Sleeping on a pillow that is too thick can cause discomfort for some people, resulting in a night of tossing and turning. Thankfully, the best thin pillows provide adequate support for your head, and they come in a range of styles, from feathers to down-alternative to memory foam. Plus, some are even height-adjustable, so you can customize the pillow’s loft to your exact liking.
First, consider material. Thin
bed pillows made from memory foam will conform to the shape of your head and cradle it throughout the night, but keep in mind that unless they’re ventilated or infused with gel, memory foam pillows can retain warmth and be less breathable if you're a hot sleeper. And if you’re looking for softer support than memory foam will offer, you’re better off with down-alternative or feathers. A feather pillow will give you the softest support and is perfect if you like to sink your head into the pillow or bunch it up under your neck, but it’s not the best choice if you have allergies. A down-alternative pillow will offer a little more firmness than feathers (and like memory foam, is hypoallergenic), making it a solid basic pick.
As far as loft goes, the pillows on this list are all low-profile (the thinnest measures a mere 2.25 inches), but several give you the option of height customization. Both the feather and down-alternative pillows feature individual interior layers that can be removed for less loft, while the shredded memory foam pillow allows you to remove as much fill as you like.
Check out the best thin pillows below, which offer a range of support options for your head and neck, all but
guaranteeing a comfortable night’s sleep. 1 The Best Down-Alternative Pillow With Removable Layers
At first glance, you might assume that this
option from Pancake pillow is just a traditional pillow — and for certain people, that might be part of the appeal. But it actually offers a lot more versatility, thanks to its adjustable design. It’s composed of six individual layers that are about 1.3 inches thick each, and you can remove each one to get just the height you’re looking for, making it a perfect pick for anyone who wants lots of customizability.
The cover is made from breathable 100% cotton, and the layers are made from down-alternative microfiber that’s designed not to bunch, so you won’t have to worry about readjusting, punching down, or folding the pillow to get the right fit. While it's a bit pricier than other options on this list, it's versatile and has over 1,000 Amazon reviewers singing its praises.
A reviewer wrote: “I love a flatter pillow but one with support, so I only have 2 layers in my pillow and it's just right. I bought the two pack and gave one to my mother, she loves it too- she's a 3 layer gal. The layers are so fluffy and comfortable. I was really surprised how much they popped up after removing them from the case. It's such a simple concept (layers of thin pillow) but the materials they used on this pillow are high end.” 2 The Best Feather Pillow With Removable Layers
If you like the fluffy feel of a traditional pillow — but not a lot of loft — this
adjustable feather pillow is for you. The zippered cotton cover has three stackable flat pillows inside that can be removed until you get a low profile that feels most comfortable for you. Each inner pillow is about 1.66 inches thick, and note that you’ll get more firm support with all three layers, and softer support as you remove them. It’s a great pick if you don’t want something too firm, or if you want to bunch the pillow up for more support in certain areas. However, if you’re allergic to feathers you’ll want to look elsewhere. A reviewer wrote: “I have been looking for a pillow like this for a long time. I prefer a flat thin pillow. It is relatively thin but has just a bit of fluff so you still sink down into the pillow...just a little bit. It comes with 3, I only needed to use 1, so I still have 2 extra to use later on.” 3 The Best Memory Foam Pillow In 3 Height Options
Made from memory foam, this
ultra-thin pillow will mold to the shape of your head and neck to offer medium-firm support. And if you’re a fan of memory foam, but don’t like how it tends to heat up, you’ll appreciate that this option is ventilated and infused with cooling gel. Not only that, but it comes in three height options; the “super slim” is 3.25 inches, the “ultra slim” is 2.75 inches, and the “hyper slim” measure a mere 2.25 inches. The cover is made from polyester and naturally cooling bamboo rayon. A reviewer wrote: “I'm a petite adult and have been looking forever for a low-profile pillow that still offered support but didn't crink my head and neck out of alignment. [...] This felt like Goldilocks' search - and this one is just right. It's soft, but firm enough to support my head and neck whether lying on my back or side. I was so happy with it, my husband tried it and now I've got another one coming for him.” 4 The Best Shredded Memory Foam Pillow With Removable Fill
Rather than a solid memory foam body, the inner case of
DreamyBlue’s pillow is filled with shredded memory foam, and you can remove as much as you like via a zipper closure until you reach your preferred level of thickness and support. The free-form design of the fill makes it more breathable than traditional memory foam blocks, and can be bunched up like a down-filled pillow, without losing support. The pillow’s quilted outer case is made from bamboo-extracted rayon fabric that’s hypoallergenic and breathable. A bonus bag of fill is included, making the pillow a versatile option for a variety of sleepers. A reviewer wrote: “I like my pillow to be very thin with only an inch or two between my resting head and the bed or my arm (side sleeper). [...] The DreamyBlue combines shredded memory foam with full flexibility to adjust the thickness by adding or removing filling and has been perfect for me. [...] The larger size is nice because I can even push filling to an end when I want even less loft in the middle for my head, making it even more adjustable on the fly.” 5 The Best Thin Memory Foam Pillow That’s Also Travel-Friendly
If you’re someone who likes to bring your favorite pillow along when you travel, the
Blissbury memory foam pillow weighs just 1.7 pounds and can be rolled up and tucked into the included drawstring pouch. Offering softer support, the thin memory pillow is just 2.6 inches thick, making it an excellent option for stomach sleepers or anyone who prefers a low-profile pillow. Open holes in the gel memory foam body allow air to circulate to prevent overheating, while a cotton inner lining has wicking properties to keep things cool. The pillow’s outer casing is available in gray or white, and is made from double-weave bamboo and polyester that has a soft, plush feel. A reviewer wrote: “I have struggled to find a pillow flat and soft enough for me. I love this pillow. I sleep on my stomach and most pillows are too high or too hard. I can't travel without it.” 6 A Cooling Grid Pillow With Adjustable Boosters
Rather than feathers, microfiber, or memory foam, this pillow from
Purple is made from a hypoallergenic, temperature-neutral gel grid of hyper-elastic polymer with open-air channels that provide breathability and support. In addition to the main body of the pillow — which is 3 inches thick — you get two boosters if you decide you want more loft: a 1-inch booster and 0.5-inch booster. Some reviewers note that the Purple’s substantial 10-pound weight makes it difficult to move if you’re someone who likes to change sleeping positions during the night, however others mention that its sturdy build is one of its best features. It offers firm support, with more springiness than memory foam — helpful if you don’t like the feeling of sinking into a pillow or don’t want to adjust throughout the night. A moisture-wicking cover further helps hot sleepers stay cool, even when sleeping face down. A reviewer wrote: This pillow is incredible comfortable and do not regret paying $109 for it one bit. It feels similar to a mix between a memory foam and a plush pillow. I also like how you can remove or add the included boosters to adjust to your perfect height.”
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This article was originally published on
May 16, 2019