Best Adjustable Pillows From Consumer Reports’ Tests
Why settle for a plain old pillow when you can shape an adjustable one to your liking? CR tested the Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft, and the Sleep Number ComfortFit Ultimate.
Finding the perfect pillow can be a real pain in the neck.
It can be hard to find one that delivers precisely the level of support you need. An adjustable pillow can solve that problem by allowing you to add or remove internal stuffing or foam, usually through a side zipper.
The pillow manufacturer will typically include generic instructions as a starting point, telling you how much filling to remove or add based on how you sleep. For a full rundown, see CR’s guide to customizing an adjustable pillow.
“We tested several configurations for each pillow,” says Chris Regan, the Consumer Reports project leader who oversees pillow testing. “We found you can seriously impact your support by making changes to the filling.” In our labs, we rate pillows from widely available brands. We poke, prod, and pound each one with machines to see how well it can handle constant use. We assess how well each pillow supports the head and neck of people of various sizes—petite, average, and large/tall—whether they sleep on their side or their back. And we use a pressure mat to analyze roughly 1,600 pressure points, focusing on the contact area between the head and the pillow. (We like to see that pressure is low. If it’s not, you’re likely to experience discomfort and keep shifting in your sleep.)
We also evaluate how well pillows retain their loft by placing an evenly distributed 225-pound weight on each one for 96 hours in a room set to 98.6° F to simulate the human body and 80 percent humidity to mimic sweat.
Read on for more details on the best adjustable pillows we’ve tested, listed in alphabetical order. To see more pillow options, check out our pillow ratings. For more information about pillow types, see our pillow buying guide.
CR’s take: The Avocado Green Pillow is filled with very firm, very dense chunks of certified Global Organic Latex Standard foam pieces and silk fibers from the kapok tree. It has a similar design to the Coop Home Goods pillow below, but unlike the Coop, it doesn’t come with a guide to making adjustments. Many of our testers found it extremely easy to adjust the pillow by adding or removing filling, but the filling was a bit too hard to fluff the pillow. Both back and side sleepers will find fantastic support once they’ve adjusted the filling. The pillow is also very breathable, earning an Excellent rating in our breathability tests, even though it may retain some warmth. But it shouldn’t make you feel clammy. Still, this pillow isn’t resilient; its height and support characteristics changed for the worse after being pounded in our tests.
CR’s take: Sleep Number’s adjustable ComfortFit Ultimate Pillow comes with three identical layers made of memory foam and down alternative fibers that you can remove. In our tests, it earns top marks for both side and back sleeper support when adjusted according to Sleep Number’s directions. Our testers noted that the pillow had a lot of loft, and many found it easy to adjust, but some found the foam to be too hard. This pillow tends not to hold up over time as well as the Coop Home Goods pillow above, so it earns just a Good score in our resilience tests. It’s very breathable, earning an Excellent rating in our breathability tests, meaning it’ll dissipate moisture if you tend to sweat on your pillow. But it also retains warmth, so if you like to sleep cooler, it might not be the pillow for you.