Electric blanket

Which pillow filling is the best?

21 Oct, 2023
Ilona Migdalski

Do you also think the inside is more important than the outside? Big time! And especially the pure truth when it comes to your new pillow filling. The range of filling materials is so vast that choosing often proves to be a daunting task. That’s why we list the most common options for you. We distinguish between natural and synthetic fillings.

Natural stuffing

  • Down and feathers
    Pillows with a mix of down and feathers, usually from ducks or geese, are particularly soft and comfortable. You can shake them up nicely and they easily take the shape of your head and neck. Thus, you are less likely to suffer from neck and shoulder pain. In addition, they retain heat well and are breathable. People with house dust mite allergies can also sleep on a down pillow. Notice:
    – Choose a strong quality cushion cover so that sharp spring pins do not puncture it
    – Let the down pillow air dry very well after washing
  • Wool
    The big plus of a wool pillow is its tremendous resilience. The wool fibers always spring back to their original shape and give your head superior support. Ideal for those who like to sleep on a firmer pillow. Wool is also extremely breathable and moisture absorbent so it doesn’t feel clammy. Wool contains wool grease or lanolin. This layer makes the pillow naturally suitable for people with allergies, such as to dust mites.
  • Cotton
    Cotton remains a classic thanks to its solid character: moisture-wicking, moisturizing and ventilating. If this is not convincing enough: you can wash cotton at a very high temperature, even up to 95 degrees! This way you will enjoy a clean and fresh pillow every time.
  • Kapok
    This 100% natural fiber comes from the kapok tree, which grows in tropical climate regions. The fluffy layer around the seeds is soft yet firm. This makes it an excellent filler that ventilates well. But:
    Washing is not possible because you will damage the fibers. If your pillow is losing resilience, it’s best to buy a refill of kapok.
pillow filling feathers

Synthetic stuffing – pillow filling

  • Polyester
    The synthetic core is usually made of small balls or long-fiber polyester. They can be soft or firm depending on the material and fill weight. Their big advantage? You can easily adjust the filling yourself and possibly remove some if you prefer a thinner pillow, for example. In addition, polyester fillings are perfectly washable and also dry quickly.
  • Foam
    Memory foam or viscose foam slowly molds to your head and neck depending on the pressure applied to the pillow. When you stand up, the pillow resumes its original shape. Because it adapts perfectly to your shape, you enjoy optimal support and great comfort. It also retains heat well. Notice:
    – turning in your sleep is a little more difficult, especially if your head is deep in the pillow. In fact, memory foam takes some time to readjust.
    – in a cold bedroom, depending on the type of foam, the pillow still feels hard to firm when you go to bed. But this feeling quickly disappears when you warm the pillow with your head.
  • Latex
    In addition to natural latex, there is also a synthetic variety of latex extracted from petroleum. This filling material not only gives you good support and pressure distribution, but is also very durable. Ventilating well after a night’s sleep is important. This will prevent the latex from gradually crumbling and decaying.
  • Gel
    That developments in the sleep industry do not stand still is proven by the gel pillow. This innovation has many advantages: gel works pressure relieving, just like memory foam, but it is also elastic and flexible. The heat is distributed well, making the pillow feel wonderfully cool when you go to sleep. Of course, minimum money thickness is required. Otherwise, the contact surface is quickly saturated. The gel pillow does not stay cool; it slowly takes on your body heat. This feels very comfortable and so you sleep more peacefully.

What is the best stuffing for you?

Ask yourself the question: do you like to be warm or are you just always (too) warm? Compared to a natural fill, a synthetic version is generally slightly less moisture wicking. The materials do not breathe as well.

This is not desirable, for example, if you sweat a lot during sleep. In this case, choose a natural, well-ventilated variety that you can also wash. Yet synthetic cushions certainly do not have to fall short in terms of quality. Their support capacity is beyond question.

Also good to know: never just rely on price in your search. Pillows with a lower price tag – often the synthetic fillings – are therefore not of inferior quality. And more expensive models are not necessarily better.

This has to do with the type of material, manufacturing processes, etc. Above all, see if the pillow checks off all your requirements: consider your sleeping position, body weight, any neck and shoulder problems and personal preferences. A lot of sleep stores often offer, subject to a guarantee, a trial period as well. This allows you to try out the test pillow at home at your leisure for several nights.

Pillows can be stuffed with many different materials. Refer to the tag on your pillow to see what material it is stuffed with.

A natural stuffing of a pillow is often considered to be more healthy than synthetic materials. This is because they are free of chemicals and often naturally anti-bacterial.

Pillows used to be stuffed with anything soft that was available. This could be hay, leaves, hair, fur, or even wood.