You may be thinking….that’s easy, you go down to the bed and bath store and pull a few off the shelf and squish, press, lay your head on them and whichever feels good and is within your budget will be fine (trial and error, I guess?). Or maybe you’re replacing your old pillows with cruelty-free, organic alternatives, but don’t know where to begin.
Everybody is unique, so there is no one “perfect” pillow for everyone. It’s just not that simple. Deciphering the “pillow puzzle” might have you throwing in the towel and settling for anything soft-ish to prop your head up on. Read on for advice on how to best match your comfort needs to various types of pillows.
I believe the first thing to consider when purchasing anything really, is what it is made of. Since about 1/3 of your time is spent in bed and pillows are right in your face, I wouldn’t recommend petroleum-based poly-fill or memory foam, which is found to contain 60+ toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The healthiest choice is always organic.
The inside of our Organic Cotton Pillow
Next, consider your sleeping position(s) and the pillow loft (or height) needed:
- Side sleepers: Choose a pillow that is the proper loft, so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position. For example, if the pillow is for a child, you may need a light-loft pillow. If it’s for a person with broad shoulders you may need a full-loft pillow, and medium- and full-loft pillows are generally best for the average-sized person.
- Back sleepers: A puffy, light- to medium-loft pillow is usually best, to gently lift your head without putting too much pressure on your neck.
- Belly sleepers: Try a light-loft pillow, or none at all, so your head isn’t too high.
Now for the fun part. What a pillow is stuffed with greatly determines how it feels. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, click on the links to the organic pillows after the question, and that pillow could be the best one for you.
- Do you want a pillow you can scrunch and mold into shape? wool-wrapped shredded rubber pillow, buckwheat pillow, molded rubber pillow
- Do you like a pillow that is all one piece, rather than adjustable pieces, and has an instant response to bounce back? contour pillow, molded rubber pillow
- Do you prefer a pillow whose fill is all one piece, but “hollows” and doesn’t bounce back instantly? wool pillow, cotton pillow
- Would you like a pillow you can customize (remove or add fill)? wool-wrapped shredded rubber pillow, buckwheat hull pillow, buckwheat hull pillow with wool wrap
- Do you want a firmer-feeling pillow? contour pillow, buckwheat hull pillow
- Do you prefer a firm bean-bag-like pillow? buckwheat hull pillow
- Would you like a soft-feeling pillow? molded rubber pillow
- Would you like a pillow that compresses over time to become a flatter, denser pillow? cotton pillow, wool pillow
- Do you need a low (light-loft) pillow? cotton pillow, wool pillow, wool-wrapped shredded rubber pillow (with some of the fill taken out)
- Do you need a pillow that naturally resists dust mites? wool pillow, molded rubber pillow, contour pillow, wool-wrapped shredded rubber pillow
- If you’re a down or feather pillow lover, check out this blog: https://www.lifekind.com/blog/the-down-pillow-lovers-cruelty-free-alternatives/.
If you’re still unsure, just call and talk to one of our knowledgable pillow experts at Lifekind at 1-800-284-4983. I love getting calls about pillows, because I enjoy using adjectives like “puffy,” “shmooshable,” “buoyant,” and “moldable.”