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How we test pillows

Our experts conduct several tests to evaluate the support and durability of pillows.

hand testing firmness of bed pillow

Settling into your pillows at night can be a great feeling – unless you just can't get comfortable. 

Whether or not you find a particular pillow comfortable is highly subjective, but our lab tests – which include durability, head support, and head rest angle when side or back sleeping – will give you a flying start when buying your next pillow.

Our expert testers

Our testers have years of expertise in putting products through their paces. Their focus is on technical outcomes so you can look at the evidence rather than relying on marketing or sales pitches. 

In the case of this test, we reveal which pillows are the most supportive; which are the most durable, returning to their natural form over time; and the angle your head will be at when using the pillow.

How we choose which pillows we test

In this test we look at the biggest pillow brands in Australia that are available in stores. We may also cover some smaller, niche suppliers, depending on our members' needs.

How we test pillows

All pillows are tested to the same methodology, whether they're latex or polyester, feather or foam.

  • Fatigue test: We compress each pillow in our compression rig to 100kg for more than 100 hours, and assess how well the pillow bounces back. 
  • Sink test: We assess how much the average head will sink into each pillow by dropping a 5kg head probe weight onto each product and measuring deformation.
  • Comfort test: Our head rest angle measurement shows both back sleepers and side sleepers what angle their head will be at when resting on the pillow. Using the degree of the angle will indicate the comfort they may experience when lying on the pillow for a substantial amount of time.
  • Fold test: We look at how well a pillow flips back to its original shape when folded over.

How we score pillows

We give every pillow a CHOICE Expert Rating so you can see at a glance which ones are the best and worst performers.

This overall score is based on the following criteria:

  • fatigue (35%)
  • comfort (30%)
  • fold (20%)
  • sink (15%).

Our test lab

We maintain a lab that's up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our testers to bring you accurate results. Everything in our laboratory is tightly controlled, including temperature and humidity, to ensure each product is tested under exactly the same conditions.