Best Affordable Pillow : 5 Cheap Pillows That Don’t Suck

In This Article

We all want the best. However, for various reasons sometimes the best is just out of our reach. When it comes to the best pillow, most often that reason is the price. Some of the best pillows on the market cost more than a mattress. This guide will discuss the best affordable pillows you can find.

While cost isn’t the final determining factor of a pillow’s quality, it is an indication. High-quality pillows use the best materials for their fills and covers. You can still find high-quality pillows in a more affordable package, though and we have the list for you. You don’t have to spend hundreds on a great pillow anymore.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Cheap Pillow

There are several things you need to think about before purchasing a new pillow. You will need to ensure the pillow falls within your budget, but you also need to consider other factors. Such factors as the pillow loft, materials, warranty, and your sleep position.

Your Budget

If you are reading this article, you have your budget in mind. Perhaps you just don’t want to spend a hundred dollars or more on a pillow, or maybe you can’t. Either way, we have the solution for you in the list below.

One thing to note about your budget, though, is that it is high enough to get the pillow you need. Pillows aren’t a lifetime purchase, but the wrong one can cause lifetime issues. You shouldn’t settle on a bargain pillow because it will save you a few dollars. Especially if that bargain ends up costing you sleep, pain, muscles soreness or a compressed spine.

You also want your budget to be low enough you can justify the expense. Buyer’s remorse tends to come from overspending. If you come up with a budget to spend on your pillow(s) and stick within that set amount, you are more likely to enjoy your purchase and not stress or strain in other financial areas of your life.

Your Sleep Position

One of the largest factors in a restful night’s sleep is the position you sleep in. There are various positions grouped within four main categories:

  • Side Sleepers
  • Back Sleepers
  • Stomach Sleepers
  • Combination Sleepers

Side sleepers make up the majority of the population with almost 63 percent of us sleeping on our sides. There are different side sleeping positions, such as the fetal position or the knee tuck position. In the end, though, side sleepers need a pillow with a higher loft to keep their head up and their spine aligned.

Back sleepers tend to get more sleep than the other positions but have more issues with snoring and sleep apnea than the other positions. The proper pillow for this group will be one with a firm compression that keeps the head tilted forward. Allowing the pillow to go flat, or compress more, cause the head to fall backward.

Tilting the head back will put stress on the neck muscles and can compress the spine. Snoring is one of the largest side effects of this sleeping position and can sometimes be corrected with the purchase of the correct supporting pillow.

Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, have the most difficult time sleeping. They tend to wake up during the night more often than the other positions, and because the head has to turn to one side or the other, have more constant neck strain.

The right pillow for stomach sleepers will have support to lift the head and keep the jaw, neck, and spine properly aligned. It should also provide enough softness for comfort without billowing around the face, which can cause difficulty breathing.

Combination sleepers are those that use multiple positions while they sleep. They can fall asleep on their backs and end up on their sides, for example. This group needs to take into consideration the different pillow types for their sleeping positions and find a pillow that works for all of them.

Loft and Compression

The loft of a pillow is usually thought of to mean the softness of a pillow. This isn’t true. The loft is the measurement of the height of a pillow on a flat surface without any weight on it. Just because a pillow has a high loft doesn’t mean it is soft.

Likewise, a low loft pillow doesn’t mean it has to be hard, firm or uncomfortable. The loft will help you establish which pillow to purchase because it directly relates to the position of your neck.

Side sleepers, for instance, need a medium to high loft depending on their body size. The distance from the neck to the end of the shoulder needs to be filled to prevent the head from tilting too much to the side.

Compression, then is how much the pillow flattens out when you put your weight on it. Higher compression means the pillow will go flatter when you lay on it. The compression to loft ratio is what you need to pay attention to when purchasing a new pillow.

If the pillow compresses too much, a back sleeper, for example, may find that their head falls back too much. If it doesn’t compress enough, the back sleeper’s head could be pushed too far forward, which is also a bad thing for the neck and spine.

Fill and Cover Materials

The other major factor to take into consideration is the material the pillow is made from. There are a lot of materials for the fill, and the most common ones include:

  • Cotton and wool
  • Kapok fibers
  • Memory foam
  • Poly-Foam
  • Gel

Each fill material has it’s own pros and cons. Some help reduce body heat, others are more firm or conforming to size and shape. The right fill for you will depend on your preferences and sleeping habits. If you sleep hot, for example, a shredded foam fill or gel and foam fill will help remove the heat build-up and allow you to sleep cooler.

Kapok fibers are naturally hypoallergenic. If you suffer from allergies, you can find a pillow that is naturally hypoallergenic or one that is certified by Certi-Pur to be hypoallergenic.

The Warranty

Most pillows on the less expensive side won’t offer much of a warranty. It is still important to find out what they do offer though. Especially if you are making your purchase online. You may find a cheap pillow and order it, only to find out it doesn’t work for you and there isn’t a trial period to get your money back.

Warranties on pillows often only extend to the craftsmanship or quality. If it develops a hole, for example, you can return it to be repaired or replaced. The time frame for this type of warranty will vary between manufacturers, so it is important to note the period before making your purchase.

Trial periods are also useful, when available. You may find you have 30 or 60 nights to test the pillow to find out if it is a good fit for you. If it is, you keep it and the warranty kicks in. If it is not, you can return it for a full or prorated return.

Be cautious though, as some companies don’t allow you to return a pillow because of the nature of its use. You can’t resell a used pillow for hygienic reasons, and a lot of companies won’t take them back, except in the case of warranty repairs.

The Best Affordable Pillows

Without further ado, here is the list of the best affordable pillows for your consideration. Knowing what to look for will help narrow your decision, while our list will help you with a starting point to go from.

#1: WEEKENDER Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow

This gel-infused memory foam pillow from WEEKENDER is ventilated and quite firm. The airflow in increased while the gel pulls heat and disperses it throughout the pillow. The result is a pillow that helps you sleep cooler.

It is designed for side and back sleepers to have a medium loft (about five inches) and minimal compression to support the head and neck. The cotton fiber cover is removable and machine washable to keep your pillow fresh and comfortable.


  • Perfect for side sleepers with minimal compression.
  • Ventilates and regulates heat by allowing air to move throughout the pillow.
  • Offers more support than down or down alternative fills.


  • Not suitable for stomach sleepers.
  • Smaller framed or lighter persons may not be able to compress it enough.

#2: EXQHome Contour Pillow

The EXQHome contour pillow is great for side sleepers and helpful for back sleepers. The double-sided contour allows you to select your height for the best fit for your head and neck. The zippered cover is removable for an easy wash in the machine, though it is recommended to air dry instead of tumble dry.

The solid core memory foam is ventilated to increase airflow, though it will still sleep a little hot. Those that don’t have much issue with hot sleeping will find the pillow works well to keep them cool enough to prevent waking up in a sweat.

You also get EXQHome’s unconditional money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the pillow.


  • Adjustable loft for different sized sleepers.
  • Great for side sleepers.
  • Low compression for more firm support.


  • Not ideal for stomach sleepers.
  • Back sleepers may not be heavy enough to compress the pillow properly.

#3: Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Pillow

The Snuggle-Pedic bamboo pillow uses shredded memory foam that moves with you as you sleep. Great for combination sleepers and will be beneficial for stomach sleepers that have a larger frame or more weight to help the compression.

The entire pillow is machine washable, and Certi-Pur certified to be hypoallergenic. The fill is adjustable, meaning you can add or remove it. Snuggle-Pedic recommends the fill be professionally adjusted and will pay for the shipping to have it done for you.


  • Bamboo cover and shredded memory foam fill sleep cool.
  • Won’t lose its shape, even after repeated use.
  • Great for all sleep positions.


  • Adjusting the fill for the perfect fit can take a long time to get perfect.
  • Lighter stomach sleepers may not have enough pressure to compress correctly.

#4: Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow

Utopia Bedding offers the gusseted quilted pillow for all sleep positions. The pillow is machine washable and can be reformed in the dryer or by hand. The microfiber fill allows for easy adjustment by fluffing or flattening.

You will also get two pillows per purchase, doubling the cost-effectiveness of the pillow itself. The loft is medium with a high compression rate, which can cause trouble for side sleepers, especially those with a larger frame or heavier weight. Side sleepers that use their arm under their pillow as a habit won’t notice the compression issue as much.


  • Works for all sleep positions.
  • Microfiber fill sleeps cool naturally.
  • Two pillows for the price of one of the competitors.


  • Not ideal for those with allergies.
  • Some off-gassing time and fluffing needed when first opened.

#5: Triple Cloud Adjustable Shredded Foam Fill Pillow

The Triple Cloud pillows offer a shredded memory foam filling that can be removed to adjust the loft and compression. The pillows work well for stomach sleepers and offer good support for side and back sleepers.

Adjusting the fill is as easy as unzipping and removing. You will need to fluff the pillow to get the shape correct before laying down. The cover is hypoallergenic and washable. The shredded foam fill allows the pillow to breathe and keep you cool while still offering proper support.


  • Adjustable fill for the perfect support in all positions.
  • Hypoallergenic cover reduces bedding allergens.
  • Full 5-year warranty.


  • May take a while to get the right adjustments made.
  • Side sleepers may compress the pillow too much for proper support.

In Conclusion

The perfect pillow within a reasonable budget can be found. You will need to figure out your budget and specific position needs before venturing out for a purchase. Once you understand what you are looking for you can more easily narrow your focus.

Proper sleep support for the head and neck is important. With enough planning and research, you can find an affordable pillow that meets all your demands. Based on our research, the all-around best affordable pillow is the Triple Cloud Adjustable Shredded Pillow because it provides the perfect balance of ergonomic comfort and loftiness.

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