Just Enough Fluff: The Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

The difference between low-quality and bad-quality sleep is a good pillow. Even if you have the best mattress and top-notch sheets, the wrong pillow can prevent you from getting deep and meaningful rest. Sleepers of different positions require different firmnesses and lofts in their pillows to help keep their spine aligned and their neck and head comfortably contoured. The best pillow for back sleepers is one that offers enough support to keep their head propped up, but not so much that their neck is strained or uncomfortable. Different types of bed pillows offer distinct benefits and qualities. In this article, we’ve covered a variety of pillow types with differing constructions and lofts to help customers make the best decision when it comes to finding that perfect pillow for a good night’s sleep. 

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed by the team. When you buy something through the retail links on this page, we may earn commission at no cost to you, the reader.

Our Picks for The Best Pillow for Back Sleepers

Best Overall Pillow for Back Sleepers - Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow

Best Overall Pillow for Back Sleepers - Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow

Fill: Shredded memory foam and microfiber

Firmness: Medium firm 

Loft: Adjustable

Sleep Trial: 100 nights

Warranty: 5 year limited

Available Sizes: Queen, King

Sleepers this pillow is geared towards:

Back, side and combination sleepers

Those with allergies

Notable features: 

Adjustable filling for customizable loft and firmness

Cooling bamboo blend pillowcase helps sleepers stay cool

Why It’s the Best Overall Pillow for Back Sleepers

Back sleeping isn’t the same for everyone, many sleepers tend to have different preferences when it comes to the ideal loft. Adjustable pillows are en excellent option for those unsure of how tall or fluffy they like their pillow. The Coop Home Goods Original Pillow is an adjustable loft pillow, giving sleepers the ability to tailor their pillow’s height and cushioning to their own needs: Customers can add or remove filling to find the loft and firmness that gives them the most comfort while they sleep. The shredded memory foam and microfiber filling cradle the head, firm enough for ample neck support but soft enough for cushioning relief. A cooling pillow cover made with bamboo and polyester is breathable and prevents heat-trapping. Both the outer and inner pillows are machine washable for easy cleaning, and all of the materials used in the pillows are Greenguard Gold and CertiPUR-US Certified, as well as hypoallergenic. 

Best Latex Pillow for Back Sleepers - Brooklyn Bedding Latex Pillow

Best Latex Pillow for Back Sleepers - Brooklyn Bedding Latex Pillow

Fill: Talalay latex foam

Firmness: Medium-firm (6/10)

Loft: Low, high

Sleep Trial: N/A

Warranty: 3-year

Available Sizes: Queen, king

Sleepers this pillow is geared towards:

Sleepers with asthma or allergies

People who want an eco-friendly pillow

Notable features:

Very responsive, easy to shift positions

Latex offers superb durability 

Why It’s the Best Latex Pillow for Back Sleepers

Sleepers that toss and turn throughout the night need a back sleeper pillow that’s responsive and supportive enough that they won’t need to re-fluff and adjust it over and over again. The Brooklyn Bedding Latex Pillow is the perfect solution: The inner core of Talalay latex foam is super bouncy and won’t lose its shape, plus it offers excellent support while it conforms to the shape of the head and neck. An organic cotton cover is removable and machine washable and works in tandem with the hypoallergenic latex foam to deliver a clean, eco-friendly and allergen-free sleeping surface, ideal for those with allergies or asthma. Perforated latex foam helps promote breathability to keep sleepers cool and comfortable while resting. 

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers with Neck Pain - Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud

Best Pillow for Back Sleepers with Neck Pain - Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud

Fill: TEMPUR material

Firmness: Extra soft

Loft: Low

Sleep Trial: N/A

Warranty: 5-year

Available Sizes: Standard

Sleepers this pillow is geared towards:

Back or stomach sleepers

Sleepers with neck pain or soreness

Notable features:

TEMPUR material offers phenomenal pressure relief

Compresses easily for travel 

Why It’s the Best Pillow for Back Sleepers with Neck Pain

The cushioning comfort of the Tempur-Cloud Pillow offers unmatched neck pain relief, helping to maintain the alignment of sleepers’ spines while delivering support to the head and neck. The highly responsive specialized foam used in the pillow resists compressions and moves with you while you sleep to ensure it’s contouring to your head and neck area in any position. Rather than propping your head up, the Tempur-Cloud Pillow aims to distribute the weight of your head while simultaneously supporting the natural curvature of your neck, promoting good spinal alignment and keeping your back pain-free from your upper to lower back. The quilted polyester knit cover is breathable and lightweight, plus removable and machine-washable for easy cleaning. The pillow easily compresses and rolls up, allowing for easy storage or packability if you want to travel with it.

Best Down Alternative Pillow for Back Sleepers - Helix Adjustable

Best Down Alternative Pillow for Back Sleepers - Helix Adjustable

Fill: Gel microfiber

Firmness: Adjustable

Loft: Adjustable 

Sleep Trial: 100 nights

Warranty: 1-year limited

Available Sizes: Standard, King

Sleepers this pillow is geared towards:

All sleep positions 

Those who like a fluffy pillow feel

Notable features: 

Made in the USA

Outer shell is machine washable

Why It’s the Best Down Alternative Pillow for Back Sleepers

 The Helix Adjustable Pillow provides the fluffy down pillow sensation you’re looking for without the actual use of down feathers or any animal products. Instead of down, the Helix Adjustable Pillow is filled with shredded gel microfiber, which feels like down but with the added pressure-relieving effects of memory foam. Sleepers who prefer a low-loft pillow have the option to remove the inner pillow and use only the outer shell, which has a loft of around 2.5 inches without the inserts. With the insert, the loft is closer to 8.5 inches. Back sleepers tend to prefer higher loft pillows to support their neck, but some may enjoy the spine alignment that the lower loft option offers. 

Best Memory Foam Pillow for Back Sleepers - Casper Memory Foam Pillow

Best Memory Foam Pillow for Back Sleepers - Casper Memory Foam Pillow

Fill: Memory foam blend

Firmness: Medium-firm 

Loft: Medium, low

Sleep Trial: 30 nights

Warranty: 1 year limited

Available Sizes: Standard, King

Sleepers this pillow is geared towards:

Hot sleepers

People who enjoy the feel of memory foam

Notable features: 

Uses perforated foam for improved breathability

Option to add cooling technology

Why It’s the Best Memory Foam Pillow for Back Sleepers

If you love the soft compression and squishy feel that memory foam offers, you’ll love the Casper Foam Pillow. Available in low and mid-loft options, customers can opt for something that offers just enough support (low loft) or ample support (mid-loft). Three foam layers of different densities give the pillow a more balanced feel and ensure the longevity of the pillow. While memory foam can tend to trap heat, Casper added several cooling features to alleviate this, including a layer of aerated foam that allows air to easily flow, a breathable cover and the option to add their proprietary Snow technology to the pillow, which includes phase-change material and cooling bands. 

Most Comfortable Pillow for Back Sleepers - Tuft & Needle Foam Pillow

Most Comfortable Pillow for Back Sleepers - Tuft & Needle Foam Pillow

Fill: Adaptive foam with gel beads

Firmness: Medium

Loft: Mid loft

Sleep Trial: 100 nights

Warranty: 3-year limited

Available Sizes: Standard, King

Sleepers this pillow is geared towards:

Hot sleepers

Side, back and combination sleepers

Notable features:

Gel beads and graphite in the foam keep sleepers cool

Unique foam fill makes it both soft and supportive 

Why It’s the Most Comfortable Pillow for Back Sleepers

If you’re looking for the ever-elusive combination of squishy and soft yet supportive and responsive in a pillow, we’re here to tell you that your search has ended. The Tuft & Needle Foam Pillow sits in the sweet spot for pillow comfort, offering plenty of loft and lift while simultaneously cushioning and cradling the head and neck. The Tuft & Needle signature adaptive foam makes this pillow firmer and more supportive than a down pillow but softer and squishier than a memory foam pillow. The foam is infused with graphite and cooling gel beads to prevent heat-trapping, helping sleepers maintain a comfortable temperature while they rest. The single foam block ensures you won’t need to fluff or adjust the pillow at all – you can fall (and stay) asleep quickly every night. 

Best Down Pillow for Back Sleepers - Parachute Down Pillow

Best Down Pillow for Back Sleepers - Parachute Down Pillow

Fill: Down

Firmness: Soft, medium, firm

Loft: Mid loft

Sleep Trial: 60 nights

Warranty: 3-year limited

Available Sizes: Standard, King

Sleepers this pillow is geared towards:

Those who deal with neck pain or stiffness

People who like the “hotel pillow” feeling

Notable features:

Multiple firmness options 

Uses European RDA certified down

Why It’s the Best Down Pillow for Back Sleepers

Down pillows are known for their plush, soft feel and their ability to contour around the head and neck. The Parachute Down Pillow is especially great because it comes in three firmnesses, allowing customers to select either soft, medium or firm fill for their pillow, so sleepers can find the perfect mix of support and cushioning that works for them. The pillow contains 85% down and 15% down and feather fibers – all of which are Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified, indicating that it was ethically sourced. The down in Parachute Down Pillows comes from RDS down sourced from Europe. The pillow is covered in a soft and smooth cotton sateen shell that keeps the feathers in place and minimizes them poking out.  

How Mattress Advisor Found the Best Pillows for Back Sleepers

Mattress Advisor’s team of sleep experts take sleep very seriously, it’s literally their job to do so. At their lab in Raleigh, North Carolina, they test out all manner of mattresses, pillows, mattress toppers, and other sleep products to create comprehensive and complete reviews of the products, helping customers determine which sleep product will give them the best night’s sleep possible. 

The Mattress Advisor Testing Process

The Mattress Advisor team uses several different methods to construct their reviews for sleep products. For pillows, they test things such as the pillow’s firmness, how moldable it is, whether or not it offers ample pressure relief among other factors. We’ve outlined the full list of performance factors they test in their lab below.

Key Performance Factors that the Sleep Lab Tests

Factors They Test

What It Means


The loft of the pillow is the pillow’s height, or how tall it sits atop the mattress.


Some pillows offer more support than others. This is measured by how well a pillow keeps the head lifted and the neck comfortably aligned with the spine.


A pillow’s firmness is pretty self-explanatory: A softer pillow has more give and a plusher feel, whereas a firm pillow offers more support and doesn’t sink in very much when laid on.

Pressure Relief

Some pillows are better for relieving pressure and tension in the neck and upper back area


Moldable pillows are able to be shaped, squished, or folded to better accommodate the sleeper’s needs.


Mattress Advisor takes into consideration the quality of the materials used in the pillow’s construction.


Pillows made with breathable materials have better cooling effects than others. Testers measure a pillow’s cooling ability in the lab.

 How to Pick The Best Pillow Type for Back Sleepers

Back sleepers typically do best on a mid-loft pillow that offers enough pressure relief for the neck and head to comfortably sink in without losing support. There are multiple different types of pillows out there, each offering a different feel. We’ve outlined the different types of pillows below.

Memory Foam/Polyfoam: Memory foam pillows are supportive, offer great pressure relief and come in a variety of different lofts, so sleepers can pick the height that works best for them. Memory foam pillows can be made with either shredded memory foam (more moldable and “fluffier”) or a single slab of foam (not moldable, maintains its shape and doesn’t need to be fluffed).

Feather: Feather pillows are plush and more supportive than down pillows, though some feather pillows can contain down, too.  These pillows are good for contouring around the neck and head, though they may not offer as many pressure-relieving benefits as memory foam or latex pillows do.

Latex: Latex pillows have a similar feel as memory foam pillows, but with slightly more responsiveness and improved cooling effects. These pillows are naturally hypoallergenic, which makes them a great pick for sleepers with allergies. Latex contours to the head and neck, though not quite as well as memory foam pillows might, though their firmer feel makes them a good option for those who prefer more supportive pillows.

Down: Down pillows can be filled with duck or goose down, or a combination of the two. Down pillows are known for being fluffy, moldable, soft and contouring, though they do need to be refluffed if they lose their shape. These luxurious pillows come in different fills, with higher fill power indicating a fluffier pillow. Back sleepers will fare well on a high-fill down pillow that is either soft or medium.

Down Alternative: Down alternative is a good option for those who want the fluffy, moldable, and plush feel of a down pillow without the use of feathers. These can be made with shredded foams or fibers, and come in a variety of fills and firmness options. As with down, the higher the fill power, the longer the pillow will last.

What Are the Best Pillow Sizes?

The right pillow size for you depends on a few factors: The size of your bed (queen pillows are best suited for queen beds, king pillows for king beds, and so on), your size (larger individuals should have larger pillows to accommodate their shoulders and neck) and your personal preferences. We’ve outlined the most common pillow sizes below to give you a better understanding of which might be best for you.

Standard Size (20” x 26”): Standard-size pillows are the most common pillows you’ll find. These are smaller, best for twin, full, or even queen mattresses, and are good options for individuals with smaller frames or kids or teenagers. Standard pillows are cheaper than the other sizes, and are easy to find pillowcases for.

Queen (20” x 30”): Best for a queen-size mattress or for larger sleepers on a full or twin mattress, queen pillows are four inches longer than standard size pillows and offer a bit more room for people with larger shoulders or those who want a little extra space.

King (20” x 36”): If you have a king mattress, king-size pillows are a must. Whether you tend to move around in your sleep, have wide shoulders, or just prefer room to spread out while you’re resting, king pillows give sleepers plenty of room. Standard pillows on a king mattress leave considerable space without pillows, whereas king pillows ensure sleepers have plenty of space for their head and shoulders while sleeping.

Frequently Asked Questions