What’s The Healthiest Pillow to Use? Based on Science – The Bedding Planet

What’s The Healthiest Pillow to Use? Based on Science

This post is part of the complete guide for picking the right sleeping pillow

It’s difficult if not impossible to see homes without pillows in our world today. Every one of us wants comfort and that’s exactly what pillows provide.

They make our sleep sound and our overall life healthier. While almost every pillow can do this, some pillows have more health value addition than others.

Now, let’s discuss a list of the healthiest types of pillows to use according to scientists and health practitioners. 

Using a healthy pillow can easily transform your life even in ways you can’t imagine. Good sleep is very underrated but it can go as far as deciding how productive you will be for the day and how functional your whole body will be.

The healthiest type of pillow to use that most doctors recommended is the natural latex pillow. However, this is not the only healthy type of pillow that can be used; Kapok, buckwheat and memory foam pillows are usually healthy choices as well.

Below is a full list of the healthiest pillows to use based on science. 

Before we go on to discuss the healthiest pillow, there is still a lot of uncommon knowledge about pillows that you need to know. This article will consider some topics about pillows, an example being what to look out for when buying a pillow.

What is The Healthiest Pillow to Use

Things to Look for When Buying a New Pillow

A pillow is more than a rectangular piece of stuff that helps you to sleep or decorates your bed and bedroom.

A pillow is your support for several fairly long hours while you are asleep so you need to think carefully before biting just anyone. These are the key things to look out for before finally choosing your pillow. 

Pillow Stuffing

This is the most important thing that you should look out for whenever you are about to buy a new pillow. Pillows are pillows because of pillow stuffing which is the content or stuff they carry inside.

Different things can serve as filling or stuffing for pillows and some of them include; Foams, latex, gel, buckwheat, etc.   You need to find out what type of pillow filling works best for you and you should opt for that. 

To learn more about all the various pillow stuffing types, you can do so here.

Softness or Firmness

You need to consider how firm and soft you want your pillow to be. Most pillow options are either always soft such as down and feather pillows while some others are firm such as memory foam pillows.

While there’s an unfounded popular opinion that pillows should be soft and fluffy, sometimes firm pillows are what your neck and body needs to be able to sleep properly.

So what’s best to do is to find out from health practitioners what type of pillow is most suitable for your body. Once this is done then you decide which soft pillow to go for or which firm pillow will be perfect for you. 

To learn more about whether you should pick a soft or firm pillow, read this post next.

Do I Need a Special Feature Pillow?

why should you use a wedge pillow?

This question has already been hinted at above and it will be discussed further because it’s a very important question. So important that a wrong answer to it can render your purchase of pillows a waste of time and money.

The thing is, while everyone is advised to get pillows because pillows are generally helpful, our bodies’ wants and needs are different. 

If your body demands a pillow that will keep your neck area cool during the long nights then you should go for a gel pillow and no other type. If you’re the type that sweats a lot at night then you need to consider a type of pillow that doesn’t hold moisture and can be cleaned easily. All these are questions you need to answer before buying a pillow. 

Further to this, if you’re the type that snores you can’t buy just any type of pillow. You’d need a type of pillow that has an anti-snore design that will carry your neck and head in such a way that won’t make you snore. Other examples of special features pillows that you might need include; pillows with glow lights or vibration technologies. 

Pillow Size 

The size of your pillow also has a level of influence on your sleep and how well you’ll enjoy it. There are generally three types of pillow sizes namely; Standard, King, and Queen.

You need to pick a pillow size that is perfect for you before you can enjoy your sleep. It is totally wrong and even harmful to assume that any type of pillow size works for you and your sleep pose.

Pillow sizes are as important as the bed itself, this is why the different sizes are named after mattresses. Queen-sized pillows are meant to go with Queen sized beds for better results.

Talking about size, the volume of the pillow also has an effect on your sleep and the comfortability of the pillow.  An overfilled pillow will give you trouble while at the same time you don’t want a pillow that is too slim and almost flat so you have to opt for a perfect one. 

Sleep Position 

Even though the average human doesn’t stay in just one position throughout the night, we often have a common sleep position or posture. This sleep position or posture can be good or bad and it also has its effects on the overall well-being of humans.

This is why it is advisable to get a  pillow that supports whatever pose you sleep in. If you’re a back sleeper you’ll need a pillow with medium firmness that will help you raise your neck slightly. Back sleepers sleep better with a foam pillow that will hold the face without sinking into the pillow.

For side sleepers, their sleep position can be very harmful to their shoulder as the whole body weight will be transferred on it. To successfully manage this situation, side sleepers need extra support around the neck area to successfully align the neck and head with the body.

Soft pillows are highly recommended for stomach sleepers. This is because these types of pillows can flatten easily to allow for a frequent turn of the head from side to side. It also helps you to take the strain off the neck. 

Pillows for Other Body Parts

Before making your pillow purchase, you need to understand that it’s not only the neck and head that might need a pillow. There are pillows made to cater to other parts of the body like the thighs and back.

These types of pillows that are designed to serve specific parts of the body are very effective especially to pregnant women and people that suffer from broken bones and strained muscles. For example, a knee pillow can open misaligned hips by removing the pressure from the lower back. 

The Healthiest Pillows Based on Science

1. Kapok Pillows

The white fluffy fibers that can be gotten from Kapok seeds are used to make Kapok pillows. Kapok pillows are highly rated and recommended by health practitioners for all types of sleepers because of their health benefits. 

Kapok pillows are non-toxic because they are made from materials obtained from a natural source which is a tree. They have no chemicals or toxins and that makes them perfect for human use.

With kapok pillows, you don’t have to fear exposure to harmful chemicals like it is the case with other pillows. Kapok pillows also last for long and they are easy to clean. Kapok pillows are adjustable for better support and they repel moisture while you sleep. 

2. Buckwheat Pillows

The buckwheat pillow has been serving the Asian population for years before it came to the limelight. They are made from buckwheat seeds which are inedible seeds that grow within a fruit. 

Buckwheat pillows are very popular because they have a handful of health benefits, some of which include the ability to reduce snoring, and give needed support to the muscles. If you also suffer from migraines frequently, the buckwheat pillow is a great choice for you because it supports the soft tissues around the head.

3. Memory Foam Pillows 

Memory foam pillows are one of the most popular types of pillow there is. They have a highly distinctive feature that makes it possible for them to be of great help to you health-wise. 

Memory foam pillows are moldable and when faced with pressure they bend and shift shape to the satisfaction of the user.

By doing this, memory foam pillows retain contours to your neck, and head and that increases comfortability. Memory foam pillows also relieve pain around the neck, shoulder and back. The ability to shape-shift also helps the pillow to provide relief for pressure points. 

Now let’s proceed to our healthiest pillow. 

4. Natural Latex Pillow

Research has shown that the natural latex pillow is the healthiest pillow to buy and there are a lot of reasons behind this claim. First, natural latex pillows are the most durable amongst other pillow types.

They have an average lifespan of 10 years and their quality remains the same all through these years. Natural latex pillows are healthy because they help you to relax better than other types of pillows since they are made of natural fillers, they have no smell whatsoever. 

The natural latex pillow also has a consistent cell structure which makes them very soft and comfortable. In addition to these, they are the perfect choice for people with allergies because they don’t cause any triggers.

Natural latex pillows are moldable in the shape and form of the individual head thus providing better support for the neck, head, and shoulders. This level of support provided also goes further to cancel out noise and help with snoring, Lastly, the natural latex pillow helps you to maintain the right sleep temperature. 


In truth, the list of pillows that offer health values to their users is endless. However, amongst all of them the natural latex pillow has the most benefits and its side effects or cons are lesser than that of other pillows. 

Just in case you’re going pillow shopping in the nearest future you should be on the lookout for the pillows on this list, particularly the natural latex pillows. For more information about the types of pillows take a look at our blog post dedicated to the types of pillows and your bedding needs.

Picking The Right Pillow For Sleep: A complete guide – Parts:

1. Why do we Sleep on Pillows? Here’s what research says
2. Pillow Stuffing Types: Pros and Cons of All Common Materials
3. Do You Need a Soft or Firm Pillow? A physiotherapist weighs in
4. How High Should Your Pillow Be? Ideal height for your sleeping position
5. What is The Healthiest Pillow to Use? Based on science
6. When to Replace Your Pillow? Average lifespan of all pillow types
7. How to Recycle Your Pillow? 12 things you can do with an old pillow
8. How Much Do Pillows Cost? Average price of all pillow types
9. The 9 Best Affordable Pillows For All Sleeping Positions

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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