10 Natural Pillow Options and Shopping Guide

jessicamurgs/ March 30, 2017/ Natural Home, Product Reviews/ 0 comments

If you are ready for a new natural pillow, we are ready to help! Here, we are going to give you a quick run down of natural pillow options, their advantages (or disadvantages) and where you can find them! Pillow shopping has never been so informative or simplified!

10 Natural Pillow Options and ‘Where to Find’ Shopping Guide

1.) Natural Latex /Natural Rubber (Molded or Shredded)

Natural latex is the milky sap of the rubber tree. It is mostly harvested in South East Asia, where trees are tapped for latex by cutting a groove in the bark of the tree. It is a renewable process — each tree can produce latex for 20 years. Latex requires little energy to process and it’s 100% biodegradable.

Manufacturers can call their product, “natural latex” without it being 100 percent natural latex. Make sure the pillow is actually 100% natural latex.

Shredded or molded natural rubber is another option for those with asthma or non-latex allergies because, like wool, it’s naturally dust-resistant and ‘hypoallergenic’. You can find pillows made from natural, chemical-free rubber that comes from sustainable harvested trees and covered with certified organically grown cotton at

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Natural latex pillows can be found molded (one heavy block piece, often with ventilation holes) or shredded.

Molded latex pillows are springy but more firm than a lot of people are use to with memory foam. You can expect a natural latex pillow to hold its shape and retain it springiness for 15 years or more. The pillows don’t require cleaning or fluffing like feather pillows. Some brands are thicker than other, so make sure you are getting the thickness you would like because there isn’t much changing it’s shape once you have it.

Shredded latex pillows can be easy conformed around just where you want them. Air circulates easily and is much softer than a molded latex pillow or hull filled pillows such as buckwheat or spelt.

Latex pillows do, however, come complete with a smell of latex that may need to be aired out for a while. Some people claim the smell leaves within hours, others say it lasts for months.

Latex pillows are not suitable for people with a latex allergy.

Where to Find:

(Molded Latex Pillow)


(Shredded Latex Pillow)


2.) Buckwheat Hull (Husk)

Buckwheat hulls are the outer shell of a buckwheat seed and are left over after buckwheat seeds have been processed. Pillows made from buckwheat are naturally dust mite resistant and may give relief to many people suffering from migraines or neck pain. The thought is that it may help straighten out the spine and are very supportive. In addition, buckwheat is non toxic, dust mite resistant, water resistant and ‘hypo-allergenic’.

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Buckwheat hulls can easily be added or removed to the pillow, making it easy to customize. Air circulates throughout the buckwheat hulls, making it naturally cooling. There is a distinct “crunchy” sound associated to a buckwheat pillow that may take a little getting use to but some find it soothing.

Where to Find:

3.) Organic Cotton

If you are wanting a cotton pillow, organic is the way to go. Conventional cotton uses roughly a quarter of the world’s pesticides. Be sure to look for “organic cotton fill”. Some companies may advertise “organic cotton pillow”, but only be referring to the case and not the fill, which could still be synthetic or not organic cotton.

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Cotton pillows have a tendency to mat down over time, get lumpy and can be a little heavy. However, many people like that they are firm and supportive, yet also soft and smooth. They are susceptible to dust mites because they tend to retain moisture, but can be machine washed. (Freezing the pillow for 12 to 24 hours can also take care of dust mites)

Where to Find:


4.) Organic Wool

Naturally resistant to dust mites and mildew, organic wool great for anyone with allergies. Organic wool means it’s sheared from organically raised sheep and is not treated with any toxic chemicals afterward.

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Wool pillows can also be ideal for those who prefer a fluffier, more breathable option as wool is one of the best materials known to help the body regulate temperature. Plus, it is also a great insulator, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Where to Find:


5.) Kapok Pod Fibers

Natural kapok pod fibers are vegetable-based fluffy fibers that are from the seed pods of the Kapok tree. Wild grown, the tree is naturally pest-free and thus, does not require pesticides . Kapok pod fibers can be hand-harvested from ceiba trees without the trees being cut down. Kapok is hypoallergenic, water and mold resistant and quick drying.

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Give a very similar feel to feather pillows and no animal cruelty. Kapok pillows are soft and plush. Like wool pillows, many companies give the option to customize the amount of fill you would like in your pillow. On Amazon, they often come overstuffed, so you can customize at home.

Where to Find:


6.) Hemp

Hemp can be spun into pillow packing that is very similar to that of cotton but is naturally mold resistant. Care for hemp pillows is similar to standard cotton pillows. As far as care is concerned, I contacted Rawganique, a hemp pillow manufacturer and their response was as follows:

“We never recommend machine-washing pillows, but you can spot clean the outside. For best and most ecological protection, we have pillow barrier cloth cover that are made of such a tightly woven organic cotton fabric that dust mites don’t pass through. They have tight metal zipper, and can be washed and steamed very hot as needed.

For dust mites, (we) suggest putting it in the freezer.”

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Hemp pillows are soft and firm. For those who prefer a flatter pillow, hemp can be a good option.

Where to Find:


7.) Spelt

Spelt husks are lightweight and durable. They hold a lot of air, giving a more even temperature to the pillow. Spelt pillows are hypo-allergenic and do not attract allergens.

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Spelt husk pillows give good head and neck support and the amount of spelt filling can usually be added or removed to personalize it to you liking. They do have a bit of crunchy sound, similar to that of a buckwheat pillow and smell like a field of wheat.

Where to Find:


8.) Millet

Millet is a tiny little ancient grain that offers the same support as buckwheat. Moreover, millet is dust mite, mold and mildew resistant, making the pillow clean and ‘hypoallergenic’.

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Millet hulls allow air to circulate well, making the pillow very breathable. This can keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The tiny size of the hulls conform well, giving a great deal of support, similar to buckwheat pillows. However, unlike buckwheat, millet does not make a crunchy sound.

Where to Find:



9.) Duck/Goose Down (and Feather)

Duck/Goose down and feather pillows are often a byproduct of the meat industry, harvested from the birds when they are killed for food (primarily in China, where goose and duck are more commonly eaten). Also, the feathers may be collected by live plucking. Neither way is humane.

According to Standardfiber.com, “Goose clusters are generally larger than duck clusters and typically come from older, larger birds. As a result, their down tends to produce higher fill powers, be more resilient and durable than duck down. Because a duck’s diet is usually more diverse (a goose only eats grass), goose down also tends to have fewer odor problems than duck. “

Sleeping Advantages / Disadvantages:

Down pillows are very soft and light. They can be molded around your head, but are not firm and require fluffing. However, these pillows are often the priciest option available. (for you and the bird!) Like cotton pillows, down and feather pillows can be a breeding ground for dust mites and fungal spores. Machine washing a down or feather pillow is simple. Just remember to wash two pillows at a time to keep your washer balanced on the spin cycle and rinse twice to make sure all the soap is rinsed away. Freezing the pillow is another option.

Where to Find:


Final Pillow Talk…..

Still can’t decide on a natural pillow?

10.) Make it a COMBO!

Some amazing combination pillows that I’ve seen (and would love to try!):

Organic Hull and Natural Wool:

Organic Buckwheat Hull and Natural Wool:

Half Natural Latex / Half Wool:


Have you used any of these types of natural pillows before? Why or why not would you recommend? Leave your comments, we want to know!


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