7 of the best thin pillows—because they’re harder to find than might you think

Thin pillows can help to reduce pressure on your neck and reduce pain, and so are ideal for front sleepers

Included in this guide:

Selection of the best thin pillows
(Image credit: Future)

Your choice of pillow can make or break a good night’s sleep and thin pillows can be a great choice for avoiding back and neck pain. Thin pillows allow proper spinal alignment, without being propped up too far above the mattress—a position that can be uncomfortable for some.

The best pillows should reduce pressure on your neck, and prevent aches and pains during your night's sleep. And with a thin pillow this is easily achieved, as they'll allow you to maintain a straight spinal position, which can help with pain at night. But for fans of the thin pillow, finding the right one can be hard—there are often far fewer choices, with most retailers favoring plumper pillows.

Luckily we’ve done the heavy lifting and sought out the best thin pillows on the market...

Why are thin pillows beneficial for some sleepers?

Every sleeper needs a different sort of pillow. Side sleepers will need more support—perhaps even two pillows, but if you prefer to sleep on your front or back, a thin pillow can provide the correct alignment, which means your shoulders and your spin are in the same alignment as if you were stood upright with the correct posture. 

Thin pillows are especially beneficial for front sleepers. Hayley Chaytor, a spokesperson at Silentnight, said, “Thin pillows are recommended for front sleepers as this sleep position requires very little support. They also have an advantage as they can be stacked to match the individual’s exact height preference when it comes to their sleep.” 

The best thin pillows to buy as chosen by experts

pancake pillow

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Pancake Pillow

The best customizable thin pillow

Filling: Gel microfibre
RRP: $69.99
Reasons to buy
+It's adjustable and can be customized to your preference+Soft
Reasons to avoid
-Might not be firm enough for some

Pancake Pillow's Adjustable Layer Pillow strives to meet the needs of all sleepers. If you've yet to find your ideal height, this customizable solution may be perfect for you. Each of its six layers is removable, allowing you to experiment until you find your favorite stack of 'pancakes'. This flexibility makes it one of the best pillows for neck pain on the list too. 

No matter how thin you choose to go, the puff gel microfibre filling guarantees your head will have a soft place to land. If you like your thin pillow to still be fluffy and comfortable, like the best hotel pillows, this is a great option. 

Overall, the Pancake Pillow can take the stress out of buying online—they boast that it's impossible to accidentally buy the wrong size, as you can adjust the pillow to your preference. 

Bluewave Bedding pillow

(Image credit: Bluewave Bedding/Amazon)

2. Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow

The best cooling thin pillow

Filling: Gel memory foam
RRP: $39.95
Reasons to buy
+Cool and breathable+Good for people who sleep with their arm under their head
Reasons to avoid
-Some may not like the memory foam

Bluewave Bedding is a great company if you're after a flatter pillow. With sizes such as Slim, Super Slim, and Hyper Slim, they are well aware that thin pillows can often be preferred for sleepers who don't want to sleep too high up in bed. 

Their thinnest option, the Ultra Slim pillow, comes in at just two-and-a-half inches tall, but still boasts a soothing gel filling and the rounded edges of traditional pillow shapes. Not only can this design accommodate your thin-pillow needs, but it's also said to help reduce snoring and back pain. Customers raved that this pillow is a great option for stomach sleepers and for those who sleep with their arms under their heads.

Bluewave has made sure to counteract the heating effects some memory foam can have by adding temperature-regulating gel particles into the material—making it one of the best cooling pillows on this list, too.

Nature's Guest pillow

(Image credit: Nature's Guest/Amazon)

3. Nature’s Guest Adjustable Cervical Orthopedic Pillow

The best supportive thin pillow

Filling: Microfibre
RRP: $42.99
Reasons to buy
+Super supportive+Customizable
Reasons to avoid
-A heavy pillow

Orthopedic pillows are brilliant for reducing pain at night, so they're one of the best types of pillows for those who need more support. And the deep contour of Nature’s Guest's cervical pillow allows for a thin feel while still providing adequate back, shoulder, and neck support. 

And as with the Pancake Pillow, you are put in control of your comfort. The filling of this pillow can be tailored to your preferences in every section, allowing you to choose your ideal level of height, squish and support. The microfibre stuffing is also designed to promote healthy airflow and provide users with a more restful sleeping experience. 

slim sleeper pillow

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. SUQ I OME Slim Sleeper Pillow

The best firm thin pillow

Filling: Memory foam
RRP: $32.99
Reasons to buy
+Great firmness+Good neck support
Reasons to avoid
-Might be too hard for some

This SUQ I OME Slim Sleeper Pillow is thin, at a maximum of 6cm in height on one of the curved edges, but has a dip in the middle to allow your head to lie flat while you sleep. A curved pillow can reduce pressure on the neck and shoulders, and can help to prevent you from waking up with pain in these areas.

Handily, this pillow also has a removable inner cover for easy washing and is made of memory foam, which will help to shape the pillow to your body. However, this thin pillow option doesn't have cooling properties to counteract the heating effect memory foam can have, so it may not be the right pick for those who get warm in bed. 

Customers who have bought the pillow have praised its firmness and support, with many explaining that they've felt the benefit all the way from their neck down through their spine. 

Blissbury pillow

(Image credit: Blissbury)

5. Blissbury Stomach and Back Sleeping Pillow

The best thin pillow for stomach sleepers

Filling: Memory foam with cooling gel
RRP: $49.99
Reasons to buy
+Handy for travelling+Helps to regulate body temperature
Reasons to avoid
-Could possibly be too flat

Blissbury works to guarantee that you'll have the perfect pillow no matter where you go. Their super-thin Stomach and Back Sleeping Pillow is also one of the best travel pillows, not just because of its size, but because it has a handy little carrying case too, and bends easily to fit into it.

This slim sleeper is just a couple of inches of gel and memory foam. The filling is equipped with small ventilation holes that help to regulate body temperature as you sleep. On top of that, its cover is made with bamboo and polyester. These natural materials help to reduce moisture and create a cool sleeping experience

However it's worth noting that this is one of the thinnest pillows on our list, so may not be the right pick for you. 

Belly Sleep

(Image credit: Belly Sleep)

6. The Belly Sleeper Pillow

The best hygienic thin pillow

Filling: Memory foam with cooling gel
RRP: $79.99
Reasons to buy
+Removable cover for keeping pillow clean and hygienic +Firm as well as thin
Reasons to avoid

Belly Sleep's signature Belly Sleeper Pillow is award-winning and—you guessed it—super thin! You won't have to worry about the two-and-a-half inches of memory foam getting too warm at night, either. The filling is infused with cooling gel to keep you comfortable.

As the name would suggest, this pillow is specially designed for those who like to sleep on their stomach. This sleeping position can often cause spinal stress for those using pillows not intended for stomach use. Belly Sleep prioritizes even neck and spine alignment to ensure that you wake up rested and pain-free. The Belly Sleeper Pillow also has a removable cover to ensure an easy washing routine. 

Lavender Pillow

(Image credit: Perfect Cloud)

7. Perfect Cloud Lavender Bliss Pillow

The best thin pillow for relaxation

Filling: Memory foam
RRP: $54.99-$74.99
Reasons to buy
+Soothing lavender scent embedded in pillow+Cloud-like softness
Reasons to avoid
-Some shoppers might not enjoy the lavender scent

The Lavender Bliss Memory Foam Pillow is more of a stratus cloud and is packed with specially designed memory foam. It aims to eliminate tension in the shoulders, neck, and back. 

That’s not the only way this pillow aims to soothe, however. It is also lightly scented with lavender oil, which is known for its sleeping aid benefits. The subtle hint is not overwhelming and is also designed not to fade over time, to allow for the perfect descent into a peaceful sleep. 

With thanks to Hayley Chaytor, spokesperson at Silentnight, for her time and expertise.

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist, currently working as Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on other women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com. 

She is obsessive about everything homes and interiors—whether she's sniffing out the very best deal on a KitchenAid stand mixer or keeping up the latest Dyson release. And when she isn't editing or writing articles on interior trends or the latest home gadgets, she's passionate about books—you'll usually find her with her nose in a gripping thriller at the end of the working day.