You would think buying a pillow is a pretty simple thing to do. Walk into any bedding shop and you just might change your mind because there is such a bewildering choice to be had in the UK.
When you are younger, we actually don't give a great deal of though to buying a pillow, but as we age we tend to pay a lot more attention to the type of pillow we want to get the best night's sleep possible.
Below, we explain the wide range of pillow types available and what makes one type any better than the other. In total there are, believe it or not, 10 different types of pillows to consider when it comes to what they are made from. Those are:
- Down Pillows
- Down Alternative Pillows
- Feather Pillows
- Fibre Pillows (Hollowfibre, Microfibre & Bamboo fibre)
- Wool Pillows
- Memory foam pillows
- Latex pillows
- Water based pillows
- Micro bead pillows (banned since 2019)
- Buckwheat pillows
Down Pillows Explained
These down pillows tend to get the highest buyer ratings because of their exceptional comfort. They are filled with "down"
Down in this text refers to the very soft feathers found under the body of a goose or a duck which are mush softer than their outer feathers.
To be classed as a "down pillow" the filling must be at least 75% down. These are very soft comfortable pillows with no lumps and considered the most luxurious pillows available.
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Generally speaking goose down is preferred to duck down as it is slightly softer.
Down Alternative Pillows Explained
Some buyers don't like the thought of actual duck or goose feathers in their pillows, but still want that feel of a down luxury pillow.
Manufacturers have as such created a pillow that use a man made synthetic filling that gives a feeling similar to down - most tend to have a polyester filling
These are very popular for buyers in the UK and they are also more affordable.
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These are the normal style affordable pillows that you will find in many bedding shops.
Feather Pillows Explained
Most feather pillows have a cover to stop the feather quills coming through, and that is filled with wing and back feathers of duck and/or geese.
They usually also have a small percentage of down in the pillow to soften it up a little.
The two important features of these are the quality of the feathers used and the quality of the cover.
The ones shown to the right are a good quality set of natural feather pillows with 85% feathers and 15% down.
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They are non-allergenic and the cover is 100% cotton. These are a medium weight pillow that are soft but do offer good support. A standard pillowcase will fit these pillows.
Fibre Pillows Explained
Fibre pillows are also known as synthetic pillows. They are all man made fillings and the fillings can include hollowfibre, microfibre, bamboo and polyester pillows.
They are typically cheap, very light, and good for people with allergies, back and tummy sleepers.
They are easy to look after and take care of
In terms of sleeping they are easy to bend and adjust to get the required height.
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The Adams pillows we have included here are a huge best seller. As you can see they are affordable and these ones have a hollow fibre filling and a quilted cover.
Wool Pillows Explained
Wool filled pillows are expensive but they do make luxurious soft pillows.
The disadvantages are that they tend to be heavy and difficult to wash
The key advantages are that they are good for supporting the neck.
They are also environmentally friendly, great for people with allergies, good at controlling body temperature and also good for regulating humidity.
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We have shown above a pillow from the Woolroom brand made in the UK. You can unzip this pillow and remove or add wool to help make the pillow suit exactly what you want it to feel like. The pillow is completely machine washable.
Memory Foam Pillows Explained
Memory foam pillows are sold as being able to offer pressure relief and comfort. It is fair to say that many buyers love these, but they are not to everyone’s liking.
Memory foam is dense so the height is fixed and doesn't really adapt a great deal to different height requirements
These pillows can get warm as airflow is limited.
Some buyers really love the comfort of these and wouldn't sleep on anything else. They are good for support and pain relief.
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The best rated memory foam pillow is the AviiatoR® pure memory foam pillow which we have shown just above. This is for a set of 2 pillows and as you can see they get high buyer satisfaction levels but are more expensive than most pillows.
Latex Pillows Explained
Latex pillows are starting to become more popular in the UK. When used as a pillow filling it is really a set of tiny bubbles which give the pillow a springy feeling.
Latex is a natural polymer man made substance and has excellent bounce back thanks to its rubber content, so a good choice for back and neck pain sufferers.
They don't get warm and they hold their shape very well but they are expensive.
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One of the best on the UK market is the Inofia latex memory foam pillow shown just above. As you can see these are expensive but worth exploring if you suffer a lot from neck or back pain.
Water Based Pillows Explained
It is strange to think that a pillow is filled with water but they do exist though are really expensive
The design of these is usually a water pouch which is then covered with a microfibre material
They are made as an Orthopaedic pillow designed to support the neck and alleviate pain
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Buckwheat Pillows Explained
This is the newest trend in pillows. The pillow is filled with buckwheat husks grown mainly in Asian countries.
Pillows filled like this can be easily moulded and are also very supportive. (You can also add or remove husks to adjust your pillow height.
These are an environment friendly choice for anyone who needs extra support, suffer from neck, back and shoulder pain relief or suffer from sleep apnea.
They are heavy though, a little bit noisy and rather expensive.
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The one shown above is from The Perfect Pillow company and is a very popular choice with UK buyers. Many buyers describe these as a pillow for life and although heavy, stay in shape and anyone with neck pain seems to really like this type of pillow.