How We Test Pillows

At Consumer Tested Reports, we take pillow testing seriously. Our rigorous methodology ensures that we provide you with accurate, unbiased, and comprehensive information to help you make informed purchasing decisions. Here’s how we evaluate pillows in our state-of-the-art testing labs:


We assess pillow support using both objective measurements and subjective feedback:

  • Head and Neck Alignment: Using a weighted anatomical head model (4.5 kg), we measure the angle of the head and neck in various sleeping positions (side, back, and stomach) to evaluate spinal alignment.
  • Compression Testing: We use specialized equipment to measure how much a pillow compresses under different amounts of pressure, simulating various body weights and sleep positions.


Our durability tests evaluate how well a pillow maintains its shape and support over time:

  • Fatigue Testing: We subject pillows to over 100 hours of compression cycles, simulating years of use.
  • Shape Retention: We assess how quickly and completely pillows return to their original shape after compression.
  • Cover Durability: We evaluate pilling resistance, tear strength, and seam quality through abrasion tests and multiple wash cycles.


Comfort is subjective, but we use a combination of methods to provide a comprehensive assessment:

  • Firmness Scale: We rate pillows on a 1-10 firmness scale using standardized compression tests.
  • Temperature Regulation: Using thermal imaging and sensors, we measure heat retention and dissipation.
  • Sleep Position Suitability: Our diverse testing team evaluates each pillow for comfort in different sleep positions.


We consider the overall value of each pillow by factoring in:

  • Material Quality: We assess the quality and durability of both the cover and fill materials.
  • Performance: How well the pillow performs across all our testing categories.
  • Price: We compare the pillow’s performance to its cost to determine its value proposition.

Additional Factors

  • Odor Testing: We use VOC meters to measure off-gassing and assess any noticeable odors.
  • Adjustability: For adjustable pillows, we evaluate the ease of customization and range of loft options.
  • Allergen Resistance: We assess hypoallergenic claims and evaluate dust mite resistance where applicable.

Our Testing Process

  1. We purchase pillows anonymously from retail sources to ensure we test the same products available to consumers.
  2. Each pillow undergoes a minimum of 3 weeks of testing, including real-world sleep trials by our diverse team of testers.
  3. We combine data from our lab tests with subjective feedback from our testers to provide a holistic evaluation.
  4. All pillows are re-evaluated periodically to ensure our ratings remain current and accurate.

You can check out the best pillows for neck pain we’ve selected after rigorous testing in our lab.

At Consumer Tested Reports, we’re committed to providing you with the most reliable and comprehensive pillow reviews. Our testing methodology is constantly evolving to incorporate the latest industry standards and consumer needs, ensuring you have the information you need to find your perfect pillow.

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If you want to access all of our most up-to-date test results, subscribe to our consumer reports. It’s worth every penny, as you’ll save money by selecting the right pillow that truly works.