1. Think about how you sleep. No one stays in exactly the same position while zzzing, but we all have a position or two that is comforting and feels best. If you sleep on your side, you'll need a pillow with enough loft to fill the space between your shoulder, neck, and head. If you're a back sleeper, a pillow with a lower profile will cradle your neck. If you're like me and sleep on your stomach, you'll want something thin.
2. Think about what you're sleeping on. Your mattress and pillows should work in tandem. I might not find my Tempur-pedic pillow so comfortable if I weren't sleeping on a memory foam mattress topper.
3. Evaluate filling materials. This is where things can get complicated, because your pillows can be filled with anything from buckwheat to down to polyester. Consumer Reports recommends checking for a tightly woven fabric and compressing pillows to determine their firmness and resilience. You'll also want to take into consideration the care needed for each fill type .