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    Best Pillows of 2023

    CR testers put more than three dozen pillows through their paces to find out which will help you get better zzz's

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    Pillows from Comfort Revolution, Coop, GhostBed, Sleep Number, Tuft & Needle
    Our engineers test pillows of all sorts of configurations, foams, and fibers, including those from (clockwise, from top right) GhostBed, Comfort Revolution, Coop, Tuft & Needle, and Sleep Number.
    Photos: Manufacturers

    Sometimes, the biggest barrier between you and a great night’s sleep is right under your head. Even with the support of a good-quality mattress, if your pillow is too firm, too soft, or just doesn’t offer the support that you need, you could find yourself waking up with aches and pains.

    A pillow isn’t a trivial bed accessory. Its core function is to support your neck and back and keep your upper body in alignment as you sleep. That means the right one for you may miss the mark for somebody else. And the wrong pillow could leave you tossing and turning.

    “You need to find a pillow that doesn’t crane your neck in any position,” says Joel Press, MD, physiatrist-in-chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “The idea is to keep your neck as neutral as possible when you sleep.”

    How to Care for Your Pillows
    Pillows require a bit of maintenance to be kept in good shape. Be sure you know how to wash your pillow. And if you have asthma or a dust mite allergy, consider adding a pillow protector. Regardless of how well you take care of your pillows, they do need to be replaced regularly, particularly if you have allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends replacing pillows every two years—indoor allergens, such as dust mites, thrive in places that trap moisture, and that includes bedding. For more about pillows, consult our pillow buying guide, where you can learn more about how we test pillows and additional factors to consider as you shop.

    How Consumer Reports Tests Pillows
    Consumer Reports currently rates more than three dozen pillows from widely available brands, each poked, prodded, and pounded by machines in the lab. We assess how well each one supports the head and neck of people of various sizes—petite, average, and large/tall—whether they sleep on their side or their back. And we use a pressure mat to analyze about 1,600 pressure points, focusing on the contact area between the head and the pillow.

    We also evaluate how well pillows hold their shape by placing an evenly distributed 225-pound weight on each one (to simulate the human body) in a room set to 98.6° F (to mimic body heat) for 96 hours. “Some pillows will show considerable changes, but fluffing will bring the pillow back to the exact characteristics it had prior to the test,” says Chris Regan, the CR test engineer who oversees pillow testing. “Some aren’t able to bounce back.” That’s reflected in a lower resilience score.

    Our latest batch of tested pillows includes a dozen new models from popular brands like Brooklinen, Leesa, Casper, and Tempur-Pedic. Four of the newly tested models performed well enough to receive a CR recommendation.

    The Best Pillows
    If it’s time for you to upgrade, read on for a closer look at the top five pillows from our tests, listed in alphabetical order. Some are adjustable, meaning you can remove some of the filling to your liking. For more options, check our pillow ratings to see how the full slate of pillows performs in each of CR’s tests.

    To see all of CR’s sleep coverage, go to our Guide to Better Sleep.

    CR’s take: The Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft pillow is made of shredded memory foam and excels in our tests for support, no matter your size or sleep position. It’s quite versatile, too. The pillow, sold individually, comes with extra foam, so you can adjust the filling to your liking. It also keeps its shape well, showing little to no change in height or fluffiness in our resilience tests. Our panel of testers was also impressed by its look and feel. The only area where this pillow falls a bit short is in how well it allows air to circulate. It sleeps slightly warm.

    CR’s take: Side and back sleepers will find the GhostBed pillow quite dreamy. It’s made of shredded memory foam pieces with a polyester fiber cover and can be customized to your level of support by removing some of the shredded foam pieces and polyester gel fibers in the pillow. Our tests find that sleepers of all sizes and positions can experience some degree of improved support by removing varying amounts of filling. This adjustable pillow, which comes in a pack of two, earns just middling marks in our resilience test but aces our breathability test.

    CR’s take: Fans of memory foam pillows appreciate that the material contours to the head and neck while offering support for the neck and spine. The Serenity by Tempur-Pedic memory foam pillow, a Costco exclusive, delivers on that while also being highly resilient and breathable. It’s best suited for side sleepers, who get very good support from this pillow, but back sleepers can still expect to get adequate bracing. Overall, it’s a solid pick and, compared to others on this roundup, it comes at a fairly affordable price.

    CR’s take: Sleep Number’s ComfortFit Ultimate is made of a blend of memory foam pieces and down alternative fibers. Inside the pillow casing are three layers that can be added or removed to tailor the pillow’s comfort to your individual needs. It earns top support ratings for both side and back sleepers, and our testers found it to be very breathable. It’s not as resilient as some other options on this list, though, and might not hold its shape over time.

    CR’s take: The Tuft & Needle Original Foam pillow is made of polyurethane foam and comes with a micro polyamide and polyester cover. Despite its composition, testers find that it does not retain heat, and it excels in our breathability evaluation. It also aces our side support test, making it a great choice for side sleepers. It is, however, less ideal for back sleepers, giving just a middle-of-the-road performance in our back-support test. Expect its firmness, height, and support to remain consistent with use.