Best Pillows

Best Pillows UK (2024)

Last updated: 01.11.2023 Reading time: 13 Min.

If you have the best mattress in the world but are still waking up feeling stiff, your pillow may be at fault.

Pillows need to be comfortable and supportive - and perfectly suited to you!

In this guide, we'll present a selection of the best pillows available in the UK. 🇬🇧

We'll also give you some advice on how to choose a new pillow that's perfect for you.

Let's get started. 🥳

Best pillows in the UK

Our top UK pillow recommendations

Sleep Hero Favourite

Panda London Hybrid Bamboo Pillow

The Panda Hybrid pillow is a Sleep Hero favourite made from orthopaedic grade, adaptive CharcoCell foam.
  • CharcoCell foam & 100% bamboo cover
  • Medium-firm
  • Machine-washable cover 

Tell me more about the Panda Hybrid Bamboo pillow

The Panda Hybrid Bamboo pillow is one of the best pillows we've ever tested. 

The foam is blended with activated bamboo charcoal, which regulates temperature, wicks away moisture, and neutralises odours.

We found the pillow particularly comfortable for side sleeping.

The foam gently cradles the head and supports the neck at the correct height, aligning it with the spine. 

The BambooCloud quilted cover is kind and gentle to the skin, indulgently soft and also fully washable. 

We're also very pleased to know that Panda London makes these pillows using sustainable materials and practices. 

Reasons to buy

30-night trial period 

Unmatched 10-year guarantee

One of the most comfortable pillows we've tested 

Reasons to avoid

Not adjustable 

Unsuitable for stomach sleepers 

Great For Hot Sleepers

Simba Hybrid Pillow

The Simba Hybrid Pillow is an excellent choice for those in need of adjustable support.
  • Shredded memory foam
  • Medium-firm
  • Fully adjustable 

Tell me more about the Simba Hybrid Pillow

The Simba Hybrid pillow offers comfort and support to a wide range of sleepers.

It features unique memory foam "nanocubes" that can be added and removed to best suit your preferences.

The shredded memory foam also gives the pillow a more traditional feel.  

The Simba Hybrid pillow also features astronaut-inspired temperature-regulating technology that absorbs, stores and releases heat as needed.  

The Simba Hybrid pillow cover is removable and machine-washable.

This makes it a great choice for people prone to allergies. 

Reasons to buy

Fully adjustable height and firmness

Machine-washable cover 

1-year guarantee

Reasons to avoid

Quite expensive 

No trial period 

Customisable Comfort

Emma Original Pillow

The Emma Original pillow is a height-adjustable pillow with customisable layers.
  • Memory foam, Airgocell foam, & cold foam
  • Adjustable layers 
  • Machine-washable cover

Tell me more about the Emma Original Pillow

The Emma Original pillow consists of three different foam layers, including cold foam, Airgocell foam, and memory foam.

You can conveniently add or remove these layers as you wish and adjust both the height and the firmness of the pillow.

We recommend using one layer for stomach sleepers, two layers for back sleepers and three layers for side sleepers. 

However, the cover only opens partially, which made it difficult to remove the cover for washing or adjusting the layers.

It has a firm feel, ideal for those who like to sleep atop their pillow without too much sinking. 

It's also fairly warmer compared to other pillows we've tested. 

Reasons to buy

200-night trial period 

Adjustable design 

30-night sleep trial

Reasons to avoid

Quite warm compared to other pillows 

Not easy to remove the layers 

The firm feel may not suit everyone

Eco-Friendly

Hypnia Cloud Pillow

The Hypnia Cloud pillow is made from slick microfibre for a soft and snuggly sleep.
  • 100% cotton percale & 100% slick microfibre
  • Medium-firm
  • Machine-washable at 40°C

Tell me more about the Hypnia Cloud Pillow

The Hypnia Cloud Pillow offers a blend of adaptability, quality, and eco-consciousness.

Its cover is made of 100% breathable cotton percale, offering a high thread count of 233TC, which ensures durability.

The filling, made of high-quality microfibre, provides exceptional softness and adaptability to all sleep positions.

A convenient side zip allows for height adjustment, offering tailored comfort according to body shape and preference.

It's also manufactured using energy from renewable sources, aligning with Hypnia's commitment to sustainability. 

Reasons to buy

2-year guarantee

OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 certified 

Sustainably manufactured 

Reasons to avoid

No trial period

Microfibre tends to not be as durable as foam 

Luxury Option

Tempur Comfort Original Pillow

Tempur Comfort Original pillows is a fantastic choice for individuals who want a mix of support and comfort.
  • Tempur material & cotton cover
  • Medium feel & deep loft 
  • Machine-washable cover

Tell me more about the Tempur Comfort Original pillow

The Tempur Comfort Original pillow is designed with Tempur material micro cushions that provide superior comfort whilst maintaining complete pressure relief. 

The medium-feel firmness of these Tempur side sleeper pillows cushions your head and shoulders to alleviate pain and discomfort.

It's slightly firmer than the Cloud pillow, ideal for those who don't want to completely collapse into their pillow. 

The Original is the perfect choice for side sleepers because it helps to keep the head lifted and aligned with the spine while gently cocooning the head and shoulders. 

Reasons to buy

30-night trial period

3-year guarantee

Great support for side sleepers 

Reasons to avoid

Expensive 

It may be too high for back & stomach sleepers

Why is a good pillow important?

A pillow may seem like lots of unnecessary fluff.

Some even suggest you should be sleeping without a pillow.

But, the right pillow is actually very important in helping you get a good night's sleep.

Why?

Let's explore this in a bit more detail. 🧐

A pillow should offer proper support

Of course, comfort matters.

But, ultimately, your pillow serves a vital role in properly supporting your head.

The perfect pillow will adequately fill the space between neck and mattress and support your shoulders, head, and neck.

This will help your muscles relax, ensuring you'll wake up pain- and tension-free.

Pillow spinal alignment
A good pillow will allow for upper spinal alignment.

A good pillow will also keep your upper spine in alignment. 🦴

This will guarantee long-lasting support free from aches and pains.

If you're specifically targeting pain, though, take a look at our best pillows for neck pain article instead.

The right pillow is also very comfortable

But, of course, the right pillow also has to be very comfortable. 😴

This is probably the part you'll pay the most attention to.

After all, you wouldn't choose to sleep on a sandbag, even if it offered the proper support.

Support and comfort have to be well-balanced.

You want a pillow that's soft and squishy - but still firm enough to support you.

But what's firm enough?

And how squishy should a soft pillow be?

Well, that depends.

Let's consider some factors that can help you choose the right pillow. 👇

Choosing the right pillow according to sleeping position

If you're waking up with any pain or tension, you may have a pillow that's not quite right for your sleeping position.

While firmness matters, the right pillow also has to have the right loft. 🗻

pillow alignments
Your pillow should be perfectly aligned to your sleeping position.

A pillow that's too high or too low for your sleep style will likely leave you in pain.

Best pillows for side sleepers

Side sleepers will do well on a slightly firmer pillow that can give them proper support, or a softer pillow that can be squished up and moulded to fit the space between neck and mattress perfectly.

What's important, though, is that the space between the head, neck, shoulder and the mattress is adequately filled to keep your spine in a neutral position.

This will help your muscles relax and prevent a build-up of pressure points.

Pillows for side sleepers
Side sleepers will do well on firmer, higher pillows.

High loft pillows are often a good idea for side sleeping. 🏔

But, the pillow shouldn't be too high.

You never want to feel as if your neck is bending upwards (or downwards).

panda hybrid pillow side sleeper
Side sleeper pillows like the Panda Hybrid should fill the space between neck and mattress.

The right height will depend on the distance between your neck and shoulders, which is influenced by your overall build and body size.

Read our full guide on the best pillows for side sleepers.

More petite builds will require a lower loft pillow, but larger builds will do best on a very high loft pillow.

The Kally Sleep adjustable pillow has one of the highest lofts of all pillows, measuring 22 cm (8.6 inches).

BUY KALLY ADJUSTABLE PILLOW£ 49.99

Side sleepers are often prone to pain and tension, so you could also consider one of the best pillows for neck pain to help with this.

Best pillows for back sleepers

Back sleepers do best on medium-firm pillows of a medium-high loft.

The pillow should be low enough to align your upper spine.

If you feel like your neck is bending up, you need a lower or softer pillow.

Pillows for back sleepers
Back sleepers need a pillow of medium height.

In contrast, if you feel like your neck is bending down or your head is falling back, you need a slightly higher and firmer pillow.

The Panda pillow is a good medium-firm, medium loft pillow that should suit back sleepers and even most side sleepers really well!

BUY PANDA PILLOW£ 44.95

Best pillows for stomach sleepers

We wouldn't recommend sleeping on your stomach as it's likely to cause increased neck and shoulder tension.

This is because your head will always have to be turned to one side so that you can breathe properly. 👃

Naturally, this will result in a build-up of tension, leading to agony over a period of time.

If you do sleep on your stomach, though, you should be sleeping on a soft, low loft pillow.

Pillows for stomach sleepers
Stomach sleepers need a flat pillow.

You can also opt for an adjustable pillow, like the Emma Original Pillow, and keep only one memory foam layer.

BUY EMMA PILLOW£ 59.25

Alternatively, you can also try sleeping without a pillow.

Combination sleepers

Most people are combination sleepers, changing sleep positions quite regularly throughout the night. 🕺

A medium-firm pillow of medium height would be the best choice.

It's also a good idea to invest in two different pillows so that you can move between them if necessary.

What are the different pillow shapes and sizes?

You wouldn't be alone in thinking that pillows only come in standard shapes and sizes.

But, there are actually a number of different shapes and sizes!

Pillow shapes

The two most popular pillow shapes are:

  • Rectangular pillows: These are the ones you sleep on.
  • Square pillows: These are the ones that look great on your couch.

But there are also tons of other interesting shapes that serve various purposes and are made to assist with specific issues, such as relieving shoulder pain, helping sleepers stay on their side, or travelling. 🧳

types of pillows
There are many pillow types, each with different benefits.

The Groove pillow and Derila pillow, for example, have ergonomic shapes to help alleviate pain and tension.

U-shape, C-shape, or full body pillows, like the Kally Body Pillow, are great during pregnancy - and snuggle parties.

BUY KALLY BODY PILLOW£ 59.99

kally body pillow with sleeper
The Kally Body pillow is great for snuggling.

And V-pillows, shaped in the form of a "V", are great for nursing mothers or people who like to sit up in bed. 🍼

Generally, though, those in a rectangular shape are the best pillows for sleeping.

Pillow sizes

Pillows are available in a wide range of sizes, though we'd recommend sticking to the commonly-available ones.

The most common sizes for rectangular pillows are:

  • Standard: 50 x 75 cm (19.6 inches x 29.5 inches)
  • Super-king: 50 x 90 cm (19.6 inches x 35.4 inches)

Standard pillows are suitable for most situations, but you may choose a super king pillow with an extra-large bed.

Rectangular pillow sizes

Some pillows, like the Panda pillow, are slightly smaller.

BUY PANDA PILLOW£ 44.95

Generally, though, most pillows fall within the 50 x 75 cm dimension range, with minor differences here and there.

What pillow material is best for you?

Pillows will always consist of an outer fabric envelope filled with materials of either natural or synthetic origin.

There are many materials a pillow could be made from. 🌎

There is no right or wrong choice, but you'll need to find the one that works best for you.

Different pillow materials

Below, we'll look at some of the most common pillow filling materials. 👇

What are the best cotton pillows?

Cotton pillows are very traditional.

They're cheap and readily available, but not always the best choice.

Advantages and disadvantages of cotton pillows

Cotton pillows tend to absorb heat and flatten out quite quickly. 😕

What are the best microfibre and hollowfibre pillows?

Microfibre and hollowfibre are both synthetic materials. 🧪

Both are made of polyester, though microfibre is more finely woven.

Polyester pillows are among the cheapest pillows on the market.

Advantages and disadvantages of microfibre and hollowfibre pillows

They're very lightweight and come in a range of heights and firmness levels. 🤩

This is very convenient, as you're likely to find a microfibre pillow that's perfect for you.

These synthetic pillows are usually also hypoallergenic, making them suitable for people prone to allergies. 🤧

kally adjustable pillow
Many budget pillows like the Kally pillow are made of cheaper materials.

On the downside, they tend to retain moisture and heat, and they aren't very breathable. ♨️

This can be uncomfortable for very hot sleepers.

They also tend to flatten out quickly and have the shortest life span of all.

Some cheap synthetic pillows may last less than a year!

If you're going for a polyester pillow, we'd suggest you stick to a very high-quality down-alternative microfibre pillow, like the Emma Sleep Premium Microfibre pillow.

BUY EMMA MICROFIBRE PILLOW£ 49

What are the best feather pillows UK?

Down and feather pillows are naturally soft and very comfortable.

They're also mouldable, breathable, and long-lasting. 💨

Down pillows are often considered the best luxury pillows - they're much softer and more luxurious.

They are made from the feathers from the softer, fluffier layers underneath the bird's outer feathers.

Advantages and disadvantages of feather and down pillows

Down pillows have to consist of at least 70% down feathers.

The rest can be made up of regular feathers.

  • Duck feathers and goose feathers are very popular choices.
  • Hungarian goose down, in particular, is a luxurious option.

Even though down and feather pillows are comfortable and long-lasting, they flatten out over time and need frequent refluffing. ☁️

This isn't the best choice for side sleepers, who require a slightly higher, firmer pillow.

Feather pillows may be made of natural materials, but they are not suitable for vegans or people prone to allergies. 🌱

You can occasionally find anti-allergy options where the pillow has been chemically treated to reduce the risk of allergies.

What are the best memory foam pillows?

Memory foam is a synthetic material that softens with temperature and moulds to the shape of the sleeper's body.

Memory foam pillows offer good pressure relief, making them a great choice for anyone struggling with pain and tension.

They're also very durable and likely to last a long time. 🗓

Advantages and disadvantages of memory foam pillows

Memory foam is also hypoallergenic, making memory foam pillows great for allergy sufferers.

On the downside, memory foam pillows retain heat and limit airflow. 🥵

They can get very hot and uncomfortable, especially if you're sensitive to temperature.

Read our complete guide on the best memory foam pillows.

They can also feel quite firm and rigid and often don't squash sufficiently to adjust height.

This makes them better suited for back and side sleepers.

Of course, there are a few customisable height-adjustable memory foam pillows and shredded memory foam pillows on the market.

The Simba Hybrid pillow is a great option.

BUY SIMBA PILLOW£ 109

What are the best wool pillows?

Wool pillows are an excellent choice for anyone looking for an eco-friendly and naturally hypoallergenic pillow. 🌎

They're also dust-mite-resistant.

Wool helps regulate temperature, keeping you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Wool pillows are usually firm, supportive, and have a lower loft, making them suitable for front sleepers.

Wool pillow advantages and disadvantages

On the downside, they flatten out quickly and can be very heavy.

The Woolroom Deluxe Natural Wool Pillow is a great all-natural option that acts as a down and feather alternative. 🐑

You can even adjust the filling to suit your preferences!

BUY WOOLROOM PILLOW£ 67.99

What are the best latex pillows?

Latex is a costly natural material with properties similar to memory foam. 💰

Latex pillows are also firm, durable, supportive, and hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for people with pain or those prone to allergies.

They're also much more breathable than memory foam pillows.

Advantages and disadvantages of latex pillows

On the downside, latex pillows are very expensive and exceedingly difficult to find.

What are the best bamboo pillows?

Bamboo pillows are becoming increasingly popular, but very few are actually made of 100% bamboo. 🌱

Read our full guide on the best bamboo pillows in the UK.

You're more likely to find memory foam or microfibre pillows with bamboo covers, like the Panda Bamboo Memory Foam pillow.

BUY PANDA PILLOW£ 44.95

Bamboo pillows have numerous advantages:

  • They're hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial.
  • They're breathable and temperature-regulating.
  • They offer silky-soft comfort.
  • They're eco-friendly and sustainable.

On the downside, not all bamboo pillows are created equal.

Properties of bamboo

Some are less sustainably produced than they claim to be.

Additionally, many pure bamboo pillows can be exceedingly firm, which isn't great for all types of sleepers.

Does pillow firmness matter?

The right degree of firmness matters.

As with mattresses, there is no one ideal degree of firmness, but there will be a degree of firmness that's right for you.

You should also consider the firmness of your mattress when choosing a pillow.

How to choose a pillow:

Which pillow you need depends on your individual requirements. You can find the perfect pillow for your sleeping position only if you have a suitable mattress.

If the mattress is softer, you should use a lower pillow; if the mattress is firmer, the pillow should be higher.

Walter Braun

Mattress Expert

With pillows, this does depend a bit on personal preference, but it also has a lot to do with the position you like to sleep in.

We've looked at this further up.

What are the best firm pillows UK?

If you're looking for a firm pillow, you would do well with something like a firmer memory foam or firmer bamboo pillow.

We like the Panda memory foam pillow as it's not too firm to be uncomfortable, but still rigid enough to offer good support.

BUY PANDA PILLOW£ 44.95

What are the best soft pillows UK?

Adjustable pillows with shredded filling, like the Simba Hybrid pillow, will be excellent when you're looking for something more squishy.

Alternatively, you could also opt for feather, down, or microfibre pillows, like the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow, for a softer feel.

BUY EMMA MICROFIBRE PILLOW£ 49

What is the best pillow if you have allergies?

Synthetic materials are best if you struggle with severe allergies.

person with allergies
People with allergies may be reacting to feathers or dust mites.

People usually react to feathers or dust mites living within the pillow.

Of course, if you have a latex allergy, latex pillows will also be a problem.

Just because you have an allergy, though, doesn't mean you have to stay away from pillows made from natural materials.

You will be able to find anti-allergy pillows made from natural materials.

There is a distinction between anti-allergy pillows and hypoallergenic pillows:

  • Hypoallergenic: The actual material and filling of the pillow aren't made of a known potential allergen, like feathers, wool, or latex. But other allergens, like dust mites, can still develop.
  • Anti-allergy: The pillow is treated with a chemical to combat the development of dust mites. Anti-allergy pillows are great if you have asthma, eczema or rhinitis.

Dust mites can be killed by washing at temperatures of 60℃ or higher.

Washing pillows
Dust mites can be killed at high temperatures

We would also recommend investing in a pillow protector to better protect you from your pillow and vice versa, and to opt for natural cases - like silk pillowcases - for additional anti-bacterial properties.

Our recommended pillow protector:

Other factors to consider when choosing your perfect pillow

In addition to the above, you can also consider a few more things when choosing your perfect pillow.

Is the pillow adjustable?

Synthetic pillows or down pillows are easy to fluff up and flatten out, but memory foam and latex pillows can sometimes be a bit more rigid.

Here, it is helpful to consider a height-adjustable pillow with different layers or removable parts.

This will enable you to customise it to meet your needs.

nectar adjustable pillow
Pillows with adjustable layers are often quite convenient.

Two of our favourite adjustable pillows include the Emma Pillow and the Brightr Eclipse Pillow.

Do you want an eco-friendly pillow?

Natural & organic pillows will be the most eco-friendly. 🌱

Wool pillows, down & feather pillows, and even latex pillows are a good choice.

But, you can also find synthetic pillows with eco-friendly properties.

The Panda pillow, for example, features an eco-friendly bamboo cover around a core of memory foam. 🐼

BUY PANDA PILLOW£ 44.95

Do you need a cooling pillow?

If you struggle with overheating, it's best to look for a pillow with cooling qualities.

Natural materials are often the best choice.

Microfibre and memory foam pillows retain more heat, but you can also look for synthetic pillows with a cooling gel.

cool pillow ventilation
Cool pillows have been designed to dissipate excess heat.

One of the best cooling pillows we've tried is the luxurious Simba Hybrid pillow.

BUY SIMBA PILLOW£ 109

Do you or your partner snore?

If you or your partner snores, it may be worth investing in an anti-snore pillow.

Many anti-snore pillows are hypoallergenic memory foam pillows that offer good support.

But, sometimes you'll also find anti-snore pillows in a variety of shapes to help keep airways open.

You can read our article on the best anti-snoring pillows in the UK for more info.

What's your budget?

If you're looking for the best budget pillow, then there's no use in looking at something that will cost a fortune.

We've slept quite comfortably on the Kally adjustable pillow, but would recommend the Panda pillow as your best-buy option.

BUY PANDA PILLOW£ 44.95

Does your brand of choice have a pillow trial?

We like the idea of being able to try a pillow before committing to it.

After all, how else will you know if the pillow is perfect for you?

pillow trial period
Some pillows come with trial periods.

Pillows trials, unfortunately, aren't very common and only a few UK brands offer them.

Our favourite brands with pillow trials UK:

What are the best pillows UK to buy?

Pillows haven’t changed much in shape and dimensions — but they have certainly benefited from technological innovations in their fillings.

You can choose anything from traditional wool, feather, or down pillows or opt for a newer model filled with memory foam or microfibres, nanotubes, etc.

Down pillows are generally regarded as the top choice, but memory foam pillows can also be a great option if you're looking for firmer support.

Regardless of whether you prefer natural or synthetic models, you’re guaranteed to find a pillow that’s perfect for you.

While, ultimately, the choice of pillows is a personal one, we still believe that some pillows do a better job than others.

The best pillows in the UK:

Frequently asked questions

  • How long can I keep my pillow?


    As with mattresses, pillows may deteriorate over time.

    This can lead to back and neck pain, as well as allergies.

    Depending on the quality of your pillow, you may need to replace it after six months!

    That's why we recommend staying away from cheap pillows.

    If you have a high-quality synthetic, feather, or down pillow, you can keep it for 4 to 5 years.

    If you have a quality memory foam pillow, you can keep it for up to 10 years.

  • Can I buy a cheap pillow?


    This depends on how cheap you want to go.

    You can get excellent pillows at a good price, but you should never settle for a cheaply-made and low-quality pillow.

    Memory foam pillows should cost £30 and up and down pillows £40 and up.

    Synthetic pillows are slightly cheaper. 

    You can also get some great discounts if you're buying online.

    We collect all the best coupon codes and display them on our discounts page.

  • Do I need to wash my pillow?


    Yes, you should be washing your pillows - but this depends on the type of pillow you have.

    You should wash your pillowcase every week or two, but your actual pillow should only be washed every six months or so.

    If you have a pillow protector, you can afford to wait a little longer.

    You should also always read the specific washing instructions of your pillow before popping it into the wash.

    Not all pillows are fully machine-washable. 

    Memory foam pillows should never be washed, though you can spot-clean them if necessary.

  • What best pillows do five-star hotels use?


    Different hotels would use different pillows, but most luxury hotels are likely to stick to down feather pillows.

    Duck or the best goose down pillows UK are very popular.

    These are among the best luxury pillows and are very easy to clean.

    Due to the rise of veganism, however, down alternative pillows are becoming increasingly popular.

  • Do pillows come with a guarantee?


    Most high-quality pillows will come with a warranty period

    This is usually 1 or 2 years, though some pillows will also come with 3-year or 5-year guarantees.

  • Can I buy good pillows on Amazon?


    Yes, you can buy many great pillows on Amazon.

    Amazon UK has an extensive selection of pillows available, so you're likely to find everything from memory foam to Hungarian goose down to wool pillows.

    Many of the pillows we recommend are available on Amazon.

  • Can you recommend any other great pillows?


    In addition to the pillows recommended throughout this article, you could also look at the following:

    • Scooms Hungarian Goose Down Pillow
    • REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel Pillow
    • Soak & Sleep Ultimate Hungarian Goose Down Pillow

    These pillows are frequently recommended as well. 

  • What happened to Eve pillows?


    The Eve Sleep brand recently underwent some restructuring.

    Eve pillows, including the Eve memory foam pillows and Eve microfibre pillows, are currently not available.

    We'd recommend looking at Emma pillows and Panda pillows as wonderful best pillow alternatives.

Nicky

Nicky

Editor & Certified Sleep Therapist

Nicky is an experienced writer and editor with numerous qualifications. As a certified sleep coach, her interests lie in understanding how sleep problems arise from hormonal and environmental issues, particularly as part of stress and anxiety management.

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