Consumer Reports

How to Pick the Right Pillow

NBCUniversal, Inc.

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, we often spend a lot of time thinking about the mattress. But perhaps just as important is the pillow. If you’re on a quest to find the perfect one, listen up! Consumer Reports just finished testing pillows from popular brands like Sealy, Tempur-Pedic, and MyPillow to see which ones might give you a fighting chance of getting a restful night’s sleep.

In CR’s tests, pillows are assessed based on how well they support the head and neck of both back and side sleepers of a range of sizes.

And in a resilience test, a 225-pound evenly distributed weight is placed on each pillow for a total of 96 hours. It’s to evaluate how well a pillow holds its shape, firmness, and thickness. 

The pillows range from about $4 for one from Mainstays at Walmart to $170 for a Tempur-Pedic that consists mostly of memory foam, polyester fibers, or a combination of both.

If you want good support and a long-lasting pillow, you’ll have to spend some money, but maybe not $170.

CR found that some of the cheaper pillows did offer good support out of the box, but when it comes to keeping their shape, many fell flat.

CR’s tests found that pillows that were lower-priced tended not to hold up as well as pillows that cost a little bit more.

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And even some pricier pillows like the $40 MyPillow Classic and the $65 Casper earned a score of only Fair for resilience.

CR recommends the $60 Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow. It’s excellent for both side and back sleepers of any size. And it comes with an extra foam kit so you can adjust the pillow to your liking.

One caveat, says Consumer Reports, is that all of the recommended pillows except the top-rated Coop pillow didn’t do as well in the breathability test. For example, while Tempur-Pedic’s $170 Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow earns a CR recommendation, it scores only a Fair for breathability.

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