Best pillow US 2022: get down with the comfiest pillows around

We've found the best pillows around, whether you're after traditional down, supportive memory foam or versatile synthetic stuffing

Included in this guide:

Original Casper Pillow
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(Image credit: Casper)

Anything less than the best pillow can absolutely ruin a night's sleep. Pillows might all look more or less the same, but beneath that inviting-looking exterior you can find something that's thick or too thin, too firm or too sort, or... horror... a bit bumpy. Get it wrong and that's it, no sleep for you tonight. Or at best, a broken night and a stiff neck in the morning.

The best pillow for one person isn't necessarily the best pillow for another. For that reason, our guide includes a wide range of options for different preferences and needs. For this guide, we've reviewed the latest hi-tech pillows packed with memory foam and temperature regulating fabrics, as well as more traditional offerings stuffed with goose and duck feather and down (see our guide to down vs memory foam vs feather pillows to understand the differences). Most of them offer dust mite allergy protection, so whatever you choose you'll be in for minimal irritation. 

To complete your dreamy bedtime setup, we also have comprehensive guides to the best mattress and the best duvet. For more buying advice, hop to the bottom of this article, or if not, read on for our official ranking of the best pillows around today.

The best pillows US 2022, ranked

Two Scooms Hungarian Goose Down pillows piled on a basketT3 Awards 2021 winner badge

(Image credit: Scooms)

1. Scooms Hungarian Goose Down pillow

The best down pillow to buy now

Specifications
Filling: goose down
Size: Standard or King
Cover: sateen cotton
Hypoallergenic: no
Reasons to buy
+Full and doesn't go flat+Breathable and comfy+Plastic-free packaging
Reasons to avoid
-Not hypoallergenic (but anti-allergy)

The best feather pillow is the Scooms Hungarian Goose Down pillow. It's full, plump and comfy to lie on, with a clever chamber design (an inner core of 15% down and 85% feather, with an outer chamber of 90% down and 10% feather) that keeps its shape well and rarely needs plumping. Choose between standard size (50x75cm) or king size (50x90 cm). The tightly woven, cotton sateen cover is dust mite-proof, making it suitable for those with dust mite allergies – although note it's not fully hypoallergenic. The Scooms pillow is a little more expensive than alternatives, but it looks and feels high end, and is full enough that it can be used on its own, rather than having to stack two pillows on top of one another. There are some welcome extras too: all the stuffing is certified ethically sourced (a by-product of the food industry), and the packaging is plastic-free, too.

Original Casper Pillow

(Image credit: Casper)

2. Original Casper Pillow

Best down-alternative pillow

Specifications
Filling: polyester microfiber
Size: Standard or King
Cover: cotton with polyester lining
Hypoallergenic: not stated
Reasons to buy
+Available in mid or low loft+Machine washable+Clump-resistant fill
Reasons to avoid
-Potentially less supportive than memory foam

Casper's Original pillow is filled with a synthetic stuffing that's designed to mimic the softness of down, and resist clumping. This brand's particular USP is a 'pillow-in-pillow' design that's essentially a firmer, more supportive inner with a soft, cushiony outer. There's a 100% cotton cover, which is good news on the breathability front, and while there's no confirmation that this pillow is hypoallergenic, it is machine-washable. Plenty of enthusiastic reviews attest to the effectiveness of the 'pillow-in-pillow' design, and you've got a 30-night trial period to make sure it works for you, too.

Emma Pillow

(Image credit: Emma)

3. Emma Pillow

The best memory foam pillow

Specifications
Filling: foams
Size: Queen
Cover: polyester and elastane
Hypoallergenic: not stated
Reasons to buy
+Customisable height and feel+Supportive foams+Washable, hypoallergenic cover
Reasons to avoid
-No King size

Emma is the brand behind one of our very favourite memory foam mattresses – the Emma Original – so it makes sense that it'd use its expertise in this material to create its pillow. The Emma pillow has three layers of different foams, and you can unzip the cover to swap or remove them depending on your preferences. Out of the box, there's a firmer top layer is the support layer, a breathable and soft middle later, and medium-firm memory foam base layer. The cover checks most of our boxes, being removable, washable, vegan and hypoallergenic (typically we'd prefer a more breathable natural fabric like cotton, but this won't stretch as is required to make the most of a memory foam). The benefits of going for a memory foam is that it doesn't require plumping, and melds gently to your head's shape to provide custom support. The downsides are that it can trap heat slightly, and doesn't look as nice on your bed as traditional stuffing does. 

Tempur-Neck Pillow on a bed

(Image credit: Tempur)

4. Tempur-Neck Pillow

The best pillow for neck or back pain

Specifications
Filling: memory foam
Size: small, medium or large (not standard sizing)
Cover: polyester knit
Hypoallergenic: not stated
Reasons to buy
+Contoured to fit the neck's curve+Tempur material is supportive yet comfy+Three sizes
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't fit standard pillow cases-Not for front sleepers

If you struggle with back or neck pain, the best pillow for you could well be the Tempur-Neck pillow. It's ergonomically shaped to fit the natural curve of your neck when lying on your side or back, while the 'Tempur Material' (a kind of memory foam) provides a comfy yet firm base that enables your shoulder muscles to relax fully while still keeping your head fully supported. There are three different sizes to choose from, to suit different body types. The hypoallergenic cover is removable and washable, which is a good thing because these won't fit your standard pillowcases. Some customers found it a bit too firm, but in general the reviews are very positive, with many saying it's a bit of a game-changer.

2x Utopia bedding gusseted pillows

(Image credit: Utopia bedding)

5. Utopia bedding gusseted pillow

The best cheap pillow

Specifications
Filling: polyester fibre
Size: Queen or King
Cover: polycotton blend
Hypoallergenic: not stated
Reasons to buy
+Very low price+Different colour options+Well reviewed
Reasons to avoid
-Too soft for some-Polyester cover

If you're on a tight budget, head to Amazon and pick up these gusseted pillows from Utopia Bedding. Sold in a two-pack, they offer excellent value for their (very) low price. Choose between Queen or King sizes and a variety of different coloured gussets (happily, this includes white, if you want something that won't show through a pale pillowcase). These are delivered vacuum-packed; to expand, the brand suggests either leaving them out in the sun, or putting them into your dryer with two tennis balls. So what compromises do you have to make for that low price? Well, the polyester cover probably won't match a natural fibre like cotton for breathability, and a number of reviewers commented that these were on the soft side, so you might need to stack two together if you prefer more height from your pillows. 

How to buy the best pillow for you

Side sleepers will find that a firm pillow is likely the best choice; it'll give you plenty of head and spine support. If you sleep on your front, however, you'll probably need a much softer pillow if you want to avoid a stiff neck in the morning. Tend to sleep on your back? You'll want something in-between. That's really a rough guide though – at the end of the day, what you find comfortable is really mostly down to personal preference. 

There are still some great natural pillows on offer that provide thick and fluffy sleeping aids at prices from cost-effective to 'how much?!'. However, synthetic is a popular choice for those with allergies and for a pillow that will bounce back even after a run through the washing machine (for the avoidance of doubt, here's how to clean a pillow). Memory foam is bang on trend right now and is ideal if you find you're waking with a stiff neck. 

Confused about sizing? Head to our mattress and bedding size guide, which covers US, UK and EU sizing and naming conventions.

Ruth Hamilton
Ruth Hamilton

Ruth runs T3's Outdoors editor (think camping, hiking, mountain biking and adventure sports) as well as running the site's Wellness channel (covering sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing). She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and will talk at length about them to anyone who'll listen.