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People shopping for pillows nowadays have so many options that it can be very difficult to decide which one to buy. Many prefer naturally derived organic materials like buckwheat hulls, cotton, latex, or wool. Such pillows are usually more durable and long-lasting than those made of synthetics. They’re also better for your health, not to mention more breathable, which means they’re more comfortable for hot sleepers.
While the labels on many pillows describe them as being natural and/or organic, these claims are often misleading. In order to be considered truly organic, a pillow should be GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified or, in the case of latex pillows, GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified. To obtain these certifications, the product must be made up of specific percentages of all-natural and/or organic materials. The manufacturer must also limit their use of chemicals, synthetic fabrics, and other types of manmade components in these products.
This article will explain how organic pillows are produced, as well as discuss various pros and cons for people using them and important things to consider if you’re a first-time buyer. You will also find a list of our picks for the best organic pillows being sold on the market today. Without further ado, let’s get started!
The Best Organic Pillows
Table of Contents
The Best Organic Pillows Comparison Table
- Filled with 100% all-natural premium eco-friendly wool
- Completely customizable to suit your needs
- Filled with 100% U.S. organically grown buckwheat hulls
- 100% organic cotton filling
- Two-layered soft cotton cover prevents feather pricks
- Feels very much like a feather pillow
- Filled with 100% pure all-natural high-quality 6A Grade long-strand silk mulberry floss
The Best Organic Pillows Reviews
PlushBeds: The Best Organic Wool Pillow
The Natural Wool Pillow by PlushBeds is filled with all-natural organically sourced sheep wool. These pillows have earned GOTS certification and are filled by hand, which ensures that you get the proper level of support for a good night’s sleep. The sheep supplying the wool are treated humanely throughout the entire process of growing and shearing their wool.
The Natural Wool Pillow comes with a hypoallergenic cover made of 400 thread count luxury cotton sateen, which prevents bacteria and dust mites from growing. The cover is also breathable, so you will remain comfortably cool, nicely cushioned, and tension-free while you sleep.
This pillow is filled with 100% all-natural wool sheared from organically raised sheep. Each pillow is hand-filled to provide the right balance of comfort and support. It is also made with a zippered enclosure, which allows you to adjust the amount of fill to suit your needs.
This organic wool pillow comes in a firm level of support but in several different sizes. The firm support makes it perfect for side and back sleepers, while stomach sleepers might need something softer. PlushBeds does not offer a return warranty when you purchase their pillow, so keep that in mind before you buy.
InfiniteMoon: The Best Organic Latex Pillow
InfiniteMoon is known for its ethical practices in helping the homeless, as well as former felons, gain employment. However, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they produce outstanding pillows, of course.
Their organic latex pillows are not 100% latex, but rather a blend of latex and Kapok fiber derived from cotton trees. Kapok is just as hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and anti-microbial as latex, while also being moisture and dust mite resistant as well.
This pillow is great for people who tend to get hot and sweaty during the night because it’s breathable to help you stay nice and cool while sleeping. Most people have no idea they’re sleeping on a pillow that doesn’t breathe unless they try sleeping on one that does. Pillows filled with polyfill, memory foam, gel, and/or feathers do not keep you cool at night.
The InfiniteMoon pillow works great for side sleepers due to its highly innovative curved shape, which provides the perfect balance of comfort and support. Additionally, this is an adjustable pillow that allows you to customize the shape, thickness, firmness, and alignment by either adding or removing the fill. Each pillow comes with a zippered organic cotton cover and a drawstring bag for storing your extra fill.
Because the cover is breathable, it keeps you cool even when the weather is warm. All these features make this one of the best organic pillows we found on the market today.
Keep in mind that natural materials often come with an earthy odor that usually dissipates quickly.
Beans72: The Best Organic Buckwheat Pillow
In order to experience a good night’s sleep, it’s essential to have the right size pillow so that you can be comfortable. However, most brands do not offer much selection when it comes to sizes. Fortunately, Beans72 offers customers five different size options, as follows:
- Child/Travel: 11” x 16”
- Japanese: 14” x 20”
- Standard/Twin: 20” x 26”
- Queen: 20” x 30”
- King: 20” x 36”
These pillows are filled with 100% U.S. organically grown buckwheat hulls and come with unbleached 100% cotton cover. If you get hot and sweaty at night, you would love how breathable this pillow is, including the cotton cover. Air circulates freely throughout the buckwheat hull filling, keeping it cool all night long. Another feature that makes Beans72 one of the best organic pillows is its adjustability. If you want a thicker, firmer pillow, you can always add more hulls, which you can buy in bulk from Beans72.
As it is, this pillow provides a firm level of support and doesn’t flatten out like foam does, which helps to relieve common sleeping problems like neck or shoulder pain, tight muscles, headaches, and stress. In addition to standard buckwheat pillows, Beans72 also sells an aromatherapy pillow with crushed lavender mixed in with the buckwheat hulls.
These pillows come with a lower price tag compared to similar models made by other brands, so they’re a bargain. Beans72 also offers a 30-night sleep trial, which is quite unusual in this industry. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, just return it within 30 days, and you will receive a full refund.
Magnolia Organics: The Best Organic Cotton Pillow
This pillow is filled with 100% organic cotton and also comes with 100% organic cotton cover. Furthermore, Magnolia Organics’ pillows are GOTS certified, which means the cotton contains no heavy metals, pesticides, or herbicides. Most of the fabrics that pillowcases are made of contain petroleum. They are not only uncomfortable but also make noise when touched.
Magnolia Organics uses a unique manufacturing process that produces a very densely woven organic cotton fabric. This protects the pillow better than most plastic pillowcases while being much quieter, softer, and still 100% organic. It also combats allergens and dust mites. Magnolia Organics is dedicated to protecting the environment, and according to their website, they have a high rating for customer satisfaction.
Downluxe: The Best Organic Down Pillow
These down-filled pillows by Downluxe offer the perfect balance between softness and support. Filled with the highest quality down feathers, you can easily fluff them up for complete comfort. Even though they are extremely soft, they still offer plenty of support, no matter which sleeping position you prefer.
Filled with goose down mixed with feathers, they’re very soft and fluffy. The two-layered cover is made of 100% JACQUARD fabric, making it nice and soft. It is also decorated with piping on the edges. Because of the two-layered fabric cover, the feathers won’t be noisy or escape and poke you while you’re trying to sleep. The filling stays in place due to the high-quality stitching and reinforced seams.
What makes this pillow even better is that it’s free of harmful chemicals, having earned the OEKO-TEX 100 approval. This ensures your and your family’s safety. Downluxe also uses down that has been audited by a third party and received Responsible Down Standards (RDS) certification. Their pillow is odorless and hypoallergenic, which makes it even more breathable and able to keep you cool during the night.
Another aspect that makes the Downluxe pillow one of the best organic pillows you can buy these days is the fact that it’s machine washable and dryable. Just use cold water on the gentle cycle when washing and tumble dry on low or dry in the sun when needed. This way, you can easily keep your pillows fresh and clean at all times.
Sachi Organics: The Best Organic Kapok Pillow
Kapok is an all-natural fiber derived from the Ceiba Tree in Central America. It feels a lot like cotton, but lighter. It’s a very fluffy material that makes a very comfortable pillow.
The Kapok-filled Sachi pillow is the perfect alternative to cotton if you’re looking for a lighter and fluffier material that feels a lot like down. If you are allergic to feathers or prefer cruelty-free products, this pillow might be perfect. It comes with an organic cotton cover, and many of the websites we checked said this pillow was a bestseller.
Sachi has been in business for more than 30 years designing and producing top-quality pillows. Over the years, they’ve built a huge network of trustworthy organic farmers and suppliers that they work with. You can be sure that when you buy a Sachi pillow, it is made of the highest quality, purest, all-natural certified organic raw materials. Each pillow is filled by hand and individually machine stitched for quality.
LilySilk: The Best Organic Silk Pillow
- Filled with 100% pure all-natural high-quality 6A Grade long-strand silk mulberry floss
- Two-sided construction of 100% mulberry silk on one side and 100% cotton on the other
- OEKO-TEX 100 certified
Silk is an all-natural protein that naturally draws away moisture. It makes for a very comfortable pillow because it’s breathable, soft, smooth, and cool on the surface. It also works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the face and neck, combats dry skin and even tangled hair. The LilySilk organic pillow is soft, smooth, and luxurious, which is why we added it to our list of the best organic pillows available now.
Yes, it may cost a bit more than other organic pillows, but the luxurious feel and comfort are worth the higher price. The LilySilk organic pillow is filled with long strand silk floss derived from the mulberry tree. It contains no toxic chemicals that cause off-gassing and is OEKO-TEK certified.
Although it is more expensive, the price is competitive due to its construction. The top side is made of 100% mulberry silk, and the bottom side is made of 100% cotton to keep the pillow from slipping out of its pillowcase or around on the sheets at night.
The two-fabric construction lowers the cost, without sacrificing the benefits of sleeping on a silk pillowcase. The pillowcase is made of 19 momme mulberry silk for breathability, quality, and long-lasting durability. It also comes with a hidden zipper. LilySilk has a 45-day return policy with no questions asked.
Advantages of Buying Organic Products
Organic products used to cost a lot more than non-organic products. However, this has begun to change due to demand. People are looking for safe products that are made with no harmful chemicals, especially for pillows.
The two most important reasons for sleeping on an organic pillow are as follows:
- The main reason is to protect your health. When you sleep with a pillow that contains toxic chemicals like fire retardants, you breathe in those chemicals. This exposes you to the risk of thyroid disease, cancer, developmental issues, obesity, and/or other health problems.
- Another reason why you should consider using an all-natural organic pillow is because it’s eco-friendly. The more people use sustainable organic products, the healthier it is for our environment. These practices promote the humane treatment of animals and make sure plants are grown without pesticides and herbicides that harm our water supplies. Air quality is also improved when these toxic chemicals are not sprayed down on our crops.
What Is an Organic Pillow?
To verify whether a pillow is actually organic or not, look on the label to see if it has been certified by GOLS, GOTS, or another legitimate certifying organization. Pillows that have not earned any of these certifications can claim to be “natural,” but they cannot legally claim to be organic. Unfortunately, many companies deceive consumers by advertising their pillows as “organic” without having the appropriate certifications. Therefore, you need to find out what the pillow is actually made of.
Types of Materials Commonly Used in Organic Pillows
Down and Feathers
Down pillows contain the soft, fluffy inner plumage of ducks and/or geese. This produces a very soft, fluffy, and lightweight pillow. Because down is so fluffy, most of these pillows are supplemented with the outer feathers of the same birds, which are much coarser.
In recent decades, there has been much criticism aimed at companies producing down and feather pillows for cruel practices. This includes plucking the down and feathers from live birds (live-plucking or molt-harvesting), force-feeding these birds, and keeping them in unsanitary conditions.
This is what spurred the creation of the Responsible Down Standard so that ducks and geese could be protected from enduring these deplorable practices. Companies that sell 100% down products can be certified as complying with RDS by agreeing to an onsite inspection of all their facilities.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also responsible for regulating the sale of down and feather products. If any product, including pillows, is advertised as “100% down” or “pure down,” it must not contain any feathers. Products containing a mixture of down and feathers must be labeled with an accurate ratio of each — for example, 70% down and 30% feathers.
Eco-Friendly Memory Foam
Standard memory foam is certainly not natural, but companies are now producing a type of eco-friendly memory foam filling for use in pillows and other products. Eco-friendly memory foam filling is made with plant-based oils rather than petroleum and produced under climate control conditions. Therefore, there are no harmful chemicals used in eco-friendly memory foam.
The primary benefits of sleeping with an eco-friendly memory foam pillow are as follows:
Regulates body temperature
Open-cell technology is now being used to create eco-friendly memory foam pillow filling. This enables air to flow easily throughout the foam so that comfortable body temperature can be maintained during sleep.
Eco-friendly memory foam can be safely used by people suffering from allergies. It is anti-fungal as well as anti-microbial and prevents the formation of dust mites.
Environmentally Friendly and Durable
Eco-friendly memory foam is produced with natural oils from plants and synthetic blends to lessen the potential release of harmful toxins into the environment. It is also highly durable and long-lasting, just like standard memory foam.
Eco-friendly memory foam provides a firmer level of support for your head, neck, shoulders, and back than other types of pillow filling. While supporting your body, it keeps your spine aligned.
Kapok fibers are a natural material that comes from the fruit of Mexico’s Ceiba tree. These fibers are quite fluffy and feel just like silk, which is why Kapok is also called “silk cotton.” These fibers are often used as an alternative to cotton because they are much softer, silkier, and fluffier than cotton.
The primary benefits of sleeping with an organic Kapok pillow are as follows:
Kapok is moisture resistant, which means it naturally resists the growth of microbes, bacteria, fungi, dust mites, and other allergens.
Supports the Head, Neck, Shoulders, and Back
A Kapok filled pillow will conform to your natural body shape and sleep position, providing the support you need for your head, neck, shoulders, and back. This allows for the comfort you need for a good night’s sleep.
Lightweight, Soft and Silky
Compared to cotton, Kapok is might lighter. It also has a soft silky feel that surpasses that of cotton.
Environmentally Friendly and Biodegradable
Because Kapok is not processed or treated with toxic chemicals, it is an environmentally friendly material. And, when your pillow finally wears out, it will naturally biodegrade in the earth.
When compared to organic wool, Kapok will clump up a lot less. Even after washing, it will keep its shape. When tumble drying, it helps the pillow maintain its shape if you put a tennis ball in with the pillow.
Fluffy, Soft and Bouncy
Kapok pillows are quite fluffy, soft, and bouncy, so they are very comfortable to sleep on. They easily resume their original shape, fluff, and bounce, but you might need to fluff them up to keep the fibers evenly distributed throughout the pillow.
Natural Organic Wool
Natural organic wool is becoming more popular in pillows because of its incredible properties. It comes from sheep raised on organic farms where no pesticides or toxic chemicals are sprayed. Furthermore, the sheep are not given any hormones, and their food contains no harmful chemicals. There are also no chemicals being used in the process of shearing and cleaning the wool.
The primary benefits of sleeping with an organic wool pillow are as follows:
Eco-Friendly & Sustainable
Natural wool emits no toxins, so it’s safe for the environment. An organic wool pillow provides a chemical-free sleeping surface, which is safe for your health. And, when it finally wears out, it can be easily decomposed in the earth.
Organic wool is naturally hypoallergenic. It is naturally resistant to the growth of mildew, mold, bacteria, germs, dust mites, and microbes.
The process used to produce organic wool pillows follows very stringent quality controls for organic products, so they are healthy to sleep with.
Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Air can easily pass through organic wool, which makes it comfortably breathable. Wool also absorbs perspiration, which helps to regulate body temperature and keep you cool during the night.
Contributes to Good Quality Sleep
Organic wool pillows are comfortable as well as supportive to your head, neck, shoulders, spine, and back. This helps to relax the body so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
Natural Organic Cotton
Natural cotton is also quite popular in the manufacturing of organic pillows, both for the filling and the cover. It’s a soft and luxurious material, which is ideal for a comfortably plush feeling pillow. Cotton is also a breathable material that helps you stay cool and dry while sleeping.
The primary benefits of sleeping with an organic cotton pillow are as follows:
Safe for Children
Organic cotton pillows are made with 100% organic cotton, including the filling and the cover, which poses no health risks. So, these pillows can be used safely by children.
Organic cotton is naturally hypoallergenic, which means that sleeping with an organic cotton pillow would work well for anyone with allergies.
Sustainable and Biodegradable
Natural organic cotton pillows are both sustainable and biodegradable, so by using these pillows, you are contributing to a healthy environment.
Very Comfortable and Soft
Pillows made of organic cotton are much softer than regular pillows because no toxic chemicals are used to manufacture them.
No toxic chemicals or pesticides are used in the harvesting of organic cotton. Therefore, these pillows are not only safe when it comes to your health, but they’re also environmentally friendly.
Natural Organic Latex
Natural latex is commonly being used to make organic pillows and is naturally derived from the sap of rubber trees. Latex is odor-free and eco-friendly.
The primary benefits of sleeping with an organic latex pillow are as follows:
Easy to Care For
Latex pillows have already been sterilized, so they do not require constant cleaning as long as you keep them covered with a pillowcase. Just spot clean the pillow with a damp cloth and a little soap when needed.
Durable and Long Lasting
These pillows are extremely durable and last for many years as compared to cotton pillows. Due to these qualities, latex pillows have great reviews. Because they can hold their shape for ten years, at least, you can expect a huge return on investment.
Microbes and mildew cannot grow in latex. Neither can dust mites or any other types of allergens, so latex pillows are perfect for people with allergies.
Comfortable and Supportive
Latex pillows are known for being extremely comfortable. Since latex used in pillows is quite dense, they not only stay soft but also hold their shape for years. Latex is naturally elastic, so it conforms to the shape of the head and neck, offering both support and comfort for all sleeping positions.
These are the hard, outer casings found around kernels of buckwheat. Used as a pillow filling, they create a firm sleeping surface in a resiliently supportive pillow. For buckwheat pillows to be considered organic, the hulls must be grown and harvested without the use of any chemicals. Most buckwheat pillows have covers made of organic cotton.
Silkworms naturally make silk fibers for their cocoons. When woven into silk fabric, it is extremely soft, smooth, and lightweight. When used for pillows, silk is usually reserved just for the cover material.
Organic and Natural Certifications for Consumer Protection
To ensure that manufacturers adhere to specific standards for natural, low-emissions, and organic products, a number of nonprofit organizations and independent labs offer certifications. Due to the increase in awareness of the harmful health effects of toxic chemicals, the industry has developed standards that are used to determine the quality of organic and chemical-free products. You can be sure that the best organic pillows on the market have the appropriate certification(s).
The most common certifications that apply to pillows are as follows:
The International Association for Research & Testing, as part of the Field of Textile & Leather Ecology, approves all types of textiles after they have been thoroughly tested for the presence of toxic chemicals.
This is a seal that certifies that the product is free of any toxic chemicals. Many different types of products can obtain this seal, including pillows and textiles. They are tested for purity from a long list of known harmful chemicals.
GreenGuard & GreenGuard Gold
Underwriters Laboratories (UL Environment) awards this certification after performing tests on the interior air quality to measure the off-gassing (VOCs) of products. Products that meet specific low-emission standards can be certified GreenGuard or GreenGuard Gold, depending on the emissions level.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
This certification applies to all textiles across the world. To obtain the GOTS certification, the chemical content of the textile would be measured as well as the manufacturer’s sustainability practices from raw materials all the way to the finished product.
Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
To receive the GOLS certification, the product must be no less than 95% organic latex. The product would have to be tested for emissions to ensure they do not exceed the percentage allowed for non-organic materials.
This nonprofit specifically tests and certifies foam products to ensure they contain no formaldehyde, mercury, flame retardants, phthalates, and/or lead. They also test products for low emissions.
Important Considerations for Organic Pillow Shoppers
When you start looking at organic pillows, you’re going to come across various brands and models, and there are a few questions that we recommend you ask before buying, as follows:
1. Is there a warranty on the pillow you’re considering?
Most pillow warranties cover them for no more than three years, and many manufacturers do not offer one. If it is important that the pillow you buy is covered by a warranty, read the fine print before buying so that you know what type of warranty is offered, for how long and which manufacturer defects are covered.
2. Does the manufacturer offer customers a sleep trial?
The great thing about sleep trials is that you get to test the pillow for a period of time, and if you don’t like it, you can return the product for a partial or full refund as long as it goes back before the trial period ends. Sleep trials are usually no longer than 100 nights, and more commonly, just 30 days. Some brands have a no-return policy on pillows, so this is something you would want to check.
3. Are you more comfortable with a lightweight or heavy pillow?
Organic pillows tend to be either be lightweight or especially heavy, not in between. For example, a buckwheat pillow can weigh as much as 10 lbs. Although they may be more difficult to move around during the night, at least they don’t slip and slide. The same goes for latex pillows. On the light side, you have wool or down/feather pillows, so they can be adjusted quite easily, but they do slip and slide in bed.
4. What loft or thickness do you prefer in a pillow?
The loft of a pillow is its full thickness after being fluffed up. Certain pillows have an adjustable loft, which means that filling can be added or removed to customize the thickness to suit the owner. These are typically buckwheat pillows or wool. But if you’re buying a latex pillow or one filled with a mix of down and feathers, you would be hard-pressed to find one that you can adjust.
5. What Is Your Shopping Budget?
Organic pillows typically cost more than pillows made of synthetic materials. It’s just more costly to manufacture them while adhering to organic production practices, thus the higher price. The organic pillows that cost the most are made of organic latex, 100% down, and buckwheat hulls. You’ll spend less money if you get a mix of down and feathers, wool, or natural (not organic) latex. In any case, you will probably pay a minimum of $60 to $70 for a single model.
6. Which type of organic pillow filling will best meet your needs?
Each type of organic pillow has its own pros and cons. For example, latex pillows are perfect for people who tend to get hot and sweaty at night and who want a responsive pillow that will support their head and neck. Someone who wants a very soft sleeping surface may instead prefer a down/feather pillow, while sleepers who like a very firm pillow might prefer a buckwheat pillow.
7. Has this pillow received any certifications, and if so, which ones?
For a pillow to be considered organic, it should be certified by the GOTS/GOLS, or another well-known certifying organization. You should question whether a pillow is truly organic if it has not been certified as such.
If you are shopping for a top-quality organic pillow, there are plenty of options to choose from, starting with our list of the best organic pillows available on the market today. We have personally tried these pillows out and can give them our best recommendation. However, it is up to you to decide which one would best meet your needs for comfort and support.
Sleeping with an organic pillow will not only help you sleep better; it will also protect your health and improve the environment long term. Once you’ve used your organic pillow for a period of time, you will definitely notice the difference.
You may spend a little more on an organic pillow, but you will certainly get a nice return on your investment due to their durability.