The best pillows

18 October 2019

best pillows

Did you know that the right pillow could be the key to unlocking a deeper, healthier level of sleep? If your Fitbit has been hinting that you don’t get enough REM sleep or you always seem to wake up tired, it might be time to switch things up. Read on for the best pillows - as chosen by Mumsnetters

Just like shopping for a mattress, you should think about your usual sleeping position, desired firmness and any aches or pains you’ve been experiencing. Take these into account when buying a pillow to give yourself the best chance of finding one that will support your posture, ease snoring or improve the quality of sleep you get every time you hit the hay.

Best pillows for side sleepers

ZenPur Snoring Relief Memory Foam Neck Pillow, £35.59

ZenPur Snoring Relief Memory Foam Neck Pillow, £35.59

This ZenPur memory foam pillow is designed to cradle your neck, which is usually put under extra strain when you sleep on your side. Thanks to its unique ergonomic design, when you lay down it aligns your neck and spine, relieving pressure points and strain. It even helps to ease snoring so your other half can benefit too. With the support this pillow provides, you can wake up feeling refreshed, pain-free and ready to take on the day.

“I bought my son this bamboo pillow from Amazon (he's a side sleeper who suffers from neck aches) and he's doing very well with it. It offers orthopaedic neck support and, having rested my head on it when it first arrived, I'd say it's very comfortable too.”

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John Lewis Synthetic Soft Touch Pillow, £10

John Lewis Synthetic Soft Touch Pillow, £10

It may not be memory foam, but this medium/firm pillow from John Lewis is designed with both side and back sleepers in mind. Like the ZenPur option, it helps to keep your spine straight and comfortable, making your sleep more fluid and less disturbed. Plus, its microfibre cover is extra soft and plump for added ‘ahhhh’.

“I really suffered from neck pain but this pillow from John Lewis has helped me hugely.”

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Soak and Sleep Luxury Silk Pillow, from £70

Soak and Sleep Luxury Silk Pillow, from £70

Mumsnetters like this silk pillow from Soak and Sleep because it’s both moisture wicking and ideal for allergy sufferers. Moving from side to side in your sleep also puts extra pressure on your hair follicles, causing tugging, friction and your scalp to overheat. Having a silk-filled pillow like this one will help with the overheating but if you really want to treat your hair, you could also invest in a silk pillow cover. Your hair will glide instead of pull as you change positions so you’ll wake up tangle-free, cool, supported and well rested all at once.

“I have a silk-filled pillow from Soak and Sleep. It’s firm and non-poofy. It doesn’t give me a sweaty scalp like others do. I love it.”

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Related: The very best bed linen the high street has to offer.

Best Memory Foam pillows

Tempur Original Memory Foam Pillow, £99

Tempur Original Memory Foam Pillow, £99

Filled with micro-cushions, this speciality memory foam pillow by Tempur provides excellent support, softness and balance while you sleep. It’s made from the same material that makes their mattresses great, giving you access to complete comfort all night long no matter what your sleeping position is or how many shapes you make in a bid to get cosy.

“I have a Tempur ‘Original’ pillow. It's incredible. If I ever lost it, I would buy another one. I've even been known to take it with me when I travel for work. I used to be a pillow-cuddler but with this one, I sleep in a much more still and natural position.”

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Dunelm Cooler Than Memory Foam Pillow for Back Sleepers, £20

Dunelm Cooler Than Memory Foam Pillow for Back Sleepers, £20

Most suited to those of you who sleep on your back, this medium to firm pillow from Dunelm features Airstream technology, which is formulated to allow air to circulate better so you stay cooler throughout the night. While it is not technically memory foam, it certainly acts like it and Mumsnetters say it works just as well, if not better at providing pressure relief. Plus, at £20, it’s a solid, more affordable alternative.

“We have some of these from Dunelm and we sleep on them every night. They’re great. I used to suffer from chronic neck and shoulder ache from using computers all day but using this has cured it.”

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Related: Find the right mattress for you and enjoy the best sleep of your post-baby life.

Best anti-snoring pillow

Silentnight Anti-Snore Pillow, £9

Silentnight Anti-Snore Pillow, £9

If there’s one anti-snore pillow that got Mumsnetters talking, it’s this one from Silentnight. Designed for front and back sleepers, it offers orthopaedic support to both the head and neck, encouraging clearer breathing. If you have a loud sleeper as a loved one, try them with this. After all, at just £9 it’s a small price to pay for a silent night.

“I highly recommend the Silentnight anti-snore pillow. It really works and is not too different from a regular pillow.”

“Definitely invest in an anti-snore pillow like this one. I don't think they are very expensive and they do work (can anyone tell I have a husband who snores?).”

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Best pregnancy pillows

The Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing Pillow, from £39.10

The Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing Pillow, from £39.10

If you’re after a baby nursing pillow, Mumsnetters recommend trying The Original Theraline pillow. It provides back, tummy and leg support, is filled with microbeads that mould to the shape of your body, and is suitable for all baby feeding positions. If you’re expecting twins, plan to breastfeed and need a nursing pillow you can transport easily, this one is well worth looking into.

“Another vote for the Theraline. It’s like having another person in bed with you, but it is amazingly comfortable and has transformed my painful pelvis.”

Read the full review.

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Mamas & Papas Pregnancy and Nursing Pillow, £35

Mamas & Papas Pregnancy and Nursing Pillow, £35

Another favourite is this Mamas & Papas pregnancy pillow. Mumsnetters recommend this one because it can be used for sleeping, bottle-feeding, resting and breastfeeding – or even just general body support. The cover is soft to the touch, the cushioning moulds to your shape so it will hug your bump, back and knees comfortably, while the narrow design makes it easy to store and maneuver.

“I've got a Mamas & Papas own-brand pregnancy pillow and I love it.”

Read the full review.

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Best travel pillows

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow, £39.99

Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow, £39.99

You’re at the airport. You see a store selling travel pillows and, on a whim, you decide you really need one – after all, you’re flying long haul. Five hours in and you’re not impressed. It’s heavy, pushes you forward too much and your neck aches. Well, it seems like Mumnetters understand this agony all too well, until now.

This Evolution Classic Pillow claims to be the first travel pillow made from high-quality memory foam. Mumsnetters say it does everything you need it to be and more. It supports your neck without putting you in an awkward angle, causing discomfort and neck strain. It even comes with a media pouch, which will fit your phone for hands-free listening.

“Let me help you out! I have the most amazing travel pillow, which was recommended to me by a friend. It has been life changing. It’s really comfy and supportive on flights – now six of my friends have one and love them as much as I do! I never thought a neck pillow would be this good.”

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Soak and Sleep Travel Pillow, £12

Soak and Sleep Travel Pillow, £12

If you’re looking for a travel pillow that looks more like a pillow and less like a neck brace, try this one from Soak and Sleep. Its compact design makes for easy packing, so you can sleep soundly wherever you go, whether you’re away for business, pleasure or both. It’s designed to provide solid neck support without being too thin or too bulky. If you don’t tend to sleep well in hotel rooms and need something more tailored to your needs, this one could be a good happy medium. Take it camping, roll it up in your backpack and sleep soundly, always.

“I don't like solid neck pillows as I find they push my head forward and down as well as being too hard and rigid. I have this one from Soak and Sleep that weighs next to nothing and rolls up quite small. It's beautifully soft and malleable.”

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Best pillow sprays

This Works Sleep Pillow Spray, £18

This Works Sleep Pillow Spray, £18

When you’re feeling anxious or have a lot on your mind, counting sheep doesn’t always do the job. That’s where sleep sprays come in handy. Usually lavender scented, they work by calming your senses and slowing your breathing to a relaxed state, helping you to drift off soundly. Having something lovely to smell and breathe in can distract you from your thoughts and Mumsnetters particularly like the This Works pillow spray.

“I've been using This Works sleep pillow spray and I love it.”

“This Works is amazing!”

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Cotswold Lavender Slumber Spray, £8.15

Cotswold Lavender Slumber Spray, £8.15

If you can’t justify spending more than £10 on a pillow spray then a good alternative, according to Mumsnetters, is this Cotswold Slumber spray. Lightly spritz it onto your pillow a few minutes before you get into bed and enjoy the lovely aroma as it lulls you off to sleep. This would make a great stocking filler or gift if you know someone who could use a little bit of pampering.

“I also love This Works but it is expensive. The Cotswold Lavender slumber spray on Amazon is around £7 and is a good alternative.”

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Prices correct at time of publication. Mumsnet carries some affiliate marketing links, so if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale (more details here).