10 Natural Pillow Alternatives

Settle in for a good night's sleep by checking out our list of natural pillow alternatives that will not just support your head, neck, and spine but also fit your personal preferences.
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Decorative pillows on bed with comforter.

Getting a good night’s rest isn’t just about finding a comfortable sleeping position. While many can get through the night with just the standard rectangular pillows, choosing the right type can be downright subjective.

Factors such as fillings and thickness can make an impact on one’s quality of sleep. Allergies and chronic pain are also important considerations if you don’t want to end up spending the night tossing and turning.

So if you’re looking for comfort and support in bed without breathing in toxic chemicals at night, scroll down to find your options for natural pillow alternatives.

1. Buckwheat Pillows

Buckwheat pillow on buckwheat.

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One of the most popular options for a pillow alternative that people are turning to is the buckwheat pillow. Buckwheat pillows are good for when you want an environmentally-friendly pillow. These pillows are made using all-natural buckwheat and can actually stay really cool. They’re excellent when you need a pillow with good air circulation, and it can make a huge difference on hot summer nights.

The biggest problem with the buckwheat pillow is how firm it is. It stays really cool, which is fantastic, but it really is incredibly firm. If you need a bit of softness to stay comfortable during the night, then this is not going to appeal to you. You may want to keep looking into the other options to find something that is a bit more comfortable.

Pros:

Buckwheat pillows are environmentally-friendly, and they can help to keep you cool. The natural air circulation is fantastic, and it will keep you from sweating too much during the night. If you need a convenient pillow that will keep your head from getting too hot, then you will want to consider buying one of these.

Cons:

The overall firmness of this pillow is not to be underestimated. You may think that it will be fine, but it is more than likely going to be firmer than you are used to. This will work well for people who like firm pillows, but for people who like soft pillows or medium pillows, it isn’t going to work out.

2. Horsehair Pillows

Horsehair Pillow

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Horsehair is sometimes used as a stuffing material for pillows. You might not think that this sounds too appealing at first, but it can actually work really well. The outside of the pillow will normally be made of cotton material, while the inside is completely filled with horsehair. This is a very coarse filling for a pillow, but it works well to retain its shape and provide support during the night.

These types of pillows have become popular among people who suffer from arthritis. A horsehair pillow is also good for those who sweat a lot, as it is capable of staying dry due to its natural texture. It should be a pillow that will stand up to regular use easily, so it is definitely a recommended option.

Pros:

You will feel great if you sleep through the night using a horsehair pillow. It will always do a good job of retaining its shape and can provide your neck with support. It is a great pillow for those with arthritis problems. It can also stay dry, even if you sweat more than usual during the night.

Cons:

You might find that this pillow is a bit too firm for your liking. If you are looking for a soft pillow to help lull you to sleep, then a horsehair pillow may not be for you. This is definitely for firm pillow lovers, so be advised before purchasing.

3. Hemp Pillows

Hemp Pillow


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Hemp is a material that has so many uses. People use hemp to make rope, clothing, and so many other important things. It can also work as a wonderful material to make pillows. If you need a rugged pillow that will stand the test of time, then you’re going to love the hemp options that are on the market.

You will find that hemp pillows are fairly soft to the touch, but they will feel firm when you lay on them. They are best used by people who like to have a firm or medium type of pillow. They do get a bit softer as you continue to use them, though.

Pros:

Hemp can last for a really long time, so you will definitely get your money’s worth out of your new pillow. Also, the hemp is firm enough to please those who need very supportive pillows. Despite being fairly firm, hemp pillows are also soft to the touch. It’s a good combination and feels fantastic for those who like these types of pillows.

Cons:

Hemp pillows are a bit costly in comparison to some of the other types. They aren’t the most expensive, but you won’t typically find them at a low price. These pillows may be too firm for some people to enjoy, as well.

4. Wool Pillows

Wool pillows of different sizes stacked together.

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Wool pillows have been a popular alternative type of pillow for years. They aren’t the most common when you consider the normal pillow types, but they’re among the initial alternative options that always pop up. Wool makes for a very nice pillow filling because it is durable and will last a long time. If you buy one of these wool pillows, then you’ll be able to use it for years without having any problems.

The wool-stuffed pillows should always feel very full. They don’t stuff down in the same way that cotton does, so you’ll be able to feel like the pillow is providing a bit more support. For this reason, there are many people who prefer wool pillows. This is a pillow that will keep you nice and warm at night, so it’s good to have this pillow type during the winter months.

Pros:

This is a pillow that you can rely on for several years. Wool isn’t going to break down as quickly as many other types of pillow stuffing. Owning a wool pillow will be very nice, and you’ll find it especially handy during the winter months.

Cons:

The wool pillows may be a bit too warm for some people’s liking. Whether or not you will enjoy the warmth of a wool pillow is completely up to you. You should probably avoid this pillow type if you tend to get too hot during the night.

5. Natural Latex Rubber Pillows

Woman sleeping with a natural latex rubber pillow supporting her head.

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If you need to find a good pillow alternative for your memory foam pillow, then this is going to be very interesting to you. Natural latex rubber pillows are great alternatives to memory foam and will work fantastically. These types of pillows can really provide you with ample amounts of support. You’ll be able to stay comfortable while giving your body the support that it needs to get through the night.

The biggest benefit of switching to a natural latex rubber pillow is that it will help you out with your allergies. Memory foam pillows are nice, but they have problems with retaining allergens, dust mites, and other forms of bacteria. A natural latex rubber pillow keeps these things at bay to help you sleep soundly. You won’t feel like your nose is all stuffed up if you use this type of pillow.

Pros:

Being able to have a pillow that can replicate the memory foam experience is nice. It is better for your allergies overall, and this makes it a more practical option. You’ll be able to sleep through the night without having so many problems if you buy this pillow.

Cons:

Pillows like this have some of the same negatives that people associate with memory foam pillows. Natural latex rubber pillows can get a little bit hot. They will retain your body heat a bit and may not vent as well as some other pillow types. There are some natural latex rubber pillows that allow for better ventilation, so you may wish to look into those specifically if you are worried about getting too hot.

6. Natural Shredded Rubber Pillows

Natural Shredded Latex Pillow

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The naturally shredded rubber pillows being shown here are actually not too different from the ones mentioned above. They function similarly, but they have a different type of filling. The shredded rubber that is used to fill the pillow winds up looking kind of like blown insulation, but it actually works really nicely. This is a hypoallergenic pillow that will feel comfortable while helping you to deal with your allergies better.

Some people find these pillows to be a smidgen more supportive than their natural latex rubber pillow cousins. You may be interested in trying out both in order to see which is better for you. Either way, you will be getting a great pillow that will suit your needs perfectly.

Pros:

Pillows like this are capable of giving you the right amount of support. They won’t make your allergies worse as many memory foam pillows do, either. If you need a hypoallergenic pillow, then this is one of two options that can replicate the memory foam experience. They work well and are quickly rising in popularity.

Cons:

Certain people will get too hot during the night while using a pillow like this. Sometimes you can mitigate this issue by using a really soft and cool pillowcase. It might be worth trying a pillow before purchasing it, when possible. You want to be sure that this is going to be comfortable enough for you to get you through the night.

7. Duck Down Pillows

Duck Down Pillows


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Duck down pillows are among the most commonly recommended pillows for people with allergies. If you are prone to sneezing fits and general congestion, then this pillow may be able to help alleviate some of your problems. Duck down pillows are even more comfortable than many other types of feather pillows. They feel fuller in some ways, and you will notice that they have a bit of buoyancy that isn’t present in some standard feather pillows.

These pillows aren’t as widespread in America as you might expect. They are rapidly gaining in popularity, as people are looking for options to help ease allergy symptoms. A duck down pillow will feel really natural for someone who sleeps on their side, and it can work for back sleepers as well. If you have allergies, then it is certainly worth a shot.

Pros:

If you have bad allergies, then you should give this pillow a try. It might wind up helping you to get through the night without having so many problems. Duck down pillows are pretty nice and should help you to get some rest. They aren’t too expensive, and they really do work quite well.

Cons:

People who sleep on their stomachs sometimes don’t like these duck down pillows. Also, the advantages of this pillow are mostly for people who suffer from allergies. Those who don’t have allergies may wish to find a pillow that can provide a bit more support. It’s still a fairly comfortable option, but it might not be optimal for everyone.

8. Kapok Pillows

Kapok Pillow

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Kapok is a really wonderful material to use for pillows. It actually has some similarities to silk, so you know that it is going to be a very comfortable pillow to own. A good kapok pillow will be firm enough to provide support while also being very soft and enjoyable. These pillows are even capable of lasting for a really long time.

They won’t get beaten up as quickly as many other types of pillows. You can potentially use a good kapok pillow for several years if you take care of it right. It is said to be a good pillow for people who have allergies too. It should help you to sneeze less, and you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep.

Pros:

Owning a kapok pillow is going to be a true delight for just about anyone. These pillows feel great and can provide you with just the right amount of support. If you like your pillows to be soft and comfortable, then you’ll love the kapok pillows. They’re good for people who have allergies and shouldn’t make you sneeze.

Cons:

There have been some reports that people can be allergic to the kapok itself. This is not very common at all, and you will not likely have any problems. It is good to be aware that people have reported this, though. You may want to test it out to see how you react to it first ahead of time, just to be on the safe side.

9. Millet Pillows

Pillow filled with millet.

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If you are looking for a nice environmental-friendly pillow alternative, then you might want to consider millet pillows. For those who aren’t aware, millet is a type of grass seed. These pillows will be filled with millet seeds and can work quite nicely to provide you with a simple pillow. Lots of people have taken to these pillows, as they can actually be fairly comfortable overall.

One of the selling points of millet pillows is that they are said to soothe muscle pain. You see, the millet seeds themselves contain some silicic acid and this can be activated by your body heat. It will work to alleviate some of your muscle pain when you use the pillow. Whether or not this is truly all that effective has yet to be scientifically tested though, so take this information with a grain of salt.

Pros:

Millet pillows are among the most environmentally-friendly options that you can buy. These pillows will feel pretty comfortable, and some people say that they are capable of soothing pains. If you want to own a pillow that will be simple to use while offering you some benefits, this one will fit the bill.

Cons:

Millet pillows can be a bit too thin for some people’s liking. Some of them will allow you to pour more millet seeds in the pillow to fatten things up a bit. It can be a little bit tough to get a fit that truly feels right. You might get annoyed by having to adjust things just to get the perfect level of comfort.

10. Green Tea and Silver-Infused Pillows

Green Tea Memory Foam Pillow

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Looking down this list will be a pretty normal affair until you get to this listing. Many people hear about the green tea and silver-infused pillows and think that there must be something weird about them. It doesn’t really sound like a pillow material, but it is actually very nice and has some distinct advantages. For instance, these types of pillows are excellent at preventing odors and even have some antibacterial properties.

This makes these pillows quite nice for people who tend to sweat profusely in their sleep. If you need a nice pillow that will stand up to regular use without getting gross, then you will want to pick this one up. It generally feels really comfortable and is a joy to use. There should be a number of different options on the market, so you’ll be able to find the right size and shape to suit your needs.

Pros:

Being able to have a pillow that can stay odor-free even while you are sweating at night is a big benefit. You’ll be able to use your pillow for a longer time without having to worry about it becoming smelly. This is really nice for those who have a bit of a sweating problem.

Cons:

There are those who think that these pillows aren’t the most comfortable options. If you are looking for a pillow alternative that can help you with a sweat problem, then this will work out well. Those who just want something that is comfortable may wish to turn elsewhere. These types of pillows can be comfortable, it’s just that tastes will vary from person to person.








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