How to choose the best pillow for you

Use our advice – and recommendations – to choose the best pillow to enhance your sleep quality

woman in bed with panda pillows
(Image credit: Panda)

On the hunt for the best pillow to support your neck and enhance your sleep quality? Whether you’re a sensitive sleeper on the hunt for a dreamy (get it) sleep companion; are kitting out a new bedroom; or dread to think what kind of bacteria might be lurking amongst your ancient pillows *shudder*, our handy guide – written in collaboration with Panda (opens in new tab) – covers everything from pillow filling and fabrics, to adopting a more environmentally conscious approach when pillow shopping. Plus, we’ll make some recommendations along the way.

1. Prioritise choosing the best filling to support your head and neck

Your top priority, when choosing a pillow, is opting for a design that will be effective in supporting your head and neck. After all, no-one enjoys the neck ache that follows a night spent with an awkward pillow; and in the long term an unsupportive pillow can have more serious physical effects. We’ll pass on those, thanks.

While everyone is different, the overwhelming consensus from experts is that memory foam, which is designed to mould around you, is best served to support your head, neck, and back, while you sleep. So, whether you’re a back-sleeper, or a side-sleeper, you can rest assured that memory foam is doing all the work, in providing the support you need.

With this in mind, the Panda Luxury Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow (opens in new tab) comes highly recommended, thanks to its supportive, gel-infused, 3rd generation memory foam design. In addition to supporting your neck, it also relieves pressure points and supports the rest of your body. Genius.

panda bamboo pillow

(Image credit: Panda)

2. Choose an appropriate fabric finish

We get it, you’re probably thinking ‘does the fabric finish of my pillow matter, if I’m going to cover it with a pillow case, anyway?’ Well, ladies and gentleman, yes, it does. Here’s why:

To reduce the presence of bacteria

Pillows see a lot of action, after all, you probably spend – or at least should be spending – a minimum of eight hours with them a day. Plus, all those weekend Netflix-in-bed binges we know you’re indulging in. So (and this is the slightly gross part) you need to think carefully about what kind of bacteria this amount of quality pillow time might be causing you to come into contact with. 

If the thought of this concerns you – which it probably should – opting for a pillow with a bamboo-fibre cover might be your best bet. After all, they’re naturally antibacterial, meaning they have your back when it comes to promoting healthy sleeping habits.

To better stand the test of time 

On top of all that, you’ll also want to consider which fabric finish will stand the test of time. After all, while essential, pillows aren’t exactly the most glamorous of purchases and you’ll likely want to invest in something designed to last.

In this instance, our recommendation would, again, be a bamboo finish, which is designed to be hard wearing. The Panda Luxury Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow (opens in new tab) comes with a ten year guarantee, so certain are they that they’re offering a quality product.

3. Consider the environmental impact of your pillow

Panda products and the environment

– 100% naturally biodegradable and compostable.
– All Panda’s packaging is made from kraft paper which is made from recycled materials.
– They hand make bamboo wooden buttons instead of using plastic on their bedding collections.
– Instead of using harmful inks to decorate their packaging, they use eco-friendly water inks.
– Majority of their products are 100% plastic free
– Aiming to be 100% plastic free by 2020

Increased awareness regarding climate change has encouraged a real shift in buying behaviours. And that goes for pillows, and everything Panda creates.

If you’re looking for something sustainable, we’d like to point you in the direction of bamboo. One of the most sustainable materials available, bamboo is fast-growing, high-yield and low water-dependant. Research suggests bamboo uses up to 70% less water than cotton, meaning it has minimal impact on the planet. There’s a reason why pandas (and Panda) love it so much.

Plus, for those with an interest in low, or minimal, waste lifestyles, an impressive 10 year guarantee means minimal purchases over a longer period of time. And when the time does come to say goodbye? Panda have you covered long after your purchase, as they offer The Panda Recycle Program (opens in new tab) which is a free service for all their customers. Simply contact Panda and they will collect the item and recycle the materials on your behalf.

panda bamboo pillow

(Image credit: Panda)

4. Take note of any additional features

When choosing a pillow, it’s also worth taking note of any additional features, on offer, which may further enhance your sleep quality. We reckon you’ll like the sound of the following offering from Panda:


If you’re an allergy sufferer, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re opting for a fabric finish that doesn’t heighten your allergies. In which case, something with a bamboo cover may be an option worth considering, since they’re naturally hypoallergenic. 

All Panda products are Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified. In real terms, this means they’ve passed the strictest global testing and certification system, in terms of cleanliness and purity of products, they fully comply with health standards and are safe even for babies. That’s the kind of proof we like to see. 

Pest resistant

No-one likes the idea of bed bugs, or other bed pests, for that matter. Investing in a Panda Luxury Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow (opens in new tab) is the ultimate preventative measure, thanks to its naturally pest resistant qualities.

Temperature regulating technology

Everyone loves the feeling of flipping over their pillow in the middle of the night, to enjoy the perks of the ‘cool side.’ But what if you didn’t have to? Opting for a pillow – such as the Panda Luxury Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow (opens in new tab) – which is designed with temperature regulating technology, will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. No pillow flipping required.

5. Try it out (and return it if you’re not satisfied)

Ultimately, choosing a pillow is a personal choice and while plenty of models offer a variety of dreamy-sounding features, you’ll only really know if it works for you, after a test drive. Panda are proud to offer users a 30-day free trial. So, if you’re dissatisfied, or it simply doesn’t work for you, there’s no need to feel that you’re stuck with an unwanted pillow.

panda bamboo pillow

(Image credit: Panda)

Interested in trying out the Panda Luxury Memory Foam Pillow (opens in new tab)? Take advantage of their 30 day trial for the perfect combination of support and luxury. We're sure you won't be disappointed...

(opens in new tab)

Panda Luxury Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow | £44.95 (opens in new tab)

Like the sound of the Panda Luxury Memory Foam pillow, shop it now!

Real Homes is committed to sharing the best advice on everything from renovating your home to what products to fill it with. From DIY how tos, to ideas galleries and reviews Real Homes offers knowledge and expertise to help you do what you need to do, in a way that hopefully makes the process fun and easy. Our sponsored content is not an editorial endorsement, but allows you to connect with brands to assist your home renovation journey and alerts you to products you may not have known about before.