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How to Shop for the Right Pillow

Updated on December 11, 2011

Shopping For the Right Pillow

Snoring keeping you awake all night? Yours, or someone you used to love? Then it may be time to go pillow shopping. There are many pillows on the market today, including pillows called anti-snoring.

With so many choices, how do you chose the right one? The good thing about there being so many pillows on the market is that you will probably find one that is exactly right for you. You may want to try one that is Asian inspired like a buckwheat hull pillow, or an anti-snoring pillow, or one made just for napping.

Below is a list of pillows (see photos of pillows). This list can help you make the right choice and get rid of the pillow you have that has seen better days - or nights. Prices are suggested but prices vary a great deal on the internet - you shouldn't pay more than the prices suggested for the best pillow of its kind.

The List of Pillows:

Anti-snoring Pillow - this pillow is specially designed for sleeping on your side. It has a unique shape that can position your jaw to keep your airway open. Some of these pillows have two tunnel-like sections which allows you to slip your arm under it - without your arm falling asleep (getting that tingling sensation). About $80.

Buckwheat Hull Pillow - this pillow is common in Asia and was given to me when I lived in S. Korea. The size and shape of the buckwheat hull material keeps them constantly shifting; this allows air to move freely through the filling and keeps the pillow fresh and kind of fluffy. They are said to be hypoallergenic as they do not house dust mites. Further, they offer complete support for spinal alignment, will soothe muscle tensions, offer relief to neck tightness and shoulder tightness, and prevent headaches. They also retain heat and make a good heat pack. While this is all listed in the advertising, I can say I was 100% satisfied with my buckwheat pillow in S. Korea, and never had any complaints.

Prices vary tremendously with buckwheat hull pillows. I've seen them locally for as little as $10.00 but a quality one made in the USA and labeled organic can run from about $25. - $60. ranging in size from the smallest to king size.

Millet Hull Pillow - millet hulls are also being used as pillow fillings. They are fully capable of supporting the weight of the head and neck without losing their form. They are also considered hypoallergenic as they do not house dust mites. This is a popular pillow in Europe. I've only seen these on the internet. The price range is the same as buckwheat hull pillows.

Duplex Pillow - this pillow is new to me. It combines both buckwheat hulls and millet hulls. The hulls are in two parallel chambers. One side is buckwheat, the other side millet. Depending on pillow size from tiny to king they range in price from $24.95 - $59.95

Down Pillow - while this is a luxurious pillow and is said to outlast all the other pillows on the market, it can also have a buildup of dust mites. Some manufacturers are adding another fill to 80 percent down to reduce the buildup of dust mites. Average price for a top of the line well-filled goose down pillow is about $165.

You may also see pillows that are goose feather filled and not goose down. They too can have a buildup of dust mites. Some manufacturers claim their pillows have gone through an anti-microbial treatment to prevent bacteria growth. Some pillows have both down and feathers.

Hypoallergenic Pillow - this pillow is designed for those who are sensitive to dust mites and mold. They are often made from cotton, wool, polyester and other fillings. A good hypoallergenic pillow can run about $45.00.

Thermoregulating Pillow - there is now a pillow on the market that has microcapsules that will absorb the excessive heat that causes the common cold side/hot side (or sweaty side) problem. About $80.00.

Memory Foam Pillow - this pillow has been recommended if your present pillow has you waking up with a crick in your neck. It is the heat from your body that makes the foam in this pillow conform to your head and neck. About $100.

Body Pillows - this is that long pillow that conforms to your body while you sleep. It contours to the length of your body naturally and provides support from head to toe. It helps to keep your spine aligned. Can be used behind your back as well. Depending on whether you want it gel-filled, a memory foam, etc., I have seen a great range of prices on the internet from $30-$100.

Napping Pillows - for a short 15-20 minute nap this pillow is recommended. it is smaller with a different shape (I'd describe it as almost crescent-shaped). Filled with buckwheat hulls, it is about $33.00.

Pillows for Travel:

Lumbar Pillow - this rectangular pillow is designed to fit snugly behind your lower back for long periods of sitting on an airplane or traveling by car. Also highly recommended for the office. A buckwheat hull filling is recommended. About $24.00.

Travel Pillow - the U-shaped pillow designed specifically for traveling. It gently surrounds your neck as you read or nap during long train, plane, bus, or car travel. It helps to contour your neck and align your spine. About $27.00

When you have decided on a pillow, consider whether you want it to be soft, medium, or hard/firm - which has to do with the kind of filling and how much filling.

Other Pillows:

Should you be in NYC and visit China Town there is a store named Pearl River. There you will find some interesting pillows. My favorite is the hollow rattan pillow (as I love to lay on the floor) - this pillow is like a neck roll, small and rectangular - but all firm rattan and hollow - it keeps me perfectly aligned. You will also find Gooseberry Leaves filled pillows and Tea Stem filled pillows.

Sweet Dreams!

pillow time



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    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Brett Rodgers. I am in the market for a buckwheat pillow. I fell in love with them when I lived in S. Korea.

      Hope those feather pillows are working for you Ruby H Rose. I'm in the market for something comfy and cannot decide. So glad you liked the list!

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      What a great list of pillows! Wish I would have read this before I bought new feather ones. Now I am on to read about sheets.

    • Brett Rodgers profile image

      Brett Rodgers 

      6 years ago

      Good thing I read this hub because my wife and I are moving into a new house soon and we need new pillows. I think I get a lot of head aches from it and its uncomfortable. I really like the big comfy ones. Here is a site that we found.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome Specialk3749. I too am ready for something different. I think my two pillows are finished. This time I want to try the buckwheat which I so enjoyed in S. Korea.

      Thanks for writing!

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      I love my body pillow! I have been using one since my 2nd pregnancy. Lately my neck and shoulders have been hurting and so I am now pillow shopping for one that is best for neck pain. Thank you for all the information you gave!!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're very welcome ratnaveera!

      We need all the help we can get for a good night's sleep! I slept so well on a buckwheat pillow when I lived overseas - and will try one again!

    • ratnaveera profile image


      9 years ago from Cumbum

      Sometimes pillow also becomes the reason for the lack of sleeping. So, I think we should be careful to select our pillows. This is very interesting and informative Hub! Thanks a lot!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Glad to meet you Sarah_Callahan.

      Nice to know the information is proving to be so useful!

      Thanks for writing!

    • Sarah_Callahan profile image


      9 years ago

      Very useful information in you article..


    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks gwennies pen! I love a good pillow myself. That makes me think of that old term 'pillow talk' - had to have good pillows for that.

      Thanks Jen's Solitude - Hope you and your pillows will be very happy together.

    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 

      9 years ago from Delaware

      Nice hub. I just purchased new pillows myself. :)

    • profile image

      gwennies pen 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this hub with us. I'm always looking for better pillows. Good tips! : )Love the body pillows too!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Dear IslandVoice!

      Great question - and I can add it here for people pillow shopping.

      I read that a good natural pillow like down or buckwheat can last up to 10 years. However, a synthetic one will only last about 2 years.

      One more thing I read is if you are feeling uncomfortable with your pillow it is time to change it for a different kind, maybe a different filling or firmness.

      I would like to add a great buckwheat pillow to my budoir as I really loved it in S. Korea. It is time for me to shop too.

    • IslandVoice profile image

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Very timely hub! I'm pillow hunting right now would you believe? My husband uses the buckwheat type, but i like mine really soft, the hypoallergenic kind. What is the lifespan of their usage, do you know? I just think it's time to replace ours.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Glad you liked this hub, Ms Chievous! I enjoyed researching it.

      I love the body pillows and the buckwheat pillows - and that rattan pillow for floor sleeping.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Ms Chievous profile image


      9 years ago from Wv

      Great idea for a hub! I like the body pillows the best!


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