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How To Select The Perfect Pillows For Your Bed

If you haven't replaced your pillows for quite some time, we take a look at the most common filling materials for choosing the perfect pillows for your bed.




How long have you been using the same pillows on your bed? If you answer 'it's been over a year or so,' or 'never given it any thought', then you're not the only one, since most people only consider their bed linen and give little or no thought to replacing their pillows.

People tend to overlook the fact that good pillows are just as important as a good mattress, and if you don't have a mattress that supports your body or pillows where you can comfortably rest your head, a good night's sleep is out of the question.

If your head is resting on an old worn out or flat, bed pillow, one that needs constant fluffing and scrunching each night to get the perfect sleeping position, then it is time to replace your pillows. Even if your pillows are not that flat, you are still not sleeping in the ideal position for restorative sleep.



The majority of pillow fillings, particularly fibre-fill pillows, are only designed to last 12-18 months, advise pillow specialists and sleeping experts. Latex or memory foam pillows last a little longer at around 18 - 24 months, while more expensive varieties can last for as long as 3 years.


If you are sleeping on a pillow older than 4 or 5 years, you're probably not sleeping as comfortably as you should and possibly even awake with neck or back pain.


Choosing the right bed pillow is an extremely individual process; it's not only about size and shape it's also about the filling and the most suitable filling to give you a good night's rest. The most ideal approach to selecting bed pillows that are perfect for you is to look after your personal interests by going through the elements listed below and then making your decision.

We take a look at the most popular pillow fillings:


Pillows that combine a feather and down filling are the best option if you don't want to spend too much money on a pillow


1. Down or Feather Pillows

Many are confused between down or feather pillows, or a combination of both, but there is a substantial difference between the two and it is lack of knowledge on this that results in people buying the wrong pillow.

Feather Pillows

Feather-filled pillows are not quite as soft as down pillows, since the feathers used are those that provide the outer covering of a duck or goose. Feather pillows tend to be prickly if the outer covering of the pillow is not thick enough, or there are only feathers for the filling.

Down Pillows or Combination Down/Feather Pillows

Down pillows are filled with feathers - or down - that is plucked from the belly or a duck or goose and these feathers are lightweight and delicate. Pillows that combine a feather and down filling are the best option if you don't want to spend too much money on a pillow, as the ratio between feathers and down offers a soft place to lay your head.


Ball fibre-fill pillows are affordable and can be used as a decorative feature for when dressing a bed, or to provide additional pillow height


2. Synthetic Down and Ball Fibre-Fill Pillows

While synthetic down pillows offer a more affordable alternative to hypo-allergenic down or feather pillows, they don't tend to last as long and require replacement sooner.

Ball Fibre-Fill is a synthetic filling used for duvet inners, cushions and pillows. This affordable polyester filling provides an economical alternative to other more expensive pillow fillings while offering comfort and softness, but these pillows tend to flatten quickly and require replacement more often.

On a bed with 4 or more pillows, ball fibre-fill pillows can be used as a decorative feature for when dressing a bed, or to provide additional pillow height when used on conjunction with other more expensive posture pillows.


If you suffer from night sweats, wool-filled pillows prevent moisture around the neck and head, keeping you comfortable while you sleep.


3. Wool pillows

The natural wool fibres in wool bed pillows are hypo-allergenic, impervious to mould and regular body temperature, which is why this material is becoming a popular choice for bed pillows and duvet inners. Wood pillows are the perfect choice if you tend to suffer from night sweats as they prevent moisture around the neck and head.

Pillow with a wool filling are quite firm for a while but they do flatten slightly, wool pillows have a long lifespan and won't require replacement as often as other synthetic pillow fillings.



4. Cotton pillows

As with wool pillow fillings, cotton pillow fillings are hypo-allergenic and impervious to mould, as well as dust mites. Cotton pillows are the pillow of choice for an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic pillows and are generally quite firm and hold their shape well. 

Cotton pillows are filled with layers of cotton that is both airy and light and free from any synthetic materials. Cotton pillows also have the advantage of staying cool and hold and retain their shape for up to 2 years before needing to be replaced.


5. Latex pillows

Fairly new to the market, latex pillows are quite firm and can be purchased as moulded or flat. Latex pillows hold their shape for a long time and are also antifungal and impervious to dust mites.

Shaped latex pillows are intended to provide posture support to those with back problems, and have even claimed to stop snoring. If only someone would tell my husband that!

Not only flat, several home decor stores now offer latex-filled pillows where the latex is shredded for fillings. These pillows tend to provide plenty of support and fairly long life when compared to fibre-fill or polyester fillings.


Memory foam is a good decision for individuals who suffer from neck pain and headache or pressure points that cause inconvenience while the person is sleeping.



6. Memory foam

Becoming increasingly popular due to the ability of memory foam to adjust to each individual’s head and neck shape, memory foam also helps in softening and moulding to the creases of one’s head, neck, and shoulders. Similarly, it disperses weight equally over its surface. These characteristics make it an amazing decision for individuals who suffer from neck pain and headaches, or pressure points that cause inconvenience while the person is sleeping.

One disadvantage of memory foam pillows is their ability to store heat, resulting in discomfort and perspiring so it is important to purchase a memory foam pillow that offers ventilation.



There are some general tips that match a person’s sleeping position with the pillow type, however they don’t always apply. For instance, side sleepers might prefer a firm pillow. Whereas stomach sleepers may want a soft and lightweight pillow or maybe none at all. Lastly, back sleepers might want a flat pillow to keep their head and neck in perfect alignment to avoid any pain.

 Choose your pillow filling wisely as it will affect the quality of your sleep. It’s an important part of your peaceful night’s sleep and by choosing the right one, you can sleep comfortably all night.




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