Believe it or not, your sleep comfort directly impacts your general sleep quality. However, most of us struggle to find the best firm pillows since various things come to play when influencing that.
The best firm pillows are comfortable and offer back, neck, and spinal support for your sleep position. They also consider pillow loft, pillow size, and material. For instance, side-sleepers need lofty, firm surfaces like latex or memory foam.
Before settling on just any firm pillow, you ought to remember that pillows are not a one-size-fits-all product. We have tested several firm pillows and devised a buyers' guide for you to have the ultimate firm-pillow checklist.
A Buyers' Guide for Firm Pillows
Here are the two main things to consider when shopping for firm pillows;
- Sleep Position
- Pillow Loft and size
Sleep Position or Preference
Knowing your sleep position or preference is the first step toward picking the rightful firm pillow. Different sleep positions call for varying levels of comfort, which are all determined by a pillow's firmness.
Pillow Loft and Size
A pillow's height influences its thickness and hence its comfort. A high loft pillow is thicker than a low loft one, which is thinner. However, this does not mean that the thicker the pillow, the better.
To achieve the desired level of pillow loft, buyers should look into pillow material or filling. The best way to know the rightful pillow loft is by considering your sleep position. Also, different sleepers require varying pillow sizes for comfort and pressure relief.
Here are the different sleep positions and how to go about finding the best firm pillow for each;
Side sleepers require firm or even extra-firm pillows for proper neck and head alignment. Such firm pillows support the soft tissues between your head and shoulder, allowing the soft muscles to relax. Hence, their spine falls into their natural curvature, leading to less straining and a night of comfortable and restful sleep.
Also, side sleepers require medium to high loft pillows of about four inches tall. It offers the rightful head, neck, shoulder, and spinal alignment without compromising on comfort and pressure relief. We recommend that they opt for harder fillings like latex and memory foam instead of down to maintain firmness.
Back sleepers require very firm pillows for upper body elevation to prevent breathing difficulties or suffocation during sleep. In addition, the robust surface allows for head and spinal alignment, leading to comfortable sleep. You can also opt for a thin but firm pillow beneath your knee to aid bodily alignment.
With this, back sleepers require pillows with low lofts, meaning their pillows should be thin. However, the pillow's lower third should have an extra loft for the head to align with your spine. We advise that you avoid ultra-thick pillows that raise your head far forward from your neck and shoulder.
Memory foam pillows are the best option for back sleepers since they offer ample support between your head and shoulders. It gives the best angling for your head while providing the rightful cushioning for pressure relief and comfort during sleep.
Stomach sleepers require soft and thin pillows to keep their head closer to the sleep surface. Sleeping on your stomach puts the most strain on your back, leading to spinal misalignment. Hence, we recommend going for soft fillings like loose fiber or down alternative pillows with a thin loft as a back sleeper.
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Opt for a firm and soft pillow if you have a restless sleep pattern. Also, go for ones where the center is lower and the edge higher. The lowered center is perfect for nights when you sleep on your back, while the elevated edge is for side-sleeping.
We recommend standard-sized pillows with medium loft for restless sleepers since they offer extensive use. You can go for large pillows if you need a body pillow.
The Best Firm Pillows for Sleep-REVIEWED
Now that you have a checklist when looking for firm pillows, we have made work easier. Here are the best firm pillows for sleep based on verified reviews:
Saatva Memory Foam Pillows
With a 4.8-star rating and over 40,000 reviews on the website, the Saatva memory foam pillows are our best choice. The pillow comes in queen and king sizes, with the queen size costing $165 and the king size costing $185. Here are features that first rate this firm pillow;
The Saatva memory foam pillows have graphite-infused memory foam with a memory foam shredded core for excellent contouring and support. It provides responsive support to your head and neck while keeping your spine aligned. As a result, the Saatva memory foam pillow is ideal for side sleepers.
In addition, its memory foam is 100 percent Certi-PUR-US certified, meaning that it possesses the stamp of quality.
The pillow has an advanced graphite technology that works by wicking away heat and moisture for a breathable sleep. Also, the natural latex in the blend promotes airflow, hence boosting the cooling feature of the mattress.
In addition, the pillow has a cooling organic cotton cover. It is breathable, soft, and dries away moisture during sleep, leading to cool sleeping surfaces. In addition, the breathable cotton cover is machine washable and maintains its quality even with multiple washes.
Here is what a verified client said about it;
"Found this pillow to be really helpful when I was pregnant, especially when I needed to elevate my knees or position on my side. I've owned it for almost a year now, and it has kept its shape. Worth the price too, which I was very hesitant about, but glad I made the investment," wrote Lauren.
Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow
With three varying levels of support, we find this to be the best firm pillow for side sleepers. The Boll & Branch down alternative pillow has a 4.7-star rating from 927 global clients. Here is why we recommend this pillow;
Supportive and comfortable craft
This pillow contains an even fluff of the refined down alternative pillow for ample support and comfort. The Primaloft includes a moderate loft, making it ideal for side sleepers. In addition, it has a luxe finish like piping around the edge for a soft and luxurious pressure-point relief.
This pillow uses a down-mimicking Primaloft, a hypoallergenic premium synthetic fiber. Hence, it is ideal for people prone to allergic reactions from pillows and fillers.
Organic cotton shell
The Boll & Branch down alternative pillow has a machine-washable premium organic cotton wrapping for soft and breathable nights.
The pillow has a starting price of $68. The price change due to varying sizes, which are soft, medium, and firm. Here is what a verified client said about it on the website;
"Nice pillow. I have not had a down alternative before, but I find it comfortable. Holds its shape nicely," wrote Judith H.
Luxome LAYR Customizable Pillow
Just as the name suggests, the Luxome LAYR customizable pillow is a fully adjustable pillow for varying firmness needs. With a 4.9-star rating from 1,181 global reviews, here is what makes it the best firm pillow for sleep;
Fully Customizable and Adjustable
The Luxome LAYR customizable pillow comes pre-configured with a quality blend. It has an ultra-soft-down alternative and gel-infused memory foam on the opposite side. If you find the pillow too firm, remove the gel-infused memory foam.
The pillow comes in soft, medium, and firm options. In addition, they use premium shredded memory foam, hence assuring you of quality and durability.
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This pillow has gel-infused memory foam for heat cycling and cooling. Its structure promotes maximum airflow, hence providing ideal cooling throughout the night.
It also has one hundred percent cotton insert covers and bamboo cooling covers for heat regulation.
Here is what a verified client said about this pillow;
"Love these pillows! We have tried many pillows recently, and these are our favorite. I like that we can customize them differently for everyone in our family," wrote Elizabeth B.
Before buying a firm pillow, consider your sleep position and the loft needed. While side sleepers require firmer fills like latex and memory foam with medium-high lofts, stomach sleepers are their opposite. Also, check for adjustability of firm pillows to give more room for customizability and functionality.
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Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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