Sleep is a vital part of life, and in order to get enough of the proper, restful sleep, you need your sleep environment to be as comfortable as possible. That means you not only have the right mattress, bedding, and pillow to keep you in a good, supported position. For many people, this means finding the best firm pillow to keep their head and necks aligned and cushioned in the right proportion. There are plenty of pillows that are listed as being firm, with a variety of materials used to create a comfortable sleep space but noting your own personal needs in finding the one that suits you best is important. How can you figure out the best firm pillow for the way that you sleep?
Benefits of a Firm Pillow
While some people prefer a plush, softer pillow, this often doesn’t provide proper support for the head and neck in some sleep positions. With a firm pillow, you can find a balance between cushion and support that keeps your body aligned. This means that your spine stays straight, leading to less morning stiffness and pain throughout the day.
Firm pillows are often configured for this alignment so that you don’t pinch the spinal cord, which can cause numbness, tingling, and abnormal or uncomfortable nerve sensation in the rest of your body. Having a firm pillow also allows you to use fewer pillows to keep your head elevated to the proper level so that you’re not constantly waking up and having to reconfigure the pile to maintain your level of comfort.
What to Look for in a Firm Pillow
When shopping for the best firm pillow to keep you cozy at night, consider your favorite sleep position and look at the recommended sleep position for the pillow in question. Many firm pillows are configured for back sleepers and combination sleepers, so you’ll want to be aware of how you spend your time resting.
In addition, take a look at the material used in the pillow. Firm pillows tend to be denser or use dense materials, and if this is the case, they could be difficult when it comes to too much heat retention. Make sure your pillow is crafted in a way and with materials that allow for heat dispersal, as this is often key to good, restful sleep.
Overheating and night sweats can easily cause discomfort that wakes you up or leaves you feeling like you didn’t rest in the morning. Most importantly, consider what you’re willing to spend on a good firm pillow.
The price range varies significantly, and while you often get what you pay for in terms of quality and longevity, you may be on a budget. And this also doesn’t necessarily hold true in some cases, where a pillow is simply overpriced. Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the best firm pillows you can get to help you get a feel – pun intended – for what you should buy.
- Better support for head and neck
- Better spinal alignment
- Less shifting with fewer pillows needed
- Last longer due to density and overall construction
- May not work as well for side-only sleepers or stomach sleepers
- May sleep hotter than alternatives
- might take time to ‘break them in
Goose down is something many people adore, but it usually creates a very plush environment that doesn’t offer the firm feel people need when looking for a more supportive pillow. The Simply Down Dream Firm Down Bed Pillow takes down to the next level, filling the pillow with over 920 fill power to create that firmness required while rendering the comfort and softness of down around you. The higher fill power not only creates a lot of fluff that keeps the pillow from compacting like a plush pillow, but it also captures more air within the feathers so that you get extra firm sensation and great recovery, enabling you to sleep hard and never worry about smashing your pillow out of shape.
The cover of the pillow is 100% 360 thread count German cotton batiste, which offers an incredibly smooth feel and breathability that keeps heat from building within the pillow. This pillow is suitable for back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers because of its fine construction and the functionality of down in a firm setting. It is available in standard, queen, and king sizes so you can fit it to any bed, and the average weight is about 3 pounds, so it’s light and won’t feel like a burden. The white Canadian goose down pillow can be machine washed and tumbled dry for convenience. It does not have a removable cover.
With the Arsuite Hiliritas Down Pillow comes choice of just how firm you want your pillow to be with two separate offers. The firmer option utilizes a 920 fill power with white Canadian goose down, which is incredibly supportive with enough give to contour to your head and neck without allowing a bit more sinkage than necessary, keeping your spine in alignment regardless of your sleep position, though it is best suited for side sleepers. If you prefer just a little more give with the same great support, you can opt for the 800 fill power Siberian white goose down, which captures just a little less air and is better for back or stomach sleepers. Surrounding either option is a cover of 100% 360 thread count German cotton batiste for the finest exterior and smoothest finish.
Every aspect of the pillow is created with breathability in mind so that you don’t find yourself overheating during the night and lose precious sleep trying to regain your comfort. All down used in the crafting of this pillow is guaranteed to be hypoallergenic, treated for allergens that could have been captured in the down prior to filling. These pillows are 5 inches thick for a very high loft, and you can purchase your choice of sizes to fit your space from standard, queen, and king options.
If you’ve tried a number of firm pillows and still find that you aren’t satisfied with the support level or the durability of your pillow, try the Arsuite Extra Firm Down Pillow, which promises a much firmer feel that really keeps your head and neck elevated. Best adapted for side sleepers who need to assure their heads don’t drop while resting on their shoulders, this pillow has an incredibly high fill power, using down to trap air and create an intentionally firm setup that doesn’t have a lot of give and literally pillows you in just the right position. The cover is crafted as a double layer 485 thread count sateen finish cotton, which is almost like satin to the touch and highly breathable to keep heat from becoming trapped inside.
To add some flair to the design, the edges of the pillow incorporate lovely satin piping, adding to the overall luxury of the pearl white aesthetic. The pillow is rated as hypoallergenic, and its machine washable for convenience. It’s recommended that you air dry and fluff as it dries for best results. You can get the pillow to fit standard, queen, and king size applications to fit your needs. Because of the intense firmness, this pillow is best suited for side sleepers and might work for many back sleepers. It’s not recommended for the average stomach sleeper.
If you’re looking for something firmer than average but tend to be a combination sleeper, changing positions frequently during the night, the Simply Down Bohemia Firm Down Bed Pillow might be exactly what you’re looking for. While still maintaining a firm feel, it has a little more give with a slightly lower down fill power so that it can adjust when you want to sleep on your back or stomach to create a little less of a rigid sleep position. This pillow uses Hungarian goose down with a fill power of 650, which is still great for side sleepers who need a little extra support and elevation to keep their spine in alignment and lower pain, but also affords just enough give to accommodate back and stomach sleepers or those who roll from one position to another in the middle of the night.
The cover is crafted from 100% Egyptian quality cotton with a 340-thread count, which gives a smooth finish without compromising breathability. This means no chance of sleeping too hot and waking in discomfort. While the pillow does not incorporate a removable cover, the entire pillow is rated for machine wash and tumble dry, making care of the pillow a breeze. These pillows are lightweight at 3 pounds and have an overall thickness of 4 inches, which is a nice, firm loft. You can order them to fit your standard, queen, or king-sized bed.
Side sleepers aren’t the only ones who sometimes prefer a firmer pillow, and that’s why the Pillow Guy Firm Down Pillow is configured specifically to appease back sleepers, though it is still a great choice for side sleepers as well. These firm pillows offer a denser down fill that allows the sleeper to have a slightly flatter but just as firm configuration as they sleep, making it ideal for sleeping on your back. The removable pillow cover closes with a zipper, and it’s woven from polyester with a small amount of nylon for durability and breathability. This is essential to the comfort of the sleeper with the denser material inside.
The white pillowcase has navy piping for a very clean and simple design aesthetic, and it is machine washable and can be tumbled dry on a low heat setting, so you have a convenient care routine. These pillows are double stitched for long lasting durability, and they are rated as hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and dust mite resistant for the ultimate comfort and peace of mind. These pillows have incredible loft and enough give to help you find just the right contour. They are available in queen and king sizes, with the queen size measuring 5 inches thick and the king size measuring a luxurious 9 inches thick. These pillows come in a set of 2, making them more affordable and allowing you to match both sides of the bed with intense comfort and pleasure.
Down is not for everyone, and that means other materials have to be considered, especially when it comes to creating a firm pillow. As an alternative, consider the Weekender Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow, which incorporates a great deal of contouring to provide both support and comfort in a firm setting. Memory foam is known for its density and firmness, as well as its ability to conform to the sleeper and their preferred position, which makes this particular pillow ideal for any position. This pillow uses soft, yet supportive CertiPUR US certified memory foam that keeps you elevated without a sinking feeling while also letting your body settle for perfect alignment while you sleep.
At just two pounds, this pillow is extremely lightweight, so you never feel burdened by it, even if you frequently adjust your sleep position and move the pillow around. It’s definitely a firmer feel than down or down alternative, and with a 5-inch loft, you get an amazing ability to decide on your sleep position, with contouring for back, side, and stomach sleepers alike. While memory foam can retain a great deal of heat, the pillow incorporates temperature-regulating gel as well as a ventilated design to assist with circulation of air and breathability. The removable cover is machine washable for convenience of care, and the pillow comes in choices of standard, queen, and king sizes for any room and any bed size. You get a three-year warranty as well, which is not often found in pillows.
Regardless of your preferred material or sleep position, you can find an incredibly comfortable pillow that offers a firm feel to help you find restful sleep in quantity. There are various levels of firmness available, so you have choices of just how much support or how much give you desire, and most of these pillows are now configured to stay cool during the night, which helps you build an ideal sleep environment that will keep you in uninterrupted slumber throughout the night.
Determine the material you want, whether or not you need it to be conveniently machine washable or at least include a removable cover that can be machine washed, and whether or not you need to concern yourself with hypoallergenic properties of the pillow. Consider what you’re willing to spend on a pillow before you start shopping so that you have a budget in mind that is as firm as the pillow you seek. This will help guide you in determining which features are necessary versus which are preferred so that you can make an informed decision and come to the best bang for your buck.