Types of Pillows
What kind of pillow will help you sleep better and more comfortably? We would love to be able to answer that question for you since it’s the question everyone asks us.
Because our bodies are all different, no one can answer that question fully but yourself. However, we can help you better understand how all these kinds of pillows differ from each other.
Before reading further, ask your inner expert: What are the specific things you have liked or disliked about all the pillows you have tried up until today? As you read further, let the descriptions spark memories about all the pillows you have loved and hated.
The most common kind of pillows available are Polyester filled pillow inserts. These are inexpensive and puffy with a lot of bounce-back when they’re new. While commonly used for bed pillows, you can them everywhere as accent or throw pillows. In the Pillow Inserts section you will find standard sizes as well as many ways to request custom sizes and shapes.
Down Pillows are filled with different mixes of duck or goose feathers. Depending on the specific mix, down pillows can outlast most Polyester filled pillows. The name of the specific mix is the ratio of soft down feathers to the stiffer quill feathers, so the lowest quality mix (5/95) is only 5 percent down feather to 95 percent quill feather. “50/50” is very luxurious with the cushiony down feather as half of the mix. The more quill feather in the mix, the sooner in the pillow’s life feathers will start poking out through the fabric. The feel of down is more squashy than Polyester. While Polyester will bounce back on its own, down will need to be fluffed up after it’s been used. Down pillows are wonderful for molding into a comfortable shape and holding that shape so you can sleep well.
Wool Pillows are as natural as the down pillows are, but feel more like Polyester pillows since they are filled with wool fiber instead of feathers. They have a less bouncy feel than Polyester. Wool has an innate ability to wick away moisture and help regulate temperature, which makes them preferable for those who find sleeping hot uncomfortable. New wool has a lanolin smell which can be initially bothersome for sensitive noses, but many people find that it doesn’t last long and feel more comfortable avoiding synthetic fibers.
For people who want something with more body, a natural latex pillow is heavier with a soft, bouncy resilience. Since most latex pillows are molded into specific shapes, they are less modifiable than fiber or feather pillows. An exception is a pillow we make using shredded natural latex. This makes a very lofty, bouncy pillow that is very resilient. If you like the feel of latex, but want your pillow to have a lower profile, you can open the pillow cases and remove handfuls of the latex until it is just perfect for you. (Have a plastic bag handy to save what you remove in case you need to put some back in.)
A memory foam pillow will have the same kind of weight and body as a latex foam pillow, but will feel more squishy than bouncy. Memory foam will slowly give at low pressure without pressing back, so it feels like it is cradling your head more than other kinds of pillows will. Memory foam is long lasting and the feel is unique. No other kind of material feels quite like it and many of our customers seek them out because they prefer it. Memory foam tends to retain heat, so if you find that a warm pillow is uncomfortable for you, you may want to investigate if latex will work for you.
Two kinds of pillows that have more specific uses other than bed pillows is either a neck roll or lumbar pillow. If you need a specific cervical support for comfort or health, look at our selection of neck rolls filled with Polyester fiber, memory foam or latex. You can even get a quote for a custom size.
Lumbar pillows are made of a firm polyurethane foam in a specific shape meant to help your back maintain a healthy curve when sitting. The ones we make come with a zippered Cotton/Polyester cover and are lightweight and portable. Also on this page you can order a custom sized lumbar pillow filled with Polyester fiber or down that includes a fabric cover.
If you haven’t yet found the pillow that is right for you and want to try designing one for yourself, our Pillow Stuffing section features a range of fill materials from Polyester fiber and shredded foams to feather mixes that can be ordered by the pound so you can stuff your own pillows. If you don’t have the fabric shape you need to fill, check out our Lining Fabric page for options.