The Most Comfortable Organic Pillow For You

posted in: Bedding | 30

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Last updated on April 20th, 2018

The most comfortable organic pillow for youRecently, I’ve been helping my clients refurbish their home with healthy products – anything from cookware and bedding to carpeting and home decorations. I’d like to share my research into organic pillows and even send one lucky person an organic pillow for free. So keep reading.


Have you ever wondered what is in the pillow you come in close contact with every night?


I used to pay no attention until I had a baby and realized that it is up to us consumers to protect ourselves from numerous substances found in products we use on our bodies or in our homes, which may have a negative impact on our health without our realization.


I know it can be overwhelming.  And it was until I learned where to buy healthy products made with organic and natural ingredients.


So what are so-called conventional pillows made of?


Normally, they are made of polyester, memory foam, or down.


Of these three materials, I think memory foam is the worst.  It is polyurethane foam made from a polyol, a type of alcohol that causes death if ingested, and a diisocyanate, a derivative of petroleum.  Polyurethane foam emits VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). And since we have our pillows so close to our noses, I would not recommend exposing yourself to the VOCs in memory foam pillows.  You can read more about the potential harms of polyurethane foam here.


In addition, researchers at Duke University found that polyurethane foam pillows may contain flame retardants chemicals (even though there is no law requiring manufacturers to add them).


The Green Science Policy Institute, which has been exerting tremendous efforts to educate consumers and affect change on a political level, has compiled a list of scientific studies showing that flame retardants chemicals may increase the risk of an array of health problems, such as thyroid disorders and other endocrine disruption, immunotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, cancer, and adverse effects on fetal and child development and neurologic function.


The US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has classified flame retardants as obesogens, meaning that even if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, you might not be able to lose weight.


Before we start talking good news, I have a few words on the other two materials commonly used in conventional pillows – polyester and down.  The good thing is that polyester foam is not known to contain added flame retardants.  However, polyester is normally derived from petroleum, and manufacturers do not disclose possible contaminants in it.


And as far as down is concerned, in my experience, with the exception of 3 companies, down comes from animals from China who are grown specifically for down and who are even plucked live.  Absolutely insane.


Okay. Enough of the awful stuff.


The good news is that there are a number of companies that make pillows made of natural or even certified organic materials.  If possible, I love to go for certified organic pillows because that way we have better assurances that the organic pillow materials are truly natural and organic.


In the textile industry, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a leading standard.  Oregon Tilth and Control Union are the two agencies that certify pillows, sheets, comforters, blankets, mattresses, and clothing as organic.


So what are our choices for organic pillow materials?


There are many.  Natural latex (I recommend organic natural latex that is certified by GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard), wool, cotton, kapok, and even buckwheat.


Yes, you heard it right – buckwheat – the same buckwheat you would use to make a buckwheat dish.  My son loves his buckwheat, by the way.


I noticed that buckwheat has increasingly become a popular choice for organic and natural sleeping pillows, as well as breastfeeding pillows.  So I could not help but try one. My goal is not only to recommend products that are, to the best of my knowledge, safe and non-toxic but also that are practical, of great value, and comfortable.


Comfort is crucial when it comes to bedding and good night sleep.


So here I am! I was very excited to get a certified organic pillow made by Organic Mattress Inc. (OMI).


The organic pillow is made of an organic cotton cover filled with organic Eco-Wool and organic buckwheat hulls inside the wool.  You can see the organic pillow here. Sounds good, right?


When I opened it up, my husband happened to be about to take his power nap so I handed it to him.  He tried it for about 3 seconds and gave it back to me.  He was very uncomfortable.


I tried it, too, but did not find it comfortable. When I called up the retailer from whom I got the pillow (OMI does not retail their organic pillows or mattresses) to ask if there is an adjustment period, he responded, “People either love them or hate them.”  So … we were among the latter, but you might love it.


Normally people who love buckwheat pillows are people who prefer a firm pillow.


And here is the exciting part!


If you know you love buckwheat pillows or you think you will love it, please fill out the form below (you will be added to my Wednesdays’ newsletter, too).  After one month (on May 1, 2018), I will choose a random winner of the free pillow, and contact you for your mailing address.  This giveaway is limited to US residents only.


For a better chance of winning a pillow, please place a comment to this post and share this post on your social media channels.  Let me know in the comments what media channels you have shared it on.



If you are interested in learning where to buy softer organic sleeping pillows made with shredded latex or spiral wool and get help decide which one is right for you, please fill out the form below to receive discount codes straight to your inbox.



And lastly, please know that I am available for healthy living consultations, whether you have a quick question about one specific product or need to refurbish your whole house, I am here for you.  Please read numerous testimonials about my services here and here.  One quick phone call can save you from wasting your hard-earned money on regrettable products and help you choose the right products that you will enjoy for a long time.


The most comfortable organic pillow for you

30 Responses

  1. Terri

    Thank you for all the info you provide and the research you do to make it as correct as possible!

  2. Carol Z

    Thank you for all the research and your time and effort to make a better world. Carol Albuquerque NM

  3. mary grace zakowski

    The information you provide is priceless and I look forward to every post. I am definitely interested in the organic pillow.

  4. Amanda lanz

    I was so happy when I found my daughter an organic cotton/wool fill toddler pillow. Next, it’s time to find an organic option for Mom and dad.

  5. Jessica Schwechler

    I was looking for a pillow that I would find comfortable and finally found an organic cotton pillow and I love it! It took me like 4 or 5 years of trying different ones. It’s just the right height and firmness.

  6. Judy

    Hi, Irina. I laughed so hard at your description. There’s a line in an old song that says, “a piece of stone I will use for my pillow,” and that’s how I feel about sleeping on buckwheat. But . . . it’s the only pillow I can use for my neck problems. Would love to try one with wool. Maybe that would help. As always, thanks for your honesty. Judy

  7. Galina Niyazov

    Thank you so much for the post, I’ve been looking for more nontoxic bedding lately and was not sure where to buy, but as always your blog has answers for a lot my inquiries: so far thanks to you I changed make up, hair care products, skin care products, cookware, dishwasher powder, even tried your advice on using mustard seeds to wash dishes, also changed a lot of my baby products, among a few others I can’t recall now. But I’m avid follower of your blog and recommend it to everyone who is interested in more healthy living !

  8. Anonymous

    Thank you for the informative post! Almost a year ago, I bought a Brookstone® 4-in-1 Bed Wedge Pillow, and it smelled horribly for a long time…. Now I know why. Do you have any suggestions on how to make old non-organic pillows a little less toxic? Do washings or covers help in addition to letting them off-gas?

  9. Irina Webb

    I hope it does not contain flame retardants, which do not offgass and may shed more. As for VOCs, it off-gasses faster in a humid and hot environment. ~Irina

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I was planning on buying a couple new non-toxic pillows, but I guess I’ll have to buy a few more to replace some of the pillows that we already have.

      • Irina Webb

        We can’t always eliminate potentially harmful chemicals completely from our environment but it is so important not to be exposed to them when we sleep. ~Irina

  10. Victoria Faith Schrack

    I’ve always been the kind of person that likes hard beds and pillows and I’ve been looking for an organic option, so I’d love to try this pillow! Thanks for all the information you share! It’s so helpful.

  11. Natalia

    How timely! I’ve been looking into trying a buckwheat pillow! shared this on fb and ig 😉

  12. Jenny

    Thanks for the recommendation! I purchased a buckwheat breastfeeding pillow, which i believe was a recommendation of yours! I’ve loved that, so I’m curious on buckwheat for a pillow. If this wasn’t comfortable for you, I’m curious what else you recommend. I bought two pillows from Naturepedic and I’m a bit disappointed. Their flat and lumpy after 6 months.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Jenny: I think what is comfortable for me is not that important. Everybody is different. My husband sleeps on a pillow he loves that is very uncomfortable for me. As I said in the post, there is also wool, cotton, kapok, latex, and US down to choose from. Get a coupon and call the two retailers I outlined in the email that you will receive after you signed up and talk to them to figure which organic pillow would work for you the best. I am going to be looking into a spiral wool and a shredded latex pillows next. Does it help? P.S. My 5-year old son sleeps on organic kapok/organic cotton pillow (the only certified organic kapok I was able to find) by Naturepedic, and it works fine for him but I would not like it for me. ~Irina

  13. Nelgryn Spooner-Garner

    Thank you Irina. The information is invaluable. If the foam pillows are problematic, the foam mattress toppers must be worse? Is there another option for the toppers?

  14. Kristie

    I entered! I loved it that you shared that you didn’t really like it! I know what you mean though-everyone has a different opinion on the best pillow to sleep on. 🙂

  15. Heather

    We had a buckwheat breastfeeding pillow and loved it. It was heavy, but comfortable. I would imagine adding wool would help with that. I would love to try it!

  16. Rita

    Thanks for all the great information! You really helped me in a phone consultation when my husband and I were shopping for a new mattress. Greatly appreciate your research on all products! I have shared your blog with everyone.

  17. Sharon

    This filling would not be used in your breakfast porridge, and it might be good to change the description to “Buckwheat Hulls pillows,” which more accurately describes the material inside. They were a great fad over 15 years ago and I began making my own after a few years. Because, of course, being the more fragile, outside, discarded part of the kernel, the hulls will break down a little with use and eventually the pillow becomes more “flat and lumpy” as one person mentioned. Comfort depends mostly upon having the right amount of filling each individual’s body structure and personal preference. Sometimes it only takes sewing another seam along the outside edges in order to tighten it up.

    After awhile I found an on-line supplier of the hulls and began making my own for just that reason. Small “travel” size pillows and neck rolls, especially, are easy to make and alter to one’s own neck size and comfort preference. It’s not a lot of trouble to experiment and redo to find just the right dimensions of cover fabric and correct amount of filling for yourself.

  18. Marilyn

    I would be very interested in trying out this pillow. Thank you for your honesty with regard to your feelings about the comfort of this pillow. Your articles and research are very much appreciated!

  19. Sharon

    Here’s something I wish I had included in my previous comments: I think the type of pillow with thick cotton or wool covering the hulls might definitely detract from the excellent comfort of the buckwheat hulls filling alone, the way they used to be. Using only a good-grade of cotton outside cover, they feel very nice and flexible if not filled too full and tight. I found that a smaller-than-standard pillow size is most usable – they get heavier and less maneuverable in larger sizes. (This all makes me remember them fondly and determine to make one again. I have tried out other pillows these last years which are expensive and have to be used, so this was not much thought about.)

  20. Natalia

    Great post as always Irina!
    You recommend choosing natural/certified latex. What can be the dangers of choosing the one that isn’t? Assuming it’s made in the USA.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Natalie: It is good to hear from you. I used to be confused about that, too, until I discovered that there is no way of knowing whether non-organic natural latex is fully natural without synthetic additives. For example, Talalay natural latex has never been certified organic. I wonder why. It is only Dunlop natural latex that can be certified organic. Does it help? ~Irina

      • Natalia

        oh, totally missed this reply.
        yes, this is very helpful, thank you!

  21. Michelle

    Thank you for all this information. I have learned so much. The latest successful product recommended by you is the Hairprint shampoo & conditioner. Finally, a product that works and feels great! Thank you.

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