Not getting enough rest? The problem could be your pillow. A bad one can keep you tossing and turning through the night. That not only makes you groggy the next day, but over time it can put you at risk for everything from obesity to depression, says Lisa Shives, MD, medical director of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois.
To help you get more rest, we snoozed on 20 pillows, checking for stray feathers and funky smells while keeping in mind criteria from Rocco Monto, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Massachusetts, and a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “A good pillow should fill the gap between your head and neck and the mattress, and dynamically assume that shape during position changes as you sleep.” Which ones delivered all night long? Here, the standouts for every sleep position.
Sealy Posturepedic Posture Fit Back Sleeper Pillow ($85; amazon.com) “This is like a big puffy marshmallow—in a good way,” noted our tester, who called it “soft yet firm.” Hypoallergenic polyester fibers in a gusseted shape gave extra support, with no bunching up at the ears.
Eddie Bauer Classic Goose Feathers & Down Pillow ($175; amazon.com) “My head felt lined up with my spine—no more cricks in my neck!” our tester raved. The pillow (also in firm) boasts an inner feathers-and-down chamber that’s then wrapped in down, providing ideal support.
Beyond Down Side Sleeper Pillow ($90; amazon.com) This pillow’s extrawide gusset “offered good support at the base of my neck,” our tester reported. The hypoallergenic, lump-free filling had “an almost downlike feel, and it didn’t shift, so the support kept up as the night wore on.”
L.L. Bean Down Damask Pillow, Firm ($139; llbean.com) L.L. Bean’s 100 percent goose-down pillow cradled our tester’s head and neck without feeling dense. “It was thick and lofty,” she said, “and I didn’t have to keep re-fluffing it.” It’s cheaper than most goose-down pillows, too.
Primaloft Deluxe Pillow ($50-70; macys.com) With a soft-cotton cover and an ultracomfy fill, this pillow is above the pack. “This is the one synthetic that didn’t feel like a comfort sacrifice,” our tester noted. The TCS comes in models for every sleep style—and each costs just $20!
Cuddledown 600 Fill Power European Duck Down Stomach Pillow ($69; amazon.com) Our tester wished for a pillow that felt “soft and squishy with just enough support,” and she got what she was looking for in this model. “My head sank in, and my neck felt perfectly cushioned,” she noted. Bonus: No weird down smell.