The City Mattress Blog


Your Expert Guide to Buying New Pillows


Stomach-sleeping woman in white sleepwear sleeps on white pillow in bed with white sheets

We all need great sleep, each and every night. You need more than wishful thinking to achieve that. When it comes to your night of sleep ahead, a high-quality, comfortable mattress matters big! Yet, you don’t sleep on a mattress alone. What you need is an entire sleep system that is perfect for you and your sleep needs. This includes your pillows! We want you to find the perfect pillow for you, so we’re breaking down everything you need to know, from how to buy a pillow to the best pillow filling and more. Here’s your pillow buying guide!

How to Buy the Best Pillow for Your Needs

A pillow might not seem as crucial to a good night’s sleep as your mattress, but it serves a very important purpose. Your pillow supports your head and neck throughout the night, ensuring that you can wake up without neck pain or stiffness. An old or inexpensive pillow is not only going to inhibit your sleep and stop you from waking up feeling refreshed, but it can also trigger or worsen neck pain and headaches. There are many different types of pillows, from sizes to materials to shapes. While someone who sleeps on their side may need one specifically designed for that, another person may sleep on their back and want to focus on getting one that helps to regulate their temperature. There are latex pillows, gel-filled pillows, organic cotton pillows, wool pillows, and more. You can purchase a firm pillow, a soft pillow, a medium pillow, and everything in between.

The Best Pillow Material

Many people begin their pillow shopping experience with the question “What is the best pillow filling?” Unfortunately, no single pillow filling works for everyone, so there’s not an easy answer to that. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages and will work best for individual sleepers. What might work great for some could very well result in neck pain for others. The best way to know for sure is to try different pillow filling types for yourself. There are many options available today, and these are the most common:

Down Pillows

Down, made from the fluffy undercoating of feathers, holds its loft up to three times longer than synthetic alternatives and is very soft. Down pillows are very light and soft. They’re also durable. With proper care, a down pillow can last for several years!

Memory Foam Pillows

If you love a memory foam mattress, you’ll probably love your pillow to be made of the same material. They are moldable and offer good support as you sleep, and then bounce right back to their original shape when you get up.

Latex Pillows

Latex pillows are becoming quite popular, because they offer good support for your head and neck while retaining a soft feel. We sell latex pillows from top brands, like PranaSleep. This latex is both eco-friendly and breathable, meaning your pillow can actually help you stay cool at night.

Wool Pillows

Wool’s breathable and insulative qualities make it uniquely suited for pillows. A wool pillow will be free of the potentially chemical-smelling materials in some foam pillows and more breathable as well. 

Cotton Pillows

You can’t go wrong with good old fashioned cotton! Cotton is odorless, breathable, and affordable. 

The Best Luxury Pillows

If you have a luxury mattress you love, you want to pair it with the best luxury pillows you can find. We carry luxury pillows from top brands like PranaSleep, SFERRA, and Malouf. Just like with a mattress, you get what you pay for when it comes to your pillow. That’s because your pillow is working hard every night, holding up your head and keeping your spine aligned properly. If you want the best of the best, and to wake up pain and ache free, the right place to begin your pillow search is one of these top brands.

If you do decide to go the luxury route, you’ll want to look into a pillow protector as well. High-quality pillows are an investment, an investment you’d like to get your money’s worth from. The SFERRA Fiona Pillow Protector serves as an additional layer between your pillow and the dirt and oils of your face. This helps to extend the life of the best luxury pillows, keeping them free from spills, allergens, grime, and other stains. This is 100% long-staple cotton with a sateen finish, so all you feel is another comfortable layer!

The Best Fabric for Pillow Cases

You don’t lay your head directly on your pillow of course. This is why you’ll want to look into the best fabric for pillow cases at the same time you’re shopping for a new pillow. Cotton, linen, silk, and satin are all wonderful choices. Your best fabric for pillow cases really just depends on the feeling you like and any special skin needs you may have.

How Often Should You Buy New Pillows?

Are you ready to invest in your sleep? We’ve mentioned before how important it is to purchase a new mattress when you no longer sleep comfortably or about once every eight to ten years, whichever comes first. But what about the rest of your bed? Your pillows need to be changed too! The rule of thumb is to replace your pillow every one to two years. However, certain types of pillows last longer than others, due to the quality and what it is made from. In fact, a latex pillow may last up to four years, and both memory foam and feather pillows can last closer to three. Your pillow supports your head and neck throughout the night, ensuring that you can wake up without neck pain or stiffness. After some years, even the most high-end pillow will stop doing that. The key is to replace your pillow before it loses its ability to support you and gains a whole lot of dust mites and skin cells.

Hopefully, this pillow buying guide helped. Here at City Mattress, we don’t have salespeople in our stores. We have individuals who know a lot about sleep and want to help you achieve your best night of true rejuvenation. Visit your nearest City Mattress location and speak to one of our experts about finding the perfect pillow for you. They’ll know which products to show you so you can begin looking at your best options. Very soon, you’ll have a night of deep, restful sleep and wonder how you ever went so long without your ideal sleep system!