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Best Down Pillow For Back Sleepers

Q: Will My Pillow Last Longer Than A Year

Best Pillows for Back Sleepers – All 5 Are Amazing!

Theres no exact answer to whether pillows will last longer than a year, says Savy. However, when the comfort of the pillow begins to deteriorate, this is a warning sign that the pillow is out of date. According to Saatva, even high-quality pillows lose their shape after a few years of daily use, and most experts recommend replacing your pillow every two years to be safe. Some additional warning signs that its time to replace your pillow include: neck pain in the morning, a change in preferred sleep position, the pillow has an odor or is discolored or gotten lumpy.

Sleep Surface Mattress Firmness

No matter if you sleep on the floor, a foam mattress, or a mattress with a pillow top, it is important to understand that your sleeping surface impacts your neck and, in turn, your quality of sleep.

NOTICE: When your mattress is softer, you will compress the sleep surface. This reduces the area your pillow needs to fill.

Which Down Alternative Pillow Sizes Are Available

Down alternative pillows come in most of the standard mattress sizes. The exact dimensions may vary between manufacturers.

Standard Standard pillows measure 20 by 26 inches. Their relatively small size makes them suitable for use with any size mattress, including a twin or full sized mattress. Theyre also a good option for people who like sleeping right up to the edge of their pillow. Almost all manufacturers offer a standard option.

Super Standard Two inches larger than standard pillows, Super Standard pillows measure in at 20 by 28 inches. This is a less common size, but may be a good option for those who need just a little bit more length. You may also see these under the name Jumbo Pillow.

Queen The queen size pillow is one of the most common, in large part due to the popularity of queen size mattresses. At 20 by 30 inches, this size is ideal for a queen mattress or for anyone who wants a slightly longer pillow.

King King size pillows measure 20 by 36 inches. This is significantly longer than a queen size pillow and may be perfect for sleepers who tend to shift from side to side throughout the night. Its also long enough to make a useful prop when sitting up in bed.

Body Pillow Body pillows usually measure 20 by 54 inches. Many side sleepers find that hugging a body pillow helps align the hips and knees in order to improve spinal alignment and reduce pressure points.

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Who Is Best Suited To A Down Pillow

We recommend down pillows to anyone who feels most comfortable on a very soft surface that sinks deeply beneath the head and neck. However, how much you like or dislike lying on a down pillow may depend on your sleep position, body type, head size, and other factors. Our picks for who is and isnt suited to a down pillow include the following:

Who is suited:

Who is not suited:

Best Down Pillow For Side And Back Sleepers

Best Pillows For Back Sleepers

Boll & Branch Down Pillow

  • Price: $$$
  • Fill: Down

The Boll and Branch Down Pillow comes in three density options: soft, medium, and firm. We tested the medium one, which we think is the perfect feel for side sleepers.

Its the type of softness you expect from luxury hotel bedding, but its still supportive enough to keep your head elevated and prevent kinks in your neck.

While we love the medium feel, we recommend getting the firm density if you sleep on your back and need more support. For stomach sleepers, the soft option is likely your comfiest bet.

  • Fill: Down and feather

If youre on a budget but really want the feel of down, the LUNDTRAV is an affordable option. The one we tried during editorial testing was a bit too flat for side and back sleepers though theres a loftier option at a slightly higher price point.

We think this could be a great pillow for stomach sleepers. On the other hand, side sleepers will likely feel that this pillow doesnt have enough height to properly support their neck.

Still, this pillow definitely has the soft feel of down. It also doesnt retain as much heat as we expected likely because its a feather-down combo. The breathable cotton cover might also play a part in regulating temperature and preventing heat from trapping.

Harris Pillow Supply Heavenly Down Pillow

  • Fill: Blend of microfiber clusters and conjugated fiber

If youre looking for a melt-into-it kind of feel, the Heavenly Down Pillow wont disappoint.

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Consider A Separate Neck Roll For Extra Support

According to Tal, back sleepers who suffer from neck pain may need extra support beyond what most standard-shaped pillows can provide. If you suffer from neck pain you may want to consider a contour pillow that has built-in support at the bottom. If so, you should make sure that the contour is the right size and keeps your head, neck and spine aligned. Alternatively, a separate supportive neck roll pillow can also work to help prevent neck pain, and is easier to try out along with another pillow you like.

From $99 At Casper And Amazon

Casper describes this pillow as feeling like a marshmallow and we couldnt agree more thats exactly what this pillow feels like. The squishy yet supportive Casper Hybrid pillow has a synthetic fill core surrounded by an outer layer of memory foam, which offers the perfect balance between excellent support and comfortable plushness, unlike some other foam pillows which we found too firm or too soft in our testing. The ventilation holes in the foam layer also give the Casper Hybrid an advantage over other memory foam pillows it never left us feeling overheated while sleeping, so its a great choice if you are a hot sleeper.

While the Hybrid Pillow is sold for general use, we liked it for sleeping on our side because of its rectangular shape and substantial side gusset, which helped keep our head elevated in a comfortable position but didnt dig into our shoulder or neck. It also kept its shape throughout the night.

The Hybrid Pillow comes in two heights, regular with a 2-inch gusset and low loft with a 1.25-inch gusset. You can take a quiz on Caspers website to help determine which loft height is right for you. Casper recommended a low loft pillow for our testers needs and we found it was the perfect size for our petite tester, so if you have a larger frame you may want to consider the regular loft size.

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How We Chose The Best Down Pillows

A new pillow wont usually break the bank, but its still an important purchase. Heres what we considered when putting this list together:

  • Real-world testing. We did some testing of our own and reached out to real people, including Healthline editors, to get input about their favorite down pillows.
  • Customer reviews. While real-world testing is great, it also helps to gather feedback from reviewers. Not everyone sleeps the same way, so looking at reviews helps us determine whether a pillow works for various sleepers. We also used reviews to narrow down our search and focus on the pillows that people are raving about.
  • Materials. All our picks include some kind of down. If they also contain feathers, thats clearly noted.
  • Variety. In addition to including pillows at several price points, youll also find options suitable for different sleeping styles.

Are Memory Foam Pillows Good For Back Sleepers

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Memory foam pillows can be a great option for back sleepers the natural contouring and pressure-relieving properties that memory foam provides can help support the neck and the head and keep it in the right alignment, all without falling flat or changing shape overnight. The key is to find the right support level and height for a persons body type – not all memory foams are created the same in terms of feel or support.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Down Alternative Pillows

How much do down alternative pillows cost?

The average price for a down alternative pillow is between $20 and $30. High-quality down alternative pillows can range up to $80. Proprietary materials, cooling technology such as phase-change material or gel beads, and the quality of the cover can all raise the price-point.

How do I clean a down alternative pillow?

Most down alternative pillows are machine-washable and can be tumble-dried on low heat. Adding a tennis ball to the dryer can help ensure the pillow dries evenly and stays fluffy. Always be sure to check the care instructions before washing the pillow for the first time, as some may be dry-clean or spot-clean only.

Where can I buy a down alternative pillow?

Down alternative pillows are easy to find online and in brick-and-mortar stores. This gives them another advantage over feather and down pillows, which are comparatively rare.

How long do down alternative pillows last?

The average down pillow lasts around 2 years before needing to be replaced. Machine-drying the pillow and fluffing it regularly can help boost the loft for a while, but eventually, the contents will flatten out and the pillow will be unable to maintain its original height. As this lifespan is on the short end for a pillow, its something to keep in mind when setting your budget.

Are down alternative pillows adjustable?

Do down alternative pillows have an odor?

How To Shop For A Pillow For Back Sleepers

A person can shop for pillows either in-store or online.

Many different stores sell pillows, including dedicated sleep stores and grocery stores. An advantage of shopping in-store is that a person can feel the support, firmness, and loft of the pillow before committing to a purchase.

Purchasing a pillow online may be more convenient for people who do not have the time to shop in-store or those who know what type of pillow they require. However, a person should always check a companys return and warranty policies to ensure they can return the pillow if it is not suitable.

Body pillow 20 x 54 in

A person may also purchase pillows that do not come in standard sizes. The following pillow types may be suitable for certain sleeping conditions:

  • Wedge pillows:This pillow type angles the head up during sleep, providing more support for those who sleep on their backs. Using a wedge pillow may also help reduce snoring.
  • Cervical pillows:These pillows are often rounder in shape and may help ease neck and shoulder pain. Learn more about cervical pillows.
  • Sleep apnea pillows:These pillows may suit those who have continuous positive airway pressure machines. The pillows have a cutout to accomadate CPAP tubes and help keep the head elevated.

Recommended Reading: What’s The Best Type Of Mattress For Side Sleepers

Best Overall Down Pillow

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Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Best Back Sleepers Pillows


The best-selling pillow on Amazon right now is the Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow. It boasts over 166,000 customer reviews, with over 70,000 of those user reviews rating it a full 5 out of 5 stars. What’s so special about the Beckham Hotel Collection pillow? It features a gel fiber fill that feels as plush as genuine down, but at a fraction of the price.

A minor caveat is that you can only buy this pillow in pairs, but you can always reserve the second pillow for a guest room or a replacement down the line if you only sleep on one and it isn’t the right pillow for your partner. Another drawback is the lack of a warranty, but a 30-day money-back guarantee still applies.

Given the thick and plush build of the Beckham Hotel Collection gel pillow, we aren’t surprised to see that many of its 5-star Amazon reviews come from side sleepers who find it supportive and comfortable. Considering how affordable it is, it holds its shape well, even with regular use.

Copper bedding is designed to wick away body heat and stop the growth of bacteria on your skin, among other benefits. If you’re keen to try a copper-infused pillow to help keep you comfortable and fresh, then the best pillow for you is the very popular Layla Kapok Pillow.

Choose from standard size or king size to suit the size of your bed, and take your pick from either soft, medium or firm feel.

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Brook + Wilde Marlowe Goose Down Pillow

Theres no snoozing that Brook + Wildes Marlow pillow is the most expensive on our list. But we think its worth paying the price for the best night’s sleep. Replicating the plushness of hotel boutique quality, youll experience nothing but cloud-like comfort night after night with this best overall pillow. We sure did. We tested the medium support one and found it got more plush after each sleep as the pillow adapts to the shape of your head. Whilst this is contrary to other pillows that tend to flop and flatten after every sleep, it makes it great for every type of sleeper since it is soft enough to sink into but stays firm and at the right height.

Its secret to superior comfort? A three-part blend of 100% new white European goose feathers and 90% new white Masurian goose down covered in down-proof 360 thread count 100% Egyptian cotton to prevent feathers from poking out. These high-quality materials are all responsibly sourced and comply with zero tolerance standards. Impressive! And that’s not all: this pillow can be machine washed up to 40 degrees and tumble-dried, without losing its poof.

If the price is still off-putting, you might want to keep an eye out for Brook + Wildes regular sales and offers. Better yet, think of it as a really good investment in your health and happiness, one that will outlast any one night hotel stay especially if you pair it with the Brook + Wilde Ultima mattress which we reviewed and loved, too.

How Often Should You Change Your Pillow

Every one to two years at least. Surprised? The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you replace your pillow every 18-24 months. Were not judging if youre sleeping on a pillow thats much older than this, but there are good reasons why you should change your pillow every couple of years. The filling can become flat and unresponsive, so you wont be supported during sleep. That can cause neck and back pain down the line.

Changes in your body weight also impact how well a pillow supports you, and every persons pillow requirements change the older they get we simply need more support and comfort as we age.

Older pillows get pretty dirty too, even with regular washing. Thats because some materials act as a mecca for dust mites, odors and sweat, with a build-up of moisture leading to bacteria growth in some instances.

Wed recommend choosing a hypoallergenic pillow that can either be machine washed , or one that comes with a removable, antimicrobial cover thats suitable for machine washing. You can learn more about this in our feature on how to wash a pillow.

Read more:

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, must-have home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy how to features.

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

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What Should You Look For When Shopping For The Right Pillow

When it comes to shopping for the best pillow for your needs, sleep specialist Michael Breus, PhD, advises asking yourself three questions: Whats your preference when it comes to how squishy or firm the pillow is? What position do you start sleeping in? Do you have significant upper-shoulder or neck pain?

Next, consider the fill/fiber of the pillow . Down-filled pillows are usually light and soft and made from goose or duck fibers, though note that pure-down and all-down pillows may still contain other types of fill. Latex pillows tend to be firmer and hold shape, as do memory foam pillows, which soften and counter to the lines of your head, neck, and shoulders.

Other factors to consider are the fill weight, quality of fill, size of the pillow , breathability of fabric in case youre a hot sleeper, and how your pillow was made .

Below, weve broken down the best pillows for back sleepers, best pillows for side sleepers, and best pillows for stomach sleepers . Youll find great, expert-recommended sleep picks from brands and retailers such as Casper, Brooklinen, Layla, Coop Home Goods, Amazon, Parachute, Tuft & Needle, Purple, and more.

The Best Pillows To Buy Now

Best Pillows for Back Sleepers

The Coop Home Goods Original Adjustable Pillow is the best choice for anyone who wants to create a custom pillow without spending much money. It’s packed with CertiPUR-US certified, non-toxic memory foam and microfiber, and you can add as much or as little fill as you need to achieve the perfect loft for your sleeping position .

The pillow also has a removable cover made from a naturally cooling, bamboo-derived viscose rayon material called Lulltra. Coop Home Goods recommends this pillow as the best choice for side sleepers because it can be made deep and plump, but because it’s adjustable you can tailor it to suit any sleep position. You can also buy it in queen size or king size to better suit your bed.

In terms of reviews, The Original Coop Home Goods Adjustable Pillow is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, generated from over 48,000 Amazon customer user reviews, and 4.6 out of 5 stars on the brand’s own website. Customer praise its ability to hold shape well, though some said the washable cover bobbles after a while.

For added peace of mind, the Coop Home Goods Original Adjustable Pillow comes with a five-year warranty, plus a 100-night trial, so you’ll have plenty of time to make sure that this really is the best choice for you.

Before you buy, check our Casper promo codes page for the latest discounts and offers.

The Casper Foam Pillow with Snow Technology easily achieves its one goal of keeping your head cool while you sleep.

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