Personally, I’m a big fan of sleep. Like…really big fan. So having the right pillow is essential for me and well worth an investment. When making any new purchase it’s always good practise to do some research, but this can be so time-consuming. To make your life easier we have done all that research for you and put it all together in one place.
We’ll cover what you need to consider when buying a new pillow, the different types of pillows available, how to choose the right pillow for you and also have a look at some top contenders from each category to give you an idea of what’s out there.
- Best Overall Pillow – Simba Hybrid
- Best Pillow for Side Sleepers – Snuggledown Side Sleeper
- Best Pillow for Back Sleepers – Slumberdown Cosy Nights
- Best Pillow for Neck Pain – Martian Dreams Bamboo
- Best Memory Foam Pillow – Tempur Comfort Cloud
- Best Latex Pillow – Dunlopillo Super Comfort
- Best Budget Down Pillow – Homefocus Goose Feather & Down
- Best Luxury Down Pillow – Littens 100% Pure Hungarian Goose Down
- Best Cooling Pillow – Supportiback CoolGel
- Best Body Pillow – PharMeDoc Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
- Best Eco-Friendly Pillow – Silentnight Eco-Comfort
- Best Budget Pillow – Silentnight Just Like Down Pillow
The Pillow Buyers Guide
What Type of Pillow Should You Get?
Quick Answer: There are five main types of pillow to choose from; memory foam, latex, feather, down and synthetic.
Memory foam pillows are fantastic for those with neck and back pain because they mould to your body and offer a lot of support. Memory foam used to mould to your shape and stay like that meaning you were kind of stuck in one position all night, but new developments mean memory foam is now very responsive to movement.
Little known fact: memory foam was developed for aircraft seats by NASA back in the 60s! Turns out its great stuff for pillows too.
Latex is similar to memory foam in that they’re a little spongy, but they’re more durable. They also tend to be a bit firmer. If you would like a more natural alternative to memory foam then latex is a good choice as it’s made from rubber trees!
Be sure to check the fine print because those pesky manufacturers sometimes mix the latex with other chemicals to keep the price down. 100% latex is, of course, the better option.
Feather pillows aren’t really for me, personally (thank you childhood being poked by feathers sticking out of the covers). They’re great for front sleepers though as they tend not to be very thick.
If you’re thinking of going for a feather pillow, please make sure the feathers are ethically sourced!
Down would be a softer alternative to feathers, however also a more expensive alternative. You can get all kinds of down including duck, goose and eider. They’ll come with a “fill power” which indicates the quality of your pillow and how well it’ll retain its firmness.
Synthetic pillows are by far the most common and the cheapest. They’ll usually be filled with microfibre or hollow fibre which are both types of polyester. Hollowfibre tends to be a little cheaper but they can get pretty hot so not great if you’re already a hot sleeper.
You can also get a cluster fibre filling, super comfy and filled with tiny softballs of material. You can get some pillows with a mix of synthetic materials and cotton which is a good way to get the best of both worlds and not break the bank.
What Should You look for When Buying a Pillow?
Quick Answer: You’ll want to check the firmness, materials used, what type of sleeper it’s good for, the size, whether it’s hypoallergenic and any extra features it might have.
Firstly, you might want to figure out what size pillow you want. The standard UK size for a pillow is 50 x 75cm, however, you can get larger pillows that are 65 x 65cm or 50 x 90cm.
Next, you might want to find out how firm you like your pillows to be. There’s a range to choose from; soft, medium-soft, medium, medium-firm or firm. Choosing this will depend on what type of sleeper you are. Some brands are super helpful and tell you which sleeper the pillow is best for.
You’ll, of course, want to know what your pillow is made of, not just on the inside but the outer cover is very important too. 100% cotton covers are best if you’re a hot sleeper but you can also get pillows with synthetic covers, latex, linen or bamboo.
For those of you out there who suffer from allergies, you’ll want to look into the hypoallergenic properties of a pillow you buy. Some of them out there are catered specifically towards you so that’s good news!
Finally, your pillow can come with all sorts of other features so take a moment to think about what you want from your pillow. It’s a very personal purchase. You can get pillows that have special cooling properties, ones with removable covers or even waterproof pillows if you’re a sweaty sleeper.
How Much Should I Spend on a Pillow?
Quick Answer: As much as you like! Pillows can range anywhere from £10 to £100+ so it really depends on how important your pillow is for you!
You can get a budget synthetic pillow for anything up to around £25. When you start looking at memory foam and down pillows things get a little more expensive, up to about £50 and then there’s so super luxurious, all the bells and whistles, can also make you coffee in the morning jobs that’ll set you back anywhere upward of £100!
Figure out your ideal spend and then how much you’re willing to sway from that for the really perfect pillow but stick to your guns otherwise, this could get costly!
Which Brands Are Best For Pillows?
Quick Answer: It depends on your taste and preferences but there are tons of great UK brands like Silentnight, Simba and Tempur.
Some brands are better at one thing over another. For example, Silentnight offers fantastic value for money pillows. They’re a well-known, trusted brand with a pretty large range. They won’t, however, have top of the line down pillows like Littens.
Simba has some really unique designs with cool technology. They don’t just copy another company's design to make a profit they really put a lot of thought and effort into their products.
Snuggledown is another top brand that has a really big range. They’re one of those brands that are upfront and tell you exactly which pillow is best for what type of sleeper too so that’s handy.
Okay, we’ve been through all you need to know before you buy a pillow so it’s time to check out some of our top picks.
1. Best Overall Pillow: Simba Hybrid Pillow
|Outer||Stratos Phase Changing Fabric|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Back, Side & Front|
|Size||50cm x 75cm|
Simba is a highly recommended brand. Their story began with just a single thread! This thread was supplied worldwide and went into 50 million mattresses. In 2002, they decided to bite the bullet and start their own mattress company and that’s where things get super interesting.
Their range of mattresses, pillows, bedding and duvets have had thousands of positive reviews. For our best overall pillow, we’ve chosen the Simba Hybrid Pillow thanks to its versatile use and ability to suit all kinds of sleepers.
It can be used for back, side and front sleepers thanks to the unique Nanocube technology. Basically, a bunch of small foam cubes are packed into the pillow AND you have the ability to add or remove more as you please. This means you can literally get the perfect firmness for your needs. This is the only pillow that utilises this technology.
Inspired by the same technology used for astronauts, their Stratos heat-busting fabric absorbs and removes excess heat. Combine this with the Aerelle® Cool Night fibres on the side of the pillow and night sweats are a thing of the past. They’ll be no more need for pillow flipping either.
There’s a mesh border around the side of this pillow which, for one, looks really cool, but it’s also designed to keep the air flowing throughout the night. There’s five cooling and carefully thought out layers in this pillow, each works together to make this a pretty unbeatable pillow.
It’s not the cheapest pillow you’ll find, but it certainly packs in enough features to warrant the price.
2. Best Pillow for Side Sleepers: Snuggledown Side Sleeper Pillows
|Outer||233 Thread Count Cotton|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Side|
|Size||38cm x 64cm|
Snuggledown made their first-ever duvet in 1901 so they’ve got a fair bit of experience when it comes to producing top-quality bedding. They’re very particular about what goes into their products so they sort their own feather and down on site. If you like a hand-made touch then you’ll be pleased to learn that Snuggledown sew, fill and package all their products by hand!
If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll be looking for a pillow with some extra height. The design of Snuggledown’s Side Sleeper Pillow ensures your pillow keeps its height by adopting a more cube-like shape with walled sides. To ensure you get a pillow tailor-made to you, you can choose between medium and firm support.
If you have any allergy sufferers in the house, this would be a good choice because it’s free of any down, feathers and dander. Instead, they use a comfy hollow-fibre filling which supports both your neck and back.
For that luxurious finishing touch they’ve used a 233 count cotton cover. Cotton is a great choice for hot sleepers and is also just really nice and soft to touch. Keep it feeling as good as new by washing regularly, around every 3 or 4 weeks. It’s a hassle-free job as this pillow can be machine washed at 40°.
It’s surprising how budget-friendly this pillow is considering it is hand-crafted AND it’s made in the UK. Best not to question it we think!
3. Best Pillow for Back Sleepers: Slumberdown Cosy Nights Pillow
|Outer||Soft Touch Microfibre|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Back|
|Size||51cm x 66cm|
Slumberdown is keen on their researching, which definitely makes for a better end-product. They’re fastidious about the detail, testing every aspect of their designs to ensure they’ll give you the best possible nights sleep. They’re mad about all things bed with product ranges including pillows, pillow protectors, mattress toppers and protectors, electric blankets and more.
For a back sleeper, you don’t want a pillow that’s going to be too high because it’ll pull your neck up at a funny angle. Slumberdown, of course, knows this which is what they had in mind when they created the Cosy Nights Pillow. It has a medium firmness which is ideal for sleeping on your back. If you prefer a different firmness don’t worry, you can choose a soft or firm filling instead!
With a soft hollow fibre filling, you’ll feel comfortable and supported as well as being kept toasty all year round. To keep the price as desirable as it is, Slumberdown went for a microfibre outer casing for their pillow. However, it is still made with a soft-touch finish so you’ll feel cosy all night long.
No-one likes to hand wash or go to the dry cleaners, I think we can all agree on this, yes? Well lucky for you, you won’t have to worry about that because you can chuck this pillow in the wash at 40° and be done with it!
If you want a pillow ideal for back sleepers that comes in three different firmness options, then this UK-made pillow could be for you.
4. Best Pillow for Neck Pain: Martian Dreams Bamboo Pillow
|Filling||Shredded Memory Foam|
|Outer||280GSM Bamboo Rayon|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Back, Side & Front|
|Size||50cm x 75cm|
Martian Dreams is a brand under the umbrella of Martian Made. They have thrown all their focus into manufacturing this bamboo pillow as well as some bamboo pillow protectors too. With this much-undivided attention it’s easy to see why this pillow is so well thought out.
The Martian Dreams Bamboo Pillow features a unique shredded memory foam filling. It’s an innovative idea which means, thanks to the inner zip, you can remove the filling to make it the perfect height for you. This is why it’s ideal for any type of sleeper. You custom make it to suit you.
Symptoms of neck pain, insomnia, snoring, migraines and asthma have all been known to be alleviated thanks to the construction of this pillow. Once you’ve made it the correct height it hugs around your neck and shoulders giving you support everywhere you need it.
This shredded memory foam construction also ensures you remain cool all night long thanks to increased airflow. The breathable covers also help with this, which are made from bamboo that is 4x more absorbent than cotton.
If like me, you’re trying to be more eco-conscious this is a great choice. Bamboo grows super-fast, it’s biodegradable AND it uses 20x less water to manufacture than cotton! Bamboo is being used more and more in commercial manufacturing thanks to this and the fact it’s hypoallergenic, antifungal, antibacterial and moisture-wicking.
5. Best Memory Foam Pillow: Tempur Comfort Cloud Pillow
|Filling||TEMPUR® Extra Soft™ Material Micro-Cushions|
|Outer||98% Polyester, 2% Elastane|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Back, Side & Front|
|Size||74cm x 50cm|
Tempur is a brand synonymous with luxury and quality. They’re one of the go-to brands to get your memory foam pillows, mattresses and other bedding, pleasing their customers since 1992. Look, if it’s good enough for NASA (it is), then it’s good enough for me!
Packed with Tempur Extra Soft micro-cushions, this pillow will cradle your neck and head offering you support in all the right places as it subtly moulds to your shape. It can be fluffed up to your ideal height and shape.
The dual-sided cover can easily be unzipped and washed, at 60° no less! This’ll ensure your pillow is as fresh and clean as possible. The cover itself is super-soft, but it’s always best to put your own pillowcase on top to keep it protected and in tip-top condition for longer. It fits any standard sized pillowcase.
Tempur is so confident in their pillow that they’re offering a 30-night trial period as well as a 3-year warranty! That’s a long warranty considering most memory foam pillows only last a year or so.
This pillow complements the Tempur mattresses perfectly for a truly first-class sleeping experience. For a memory foam pillow, Tempur is kind of the bee's knees, however, that does come at a cost higher than most regular pillows.
6. Best Latex Pillow: Dunlopillo Super Comfort Latex Pillows
|Filling||100% Natural Latex|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Side|
|Size||68cm x 40cm|
Dunlopillo is as environmentally friendly as they come. They use only 100% natural latex in their products which comes from rubber trees. Worldwide, every year, latex rubber trees purify over 90 million tons of carbon dioxide. The sap used from these trees is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-allergenic.
Their Super Comfort Latex Pillow is deep filled with 100% latex. This medium-firm pillow is ideal for side sleepers because of its height; it’ll keep your head in the right position to ensure your spine is aligned nicely.
It comes with a soft cotton cover that can be removed and machine washed. The cotton should keep you relatively cool as well as the airflow holes throughout the latex.
With the proper maintenance, Dunlopillo pillows can last years, which can justify spending a little more than average. For an eco-friendly, durable and comfortable pillow you should definitely consider this one.
7. Best Budget Down Pillow: Homefocus 2-Pack Goose Feather & Down Pillows
|Filling||60% Goose Feather, 40% Goose Down|
|Best For (Sleeper)||All|
|Size||74cm x 48cm|
Homefocus has a small range of bedding including pillows, mattress toppers and duvets. Personally, I like it when a company focuses on one area because I feel like they’ll be focusing more on the product that I want. It’s like going to a Thai restaurant rather than a Japanese/Chinese/Thai restaurant. Where do you think you’ll get the better Thai food? Mmm, I want papaya salad now…
Anyway, all hunger aside, this pack of 2 down pillows seem to be pleasing most. Firstly, they’re great value for money. You’re paying the same for a twin pack that you would normally pay for one.
Most budget down pillows like this will have something ridiculous like 5% down fill and the rest will be feathers but with Homefocus you’re going to get 40% goose down and 60% feathers, not a bad ratio. If you wanted an even cheaper option, they also have a 15% goose down option too.
The cotton outer material is soft but practical. It’s got double needle corded edges which prevents loose threads and ensures a long-lasting casing. It’s also “down proof” because there’s nothing worse than being poked and prodded by feathers during the night.
If you’re an allergy sufferer, this natural pillow is hypoallergenic, anti-dust mite and anti-allergenic as verified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Homefocus says you can machine wash these pillows at 40° which is great but sometimes with down it’s best to err on the side of caution and get it dry-cleaned just to be safe.
Choose this pillow if you're looking for luxury at a reasonable price.
8. Best Luxury Down Pillow: Littens 100% Pure Hungarian Goose Down Pillows
|Filling||100% Hungarian Goose Down|
|Outer||300 Thread Count Cotton with Sateen Stripe|
|Best For (Sleeper)||All|
|Size||74cm x 48cm|
With a price tag like this, you expect the best and that’s just what Littens tries to provide. They’ve packed their pillows with 100% hand-picked goose down to give you a feeling of ultimate hotel luxury, right at home!
Sometimes down pillows can be a bit soft and squash to become too flat but not these. They weigh approximately 850 grams each, a pretty sizable pillow that you’ll sink right into without disappearing completely!
Thanks to the natural goose down filling, you’ll be kept from overheating (it’s very airy and breathable), but in those winter months the down traps warm air and keeps you nice and toasty. Perfect for one of those countries with changing seasons..oh, that’s us!
Down can be a pain when it comes to the outer shell of your pillow as for some reason it just seems to want to escape. No stress here though; Littens has used a 300 thread count cotton jacquard cover so there’s little chance of your filling escaping!
When it comes to quality, small finishing details make or break a product. Littens completed their pillows with double stitched edging and gold trim. Way to feel like royalty! You won’t need to worry about hiring staff to clean your bedding like royalty though, these are machine washable at 40°!
9. Best Cooling Pillow: Supportiback CoolGel Bed Pillow
|Filling||Memory Foam & Cooling Gel|
|Outer||Soft Washable Cover|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Side, Back|
|Size||52cm x 33cm|
Supportiback has a team of more than ten pain specialists on hand to help in the design of their products. Their whole agenda is focused on finding solutions to your pain without the need for medicine or surgery. They do this by supplying top quality office, home, sleep and workout products that are geared towards pain sufferers.
If you get hot at night then you know how infuriating it can be to overheat. It can cause you to lose sleep and, I don’t know about you, but I get very crabby when I don’t get enough sleep. Supportiback has produced the Memory Foam Cooling Gel Pillow to combat this. The CoolGel layer dissipates your heat and then if it’s a cold night you can flip the pillow over and use it as a normal pillow.
If you’re on your back or on your side, you will get the support you need from the high-density memory foam. It cradles your head to keep your neck and spine in alignment, which can also help stop snoring because you’ll be able to breathe easier.
To keep your pillow clean and fresh you can remove the cover and wash it like you would anything else. Even with the extra technology, there’s no need for special care instructions. In fact, with the proper care, Supportiback is so confident in their product that they offer a 100-day guarantee.
10. Best Body Pillow: PharMeDoc Full Body Pregnancy Pillow
|Outer||60% Cotton, 40% Polyester|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Side, Pregnancy, Post-Surgery|
|Size||145cm x 76cm x 18cm|
PharMeDoc believes in the three pillars of life; work, recover and rest. With their line of bedding, pillows and health & fitness products they aim to help you live a balanced, nurturing lifestyle.
A full body pillow is another level of comfort and PharMeDoc has put a lot of thought into their design. It has multiple uses as a pillow for sleeping on your side, to sit up in bed, as a maternity pillow and a nursing pillow.
It works great for pregnant women, particularly in their third trimester, because it supports the head, neck, belly and back all night long. The C-shape design is purposeful, meaning you no longer need to use multiple pillows in bed to get the support you want.
Its cotton/polyester blend cover is removable and machine-washable so no need to worry about stains and keeping it clean. Once you start sleeping with a body pillow it can be hard to let go, which is why PharMeDoc gives you a canvas carry bag too. Take this pillow anywhere you go and know you’ll always have the best night’s sleep.
11. Best Eco-Friendly Pillow: Silentnight Eco-Comfort Pillow
|Filling||100% Recycled Bottles|
|Best For (Sleeper)||Back or Side|
|Size||74cm x 45cm|
Silentnight is a classic UK bed brand that’s been offering top-quality products for decades. They’ve got your standard synthetic pillows, memory foam and now also eco-friendly pillows.
The Eco-Comfort Pillow uses 100% recycled plastic bottles for their fill. They use these bottles to create eco comfort fibres that create a soft, comfy pillow. The “soft” option they offer will be best for front and back sleepers but there’s also a “firm” option for those side sleepers out there.
The knitted polyester cover can be removed and machine washed at 40° so there is no need to worry about dry cleaning costs. Silentnight are adamant their pillow will survive wash after wash so they offer a 2-year manufacturers guarantee.
Their hypoallergenic pillow also has an airy, lofty construction to try and combat overheating but you won’t be hot under the collar when you find out they’re not only eco-friendly, but they actively support the Marine Conservation Society. Good on them!
12. Best Budget Pillow: Silentnight 2-Pack Just Like Down Pillow
|Best For (Sleeper)||Front & Back|
|Size||74cm x 45cm|
Here they are again; Silentnight is making their final appearance on our review with a twin pack of pillows for under £15! If that’s not value, we don’t know what is. Silentnight having been around for 70 years has given them the opportunity to fine-tune their products and manufacture awesome AND cheap pillows.
Their Just Like Down Microfibre Pillows are perfect for back and front sleepers thanks to their soft construction; they won’t lift your head too far, keeping your head and neck in line with your spine.
Packed with hollow fibre they feel like an expensive down pillow but at a fraction of the price. You’ll sink into this comfy pillow which provides good heat retention during those cold winter months we all love (English people never complain about the weather, right?).
For ease of use, Silentnight uses a machine-washable, soft microfibre cover. It can be put in at 40° so it can go in with your other washing and doesn’t need any special settings. Silentnight are so happy with their product they’re giving you a 2-year manufacturer’s guarantee!
Cheap and cheerful is sometimes the way we want to go. Not everything has to be super high-end and luxurious. For 2 perfectly good synthetic pillows at a hard to beat price, check out the Silentnight Just Like Down Pillows.
What’s Next When Choosing The Perfect Pillow For Me?
You may well be asking yourself this very question. After all the information we’ve given you, you should be able to answer a few key questions that’ll help you find the right pillow for you. If you answer yes to most of (there will need to be some compromises, of course) questions in each section then you’ve found the right pillow.
- Is my budget minimal?
- Can I live without the best of the best?
- Can I replace my pillow at least every year?
- Do I have a sizable budget?
- Do I need it to be hypoallergenic?
- Am I a back or front sleeper?
- Do I have a reasonable budget?
- Do I have back and neck pain when I sleep?
- Am I a side or back sleeper?
- Do I have a reasonable budget?
- Do I try to be more environmentally conscious?
- Do I want a long-lasting pillow?
- Am I a side or back sleeper?
- Do I need support for my body as well as my head?
- Do I need a pillow for pregnancy or nursing?
- Do I usually need multiple pillows to get comfy?
Hopefully, we’ve helped on your noble quest for the best pillow around. There are tons to choose from so there’s most likely your ideal pillow out there and with all the hours spent using it, it’s probably worth an investment.
If you don’t like the specific pillow we chose to feature from each brand then go ahead and check out what else they have. Usually, if brands have a side sleeper synthetic pillow they’ll also have one catered to back sleepers and so forth.
They’re all highly regarded and reviewed pillow manufacturers with hundreds of products to peruse. So get comfy and prepare yourself to get even comfier when that long-awaited pillow arrives in the post.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Change My Pillow?
Quick Answer: Every 1-2 years
The reason you should change your pillow is that the support that you get from a new pillow doesn’t last forever. It will weaken and your neck and spine won’t be as supported as they are in the beginning.
Another reason to change your pillow is kinda gross, but when you sleep, you sweat! All that absorbs into the pillow and can even cause some adverse reactions down the line like skin inflammations.
Some types of pillows last longer than others. Memory foam pillows tend to only last about a year before they start to sag. Down pillows also should be changed once a year to avoid clumping, whereas latex pillows are a little more durable and can last 2 years. If you’re looking at a bamboo pillow this should be good for around a year and a half and a synthetic feather pillow should get changed at least once a year.
What Difference Does My Sleeping Position Make?
Quick Answer: A lot. Side sleepers, back sleepers and front sleepers should all have different pillows to accommodate their sleeping style.
To figure out what kind of sleeper you are it’s best to ask someone who sleeps next to you, or try and remember which position you mostly wake up in.
The aim of a pillow is to ensure your spine is aligned as you sleep. Side sleepers need a slightly higher pillow. Some prefer it to be firm to keep the spine in line but others prefer memory foam to mould to their shape.
Back and front sleepers will need a softer pillow. A firm pillow when you’re on your back lifts your head and neck at an angle and can cause neck pain.