Best Cheap Pillows

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A GOOD NIGHT FOR A GOOD PRICE

Anyone waking up in agony because of the wrong pillow can rest easy: Kicking it to the curb and starting fresh won't strain the budget. Cheapism.com researched several inexpensive pillows that garner strong user feedback for comfort and support, pain relief, and more -- all for less than $35. We've also thrown in a few bonus pillows at or slightly above our price threshold for those seeking an old-fashioned feather pillow, something optimized for stomach sleepers, or a water-filled version that eases neck pain. Top off your mattress with one of these picks and dream on.
Photo credit: Courtesy of walmart.com

MAINSTAYS STANDARD MICROFIBER

Good Cotton/Polyester Pillow Under $35
Price: $7 for two | Buy them from Walmart

Pros:

  • Very inexpensive; good value for anyone who needs several pillows for guest rooms, kids, or decorative use.
  • Microfiber cover is soft, owners say.
  • Entire pillow can be machine washed and dried.
  • Somewhat flatter pillows are ideal for back and stomach sleepers.
Cons:
  • Some reviewers complain pillows are under-filled and flatten out too easily.
  • Likely too soft for side sleepers.
  • Some reviewers report durability issues; experts say durability of polyester pillows is poor overall.

Takeaway: Walmart's polyester Mainstays Standard Microfiber pillows are about as basic as it gets, but many reviewers say they're surprisingly comfortable for the price, especially for stomach or back sleepers who may not need as much firmness from their pillows.

Photo credit: Courtesy of bedbathandbeyond.com

WAMSUTTA EXTRA-FIRM SIDE SLEEPER

Best Cotton/Polyester Pillow Under $35
Price: $15 | Buy it from Bed Bath & Beyond

Pros:

  • 2-inch gusset around perimeter helps ensure adequate firmness for side sleepers.
  • Reviewers say filling resists sinkage.
  • 300-thread-count cotton cover is soft, breathable, machine washable.
  • Comes in king and standard/queen sizes.
Cons:
  • Likely too firm, lofty for stomach sleepers.
  • Some reviewers say it flattens out long-term; experts say durability of polyester pillows is poor.

Takeaway: Side sleepers need a little extra support and loft from their pillows to keep their heads, necks, and spines well-aligned. Happy owners say the reasonably priced Wamsutta Extra-Firm Side Sleeper keeps them comfortable, with a breathable cotton cover and a good amount of polyester filling.

Photo credit: Courtesy of sealybedding.com

SEALY POSTUREPEDIC MOISTURE WICKING

Good Down Alternative Pillow Under $35
Price: $28 | Buy it from Sealy

Pros:

  • Available in three sizes.
  • Moisture-wicking cotton cover locks away sweat on warm nights.
  • Medium firmness stands best chance of satisfying wider variety of sleepers.
  • Entire pillow can be machine washed and dried.
Cons:
  • Some reviewers say it flattens out long-term.
  • Pillow may need to be fluffed often to return to original shape, comfort.

Takeaway: Reviewers say the Sealy Moisture Wicking Pillow is a high-quality down alternative choice for sleepers who want to strike a balance between firm and soft. Owners like its 300-thread-count moisture-wicking cotton cover, saying it really does help keep them cool at night.

Photo credit: Courtesy of macys.com

LAUREN RALPH LAUREN LOGO DOWN ALTERNATIVE

Best Down Alternative Pillow Under $35
Price: $20 | Buy it from Macy's

Pros:

  • Available in three densities to support different sleep styles: medium for stomach sleepers, firm for back sleepers, extra-firm for side sleepers.
  • Entire pillow can be machine-washed, dried.
  • Most reviewers say pillow is plump and plush while maintaining adequate support.
Cons:
  • Some users say it flattens out long-term.
  • Pillow may need to be fluffed often to return to original shape, comfort.

Takeaway: Reviewers say the budget-priced Lauren Ralph Lauren Logo Down Alternative pillows are a good value, standing up well to nightly use. They're also available in different firmness levels, making it easier to pick one to suit individual sleep styles.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

CLASSIC BRANDS CONFORMA

Best Memory Foam Pillow Under $35
Price: $31 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:

  • Medium-firm feel is best for side and back sleepers.
  • Moldable memory foam cradles head and neck without flattening out.
  • Memory foam is ventilated for increased breathability.
  • Removable, machine-washable knit cover.
Cons:
  • Likely too firm for stomach sleepers; some users find it too hard.
  • Some owners complain of lingering chemical smell.
  • Pillow is very heavy and may not fit standard-size pillowcases.

Takeaway: For consumers seeking a pillow that provides substantial firmness, the Classic Brands Conforma is a good pick. Side sleepers are especially happy with this one, saying it strikes a good balance between firmness and support. The open-cell memory foam also helps keep it from feeling overly warm.

Photo credit: Courtesy of walmart.com

SIMMONS BEAUTYREST LATEX

Best Latex Pillow Under $35
Price: $34 | Buy it from Walmart

Pros:

  • Available in three sizes.
  • Pillow is very supportive and reduces pressure and neck pain, reviewers say.
  • Latex pillows get very good feedback on durability from owners and experts and won't "go flat" like other materials.
  • Breathable cells help pillow stay cooler than memory foam.
Cons:
  • Responsive latex may feel too springy for some.
  • Likely too lofty for stomach sleepers.

Takeaway: Latex pillows are noted for their longevity, and that makes the Simmons Beautyrest Latex Pillow -- already inexpensive for latex -- an even better buy. Users say the pillow conforms to the head and neck but maintains more bounce and responsiveness than memory foam. Latex also stays cooler than foam.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

SLEEP WHALE

Best Bamboo Pillow Under $35
Price: $35 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:

  • Users say the bamboo-blend cover is very soft; it can also be removed for washing.
  • Shredded memory foam fill doesn't feel as hard as solid memory foam pillows.
  • Better accommodates back sleepers as well as side sleepers.
  • Individual pieces of foam allow for better air circulation than solid foam pillows.
  • Shredded memory foam may last longer than solid memory foam, experts say.
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee.
Cons:
  • Likely too firm, lofty for stomach sleepers.
  • Some owners find shredded foam lumpy and say pillow has to be fluffed too often.
  • One size only.

Takeaway: This Sleep Whale "bamboo" pillow might be worth a look for side and back sleepers who want more support without sacrificing softness. The shredded foam can be fluffed somewhat like a traditional pillow, and it doesn't retain as much heat as a solid foam pillow.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

SOBAKAWA BUCKWHEAT

Best Natural-Fill Pillow Under $35
Price: $27 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:

  • Buckwheat hulls inside pillow allow it to conform to head and neck, better accommodating sleepers who switch between several positions.
  • Breathable cotton cover and buckwheat hulls allow for good airflow.
  • Buckwheat pillows have above-average potential for pain relief, experts say.
Cons:
  • Cotton cover is not removable or washable.
  • Pillow is too small for standard pillowcases.
  • Soft crunching sounds as buckwheat hulls shift and move inside, users say.

Takeaway: The Sobakawa feels nothing like a traditional pillow, and devotees say that's precisely why it works so well. The buckwheat hulls filling this pillow are able to shift and conform as necessary as sleepers change position, and the buckwheat stays cooler than similarly responsive memory foam, making it a good choice for hot sleepers.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

DOWNLITE OLD FASHION GRANNY

Best Feather Pillow Under $35
Price: $34 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:

  • Available in five sizes, including a body pillow.
  • Blend of goose feathers and down provides more classic feel.
  • Keeps users relatively cool.
  • Medium firmness stands best chance of satisfying wider variety of sleepers.
  • Pillow can be machine washed and dried.
Cons:
  • Despite double lining, some reviewers say the pillow feels too crunchy because of poking from individual feathers.
  • Pillow may need to be fluffed often to return to original shape and comfort.

Takeaway: The Downlite Old Fashion Granny is among the most budget-friendly choices for consumers who like the old-fashioned feel of a moldable, well-stuffed feather pillow. It can be tossed in the washer and dryer, and feather pillows are a little more cuddly for those who like to hug their pillows.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

XTREME COMFORTS SLIMSLEEPER

Recommended Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
Price: $36 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:

  • Available in three sizes.
  • Thinner profile makes this pillow ideal for stomach sleepers or anyone irritated by loftier pillows.
  • Bamboo cover is ventilated for increased breathability.
  • Entire pillow can be machine washed and dried.
Cons:
  • Some reviewers say it gets lumpy or develops flat spots over time.
  • Some stomach sleepers say it's still not flat enough to be comfortable.

Takeaway: While memory foam pillows usually are too firm and lofty for stomach sleepers, the thinner Xtreme Comforts Slim may be just the ticket. Owners love the ventilated bamboo cover, and many appreciate how moldable this shredded memory foam pillow is compared with polyester or down alternative.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

MEDIFLOW ORIGINAL WATERBASE

Best Affordable Pillow for Aches and Pains
Price: $50 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:

  • Loft and firmness make it ideal for side and back sleepers.
  • Water-filled pillow gets above-average reviews for neck-pain relief.
  • Pillow is leak resistant and resists excessive flattening.
  • Pillow can be machine-washed and dried.
Cons:
  • Finding proper support level may require some trial and error.
  • Because it's filled with water, it can't be molded to increase support in a certain area.
  • Too heavy to easily reposition when filled.
  • One size only.

Takeaway: Waterbeds may be out, but it's still possible to get a water-filled pillow. The Mediflow is noted especially for pain relief, so reviewers recommend giving it a shot if you wake up every morning with a stiff neck. It's a bit pricey, though, and probably won't work for stomach sleepers. Sometimes special deals can be had by purchasing directly from the manufacturer.