These are the 9 best pillows we've reviewed in 2023 — starting at $44

Catching some Zs has never been easier

Best pillows stacked on pink and purple background
(Image credit: Future Studios / Philip Sowels )

Not sleeping very well? Waking up every morning with an achy neck? This could all come down to the pillow that you're sleeping on every night and not so much your mattress or mattress topper. A lot of people don't realize how truly important their pillow is to their bedroom setup. If you're someone who can sleep in any position and doesn't get too hot or cold, you might be able to get away with a discounted four-pack from any random store. Most of us aren't like this, and if you have a preferred position or tend to sleep hot, then a good quality pillow will change your life. And not to be dramatic, but these picks have completely changed the way team Real Homes sleeps at night.

Quick Menu:
1. Pillow reviews
2. What to consider
3. FAQs
4. How we test

A decent pillow can cost anything from $50 to $150. The right one for you all depends on how much you'd like to spend and the way you sleep at night. We've featured affordable pillows, memory foam options, down-filled models, and eco-friendly pillows. We also made sure to test some adjustable pillows, which are great all-rounders as their depth can be adapted to your snoozing position.

All of the nine pillows in this guide have been tested by a member of the Real Homes team for at least four weeks. We've given each one a star rating and are reviewing a bunch more RN. Happy sleeping!

The best pillows to sleep on in 2023

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The first three pillows in this guide are adjustable, so they are fit for all types of sleepers. Otherwise...

• Side sleepers will need a plump, softer pillow — ideally memory foam.
• Stomach sleepers should go for something firmer and thinner.
• Back sleepers should opt for medium-soft or medium-firm pillows, perhaps foam.

What to consider when choosing a pillow?

Follow these simple four steps to find the very best pillow for you, because finding the best match for your needs is essential to sleeping well. You can find more helpful details in our guide to choosing a pillow.

1. How do you sleep?
Side sleepers
will need a plump, softer pillow: think cushy fill or softer memory foam. Stomach sleepers will need firmer, thinner pillows to hold their necks in perfect alignment. Back sleepers can find comfort on both sides of the spectrum with a medium-soft or medium-firm pillow or even foam pillows that align with the contours of their necks.

Think about where your pillow will sit beneath your head while you sleep. If you prefer having it fully beneath your head, you'll have the best success with a low- or medium-loft pillow. If you sleep with your pillow only partially beneath your head, you may want a pillow with a higher loft to feel supported.

2. How thick do you like your pillow?
This is called pillow loft, and you might see it written on the side of the packaging. Experiment at home to get your preferred thickness right. Low-loft pillows are around three inches thick, medium-loft pillows are three to five inches thick, and high-loft pillows are at least five inches thick.

3. It's what's on the inside that counts
Natural fillings, which include duck and goose feathers and down, feel soft and luxurious, giving you that extra-cozy sensation of sinking into your pillow. They, along with sheep’s wool, are naturally heat-retaining, which makes them ideal if you get chilly at night. These aren't great for anyone who's in constant pursuit of the cool side of the pillow, though.

If you like the softness of down but not the heat, or you suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions, you can get synthetic fiber fillings that mimic the feel. And speaking of allergies, pillow manufacturers are very much up to speed with the needs of their users these days, so you can expect to find anti-allergy fillings and coverings for a reasonable price.

Finally, for those of us who need more support in bed or just prefer the feel of a firm pillow, there is latex and memory foam to consider. Helpful for sufferers of neck or back pain, they keep the spine and muscles correctly elevated and aligned for deep sleep and a pain-free morning.

4. Good to know
Some of us prefer to sleep with two pillows (even though sleep experts recommend sleeping with one). Depending on whether you're team one or two — or maybe even three! — consider carefully which one you want to be your top pillow and how deep your pillow will be. Also, if you sleep next to a partner, what you find comfortable might not work for your other half. Your pillow choices should be entirely independent. 


Which size pillow should I buy?

Wondering what is the standard pillow size? It's typically 20” x 26”. If you prefer a larger pillow, go for queen or king dimensions, just be mindful of pillowcase size.

How often should you replace pillows?

Usually, most experts would recommend replacing your pillows after two years, unless they have become visibly worn before then. Buying a new pillow ensures you are sleeping on something that's supportive and clean, which is especially important if you suffer from allergies. To help with longevity, it's important to care for your pillows, too. Our how to wash pillows guide offers expert advice and tips on how to keep your pillows clean.

Pillows being washed in washing machine

(Image credit: Future Studios / Philip Sowels )

Are expensive pillows worth it?

We'd always recommend investing in your sleep, but we know that not everyone has an unlimited budget for pillows. If you do have a chunk to spend, then our top tip is to splurge on one fancy pillow that suits your needs and pick up a cheaper one to put underneath. That's if you need two, of course. 

Otherwise, there are plenty of ways you can upgrade your sleep set-up without having to overspend on a pillow. Try purchasing a cozy comforter or fresh set of sheets. Our edit of the best bedding brands may help you find a brand that caters to your budget. 

How we review pillows

Two pillows sitting on bed on chunky knit throw

Two pillows, from Coop Home and Comphy, in review

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

We're currently testing a whole bunch of pillows at Real Homes with help from the whole team. This way, we can get a verdict from all types of sleepers, whether they tend to sleep on their side, front, back, or even if they sleep hot or cold. These pillows are tested for a minimum of four weeks and during this time we make sure that we don't change anything else about our bedroom setup, apart from fresh sheets whenever needed, of course. 

While testing these pillows, we consider everything, including price, care, how easy they are to clean, and comfort, which is key. We try to sleep on them in different positions to get a good feel. We recommend each pillow based on the way that certain people sleep, so what is good for a side sleeper probably won't be the best for a front sleeper — unless it's adjustable!

Meet our pillow testers below:

Annie Collyer author image
Annie Collyer

Annie has been testing products for Real Homes since 2018 and has tested 10+ pillows. She sleeps on her side mostly, as she's currently pregnant so can no longer sleep in her normal sleeping position — on her stomach. Right now, she's sleeping on the Coop Home Goods Original Adjustable Pillow and she has her husband testing the Coop Home Goods Eden Cool + Pillow. She's working her way through all of the Coop Home Goods pillows you can buy, and she has a few more on her list, too.

Emily Lambe deputy editor of Real Homes headshot
Emily Lambe

Emily is our deputy editor and has been at Real Homes for a few months. She tends to be a side or front sleeper and right now is testing a bunch of stuff from bedding brand Helix, including its Helix Dream Pillow Set.

Christina Chrysostomou selfie
Christina Chrysostomou

Christina has been writing for Real Homes since 2021 and has tested everything from pillows to air fryers for us. She usually sleeps on her side and her front and is currently reviewing the Zamat Contour Memory Foam Pillow.

Louise Oliphant author image
Louise Oliphant

Louise was previously our ecommerce editor, focusing on sleep buys. She currently works for our sister brand Homes & Gardens. As a side sleeper, Louise has tested both the Casper Original Pillow and the Saatva Latex Pillow.

Jaclyn Turner photo
Jaclyn Turner

Jaclyn used to be our sleep commerce editor, frequently testing out and staying up to date on all things mattresses and bedding. As a back sleeper who needs her full eight hours, she tested both the Slumber Cloud UltraCool Pillow and the Company Essentials LoftAIRE Down Alternative Pillow for Real Homes.

Selfie of Eve Smallman
Eve Smallman

Eve joined the team a few months ago but has dove into reviewing products for us. She sleeps on her back and side and often tosses and turns at night. She's sleeping on the Purple Harmony Pillow and is also testing its bed sheets and other sleep accessories.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.

With contributions from