Pillow Types: Fillings & Materials

We look at the pros and cons of the main types of pillow to help you find the best

With so many different pillows available, it may seem impossible to know which pillow is best. The temptation to simply buy the cheapest or the first one you see is great. What many people don’t realize, however, is how important the type of pillow actually is. The filling of your pillow determines its characteristics and properties.

Choosing the right filling for your pillow

Since we sleep for a third of our lives, it is essential that our pillow allows us to lie comfortably and also provides us with adequate support throughout the night. By choosing the right pillow that suits you, you will experience a better night’s sleep and wake up rested. However, choosing the wrong pillow can make things worse.

It is best to determine what is the right filling for you. Remember that your sleeping position and physique play the most important role: on this basis you determine the firmness and height of the pillow. After that, depending on your preference, you can choose a suitable filling.

Whilst there are many types of fillings with price varying between less than £20 and  more than £100, we trimmed down the choice based on popularity, availability and quality. The three main types of pillow fillings nowadays are: Memory foam, Microfibre and Feather & Down. 

 

What's inside makes all the difference

Below we look at these 3 types of pillow fillings. Click on a filling type to find out the pros and cons of, as well as tips to help you decide which type of filling suits you best.

Memory Foam
Microfibre
Feather & Down

The 3 Main Types of Pillow Fillings Explained

Not too sure which pillow filling to choose? We look at the pros and cons of the 3 main types of pillow to help you find the best.

Memory Foam Pillow Filling

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Memory Foam Filling Pillow

Memory Foam Pros and Cons

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Microfibre (Synthetic) Pillow Filling

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Microfibre Filling Pillow

Microfibre Pros and Cons

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Feather & Down Pillow Filling

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Feather and Down Filling Pillow

Feather & Down Pros and Cons

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Which filling is best for you?

Which type is right for you depends on a few factors. 

Your sleeping style

  • Back sleeper: a medium to thick pillow is best for you. Memory foam is often popular amongst back sleeper due to its mix of support and softness.
  • Side sleeper: medium and high-fill pillows are great for side sleepers. 
  • Stomach sleeper: a softer, low-profile pillow is probably best for you. Microfibre or feather & down is the solution.


Do you suffer from allergies? 

  • If you do have significant allergies or suffer from asthma, stick with memory foam or microfibre pillows.
  • If you don’t, then any pillow filling would be fine


Other factors include: budget, personal preferences and specific requirements. Read our complete pillow buying guide and go through each and every step to help you to narrow down your options.

If you already know the type of pillow you want, then head over to our list of the best pillow brands.

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