Choosing the best pillow: NZ buying guide

From memory foam to cooling options, find your ideal pillow for a perfect slumber.

It's 7 am and your alarm is gently nudging you awake. Not to the start of an ordinary day, but to the realisation that you've just had the best sleep of your life. Why? Because you finally found THE pillow. Whether you're a side sleeper, back rester, or tummy-down dreamer, we’re here to take the guesswork out of pillow shopping, so you can wake up feeling rested and ready to roll.

Types of pillow materials

From the cosy hug of down feathers to the cool touch of gel, every pillow has its perks and quirks. Here are your options:

1. Memory foam pillows

Memory foam pillows mould to the shape of your head and neck, giving tailored support that many swear by for a good night's sleep. They can be a game-changer for those with aches and pains, providing a firm but comfy cradle. On the flip side, they can retain heat and might not be the best choice if you're prone to feeling like a furnace at night.

Browse our range of memory foam pillows.

2. Latex pillows

With a somewhat bouncy feel, latex pillows bounce back faster than memory foam and offer lots of support. They're durable and resist dust mites, which is a win for allergy sufferers. However, if you're looking for a pillow you can squish and mould, latex might feel a bit too rigid and can also be on the pricier side.

Shop all latex pillows.

3. Feather (down) pillows

Down pillows, filled with feathers from the undercoating of ducks or geese, are the classic soft and luxurious option. They're light, and fluffy, and can make you feel like you're resting on a cloud. But they may not offer enough support for some, and they require regular fluffing. Plus, if you have allergies, these might just ruffle your feathers the wrong way.

Find the perfect feather (down) pillow.

4. Cooling pillows

Are you a hot-headed sleeper? Cooling pillows are designed to dissipate heat and promote airflow, keeping you cool throughout the night. Ideal for warm climates or if you’re prone to night sweats. The drawback? Some find the cooling effect diminishes over time, and the materials can sometimes feel less cosy than traditional options.

Shop our range of cooling pillows.

5. Wool pillows

Great for regulating temperature, wool pillows keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. They're also hypoallergenic and naturally resist dust mites. The con? They can be firm and heavy, and might not give that 'sinking in' feeling that some people love in softer pillows.

Browse wool pillows.

6. Foam pillows

Foam pillows come in various densities and can be a cost-effective choice that doesn't compromise on support. They hold their shape well and don’t need fluffing. On the downside, some foam pillows can be too firm for some sleepers, and they may retain heat if they're not infused with cooling gels or designed with ventilation.

Shop all foam pillows.

7. Lavender pillows

For those who value sleep as a sensory experience, lavender pillows are infused with the scent of lavender, which can promote relaxation and better sleep. However, the scent can fade over time, and if you’re sensitive to smells, this might be more of a bedtime bust than a boon.

Find a scented lavender pillow.

Our favourite pillow brands

Now that you know what type of pillow will suit you best, here are some of the most trusted brands in New Zealand for durability and quality:

1. Tempur

Tempur is a heavyweight in the memory foam arena, known for high-quality materials that offer exceptional support and longevity. These pillows contour precisely, giving you a more personalised sleep surface. However, the price tag reflects the premium quality, and they can retain heat — something to consider if you're a warmer sleeper.

Browse all Tempur pillows.

2. Peace Pillow

Peace Pillow offers ergonomic designs intended to align the spine and neck. These pillows are often recommended for those with neck issues. While they deliver on support, some might find the ergonomic shape takes a bit of getting used to.

Shop Peace Pillows.

3. Cloud 9

Cloud 9 pillows are all about that plush, sinking feeling, often filled with synthetic materials that mimic down. They're a go-to for soft-pillow lovers and usually come at a more digestible price.

Find our range of Cloud 9 pillows.

4. Fairydown

With its down and feather-filled pillows, Fairydown is a luxuriously soft and fluffy headrest. Their natural materials will give you comfort and warmth. However, they might not be the best pick for those prone to allergies or in search of firmer support.

Find a Fairydown pillow.

Pillows with a purpose

Do you need pain relief, extra support or something that will make things like breastfeeding and flying so much more comfortable? Here’s a quick round-up of specialised pillows:

  • Pregnancy pillows: Designed to contour a pregnant body, these pillows provide comfort and support where mothers-to-be need it most.
  • Travel pillows: Join the mile-high sleep club. These travel companions are engineered to make sleep attainable even in the tightest aeroplane seats.
  • Neck pillows: Say goodbye to stiffness with pillows that offer tailored support, whether you're on the move or resting at home.
  • Body pillows: These lengthy cushions provide full-body support, catering to various needs from emotional comfort to postural alignment.
  • Breastfeeding pillows: Aiding the nursing journey, these pillows elevate babies to the ideal height, reducing strain for a more blissful bonding experience.
  • Baby pillows: Safeguard your baby's dreams with specialised pillows designed with their little anatomy in mind.
  • Wedge pillows (recovery): Post-surgery or injury, these wedge-shaped pillows prop you up at the perfect angle to help speed up your recovery process.
  • Massage pillows: Bring the luxury of a massage to your living room with pillows that knead and warm muscles, melting away the day's tension.
  • Contour pillows: These pillows maintain the natural curvature of your neck and spine, giving a restorative rest.
  • Leg lifters: By maintaining alignment and offering pressure relief, these pillows can alleviate discomfort in your lower limbs.

Dream on

From memory foam to cooling gel, we hope this guide helps you figure out what works best for you. Jump on over to Trade Me for all the options and make those Zs a bit sweeter.

Ready to find your next pillow?
Shop new and used pillows for sale on Trade Me Marketplace.
Shop Now


Trade Me Marketplace
Trade Me Marketplace

Written by one of our Trade Me Marketplace experts - providing you with the latest information to help you shop smarter in New Zealand.