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Last updated on April 20th, 2018
Recently, 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.