Your Best Sleep Ever: We Snooze-Tested Amazon's Top 5 Best-Selling Pillows...And Discovered the Perfect Pillow for All Types of Sleepers

Your Best Sleep Ever: We Snooze-Tested Amazon's Top 5 Best-Selling Pillows...And Discovered the Perfect Pillow for All Types of Sleepers

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Arlyn Hernandez
Feb 22, 2017
(Image credit: Simone Becchetti/Stocksy)

We've all had those moments where we lie awake in bed, finding it impossible to find any semblance of comfort. Every glance at the clock that's quickly approaching the dreaded hour you're supposed to be waking up leads to a count down. "If I fall asleep right now, I can get 5 hours...4 hours...3 hours..." ::cue sounding : If you find yourself in this tortuous predicament often, it might be time to rethink your sleep strategy...or at the very least, your pillow.

Your sleep position (back, side, stomach) plays a huge role in your quality of sleep, particularly if you're using the wrong pillow for said position. According to Sleep.org, side sleepers need fluffier pillows to fill the gap left between where your shoulders sink into the mattress and your head aligns with your spine; back sleepers could benefit from a thinner pillow with a little extra loft in the bottom third to support the next; while stomach sleepers need the thinnest pillow (or none at all).

To help you sleep better, we rounded up three types of sleepers to sleep-test the five best-selling pillows on Amazon. We wanted to see what people were buying and if they were comfortable and worth your money. Our three testers each sleep tested all five and offered their feedback on what they thought about each pillow, what they liked, what they didn't, and which was best for them based on their sleep position.

Our Testers:

Caroline Biggs, Contributing Writer
Sleep position: Side
Mattress you sleep on: Coil spring
Pillow preferences: I like a good amount of fluff, a decent firmness (I'm a side sleeper, after all) and a little depth (nothing too flat.)

Katie Holdefehr, Associate Editor, Design & Projects
Sleep position:
Stomach
Mattress you sleep on: Coil spring
Pillow preferences: I typically look for a flatter, less fluffy pillow that won't prop my head up too high (so I don't wake up with neck pain).

Arlyn Hernandez (Me), Design Editor
Sleep Position:
Back
Mattress you sleep on: Pillow-topped memory foam
Pillow preferences: I like a pillow that can hold its shape well (i.e., not down pillows) with moderate fluffiness and softness—nothing that my head will instantly sink into but still a tad mushy. I prefer a little gusset for some structure.

The Pillows:

(Image credit: Amazon)

My Pillow Classic Series Bed Pillow, Standard/Queen Size

  • Price: $49.95
  • Amazon Rating: 3.5 stars out of 2,753 review

CAROLINE'S (Side Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: I can't lie, I've been dreaming of a My Pillow ever since a good friend told me it changed the way she slept for the better. Still, I was surprised at how flat it was even after fluffing in the dryer.
  • Fluff level: 3
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: It's a three-piece interlocking fill, which is actually comprised of three different sizes of torn, polyurethane foam pieces. The foam pieces interlock to hold the position of your body while you sleep for support.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: Its cooling effect. While it's by no means a full-blown sauna in my room, the closer I snuggled with this pillow (and inevitably warmed up) the more it started to cool me down. Translation: it's totally breathable.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: The fill feels a little bit lumpy upon first use. However by the morning, it already softened and contoured to my body a bit.

Overall thoughts: Despite feeling soft and lumpy, this pillow never went flat for me. Instead, it started to shape and mold to my unique neck and upper body, offering awesome support without too much firmness. Not to mention, it's self-cooling—so no matter how hard I snuggled with it, I didn't overheat. Game changer for sure

Overall grade: A

KATIE'S (Stomach Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: Wow,this has got to be the lumpiest, strangest feeling pillow.
  • Fluff level: 1
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Clumpy and lumpy.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: Honestly, not much.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: The fill (did I mention it was clumpy and lumpy?)

Overall thoughts: Because I prefer a flatter pillow, this one didn't hurt my neck to sleep on, which is no small feat! But overall, this was not the most comfortable option out there (um, by far).

Overall grade: F

ARLYN'S (Back Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: This came vacuum-sealed (like many of the other pillows), so when I first opened it, it took a while to reconstitute. The instructions called for me to place it in the dryer for 15 minutes, which did the trick, though the filling felt kind of bead-like, which I'm not sure it was supposed to.
  • Fluff level: 3.5 (post dryer)
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: It feels like polyester filling, though in quarter-sized beads of fluff.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: I tend to sleep "hot" and I liked how this pillow felt ventilated somehow. Maybe it was all the gaps between the filling.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: After sleeping on this for two nights, I felt like it started going flat. Obviously, all pillows need fluffing, but this just seemed like it happened way too soon.

Overall thoughts: I honestly did not think I was going to like this pillow. I had heard amazing things about it, even heard some people say it was "miraculous" but when it first arrived, I was incredibly skeptical (such is my nature). The pill-y filling bothered me, and it felt like an old pillow I dug out of the closet at my parents' house, but once I laid on it, honestly, I sort of liked it. The interior fluff moved around my head, giving me a fluffy landing spot for my head no matter which way it was turned.

Overall grade: C+

(Image credit: Amazon)

Utopia Bedding Super Plush Gel-Fiber 3D Hollow Siliconized Material Queen size Filled Pillows, Pack of 2

  • Price: $23.99 for 2 pack
  • Amazon Rating: 3.5 stars out of 1,772 reviews

CAROLINE'S (Side Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: The packaging is nice, I especially like that it's in a set of two, and the pillows are super soft to the touch (and wrapped in a bow)!
  • Fluff level: 3
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: It definitely feels gelatinous, which is awesome for a pillow. It's the perfect mix of fluff and firmness: plush enough to be comfy but firm enough to support my neck.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: The filling, again, it's a super comfortable blend of gel fiber and fluff, so it's supportive but extra plush. Just what you want in a pillow.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: It's seems slightly small in size. The packaging says they're queen-sized, but compared to my other queen pillows, it looks more like a Euro sham. However, it could be because they're brand new and haven't had a chance to fully fluff up!

Overall thoughts: I woke up with a fully supported neck and more importantly, no cricks (which is rare for me with a brand new pillow). I also fell asleep quicker than usual, with I attribute to the great, aforementioned fluff-to-gel-fiber ratio as well as the overall softness of the fabric.

Overall grade: B+

KATIE'S (Stomach Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: This feels like a hotel pillow: fluffy yet with some structure to it.
  • Fluff level: 4
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Fluffy, but denser than some of the others tested. It's relatively firm, but also soft at the same time.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: I slept pretty well on this one, but it felt more like a decent one-night pillow rather than something I'm ready to commit to for the rest of my life. I would give it another chance though.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: It puts my head on a slightly higher angle than I like.

Overall thoughts: This is a pretty comfortable option, particularly if you're looking for a pillow that's both puffy and supportive.

Overall grade: A

ARLYN'S (Back Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: Oh! Each pillow is individually packaged with a pretty bow. Feels kind of like a hotel pillow with a soft cover.
  • Fluff level: 4
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: It's fluffy while still feeling kind of gelatinous. I love gel-like pillows, so this fill was just right for me.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: Absolutely the fill. It's soft but just a little mushy. I tend to like a dense pudding-like quality in pillows.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: Honestly, it's hard to find something in this pillow I didn't like. Reviews on these are super mixed (lots of highs, lots of lows), and some comments noted they go flat after a few months of use, which isn't ideal.

Overall thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised and liked this pillow more than I thought I would. After testing all five pillows in this lineup, I found myself going back to this one for lounging in bed and watching TV. I prefer the Coop Home memory foam pillow for actual sleeping, but this is so nice for cuddling up with.

Overall grade: A-

(Image credit: Amazon)

Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow - Queen

  • Price: $59.99
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5,888 reviews

CAROLINE'S (Side Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: Straight out of the package this thing looks and feels like a dream: it's super soft, dense (but fluffy), and has the perfect amount of bounce.
  • Fluff level: 4
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Kind of like the My Pillow, this guy is filled with shredded memory foam that contours to your neck without overheating. Also, it's made with bamboo for added softness and cooling mechanisms (like the Coop pillow).
  • Favorite part about this pillow: The fill. It's the perfect balance of fluff, firmness, plushness, and density. Plus, the micro-vented covering is cushioned for even more comfort (and cooling).
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: It seems slightly heavy for a pillow. This by no means compromises its comfort or suggests that it's bulky. It just seems better for sleep support and not snuggling (even though it's built for both).

Overall thoughts: This pillow looks and feels like luxury. I literally slept like a baby straight through the night, never got hot, and always had neck support. Because of it's unique combo of memory foam, bamboo, and "Kool-flow" covering, in many ways it seems like the perfect mix of the My Pillow and Coop Pillow—which is a win-win for a side sleeper who loves some fluff in her pillow!

Overall grade: A

KATIE'S (Stomach Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: Finally, a flat pillow!
  • Fluff level: 2
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Flat and relatively firm. You can feel some clumps (as opposed to one solid piece of foam, say) but it's not uncomfortable.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: It's relatively firm and supportive, without lifting your head too high.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: Maybe it's a little too flat?

Overall thoughts: So, as it turns out, I don't actually love a super flat pillow! Don't worry, it's not you Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo pillow, it's me. At first, I thought this pillow was just what I was looking for, but eventually, I found myself trying to double it up just to make it a little higher. The fill itself is cozy, but it needs a second layer!

Overall grade: B

ARLYN'S (Back Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: Wow, this thing is heavy.
  • Fluff level: 2.5
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Like the Coop Home pillow (see below), it's shredded memory foam, which is nice because it gives it a traditional pillow shade rather than feeling like a brick of foam.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: I like that it's made in the USA without harmful flame retardants. Plus, it didn't make my head sweat.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: It just didn't impress me as much as I thought it would. It's dense, but without much give. I wish it were fluffier.

Overall thoughts: I thought I was going to love this pillow. For just about $60, I'm not sure it's worth its price tag for me. I found that my head kind of just flattened out the part it was on, but it still felt hard, and it didn't really support my neck (which is crucial for me). I kept moving it around while I slept in hopes to get it in a better spot on my head and neck, but I was never able to achieve maximum comfort levels.

Overall grade: B-

(Image credit: Amazon)

Smart Home Bedding Super Plush Pillow Dust Mite Resistant Down Alternative (Queen/Standard, 2 Pack)

  • Price: $27.99 for 2 pack
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars out of 1,011 reviews

CAROLINE'S (Side Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: They look and feel super fluffy. But I'm wary of polyester-filled pillows because they seem to flatten out and lose their shape pretty quickly.
  • Fluff level: 4
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Extremely plush polyester. No bounce, no true firmness (save for the fluff of fresh polyester), but super soft and fluffy.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: They're fairly large and soft to the touch.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: The almost overly stuffed plushness that comes courtesy of the brand new polyester filling.

Overall thoughts: As a side sleeper, I need at least a little neck support while I sleep or else I'll be aching all day. While these pillows are big and soft and fluffy—kind of like hotel pillows!—they're definitely built for comfort; not upper back relief.

Overall grade: C

KATIE'S (Stomach Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: This pillow is so basic.
  • Fluff level: 5
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Very fluffy, but also incredibly light, so that when you rest your head on it, it sinks all the way down. Your head doesn't rest on this pillow, but in it.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: How soft it is.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: It's not nearly supportive enough, even for me as a stomach sleeper!

Overall thoughts: I realized I might not mind a fluffy pillow as long as it offers a little more neck support.

Overall grade: C

ARLYN'S (Back Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: Eh. Nothing special.
  • Fluff level: 5
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: This is your basic polyester fiber-fill pillow.
  • Favorite part about this pillow: It's really fluffy.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: The fill doesn't seem to be very supportive at all. Just fluffy, but without substance.

Overall thoughts: I was not impressed with this pillow. I don't understand the 4.5-star review. It's pretty generic, to be honest, and feels cheap (and small). As a back sleeper, my head kind of just sunk into it, while the fluff raised up along the sides of my cheeks in a way that was almost suffocating.

Overall grade: D

(Image credit: Amazon)

Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow - Queen

  • Price: $54.99
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5 starts out of 11,255 reviews

CAROLINE'S (Side Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: This pillow is huge, soft, plush, and dense—can't wait to sleep on it!
  • Fluff level: 4
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: It's shredded memory foam so it's super soft and full but firm. The packaging says to remove fill as needed to customize your support level, however, I kept as-is (since it's new and not fully expanded).
  • Favorite part about this pillow: It's so luxurious! It feels expensive and looks the part, too—right down to the gold stitching! Really seems like a top-notch pillow inside and out.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: As wonderful as the density and firmness was for neck support, it also got hot really fast (despite being advertised as "breathable"); making it hard to snuggle up with this pillow (which I tend to do while I sleep).

Overall thoughts: Ever since I pulled this pillow out of its package, I'd been dying to test it out. It's so big and plush but dense—the perfect combo for a side sleeper who prefers comfort to support (but still needs it). As expected, I fell asleep quickly with this guy but unfortunately, woke up feeling overheated. In hindsight, I should have removed some of the memory foam filler to see if it made a difference, but in the middle of the night, it was way easier to just flip sides.

Overall grade: A-

KATIE'S (Stomach Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: As you open it, the pillow slowly expands, seeming to get much fluffier within the first five minutes. Also, it definitely had a chemical smell (yuck!), but am hoping it will dissipate quickly.
  • Fluff level: 5! But you can also remove fluff if you like it flatter.
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Very soft, fluffy. I would say "cloud like".
  • Favorite part about this pillow: Sinking into this really feels like resting my head on a soft cloud.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: The smell—it irritated me all night, but again, hopefully that will go away over time.

Overall thoughts: This is an incredibly comfortable pillow—and I love that it's customizable for your desired fluff level depending on how you sleep!

Overall grade: A

ARLYN'S (Back Sleeper) REVIEW:

  • First thoughts upon arrival: The case this pillow comes in is so soft and luxurious. I could immediately tell I was going to enjoy this.
  • Fluff level: 4
  • Describe the fill of the pillow: Imagine little bits of shredded memory foam. That's the fill of this pillow, which makes it dense but also flexible, unlike other memory foam pillows I've tried (and hated).
  • Favorite part about this pillow: Um, everything? I especially like how you can take out some of the fill to adjust to your exact liking, however, I kept it as-is and it was perfect for me.
  • Least favorite part about this pillow: It's really heavy and takes a while to get to full fluff mode after opening the packaging.

Overall thoughts: If I could scream from the rooftops how much I love this pillow, I would, except I'm clumsy, and would probably fall off said rooftop. It's fluffy; it's dense; it's mushy. This is everything I want in a pillow and it feels so luxurious. It's certainly one of the priciest pillows on this list, but for me, it's worth it. Since memory foam always has a strong smell at first, I let this "off gas" in another bedroom for a few nights before using. The density supports my head at just the right level as a back sleeper, and combined with my memory foam mattress, I was in heaven. It's actually the #1 top-selling pillow on all of Amazon, and I can see why. Well worth the investment.

Overall grade: A+

Our Findings

Through our collective 15-night pillow test (that's roughly a total of 120 snoozing hours!), there was one pillow that was the all-around winner, coming out on top for each of our sleep types: Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow. It provided the best balance of support, density, fluff and luxury that seemed to hold up whether we were sleeping on our sides, backs or stomachs.

That doesn't mean, however, that the other four pillows were duds (though one certainly was). Our general ratings may have been split on many of the options—an "A" rating from our side sleeper was met with a measly "F" by our stomach sleeper—but that presented some clearcut findings on which pillow was best for which sleep position.

Do you have a pillow that you love so much you want to share with the world (or at the very least, the Apartment Therapy audience)? Tell us what you sleep on, what your sleep position is, and why you love your pillow in the comments below!

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