How do I choose the right pillow?
Get to know the materials. Down pillows tend to be the fluffiest, but a combination of down with feather will be firmer and often less expensive.
Down alternative pillows can still feel soft and offer good support, but they’re usually made with synthetic fill and are be more affordable than down.
Either way, make sure the outer fabric is tightly woven with no fibers or feathers poking out. Memory foam pillows are thicker and firmer.
You can choose from solid memory foam or memory foam clusters, which feel more plush to lie on while still offering the support of foam.
There are also hybrid pillows that mix foam clusters and fiberfill so you get the best of both categories.
Take a look at special features based on your preferences. You can look for innovative features that come with some pillows, like cooling properties if you tend to overheat or adjustability if you want to change up the firmness level.
Consider any recent health changes. Health-related changes (like weight fluctuation, new aches and pains, or other changes in your body as you age) affect the type of support you need, Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D., an environmental scholar at the National Sleep Foundation.
Don’t overlook care instructions. Before purchasing a pillow, check the care label to make sure you’re willing to wash it as recommended.
Most are machine washable, but some are dry clean only, have front-loading machine restrictions, or only allow spot-treating. Your pillow will last longer if you wash it two to four times a year, and if you use a pillow protector to keep it clean and safe from wear.