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Pillow Filling Types Explained

Pillow Filling Types Explained

Getting the right pillow is essential. You'll want to make sure that you are getting the right mix of comfort and support. Because of this, it is crucial that you find the right type of filling.

But what types of filling are available to you? Here's a quick guide. 

Memory Foam

One of the most popular options is memory foam. In this case, it will adjust to suit your head.  This adjustment will offer more comfort. It also provides a lot of support, regardless of which position you prefer to sleep in. 

There are two types of memory foam. You can either get shredded or a solid block. It's usually best to choose the shredded option. It's much easier for you to plump up this type of memory foam. It also does a better job at contouring to suit your head. 

Nest bedding provides an Easy Breather Memory Foam Pillow. This is designed to keep you cool during a summer night. Nest also designed this pillow with a low off-gassing foam, built to stop your pillow from smelling unpleasant, which can be an issue for some memory foam pillows. It also comes with a washable Tencel cover, which keeps the pad feeling soft. 

Polyester Fiber

Polyester fiber is one of the most popular and affordable options. Some people also prefer it as a vegan alternative to down. It has the same feel, but plastic rather than animal products fills the inside of the pillow. 

If you want a great pillow on the cheaper side, the polyester blend could be the perfect pillow for you. As a bonus, it's super easy to maintain. However, polyester fiber pillows can go flat more quickly, and you might need to replace them more rapidly than other pillows.  Additionally, the dense fibers aren't very breathable, and they can tend to trap a lot of heat. 


The buckwheat pillows have been getting more popular over recent years. This trend emerged in Japan but has since spread around the globe. In this case, buckwheat hulls make up the contents of the pillow. I bet you are asking yourself what's the difference in my pillow and one filled with buckwheat hull. Here are a few: 

First, it's loose and more breathable. It also contorts to suit the shape of your head, providing plenty of support. They also tend to be very durable, ensuring that the pillow will last for a long time. 

However, buckwheat isn't as soft as some of the other pillows on the market. Also, they can make a lot of noise when you change position. If you are a light sleeper, this shift could be enough to wake you up. They also tend to be reasonably heavy. The first and most significant problem is that buckwheat pillows tend to be more expensive than the other filling options. 


Cotton a reasonably popular bedding option. Made from natural materials, it's an environmentally sustainable choice. Many people are attracted to this because of how soft it is. It's a breathable option, so you won't need to worry about the risks of overheating during the night. Another benefit is that it is hypo-allergenic. Cotton is a good choice for people with sensitive skin. 

However, cotton tends to sink. You will want to plump it up consistently.  You might also have to replace it more often. You will usually want to replace them every one to two years. Thankfully, cotton pillows are inexpensive. 


If you want the feel of buckwheat, you could try microbeads without needing to spend a fortune. These are small beans, similar to what you would get in a beanbag. Supportive and soft, Microbead pillows are a very affordable option. They are also very light and are easy to fold and store.  Because of this, they tend to be best when traveling in a bus or plane.

However, beware of a few potential downsides. Microbeads flatten very quickly. Because of this, you will need to re-fluff them every night. Additionally, they can produce off-gassing, which can lead to some unpleasant smells. 


Down pillows are considered the softest types available. They are the most cuddly of all the pillows. Because they are so soft, they stay very malleable. However, you will need to keep fluffing them to prevent any flatness. Down pillows, however, are very durable. If you take care of it properly, a feather pillow will last for several years. 

One of the most significant issues with down feather pillows is the ethical concerns, mainly the plucking of birds for their feathers. Because it contains animal products, some vegans might opt to avoid these pillows. Another issue is that feather pillows aren't breathable. As a result, they will retain a lot of heat, making for an unpleasant sleeping experience. Sometimes, down can also smell unpleasant, and the smell can tend to linger for a few months. 


Latex is a natural type of pillow filler. These pillows are made from the rubber sap that comes from a tree. There are plenty of benefits to using this filling. It will provide a supportive experience, cradling your neck and shoulders, ensuring that you will wake up feeling refreshed. They also tend to be very durable and are very easy to maintain. Latex is resistant to dust mites and other allergens. This means latex makes them a good choice for people with sensitive skin. 

Nest Bedding has a latex pillow. It mimics the softness of feather pillows while staying more suitable for vegans. Nest's latex pillow is breathable to stop you from overheating during the night. It also comes with the Nest Comfort Guarantee, so you know a good night's sleep will occur. 


It's important to pick the proper pillow filling for you. This will allow you to get the support that you need. Consider the type of pillow that you are choosing carefully. If you have shoulder or neck pain, it might be best to use a wedge pillow. They will offer more support. Finding the right one for you is simple if you check out this guide to wedge pillows. 

Nest Bedding has a trained team of sleep experts, called Nestologists, available by phone or email to help you find the perfect pillow option for you and your pillow fill preferences.