Choosing a sleeping pillow was not a concern for most people before a decade. But, nowadays, there are different varieties of pillows for every purpose, season, and occasion.
The pillow you feel comfortable to sleep on might not feel comfortable to a patient. That’s why there are so many types of pillows you see in the market. It’s obvious to get confused about which one to buy.
Here in this article, we will introduce you to different types of pillows and their purpose of serving as well.
Why There Are So Many Types of Pillows
Not everyone feels comfortable the same way as someone else. For example, a pregnant woman finds it very difficult to get a sound sleep during nights. So, there are specially made pillows that make it easy for such individuals to get a comfortable sleep.
Similarly, someone with red-eye needs to cover his eye while sleeping. There are pillows for that purpose too.
Every type has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, depending on your requirements, you need to pick one type of pillow from others.
Types of Pillows
Based on the materials or filling, pillows are of various types.
At first, we will discuss about the most common types of pillows. And later on, there will be a list of special-purpose pillows as well.
1. Down Pillow
Among all the types, down pillows are a more premium and expensive option. This type of pillow provides superior comfortability and a great experience.
Down pillows are soft and lightweight. The pillows are made of duck or goose plumage. It’s filled with 75% down, and 25% feather fill. There are down duck pillow and down goose pillow with different characteristics. Down goose pillows feel softer than the down duck ones.
This type of pillow is for those who prefer exceptionally soft pillows.
• Exceptionally soft and lightweight
• Adjustable for mixed-sleepers
• Easily malleable beneath the head and neck to get the highest level of comfort
• Absorption of heat makes it comfortable to use in colder times
• Short break-in period with an above-average lifespan
• The most expensive pillow option
• Not comfortable for large and heavy-headed, as well as, broad shoulder sleepers. Side-sleepers might not find enough support to fill the space between the head and mattress
• The filling structure requires the pillows to shake and fluff regularly to make it comfortable to sleep on
2. Down Alternative Pillows
This type of pillows is the mimic version of original down pillows. It’s also less expensive than the original ones.
Down alternative pillows are mostly made of polyester fibers so that it can be somewhat close to the softness of the genuine down. If you haven’t used a down pillow before, you won’t be able to notice the difference. You will get pretty much the same support and comfort from an alternative down pillow.
• Much cheaper option
• Faux down alternative pillows suit most sleepers with allergens
• Provides almost the same softness as well as malleability compared to the original down
• Short break-in periods
• Not as durable as the original ones
• Might increase pain and pressure after a few years of usage
• Requires frequent shaking and fluffing to maintain the shape
3. Feather Pillows
Don’t get confused with down and feather pillows. Down pillows are made of duck or goose plumage; feather pillows are entirely made of duck or goose feathers. Most feather pillows offer low to medium-loft.
• Feather pillows are soft, lightweight, and easily malleable
• Absorbs less heat compared to other types
• Better airflow
• Easy to wash
• Longer lifespan than most other pillows
• Cheaper than down pillows
• Sharp quills at the base might cause discomfort and crunching noise
• Unpleasant odor
• Requires frequent fluffing or shaking
• Not vegan-friendly
This type of pillow is filled with polyester fibers. Most polyester fiber pillows offer a medium to high loftiness. There are some low-loft options available, as well. It’s perfect for those who prefer getting an inexpensive pillow. The softness is somewhat average and less than the down pillows.
• The cheapest and widely available option to get
• Hypoallergenic polyester fiber filling makes it suitable for people with allergens
• Low odor
• Easy to maintain and requires less shaking or fluffing
• Available in many loftiness levels
• Not a durable option
• Can cause pain and pressure
• Low airflow and high heat absorption
• Can develop dust mites
Although latex pillows are firmer than down, they still provide very comfortably sleeping hours. It can hold its shape and doesn’t get squished easily. This material is dust and mold resistant, as well.
The substance is extracted from the sap of rubber trees, and it’s whipped into a frothy material to conform it closely.
• Offers above-average pain and pressure relief
• Doesn’t require shaking or fluffing
• Doesn’t make noise when you sleep on it
• Absorbs body heat to some extent
• Expensive option
• Dense and bouncy properties make it not appropriate for people who prefer lighter pillows
• Unpleasant rubbery smell
6. Memory Foam
Memory foam pillows conform deeply around the sleeper’s head, neck, as well as shoulders, and at the same time, the pillow creates a cradle-shaped impression. It softens and contours according to the body heat. Your body weight will be evenly distributed across the pillow.
These are the top benefits why people with head and neck pain prefer memory foam pillow. However, these pillows retain heat and cause sweat and discomfort for sleepers.
Memory foam pillows are available in shredded foam fibers and with a single section of foam. These are also available in low, medium, and high loft shapes.
• The firmness of memory foam pillow supports most sleepers and causes pressure and pain relief
• Available for pretty much every sleeping position
• Produces quite less noise
• Durable material
• Off-gassing odors remain after a few days of unpackaging it
• Traps heat
• Expensive option
7. Natural/Organic Pillows
Natural and organic pillows are primarily made of cotton, wool, or silk. Besides, pillows made of organic latex also come under this category.
Cotton pillows are mold and dust-mites resistant; at the same time, suitable for allergenic people as well. If you are a chemically sensitive person and prefer a firm and flat pillow, consider getting a cotton pillow.
Wool pillows are also hypo-allergenic, mold, and dust mites resistant. Such a pillow will keep you warm during winter and cool during warm weather.
• Provides enough softness and makes you feel comfortable during sleeping hours
• Highly breathable fibers
• Absorbs less heat
• Expensive option
• Not widely available
These pillows are made of husk-like outer shells or hulls that are usually found around buckwheat kernels. Most pillows contain 5 to 10 pounds of buckwheat hull.
• Good for getting above-average support
• Linked to pressure and pain relief
• Doesn’t absorb that much body heat
• Slightly expensive
• Firmness isn’t appropriate for side-sleepers
• Feels heavy and difficult to maneuver
Special Purpose Pillows
There are some specialty pillows for serving specific individual’s purposes.
• Pregnancy Pillows
Pregnancy pillows are available in various sizes, shapes, designs, and materials. All these are for pregnant women who need extra-comfort during their uncomfortable nights.
There is a C-shaped pregnancy pillow that is designed for reducing pressure on the lower back. Some pillows provide extra-support for the growing belly of the pregnant mother.
• Wedge Pillow
It might look strange to you, but wedge pillows provide great support to some individuals. A wedge pillow helps to alleviate heartburn, snoring, GERD, acid, reflux, sleep apnea. It also offers low lumbar support when someone sits in the bed before lying down.
Most wedge pillows are made of foam that ensures comfortability. However, some pillows are inflatable.
• Body Pillow
Body pillows work great when it comes to relieving tension all across the body. Pregnant women, as well as regular people, can use such a pillow. Most of these pillows come in a tubular shape and about five feet long.
• Travel Pillow
As the name suggests, this is something that you need when you are traveling. No matter whether you are on an airplane, bus, or long car ride, this pillow can buy some comfortable sleeping moments on the go. These pillows come in small designs; so, you will be able to put it inside the luggage or bag easily.
• Water Pillows
These are basically small waterbeds to put your head-on. It’s made of one layer of polyester fiberfill with a water sack on top of it. The loft is somewhat adjustable when you add or subtract water from it. This pillow feels very comfortable to sleep on in high-temperature areas.
• Cooling Pillows
This is one of the best pillows when it comes to regulating body temperature. It has cooling gel material inside that makes it breathable. You will not feel uncomfortable due to heat whatsoever.
• Microbead Pillows
Those who prefer ultra-soft cushioning, microbead pillows are just for them. The pillows are stuffed with lots of tiny and soft beads that help to conform your head, neck, and shoulders easily. The breathability is also great in this pillow.
• Tempur-Pedic Pillow
The company is well-known for its ‘tempur’ material. Their pillows feature cooling fabric along with moisture-wicking fibers that keep you cool throughout the night.
Pillow Casing Materials
You must make sure you get the right pillow casing for your perfect pillow. If the material of the pillowcase isn’t good, the pillow itself cannot provide much service.
Here are some commonly used pillowcase materials to choose from.
Without a doubt, a cotton pillowcase is the most comfortable one to get. People have been using this material for centuries, and still, people find it very convenient to use. Cotton pillowcase is breathable and has the ability of moisture-wicking as well.
It can be a high-quality and affordable option for covering up your pillow.
Like cotton, wool is the second most commonly used material. The insulating properties of the wool fabric are great for providing coolness during summer and warmness during winter.
The processed fibers of bamboo incorporated with other fiber blends, produce breathable, rich-feeling, and moisture-wicking fabrics. Bamboo pillowcases feel comfortable to sleep also.
This synthetic fiber makes a strong, durable, and long-lasting pillowcase. In many cases, poly-threads are mixed with cotton and other organic fibers to enhance the softness and strength of the fabric.
• Eucalyptus Fiber
Eucalyptus plant fibers are blended with organic or synthetic fibers to produce soft and moisture-wicking pillowcases.
• Copper Infusions
Copper releases positive ions that help in blood flow. It’s used for body recovery and body healing. Pillows made of woven copper features fine filaments, which might benefit the sleeper in terms of health.
Although there are overwhelming numbers and types of pillows, it’s worth knowing about them, and then investing in a perfect one. Don’t rush your decision. Take time to when it’s about knowing all the pillow types, and wisely choose the one that meets your purpose as well as personal preferences.