Best Sleep Products: Select Wellness Awards 2023
When it comes to a good night’s sleep, a dark, comfortable environment free of blue light distractions is key, say our experts. Just like a nighttime relaxation routine.
So we’ve tried dozens of sheets, spine neutralizing pillows, sound machines and more to find the best one for your rest.
How we chose our winners
To find our best sleep products, our editors and staff used and slept with this gear. We’ve tried over 30 products in this category to come up with our winners. The products underwent a trial period of several nights before being selected as our favorites in the sleep category. We have used our editors as shopping and trial experts, as well as healthcare professionals, who have provided us with information and advice that they give to their patients.
When we review products, especially wellness items, we review them comprehensively. To be our favorite in the sleep category, it had to meet a multitude of needs. We want to provide you with products that work well, but we also want to share those that improve your life. Among other things for this category, we specifically looked at price, breathability, and overall quality and effectiveness.
In addition to sleep, we also tried products in fitness apparel, fitness tech, and personal care. To see a full list of our winners, visit our Select Best of Wellness Awards homepage.
Select Best of Wellness Sleep Equipment Winners
Award: Best sound machine | Type: All
This compact, no-frills machine helped our testers fall asleep faster and offers 10 fan sounds, 10 variations of white, pink, and brown noise, and two ocean sounds (calm and surf, our testers’ favorite) . The machine offers precise volume control, a timer to automatically mute sounds as well as an audio connector for headphones or portable speaker.
“I love this sound machine,” says Editorial Projects Associate Rebecca Rodriguez, who often suffers from bedtime anxiety. “I don’t really need anything fancy in a sound machine and this one is simple, small and so relaxing.”
HoMedics Deep Sleep Revitalize Alarm Clock
Award: Best sound machine | Type: Awakening
Select editor Leah Ginsberg loves this hybrid alarm clock and sound machine so much that she bought one after trying it out. The HoMedic Alarm Clock features eight relaxation and nature sounds, such as a campfire, wind chimes, and thunderstorm, two guided meditations, and four variations of white noise (known as white, pink, brown, or gray noise). Sleep therapy options play your favorite nature sound for 15 or 30 minutes before switching to white noise.
“I often have trouble falling asleep, and using it at bedtime has really helped,” says Ginsberg. “I particularly liked the sleep therapy sounds – the stream and gray noise combo in particular.”
Award: Best meditation app
Our sleep experts say using meditation apps is great for quieting your mind into a restful state anytime, not just before bed. Calm (available on most iOS and Android devices) offers meditations, storytelling, and soundscapes to help you relax and fall asleep. A premium subscription gives full access to the library.
“I’ve been using Calm for years. I love the variety of features, from meditations to music to guided stretches and physical movements to relax you,” says Social Media Editor Sadhana Daruvuri. “I also like the daily series, which have a short and digestible format and help me start my day serene and inspired.”
Award: Best earplugs
According to our experts, a calm and quiet environment is essential for a good night’s sleep. These washable silicone earbuds come with different-sized ear tips and block noise so well, says city-dweller Ginsberg, that she thought she was sleeping in another apartment. At $25, they’re more expensive than typical drugstore foam headphones, but they “kinda changed my life,” says Ginsberg.
“My bedroom is so noisy that I researched city windows, which cost thousands of dollars. But sleeping in the Loop earplugs almost completely solved the problem,” says Ginsberg. I intend to buy them again.”
Award: Best pillowcase | Type: Silk
NBC page Mikhaila Archer regularly uses silk pillowcases, but this option from Slip was the best she’s ever tried. Made from pure mulberry silk, the pillowcase reduces frizz and the look of aging, according to the brand.
“I’ve usually bought cheaper options that do the trick (protect my hair, kinder to my skin, etc.), but this one is clearly higher quality,” says Archer.
Boll & Branch Signature Hem Set
Award: Best Sheets | Type: Luxury
Oeko-Tex certified (meaning they’re responsibly sourced) and made from long-staple cotton fibers (which are higher quality than short-staple cotton), these sheets are designed to get softer as you go. every wash, according to Boll & Branch. Our editors find the sheets’ 100% cotton construction to be thicker than other options, but neither too stiff nor too soft and very breathable. Sheets are available in a range of neutral colors.
“The two Boll & Branch options I’ve tested are life changing – and I’m not being hyperbolic. I’ve always had nice sheets, but these are the softest, most breathable I’ve ever slept on,” says editor Christina Colizza.
California Design Den Sheet Set
Award: Best Sheets | Type: Budget
A solid budget option, these 400 thread count sheets are 100% cotton and have a sateen weave. They’re Oeko-Tex certified, and the two editors who tried them found them to be breathable and cool, and soft, yet crisp. Each set comes with a flat sheet, a fitted sheet (which fits both low and high mattresses) and two pillowcases and is available in over 20 colors and patterns.
“I tend to get warm and found these sheets breathable and crisp,” says Colizza. “I also really liked the clever ‘head’ and ‘foot’ labels that made it easier to bed. I think they are a really good deal!
Parachute Percale Sheet Set
Award: Best Sheets | Type: All
Made from 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton, these percale sheets offer a good balance between a structured feel and a soft touch, says journalist Zoe Malin. Oeko-Tex certified sheets get softer with every wash, according to Parachute. The set comes in eight colors with a fitted sheet and two pillowcases but no top sheet.
They are “very crisp, light and breathable sheets,” says Malin, adding that they wash well too. “They came out like new!”
Large Bearaby Huggett Pillow
Award: Best Pillow | Type: Weighted
Experts we spoke to said that creating a consistent relaxation routine is essential for a good night’s sleep. The Bearab’y Huggett pillow (size L) can be a tool for that: the heavy foam ball (encased in 100% cotton) has a bow-like design to help relieve stress, according to the brand.
“I love holding it sitting on the couch or lying in it because I sleep on my side,” says Shari Uyehara, editorial operations manager at Select.
Award: Best Pillow | Type: Cooling
The experts we spoke to recommended a pillow that fits your sleeping position (side, stomach, or back) and neutralizes your spine. It’s also crucial for a good night’s sleep to create a temperature-regulated environment that doesn’t get too hot. Pluto’s Customizable Pillow, made from the brand’s cooling foam, does exactly that: users fill out a questionnaire and can personalize their cooling pillow to their unique sleeping positions and preferences. If you’re hot, Pluto will design your pillow with its cool-to-the-touch fibers, depending on the brand. If you don’t need extra cooling, Pluto will send you a pillow with a eucalyptus surface, for example.
“I’ve probably never spent more than $30 on a pillow, but after trying this one, I completely understand why investing in a high-quality option is worth it,” Malin says. “This pillow is a great thickness and supported my head, neck and back while I slept.” The pillow Malin slept on is designed for hot sleepers who need a plush feel.
Casper foam pillow
Award: Best pillow overall
A neutralized spine is crucial for a good night’s sleep, according to our experts. This foam option from Casper is designed with three layers of perforated foam for proper alignment that will also keep you cool all night long, according to the brand. Our editors have found that the pillow provides excellent support, while remaining soft.
“I’ve slept on a lot of pillows, but there’s something about the way this one supports my head while feeling like a cloud,” says editorial director Lauren Swanson.
Brooklyn Bedding Thick Weighted Blanket
Award: Best overall weighted coverage
A weighted blanket can help you relax and unwind, as long as it’s not too hot, noted the experts we spoke to. This option has an open-knit design to combat this issue, which makes the polyester jersey blanket very breathable and cooling, according to our tester.
“It’s the best weighted blanket I’ve ever tried. It’s a manageable weight so I can easily move it around, and it’s soft but not like the other fuzzy options that overwhelm you,” says Malin.
Meet our experts
To ensure that our product selections are more than just editor-approved, we enlisted a panel of experts, including dermatologists, sleep doctors and personal trainers, to provide buying advice for each category. Experts did not recommend individual products. During our interviews with our panel of unaffiliated experts, we asked them what advice they would give to their patients or clients.
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