The 9 best pillows of 2024 for all sleep styles and budgets

With the best pillow, you'll unlock the best night's sleep of your life. We've tested products from top-rated brands to compile our list of the very best for 2024

A composite of the best pillows, as tested and reviewed by woman & home writers
(Image credit: Future)

Selecting the best pillow can be tricky, with so many personal factors to consider. Firm or soft, side sleeper or back, you'll almost certainly be looking for things that others are not. With that in mind, we've tested a selection of the best pillows in 2024, spanning a range of sleep styles and budgets.

The best pillows don't have to set you back very much, and some of the pillows on this list retail for as low as £14. However, if you can spend that little bit more on a premium option, we've got you covered there, too.

Whether you're after one of the best cooling pillows to regulate temperatures at night-time, or the best thin pillows to provide support whilst lying on your front, you'll find various options below. And if you're unsure how to find the right pillow for you, we've consulted with several sleep experts for insight on how to choose something that'll keep you comfy and aligned too, so you can find everything you need in this one-stop guide. 

The quick list

Best pillow overall

1. Emma Memory Foam Pillow

Best overall pillow

Specifications

RRP: From £65.45
Firmness: Soft/medium
Machine washable: Yes (cover only)
Guarantee: Two years
Trial: 30 nights

Reasons to buy

+
Adjusts to suit your sleeping preferences
+
Relieves pressure in head and neck
+
Breathable materials prevent overheating

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too soft for some

The soft, breathable cover of this Emma memory foam pillow encases three separate layers of support and makes this the best pillow pick for us. The top is cold foam, which, according to the makers, helps to keep your spine aligned, making this one of the best pillows for back pain. The second layer is a softer Airgocell foam layer, aiding sleep by letting your head softly sink into the pillow. Finally, an adaptive visco-elastic memory foam layer will distribute and relieve pressure evenly for a good night’s sleep. The pillow is also designed to allow you to remove layers, depending on what kind of sleeper you are, in order to have a night’s sleep that’s right for you.

Removing or adding layers will make this pillow thicker or thinner, depending on your preferences. Emma’s recommendation is that side sleepers keep the pillow with all three, as they will need more support in the neck area. Front sleepers should use just one, while back sleepers can use two. Our side sleeper found the three layers super supportive, while our restless, position-changing sleeper preferred two layers— the comfort and the memory foam combined. It gave the right level of softness as well as helped to keep the spine aligned, whether they were on their side or back.

If you're wondering how to sleep better, then this pillow is a sound investment, and with a reasonable price point (check out the best Emma mattress sales and deals, too, if you're looking to upgrade your entire sleep set-up).

Our Emma Memory Foam Pillow review has the full details.

And, browse the latest Emma Mattress discount codes to save money on your purchase. 

Best pillow for back sleepers

Two white pillows on top of a wooden cabinet.

(Image credit: Soak & Sleep)

2. Soak & Sleep New Zealand Wool Pillow

Best pillow for back sleepers

Specifications

RRP: From £48.80
Firmness: Medium/firm
Machine washable: Yes
Guarantee: Five years
Trial: None

Reasons to buy

+
Good for allergy sufferers
+
Contours the head and neck well
+
Soft but supportive
+
Temperature-regulating

Reasons to avoid

-
No clear trial period

Filled with New Zealand wool, this medium-firm Soak & Sleep New Zealand Wool pillow was both supportive enough for our back sleeper but also soft enough for a more than sound night for our restless sleeper, making it our best pillow choice for back sleepers. It fitted beautifully under the head, gently shaping to cradle the contours of the neck and shoulder, which ensured there was no neck stiffness in the morning.

To keep it from compacting, we just massaged the filling a bit and it was back to its usual medium-firm plumpness in no time. Wool is naturally temperature-regulating and dust-mite resistant, making this a good choice for allergy sufferers, too. If you're wondering how to wash pillows, another plus to this Soak & Sleep option is that the whole pillow is machine washable, and the brand recommends doing this every 6-12 months (though you should wash your pillowcase much more often), before tumble-drying for best results.

A five-year guarantee applies that'll cover your purchase in case of a manufacturing flaw. Whilst the company offers a generous one-year return window, it's only applicable for unopened, unused products. In other words, there's no real trial period offered here, so keep that in mind before you buy.

Our Soak & Sleep New Zealand Wool pillow review has the full details.

Best pillow for neck pain

A product shot of the Tempur Original Support pillow

3. Tempur Original Support Pillow

Best pillow for neck pain

Specifications

RRP: From £92
Firmness: Firm
Machine washable: Yes (cover)
Guarantee: Three years
Trial: 30 nights

Reasons to buy

+
Comes in three sizes
+
Molds to your shape
+
Does reduce neck pain

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for restless, multi-position sleepers

This contoured ergonomic Tempur Original Support pillow is one of the best pillows for neck pain. It has been specifically designed to cradle the neck and shoulders, to provide a neck-pain-free night. Made from a visco-elastic material first developed by NASA to provide pilots with a comfortable seat when flying, Tempur began making mattresses from this material in the 1990s. 

Their Original Support pillow is very firm and the unconventional, almost rigid curved shape means it’s best suited to those who experience neck pain, those who sleep on their back or side, and people who are looking for tips on how to improve your posture and you've been recommended a firmer pillow. The shape, and the memory foam filling itself—which gently moulds itself to your shape when sleeping and springs back to its original shape afterwards — definitely take a little time to get used to, particularly if you’ve always had a traditional style pillow. But many say it’s well worth persevering for a couple of weeks for a pain-free experience. 

It was the most ‘Marmite’ of all the pillows we tested, and it's certainly not going to suit everyone. However, after a few days our back sleeper had gotten used to the rigidity of the pillow, and found it helped them sleep a little sounder with no recurrence of recent neck pain, allowing them to fall asleep fast and get a restful night's sleep.

Best pillow for combi sleepers

The Simba hybrid pillow shot from the side

4. Simba Hybrid Pillow

Best pillow for combi sleepers

Specifications

RRP: £109
Firmness: Adjustable
Machine washable: Yes (cover)
Guarantee: 1 year
Trial: None

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for regulating temperature
+
Adjustable height and firmness
+
Stays supportive throughout the night
+
Very comfortable to use

Reasons to avoid

-
One of the most expensive options
-
No trial period

Like the Simba mattress, the Simba pillow is in-demand because of their next-gen sleep technology. And we love the latest version of their Hybrid Pillow, which now features heat-phase technology called Stratos, which helps the body maintain the perfect sleep temperature, effectively storing and releasing heat for when you're cold and moving it away from you when you get too warm.

We really liked the fact that the loose filling of soft memory foam cubes was encased in a zip pocket, allowing us to remove as much or as little as we liked to create a bespoke sleeping experience. When it arrived, with all its filling intact it was quite deep even for our side sleeper, but once we’d taken out a few handfuls of the cubes to adjust the height and firmness, it was very comfortable. The Stratosfabric technology—inspired by technology originally designed for astronauts—solved a common memory foam pillow problem of overheating, too. The technology works to keep your body temperature steady all night by absorbing, storing and releasing heat, making it a great option for those who are always stuck with how to get back to sleep during a restless night.

The cubes are also sandwiched between a hypoallergenic mineral-enriched fiber called Aerelle Cool Night, which dissipates heat and a durable microfiber padding for softness. If you're looking to upgrade the rest of your bedding at the same time as purchasing the pillow, check out the best Simba mattress deals.

Our Simba Hybrid Pillow review has the full details.

Best budget pillow