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For many sleepers, luxury pillows are a sound investment. Cheaper pillows are usually made from less durable fill and cover materials. This often results in lumpiness, loss of shape, and other issues that affect the pillow’s overall lifespan. Although luxury pillows have higher price-points, many of them deliver superior comfort and support for many years.
In addition to durability, luxury pillows also offer a better sleep experience. They are constructed from breathable, pressure-relieving fill materials and premium fabrics that can improve overall sleep quality for owners.
This guide will discuss the defining traits of luxury pillows and provide some expert tips for first-time shoppers. Below, you’ll find our picks for the five best luxury pillows sold today. These selections are based on verified owner and customer experiences, along with our own product research and analysis.
Our Editor’s Pick, the Brooklinen Down Pillow, epitomizes the long-lasting construction and exceptional comfort of today’s luxury models. The pillow contains a sumptuous blend of soft down clusters. The cover is made of breathable cotton sateen, which sleeps fairly cool and has a double-stitched design for added longevity. These materials are OEKO-TEX certified and are treated with antimicrobials to withstand wear and tear from dust mites and bacteria.
Customers can choose from three loft settings. The Plush design is 100% down and sinks very deeply, making it ideal for lighter people and stomach sleepers. The Mid-Plush option has a chambered design, with a supportive feather core and a softer, down-filled outer chamber. The Firm pillow shares the same chambered construction, but the feather ratio is higher to create a supportive surface with minimal sinking. The Mid-Plush and Firm pillows are best suited to side and back sleepers.
The Brooklinen Pillow is available in standard and king sizes. Its price-point is very reasonable, considering the materials. Brooklinen also offers a full-satisfaction guarantee that includes free pillow returns, exchanges, and replacements.
Down – the softer inner plumage of geese and ducks – is one of the softest pillow materials available. In recent years, however, some manufacturers have come under fire for obtaining down through cruel and/or unethical means. Our top luxury pick for this category is the European White Goose Down Pillow from Kassatex, which contains 650 fill-power down and feather fill. This material is obtained and cleaned to government standards, making it both ethical and environmentally friendly.
This pillow comes in three loft settings. The lower-loft option is firmer and best suited for side and back sleepers. A mid-loft design offers moderate sinking, making it a good option for those who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds. Lastly, the high-loft pillow has a plush feel that sinks very deeply. This setting is optimal for most stomach sleepers. All versions of the pillow are encased in a breathable cotton-dobby shell.
Kassatex offers free shipping for all orders. The pillow is also backed by a 60-night sleep trial that includes full refunds on all returns.
Down alternative – a pillow fill made from polyester puffballs that mimic the natural softness of authentic down – is not normally considered a luxury pillow material. However, the Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow is a notable exception. The pillow contains premium down alternative clusters that sink deeply for a luxuriously plush feel. The contents are also encased in a cover made from breathable, lightweight organic cotton that won’t trap heat like other fabrics.
Customers can choose from two loft settings. The high-loft option has a very soft feel that sinks deeply beneath the sleeper’s head, making it a good option for those who sleep on their back or stomach. Boll & Branch also offers a lower-loft setting with a medium-firm feel. The down alternative fill is completely hypoallergenic and will not trigger symptoms for those with down allergies. The pillow is also machine washable, saving owners on time and care-related costs.
Boll & Branch offers a 30-night sleep trial, which includes free shipping and full refunds on all returns. The pillow has a very reasonable price-point, as well.
Memory foam is one of the most popular pillow materials, but many sleepers claim the foam traps heat and sleeps at an uncomfortable temperature. Tempur-Pedic addresses this issue with the TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze, a premium pillow containing a middle layer of soft memory foam and outer layers of cooling gel on both sides. Sleepers receive the close contouring and ache/pain relief of memory foam without overheating. A breathable cotton cover also helps the pillow maintain a suitable temperature for most.
The TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze has a 6.4-inch loft, making it fairly thick, but the foam’s soft feel lets sleepers sink to a comfortable level. This ensures good spinal alignment for any sleep position. The cover is removable and machine washable for convenient cleaning, while the foam never needs to be laundered (spot cleaning is recommended for stains).
The TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze has a fairly high price-point, making it a good option for shoppers with bigger budgets. Tempur-Pedic helps offset these costs with free shipping for all orders. The pillow is also backed by a five-year warranty, which is much longer than average.
The Saatva Pillow is our top luxury latex pick for several reasons. For one, it boasts a sophisticated, chambered design. An outer pillow of downy-soft microdenier surrounds the supportive, shredded Talalay latex core, resulting in a comfortable balance of cushioning and support. These components are encased in a machine-washable cover made of breathable organic cotton. The pillow offers strong airflow between the chambers, resulting in consistent temperature neutrality or most hot sleepers.
Owners can remove the latex core from the microdenier outer pillow to adjust the loft and overall firmness. This makes the Saatva Pillow suitable for those whose comfort preferences vary from night to night. The outer pillow and cover are also machine washable. And because latex is such a durable material, the Saatva Pillow has a longer-than-average expected lifespan.
Saatva offers free shipping for all orders. The pillow is also backed by a 45-night sleep trial.
Today’s pillow shoppers can choose from a wide range of designs, materials, and comfort settings. Many pillow models are available at lower price-points, making them a fairly affordable investment, but flimsy fill components, low-quality cover fabrics and poor overall construction can shorten the pillow’s overall lifespan and lead to discomfort for owners.
For this reason, a luxury pillow may be the best option for some sleepers. Although some carry higher costs, they provide a comfortable surface that will maintain a full shape and withstand wear and tear for years to come. This guide looks at factors to consider when selecting a luxury pillow, as well as an overview of the most common pillow materials and some answers to frequently asked questions.
The term ‘luxury’ is fairly ambiguous as far as pillows are concerned. Manufacturers may use this term to describe premium materials, unique construction, exceptional durability, or other characteristics. When determining how luxurious a pillow is, be sure to consider the following factors:
When selecting a pillow, it’s important to understand the pros and cons associated with each fill and cover material. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at the most common materials used in today’s pillows.
|Fill Material||Buckwheat||Down||Down Alternative||Feather||Latex||Memory Foam||Natural/Organic|
|Fill Description||Pillows are filled with hulls, the hard outer casings of buckwheat kernels. The hulls create an exceptionally firm feel with moderate conforming.||Pillows are filled with down, the soft inner plumage of ducks and geese. The fill may also consist of feathers from these birds, which are longer and firmer for added structural support. Down pillows are very soft and prone to sinking beneath the sleeper's head and neck.||Pillows are filled with polyester puffballs that mimic the lightness and softness of authentic down. However, down alternative pillows are usually much cheaper and will not trigger down allergy symptoms.||Pillows are primarily filled with the feathers of geese or ducks, and may contain some supplemental down for extra softness. Feather pillows feel firmer and more supportive than down pillows, but are still fairly soft compared to other pillow types.||Pillows are filled with latex, a material derived from the sap of rubber tree plants. The fill may consist of a single piece or be shredded. Latex is very durable and supportive, though it also conforms to a fair extent.||Pillows are filled with viscoelastic polyurethane foam, or memory foam, a synthetic material that becomes softer when exposed to body heat. This allows is to conform closely, and then retain its original shape when cooled. Memory foam fill may also be shredded or consist of a single piece.||Pillows are completely filled with natural and/or organic fibers and materials, such as natural/organic cotton, sustainably-sourced down, organically grown buckwheat, natural/organic latex. No petrochemical agents or modifiers are used.|
|Typical Cover Materials||With rare exception, most buckwheat pillows are encased in organic cotton covers. Organic cotton is soft, breathable, and fairly durable.||Down pillows typically come with cotton or organic cotton covers. Some may be encased in a cooling synthetic fabric like rayon from bamboo, which overall temperature neutrality.||Because most down alternative pillows have below-average price-points, they come encased in polyester or standard cotton.||Like down pillows, feather pillows are often encased in cotton. Some lower-end models may have polyester covers.||Pillows with natural or organic latex fill often have complementary organic cotton covers. Standard cotton is also commonly used.||The most common cover materials for memory foam pillows include standard cotton, organic cotton, and rayon from bamboo.||As a rule, natural and organic pillows must have covers made from fibers found in nature. These include cotton/organic cotton, silk, and linen. Please note: rayon from bamboo is considered a synthetic fiber, and is neither natural nor organic.|
|Adjustability||Buckwheat pillows are adjustable by design. Owners can add or remove hulls at will, thanks to zippered covers.||Down pillows are usually not adjustable because the covers are sealed to prevent fill from escaping. However, some may be structured with layered components that allow owners to adjust the loft and/or firmness by adding or removing layers.||Down alternative pillows are rarely adjustable because the fill can easily escape. Chambered designs may be customized for loft and firmness.||Like down pillows, feather pillows are not commonly adjustable because allowing owners to open the cover could cause fill to escape. Owners may be able to order supplemental feathers from the manufacturer, but this is also somewhat rare.||Many shredded latex pillows can be adjusted by adding or removing fill. Chambered pillows can also have components added or removed to customize the feel and thickness.||Shredded memory foam pillows with adjustable loft are fairly common. Adjustable single-piece memory foam pillows are rarer, but some chambered designs are available.||Adjustability varies by material.|
|Durability and Shape Retention||Buckwheat pillows are exceptionally durable. The hulls maintain a firm, supportive feel for several years, and many manufacturers sell additional hulls in bulk for those who need a replenishment.||Down pillows are fairly durable. As they age, the down plumage tends to become softer, which is beneficial for those who prefer closely conforming pillows. However, frequent fluffing is often needed to maintain a full shape.||Down alternative is somewhat durable, though the material will usually begin to lose shape and become lumpy after a few years of use.||Feather pillows are about as durable as down pillows. They too become softer with age, though the feathers provide structural support to prevent the pillow from losing too much shape – though regular fluffing is still needed.||Latex is one of the most durable pillow materials available. Single-piece latex pillows are not prone to indentations like memory foam, resulting in strong shape retention. Shredded latex pillows tend to be most durable.||Some memory foam pillows can be very durable, particularly those made from high-density foams. However, many single-piece models begin to sag and lose shape over time. Shredded foam pillows are less problematic in this regard. Some single-piece memory foam pillows do not have a cover.||The pillows are usually very durable, owing to the natural longevity of their components. Some shaking and fluffing may be needed, depending on the material.|
|Temperature Neutrality||Buckwheat pillows are a good choice for hot sleepers. The hulls have small gaps that allow air to pass throughout the interior, which helps cool off the surface. Breathable cover materials also help maintain a comfortable temperature.||Down is an insulating material for birds, and it may trap heat for some. However, most sleepers find down pillows provide a comfortable temperature with minimal heat buildup.||Most down alternative pillows have shredded fill, allowing air to circulate freely to cool off the surface. However, pillows with synthetic, less breathable covers may sleep warmer than those with covers made of materials like organic cotton or rayon from bamboo.||Feather pillows sleep cool for most. Even when compacted, the feather pillow allows air to circulate.||Latex can be a heat trap for some, but most latex pillows have either ventilated single-piece or shredded fill – both of which promote strong circulation. Latex pillows with organic cotton covers usually offer the best temperature neutrality.||Single-piece memory foam pillows are notorious heat traps. A breathable cover can offset this issue to some degree, but hot sleepers may want to consider a shredded memory foam pillow instead.||With rare exception, natural and organic pillows maintain a consistently comfortable temperature and sleep cool throughout the night. This is due to the natural breathability of the cover and full materials.|
|Cleaning Costs||Buckwheat pillows are very inexpensive in terms of cleaning. The covers are almost always machine washable and the hulls never need to be laundered.||Down pillows usually need to be dry-cleaned, which can drive up regular maintenance costs. Spot cleaning may suffice in some cases, but the down should never be exposed to large amounts of water.||Many down alternative pillows can be washed and dried in any standard machine. Those that aren't machine washable often come with covers that can be laundered.||Some feather pillows can be machine-washed and dried. However, laundering may cause the pillows to break down over time. Dry cleaning is recommended for most.||Latex pillows should never be washed or dried in machines. Spot cleaning – which can be a time-consuming process – is recommended for most models. Dry cleaning may also suffice.||One-piece memory foam pillows should be spot-cleaned only. However, many shredded memory foam pillows are fully or mostly machine washable.||Most natural/organic pillows need to be dry-cleaned or spot-cleaned. Machine-washing can deteriorate the components and shorten the lifespan.|
|Average Price Range||$50 to $75||$70 to $100||$20 to $30||$25 to $50||$40 to $60||$50 to $60||$150+|
Pillow loft, or thickness, is an important consideration for any shopper. Generally, pillow loft options fall into three main categories:
Pillow loft can affect how the head and neck are positioned in relation to the rest of the body. If the head is elevated too high or sinks too low, this can affect spinal alignment and cause aches and pains for sleepers. As a result, shoppers should take their sleep position, body weight and dimensions, and comfort preferences into account when selecting a pillow, as well as their bed’s firmness. The table below lists common criteria for choosing loft.
|Thickness Range||Less than 3"||3" to 5"||More than 5"|
|Optimal Sleeper Weight||More than 230 lbs.||130 to 230 lbs.||Less than 130 lbs.|
|Optimal Head Size||Small||Average||Heavy|
|Optimal Shoulder Width||Narrow||Average||Wide|
|Optimal Sleep Position||Stomach||Side, back, stomach||Side, back|
|Optimal Mattress Firmness||Soft to medium-soft||Medium-soft to medium||Medium-firm to firm|
Firmness is also important when choosing a pillow loft. A high-loft pillow with plush fill may sink somewhat deeply, resulting in a mid- or low-loft setting when the pillow is compressed beneath the head and neck.
For sleepers with fluctuating comfort preferences, a pillow with adjustable loft may be the most suitable option. Owners can add/remove fill or layers to make the pillow thinner or thicker. Changing the loft may also adjust the firmness.
When shopping for a luxury pillow and comparing different brands and models, here are a few factors to keep in mind: