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11 of the best pillows for sleep-deprived parents 2022 tried and tested

From luxury to budget at just £7 a pillow, you'll find the best pillow for you whether you're a side, front or back sleeper, or spend all night tossing and turning

Best pillows
Published: August 4, 2022 at 4:53 pm

As a parent, we know the time you do get to sleep can be limited and is very much needed after a long day. You don't want to get into bed at night and not be able to get to sleep because your pillow is uncomfortable or, even worse, wake up in the morning with a sore neck or back because your pillow isn't offering you the support you need.

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To help you find a pillow that offers you the best chance at getting a peaceful and comfortable night's sleep, we tried out a range of different pillows with different prices and firmness ratings. What we learned is that there is no single "best" pillow, but there are definitely pillows that will work best for you and your needs.

We know that, as a parent, your comfort isn't the only thing that keeps you up at night, you also need your baby and child's mattresses to be comfortable too so they can sleep through the night. Having a reliable and trustworthy baby monitor also puts your mind to rest knowing your baby is sleeping soundly.

What to consider when choosing the perfect pillow for you

Type of pillow – There are lots of different types of pillows to choose from based on your preference and how you sleep. There are microfibre pillows which tend to offer more support, down pillows which are very soft and offer less support, and bamboo pillows which are sustainable. Microfibre is one of the most common and tends to be the most affordable. Choosing comes completely down to preference.

Ease of cleaning – It's always important to consider how easy the pillow is to clean. If you can just throw it in the washing machine then you know that you will be able to clean it well and often. However, for some of the pillows that require more specialist care, it's worth noting whether they have any antibacterial qualities which mean they wouldn't need washing as much.

Support – Again, much like the type of pillow is down to preference so is the support you wish to have from your pillow. If you like a lot of support then you will want a firm pillow, if you're not too fussed then a medium pillow may be best. Or, if you love to feel like you're in a soft floaty cloud then go for a soft pillow.

Size – Most of the pillows on this list are just a standard size. However you can get different sizes such as king size. So, if you have a big bed and want a big pillow to match, then take a look at the different sizes available before buying.

How you sleep – Although it's purely down to preference, it's likely if you're a back sleeper you will like a different kind of pillow to a front sleeper. So, have a think about how you sleep and we've tried to be as helpful as possible as to which pillow is best for which sleepers. We have recommended some products with this in mind.

Best pillows at a glance

  • Best pillow for cooling: Silentnight Cool Touch Pillow, £33
  • Best pillow for allergies: The White Company Ultimate Silk Surround Pillow, £85
  • Best pillow for adjustable height: Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow, £109
  • Best pillow for side and back sleepers: Eve The Wedge Microfibre Pillow, £39
  • Best firm pillow: The Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow, £159
  • Best pillow for a hotel feel: Soak & Sleep Duck Feather & Down Pillows, from £17.50
  • Best pillow for reducing snoring: Kally Sleep Anti-Snore Pillow, £34.99
  • Best budget-buy pillow: Silentnight Super Wash Pillows 4-Pack, £28
  • Best pillow for vegans: Kally Sleep Vegan Down Pillow, £34.99
  • Best pillow for relaxation: Silentnight Wellbeing Lavender Scented Pillow, £21
  • Best low profile pillow: Panda London Hybrid Bamboo Pillow, £89.95

Our round up of the best tried and tested pillows for sleep deprived parents

1. Silentnight Cool Touch Pillow, £33

– Best for cooling

Silentnight Cool Touch Pillow

Filling: Hollowfibre | Support: Medium | Machine washable: Yes, when cover removed | Sizes available: L74 x D48cm

If you're someone who spends the night tossing and turning your pillow trying to find that one cool spot left to lay your head, then Silentnight's Cool Touch Pillow could be the ideal for you.

The pillow works using a cooling gel pad which is pressure activated: it absorbs any excess body heat you may have whilst sleeping to create a natural cooling effect for you throughout the night. The pillow is also hypoallergenic, so it's kind to skin and is unlikely to cause allergies. It's also super easy to clean, you can just wipe down, unzip and place the pillow in the washing machine.

MFM Consumer & Reviews Editor, Christy said, "My first impressions were: what the hell is this! The pillow is covered with a sort of integrated gel pad, which looks a bit like a layer of bubble wrap. I wondered if this would feel uncomfortable and also a bit sweaty, especially as I was testing it in the middle of a heat wave. It’s quite squishy but firm and feels very comfortable to lie on.

After testing it out, I’m pleased to say it works really well and I’d absolutely recommend. On the first night it felt comfy enough but didn’t feel particularly hot or cool, but on the second night it felt noticeably cooling as soon as I lay down. I am really impressed and would definitely recommend this for use in hotter months. As it only has the gel thing on one side you can just flip it over if you don’t want the cooling effect. I’m using it every night now and considering buying more for the rest of the family! "

Pros: Has an effective cooling effect and hypoallergenic
Cons: The gel pad can look a bit unattractive and does not offer as much support as other pillows

Available from: Silentnight, Amazon and Very

2. The White Company Ultimate Silk Surround Pillow, £85

– Best for allergies

The White Company Ultimate Silk Surround Pillow

Filling: Hollowfibre and silk | Support: Soft/medium | Machine washable: No | Sizes available: Standard (W50 x L75cm) and Super King (W50 x L90cm)

If you're someone who struggles with allergies then a silk pillow is your best bet. Silk is a naturally hypoallergenic material and our tester really found it to help their allergies too.

MFM Consumer Editorial Assistant Emily tested this pillow and said, "It offered really great support for my neck, back and head. It oozes luxury and feels silky smooth to the touch. It also held its shape really well, I used to have to flip my pillow over a couple times every night so this is something I really appreciated. I've also found that since using it, I've definitely suffered less with my allergy symptoms (they've not gone away completely, but I'm not waking up in the morning with irritated eyes as much which is particularly impressive due to the high pollen levels recently). What particularly impressed me about this pillow was how it regulated my temperature during the heatwave, when the rest of me was sweating under a duvet, the pillow still felt cool to the touch".

However, this pillow isn't just great for allergies, it also feels luxurious, offers great support and again, thanks to it being made of silk, it too has temperature-regulating qualities. Although, not to the extent of the Silentnight Cool Touch Pillow. The pillow has 3 layers; a hollowfibre core, a cluster of silk fibres and then a 300-thread count quilted cotton-sateen casing.

Your first thought when seeing this pillow may have been that's quite pricey, however, with its luxurious feel, allergy and temperature regulating qualities you may think it's worth it. However, if you find it's not then there is a 2-year manufacturer's guarantee.

The only downside to this pillow is that machine washing is not recommended, so it may be slightly more difficult to wash than some of the other pillows on this list.

Pros: Allergy and temperature regulating qualities, good support and held its shape well
Cons: Not machine washable

Available from: The White Company

3. Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow, £109

– Best for adjustable height

Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow

Filling: Siliconized micro elastic fibre | Support: Soft | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L70 x W50cm

This pillow allows you to adjust the height of it, making it great for people who are very fussy about how high their pillow is. However, our tester found it didn't offer as much support as some others and would not be great for back side sleepers, but is a good idea for front sleepers.

Inside the pillow there is a flat layer and a bulky layer, you can pick and choose which one works best for you or use both if that's your preference. This pillow can be washed at 60° ensuring your bedding is super clean and it promises not to clump no matter how many times you wash it thanks to its microfibre filling.

Our pillow tester, MFM Consumer & Reviews Editor, Christy had a great first impression of the pillow. "My first impressions were how beautifully soft the fabric felt, and also that it was very squishy and quite flat so looks good for front sleepers". She was also a big fan of how easy it was to unzip the cover, remove the pillows and adjust to your ideal height. However, she found the pillow to lack the support she needed to sleep comfortably and found it a bit too flat.

Therefore, this pillow may not be good for people who love a lot of support at night but may work brilliantly for someone who likes a soft and flat pillow without the firmness other pillows have to offer. And, if you don't enjoy using the pillow Emma offer a 30-night trial and offer a money-back guarantee.

Pros: Adjustable height, machine washable and feels soft
Cons: Does not offer much support and may not be the best option for back and side sleepers

Available from: Emma

4. Eve The Wedge Microfibre Pillow, £39

– Best for side and back sleepers

Eve The Wedge Microfibre Pillow

Filling: Aerelle® Cool Nights core & Aerelle® Softflex Hollowfibre | Support: Soft | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L67 x W46 to fit L75 x W50cm pillowcase

Back and side sleepers, this one is for you. This pillow has been cleverly designed specifically for side and back sleepers. The boxier edge aims to align your head, neck and shoulders when sleeping on your side. For back sleepers thanks to the unique wedge shape, your can just sink your head and shoulders into the plump pillow.

Much like the Silentnight Cool Touch Pillow and the White Company pillow, this one does also have some cooling qualities. Its cool night filling aims to draw heat away from your head whilst you sleep.

It's important to note that although this pillow is great for side and back sleepers, if you do prefer a firm pillow or a lower pillow then this may not work well for you and the Panda London microfibre pillow which is much firmer may be better suited as this is quite a high pillow.

It's easy to wash too, just throw in the washing machine at 40°. Much like Emma, Eve Sleep also offer a 30 night trial, offering a refund if you're not happy with the pillow.

MFM Digital Journalist, Janet said, “Brilliant quality, breathable, soft and well-made pillow. The quality of the pillow was outstanding and felt soft to touch, my head sinks in gently which I like. Definitely not for you if you like super firm pillows! I thought the pillow was a bit too high for me, even on the lower side of the wedge, but apart from that the quality is amazing."

Pros: Specifically designed for side and back sleepers, soft to touch, cooling qualities and machine washable
Cons: Not suitable for those who prefer a low profile pillow or front sleepers and not great for firm pillow lovers

Available from: Eve Sleep and Noahs Box

5. The Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow, £159

– Best for a firm pillow

The Simba Hybrid Firm Pillow

Filling: Renew fibres, mesh and Aerocil Firm Layer | Support: Firm | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L70 x W45cm

The Simba Hybrid Firm is a brilliant pillow for those who love a lot of support. The pillow is cleverly designed with Aerocoil firm layer which offers you the support wherever you lay on the pillow, followed by a breathable mesh boarder to ensure fresh air can circulate. Next up is the 2 Simba Renew Pillows which are soft and help cushion your head. These can be reordered and moved around depending on how firm you like your pillow. Around the pillow is a Stratos Technology pillow cover which like the Eve, Silentnight Cool Touch and White Company pillow aims to draw heat away from your head.

The Simba Renew fibres are not only comfortable but also environmentally friendly as they are made from recycled PET plastic bottles. Also, it's easy to wash, you can simply put it in the washing machine.

MFM Community Manager, Danielle said, "Something to bear in mind if purchasing this pillow is that it’s big! It’s wonderfully supportive, and supremely comfortable, but you will need to purchase the largest pillow case you can find, as it doesn’t comfortably fit a regular sized pillow case. If you’re a front sleeper, or like a soft pillow, this wouldn’t be the obvious choice for you, as this pillow is all about support, and definitely geared towards the firmer supportive requirement."

Pros: Firm and supportive, customisable, sustainable and machine washable
Cons: Very big and may not fit standard pillow case, may not be suitable for front sleepers or those who like a softer pillow

Available from: Simba Sleep

6. Soak & Sleep Duck Feather & Down Pillows, from £17.50

– Best for a hotel feel

Soak & Sleep Duck Feather & Down Pillows

Filling: Duck down and duck feather fill | Support: Soft to medium/firm | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: Standard (L75 x W50cm) and Superking (L90 x W50cm)

These luxurious duck feather down pillows come in a variety of firmness from soft to medium/firm. The soft pillow is ideal for front sleepers whilst the medium pillow is best suited for side and back sleepers. They're also covered with a 233 thread count percale which helps to reduce moisture to keep you refreshed all night long.

Around the edge of the pillow there is a piped edge which is then double stitched to ensure they're durable and long-lasting.

Caring for them is easy too, just put them in the washing machine at 40°.

MFM Consumer & Commerce Editor, Gemma tested the pillows and said, "The difference in quality between these pillows and the cheap synthetic ones I had been using was instantly noticeable. I'm using one pillow where I used to use 2, and I love how cool they stay throughout the night. I'm a side sleeper so the medium firmness works well for me. By virtue of the filling and the different fabrics they are a bit "noisy" when you're making the bed and moving them around, but that hasn't been an issue at night – I'm a fidget but haven't woken my husband!"

Pros: Feel luxurious, variety of firmness to choose from and easy to wash
Cons: Can be slightly noisy

Available from: Soak & Sleep

7. Kally Sleep Anti-Snore Pillow, £34.99

– Best for reducing snoring

Kally Sleep Anti-Snore Pillow

Filling: Hollowfibre and foam | Support: Medium | Machine washable: No | Sizes available: L70 x W40cm

If you or your partner are up all night thanks to snoring then this pillow may be worth a try. It is not a miracle pillow and it's important to know that it may not work for everyone – our tester and the plethora of reviews on the site can back that up. However, with Kally Sleep's 14 night trial, it may be worth a go, if you're not satisfied you can get all your money back.

The pillow is specially designed to reduce snoring with its ergonomically S-shaped foam core. The S-shape aims to support your head and neck whilst ensuring your airways are open. The pillow was tested by the British Sleep Apnoea Association and was found to reduce snoring frequency and volume by approximately 60%.

However, our tester, MFM Consumer & Reviews Editor, Christy used this pillow with her husband who snores and he found it a little uncomfortable because of the unusual S-shape. However, "I wasn’t woken up by his snoring on the first night". But, when her husband continued to use it the snoring seemed to resume.

Therefore, it's not a guarantee that the pillow will stop snoring, but it works for different people and it may work for you so with the free trial on offer it may be worth a shot.

To find the perfect pillow for you Kally Sleep offer a pillow finder quiz so it's exactly what you want.

Pros: Could help reduce snoring
Cons: Not guaranteed to work, slightly unusual shape and cannot be machine washed

Available from: Kally Sleep and Marks & Spencer

8. Silentnight Super Wash Pillows 4-Pack, £28

– Best budget-buy

Silentnight Super Wash Pillows 4-Pack

Filling: DuPoint™ fibres | Support: Medium | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L69 x W46cm

Just because it's a budget pillow does not mean you have to sacrifice your comfort. However, it is important to consider that as they are cheaper, they may not have as large a longevity as some of the higher quality pillows listed.

The pack of 4 pillows live up to their 'superwash' name as they can withstand repeated machine washing. The fibres are also hypoallergenic and kind to skin.

MFM Digital Reviews Writer, Chloe tested these pillows and said, "When I first took them out the bag, I did notice that they are much thinner than some of the more luxury pillows. However, when I went to sleep that night I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and soft the pillow actually felt. I like a low pillow so they work for me, however, I would say most people would require 2, which is probably why they come in a pack of 4. Your head really does sink into the pillow so if you like a high pillow this is probably not for you".

Pros: Very easy to wash, great value, soft and comfortable and get 4 in a pack
Cons: May not last as long, do not offer a massive amount of support and not suitable for those who like a high pillow

Available from: Silentnight and Amazon

9. Kally Sleep Vegan Down Pillow, £34.99

– Best for vegans

Kally Sleep Vegan Down Pillow

Filling: Cruelty-free down alternative | Support: Medium | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L70 x W40cm

If you like the feeling of a duck feather down pillow but don't agree with the use of animal fibres then this pillow is for you. The pillow has a 100% cotton casing with 233 thread count for a soft and breathable comfort.

This pillow is perfect for people who sleep on their back or side and helps to align your spine. It's also easy to wash, just pop in the washing machine at 40° and dry naturally. The pillows are also not tested on animals either.

Kally Sleep also offer a 14 night sleep trial so if you're not satisfied with the pillow, you'll get a complete refund. Or, if you're unsure if this pillow is for you, Kally Sleep have a pillow finder quiz to see.

MFM Consumer & Commerce Editor, Gemma said, "Although it's fairly obvious this is not a real down pillow, that's one of its main selling points – for vegans or those with allergies I think it's a great substitute that performs in a similar way. I really like the walled sides that help it to keep its shape, and it's quite a firm pillow with just the right amount of give. Plus, it's much easier to take care of as it can be washed at 40 degrees."

Pros: No animal cruelty, keeps its shape and easy to wash
Cons: Does feel different to a regular real down pillow

Available from: Kally Sleep

10. Silentnight Wellbeing Lavender Scented Pillow, £21

– Best for relaxation

Silentnight Wellbeing Lavender Scented Pillo

Filling: Hollowfibre | Support: Medium | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L74 x W48cm

Struggle to turn off at night? If so, then the gentle aroma of lavender may help send you off into a sweet, relaxing sleep.

The pillow is designed for wellness and relaxation but its medium firmness also makes it great for back sleepers as it offers just the right support for your head and neck. The pillow also looks pretty too with soft to the touch delicate lilac piping.

It's also really easy to keep clean, as it's machine washable. However, the lavender scent will only last up to 5 washes.

MFM Digital Journalist, Janet said, "I really enjoyed the softness and thickness of this pillow, for me, it was just right! I like my pillow not too firm or big so the feel was a 10/10. Definitely one of the softest pillows I’ve slept on. As for the lavender scent, it was so lovely when I first received it and smelt so relaxing and did indeed help me feel mentally calm whilst laying on it. However over time the scent slowly disappears which is a shame as I enjoyed that relaxing touch. But I guess that’s a good thing if your husband doesn’t like it as much as you do!”.

Pros: Has a relaxing scent, very soft, great for back sleepers and machine washable
Cons: The scent does fade with time

Available from: Silentnight, Amazon and Very

11. Panda London Hybrid Bamboo Pillow, £89.95

– Best for a low profile pillow

Panda London Hybrid Bamboo Pillow

Filling: CharcoCell Foam™ | Support: Firm | Machine washable: No (cover yes) | Sizes available: L70 x W40cm

If you love a firm, low pillow then you will enjoy sleeping on Panda London's new Hybrid Bamboo Pillow. It's similar to their older Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow (£45.96) but features their brand new orthopaedic grade CharcoCell Foam™ which aims to offer the ultimate comfort and support whilst increasing breathability and airflow to prevent you overheating at night. The bamboo charcoal infusion also keeps moisture away and neutralises odours. On the note of cleanliness, the pillow itself cannot be machine washed but the bamboo cover can at 40°.

The cleverly innovated CharcoCell memory foam pillow is covered a plush bamboo cover which is naturally antibacterial. As well as being a a comfortable and great looking pillow, it's also kind to the environment as it's made from ethically sourced organic bamboo.

MFM Digital Reviews Writer, Chloe tested this pillow and said, "When I first got this pillow out of the box I loved the look of it and the cute panda design in the top corner was very cute! I did think wow, that pillow is much firmer than the ones I am currently using. However, when I went to sleep that night I was so shocked at how well the pillow moulded round me and provided me support where I needed it and aligned my neck perfectly. I am luckily someone who likes a low pillow so this is perfect for me. However, for someone who likes a high pillow I'm not sure they would like this. Also, as much as the panda design in the top corner is cute, if you're using light pillow cases (not that it requires a pillow case) then you can see the panda through it, but, the pillow can be flipped so it's not the end of the world."

Pros: Offers great support, low profile option, sustainable and comes with a lovely pillow case
Cons: Actual pillow cannot be washed and not suitable for people who want a high or very soft pillow

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Available from: Panda London and Amazon

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

When testing and selecting the best pillows, we considered comfort, value and who they would work best for and be less appropriate for.

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media's Parenting team. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products for parents, ranging from best sleep aids to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development.

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