Hybrid mattresses have been around for a while, but now Panda London have brought the concept to the pillow. We found this pillow an absolute delight with fantastic staying power night after night. Inside is charcoal-infused memory foam, while charcoal and bamboo work together to draw heat away from your head and keep it sweat free all night long. It should also stop you getting that grim sleepyhead smell too.
For many of us, the search for the most comfortable pillow can be likened to finding a needle in a haystack – especially when the term “comfortable” is highly subjective. However, as always, the IndyBest team are on hand to help you with your decision-making process.
First up, let’s look at fillings. There are typically two types of filling: natural and synthetic. The former are often organic, sometimes totally chemical free and are naturally good at regulating temperature as well as comfortable. But they can also be spenny, aren’t always good for allergy suffers and are often not vegan friendly – meaning that they can include down (aka bird feathers), wool, bamboo and cotton.
On the other hand, synthetic fibres are often hypoallergenic and can usually be cleaned in the washing machine (though, this doesn’t extend to memory foam). Usually they spring back well and hold their shape and, more importantly, tend to be a bit more wallet-friendly.
Now, if what’s inside your pillow wasn’t complicated enough, you also need to take things like the loft (the thickness/height) and firmness into consideration when purchasing a new pillow. While some people prefer a thick cushion – which will allow your head to sink into it – others prefer a lower one as they tend to have a harder, flatter surface. Whichever you opt for, it is important to keep your spine aligned so you don’t wake with any aches or pains.
Thinking about your preferred sleeping position is essential when choosing a pillow. Back sleepers should go for a lower loft pillow. This will help keep their spine aligned and prevent a cricked neck at 7am. Side sleepers, however, should go for a thicker pillow that fills the space between the tip of their shoulder and the base of their neck.
How we tested the best pillows
We spent many a night pondering the pros and cons of each pillow we were testing and points were dished out to pillows that we deemed comfortable. We defined comfort as to whether the pillow had a gentle sink to it, and whether it offered support all night long – many crumbled under the pressure. Another thing that added to comfort was what we called the “cozy factor”. Did it keep us snug without us waking up at 3am as we overheated?
We also considered care instructions. Pillows that can be washed were handy but we also wanted pillows that looked good on our bed – we were aiming for that five-star hotel bed look. These are the best pillows we rated…
The best pillows for 2023 are:
- Best pillow overall – Panda London hybrid bamboo pillow: £89.95, Pandalondon.com
- Best feather pillow – Soak & Sleep supreme Canadian goose down pillow: £150, Soakandsleep.com
- Best pillow for neck pain – Aeyla dual pillow: £69, Aeyla.co.uk
- Best height-adjustable pillow – Simba firm hybrid pillow: £159, Simbasleep.com
- Best down pillow – Brook and Wilde the marlowe goose down pillow: £299, Brookandwilde.com