It goes without saying that the right pillow can really make or break your sleeping habits. While some people prefer a firm pillow — such as one with memory foam — others would prefer one that’s a bit softer. If you’re wondering whether squishy pillows are right for you, well, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at squishy pillows: What are they? Who should buy one? We’ll help you decide if a big squishy pillow is right for you.
What Makes a Squishy Pillow?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding your perfect pillow. Some will prefer something more firm and supportive for their head and neck. Others might prefer the softest, fluffiest pillows they can find. Do you even need a pillow at all? Comfort is a subjective term, and only you can decide the ‘best’ pillow for your needs.
Squishy pillows are on the softer side of things, though often without the lofty, airy feel found in down alternative or even down pillows.
They also manage to provide a moderate amount of support, thanks to their unique construction. Their fill is often some type of microbeads, like you might find in a beanbag chair or a stress ball. In a pillow like Squishmallow™s, these thousands and thousands of tiny beads allow you to squish your pillow with a soft feel, while still providing support. Other pillows may use shredded memory foam, or other materials to provide a similar feel.
Who Are Squishy Pillows Best For?
With so many options out there, it can be helpful to know a few terms and dimensions when shopping for your next pillow. Knowing your normal sleeping position and preferences can provide you with a foundation as you search.
Try consulting these terms when considering a squishy pillow. We generally find that most pillows like Squishmallow™s fall somewhere into the medium soft to medium firm categories. Squishy pillows are a great option for those looking for a moderate softness and support option, and who don’t mind a slightly different feel. They can accommodate most sleeping positions, as they have the ability to customize to your comfort with just a few squishes.
Pillow Firmness Scale
Most pillows fall into the following unofficial categories. Keep your eye out for these terms in the description of the squishy pillows you are considering.
Soft pillows provide the most give, but provide the least in terms of actual support.
Most pillows will start in the medium soft category. Perfect for those who want a little support, but still prefer a soft feel. Down alternative materials would be a good example here.
The (supposedly) perfect balance between softness and support. Memory foam pillows often aim for a medium feel.
Back sleepers are particularly suited to medium firm pillows, since they help support their head, neck, and body weight.
You will rarely see pillows described as outright firm. If you like sleeping on a buckwheat pillow, a mat or other firmer surface, this is what you want.
Pillow Firmness vs. Loft
Softness or firmness isn’t the only measure of comfort. A pillow’s loft is just as, if not more important for a good night’s sleep. Where firmness tells you much a pillow holds its shape, loft describes the height and thickness of a pillow.
Down pillows often rely on loft to make up for their lower level of firmness. Memory foam, or cervical neck pillows generally are designed with lower loft levels, helping keep the neck at a neutral angle.
Squishy pillows have an advantage in that you can quite easily adjust their loft to suit your needs. If you change sleeping positions regularly, you can just squish them into shape.
Our Favorite Squishy Pillows
If you’re looking for a big squishy pillow to call your own, we’ve got you covered with these top picks. Each pillow provides a marshmallow-like squishy feel, and you’ll love cuddling with them night after night.
This amazing pillow is our #1 pick for 2022, and it continues to excel in almost any category. Beckham’s allergy-friendly down alternative filling stays soft and squishy without falling flat. It has a squishy feel that bounces back beneath pressure. These pillows are also loaded with premium features, like a cooling gel-infused fiber in the lining. They’re fully machine-washable, and are available in Queen and King sizes. We reviewed the Beckham Hotel Collection pillows in-depth, and can even provide a 10% savings to Pillow Insider readers with code 10PillowIn.
Perhaps the cutest pillow we’ve ever reviewed, there’s no pillow like Squishmallow™s. With dozens of cute animals, food, and even a Squishmallow™ cactus to cuddle with, there is a lot of variety. While marketed as a toy for kids, you might just find yourself reaching for this addictively-squishy pillow for a naptime of your own.
This soft and squishy pillow features a unique curved design. The ergonomic shape helps you to align your head, neck and spine while you sleep. Ideal for side sleepers, the Zoey promises to be breathable and easy to clean. Filled with shredded memory foam, you can squish this pillow into the perfect position for comfortable sleep.
Want to really make your pillow “just right” for you? This pillow from Snuggle-Pedic allows you to actually increase and decrease the squishy fill level, so you can really make it perfect. With Cert-PUR and GreenGuard Gold-certified shredded memory foam, and a breathable bamboo-infused cover, this pillow feels cool and comfortable. Side, stomach and back sleepers can all use this soft squishy pillow with ease.
Squishy pillows are a great option for those who like to really snuggle up at night. They can adapt to lots of sleeping styles, and are perfect for you if you’re looking for moderate support and softness. If you really like the traditional lofty feel of a feather pillow, however, these squishy pillows may take some getting used to.
Overall, we recommend trying one out if you are curious. A supportive down alternative pillow, like the Beckham Hotel Collection, could be a nice introduction that balances the best of both worlds.