Types of pillow fillings

Did you know that your pillow is used for more than 2500 hours a year? Your pillow is much more than just something to rest your head on at night. It is an important part of a good night’s sleep. Using the wrong pillow can mean that you are not sleeping very well or sleeping badly.

Because you use a pillow so often, it is absolutely worthwhile to choose one that suits you best. You have your own sleeping style; maybe you usually sleep on your side, maybe on your back, stomach or some combination of all three. Depending on the condition of your neck and back, you will also need a specific amount of support from your pillow. You even have your own preferences for pillow stuffing.

What kind of pillow is best for me?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, but unfortunately there is no clear answer. This is very personal, depending on what kind of sleeper you are, but also what you like yourself. Some like to sleep on a firm pillow, while there are also those who like soft pillows. Your sleeping position also plays an important role. Below we have indicated for each sleeping position what kind of features are generally recommended by specialists.

    Side sleepers

  • Thick and high pillow;
  • Medium to firm pillow;
  • Box cushions have a raised edge.
    Back sleepers

  • Mid-height pillow;
  • Firm pillow;
  • Form-retaining cushion;
  • Pillow with neck support.
    Belly sleepers

  • Soft pillow;
  • Low pillow;
  • Shapeable pillow.

Types of pillows
To help you in the search for your ideal pillow, we have listed all types of pillows, with corresponding features, advantages and disadvantages.

1. Down pillows

Down pillows (feathers) are one of the oldest forms of pillow filling, and these pillows are still widely chosen. Many types of feathers are used in pillow stuffing, but the most commonly used feathers are those of ducks and geese. Duck feathers consist of small feathers with a slight natural curl that provide a lot of comfort. Down pillows are generally quite expensive, with prices starting at € 65 which can go up to over € 150.


  • Very light;
  • Comfortable;
  • Shapeable to the head;
  • Washable in washing machine;
  • Regulates moisture.

  • Quite expensive;
  • Resilience diminishes over time.

2. Foam pillows

Foam pads are made of fabricated flexible polyurethane constructed by mixing water and urethane together, allowing the mixture to expand and cure in a mold. It can then be cut to the desired size and shape. Depending on the mix, this type of foam can be very soft or very firm and is used extensively in all kinds of cushions and upholstery. The more urethane used in the mixture, the denser and more expensive the foam.


  • Provides good support;
  • Retains its shape;
  • Shapeable to the head.

  • Moderate moisture regulation;
  • Cannot be washed.

3. Synthetic pillows

Synthetic pillows are the workhorse of the pillow world and are the most versatile. This is why many people choose these pillows when they don’t necessarily have a preference. They are suitable for many different sleeping styles. If you choose to go this route, do yourself a favor and buy one of good quality and don’t rely on the cheapest.


  • Relatively cheap;
  • Lightweight;
  • Great for allergy sufferers;
  • Easy to maintain;
  • Easy to bend and shape to the desired height.

  • Have the shortest lifespan (6 months to 2 years);
  • Fast flat;
  • Heavy or repeated washing can quickly be damaged;
  • Loses shape easily;
  • Can produce sound.

4. Wool pillows

Wool pillows are pure, natural and breathable. They are a great alternative to synthetic fiber pillows. Wool cushions ventilate well, so that moisture is easily absorbed and released again just as easily. So you will never suffer from a damp woolen pillow. The big advantage is that a wool pillow contains lanolin, a full fat that repels bacteria and dirt. So you could say that wool pillows are completely self-cleaning.


  • Good moisture regulation;
  • No maintenance required;
  • Easy to refill.

  • Not washable;
  • Feather power can decrease over time.

5. Kapok pillows

Kapok pillows are also completely natural. This form of pillow stuffing comes from the tropical kapok tree. Because kapok is super soft and airy, kapok is also called plant down. It has been used for a long time, and now it is only getting more popular. Compared to down pillows, they are slightly firmer. And compared to wool cushions, kapok cushions are more moldable.


  • Cheap;
  • Firmly;
  • Soft;
  • Breathes well;
  • Odorless;
  • Hypo allergenic.

  • Volume can decrease;
  • Cannot be washed.

6. Latex pillows

Latex pillows are made from latex rubber that is harvested from rubber trees. It is therefore a sustainable product. They are great for people with neck and back problems, thanks to the sturdy padding. And latex pillows are also very popular for allergy sufferers.


  • Provides good support;
  • Retains its shape;
  • Sustainable;
  • Anti allergen.

  • Quite heavy and large;
  • Emits a certain odor during storage.

Buckwheat pillows

Buckwheat pillows have been around in Asia for centuries, but have only recently started to become popular in the West. The cushions are filled with the hard outer shells or hulls of buckwheat. Buckwheat pillows offer optimal comfort and even have a therapeutic effect on the body and mind.


  • Nice and firm;
  • Provides good support;
  • Have a therapeutic effect;

  • Not washable;
  • Can produce sound.

Types of pillow fillings Bedroom inspiration

Types of pillow fillings Bedroom inspiration


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