Let’s face it: your pillow is one of the essential things in your life (yes, it sounds dramatic, but keep reading)!
Pillows play an essential role in the quality of your sleep. Your pillow is the thing that helps you get the best sleep possible, and it’s the thing that’s helping keep up your spine. You know how important a good night’s sleep is, and if you’re suffering from neck pain and back pain because of the wrong pillow, you’re not getting the restorative sleep you need.
The material used to make pillows is just as important as the type of pillow you choose to get a good night’s sleep. Different pillow materials are more breathable, more supportive, or less allergenic than others, so it’s essential to understand the various options and choose accordingly.
From memory foam and latex to down and feather pillows, many materials are used in both standard and specialty pillows. And each type of pillow is designed for a particular way of sleeping or a specific sleep position. Whether you’re using a body pillow, travel pillows, or a water pillow, different pillow sizes, types, and materials matter!
Keep reading to learn everything about pillow materials and types!
Understanding the difference between pillow materials is essential to picking the right pillow for you!
Whether you’re choosing an alternative pillow or one with natural pillow filling, you need to know the difference between all of the pillow materials available on the market today. A pillow is more than just something that sits on your bed. Pillows offer essential support for you while you sleep and guarantee that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Find the right sleeping position with ease with the right pillow.
Memory Foam Pillows
Did you know that NASA discovered memory foam while looking for a way to increase cushion safety in space? Because of this, memory foam is now a best seller! And what’s even better? It will shape itself around your head and neck.
Memory foam is an extremely popular choice among pillow consumers due to its high density and viscosity. In addition, it reacts to your body heat, shaping itself around your head and neck. The foam material is a comfortable option for many.
This material is great if you want a firm pillow that will hold its shape when you lay your head down. Memory foam pillows also tend to retain less heat than other pillows, which makes them a good choice if you sleep hot. The downside to memory foam is that it’s pretty heavy and difficult to move around while lying in bed.
Shredded Memory Foam Pillows
If you’ve ever woken up feeling like your head is “floating on a cloud,” you’ll be familiar with the sensation that memory foam pillows can provide.
Are you one of those people who loves the idea of memory foam but finds it a little too…well…solid? Then, shredded foam pillows might be the perfect solution for you. The shreds allow it to offer more ventilation throughout the pillow.
Shredded memory foam feels like a traditional memory foam pillow, but with one key difference: it’s softer. The softness comes from the shredded nature of the material itself.
Many shredded memory foam pillows allow you to adjust the filling yourself, which means you can take some out if you feel like there’s too much in there – or add some if you think it could be a little firmer. Unfortunately, standard memory foam pillows don’t let you do this!
Down pillows are made from down clusters taken from the breasts of geese or ducks. These down clusters trap air, allowing your head to sink into the pillow before being supported by the trapped air pockets. The result? Down pillows are both comfortable and supportive.
However, down pillows aren’t ideal for everyone. They tend to be on the expensive side, and they also require fluffing periodically throughout the day or night to keep their shape.
Down pillows are soft and fluffy, but they’re not always the best choice for people who sleep hot because they tend to retain body heat. They also tend to be more expensive than other types of pillows.
If you choose a down pillow, be sure it’s hypoallergenic if you have allergies or asthma.
Down Alternative Pillows
Interested in a soft, fluffy, down-filled pillow but not sure if you want to use actual feathers? An alternative down pillow is a great option. These pillows are made with synthetic fibers that mimic the feeling of down – without the feathers.
There are several benefits to choosing an alternative down pillow. These pillows maintain loft for longer and are more affordable than all-down pillows. They are also hypoallergenic and machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about your allergies or clean them by hand.
Choose an alternative down pillow if you like the feel of feather pillows but can’t find one that works for you. Down alternative pillows also work well for children and pets since they won’t get damaged as quickly as feather pillows.
One of the most popular pillows on the market today is latex.
Latex is a relatively new material in the pillow world. However, it has gained popularity because it provides high-level support for your head and neck while still maintaining a cozy, soft feeling.
While latex is a great option for most folks, it is essential to beware of blended latex pillows. Why? These pillows are commonly blended with polyurethane foams. Polyurethane foams can potentially be toxic, so it is recommended to avoid these pillows altogether.
If you like the support of a traditional pillow but still want to feel comfortable when you lie down, a feather pillow is excellent. Feather pillows are filled with a combination of feathers and down, which helps them stay firm and supportive without losing shape when you sleep on them all night long.
If you prefer a traditional pillow but are looking for something more supportive, feather pillows might be right up your alley. Feather pillows are filled with smaller feathers and can be a great option if you’re looking for a sturdy pillow that doesn’t lose its shape. This is an excellent option if you want to feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud without losing support.
Feather pillows are a traditional filling, so if you’re looking for a pillow that won’t lose its shape and will provide enough support to keep your neck in alignment, feather pillows may be the best option.
Polyester Fiberfill Pillows
Polyester fiberfill – also known as fluff, artificial fluff, or synthetic fluff – is a low-cost, readily available pillow material that has become more popular.
Like pillows filled with down or feathers, polyester fiberfill pillows are sold in various levels of firmness, making them a good option for people with different sleep preferences. They’re also easy to clean, making them an excellent choice for parents or people who want something inexpensive and functional.
But, Polyester fiberfill doesn’t have excellent breathability. Air doesn’t circulate well through the synthetic material, meaning it may be uncomfortable on hot days or in warm climates. It’s also prone to clumping together and flattening out much more quickly than other materials.
If you find that your neck is often sore and you wake up feeling tired, a buckwheat pillow could be the answer to your problems.
Buckwheat pillows have been used in Eastern Asia for centuries and are now growing in popularity across the globe. They are filled with buckwheat hull – the hard, outer shell that houses the buckwheat seeds.
If you are looking for medium-level firmness and natural, eco-friendly material, look no further than the buckwheat pillow. They’re an excellent choice for anyone suffering from neck pain as they are very supportive.
However, there are some downsides too. Light sleepers may want to look for something else as these pillows make a rustling noise when moved and can weigh up to 8lbs!
Cotton is one of the oldest materials used in pillows, so it’s a classic.
Cotton pillows are hypoallergenic and made of a light, breathable fabric. So they’re great for those who are allergic to synthetic materials. Cotton pillows are also odorless, unlike some other pillow materials that can absorb smells over time.
Cotton pillows have some drawbacks: they don’t contour to your head the way memory foam does, and they need to be regularly cleaned for dust mites and mold. Additionally, since cotton pillows aren’t very dense, they can become lumpy over time as the material moves around.
Microbead pillows are made from tiny, uniform polymer particles (or beads). Microbead pillows offer a synthetic alternative to buckwheat pillows that many sleepers find too firm.
These beads are arranged in the same way as buckwheat hulls: in a loosely packed configuration that allows the pillow to mold itself to your head while maintaining its shape. Their malleability, breathability, and supportiveness make them appealing to most folks.
If you sleep on your back, a microbead pillow may be perfect. Because it’s so firm and supportive, a microbead pillow is ideal for anyone who sleeps on their back. Some stomach sleepers may also like microbead pillows, but most need something softer to support the natural curve of their neck.
Do you wake up feeling overheated in the middle of the night? It’s no secret that sleeping in a warm room can lead to restless sleep, but what about your pillow?
If you’re a stomach or back sleeper, you’ve probably already done some research on gel pillows. They’re the newest craze in sleep coolness.
If you’re looking for a pillow that keeps you cool while you sleep, gel pillows might be the answer. Gel pillows are known for regulating temperature and are touted as having cooling benefits.
First of all, most gel pillows are made of gel combined with another material, like foam or latex, to give the cooling benefits of gel with the softness of another material.
The gel has firm properties, meaning it will hold its shape well and provide good support. And they are generally hypoallergenic.
Gel pillows tend to be more expensive than most other pillows, though they usually come with a good warranty.
If you’re in the market for a pillow made from natural fiber and one that can help keep you cool in the warmer months, a bamboo pillow is right up your alley.
Bamboo pillows, for example, take advantage of the antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties of bamboo to create a cooling, hypoallergenic pillow.
However, most bamboo pillows aren’t made out of 100% bamboo-they’re made of shredded memory foam with a bamboo viscose shell. This combination means you get the benefits of a shredded memory foam pillow with the cooling properties of bamboo.
Bamboo pillows are antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and cooling, keeping your sleeping area clean and dry. But because they are so dense, they can be difficult to clean and are heavier than most pillows.
Pillow Types Based On Your Sleeping Style
Understanding which pillow is most supportive based on your sleeping habits will help you narrow down the choices on the market. And, finding the right pillow type is essential in picking the right pillow.
Are you a side sleeper? Or, do you prefer sleeping on your back? Whether you sleep on your stomach, back, or side, you can find a pillow to meet your needs. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision!
Pillows for Back Sleepers
You’re a back sleeper, so you probably already know that sleeping on your back is one of the best positions for your spine. But this position can come with its own set of challenges, and to ensure you’re getting the deepest, most restorative sleep possible, you must have a perfect pillow for your sleep style.
If you sleep on your back, it’s tempting to pick a low-loft pillow, but this can cause tension in your neck if it’s not supportive enough. Down is softer than synthetic fillings and provides good support without being too stiff. It’s also ideal for people who like to huddle under a mountain of pillows as they sleep.
In the end, back sleepers would benefit from a pillow that has a medium loft and medium firmness.
Pillows for Side Sleepers
If you’re a side sleeper who has been dealing with the pain of sleeping on the wrong pillow for too long, it’s time to switch your pillow out for one that will keep your spine neutral and relieve shoulder pressure. Unfortunately, most pillows aren’t made with side sleepers in mind, so here’s what you need to know about finding the best pillow for you.
Your priority should be finding a pillow that has a high loft (which is just a fancy way of saying “a tall profile”) and firm support. Most importantly, this will prop your head up so that it’s in neutral alignment with your spine.
If you are a side sleeper, look for high loft pillows that offer you firm support while giving you the option of being soft and fluffy enough to shape when needed. The best type of pillow is a thick and dense memory foam or latex pillow that provides support while keeping your head and neck in alignment. Side sleepers will also want to add a thin pillow between their knees to keep their spine in proper alignment throughout the night.
Pillows for Stomach Sleepers
Here’s the thing about stomach sleeping: it can be hell on your spine. Pressure on any area of your body for an extended period, especially a sensitive one like your neck or back, can lead to unpleasantness, including pain and stiffness.
For the stomach sleeper, finding the perfect pillow can be a challenge. And while experts recommend avoiding sleeping on your stomach, it’s not always possible to stop.
To keep your spine in neutral alignment while sleeping on your stomach, you need a pillow that won’t elevate your head too much. This means your pillow should be a low loft.
A low loft pillow is about two inches or shorter in height. The reason for this is that it will support the natural C curve of your spine.
The next thing that makes an excellent pillow for stomach sleepers is soft support. You don’t want too much pressure on your neck while lying down, but you also don’t want to be too propped up. Pillows with soft support will provide a comfy buffer between you and your mattress and ensure that your head is not too propped up.
Finally, stomach sleepers need pillows filled with feathers or down alternatives, so they are easily compressed into a super low loft shape.