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unbiased Pillow Reviews, Ratings & Comparison

Based on 50,020 Actual Consumer Experiences

November 10, 2017

Pillow Type Comparison

Select a pillow type below for more details, including pillow brand / model ratings based on consumer experiences. Ratings indicate what tends to be true for most owners.

Down Alt. Down Feather Latex Memory Foam Poly-
sample 3764 8095 1745 1406 5217 24,898 2181 2732
Owner satisfaction* 84% 85% 85% 82% 85% 87% 84% 77%
Affordable d+ A- d- B C D+ a+ C+
Durable b c- b b A- c+ D+ c
Supportive a c- c c+ b+ b c b
Neck pain relief b+ c B- c b+ b c b+
Moldable b+ B- B b C C C+ d-
Scrunchable C+ A A- B- D C+ C- D
Cuddly d B B+ b c+ B- b- c-
Easy to use D C C C- A A B D
Won't clump/Shift d- c- c C- a B- d c
No noise d C+ b d a b+ C D+
Lightweight D B- a- B- d+ D+ B- f
No odor c- b+ c- d+ c- d a- b+
not hot b+ b c+ B b c- c+ C+
reduces snoring b+ c- c- c b b- c b
Short break in D B+ B- B B C c C
fewer allergies b c+ c c b b c- b-
No need to fluff c d+ d d a B b- A-
Machine Washable D A- D C- D- C- A- C-
Availability D B+ D+ D+ D A B- D
Firmness firm mostly
soft to med- firm soft to med soft to med- firm med to firm mostly
Adjustable Loft yes no no no no yes** no yes

* Based only on the top-rated pillows of their type.
** Select models only.

Pillow Loft Guide and Loft Calculators

Having a pillow with proper loft (or height / thickness) is necessary for achieving comfort and support. Using a pillow with loft that is overly thick or overly thin often results in poor neck alignment and uneven pressure. Discomfort, pain, and breathing difficulties often result.

Use our pillow loft guide and calculators to learn how much loft may best suit you.

Pillows For The Body

See comparisons for top-rated full-body, wedge, and neck (travel) pillows based on over 22,300+ consumer experiences.

Summary of Pillow Type Pros and Cons

Buckwheat Pillows

Pros: Generally supportive and contouring • above-average potential for neck pain relief • height / loft adjustable by adding or removing hulls • good air flow.

Cons: Too firm for some • some noise • too small for some • somewhat heavy • odor possible • may need to experiment to determine right fill quantity.

Read detailed buckwheat pillow reviews & ratings based on 3,764 actual owner experiences.

Down Alternative Pillows

Pros: Generally soft • affordable • cuddly • often moldable / scrunchable.

Cons: May lack adequate support and firmness • questionable longevity • clumping / lumpiness possible with age • may require regular fluffing / shaking.

Read detailed down alternative pillow reviews & ratings based on over 8,095 actual owner experiences.

Down Pillows

Pros: More soft than firm • cuddly • scrunchable • lightweight • durable • quiet.

Cons: Can lack adequate loft and support • initial odor possible • often pricey • may need to be fluffed / shaken regularly • down may escape case.

Read detailed down pillow reviews & ratings based on 1,745 actual owner experiences.

Feather Pillows

Pros: More soft than firm • often moldable and cuddly • fairly long-lasting and durable • often affordable.

Cons: Can lack adequate support and loft • quills may poke through cover • some noise / rustling • need to fluff / shake to maintain loft and comfort • odor possible.

Read detailed feather pillow reviews & ratings based on 1,406 actual owner experiences.

Latex Pillows

Pros: Good mix of softness and support • usually holds shape • often effective at pain relief • won’t clump or develop hollow spots.

Cons: May have initial odor • may flatten somewhat over time • can be pricey • can feel unnatural to some • often heavy.

Read detailed latex pillow reviews & ratings based on 5,217 actual owner experiences.

Memory Foam Pillows

Pros: Often soft yet supportive • strongly conforming • no noise.

Cons: Initial off gassing odor possible • can be pricey • firmness excessive for some • above average weight.

Read detailed memory foam pillow reviews & ratings based on 24,898 actual owner experiences.

Polyester Pillows

Pros: Often inexpensive • potentially suited for all sleep positions • easy to care for • little if any initial odor.

Cons: Can be lumpy • contents may shift and develop hollow spots • fair longevity at best • not always silent.

Read detailed polyester pillow reviews & ratings based on 2,181 actual owner experiences.

Water-base Pillows

Pros: Pain relief ability • contouring support • adjustable loft and firmness • few odor complaints.

Cons: Heavy when filled • possible noise issues • need to experiment to determine right water amount to suit individual preference • average durability / longevity.

Read detailed water pillow review & ratings based on 2,732 actual owner experiences.

About Our Unbiased Pillow Research

Our research findings are based on over 50,000 pillow owner reviews and experiences collected mainly from online retailers Amazon, Overstock.com, Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Macy's.

Research Safeguards to Ensure Accurate Findings

Sample Size
Sample size refers to the number of owner experiences that our pillow ratings are based on. A sample of 200 or more owner experiences gathered is large enough for most pillows to provide findings with a maximum margin of sampling error of ±3 percentage points.

Time Standards
Data is usually not collected from pillows owners who say that they have slept on a particular pillow for less than one week as this is often not enough time to form an accurate opinion. In addition, outdated consumer experience data (data older than five years) is not often collected or is removed from our data set.

Review Quality
When collecting owner experience data from a retailer's website, such as Amazon, "verified reviews" are the only type of review from which data is gathered.

Pillows Included in Our Research

We do not evaluate all pillows available on the market. We evaluate only those that rate highest in owner satisfaction (usually a rating above 83%) based on a significant sample size. Pillows that do not meet this criteria do not appear in our research findings, and owner data on such pillows is not including in our ratings.

Up-To-Date Ratings & Product Information

Our pillow ratings are current. The date near the top of the page shows when the page was updated based on the latest owner experience data and product information. Know, however, that even the most recently updated page is not guaranteed to provide real-time information including current prices or availability.

Unbiased, Truthful Content With Transparency & Disclosure

Sleep Like The Dead receives NO COMPENSATION of any kind from any company, organization or individual to affect in any way or degree the content of our pillow research. Our mission is to help people make informed sleep-product buying decisions, and this can only be achieved by giving unbiased, truthful information.

We have advertising on our site to provide us with the financial resources needed to conduct our extensive sleep product research. These ads are auto-generated and auto-selected by Google Adwords based on a number of factors. Sleep Like The Dead does not select the advertisers nor the ads that appear.

Also, most of our pillow ratings pages include links to Amazon.com. As we state clearly at the bottom of these pages, we will earn revenue if any product(s) is purchased through such links. The links, however, do not provide us with an incentive to be biased as we earn the same commission percentage (within broad product categories) regardless of what a visitor to our site buys. Put differently, Sleep Like The Dead earns revenue from anything a person buys from Amazon, not only a pillow that we link to.

Independent Verification
Given that our pillow ratings are almost entirely based on multiple online public sources, the truthfulness of our findings can be independently verified by anyone, given that they are willing to invest enough time and effort.

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