These 9 comfortable pillows will have you asleep in minutes

Catching some Zs has never been easier

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

Owning one of the best pillows, believe it or not, will do wonders when it comes to getting a great night’s sleep. Since research shows at least eight hours of shut-eye is essential to our well-being, having a comfortable place to rest your head after a long day is more important than you think. 

This doesn't mean you have to spend all of your savings on a pillow. In fact, we’ve found a selection of some great affordable pillows, suitable for each and every type of sleeper. Featuring memory foam options, down-filled models, and sustainable pillows as well as the best pillow for side sleepers, snorers, and allergy sufferers, if you're not sleeping soundly, this list of top pillows is for you.

Along with my fellow beauty sleep advocates, I've snoozed on the job to make sure you'll be getting your money's worth. Though if you’re in the market for even better sleep, don’t just rely on your pillow. Combine it with one of the best mattresses so you can get your best slumber yet.

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.

Real Homes pillow review process 

The Real Homes review process is editorially independent and not influenced by any third parties. All our reviews are based on the real-life experience of using these products at home, many of which have been used for weeks, if not months, at a time. The products are given to us free of charge. Due to the personal nature of bedding, we have been able to keep our samples and invite friends and family members to try out various pillows to share their own feedback, according to their own sleep habits. We came to our decisions by considering factors like the quality of construction, materials, value for the money, support for its intended sleep position, and ease of care.

Picking 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.

Pillows being washed in washing machine

(Image credit: Future Studios / Philip Sowels )

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.

4 things to consider when buying a new pillow

1. Consider your sleep position

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 your neck.

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. Think about thickness

This is called pillow loft, and when you're buying new, 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. Think about filling

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. Remember, it's personal

These pillows have been rated based on our team's experience with them, but it's vital to remember that we all have different preferences that don't necessarily relate to our sleeping positions. For example, some of us prefer to sleep with two pillows (even though sleep experts recommend sleeping with one) and others prefer the feel of synthetic fillings over natural.

Be aware that 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. 

Louise Oliphant
Ecommerce Editor

Louise is the Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, specialising in sleep content so you can wind-down well. With prior PR experience working for a luxury bedding brand, Louise knows the importance of getting a great night’s sleep. Joining the other side of the desk as a full-time journo, Louise brings her bedding expertise to writing sleep buying guides, reviews, and news for Real Homes. Aside from helping readers get essential shut eye, Louise also writes shopping content for homeware items that’ll add a decorative edge to your space. With an eye for design that won’t snooze on style, but a budget that won’t quite stretch, Louise loves nothing more than a modern designer dupe. From coloured glassware to contemporary storage, anything to upgrade the bare space of her rented East London flat. 

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