For a restful and good night’s sleep, we believe the best natural pillows are made from organic and eco-friendly material. Giving you peace of mind and supporting your sweet natural dreams. Especially as natural pillows can last much longer than synthetic pillows.
Some experts suggest that we should change our pillows every two years so that they don’t put a strain on the neck and back when they become flattened. That’s even more reason to go for a natural and eco-friendly material as many traditional pillows are filled with plastic and can easily end up in a landfill or the environment.
Some natural fillings can last longer than the suggested two years if it’s properly cared for. According to some manufacturers, feather pillows can last up to 8 years, down pillows can last as long as 5 years. They do recommend washing the pillow every 6 months.
Latex pillows have been noted to last between 5 and 10 years. So if you are looking to create a more sustainable home swapping your pillows for natural pillows when it’s time to replace the old ones is a good move.
Natural, organic and eco-friendly pillows are toxin-free, so there is no need to worry about the safety of your favourite pillow. However, these materials won’t necessarily eliminate a possible allergic reaction.
So even though a pillow is marked as natural it may not be suitable for everyone. A classic example of this is latex pillows, these are filled with natural material but can still cause a reaction in some people, so you’ll need to select a material that’s good for you.
Considering that most of us spend around 8 hours a day snuggled into a pillow, choosing a comfortable pillow that supports a good night’s sleep is essential.
The Best Fill Material for Natural Pillows
When it comes to all-natural pillow materials, the most popular filling options are:
- Cotton: Cotton is a relatively cheap natural pillow filling, but it can flatten over time. Cotton filled pillows are usually quite firm.
- Wool: As far as natural pillow fillings go, wool is hypoallergenic. So if you struggle with allergies, wool might be a solution for you. Wool is a good material for regulating temperature and humidity, making these pillows a good option for all seasons. Vegans may feel uncomfortable choosing wool as it’s animal-derived, but modern sheep needs shearing so it’s an option to consider as long as animal welfare is high of course. Even though sheep are mostly farmed outdoors there can still be welfare concerns.
- Latex: Latex is harvested from the Rubber Tree that originates from South East-Asia, the sap of the tree is processed into rubber, either pure or mixed. Natural latex is generally sustainable and a good alternative for memory foam as it’s particularly adaptable and springy, providing good head and neck support. Unfortunately, latex can cause allergic reactions in a small number of people.
- Kapok: Kapok is a unique ecological fibre that is harvested sustainably from the fruit of the Kapok tree. The fibre produced is light, fine and looks similar to silk. Kapok pillows are firm, yet soft and long-lasting. This filling is a good option for those who suffer from allergies and even though Kapak may not be certified organic it’s unlikely that the fibres will come into contact with pesticides.
- Down and Feather: Down and feather is probably the most well known natural pillow filling. These are normally made with duck or goose down. This is of course not a vegan pillow filling, but if that is not a concern remember to look for pillows with a Responsible Down Standard certification that safeguards animal welfare.
- Buckwheat hulls: Buckwheat makes for a firm pillow filling. Buckwheat, also known as a Sobakawa pillow, is a traditional Japanese pillow filling. When choosing a Buckwheat pillow look for an option that you can adjust yourself. This will help to make sure the pillow is the correct firmness to support your posture and spine.
- PLA: This type of filling is made from starchy plants such as sugarcane. It’s a soft and resilient filling that is extremely versatile. It has great moisture-wicking properties and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
11 Best Natural Pillows
Price of Standard Pillow: $99
This Naturepedic pillow was rated the overall top organic pillow by Good Housekeeping magazine.
It comes with an organic cotton cover and is filled with shredded latex, giving it a comfortable plush feel.
This pillow is height adjustable, so you can personalise the height to help with spine and neck alignment.
It’s a customisable 2-in-1 latex pillow that allows you to adjust the fill. It’s also machine washable and the shredded latex core is super supportive. As an added bonus it is said to never go flat!
There are no harmful chemicals that will leach out or “off-gas” as they contain certified organic and non-toxic materials. This means you won’t be exposed to toxins or fireproof coatings. The entire finished pillow is certified organic while meeting flammability requirements.
Price of Standard Pillow: $99
The Birch Organic pillow is handmade in the USA and offers support for all sleepers. It’s made with organic cotton, cruelty-free wool – directly sourced from New Zealand – and natural latex.
The natural Talalay latex core is wrapped in organic wool – which helps with breathability – and covered in 100% organic cotton.
Wool is an unavoidable by-product of sheep farming for which there is very little demand. Farmers make very little on sheep wool, as we’ve replaced the wool with wool-like materials that often contain plastic.
Wool is relatively sustainable considering meat farming is not likely to disappear quickly. Birch wool provides warmth and plushness and comes from a farm that raises its sheep on natural pastures. It’s ethically sourced and 100% natural.
Birch offers a 100 Night Sleep Trial that allows you to return your pillow for a full refund if you are unhappy with the pillow after using it for 100 nights.
Price of Standard Pillow: $149
The L.L.Bean pillow is filled with 650-fill hypoallergenic, responsibly sourced white down and covered in soft, organic cotton. Products are manufactured in Main, USA.
The L.L. Bean cotton down pillow is made from organically sourced materials, using environmentally responsible manufacturing processes. The down is responsibly sourced, ensuring the humane treatment of the animals.
The pillow is machine washable and has a medium fill weight, making it a good choice for those who sleep on their back.
This pillow is a great choice for back sleepers.
Price of Queen Pillow: $145
The Saatva pillow is a luscious eco-friendly hotel-quality pillow. It’s filled with two layers, the top layer is made from shredded Talalay latex, providing great spine and neck support. The pillow is wrapped in 100% organic cotton and the outer pillow is machine washable.
The pillow cover is made from 100% organic cotton that is both soft and breathable for a more comfortable sleep. The gusseted sides help to keep the shape of the pillow, easily unzip to wash.
As a lofty pillow, it’s filled with plush and down like microdenier fibre that is hypoallergenic and breathable.
The hypoallergenic shredded natural latex is highly moldable and comes with recommendations from chiropractors and orthopedists thanks to its excellent head and neck support.
This pillow is good for side sleepers.
Price of Standard Pillow: $98.00
The Coyuchi Organic Shredded Latex Pillow is filled with fluffy shreds of hypoallergenic, certified organic latex. It is very moldable and ideal for side, stomach and back sleepers.
This is a good down-alternative pillow as it’s filled with shreds of hypoallergenic, certified organic latex. You can easily scrunch and mould the pillow to your ideal sleeping shape, making it comfortable and highly supportive.
The latex is made of pure, GOLS-certified organic Dunlop latex for exceptional durability and resilience. Latex is harvested by tapping trees for natural rubber. It’s renewable, chemical0free and compostable.
To wash, just unzip and remove the sateen pillow protector. The pillow itself can be hand or machine washed in cold water using a gentle cleaning cycle. Once washed just line dry or even tumble dry on low.
This is a naturally breathable material that is resistant to mildew, dust mites, and mould. It’s the perfect pillow for those with dust or mould sensitivities.
Price of a Standard Pillow: $150 – $175
The Boll & Branch down pillow is encased in 100% organic cotton and constructed in three chambers, helping it keep its shape over time.
Their down is responsibly sourced from US farms and is triple washed with environmentally safe, Bluesign® certified detergent for long-lasting loft.
Boll & Branch is committed to using sustainable raw materials throughout their business. They go beyond “whoever we can” and commit to sustainable choices 100% of the time that is good for people and the planet.
Their down is washed with environmentally-safe Bluesign certified detergent that is much cleaner than current government standards.
These pillows come in three variants; soft, medium and firm providing good options for back, stomach and side sleepers.
Price of a Standard Pillow: $119 – $129
The SOL Organics cotton down pillow is made in Canada and filled with hypoallergenic Canadian down.
The pillow is encased with GOTS Certified Organic and Certified Fairtrade Cotton.
Available in soft, medium and firm provides a great choice for any sleeping position.
SOL Organics set out on a mission to bring integrity to a market well known for abuse, inequality and dirty practices. The founders and friends wanted to realise a dream of creating textiles with simple ingredients; organic cotton, equality for their employees and profound expertise in cotton.
All of SOL Organics’ factories pay a living wage and will never use child labour, so you can sleep with a clean conscience on one of their lofty pillows.
Price of a Standard Pillow: $174
The PlushBeds Luxury wool pillow is handmade and filled with toxin and chemical free, cool and comfortable wool.
All wool is sustainably and humanely sourced, giving you full peace of mind.
These pillows are fully adjustable, but as they are handmade PlusBeds did not seem to accept returns at the time of writing this post.
PlushBeds place a very high value on sustainability and is committed to using the finest natural materials while sticking to a responsible wool assurance policy that advocates humane animal rearing.
These pillows don’t contain chemicals or harsh scouring agents and dyes so won’t cause skin irritation.
Price of a Standard Pillow: $79
An all-natural luxurious fibre-based pillow that gives comfort where it’s needed.
This pillow is made with a 100% organic cotton outer and filled with pure PLA batting. It provides a resilient and supportive feel and is non-toxic. Naturepedic’s PLA is made from non-GMO sugarcane.
The organic cotton outer is made from natural fibres that are not treated with harmful flame retardants.
PLA is a high-performance synthetic fibre that is formulated from sugarcane is fermented in a process that resembles yoghurt making. The fermentation process creates lactic acid, from where water is removed and the product is crystallized to create PLA. It’s sometimes used for food packaging and medical supplies and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or off-gas.
Price of a Standard Pillow: $44
This pillow is made from a 100% Organic Cotton exterior fabric stuffed with 100% Kapok fibre.
Available in a range of adjustable size shapes the cotton is lush and soft and don’t smell chemicals.
As mentioned at the start of this post, Kapok is super soft and resembles down, yet it’s firm enough to keep its shape. As a pillow, it creates great support and comfort. Kapok is also lightweight and made from the fibre of need pods found in tropical rainforests.
The fibres are sustainably harvested, bird-friendly and chemical-free. No trees are harmed during the harvesting process and no fertilisers or pesticides are used. The process is completely natural as it’s part of the rainforest ecology. You also won’t find any chemicals or harmful toxins with this pillow.
If you haven’t tried a Kapok pillow they come highly recommended!
The ComfyComfy buckwheat pillow is filled with chemical-free USA-grown buckwheat and wrapped in durable certified organic cotton.
This pillow is zippered and fully adjustable for customised support and will shape to your body to keep your neck and head in an ergonomic position.
The material is very breathable and can be adjusted by removing or adding hulls. Buckwheat pillows are firm and provide good neck and spine support.
The buckwheat is grown in the USA and the pillows are handmade by a family-owned business also in the USA.
Washing Natural Pillows
Washing instructions for natural pillows vary greatly. Some natural materials will clump together when washed so it’s important to follow the instructions on your pillow carefully. And make sure that the pillow filling dries completely.
If you’d like to refresh your pillow filling without washing there is always the option to use hot steam as steam kills dust mites and other tiny creatures. Doing this regularly can help to prolong the life of your pillow.
To steam, your pillow filling, remove the filling from the pillow casing (if possible) and steam with a purpose-made steamer or place the filling in a colander and over a pot of simmering water. Steam a big handful of filling for up to 2 minutes. Let the filling dry completely before putting it back into the casing.