How long do pillows last?
Even the best pillows aren’t meant to last forever; for the best sleep, the National Sleep Foundation recommends replacing a well-used pillow every couple of years.
Our fluffy little pillows absorb a shocking amount of dead skin and body oils night after night, which is the perfect breeding ground for allergens like dust mites.
You can tell if it’s time for a new pillow if your pillow is lumpy or flat, no matter how much you fluff it. Robbins also told us that a healthy pillow springs back when you compress it; if you fold your pillow in half and it stays put, it’s probably time for a new pillow. (One caveat: it may not work with a very, very thin pillow.)
Which pillows are best for allergy sufferers?
Many pillows are made from hypoallergenic materials, but Robbins recommends looking for a pillow with a synthetic filling if you’re prone to allergies.
Pillows with animal fillings (such as down) may trigger allergies or exacerbate them over time since dust mites really like fillings made from animal material.
Are pillows adjustable?
It depends on the pillow. Many are not. However, our top pick, the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow is entirely adjustable, so you can find the loft that’s right for you.
To adjust, add or remove filling (the box comes with extra filling if you like a lot of loft) to reach your ideal comfort level.
What are the best pillows for hot sleepers?
If you tend to sleep hot, you may find pillows with down or down alternative filling — such as the Casper Original Pillow, Parachute Down Alternative Pillow, Saatva Pillow, or Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows — have better airflow than memory foam pillows.
Some memory foam pillows have started advertising “gel foam” that purportedly keeps your cooler. However, we haven’t found that this type of foam produces a marked difference in comfort for hot sleepers. If you absolutely must have a foam pillow, the Leesa Hybrid Pillow is the coolest foam pillow we’ve found.
How much do pillows cost?
You can find pillows at a range of price points, anywhere from $10 to several hundred dollars. It’s not always the case that you have to spend more to get a good pillow. (Our budget pick is under $25.)
Considering how much of our lives we spend sleeping, Robbins recommends thinking of a pillow as an investment that will pay you back in better sleep. Our favorite pillow is entirely customizable and costs about $60, though you can often find it on sale for as little as $40 during the holidays and other sales events.
Why do pillows turn yellow?
Sweat, oil, and skincare products can all turn your pillow yellow. Adding a pillow protector may help prevent the stains.
How often should I wash my pillow?
Typical recommendations range from every three to six months, though not every pillow can be washed. We recommend following manufacturer instructions for how to best care for and clean your pillow.
The National Sleep Foundation and Robbins both recommend adding a pillow protector (an encasement that adds another level of protection from allergens, body oils, dust mites, and other pests) in addition to a pillowcase. Many of our top picks come with a protector.
You should also fluff your pillows daily. Taking care of your pillow not only extends its life and helps you sleep better but can also ease allergies.
What is pillow loft?
Loft refers to the height of your pillow, which will determine how far off the mattress it will lift your head. In general, experts recommend a pillow that will keep your head and neck in alignment with the rest of your spine.
How much loft that’s needed to accomplish this depends on your sleeping position (side sleepers need more loft to bridge their shoulder gap, while stomach sleepers need minimal loft since their head is so close to the mattress) and individual anatomy. A pillow with an adjustable loft, like our top pick, helps you dial in the perfect loft for your body and sleeping style.
What pillow sizes are available?
Most pillows for sleeping come in two sizes: standard (or queen) and king. We recommend a standard or queen size for twin, full, and queen mattresses and king pillows for king or California king mattresses.