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Last updated: October 19, 2022
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Thin pillows are known best for their support to natural spinal and neck alignment. In particular, they are ideal companions for people who sleep on their stomachs or others who are back sleepers. Typically varying in thickness from a mere 2.5 inches to under 5 inches, the best thin pillows can cater to a range of sleeping needs such as keeping your neck supported, your spine aligned, and your head still.
For a pillow to be considered authentically thin, you need to look for something that does not exceed the 3-inch mark, although down pillows may go up to a 5-inch thickness. Other than the height consideration, you should also keep in mind the material used for filling the pillow, its cover material, temperature regulation features, firmness, size, as well as any warranty information so that you get the right product for the best sleep experience. Getting all these qualities right will ensure that you prevent experiencing any unnatural neck and spine positions causing you pain and discomfort upon waking up every morning.
To make your decision to buy the right thin pillow easier, our experts have put together this article to help you navigate your options. Start off by taking a look at our recommended products in this category followed by detailed product descriptions for each pillow. Then round off with our buying guide to get additional information and answers to any questions you may have.
More features: certified eco-friendly by CertiPUR-US, supportive tapered edges, low- and mid-loft versions, cooling channels
The Amerisleep Dual Comfort Pillow features an impressive design that is targeted towards all kinds of sleepers, especially those battling long-term neck and back pain. With the firm material and lightweight cover that is soft to touch, you can enhance your sleeping experience with one of these on your bed.
The unique part of this pillow is its two sides, as one side is firm and the other is soft depending on your needs. This pillow is great for those who are looking for neck support: the firm side offers more support for your neck, while the soft side supports your back and makes sleeping more comfortable. The pillow is also highly breathable with the pressure-relieving Bio-Pur material.
We like this product because the material is more responsive than normal foam, so you can adjust positions as often as you want. Since it’s breathable, it would stay cool and comfy while you sleep. And, this eco-friendly pillow is free from harmful chemicals and can be used by anyone.
The Amerisleep Dual Comfort Pillow also has an attractive and simple design to match your bathroom décor while fitting your sleep style. However, the pillow is too tall for some with neck pain, and some people can feel the firm side too hard.
More features: hypoallergenic, 400 thread count cotton fabric cover, 800 fill power, RDS Certified
There is little doubt that a goose down pillow from East Coast Bedding will be assembled from high-end materials that are durable and made to last. This premium quality pillow has been designed to maximize comfort with a deluxe look and feel.
This pillow comes in different sizes: standard, queen, and king sizes. Filled at 800 fill power with the down of the European white goose, this is an exceptionally firm and lofty pillow. The fill in encased in 100% cotton fabric with a 400-thread count, providing softness and comfort as you sleep.
However, because of how firm and thick it is, this pillow is more suitable for side sleepers. Back and stomach sleepers may find this pillow to be a bit too high.
All the materials in this pillow are hypoallergenic, meaning the pillow won’t create any issues for anyone with allergies, or problems with pathogens or irritants. Plus, all of the products from East Coast Bedding are RDS certified, so concerned consumers can rest assured that the geese involved have been humanely treated.
These goose down pillows (of course) come with a hefty price tag, but the company promises that you’ll get your money’s worth with these luxurious, top-quality pillows. The deluxe quality, durability, and gentleness of these goose down pillows from East Coast Bedding are why we nominate this as the best down filled thin pillow.
What are its best features?
High-quality, durable materials
High fill power means the pillow will “retain its firmness” for a long time
More features: 300 thread count cover, six stackable inner pillows, 3-side zipper cover, hypoallergenic
The Pancake Pillow has been around for a good few years now and is still going strong due to its rather interesting adjustment feature. The way it works is quite simple: there are six pillows in one. You can easily zip the smaller pillows in and out the casing until you find the height that works best for you. The wide range of loft (2”- 8”) of this pillow makes it suitable for every type of sleeper there is, and this great versatility makes it the best adjustable pillow there is.
The 6 small pillows are very fluffy thin pillows that get firmer as you stack more inside the case. Customers have said that these pillows work great individually as well. Because they get more firm the more you stack, they may not work for sleepers looking for a firm thin pillow or a fluffy thick one.
The Pancake Pillow comes in standard and queen sizes, made with 100% cotton casing and a soft microfiber fill rather than down fill. All the materials used for production are hypoallergenic and of a durable quality which helps the pillow keep its shape over time. It comes with a sturdy plastic carrying case, which may cause slight off gassing, but is great for storing the extra layers you may not need.
For those who may not entirely be satisfied with the product, good news: the company behind the Pancake Pillow is know to have excellent customer service.
The PureTree pillow is a great combination of both comfort and care for the environment. This pillow is constructed almost entirely with natural, plant-based material. Both the 100% cotton casing and lining are GOTS certified organic, and the pillow’s fill is made from natural shredded latex, sourced from the sap of rubber trees. The materials are hypoallergenic and resistant to irritants such as dust mites, mildew, and microbes.
The shredded latex used is designed to work like memory foam and provide similar ergonomic support for the neck and head. This allows the pillow to work well for all kinds of sleepers. The latex pieces are shredded into different sizes in order to allow heightened air flow within and control the pillow’s temperature for a cooler, more comfortable sleep. Due to its resiliency, the latex won’t flatten out as cotton-fill or down pillows do.
Another feature of this product is its adjustability. The casing has a double zipper that allows users to remove or add latex fill until you find the softness (or firmness) best for you.
Unlike many other all-natural bedding products, the PureTree pillow is entirely machine washable.
Because the pillow is filled with natural latex, a strong odor upon opening seems inevitable. However, this issue resolves itself in time (about a week) and is the only minor downside to this product.
The quality eco-friendly materials and high-end comfort reported from customers are why we nominated the PureTree pillow the most eco-friendly thin pillow on our list.
More features: removable, machine washable cover, Certipur-US certified
You’ll get a bang for your buck with this ultra-thin pillow from Bluewave Bedding. The low loft pillow works great for back and stomach sleepers and provides comfortable support to aid in spinal alignment (and possibly reduce snoring).
The pillow is equipped with a memory foam embedded with cooling gel particles and ventilation holes to circulate air better and keep your head from getting too hot as you sleep.
The memory foam is CertiPUR-US certified and, contains only durable hypoallergenic materials. The certified foam contains no harmful additives and also emits less odor than other memory foam pillows would.
The memory foam is encased within a 60% polyester, 40% bamboo-derived rayon cover that can be washed by machine.
To add comfort to those who flip their pillow at night, this pillow has a unique “full-pillow” shape: the pillow is slightly rounded on both sides to provide the same comfort whichever way you flip it.
That said, small word of discretion: this pillow is not effective for everyone. The ultra-thin model may be a strain on side sleepers, and is not recommended. Some customers have also described it as a very firm pillow, so if you’re looking for a soft thin pillow, this may not be right for you.
Though it may not be the best for every type of sleeper, the Bluewave Ultra Slim pillow works well for its intended design, and earns its place as the best budget-friendly thin pillow on the list.
What are our favorite features?
CertiPUR-US certified memory foam
Gel-infused foam for temperature regulation
Machine-washable, removable pillow cover
Very little off gassing compared to other memory foams
Good for sleepers who flip their pillows during sleep
What could be better?
May be too firm for some
Things to Consider
No matter what you wish to purchase, searching for the right product always requires some research. In this case the research applies to thin pillows which are quite different from other pillow options out there.
Provided below is the research on thin pillows you’ll need to make an educated decision on which product is truly the best for you. This buying guide consists of some answered questions and features most commonly disputed over when it comes to purchasing the perfect pillow for personal tastes.
Types of thin pillows to consider
Pillows vary just as sleeping positions do. For every person there is a different pillow that will suit their head and neck. You’ll find multiple thin pillow choices with some of them being soft, plush thin pillows for those people who prefer to sleep on their stomachs. The Pancake Pillow featured here meets this criterion. Another option to consider are firm flat pillows for greater neck support such as Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Pillow. And then there are versatile pillows that can perform as both a thick and thin pillow. Both the Pancake Pillow and the PureTree Pillow have adjustable features allowing users to modify pillow height as per preference. This application can also help those who have spinal issues and neck problems.
How does a thin pillow influence your health?
Sleep is the time of day when you rest after the long haul. You need to remain in a comfortable position for at least 8 hours where you can rest your mind and body. Alongside this, your posture should be correct and not abstract. With the wrong pillow, your mornings will become frustrating and your posture steadily damaged overtime. The most critical areas that can be affected by improper sleep are your neck and spine. If issues in these areas develop, it can lead to serious injury and chronic pains.
This is the impact a proper thin pillow can have on your sleep and health. With it, you’ll be able to maintain proper posture and avoid unwanted issues.
Sleeping positions tips for thin pillows lovers
There are two main ways you may sleep when you’re using a thin pillow. You may sleep on your stomach and in that case, a thin pillow is the ideal pillow. The closer you are to sleeping straight, the easier it’ll be. It’s also best to stretch as soon as you wake up. When you sleep on your stomach, your whole body is stuck in one stiff position. Stretching will at least allow your body some movement and freedom that it lacked during slumber.
For those who tend to sleep on their back, it’s always better to sleep with your head elevated rather than laid flat. It’s also better to have a moist environment when you’re sleeping on your back otherwise you can encounter throat and nose irritability.
Features to consider while buying the ideal thin pillow
When purchasing a thin pillow, it is wiser to acknowledge the fact that not all pillows will provide you with the support and cradling you might require. Listed below are some vital features that differ between pillow to pillow worth considering when you’re looking for exactly what you need.
Most pillows now follow the relative memory foam trend for better cradling and stronger support. The foam does so by molding to the shape of your head, gradually making your sleep more complacent.
Some other fillings you may come across are latex and microfiber, two very sturdy materials though they can develop smell faster from sweat than other options. Feathers are also a filling you can find. It is a very soft and airy option, but the most common issue with these pillows would be that the feathers can clump together in the corners.
The usual custom when it comes to pillows would have to be their ability to trap or release warmth. To ensure the pillow remains flat, manufacturers relieve the weight and add a layer of breathability, by adding cooling gel or holes.
For some people, sleeping on a warm pillow is not an issue and in fact a luxury while to others they may feel uncomfortable with a warm pillow and therefore not appreciate most thin pillow options. The Domus Pillow combines the comfort of a thin pillow with carefully constructed thermal regulation to aid in making your nights calmer.
Profile and comfort
When you lay your head on your pillow, you should feel relative compression at first. This is your pillow adjusting to your weight and head shape for the first time. You don’t want something that won’t make any changes in its shape, otherwise you’d be sleeping on an elevated brick.
You comfort comes first when you’re talking pillows, not the price and brand name. Always make sure you can try out the pillow first to see if it meets your requirements before purchasing.
Pillow covers can sometimes become an issue since people do have allergies and respiratory issues. When it comes to pillow covers, hypoallergenic and dust-mite free covers are the best. The most common covers that can offer these benefits would be bamboo and polyester. Take a look at the Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Pillow for this option. Or the Pancake Pillow makes a good fit for everyone with its hypoallergenic cover.
When it comes to pillows, they vary just as head shape and size do. Everyone has their own preferences, which is why it’s better to look at pillow size before purchasing any pillow. A child’s pillow will be comparatively smaller than a basic sized pillow and won’t support an adult’s head. On the other hand, young children may suffocate with the immensity of an adult pillow’s size. Most of the pillows featured today come in multiple sizes so you can get your pick of what suits you best.
Nothing can last forever and pillows are no exception to this statement. All pillows will eventually flatten and lose their store-bought support. The expected durable performance lifespan you should be looking for though would be well over 18 months otherwise you didn’t purchase your money’s worth.
Warranty and sleep trial
It’s never a good idea to purchase a pillow without ensuring you have reliable coverage to back you up. The pillow may lose its shape quickly or be damaged in areas you may not have found before. Stains and tears can all happen during transport, so always have a way to ensure you can return the pillow before or after trying it. While placing your pillow under trial, look for warranties that exceed well over one year so your money’s worth is met.
The answer for this is no. It isn’t a good move to sleep on your stomach while you are pregnant, especially when you near the last months of pregnancy. It is bad to have compression over your stomach in any case and time of pregnancy.
For those who are compelled to sleep on their stomachs, you can slip away with it in the first months of pregnancy only if your stomach is elevated and your spine is perfectly aligned. Pillows such as a donut pillow or other thin pillows are fine to place under your stomach and following areas to ensure you are level with your head and your spine is straight.
When it comes to children, it is actually recommended to have them primarily adjust to thin pillows. Thin pillows do not have as extravagant of an elevation as medium and high pillows do, and after having slept with no pillow as an infant for so long, starting small is the best way to keep your child sleeping comfortably.
In the end, the pillows that stand out from the list would be the Amerisleep Dual Comfort Pillow, interpreting style and comfort into one design. With the firm material, lightweight cover and breathability to aid in making nights longer and easier to relax in, it surely becomes one pillow highly easy to fall in love with.
We also have the East Coast Bedding Goose Down Pillow, which serves justice to the old fashioned ways of stuffing a pillow. With a soft cotton casing and a firmness to compliment, it makes for one of the best thin pillows to introduce into your bedroom.
Finally there is the quality performance of the Pancake Pillow which doesn’t cease to satisfy. It’s made for all body types, sleeping positions and comes in multiple sizes to fulfil the wishes of the whole family. Nothing beats the versatility of the Pancake Pillow when it comes to your comfort.