Are all pillows created equal?
Like most consumers, you probably care about the products you bring into your home and how they can potentially affect your health. When it comes to home bedding, the type of pillow you choose can play a big role in your sleep quality, and overall health. While many consumers assume all pillows are created equal, this is not the case. Let’s take a closer look at synthetic versus natural pillows.
For those who have allergies, the type of fill in a pillow becomes very important. Natural fill pillows typically use hypoallergenic materials, such as silk, organic wool, down, kapok, and other naturally found sources. These fibers do not accumulate dust and mites, which are two things that can exacerbate matters for allergy sufferers. In comparison, synthetic pillows can use unspecified fillers, which may cause irritations. In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Center conducted a study that reports, "Three earlier studies have observed that synthetic pillows accumulate dust-mite allergens at a rate faster than feather pillows and that synthetic materials contain a higher concentration of dust-mite allergens after a given period of use." Synthetic pillows can be worse for allergy sufferers because they allow dust mite allergens to accumulate.
The general public consensus has long been that the use of natural ingredients in pillows can lead to allergy flare-ups. People also assume that all of the organic pillows on the market are filled with feathers, leading to allergies. It is important to note that not every natural pillow automatically uses feathers. Many use a mixture of both animal products and plant-based products such as silk, wool, or responsible down – or simply plant-based products alone. The key is to choose hypoallergenic pillows for allergy sufferers. For instance, although it comes from an animal, wool is naturally hypoallergenic and won’t harbor dust mite allergens. Another thing that sets hypoallergenic pillows apart is that they are often specifically made for allergy sufferers. Manufacturers make an effort to remove or reduce allergens during the growth, processing, and manufacturing phases to ensure a healthy result.
For those who are chemically sensitive, it goes without saying that a natural pillow will be less likely to cause a reaction.
Care of natural or synthetic pillows
This is a big one for consumers. No one wants to buy a product that is time-consuming or requires care that is a hassle overall. Natural fill pillows are much easier to care for than synthetic options. Most pillows made with synthetic materials can be machine washed to make maintaining a clean sleeping environment easy. However, they need to be washed more frequently than naturally sourced pillows. Since many natural fill pillows are hypoallergenic and do not have the ability to harbor the same nasty things as a synthetic pillow, you will need to wash them less frequently. When you clean them, it is usually a simple wipe down with a cloth, and then air dries instead of the big to-do of washing and drying them by machine. You can freshen some natural fibers by simply setting them in the sun for a few hours.
When you machine-wash synthetic pillows, they tend to lose their shape and become somewhat clumpy in the process due to the filling, which is usually one singular piece, breaking down a little more with every wash. Natural fill pillows reduce this problem. You get the same great shape the whole life of the pillow.
A synthetic pillow can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, whereas an organic pillow can last an impressive figure of anywhere from 7 years to 10 years.
Another one of the biggest disadvantages of synthetic versus organic pillows is how long they last. This often comes down to a matter of how much a consumer is willing to pay. While synthetic pillows are more affordable upfront, they do not last as long as natural fill pillows. What you will save initially, you will definitely end up paying in replacements later on, whereas organic pillows often last longer in general. A synthetic pillow can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, whereas an organic pillow can last an impressive figure of anywhere from 7 years to 10 years. You can freshen a natural pillow by emptying the fill and fluffing it. You also have the option of ordering more fill.
Comfort: natural vs. synthetic pillows
If you tend to run hot while sleeping, choose an organic pillow filled with an option such as wool. This is one option that will help to regulate temperature. A synthetic pillow doesn’t offer anything in the way of temperature control. Another factor to look at when considering synthetic versus organic pillows is the firmness. If you prefer a softer, more squishable pillow, an all-natural pillow is the right choice for you. You can adjust a natural pillow to be more firm by choosing a custom fill to meet your preferences. Many of our pillows are adjustable, so you can add or take away fill. This will help you get the pillow that gives you the most comfort.
Find our selection of natural and organic pillows here.
Wondering which natural or organic pillow is right for you? Check out our article “A Healthy Pillow.”