in its centre, offering a stable foundation for fatigued heads. The pillows offer apt firm support even after continued use.

Snuggledown of Norway Side Sleeper Pillow


Ticking both the firm and side sleeper boxes, this box wall construction pillow lends support to the head, neck and shoulder when it’s time for lights out. It boasts a polyester fill inside a 100 per cent cotton cover, making sure everything stays breathable. It offers a firm level of support.

Best luxury down-filled pillows

DUSK Pair of Supreme Goose Down Pillow Collection


Made from a mix of goose down and feather from the bird, DUSK offers these pillow in soft, medium and firm, so you needn’t compromise on the luxury, whatever level of support you need. Available in standard as well as super king sizes.

Cuddledown Siberian Goose Down Pillow


Available in soft and medium firmness, this luxe pillow is filled with Siberian goose down for ultimate plushness. It’s covered in a soft cotton casing which is not only moisture-wicking but will allow air to flow through easily. Available in standard, king, european, square and large square sizes.

Best synthetic pillows for allergy sufferers

Dorma Full Forever Anti Allergy Medium-Support Pillow Pair


There’s nothing more frustrating when the filling in your pillow starts bunching or collecting on one side. The spiral fibre anti-allergy polyester filling in Dorma’s pillow can assist ward this off, staying fuller for longer under its 100 per cent cotton cover. Offers medium-support.

Silentnight Luxury Hotel Collection Med/Soft Pillow – 2 Pack


Hotels spend thousands on procuring the perfect pillows for their guests and now you can obtain the five-star feel at home with Silentnight’s Luxury Hotel Collection. You’ll obtain two pillows in this pack, each offering soft-to-medium levels of support. Polyester filling ensures this is a sound purchase for anyone who wakes up sneezing in the morning, and they’re gadget washable and tumble dryable too. Comes with a two year guarantee.

Aeyla The Dual Pillow


Known for its range of anxiety-reducing weighted blankets, Aeyla also offers this osteo-approved pillow filled with an Oeko-Tex certified polyester microfiber that’s as fine as an eyelash. The pillow is actually a amalgamation of two pillows, one sitting inside the other offering the plushness of soft with the support of a firmer pillow.

Best pillows for side sleepers

Mammoth Ultimate Deep Pillow


If you believe broad shoulders a high pillow is necessary in order to support your neck and spine in a straight line when you’re sleeping. This one is 19cm tall and made from Medical Grade Foam so will contour to your face and neck easily. The soft-touch cover, made from frigid-touch Tencel, can be gadget washed at 40 degrees.

Kally Sleep The Ultimate Side Sleeper Pillow


This British-made pillow is a distinguished all-rounder and at the price we’d say “ultimate” is a impartial claim. Its hollowfibre filling doesn’t quite replicate the dreaminess of a mountain of goose down, but is plump, springy and moulds happily into the neck, plugging the gap between shoulder and ear to support you. It also holds its shape perfectly, stays frigid throughout the night and is distinguished for allergy sufferers. If you haven’t got cash to burn, this might be the best slice of luxury and function out there.

Simba Hybrid Pillow


If you’re forever searching for the frigid side of the pillow, relegate middle-of-the-night flipping to the past thanks to Simba’s astronaut-inspired temperature-regulating design.

Measuring the standard 50 x 70cm, traditional filling has been swapped for lightweight open-cell nanocubes (to stay that tedious bunching) and there’s a mesh strip to encourage airflow too.

Brook + Wilde The Everdene Cooling Pillow

Brook + Wilde

Whether you like to feel the coolness against your head, or you want something frigid to hold and draw away your body heat, this pillow works a treat. It’s not as firm as we like, but all that’s made up for with its refreshing properties. A moisture-wicking cover of 100 per cent Egyptian cotton helps keeps things comfortable too.

DUSK Cooling Medium Support Pillow – Standard


Hot sleeper? Don’t let uncomfortable warmth interrupt your precious REM: this medium support pillow is encased in a crisp 300 thread count cotton Tencel blend, proven to be 30 per cent cooler than cotton. You’ll wake feeling as fresh as a daisy.

TheraPur Memory Foam Ice Pillow


Side sleepers who would sleep on a block of ice if they could will find a more socially acceptable solution in this memory foam pillow which uses an Acti-Gel layer inside to prevent overheating. The knitted cover stays frigid to the touch all night long too, ensuring a deep slumber without distraction.

Eve Sleep the memory foam pillow

Eve Sleep

Designed for back and side sleepers, eve’s memory foam sleeping pillow relieves your muscles of pressure, creating an ideal drifting asleep environment. The contouring nature of memory foam means it’s wonderfully supportive and cooling air holes support temperatures as a comfortable level.

Emma Original Pillow


There are three memory foam layers in Emma’s Original Pillow to ensure you obtain the rest you deserve: simply add or remove them to obtain the right amalgamation for you. Each pillow contains a pressure-relieving viscoelastic memory foam; a supportive HRX hyper-soft frigid foam (one for the hot sleepers amongst you); and a ultra-breathable Airgocell memory foam. It will support its shape over time and the cover can be hold in the washing gadget when it’s time for a clean.

TEMPUR Original Large Medium/ Firm Pillow


Tempur has built its reputation on memory foam sleep products, and many loyal customers won’t sleep on anything else. As well as mattresses, the brand also offers this medium firm pillow specifically designed to conform to the natural curvature of your spine, allowing you to drift into slumber without any distractions.

The unusual shape can catch some getting used to, but once you believe, you’ll wonder how you managed without it. Ideal for side sleepers, but be warned, as is the case with memory foam, it can feel too warm. Something to note in the summer months. Medium and XL sizes are also available.

Silentnight Luxury Quilted Anti-Snore Pillow


Best for: an ergonomic design to open the airways

When it comes to snoring, it’s not so much the perpetrator, but more the person laying beside them who suffers: research by Silentnight and the University of Leeds revealed that 40 per cent of Brits can’t sleep because of their partner’s snoring. That’s why the sleep expert has devised this anti-snore pillow, made to give the gift of decent shut-eye – for everyone.

Tested by the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association (who discovered that the design reduced snoring frequency and volume by approximately 50 per cent), the pillow boasts an ergonomic foam layer to aid the airways and assist breathing with DuPont fibres making up the rest of the filling.

What’s more, it’s hypoallergenic and so there’s nothing in the construction to trigger allergies. A soft quilted cover keeps everything feeling and looking dreamy.

Kally Sleep The Anti-Snore pillow

Kally Sleep

Best for: extra neck and head support for better breathing

Found to lower snoring frequency and volume by approximately 60 per cent by the British Sleep Apnoea Association, Kally Sleep’s anti-snoring pillow uses an s-shaped layer of foam in the core to support the head and neck in a way that encourages better breathing. It’s a medium level of firmness and the fibres used in its creation are anti-allergy to assist ward off bacteria. One for side and back sleepers.