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Pillows – And All That There Is To Know About Them

Colourful pillows

Have you ever noticed that it seems that you get much better sleep at a 4-5 star hotel than you get in your bed?

Luxury hotels invest in luxury pillows to guarantee the best experience possible. From the filling material, past the pillowcase up until the color scheme - everything is well-researched.

By doing a little research yourself, you can experience a similar magic at home, tailored to your needs.

There are many pillows on the market, all coming in different sizes, with different materials, different shapes, and different purposes.
How to navigate this sea of information?
This guide is here to help you.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but there is one type of pillow specifically designed to be versatile and engineered to give you the best sleep possible. Now, of course, there is no “one size fits all” pillow. However, a bamboo pillow can be a great choice for many.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about pillows in general and bamboo pillows in particular.

How to pick the right materials for a pillow?

When checking materials, you have two things you need to keep in mind.
What is the material of the pillow cover, and what is the material of the pillow filling?
There are many types of materials to choose from.

→ Pillow covers

Materials can be natural or synthetic, neither necessarily being better than the other.

Common natural materials used in pillowcases are cotton, linen wool, and silk although you can also find covers made of cashmere or mohair.


white pillow cover

Synthetically made materials are commonly polyester, poly-cotton (a polyester and cotton mix). A mix between the two is reconstituted natural material. An example of this would be Rayon (viscose).

Rayon has been around since probably the mid-1800s, though the general commercial production came later. In short, to produce rayon, wood is needed. This can be done with scraps from lumber, though often whole trees are harvested to make rayon.

The difference between rayon in general and bamboo rayon is the wood source.
The main advantage of using bamboo (which by the way is a grass), is that it is more sustainable than harvesting trees. Bamboo grows very fast, and it can be harvested multiple times from the same rootstock, which in turn means less waste. Harvesting several acres of bamboo also does not leave the land to erode, since the roots are left intact in the ground.

A bonus is that it requires little to no chemicals to thrive since it is naturally resistant to insects or infecting pathogens.

Bamboo rayon feels silky to the touch, while also being absorbent (much more than cotton), keeping you dry and comfortable.

→ Pillow filling

Now, what about the choice of material for the pillow filling?

Once again, there are many to choose from. Natural and synthetic.

Natural pillow fillings, which you have probably heard of are down or other feathers, wool, horsehair, 

pillow filling

or naturally shredded rubber. In therapeutic pillows, you’ll often find pillows made off seeds or herbs such as lavender or Buckwheat.

Common synthetic materials can be polyester, microbeads, and very popular, foam.
Now it might be tempting to buy the cheapest filling you can find on the market.
After all, it is only needed to stuff it a bit, right? Not really. A pillow's job is to keep your head aligned well with your spine. Read more about this in the section “How to pick a pillow for good posture” on this page.

A pillow with cheap stuffing might look great at first, but after leaning on it for a while it will start to flatten, no longer giving you the comfort and support it should be giving you.

It is worthwhile to consider memory foam as your choice of stuffing. It can adjust to your body while you sleep and returns to its original shape once you finish using it. When there is no weight resting on memory foam it slowly returns to its original shape, making it last longer.

Even though standard memory foam is prone to retaining heat, there are ways to engineer it to become cooler. One such example would be gel-infused or bamboo charcoal foam.
Read more about this in the section “What kind of mattress toppers are there” of this article.

How to pick a pillow for good posture?

You can have the best mattress in the world, but if your pillow brings your body’s natural curves out of line, you’ll still wake up wondering why you don’t feel rested.
Considering that the spine is our body's central support structure, and connects different parts of our skeleton, we must take good care of it.
Depending on your sleep position, the support your spine needs to stay in a neutral position differs. Bamboo pillows with memory foam are created with this in mind. They are engineered to adjust, thereby preventing you from getting neck pain.

How do you sleep?

→ The ideal pillow for a back sleeper

If you are a back sleeper, you are sleeping in the sleep position which is considered to be the healthiest! Sleeping like this lets your spine naturally fall into a neutral position. It is also the recommended position
should you suffer from neck pain or poor circulation.
While pillow shopping, you should aim for a supportive yet thin pillow so as not to pull your neck out of alignment!

dog sleeping on his back in bed

→ The ideal pillow for a side sleeper

dog sleeping on his side in bed

This is by far the most popular sleeping position and one many consider the most comfortable. When sleeping on your side, your pillow should be higher than that of a back sleeper since your head is significantly higher than the mattress. Your spine needs to maintain a straight and natural horizontal line.
Look for a thicker, and maybe a bit firmer pillow!

→ The ideal pillow for a stomach sleeper

Unfortunately, this is the most stressful position for your back and neck. But don’t worry, some pillows help you take the strain away a little!
The main thing to keep in mind is that you should keep your head as close to the mattress as possible so as not to strain the head and neck.
Aim for a flat, or easily flattened pillow to reduce the stress and pressure placed on your neck and upper back.

dog sleeping on his stomach in bed

Now, there are many pillows made of memory foam that are made of a single piece. This can be good for some maybe, but it has the disadvantage that however much you try to change its shape to fit you, it will always go back to its original form.
There are however memory foam pillows filled with shredded memory foam. These kind of pillows can be adjusted to fit your individual needs, thereby being great for back, side and stomach sleepers!

Are bamboo pillows good?

After now having extensively covered pillows... the question remains open: Are bamboo pillows really good for you? Though they have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages. Sadly, there is no “miracle pillow”. But let's summarize the advantages first.

room with white pillows and bamboo
  • Bamboo itself is naturally hypoallergenic with antibacterial properties, making it good for people who are prone to allergies.
  • It is breathable and absorbs moisture, letting you have a dry and cool sleep
  • Shredded memory foam bamboo pillows are adjustable, ensuring good neck alignment, no matter what kind of sleeper you are

So where's the catch?

  • When first getting your pillow, it can have a strong chemical smell. That is because it has been packaged firmly. Letting your pillow air before using it will reduce the smell.
  • If you are getting a comfort adjustable pillow it might take several tries to get it right. Non-adjustable pillows are easier to adjust to, however, taking the time to trial and test will be worth it in the long run!
  • You will need to have a place to store the filling you remove from your memory pillow, in case you want to add more filling later without having to contact the manufacturer.
  • It can be a hassle to clean, especially since your pillow will have to dry fully before you can use it, and it can take a long time to dry. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you give your pillow the best care

Bamboo pillows are a great option for many people, but now, dear reader, it is up to you to decide whether a bamboo pillow is suitable for you.

If you want to learn even more about bamboo pillows, check tuck.com for some bamboo pillow reviews!

Or check out some of these pillows here as well.

Use the discount code SweetSleep15 to get a 15% discount on your next order!

Pillows – And All That There Is To Know About Them

Colourful Pillows

Have you ever noticed that it seems that you get much better sleep at a 4-5 star hotel than you get in your bed?

Luxury hotels invest in luxury pillows to guarantee the best experience possible. From the filling material, past the pillowcase up until the color scheme - everything is well-researched.

By doing a little research yourself, you can experience a similar magic at home, tailored to your needs.

There are many pillows on the market, all coming in different sizes, with different materials, different shapes, and different purposes.
How to navigate this sea of information?
This guide is here to help you.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, but there is one type of pillow specifically designed to be versatile and engineered to give you the best sleep possible. Now, of course, there is no “one size fits all” pillow. However, a bamboo pillow can be a great choice for many.

How to pick the right materials for a pillow?

When checking materials, you have two things you need to keep in mind.
What is the material of the pillow cover, and what is the material of the pillow filling?
There are many types of materials to choose from.

→ Pillow covers

Materials can be natural or synthetic, neither necessarily being better than the other.

Common natural materials used in pillowcases are cotton, linen wool, and silk although you can also find covers made of cashmere or mohair.

Synthetically made materials are commonly polyester, poly-cotton (a polyester and cotton mix). A mix between the two is reconstituted natural material. An example of this would be Rayon (viscose).

Rayon has been around since probably the mid-1800s, though the general commercial production came later. In short, to produce rayon, wood is needed. This can be done with scraps from lumber, though often whole trees are harvested to make rayon.

The difference between rayon in general and bamboo rayon is the wood source.
The main advantage of using bamboo (which by the way is a grass), is that it is more sustainable than harvesting trees. Bamboo grows very fast, and it can be harvested multiple times from the same rootstock, which in turn means less waste. Harvesting several acres of bamboo also does not leave the land to erode, since the roots are left intact in the ground.

A bonus is that it requires little to no chemicals to thrive since it is naturally resistant to insects or infecting pathogens.

Bamboo rayon feels silky to the touch, while also being absorbent (much more than cotton), keeping you dry and comfortable.

white pillow cover

→ Pillow filling

Now, what about the choice of material for the pillow filling?

Once again, there are many to choose from. Natural and synthetic.

Natural pillow fillings, which you have probably heard of are down or other feathers, wool, horsehair, or naturally shredded rubber. In therapeutic pillows, you’ll often find pillows made off seeds or herbs such as lavender or Buckwheat.

Common synthetic materials can be polyester, microbeads, and very popular, foam.
Now it might be tempting to buy the cheapest filling you can find on the market.
After all, it is only needed to stuff it a bit, right? Not really. A pillow's job is to keep your head aligned well with your spine. Read more about this in the section “How to pick a pillow for good posture” on this page.

A pillow with cheap stuffing might look great at first, but after leaning on it for a while it will start to flatten, no longer giving you the comfort and support it should be giving you.

It is worthwhile to consider memory foam as your choice of stuffing. It can adjust to your body while you sleep and returns to its original shape once you finish using it. When there is no weight resting on memory foam it slowly returns to its original shape, making it last longer.

Even though standard memory foam is prone to retaining heat, there are ways to engineer it to become cooler. One such example would be gel-infused or bamboo charcoal foam.
Read more about this in the section “What kind of mattress toppers are there” of this article.

pillow filling

How to pick a pillow for good posture?

You can have the best mattress in the world, but if your pillow brings your body’s natural curves out of line, you’ll still wake up wondering why you don’t feel rested.
Considering that the spine is our body's central support structure, and connects different parts of our skeleton, we must take good care of it.
Depending on your sleep position, the support your spine needs to stay in a neutral position differs. Bamboo pillows with memory foam are created with this in mind. They are engineered to adjust, thereby preventing you from getting neck pain.

How do you sleep?

→ The ideal pillow for a back sleeper

If you are a back sleeper, you are sleeping in the sleep position which is considered to be the healthiest! Sleeping like this lets your spine naturally fall into a neutral position. It is also the recommended position
should you suffer from neck pain or poor circulation.
While pillow shopping, you should aim for a supportive yet thin pillow so as not to pull your neck out of alignment!

dog sleeping on his back in bed

→ The ideal pillow for a side sleeper

This is by far the most popular sleeping position and one many consider the most comfortable. When sleeping on your side, your pillow should be higher than that of a back sleeper since your head is significantly higher than the mattress. Your spine needs to maintain a straight and natural horizontal line.
Look for a thicker, and maybe a bit firmer pillow!

dog sleeping on his side in bed

→ The ideal pillow for a stomach sleeper

Unfortunately, this is the most stressful position for your back and neck. But don’t worry, some pillows help you take the strain away a little!
The main thing to keep in mind is that you should keep your head as close to the mattress as possible so as not to strain the head and neck.
Aim for a flat, or easily flattened pillow to reduce the stress and pressure placed on your neck and upper back.

dog sleeping on his stomach in bed

Now, there are many pillows made of memory foam that are made of a single piece. This can be good for some maybe, but it has the disadvantage that however much you try to change its shape to fit you, it will always go back to its original form.
There are however memory foam pillows filled with shredded memory foam. These kind of pillows can be adjusted to fit your individual needs, thereby being great for back, side and stomach sleepers! 

Are bamboo pillows good?

After now having extensively covered pillows... the question remains open: Are bamboo pillows really good for you? Though they have many advantages, they also have some disadvantages. Sadly, there is no “miracle pillow”. But let's summarize the advantages first.

room with white pillows and bamboo
  • Bamboo itself is naturally hypoallergenic with antibacterial properties, making it good for people who are prone to allergies.
  • It is breathable and absorbs moisture, letting you have a dry and cool sleep
  • Shredded memory foam bamboo pillows are adjustable, ensuring good neck alignment, no matter what kind of sleeper you are

So where's the catch?

  • When first getting your pillow, it can have a strong chemical smell. That is because it has been packaged firmly. Letting your pillow air before using it will reduce the smell.
  • If you are getting a comfort adjustable pillow it might take several tries to get it right. Non-adjustable pillows are easier to adjust to, however, taking the time to trial and test will be worth it in the long run!
  • You will need to have a place to store the filling you remove from your memory pillow, in case you want to add more filling later without having to contact the manufacturer.
  • It can be a hassle to clean, especially since your pillow will have to dry fully before you can use it, and it can take a long time to dry. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you give your pillow the best care

Bamboo pillows are a great option for many people, but now, dear reader, it is up to you to decide whether a bamboo pillow is suitable for you.

If you want to learn even more about bamboo pillows, check tuck.com for some bamboo pillow reviews!

Or check out some of these pillows here as well.

Use the discount code SweetSleep15 to get a 15% discount on your next order!