Five pillows for a better night’s rest

Good sleep is essential for your health. Don’t skimp on your nighttime accoutrement.

In 1964, a California high school student named Randy Gardner stayed awake for 11 straight days, a total of 264 hours. By the end, he was intensely paranoid and hallucinating. The moral of his story? Not sleeping is dumb and bad for you. So sleep more, and sleep well.

To assist in this effort, you need the right pillow. Regardless of your specific tastes—firm vs. soft, large vs. small—you need something reliable, sturdy, and able to make the idea of not going to bed something unfathomable.

No geese were harmed in the making of these. Amazon

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All of the airy softness of duck and goose down, none of the pesky animal cruelty. The Fern & Willow pillows provide support with their gel down-alternative, while also being incredibly airy and light. Add to the mix that they are machine-washable (if your dryer has an “air dry” setting, try that), are allergen-free, and come with a 100-day trial period.

The great white north. Amazon

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These DreamNorth pillows are made of a poly gel fiber surrounded by a 100 percent cotton top layer, which is a huge plus for those who need a little extra support. The gel also feels sturdy and not likely to dissolve after a couple of night’s usage. The cotton cover also stays nicely cool.

They can do it all. Amazon

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Gel-coated filling inside a 600-thread count pure cotton cover makes for a tempting pillow, and Faunna takes it one step further by offering carefully calibrated options depending on how you sleep. Order 20-40 percent filling if you sleep on your stomach, a sturdier 30-70 percent filling if you sleep on your back, and the more supportive 60-100 percent filling for those who sleep on their sides.

You will remember it, too. Amazon

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Available in medium-soft and medium-firm options, this memory foam option promises to evenly distribute your weight while maintaining its shape and resilience over time. It also offers a “hot side/cold side” option—one side of the pillow is made from a cooling fabric for warm nights, the other polyester to retain heat on colder evenings.

The best of both worlds. Amazon

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DreamRite takes the body-molding goodness of memory foam and mixes it with the cool airiness of a down alternative pillow with its “shredded” memory foam filling. Available in different levels of firmness, the pillow doesn’t suffer from the rigidity that often plagues single-piece foam pillows, and behaves more like a feather option. It’s also machine-washable and hypoallergenic.