There are so many pillow options on the market, promising everything from temperature control to body alignment and specific pillows for different sleep positions, we see how they fared
The Dormeo® Octasense Pillow, £49.99, dormeo.co.uk
There are two sides to this pillow: the support side and the soft side. The former comprises a memory foam tube designed to provide anatomic support to your neck and back with five times better ventilation than traditional foam. Turn it round for the soft side – a deep soft pillow filled with extra-soft microfibres. We liked that you can remove some of the filling to get the height you prefer. Although it took a little while to get used to, the tube did offer good neck support and despite being foam didn’t feel too hot, even in high temperatures. The soft side was equally as comfortable – our tester preferred this side when sleeping on her back. However, be warned: this pillow doesn’t fit a standard pillow case as it’s very deep.
Best temperature regulation
Silentnight Geltex Premier Pillow, £23.99, amazon.co.uk
This is a fairly firm pillow best suited to back sleepers – though there is a slightly softer version recommended for side sleepers. The standard-sized pillow is a mix of soft hollowfibre filling with a Geltex insert which, alongside air mesh sections, seems to dissipate any heat, keeping you cool while asleep. The support is noticeable, relieving neck pressure, and our tester liked the fact that there was no irritating moving around of the filling. He claimed he has never slept better and the pillow even seems to have reduced snoring too. The Premier pillow is also hypo-allergenic.
TEMPUR® Comfort Pillow Cloud, £85, johnlewis.com
Cloud by name, cloud by nature, this pillow is filled with specially developed TEMPUR® Extra-Soft (ES) micro-cushions to provide a balance of softness and support which you can fluff and puff to your liking. Our tester has arthritic and muscular problems leading to pain in her neck and shoulders. She found this pillow had a similar support to that of traditional memory foam without applying pressure. Her neck pain improved significantly since using the pillow. Even over a period of weeks, there was no change in the support and size the pillow offered. It’s quite substantial in size – so you would need only one – and we found it fitted some pillowcases but not others. More expensive than most pillows, but made to last.
AmazonBasics Down Alternative Pillow, £18.99, amazon.co.uk/amazonbasics
This pillow comes in a vacuum-sealed pack so requires 24 hours to decompress. It grew to quite a plump size and was soft to the touch. It comes in either soft, medium or firm densities to accommodate stomach, side and back sleepers (each sold separately). Our tester found it provided good support for the head and neck, remained cool even on the muggiest of nights and alleviated her usual stiff neck in the morning. They retained their plumpness over the duration of testing. A great-value buy.
Nimbus Pearl Smartdown Pillow, £45, finebedding.co.uk
Created from responsibly sourced raw materials in an Eco Factory, the pillow fibres in this pillow are made from recycled plastic bottles, uniquely spun and blown in such a way that they simulate the feel and warmth of natural down. We were worried this would make them noisy, or warm, but neither was the case. When plumped up, it rustled as much as any other pillow, and was nice and cool – helped no doubt by the 280-thread count, sustainably sourced hand-finished cotton cover. What’s more, it’s hypo-allergenic and washable too.
Best for front sleepers
Butterfly Pillow, £60, rested.com
Said to be the first pillow designed for the front sleeper, this has an undulating shape designed to ‘cradle’ the head, allowing it to rest comfortably in the centre of the pillow, while breathing freely to the side. The pillow also allows for a full ‘embrace’ position so both arms can be put around it when lying on your front. Our front-sleeping tester loved it, finding it to be the perfect height, shape and firmness. It even helped to reduce snoring and eased residual back pain. Expensive but our tester felt it was worth the money.
The Organic Wool Pillow, £55, naturalmat.co.uk
This pillow is made using a cotton cambric case and generous helpings of British organic lambswool – sourced from Soil Association-certified farms in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset – giving it a firmer feel compared with down pillows. First impressions were that it seemed a bit ‘lumpy-bumpy’ but in use it was wonderfully comfortable to sleep on. Substantial and really quite plump, it remained so over several weeks, was cool to sleep on and had a clean, pure feel to it.
Best for allergies
Spundown Washable Pillow, £24, finebedding.co.uk
This is filled with advanced Smartfil®fibres designed to recover and return to their original plump shape even after repeated washing. Prior to washing, we found it comfortable but with little give in it – though this did improve slightly with time. After washing, it did retain its shape well – not perfectly, but it remained evenly filled. As they can be washed up to 60°C, they are ideal for those with a dust mite allergy.