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    We Tested A Bunch Of Pillows, And Here Are The Ones We Loved

    Prepare yourself for some sweet, sweet pillow talk.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    No matter what the pencil pushers say, sleep is not a luxury. Sleep, in fact, is a necessity, up there with food, water, and a strong Wi-Fi signal (kidding — turn that phone off!). It’s something we all need. It’s something we all do. And if there’s anything worth taking away from our jabbering, it’s that you don’t need to drop a paycheck to get Snorlax-quality z’s.

    OLM, Inc. / Via

    The one-size-fits all approach won’t work with pillows, though. What’s most relaxing to you might be a nightmare for someone else. But we’re here to help! Over the past year, we’ve taken a number of the internet’s highest-rated pillows and tested them for ease of falling asleep, overall comfort, and restfulness after use.

    Editor's Note: We're currently updating these picks! Check back soon for more.

    Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows


    Ok, so “Hotel Beckham” is not a real hotel, let alone a real place. And in the interest of managing expectations, these are not the kind of pillows you’d sleep with at, say, the Four Seasons. They are, however, the platonic idea of what a hotel pillow should be: crisp-white, plush, and not one bit offensive. Our testing group of side and back sleepers agreed: we’d happily rest our heads anywhere there’s a Beckham Hotel Collection gel pillow, and that’s why it’s our favorite low-budget pick.

    Pillows at this price point typically feel like someone smushed a cardigan into the shape of a headrest, especially after a couple weeks of use. Our team tested a wide range of budget pillows for the lion’s share of 2018, and, unsurprisingly, found that their loft (the height of the pillow as it lays flat on the bed) was highly inconsistent. Not so with Beckham.


    Beckham pillows are sold in packs of two and filled with polyester gel-infused fibers, which is more or less the tops for this price point. Meant to be an alternative to down feathers, gel fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic because of its synthetic makeup. So folks susceptible to allergens (bless you!) can breath easy.

    Needless to say, this thing is comfortable. Almost all of our testers pegged this pillow as being at a higher price point. During testing, it was the best for all sleeping positions. Side sleepers, who benefit from a high loft (thicker pillow), loved it, while back sleepers, who need a slightly lower loft, didn’t want to part with it. Even our designated stomach sleeper (combination stomach and side, to be exact), gave it two relaxed thumbs up.


    Fiber gel gives the support of memory foam with a down-like softness, and the Beckham pillow does not disappoint. This pillow is moderately soft with a bit of resistance, and it took minimal fluffing to get it back to tip-top shape. While you can’t expect too much temperature regulation at this price point, none of our testers commented about overheating, sweating, or the pillow running too hot.

    If you’re familiar with BuzzFeed Reviews, then you know we pay attention to user reviews. And it would be remiss not to address the obvious: the flurry of one-star reviews these pillows received recently on Amazon for arriving to customers’ homes moldy AF. Like, literal mold. While that’s totally unacceptable, we never had this issue, even after ordering the pillows four different times in a span of a year. Since these pillows have garnered thousands of five-star reviews across the internet and were universally loved by our testers, we’re giving Beckham the benefit of the doubt and praying to the sleep gods that the mold problem was an isolated factory issue.

    The point remains the same: If you are looking for a pillow that will provide comfort and support without breaking the bank, you can’t top the Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow. It’ll help give you — and your bank account — some seriously sweet dreams.

    Get it from Amazon for $34+.

    Tuft & Needle Pillow


    For something we spend the third of our life doing, sleep should be a no-brainer investment. If you have the means to invest in a swanky bed-in-a-box, our best advice is to think of pillows the same way. And while we’re the first to say that pillow shopping is all about personal preference, after many nights with Tuft & Needle’s Adaptive Foam pillow, we’re convinced we’ve come close to finding a pillow everyone will want to rest their weary heads on.


    If you’ve been on the internet at all in, oh, the past five years, then you’re probably aware of the spate of mattress startups that have taken over the sleep industry. Tuft & Needle was one of those upstarts, before merging with old-school sleep brand Serta Simmons in 2018. Even after going major, the brand remains one of the most popular mattress companies (along with Casper and Leesa), and if their pillows are any indication, it’s easy to see why.

    To understand why Tuft & Needle earned our top spot, you first must wrap your head around the importance of your sleep position and why it matters. All of us spend the majority of our sleep in one of three positions: back, side, or stomach. Each position calls for a different pillow design that helps align the neck and spine in one straight line while lying down. In the sleep business, they call this “good sleeping posture.” Here’s what that looks like for each position:

    If you’re a side sleeper: Generally, side sleepers need a bigger pillow. You want more loft (as a reminder, that means the height of the pillow as it lays flat on the bed), and a slightly more dense pillow — enough to comfortably fill the space between your mattress and the area between your ear and shoulder.

    If you’re a back sleeper: Think of these as a step down from side-sleeper pillows. Less loft, and a little more give. You’re also looking for support, but not so much that your neck cranes forward.

    If you’re a stomach sleeper: You’ll benefit from next to nothing. Thin and flatter pillows work best, or simply just the mattress.

    With so many different position combinations and individual preferences, it’s no wonder the one “perfect” pillow for everyone doesn’t exist. But somehow, Tuft & Needle has created a pillow that every single one of our testers preferred.

    If you’re a stomach sleeper: You’ll benefit from next to nothing. Thin and flatter pillows work best, or simply just the mattress.

    With so many different position combinations and individual preferences, it’s no wonder the one “perfect” pillow for everyone doesn’t exist. But somehow, Tuft & Needle has created a pillow that every single one of our testers preferred.


    Much of it has to do with the fact that Tuft & Needle makes its own foam filling. Recognizing that materials like down require constant fluffing, shredded memory foam can be lumpy and hard to shape just right, and molded foam is hotter than the seventh level of hell, the company produced its proprietary Adaptive Foam, designed to offer both support and pressure.

    There’s a lot to love about this foam: it’s squishy but responsive. It doesn’t go flat. It stays put. And it offers a “sinking” feeling that provides what can only be described as “eyes rolling behind your head” support — a neutral firmness, a cloudlike feeling, as if nothing’s there. We found it to be an absolute pleasure to wake up after sleeping on this pillow night after night, with most testers commenting on the “springy” contoured comfort, with zero reported pains in the neck or shoulders. Tuft & Needle also designed its foam core with ventilated air pockets so that every side of the pillow is the cool “other” side of the pillow.


    The pillow comes with its own washable cover, but unlike our other picks, it’s a cover worth writing home about. Soft and sumptuous, the soft-knit encasing gives the pillow a premium feel with small divots (for breathability) that are no joke a joy to run your hands across. If you can find a more inviting pillow case, we’re all ears.

    It’s also worth noting Tuft & Needle’s 100-night trial, which you should take advantage of. Since it takes at least one week to know if a pillow is right for you, it makes sense to give this pillow a trial period and return it if necessary. Honestly, though, we think you won’t need to return it. After just one night, we’re confident you’ll get your doctor-recommended eight hours and then some. If you’re willing to invest in the best night’s sleep of your life, get yourself tucked in with a Tuft & Needle pillow.

    Get it from from Tuft & Needle for $75+.