Natural, Organic Pillows for Your Bed
Exploring Bed Pillows Filled with Latex, Buckwheat Hulls, or Cotton
Have you thought about sleeping on organic bed pillows? They are good for the environment, of course, and also good for you. Since you're going to spend a lot of hours breathing in and out right next to your pillow, it's healthful to have something natural right there. Pillows made in conventional ways can be putting a variety of chemicals right by your nose.
Here, I'll describe three of the different kinds of pillow fillings that you can get: natural latex tapped from rubber trees, organic buckwheat hulls, and organic cotton. Pillows need to provide the best possible support for us and these three fillings can do this.
I wrote this originally as I did my own research, and I revised this page when my husband and I decided what to get. I got latex and he is happy with a pillow I made him from the llama wool we had on hand from the days we had a llama ranch.
We already use organic cotton pillowcases, and I'll point you toward those further down. Also, please add your own opinions at the bottom of the page.
Photo credit: Flickr.com
Latex comes from rubber trees' sap, so it could be called a rubber pillow, but somehow that doesn't sound as appealing, does it? Some companies will blend the pure latex with synthetic ingredients, but none of the pillows I list here are combined. There are different manufacturing processes used for latex, and the Talalay latex mentioned in the products below uses no petroleum products.
These are not the same as memory foam pillows, which are made from chemical ingredients.
I did notice where customers commented that latex has a bit of a smell when you first take it out of the bag. This evidently dissipates rather quickly, within a day or a few days in most cases.
Latex is widely called natural, rather than organic, and I didn't figure out why despite a bit of research. (Did I mention I am a librarian?)
Because of the resilience of latex, the support for your neck and head is said to be outstanding. Because of the nature of latex, these pillows are resistant to dust mites, mildew, and microbes. Because of the structure of the latex, it ventilates well. Healthy!
A Very Popular Natural Latex Pillow - People Love This One!
This pillow has hundreds of positive reviews at Amazon. The company states that the rubber trees that the sap comes from are sustainable. The Talalay method used creates what the company describes as the most resilient latex. It's breathable and hypoallergenic.
If you click through to the Amazon link, you will notice that these pillows come in both King and Queen sizes. Then you have two more choices:
- High or low profile:Choose high for a pillow that is more or less normal pillow height, and choose low for a flatter pillow.
- Firm or plush density:
- You can read some of the most popular reviews to get a sense of this, beyond what the words "firm" and "plush" convey.
I bought one of these and it did take a while to stop smelling like rubber. I just put it in another room to air out for a while. I use it all the time now.
With two choices each in size, profile, and density, there is something for everyone, all on the same page.
A Natural Latex Pillow with an Organic Cotton Cover
This pillow has not been as widely discovered as the one I listed above, but its cover is organic and people do like it. The cover is also removable and washable.
I say "This one..." but there are two listings below. That's because the second item appears to be a two-pack of the first.
So far as I could tell, this is a two-pack of the same pillow, in a different size.
You can choose sizes on the page at Amazon.
Demonstrating a Latex Pillow
Here's a short video made by an Australian company describing latex pillows. I found this intriguing for getting a better sense of what these pillows are like. It was after I saw this that I got more interested for myself in natural latex pillows.
An Organic Buckwheat Pillow - Made in the Traditional Japanese Way, in Texas, with American Buckwheat
The Japanese have had centuries to get these just right.
Of all the buckwheat pillows on Amazon, organic or otherwise, this is one of the most popular if you go by the number of customer reviews.
It seems that the blue design around the edge is a cloth that the pillow is resting on.
By the way, while the cotton is described as 100% natural and unbleached, the word "organic" is not used to refer to it. But the buckwheat hulls are organic and grown in the US.
All over the internet, I have read that buckwheat pillows can be noisy. The maker of these says that they are not.
The Same Organic Buckwheat Pillow in Several More Sizes
See my notes on the first one.
A Totally Organic Pillow - Buckwheat and Wool Inside, Wrapped in Organic Cotton
The buckwheat hulls and the wool are both organic, as is the cotton wrapper.
This is smaller than standard American bed pillows, and this smallness is typical of many buckwheat pillows.
How to Make Your Own Organic Buckwheat Pillow - With or Without Being Able to Sew
 Get supplies.
 Put hulls into the pillow cover and zip up, or sew up if you didn't get a zippered one.
 Adjust quantities if desired.
It doesn't look to me that this would save you money to speak of, but it could get you an all-organic pillow, and easy control over the height of the pillow.
The same company that makes the popular organic buckwheat hull pillows also sells the organic hulls alone. From what I read around the internet, most people like about 5 to 7 pounds of the hulls in their homemade pillow. I've put the 5 pound size in the list here, and you can also get one or two pound packages at Amazon.
Very densely woven, certified organic cotton. Could be used as a pillow cover with the hulls just inside it and another case on top.
A Pillow with Organic Cotton Stuffing and Fabric
I read somewhere online that cotton pillows were what our grandparents used. Well, that got me remembering what I used at my grandparents' house when I would stay overnight as a child, and I imagine this would be a lot like that. Only this is all-organic.
The cotton filling is not washable.
This and That
How Often Should You Replace a Pillow? - Is It Time for New Ones?
Here are are couple of links.
- How Often Should You Replace Bedroom Pillows?
This is a short article followed by dozens of comments, many of them interesting. I got several good ideas for my own pillows here.
- How to Know When to Replace a Pillow | Overstock.com
This article provides three quick tests you can do with your pillows. I was prepared to be skeptical of the information provided, since this is a site that sells pillows, but I thought it was a good, clear, simple article.
Organic Pillow Cases - If You Aren't in the Market for New Pillows, Consider Getting Organic Cotton Pillowcases
If this isn't the best time for you to spend the money for pillows, or if you really like the ones you have, you might consider getting organic pillow cases. Since your face rests on the pillow case, having it be organic is a real plus.
I was quite intrigued to find the first item listed below. It would be a great choice with non-organic pillows. It is made of certified organic cotton that is woven in such a way that it is extremely dense and thus is a very effective allergen barrier.
Includes a zipper closure.
Bid at eBay for an Organic Pillow
I used the term "organic pillow" to set up this data feed from eBay. It should refresh itself so everything you would see is currently available. If you want to pin down what you want, for example, to see what they have by way of organic latex pillows, just click through on any of these items and type your term in the search box at eBay.
How to Choose an Organic Pillow
This is a discussion with the owner of a store about choosing organic pillow. He mentions cotton, wool, buckwheat, and other types. I found the most useful part of this to be the discussion of how to get the right thickness (or "loft") of a pillow.
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