Good, Better, Best Rankings
Many retailers rank their house brand pillows, and sometimes even brand name pillows, using a "good, better, best" or "5 stars" ranking system. However, the criteria of the rankings is not always explained, forcing consumers to base their decision on perceived notions of "good", "better" and "best" and of course, price. The following explanation is meant to be a general guide only. The available pillows and ranking criteria/system will vary by retailer.
Pillows: Good or 1-2 Stars: basic, functional pillows, providing standard support, comfort and quality. These pillows tend to provide only the "bare essentials". The filling is usually polyester or a polyester/cotton blend. The pillow ticking is of adequate softness, finished in plain cotton, with a thread count of 180 to 300. Pillows of this ranking provide adequate durability, lasting 1-2 years at most. These types of pillows are not suited for individuals who need head or neck support.
Pillows: Better or 3-4 Stars: these pillows are of above average support and comfort. Better filling materials such as wool and down provide a softer, more comfortable feeling than "good" pillows. If you want good quality pillows that won't burn a hole in your pocket, a 3-4 star pillow would be your best choice. The pillow ticking is made of cotton using the more resilient percale or cambric weave. However, the cotton is usually combed to enhance softness. Thread counts average between 300 and 400. Pillows of this ranking provide above average durability and wear reasonably well.
Pillows: Best or 5 Stars: deluxe, luxurious pillows provide superior comfort and support. These are the best kinds of pillows on the market. These pillows are filled with the softest, most sumptuous materials, usually down or in some cases fine wool. The pillow ticking is made of the finest Egyptian cotton, sateen cotton or silk and provides an incredibly soft, smooth texture with a thread count of 400 or more. These pillows provide the best head and neck support and are the most durable. Pillows of this ranking provide the highest available quality.
The type of pillow you choose will highly depend on your preferences as well as the type of pillow support your body requires.