Consumer Reports recommends determining your individual preferences or needs when buying a pillow to choose the best type of pillow to purchase. Pillow attributes such as firmness, flatness, resiliency, size and fluffiness are all considerations.
To test the firmness of a particular pillow, push a hand into the center of a pillow until it is half the thickness of its original state. The more pressure needed to compress the pillow, the more firm the pillow is. After removing your hand, you can check the pillow's resiliency by gauging how quickly it returns to its original state.
Choose the right size based on your own individual preferences, and on the size of bed you own. Some bed sizes, such as full, queen and king, have specific pillow sizes that coordinate best with them.
Check the quality of a particular pillow by inspecting its stitching. Even stitches and straight seams are indicators of a quality product. Zippers on zippered pillows should operate smoothly, and a pillow's filling should be distributed evenly throughout. Higher quality pillows have piping around the edges to prevent wear along the seams.
Consumer Reports staffers rated inexpensive memory foam pillows about the same as their more expensive counterparts.