Skip to Content

13 Different Types of Pillow Filling

A collage of pillow filling.

We all know that sleep is an essential factor in living a healthy life. However, for some, getting a full night of rest is more complicated than anything else when it comes to health and wellness. A quality pillow is one of the best ways to achieve healthy sleep.

There are many factors that contribute to a quality pillow. The pillow filling makes a difference in the quality, price, and volume of the pillow. Each person is unique, and not every pillow stuffing is right for everyone.

The good news is there are many different fillings available to give you a variety of options. You do not have to settle for a pillow filling that does not work for you. This article provides you with all the information you need about pillow stuffing to make the decision about the right pillow for your needs

Bamboo Pillow Filling 

Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow (Queen Size - 28"x20") - Soft Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow for Side, Back and Stomach Sleepers - Luxury Pillows for Sleeping with Washable Case - 1 Pack

Bamboo pillow filling has become a trend in recent years. These pillows are environmentally friendly as they are natural and do not have synthetic chemicals. Some believe that bamboo filling is ideal for those that have allergies.

Bamboo filling pillows are resistant to microorganisms like fungi and bacteria. They are ideal for repelling odor that can build up over time from sweat. 

Bamboo pillow filling is soft and far softer than other materials like wool. Unfortunately, these pillows tend to be more expensive and heavy. They also have their own odor when you first purchase them, which reduces over time. ComfyComfy Premium Buckwheat Pillow, Queen Size (20” x 30”), Comes with Extra 2 lb of USA Grown Buckwheat Hulls to Customize for Comfort, and Custom Percale Cotton PillowcaseBuckwheat hull pillow filling is constructed from the outer shell of the buckwheat seed. These pillows are ideal and regulating temperature and promoting the flow of air. These pillows tend to be thicker and are ideal for someone looking to align their spine properly while they sleep.

A buckwheat hull-filled pillow conforms to the shape of your head or neck. They are incredibly durable. These pillows tend to be on the firmer side and are not intended for all sleepers. Some may find these pillows to be uncomfortable.

They make a lot of noise and rustling sounds when they are being moved. Buckwheat hull pillows are heavy, especially when compared to other pillow-fill options. They are not the best for those that are allergic to dust mites. 

CBD/Hemp Pillow Filling 

SensorPEDIC Chamomile Scented Memory Foam Bed Pillow with Hemp Oil Infused Cover, Oversized, White

A pillow with CBD/Hemp filling is similar to cotton as it is soft and comfortable. This type of filling is naturally obtained, and the crops grow quickly with no real maintenance needed.

The crops do not require chemicals, and the entire plant can be used. As a result, this is among the most environmentally friendly fillers for pillows you can find

CBD/hemp filling is breathable and maintains its temperature. It is resistant to insects and mold. The pillows with this filling are moldable. The one major downside to this type of pillow is it may take a while to break in. It may feel rough when you first use it. 

Cotton Pillow Filling

HOMELAB 2 Pack Standard Pillows for Sleeping - 100% Breathable Cotton, Soft Plush Down Alternative, Medium Neck Support for Side Back and Stomach Sleepers, Hotel Collection Bed Pillow Inserts, 20x26

Cotton pillow filling is one of the most common types of filler for pillows. It is soft and comfortable, which many people use in their pillows. Cotton naturally helps to regulate your body’s heat when it is warm.

Pillows filled with cotton tend to be stiffer than other types of pillows. Cotton is available in organic versions, which is ideal for those with allergies. Cotton is gentle on the skin and will not irritate it as synthetic fibers can.

After a while, the cotton filling begins to clump together. This usually makes your pillows lumpy and uncomfortable. These pillows need to be replaced on a regular basis.

Down Pillow Filling

Damome Soft Down Pillows for Sleeping(2 Pack), Queen(20inx30in)-White Goose Down Feather Bed Pillow Inserts, 100% Cotton Cover, Lightweight, for All Sleep Positions

Down pillow filling comes from the undercoat of feathers from the underbelly and chest of birds. This filler is fluffy and soft and widely used for mattresses and pillows. Down fibers are often white.

These pillows mold well and quickly adapt to your head and neck. They are durable and will last for many years when cared for properly. You can refill the down stuffing in your pillow when it begins to sag or loss its fluff. 

Down pillow filling is expensive, especially when compared to other pillow filling materials. They flatten easily with repeated use. They can be uncomfortable, and the feathers can poke through the material.

Down pillow filling absorbs heat and can be hot in the summer. Some are allergic to down and cannot use this pillow filler. 

Feather Pillow Filling

White Goose Feather wih Polyester Bed Pillow - 600 Thread Count 100% Cotton,Ployester Filling Encircles Goose Feather, Medium Firm,Soft Support Queen Size,White Solid (Queen Size:One Pillow).

Feather pillow filling is when your pillow is full of the soft feathers from the back and wings of birds. You can easily find a large supply of feather-filled pillows on the market. They are affordable. They will mold easily to whatever shape you would like.

These pillows are lightweight and easy to move around. Many times you will find that feathers are combined with down to increase the affordability and durability of the pillows. 

Feather pillows easily and quickly lose their shape and flatten with use. You will have to fluff these types of pillows constantly. The feathers poke through the material from time to time. These types of pillows are difficult to maintain and clean.

You may find that these pillows have an unpleasant odor after a few years of use. In addition, they absorb heat which may make them hot and uncomfortable during sleep. 

Gel Pillow Filling 

Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows for Sleeping - Queen Size, Set of 2 - Cooling, Luxury Gel Pillow for Back, Stomach or Side Sleepers

Gel pillow filling consists of gel microbeads in combination with other materials, including latex and memory foam. This combination gives you an extra layer of comfort. Gel filling is smooth, but it can have varying degrees of smoothness.

The degree of smoothness depends on how much gel is used. Typically, you will find about 30% to reach maximum comfort. Gel-filled pillows remain cool and comfortable. They allow airflow to help regulate your temperature.

These pillows maintain their shape for a long time. They are ideal for all types of sleepers. Some downsides to these types of pillows are that they tend to be expensive and are not as durable as other pillows. 

Kapok Pillow Filling

Japanese Organic Kapok Pillow - 14" x 20" - Organic Cotton Zippered Shell - Made in USA by Bean Products

Kapok pillow filling is made from a tree that is found in Mexico. This tree produces cotton-like flowers that are fluffy and smooth. This is a natural type of pillow filling.

The Kapok pillow is ideal for those that want a pillow that is 100 percent organic. They are also great for those that have allergies. There are no toxic materials contained in the Kapok filling. They are light and comfortable. 

The Kapok pillow filling is not easy to find and may not be readily available in all areas. They do not mold easily, and you may have problems getting the best fit for your neck and head. In addition, these types of pillows are flammable. 

Latex Pillow Filling

OrganicTextiles 100% Talalay Natural Latex Pillow with GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Cover (Standard, Soft), Soft Bed Pillow for Sleeping, for Back, Stomach and Side Sleepers, Helps for Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain

Latex pillow filling may also be referred to as natural foam filling. Latex is created from the sap of a specific rubber tree. You may find these pillows with the latex filling in a solid block, or they may be shredded.

The pillows with a block of latex are firm and provide excellent support. Shredded latex is easier to adjust because it is moldable. In addition, these pillows have an open cell structure which makes them incredibly breathable. 

Latex pillow filling is incredibly expensive because it is challenging to extract latex foam. These types of pillows are not the best for side sleepers. 

Memory Foam Pillow Filling

AM AEROMAX Contour Memory Foam Pillow, Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain Relief, Neck Orthopedic Sleeping Pillows for Side, Back and Stomach Sleepers.

Memory foam pillow filling is constructed from many compounds, including polyurethane. These pillows may contain a block of memory foam, or they may be shredded memory foam. The block is wrapped inside the pillowcase while the shredded memory foam fills up the pillow making it fluffy and more comfortable. 

Memory foam pillow filling conforms to the shape of your neck and head to help keep your spine in alignment with your body. These pillows are designed specifically to provide maximum comfort and relief from pressure.

They will not clump like other filling materials. They are ideal for all sleeping styles. Memory foam pillow filling does have some downsides. These include their tendency to absorb heat which keeps you hot and potentially sweating during the night.

In addition, these pillows tend to stink or have an odd odor due to the chemicals used to make them. Finally, they are among the more expensive pillow types. 

Microbead Pillow Filling

Cushie Pillows 7 inches x 12 inches Microbead Bolster Squishy/Flexible/Extremely Comfortable Roll Pillow - Black

Microbead pillow filling is a synthetic option as an alternative to buckwheat hulls. These are small beads of polystyrene. These pillows of moldable and allow for the movement of air. These are a much more affordable option over pillows with buckwheat hulls.

In addition, they provide exceptional support for your neck and head. Microbead pillow filling is not easily found on the market, especially when compared to other pillow-fill materials. These pillows tend to get lumpy and lose shape. They are not environmentally friendly.

These pillows are not durable. They are not recommended for all styles of sleeping because they are not firm. In addition, they tend to off-gas, which means they put off a chemical odor smell.

Polyester Fiberfill Pillow Filling

Pillowflex Premium Polyester Pillow Insert — 14"x36" Pillow Form - Machine Washable, Lumbar Pillow Insert for Sham - Large Pillow, Rectangle Pillow - 1 Decorative Pillow

Polyester fiberfill pillow filling is also referred to as a Polyfill. This filling is manufactured and created from polyester fibers that are small and curled. Polyester fiber fill is one of the most popular types of filling for pillows. They are soft and fluffy but also durable and long-lasting. This filling is ideal for outdoor pillows. 

Polyester fiberfill pillow filling is among the most affordable filling you can find. It is easy to maintain and clean. In addition, it is machine washable, which makes it a breeze to care for. 

These pillows do have some downsides. They clump easily and quickly. You will constantly need to adjust them when using them. In addition, they are not the most durable type of pillow, and they retain heat. 

Wool Pillow Filling

WOOLROOM British Wool Organic Cotton Standard Adjustable Pillow - Chatsworth - (Standard, 20 x 26 inch)

Wool pillow filling is the traditional type of filling for pillows. It is exceptionally breathable and insulates well. Wool is soft and fluffy. A wool-filled type of pillow is great for those who have allergies.

They are perfect for use in the winter and summer. These pillows are friendly to the environment. They do not contain any toxic materials or components. 

Wool pillow filling does tend to get lumpy, making it less durable. In addition, these types of pillows do not hold their shape well.

Chat Box

Home Expert (Bot)
Hello, how are you? Ask me anything about interior design, home improvement, home decor, real estate, gardening and furniture.