What would you do for a good night of sleep? Many people think the right mattress is all you need for a solid night’s sleep, but your pillow is just as important because it supports your head and neck. 

Finding the right pillow can be incredibly challenging if you shift positions during the night. If that sounds like you, this article could help you find the best pillow for combination sleepers to finally get a good night’s sleep!

How Do I Know if I’m a Combination Sleeper?

It’s surprisingly easy to determine what type of sleeper you are if you wake up in the same position you went to sleep in. For example, people who go to sleep on their side and wake up in generally the same position, even if it’s the opposite side, you’ve got a side sleeper. 

Combination sleepers go to sleep in one standard position – side, back, or stomach – and wake up in a completely different position. So, if you tend to fall asleep on your stomach but wake up on your back, you are probably a combination sleeper. 

What Should I Look For in a Pillow for Combination Sleepers?

Choosing a pillow is just as challenging as finding the right mattress, if not more so. Surprisingly, there are only four significant factors to consider when selecting a pillow, regardless of the type of sleeper you are.

Size

What size pillow do you want? Excluding unique shapes, most pillows come in standard sizes that fit matching pillowcases. For example, if you have a queen bed, you probably have queen-size sheets that include queen pillowcases. 

  • Toddler Pillow Size: 14 inches x 20 inches
  • Standard Pillow Size: 20 inches x 26 inches
  • Queen Pillow Size: 20 inches x 30 inches
  • King Pillow Size: 20 inches x 36 inches

Loft

The loft is a fancy way of saying the height of a pillow. Usually, the thicker a pillow, the higher the loft, and there are typically three categories (low, medium, and high). However, each manufacturer rates their pillows differently, which can make things confusing. 

Combination sleepers should seek out a medium to high loft pillow that works with you regardless of the position you settle into. 

Firmness

The firmness of a pillow is how much it compresses when you sleep on it. You could have a high-loft pillow that’s five or six inches, but if it’s very soft, it compresses easily and loses a lot of that height.

A pillow’s firmness significantly impacts your quality of sleep, especially if you need more support. When pillows aren’t firm enough, they don’t offer enough support and can result in ongoing head, neck, and back pain. 

Combination sleepers may prefer a firmer pillow that provides plenty of support in every position.

Materials

The materials used inside the pillow can affect the firmness and alter your sleeping experience. Typically, there are eight types of pillows, and each one offers varying degrees of firmness.

  • Buckwheat pillows use the outer shell of buckwheat kernels to create a firm, supportive pillow. 
  • Down pillows use plumage (not feathers) from geese and ducks. These pillows must contain at least 75% down to qualify as a down pillow. 
  • Down alternative pillows feel like down pillows but use polyester fibers instead of actual duck and goose plumage.
  • Feather pillows use goose and duck feathers for filling.
  • Latex pillows come from rubber tree sap and offer a unique uniformity that many types don’t.
  • Memory foam pillows rely on unique synthetic materials to conform to your body.
  • Polyester pillows, as the name suggests, use polyester fibers.
  • Water pillows feature a pouch that can be filled with water or other materials to alter the firmness.
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Additional Considerations

While there are generally four main factors to consider when pillow shopping, what if you have other concerns? Depending on your personal preferences, you may need to compare some additional qualities.

Allergies

If you are allergic to latex, you probably don’t want to sleep on a latex pillow. Additionally, allergy sufferers may prefer machine-washable pillows, or at least those with removable, washable covers.

Temperature

What do you do if you get hot overnight? Some pillows create more comfortable sleep because they are more breathable and keep you cooler. 

Trial Periods and Warranties

When you invest in a pillow, it’s nice to have peace of mind that your purchase is covered. Aside from covering obvious defects, it is nice to know that you can try it out before committing. Many manufacturers offer trial periods to make sure the pillow works well for you.

8 Best Pillows for Combinations Sleepers

We researched some of the most popular pillows on the market to create this list of recommendations for combination sleepers. Considering loft, firmness, and materials, we think these are your best options for a good night’s sleep!

Our Favorite Pillow: Saatva Latex Pillow

Saatva makes quality mattresses, but they expanded their line to include pillows. We are so glad they did because this pillow is unbelievably comfortable and supportive, especially for combination sleepers.

Starting with a 100% organic cotton cover, Saatva built a three-layer pillow that holds shape, maintains good airflow, and provides plenty of support. The middle layer is a down-like microdenier fiber that’s machine washable and hypoallergenic.

The third layer is a Talalay latex core; Saatva created a responsive pillow that supports your head and neck in any position. Not only is the Talalay latex core hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, and mildew proof, it’s made from natural and renewable resources. 

What Customers Like:

  • Soft and fluffy for a high-loft feel without compromising support
  • Removable core allows you to experiment with firmness
  • Machine washable once you remove the Talalay latex core

Common Complaints:

  • One of the more expensive options
  • Only available in queen or king sizes

Runner-Up: DreamCloud Best Rest Pillow

Any pillow named “Best Rest” should have a place on this list, and DreamCloud delivers an excellent product. Cool, comfortable, and supportive, the Best Rest Pillow is a close second on our list.

The solid memory foam pillow features a polyethylene blend, polyester, and spandex cover that’s removable. The 3-pound density 61FC CopperGel-infused memory foam provides lasting support without compromising comfort. 

DreamCloud created a pillow that stays cool and always returns to its natural shape. However, while the cover is removable, it’s not washable, and neither is the interior.

What Customers Like:

  • Comfortable and supportive memory foam that returns to its usual shape after use
  • High-loft with a profile of 5.5 inches
  • Cool to the touch for hot sleepers and warm weather

Common Complaints:

  • Standard and King are the only sizes
  • Not machine washable, spot clean only as needed

Best Down Alternative Option: Saatva Down Alternative Pillow

Saatva expanded their pillow line to include a down alternative pillow for those who like the feel of down and don’t want to compromise on comfort or support. This pillow uses a three-layer design like the Latex Pillow, but with different fillings.

The shell is 100% organic cotton and features a stain piping for a finished look. In the middle, Saatva uses a microdenier down alternative for a lofty look and feel. To keep the pillow springy and supportive, the core is clusters and tufts of memory fiber.

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Saatva utilized two hypoallergenic materials for this pillow, microdenier down alternative and memory foam. The blend also absorbs minimal body heat while you sleep, so it stays cool to the touch.

What Customers Like:

  • Get that down pillow feel without compromising comfort, support, or durability
  • Hypoallergenic interior
  • 45-day trial period to decide if you like it

Common Complaints:

  • Spot clean only
  • There’s no cover, just a shell around the pillow that’s not removable

Best Deal: Puffy Pillow

An adjustable pillow sounded too good to be true, but then we tried the Puffy Pillow and completely understood. This pillow is a solid choice for all types of sleepers, especially combination sleepers who need varying levels of support all night.

Puffy uses shredded memory foam for the filling to provide support and comfort. The pillow arrives overstuffed so that you can create your perfect loft level by unzipping and removing excess stuffing until you’re satisfied.

The cover is a polyester and bamboo rayon blend that’s hypoallergenic, breathable, and dust mite resistant. Puffy’s custom blend keeps the cover cool to the touch, so it’s more comfortable to sleep on. You can even wash the cover for a fresh feel.

What Customers Like:

  • It’s easy to adjust the amount of filling to meet your needs
  • Certipur-US certified means Puffy uses no formaldehyde, lead, or harmful heavy metals in their pillows
  • Puffy offers a 101-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty on pillows

Common Complaints:

  • No queen size
  • The cover may be washable, but you may need to hand wash it if you want it to last

Budget Pillow: Nolah AirFiber Pillow

When you want quality but can’t manage the pricier options on the list, Nolah has you covered with the AirFiber Pillow. It’s soft, lofty, and oh-so-supportive for any type of sleeper, which makes it an excellent budget option for combination sleepers.

Nolah uses a custom AirFiber filling that gives it a down alternative feel. The AirFiber filling is temperature neutral high-resilience polyester fibers. It’s lightweight and molds to fit your shape as you shift in sleep.

Toss on the 100% cotton cover infused with Outlast cooling material, and you get a traditional look and feel. However, the sleek, updated package keeps you cool and comfortable all night, thanks to the unique materials and design.

What Customers Like:

  • Made with small fibers to adjust to any position
  • High-loft at 6 inches
  • 120-night trial period and lifetime warranty

Common Complaints:

  • May be a little too soft for some combination sleepers
  • Not washable at all

Best Contoured Pillow: DreamCloud Contour Pillow

DreamCloud earned a second entry on our list with its contoured pillow. In many ways, it’s similar to the Best Rest Pillow, but this version has unique contours to provide superior support for the head, neck, and shoulders in any position.

Built-in cooling technology includes internal ventilation, gel coating, and a knit out cover to keep you comfortable all night. DreamCloud uses a CertiPur-US certified foam for the filling to ensure maximum support, comfort, and contour.

The cover is removable and machine washable. Just make sure you wash on a gentle cycle and line dry to preserve it. Additionally, you can customize your firmness by removing one-inch flexible foam inserts until it feels right. 

What Customers Like:

  • Contoured to fit the curvature of your neck better
  • Customizable fit by removing inserts to get the best fit for you
  • Cover is removable for machine washing 

Common Complaints:

  • Some people didn’t like the contours
  • Only available in one size 

High-end Memory Foam: Saatva Memory Foam Pillow

Saatva gains a third entry on this list because they created a Memory Foam Pillow that truly delivers. When you want a high-end pillow that is worth the price, it’s tough to overlook one with 100% CertiPur-US certified memory foam and additional design features that provide comfort and support regardless of your sleeping position.

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Like the other Saatva pillows, this one uses a three-layer design starting with a cooling organic cotton cover. You can even remove the cover and toss it in the washing machine.

The second and third layers are two types of memory foam. Starting with the middle, or pillow layer, it’s a graphite memory foam that draws heat away to keep you cooler. The core is gel-infused memory foam to provide support without hindering air flow or overheating.

What Customers Like:

  • Two types of memory foam provide comfort and support
  • Cooler than other pillows
  • 45-day trial period with free returns

Common Complaints:

  • May not be lofty enough for some people
  • Queen and King sizes are slightly smaller than usual 

Budget Cooling Pillow: Nolah AirFoam Pillow

Nolah knows how to combine quality, comfort, and affordability and hits the mark again with the AirFoam Pillow. Using custom technology, Nolah delivers a cooling pillow with enough support to handle any sleeping position.

The AirFoam filling is temperature neutral to keep you cool, but Nolah ups the cool-factor with the custom cover feature Outlast cotton. Additionally, the foam core is soft enough to fit the contours of your head, neck, and shoulders without compromising on support to give you optimal alignment for a restful night of sleep.

What Customers Like:

  • Affordable without compromising quality or comfort
  • Cooling technology keeps you comfortable all night
  • 120-night trial period plus free returns

Common Complaints:

  • Only one size – 17 inches x 23 inches
  • May be a little thick for some sleepers

Final Thoughts

Choosing the proper pillow is key for a restful night’s sleep. After all, your pillow supports the head, neck, and shoulders as you roll from one position to the next. It helps to have a pillow that works with you in every phase of the night.

Even though all of these pillows should work for combination sleepers, it’s important to choose a pillow that works for you. Everybody has personal preferences in terms of materials and needs, so make comparisons based on what you like. If your current pillow isn’t working, ask yourself why and choose a pillow that solves the problem.

Now that you know what to look for and some of the challenges for combination sleepers, you should have all the tools you need to find the perfect pillow. Go out and get that restful night’s sleep you’ve been dreaming about!

FAQs

A few questions popped up frequently during our research, so we thought it might be helpful to add them. Don’t worry, we provided the answers, too!

I often have house guests and don’t know how they prefer to sleep. Which pillow works best for all positions?

It’s challenging to name the best overall pillow because so much comes down to personal preference. That said, adjustable fill pillows satisfy most people because they accommodate almost any body type and sleeping position.

My mother-in-law visits often, and she’s a side stomach sleeper. Which is the best option for her?

We get it; you definitely want to keep your mother-in-law well-rested and happy during her visit. Try keeping an adjustable fill pillow on hand for her to give her the best of everything. She may appreciate being able to remove filling or inserts to get the custom firmness she needs.

I keep hearing about cooling pillows. What is a cooling pillow, and what does it do?

Cooling pillows only differ from regular pillows in terms of materials. Generally, cooling pillows use certain fabrics or materials, like Outlast, that help regulate heat from your body to keep you cool all night.

If body heat is an issue for you, and you tend to sweat a lot, it may be more important to choose a pillow that you can throw in the washing machine. You may at least want a pillow with a removable, washable cover to ensure a fresh clean when you need it.

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