If your throw pillows are looking a bit flat and sad, it’s likely your pillow insert isn’t ideal. If you can (most covers unzip!) swapping out the insert can drastically improve the look of your throw pillow–but not every insert is created equal. I’ve bought many a pillow insert, and have discovered that it can honestly make or break everything. So how can you tell which pillow insert is the best?? Well I bought the top 5 pillow inserts from Amazon and put them to the test so you don’t have to! The biggest things I want out of a pillow are density, weight, comfort, perky corners, and of course a good chop! Here’s what I found.
Sidenote: Always size up your pillow insert. If your cover is 20×20″, get a 22×22″ insert for a fuller, more dense looking pillow.
5. Foamily Starting in last place, contrary to its name, this pillow isn’t actually made out of foam, but more of a synthetic polyfill. This pillow instantly filled with air upon opening and the covering is more of a mesh material than a cotton which isn’t a deal breaker but it is odd! This one is the most lightweight which I don’t love, and it also has the quickest “rebound” when you squish it. Bounces right back, so you couldn’t get a chop if you wanted to. This one can’t stand on its own and there’s no filling in the corners. Bottom line: I wouldn’t recommend this one. $19 for a 22×22 and 9 size options (which is a bonus!)
4. Edow Next in line, this pillow came VERY flat. I definitely had to work with it a bit to fluff it up, but overall it fluffed decently! It’s lightweight, which means it can’t stand by itself. It’s hard to get the lumpy fill spread into the corners, which means they don’t have a very stiff point. It’s actually surprisingly comfortable! $18 for a 22×22″ is a great price point, so if you don’t mind a slightly lumpier pillow, this could still be a great option. This pillow only comes in 5 size options, all square.
3. MoonRest This pillow came super small and rolled up but fluffed up really nicely after some work. It has a much heavier weight to it, especially compared to pillows 4 & 5. I would love if the corners were just a bit pointier and if it would stand on its own. After a good chop, it stays for a bit but does spring back. I do love that this is a down-alternative rather than a polyfill, plus it comes in 20 size options! The 22×22″ is $24 which feels fair.
2. Phantoscope This insert came in close second was very easy to fluff up and took shape quickly! It’s a nice medium-weight and I love the finished piping around the edge. It can stand up on its own and holds a decent chop which is an absolute must for me! My one only teensy critique would be that I’d love a bit more density and weight to it. $21 for a 22×22″ is a price I can’t argue with though!
1. Pillowflex This insert is absolutely everything I want in a pillow–dense, full and heavy, stiff corners! I didn’t really have to fluff it at all and the shape is so substantial. I love a pillow with good stand-alone power and that’s easy to chop. Bonus points for being comfy to lay on! If you want the best of the best, I would get this pillow at the price of $27 for a 22×22″. It’s hands-down the best, but if you need one a bit more budget friendly, the Phantoscope pillow in second place is still a really great option!
Does anybody else nerd out on things like this? What products should I review next?
I’d love a review or repost of your lightbulb choices.
Thank you for doing this, I love posts like these! I have been looking for new inserts for my couch pillows but sadly none of the ones you reviewed come in a large enough size. I would love to see a comparison like this on cooking sets/pans.
This is exactly what I needed! All my down pillows are shedding feathers.
I know that is is an affiliate link post so I understand what you don’t have a review of the IKEA feather inserts, but I would love to know what you think about those in comparison to the Amazon options. I have had great luck with those as pillow insert options. Speaking as someone that is spending my own money to furnish my house, I greatly miss the days of bloggers buying something and then giving their honest uninfluenced by compensation opinion. I get that this is your job and I’m not questioning your right to make money, but I wonder anytime money Is on the table (for ANY blogger, not specifically you) that the best option isn’t considered; only the best compensated option.
Funny how things work out. On Monday I was listening to podcasts while shopping for an entryway redo. A Beautiful Mess named your blog as a fave. I went to their show notes, clicked on your blog, and the post of the day was about pillow inserts! That was literally my NEXT purchase. Thanks for doing the legwork for me!!
Lint rollers, steamers, irons, dish towels, comforters, toasters, so much!!xxxx
Can you do a bed pillow review next????
How do these compare to the Amazon real-down/feather pillow inserts, like ComfyDown? Pricing wise it seems to be in line with your top recommendation of the synthetic options.
I would love to see a review on white plates/dinnerware. Looking for durable plates that don’t chip or get those awful gray scuff marks.
I second this!
Thank you for this review! Would you share with us where you find good pillow covers? I struggle to find covers alone…. Thank you
Thank you for doing a comparison—and yay! So happy to see Pillowflex get the love they deserve. We’ve used only their inserts in our pillow shop for several years, both the feather and alternative down, and have zero complaints. Sizing up is key, and a minute or two in a dryer helps as well. :) (Someone mentioned Pottery Barn…I agree, they have nice inserts, too, at a good price point, though slightly less dense and heavy than Pillowflex.)
Couldn’t agree more on your number 1. Have purchased that one several times.
I don’t love the look of a chopped pillow, but I feel like I can tell which is the best pillow just from the photo- I do love a nice dense one even though I’ll usually go for the cheapest option just to save a bit!
Same! I was just going to say no. No chopping! I work for a large retailer that ends in …Barn…and we don’t chop!
I absolutely love your content on all of your media sources. The pillow inserts article was very helpful…. don’t have the inclination to order on line much.
I usually purchase my insert in sale bins at Macy’s, Marshalls ect. I go to the decorative pillow section in the store and look for sale or discontinue pillows. These pillows when I find them are usually have a great feel, (love a feather insert however, out of my price range) however, the cover is terrible. I purchase the unwanted sale pillow and rip off the cover and use the insert for my next pillow cover I find. However, with the information you have provided in your article I will give will give these companies a try. thank you
Thank you SO much! What a perfect timing! I literally just saw this post right before I hit “place order” button for about 10 pillow inserts. Cannot believe my luck! =)
Also great advice on sizing up. I now know why my pillows always looked so depressing.
I would love if you could review the top 5 duvet inserts. Pretty please!
Ooh me too! Duvet inserts! Especially around temperature!
Yes to this!!
I have always had incredible luck with the Pottery Barn pillow inserts. The 22″ square down and down alternative inserts are $22.50. I can only speak for the down inserts, but they are very dense, hold a chop and are comfortable to lie on. They are my go to!
Yes! The one I love comes in first place. It’s just so perfect and comes in so very many sizes. Plus no feathers poking out. 10 out of 10. I feel so validated that I love something CLJ approves of lol
This is a VERY helpful post. Thank you! With commerce making everything so quick and accessible, finding quality is the hardest thing among infinite options. Any reviews on quality are super, super helpful!!
Tip – toss pillow in the dryer to fluff!
Kudos for picking a top choice that is Made in the USA! Ordering some today!
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