I slept on a $125 pillow custom-designed for my body — is it worth the money?

Woman with a Pluto Pillow against a teal background
(Image credit: Pluto Pillow)

The pursuit of restful sleep often centers around finding the ideal mattress, but the search for a good pillow is usually relegated to that optional side quest you might get to when you feel like it. However, your pillow can also influence your sleep quality for better or worse – and if you simply can't find the perfect one to rest your head on, it may be time to try the Pluto Pillow.

Launched four years ago, the Pluto Pillow uses an algorithm (plus human intervention) to create a pillow based on your body type, sleep habits, and what you like about your current pillow. The brand believes that the path to restful sleep should include a pillow made with as much care and precision as the best mattresses. That's a philosophy I can certainly get behind, but how does it fare in practice?

As much as I like my current pillow, I was willing to see if Pluto could create the perfect pillow, just for me. I slept on a custom-made Pluto Pillow for one month and while it's not without its flaws, it certainly comes close to hitting the bullseye. Head below for my full Pluto Pillow review, and see how it fares against this year's best pillows for all sleepers.

Pluto Pillow review: Price & trial

  • Retails from $125 and is rarely discounted
  • Includes 125-night trial and a 1-year warranty

A standard-size Pluto Pillow (24x16") retails for $125, while a king-sized Pluto Pillow (34x16") goes for $155. That may seem expensive for a pillow, but it sits in the mid-range price bracket among other foam-based pillows – and considering that the Pluto is built to your specifications, those are fair prices.

You get 125 nights to try it out at home. If you're unsatisfied with your Pluto Pillow after two weeks, you can return it for a full refund or receive a replacement with a few tweaks. Either way, you won't have to pay to ship it back. A 1-year warranty covers physical flaws in the foam and manufacturing defects in the cover.

The 125-night sleep trial is among the longest for a pillow, while the 1-year warranty is par with what other sleep brands offer. One notable exception is the adjustable Layla Kapok Pillow (from $109), which comes with a 120-night trial and a 5-year warranty. 

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Pluto Pillow: $125 at Pluto
Available in two sizes (standard or king), you can customize your Pluto Pillow to suit your unique sleep needs – just fill out a questionnaire and let the algorithm and a professional pillow builder do their thing. You get 125 nights to try it out, with free returns and one free adjustment if it's not quite right. Note that shipping may take up to three weeks.

Pluto Pillow review: Design & setup

  • Available in over 35 build types
  • Must complete a questionnaire first
  • All pillows have a cooling cover and a foam core

The Pluto Pillow is currently available in over 35 builds but has the same general construction. There's a CertiPUR-US-certified foam core that the brand claims is weather-resistant so it won't expand or shrink due to temperature changes. That's wrapped in a lightly quilted cover (or a eucalyptus lyocell cover) padded with down-alternative microfibers. 

Before you add a Pluto Pillow to your cart, there's a questionnaire you must complete that'll dictate the firmness, loft, and cooling capabilities of your pillow. It'll ask for your weight and height, details about your current pillow and mattress, and your sleep preferences. There's even a text box if you'd like to elaborate on those details.

My standard-size Pluto Pillow has a lightly quilted cover with a 1.5 denier fiber blown in and a cool-to-touch surface. Inside is a 3.5-inch medium-firm inner foam core with perforations for airflow. These components align with my status as a primary side sleeper who likes a firmer pillow and tends to sleep warm. 

Pluto Pillow review, featuring the inside of my personalized Pluto Pillow

This is what my Pluto Pillow looks like on the inside (Image credit: Future / Alison Barretta)

While you can go back to review (or adjust) your answers, there's no way to pull up details about the exact construction of your pillow. At most, you'll be able to view a general blueprint of what your Pluto Pillow could look like, but nothing specific beyond that.

Susana Saeliu, CEO and co-founder of Pluto, told me that each order goes through the backend, automated by the algorithm based on your body stats, sleep style, and preferences. That's followed by a (human) pillow maker who determines the final build based on any additional information you provide in the text box and may even reach out to you to offer some suggestions.

Still, even after you have the pillow in hand, there's no way to log in to your Pluto Pillow account to view its precise build stats. However, you can reach out to Pluto's customer service if you want to know that information. (Fortunately, they're super attentive.)

My Pluto Pillow arrived as-is in a cardboard box, wrapped in tissue paper instead of rolled up and vacuum sealed. I could sleep on it immediately and not have to wait for it to expand. I didn't detect an obvious off-gassing scent, but your mileage may vary.

I didn't have to wash my pillow cover but it's machine-washable and tumble-dry. Pluto recommends doing this every two to three months.

Pluto Pillow review: What I liked

  • Ideal firmness and height for my sleep preferences
  • Sleeps temperature-neutral so I don't sweat
  • Doesn't require constant fluffing

For one month, I slept on my custom-made Pluto Pillow and gave my Sleep Number True Temp Pillow a break. For the first week, I didn't use a pillowcase since I wanted to get a feel for the quilted cover. It has a mild cooling sensation with a nice sheen to it. 

Not only did I find it pleasant to rest my head on, but I didn't break a sweat along my forehead or nape, either. Adding a satin pillowcase didn't diminish the breathability of my Pluto Pillow. (I can only imagine how refreshing the eucalyptus lyocell cover feels.)

The foam core isn't too weighty – it's almost fluffy. The medium-firm feel offers just the right amount of support for me when side sleeping, while the 5-inch loft nicely fits the crook between my ear and shoulder. I was just as comfortable on my stomach but I seemed to remain on my side most nights with the Pluto Pillow. I consider that a win since stomach sleeping can be bad for back pain, which I sometimes struggle with.

I can't recall a time throughout my month with the Pluto Pillow when I had to fluff it. The company designed its foam core for quick recovery so it doesn't lose its shape. I'm lazy and don't think to regularly fluff my pillows until I need them, so I'm glad I don't have to add that step to my bedtime routine. (That's an issue I had with the Coop Home Goods Original Pillow and its shredded foam fill.)

Pluto Pillow review: What could be improved

  • Lacks the contouring of my current pillow
  • Details are vague about the final build
  • Might not get it right on the first try

I can't think of anything I dislike about my personally-made Pluto Pillow. The firmness and height are a good match for my preferences and sleep style, and the quilted cover and perforated foam saved me from even mild night sweats.

However, I did miss the contour of my Sleep Number pillow. Long hours of peering over a laptop screen results in loads of tension in my neck, and while the Pluto Pillow was plenty supportive, there are times when I wish I had a little extra pressure relief for that area. (The Pluto Pillow does not offer contour shapes.)

Pluto Pillow stats for our lead tester

(Image credit: Future / Pluto Pillow)

Meanwhile, I think it would be helpful to include more details about the pillow's construction. I received a card that recaps my questionnaire answers, but it doesn't include specifics about the foam core or the cover. I hope Pluto can figure out a way to provide that information for customers upon receiving their pillows so they know exactly what they're getting.

I feel lucky to have a Pluto Pillow that's near-perfect for my sleep situation, but among its 2,200-plus customer reviews, some users claim their pillows needed further adjustments. (Anecdotally, I chatted with someone who had a Pluto Pillow and found it a tad too firm.) Know that you may have to refine your Pluto Pillow, but with free returns and attentive customer service, it shouldn't be much of a hassle to get it right.

Should you buy a Pluto Pillow?

Buy a Pluto Pillow if...

You want a pillow made just for you: Obviously, this is the main draw of the Pluto Pillow. While you can achieve similar results with an adjustable pillow, it can take a while to get it right. (Not to mention, fussing with fill can be messy – and you'll also have to fluff it more.) Pluto handles all of the hard work for you by designing a pillow to suit your body type, sleep style, and preferences.

You want plenty of time to try it out: Pluto's 125-night trial is among the longest I've seen for a pillow. That's roughly four months for you to break it in, although you can initiate a return after two weeks with free returns and one free replacement if you'd like to make a few tweaks.

✅ You wake up with a sweaty forehead: My Pluto Pillow has a lightly quilted cover and a perforated foam core. I didn't break a sweat once while sleeping on it – even after adding a satin pillowcase. If you chronically overheat, you'll likely receive the temperature-regulating eucalyptus lyocell cover. 

Don't buy a Pluto Pillow if...

❌ You want a contoured pillow: Among the over 35 iterations available, there's no way to build a contoured Pluto Pillow. The brand claims they're learning more about customers' experiences with contoured pillows, but otherwise doesn't suggest that they'll be offering that type of design any time soon. (On a similar note, latex, down, and down alternatives aren't available, either.)

You don't want to spend over $100 for a pillow: For a bespoke pillow, the Pluto is a great value. However, it's still quite a bit of money to spend. The Sleep Number Perfect Pillow retails from $50 and includes your choice of a foam core or down alternative fill, among other variables.

❌ You need a new pillow ASAP: As of this writing, the ETA for deliveries is around three weeks due to high demand, according to Pluto. If you can't (or don't want to) wait for your pillow to arrive, shop elsewhere.

Pluto Pillow: The bottom line

Pluto delivered on its promise to create a pillow made just for me and I recommend it for anyone patient enough to wait for one. It currently splits time with my contoured Sleep Number True Temp Pillow since there are nights when I want more pressure relief for my neck and shoulders. Still, my Pluto Pillow helps me remain comfortably on my side throughout the night – and I don't wake up with stubborn beads of sweat on the back of my neck, either.

Alison Barretta
Freelance reviewer and writer

Freelance writer and editor Alison is an expert mattress tester for Tom's Guide, and hails from Philadelphia, USA. Alison has reviewed a wide range of mattresses, pillows and other sleep accessories for Tom's Guide, putting the latest hybrid, memory foam and cooling mattresses from Casper, Nectar, Awara, Brooklinen and other leading brands through their paces. Alison has been sharing buying advice and retail news for over a decade. When she isn't reviewing mattresses, other home products or hunting for great deals to save you money, Alison can be found teaching/training in martial arts, fawning over skincare, and indulging in her quarantine-borne hobby: cooking.