The best pillow in 2024: 9 dreamy bedtime options

Best pillow: a person adjusting the fill of the Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow
(Image credit: Emma Sleep)

Finding the best pillow for your needs could radically improve your quality of sleep, and it could also mean saying goodbye to waking up with a stiff neck. If your current pillow is more than a couple of years old it's probably past its best, and if it's the wrong height and firmness for your sleep needs it could be causing aches and pains, so it pays to choose carefully when buying a new one; however we're with nine top options to make things easier for you.

We've picked out some of the best pillows available now, some of them from the brands behind the best mattress and best duvet options on the market. You'll find a variety of fillings to choose from, including traditional feather fill (and microfibre alternatives), as well as responsive foam pillows and even a latex pillow, so whatever your sleep preferences you'll be well catered-for. Some pillows come with a variety of depths and firmness options, and we've even included hypoallergenic and cooling pillows to maximise your comfort at bedtime.

We've found options for every budget, and because we've reviewed many of the pillows listed here you can be sure that you're buying something that's been thoroughly tested by our own sleep experts, and you can click through to our in-depth reviews to get all the details you need before you buy.

Got all that? Then let's take a look at the best pillows for sleeping available now.

 The best pillows in 2024 – as chosen by experts 

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How to choose the best pillow for your needs

While everyone will benefit from having a breathable pillow that's easy to keep clean and that won't make you overheat at night, finding the perfect pillow for you is a matter of thinking about how you sleep and choosing a pillow that fits with your sleep style.

Back sleepers will do best with a pillow that has a medium loft and and firmness. That way it can help you maintain a neutral spine alignment, and it'll also help relieve pressure in your shoulders and neck. If it has extra cushioning on the top, all the better, as that'll make for a more comfortable night.

Side sleepers will benefit from a pillow that can relieve pressure on their shoulders and help maintain a neutral spine position. This means looking for a pillow with a firm feel and a high loft; it's also worth seeking out a malleable or fluffable pillow that you can scrunch into shape to suit your sleeping position.

Stomach sleepers should look for a pillow with a low loft and a soft feel, or with a compressible fill that enables you to shape the pillow into a comfortable low loft. This will prevent your head from being propped up too high, and will also help keep your spine aligned.

Combination sleepers who change position a lot in the night will need a more responsive and versatile pillow. Look for one with a malleable or fluffable fill that you can mould into a shape that suits you, or find one with an adjustable fill so that you can find your own perfect loft.

To avoid getting stuck with a pillow that doesn't suit you, try to find one with a risk-free trial period. Many brands provide one; you'll generally need three weeks to decide whether a new pillow is a match for your sleep style.

Do you need a pillowcase?

Many of the high-end pillows featured here are washable with attractive designs that make them feel like they should be on show, which raises the question: do you really need to put a pillowcase on them? And the answer is a resounding yes.

In fact, we'd go further and suggest that you should put two pillowcases on every pillow to give it the protection it needs. A pair of pillowcases can help keep your pillow clean and give it a double layer of protection against sweat, drool, dust mites and bed bugs.

Of course you should wash your pillowcases regularly; at least monthly and more often if you can, and you should also keep the pillow itself clean according to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer (also see our guide to how to wash a pillow). That way you're less likely to find yourself wondering why pillows turn yellow.

Grace Franks

Grace Franks is an experienced sleep and mattress writer who has written for our sister sites Tom's Guide and T3, among other brands. She's interested in organic and eco-friendly sleep products, and how good sleep can improve our general wellbeing. When not writing about mattresses, Grace loves reading, creative writing, and practicing yoga.

With contributions from