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If you’re having trouble sleeping these days, you’re not alone. Stats from the CDC show that 1 in 3 Americans don’t get enough sleep (which the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society defines as at least seven hours a night). And while the tossing and turning may keep you up at night, the lack of sleep could also affect your mental alertness, stress levels and your body’s ability to fight off infections.
Savvy companies have come up with a number of ways to help you sleep better, from weighted blankets to cannabis. But the easiest place to start if you’re looking to sleep better, is by upgrading your pillow.
Pillows have seen some major progress in the past decade. While old pillows would become a pancake in a few weeks, the best new pillows feature advanced supportive fillings that use memory foam and anti-clumping technology. Pillow covers have also been updated for a softer feel and with the ability to stay cool through the night. These updates can have a big impact on how you feel during the day, by helping neck issues and allowing you to get more effective sleep — even if you can’t get in the recommended seven hours.
What Are the Best Pillows for Sleep?
Shopping for pillow is more intensive than you might expect. Here are some of the factors you’ll want to consider when shopping for the best pillow for you.
Filling: Most high-quality pillows use either shredded memory foam, solid memory foam, or a mix of shredded memory foam and polyester fiber. Solid memory foam is the orthopedic choice for fixing real neck issues, but they might be less comfortable for the average sleeper. And while down is still a popular choice, some new pillows also use a modernized down filling (or vegan alternative) that’s just as soft and supportive.
Cover: While a pillow’s filling keeps you supported, the cover should keep your face cool and happy. Many of the best pillows feature a fabric that’s breathable for a cool-side-of-the-pillow feel all night. Also, you’ll want a cover that’s machine washable and hypoallergenic.
Adjustability: Proper pillow height is key for maintaining spine alignment. If you typically sleep on your side, you’ll want a higher pillow. If you sleep on your stomach, low pillows are best. Back sleepers should have something in the middle. Some of the best pillows are adjustable for achieving just the right height and firmness.
1. Coop Home Goods Loft Pillow
Few pillows can claim the universal comfort offered by Coop’s loft pillow. The pillow’s cover is made of bamboo-derived rayon and polyester, translating to a super soft, hypoallergenic spot for your tired head.
But the insides are what really put the Coop pillow in a class of its own. Coop uses a blend of cross-cut memory foam and microfiber, providing a feel that’s similar to a regular pillow but a whole lot better. Plus, this filling can be removed or beefed up (the pillow includes extra filling), giving you full power over the pillow’s size and firmness. This means it’s great for every kind of sleeper and perfect for people who don’t stick with one sleeping position.
2. Casper Sleep Pillow
Casper has become a massive purveyor of sleep products in just six years of existence. Why? They make cutting edge products that seriously target your sleep issues. This pillow is one of their best products, with softness, incredible temperature control, and support.
The Casper pillow uses a special percale weave on the cover that keeps the pillow cool throughout the night. In terms of cushioning, the Casper pillow is right in the middle, with a down fill that’s divided into five chambers to avoid clumping. The only downside is lack of adjustment, so if you need something extra supportive or extra soft, consider a different pillow.
3. Dream Rite Memory Foam Pillow
Dream Rite isn’t as big a name as Casper or Coop, but their pillows are definitely worth considering. Their pillow uses a shredded memory foam and polyester filling that can be partially removed for customization. The memory foam makes up most of the filling (80 percent to be exact) so this pillow is on the firm side.
The cover is high quality as well, with a rayon-polyester construction that’s hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant. This cover and the whole pillow itself can be thrown in the washing machine, which is a huge plus that our other picks can’t claim.
4. EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
If you prefer a classic orthopedic memory foam pillow we suggest this one from EPABO. It’s ideal if you suffer from neck issues or if you’re a back sleeper. The pillow is ergonomically contoured to cradle your head and shoulders while keeping your neck straight.
While the pillow itself isn’t washable, the breathable rayon-polyester cover can be removed and machine washed. Overall, it’s a great therapeutic pillow, although not ideal for side and stomach sleepers.
5. The Wedge Pillow
We love the versatility of The Wedge, a triangle-style foam pillow which helps to encourage better positioning and posture, whether you’re watching TV on the couch, sitting up in bed to read a book, or need something to prop you up while stretching or doing yoga. This pillow is great for actual sleep too, especially if you like to keep your head and neck at a slight angle, say, to prevent snoring or just for a lift regular pillows can’t provide.
The makers of The Wedge say it’s great as a pregnancy pillow too, helping with lumbar support and stress relief. The unique shape of the pillow makes it easy to tuck in between limbs, under your back, under your legs or even as a lap desk. We suggest keeping one in your home office, one on the couch, and one for bed.