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Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows Claritin Ultimate Allergen-Barrier Pillow Tuft & Needle Pillow

The Best Pillows

We hope you love the products we recommend! We do a lot of research and testing before making our picks for the best thing to buy in each price-point. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For more info on how we choose products and make money, go here.

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows

  • Polyester gel-fiber fill
  • Sold as a pack of two
  • Also great for sitting up in bed
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Claritin Ultimate Allergen-Barrier Pillow

  • Firm and supportive
  • Washable protective pillow cover
  • Available for back and side sleepers
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Tuft & Needle Pillow

  • Ventilated foam core
  • Immediately soft and inviting
  • 100-night risk-free trial
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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.


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.

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Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows

Starting from $37

The Details

Available in queen and king sizes

240-thread-count shell

Queen size: 20 X 28 inches

King size: 20 X 35 inches

Machine-washable

Available in a two-pack only

What / Who It's Best For

  • Back and side sleepers, those who can’t decide
  • People updating their guest room on a budget
  • Couples who fight over the “good” pillow

Why We Love It

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 Hotel pillow tag

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.

Beckham Hotel Pillow stacked on top of each other

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.

User Reviews

“My boyfriend (who is the pickiest man I know) has rated this pillow a 10 out of 10, which says a lot, considering he can find a flaw in just about any product. The pillow holds its shape and supports your head while being soft and comfy. At night, I roll around about as much as a pig in mud and this pillow works in every position. I have also noticed I sleep much better throughout the night. I am usually up by 8:30 on the weekends, but the first night I slept with this, I was dead to the world until 10am! I thought the clock was wrong for sure, but no, just a damn good pillow.”
— Jessica Harvey From Amazon
“I have herniated discs in my neck and have been through MANY pillows, so I have to say I am somewhat of a pillow snob! These pillows are just unbelievable and for the price, you can't go wrong. These pillows are perfection for my poor neck. They are cool and in South Florida that is important, since it's hot as heck most of the time! They are soft yet firm and they provide great support for my neck (which I've had problems with for 20 years). I highly recommend these pillows to anyone, but especially to those who have neck issues. Mine arrived perfectly packaged (NO MOLD, as others have stated). Once opened from the vacuum-sealed package, they expanded to king size! Amazing! I love, love, LOVE these pillows. I’ll buy them again if I need to replace these.”
— Lynn E. G. Salgado From Amazon
“I absolutely love these pillows. They actually feel like you are lying on a cloud. I have spent hundreds on brand-name memory-foam pillows that failed to relieve my neck pain — these pillows made that pain go away immediately. I was so impressed with the feel of them that I bought two more just to have for trips. I found these pillows to be incredibly comfortable and durable, and they still maintain the great fluffy feeling even after a year of use.”
— Taylor Hertz From Amazon
“I am a side/stomach sleeper and have had a tough time finding the perfect pillow, until now. This pillow is soft and narrow enough to sleep comfortably on my stomach. It’s not like other pillows that sink so much the rest of the pillow covers my face, making it hard to breathe. This one is absolutely perfect. No longer do I have to put my arms under the pillow to prop up the middle enough in order to breathe.”
— C. Romano From Amazon

Beckham Luxury Linens

Vacation-level sleep at home

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Claritin Ultimate Allergen-Barrier Pillow

Starting from $50

The Details

Available in queen and king sizes

Washable protective cover

Queen size: 20 X 28 inches

King size: 20 X 36 inches

Machine washable

Two-inch side gusset

What / Who It's Best For

  • Folks who toss and turn while they sleep
  • People who need support but dislike contour pillows
  • Anyone looking for a firmer option

Why We Love It

We know what you’re thinking. “A Claritin-branded pillow? Really?” When we first came across it, we had the same reaction. Turns out we know diddly-squat, because the Claritin Ultimate Allergen Barrier pillow was so wonderful at giving our testers quality shuteye that it edged out other popular down-alternative and memory-foam pillows in the same price range.

If you told us a year ago that our pillow review might involve an antihistamine, we would have never believed you. But let’s get one thing straight: Despite Claritin’s claim that its pillow provides the “ultimate allergen barrier,” we didn’t love it because of that. Let’s get another thing straight: There is no such thing as 100% allergy-proof bedding, no matter how hard you try to protect yourself.

Claritin pillows queen and king sizes

For context, hypoallergenic bedding refers to bedding that’s designed to lessen our exposure to allergens (think dust mites, pet dander, and mold). There’s plenty of dubious info out there, but the truth is, the term hypoallergenic, as a marketing buzzword, is meaningless. Few folks know this better than Jennifer Namazy, a San Diego-based allergist-immunologist. “If you search for the term online,” Namazy explains, “the results can run from organic bedding to microfiber to cotton, and there’s really no standardization of what is required for something to be labeled ‘hypoallergenic.’”

Namazy, who’s spent the past 20 years treating bleary-eyed patients, tells us that if you don’t have any bothersome symptoms, there’s no reason to base your purchase decision on whether the bedding is hypoallergenic. However, if you are sensitized to household allergens, it pays to be wary of bold claims. Namazy’s advice? “The most important thing is to first buy any pillow — whatever feels comfortable to you — and put an impermeable cover on it.” We haven’t done the full rounds yet, but this pillow encasing should do the trick.

Claritin pillow stacked on top of each other

No one likes to be reminded that bedding accumulates all kinds of icky bodily things like dirt, drool, and sweat, but alas, we must. Thankfully, the Claritin pillow already comes with a washable protective cover that keeps away all the gross stuff that, over time, can cause a pillow to break down and provide less support. You can throw the whole thing in the wash, pillow, cover, and all — a low-key big advantage of down-alternative over memory foam.

Aside from being completely washable, the pillow offers more support than a parent on graduation day. If you can imagine a hotel pillow menu, the Claritin pillow would be your firm/dense option. Back- and side-sleepers enjoyed the pillow because it offers exceptional neck support with just enough give to accommodate shifts in position.

And though some testers wished for a lighter, more moldable pillow (see: our runner-up), the majority preferred the Claritin for its neck-cradling support, and for the fact that it accommodates both back and side sleepers, with two versions of loft and firmness (if you sleep on your side and back, like most of us, go with the side-sleeper version).

Claritin pillow standing upright

If you’re looking for a pillow that stands at your attention and won’t move around while you sleep, then you’ll love the Claritin pillow. Polyester-made from the outer cover to the down-alternative filling, and weighing in at three pounds, the pillow features a two-inch gusset — the extra piece of material around the sides of the pillow — which gives it structure while keeping the fill inside squishy. As one tester described her experience, this style is ideal for people who prefer sleeping “on” a pillow rather than “in” it.

When it comes to quality winks, this pillow topped the charts. We found that its ability to conform to your head was a satisfying way to fall asleep, and we got enough support to feel comfortable after a full night’s sleep. For overall comfort and restfulness at this price, the Claritin pillow is more than worthy of a look.

User Reviews

“This pillow feels like it was made to rest the head of a heroic 2000-year-old Time Lord. I think it's filled with actual live geese, spritzed with the divine tears of Dwayne Johnson, and handspun with the golden hair of Fabio. It's so heavy you could dive to the deepest depths of the seven seas with this on your back and meet the mermaid who invented it. If Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise needed a new second in command, this would be it.”
— Deelee From Bed Bath & Beyond
“I love this pillow! It has the right amount of firmness for me and doesn't seem to heat up like other pillows. It has the benefit of the allergen barrier and it's just a great pillow.”
— MegK From Bed Bath & Beyond
“I’m a side sleeper with allergies and neck issues. I take this with me everywhere. It’s a great pillow. I have had mine for years and have had no issues.”
— Debongi From Bed Bath & Beyond
“I have always had down pillows. I decided to try this one when my last down one wore out and I couldn't be happier. It is not too firm and it works well for side and back sleeping. I would purchase another.”
— Montanagal From Bed Bath & Beyond

Claritin

Support where you need it most

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Tuft & Needle Pillow

Starting from $75

The Details

Proprietary Adaptive® Foam

Available in queen and king sizes

Queen size: 16 X 25 inches

King size: 16 X 34 inches

100-night trial

Three-year warranty

Plush washable cover

Made in the USA

What / Who It's Best For

  • Anyone who hates fluffing
  • People who already love their mattress-in-a-box
  • People who like the idea of sleeping on a cloud

Why We Love It

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.

Tuft & Needle pillow with hand pushing down

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.

Tuft and Needle top view

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.

Tuft & Needle cover closeup

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.

User Reviews

“I finally found a pillow my head and neck enjoy. I recommend this pillow for back and stomach sleepers. It gives great support while also being soft. It supports both my head and neck perfectly. I’ve used it for a month now and I have had no issue at all adjusting to it. I even slept great my first night on it. No complaints here!”
— Kris Hall From Amazon
“I did not want to love this pillow... I didn't even want to like it. But here I am, unable to ever go back to sleeping on any of the other pillows I've tried throughout the years! This pillow has absolutely blown me away. It is hands down the best money I've ever spent on a sleep product. It has just the right amount of firmness and the perfect height for a fabulous night’s sleep. It manages to feel cool on my cheek all night long and retain the perfect amount of cushion to still feel fresh, even after a solid eight hours of sleep!”
— Allison From Amazon
“I was hesitant to buy this pillow due to the price tag (poor college student), but I can honestly say that this has significantly improved life for me. For years I have dealt with severe joint problems and despite seeing doctors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, osteopaths, and chiropractors, the problems persisted. I had tried a number of different pillows but none helped. I've now had this pillow for maybe a month and my problems are practically gone. Although it took me about a week to get used to, it’s very comfortable and easy to get into a good position at night while also keeping its shape. It stays cool, I never feel as if the part of my head on the pillow is getting too warm and it’s fantastic for side sleeping. It feels like it’s at just the perfect height and keeps my spine and neck straight.”
— Elk From Amazon
“This pillow feels like it will last forever! It's a great height for neck support, but not so tall that it stretches your neck. It feels firm like memory foam, but your head sinks down into it comfortably. It stays put while other pillows tend to squish around and end up sideways or pushed up against the headboard. My husband loves it and slept so well with it that I noticed a difference in his tossing and turning. It's definitely high quality and doesn't have a smell at all. Plus, it's fun to watch it expand after rolling out of the little box!”
— Emily From Amazon

Tuft & Needle

Sweet dreams are made of these

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