Wellness

SPY Guide: The Ideal Pillow For Your Sleep Style Under $100

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* A good pillow can keep your spine aligned and relaxed all night
* The right materials conform to your shape but still provide support
* Stomach, back, or side—there’s a pillow out there for every type of sleeper

Well-rested or completely exhausted: the right pillow can make all the difference in how you feel during the day. You need a pillow that’s comfortable, supportive, and breathable, but this combination is not always easy to find.

There are three basic sleep positions: on your side, on your back, and on your belly. Side sleepers need a supportive pillow that keeps the head at the same level as the spine and shoulders. A gusset can provide more shape and support, especially for firm pillows with lots of loft. Take your physical size into account when choosing a side-sleeping pillow; a smaller person doesn’t need as much loft as a larger person.

Back sleepers don’t need as much loft as side sleepers, but they do need some neck support to keep the spine neutral. Memory foam, gel foam, and down all work well because they can conform to your shape. Belly sleepers need to keep the head as flat as possible to avoid stressing the spine. Low-loft or soft pillows that conform to your shape are usually a good bet.

And what about “combination” sleepers—folks who rotate between their back, side, and belly while sleeping? The truth is, a lot of us are. If you’re a combination sleeper, you might need a pillow that has good general structure and support rather than one that’s specialized.

1. Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

This is one of the best memory foam pillows on the market. Conforming to the body as it warms, it offers excellent support for back and side sleepers. The “shredded” interior manages to provide loft while remaining soft and comfortable. And because it’s made of high-quality materials, this pillow’s durability and longevity are hard to beat.

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2. Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow

Gussets help these pillows maintain their shape, providing enough support for side sleepers. The pillows may be packaged tightly when they arrive, but they fluff up well and hold their shape all night long. Though firm enough to keep your spine straight while you sleep on your side, these pillows are also soft enough to maintain your comfort throughout the night.

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3. BeautyRest Latex Pillow

Made from the sap of the rubber tree, latex is springy and supportive. It offers many of the same benefits as memory foam, but durability is even better. The BeautyRest is a fairly firm pillow that works well for side sleepers who need help with spinal alignment. It also comes with a thin cover to protect the integrity of the pillow.

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4. Sertapedic Super Firm Pillows

This affordable set of pillows has the loft and support side sleepers need. A gusset helps them maintain their shape and firmness. (Notably, if you’re a belly or back sleeper, these pillows might be too firm for you.) Filled with polyester, you can easily machine wash and dry the Sertapedic pillows as needed.

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5. MALOUF Z Convolution Pillow

The Z Convolution Pillow is all about conforming comfort. The gel air dual core is surrounded by gelled microfiber; the cooling gel beads are softer than your average memory foam and keep you at a cozy temperature as you sleep. The core is supportive enough for back sleepers and some side sleepers and can be ordered with either a high or low loft.

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6. Puredown Goose Feather and Down Pillow

If you like the malleability of down, this is the pillow for you. It’s light and fluffy and holds its shape while offering good support for your head and neck. Back and side sleepers appreciate the way it conforms to their shape but keeps the neck aligned. However, you’ll need to be prepared to fluff it and follow the care instructions carefully.

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7. eLuxurySupply Extra Soft Down Filled Pillow

Soft and malleable, this pillow by eLuxurySupply has the right loft for stomach or back sleepers. The extra softness comes from a down feather blend that allows you to keep your head close to the mattress, which stomach sleepers need to prevent back pain. The contents can be shifted and molded to fit your preferred sleep position, and the thick casing prevents feathers from poking through while you sleep.

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