Do you ever find yourself waking up to puffy eyes and a stuffy nose? Is the condition of your skin sometimes worse in the mornings? Does the thought of microscopic bugs crawling around your face while you sleep give you the heebie jeebies? If any of these apply to you, it might be time to consider a hypoallergenic pillow.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to find a hypoallergenic pillow that works with your body and sleep habits. If, at the end, you’re still a little lost, we’ve also provided a list of 10 of our favorite hypoallergenic pillows to get you started on your search.
Hypoallergenic or Anti-Allergy? What’s the Difference?
Before we begin, we need to make an important distinction. There are two types of allergy-friendly bedding–hypoallergenic and anti-allergy. Hypoallergenic bedding is made from materials that are naturally mold-, mildew-, and dust mite-resistant, and so less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
Anti-allergy bedding, on the other hand, is chemically treated to repel dust mites. While they essentially serve the same purpose, anti-allergy bedding is better suited for people who have more severe allergic reactions. This guide is going to focus primarily on hypoallergenic pillows, although there are overlapping criteria when choosing anti-allergy pillows as well.
How to Choose a Hypoallergenic Pillow – Buying Guide
Sleep is a very individual experience, and bedding that works for some people might not for others. So in order to help you figure out what’ll help you get the best night’s rest possible, here are some factors to consider.
Figure out the Characteristics of Each Kind of Fabric
Some materials are naturally less likely to harbor dust mites, whereas others can be washed at high temperatures to prevent them from taking root. Here’s what to look for.
Materials That Are Dust- and Bacteria-Resistant
Materials like latex, wool, and silk are naturally resistant to dust mites, mold, and bacteria. While they aren’t washable, you don’t have to worry about anything nasty building up inside your pillow (but still don’t forget to wash your pillowcase!). However, if you have a latex allergy, a latex pillow might not be quite so hypoallergenic for you.
If It Can Be Washed at 140º F, You Can Kill off the Dust Mites
Dust mites are killed and allergens are removed when washed at 140º F and above. Not a lot of pillow fillings can withstand this kind of treatment on a regular basis–among those that can are cotton and synthetic down. They do need to be washed fairly regularly, though. If you’d prefer to wash just the cover and not the whole pillow, these might not be for you.
Not Too Hard, Not Too Soft: Finding Your Goldilocks Pillow
Some people like to sink into their pillow when they sleep while others prefer to stay firmly on top. While this can depend on which position you sleep in, don’t forget to keep your preference in mind when choosing a pillow. Even if it’s hypoallergenic, if your pillow isn’t comfortable for you, you’re not going to sleep well!
If you like your pillow soft and malleable, a polyester synthetic down filling will be your best bet. Look for a higher loft if you like to really sink down into it.
If soft pillows aren’t your thing, a foam filling will provide more resistance. Try for memory foam or latex (the latter, by the way, is super airy and moldable; the former offers more support.) Cotton, by the way, is breathable, but clumps up over time. Depending on how much is stuffed into the pillow, it can be super firm or insubstantial.
Match Your Pillow Size to Your Mattress
When shopping for pillows, you’ll find that they are generally sized to match the size of your mattress (e.g., queen, king, etc). On the other hand, maybe you prefer larger pillows that make your bed feel cozy or one that takes up less space. In any case, pay attention to the sizing of the pillow before you add it to your cart to avoid disappointment.
Back, Side, or Stomach? Choose the Right Shape for Your Sleeping Style
Something that a lot of people forget to take into account is that different pillows are better suited for different sleeping positions. If you’re a side sleeper, look for a pillow on the fluffier side to keep your head lifted and prevent you from squishing down into your shoulder. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, the opposite is true–look for a flatter pillow, which will help you prevent neck strain.
Extra Support for Aches and Pains
We spend around a third of our lives in bed. So, of course the way that you sleep is going to affect any aches or pains that you may have. And having an extra supportive pillow is a great way to help alleviate pain.
For back, hip, and leg support, look for a long body pillow that you can wrap yourself around. For neck support, look for either a gel filled pillow, which will hold its shape and provide support all night, or a curved, cervical pillow that specifically props up your neck.
Top 10 Hypoallergenic Pillows to Buy Online
Now that you know how to find the best pillow for your needs, here are a few of our all-around favorites to help you get started.
All prices listed are for queen sized pillows unless otherwise stated.
10. Little One’s Pillow Hypoallergenic Cotton Pillow for Toddlers
For Fussy Sleepers
Adults aren’t the only ones who get allergies! This pillow is for toddlers and designed to help them get the best night’s sleep possible. At just 13 inches by 18 inches, it may seem small to you, but it’s the perfect size for a little head. It has a cotton shell, is filled with hypoallergenic polyester, and is completely machine washable.
Little One’s Pillow also guarantees quality. This pillow was designed with chiropractors and made in the USA, and if your child isn’t happy with it, they will send you a custom pillow with more or less filling.
9. Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow (2-pack)
Soft, Moldable, and Durable
This set of gusseted pillows is designed with back and side sleepers in mind. Filled with synthetic down with a microfiber casing, they’re soft and moldable, making them easy to shape to your head. But there’s still enough filling so that your head doesn’t sink to the bottom.
These pillows’ gusseted design means that they’re quite durable, but for best results, it is recommended that you dry-clean or hand-wash only. So keep that in mind if you’re looking for something a little more low-maintenance.
8. DMI Hugg-A-Pillow Hypoallergenic Bed Pillow
The Ultimate Side Sleeper Pillow
Many side sleepers like to sleep with one arm under their pillow, and this pillow is designed for exactly that. One side curves in front of your body so that you can thread your arm under it, without straining your shoulder. It’s fluffy and molds to your body ensuring that you’re fully supported all night.
The only major downsides are visual. It isn’t the most attractive pillow, and you’re limited to using the white pillow case that comes with it because of its shape.
7. Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam Pillow
For the Stomach Sleepers
Nope, we didn’t forget to add a photo–this pillow is just that thin! At just 2.5 inches, this super slim pillow is ideal for stomach sleepers who just need something a little padded so they don’t strain their necks. It is made from hypoallergenic memory foam that promises to be anti-microbial, anti-dustmite, and beg bug-resistant.
However, it is quite expensive for a pillow, and it might be hard to find a pillowcase that fits it without your pillow looking like it’s drowning.
6. Coop Home Goods Adjustable Loft Pillow
Adjustable to Any Height
This pillow is filled with shredded memory foam that can be added or removed to make the pillow as high or low as you prefer. It is as shapable as a down pillow, while providing the support and breathability of memory foam. Its height makes it great for side sleepers, though some may find it a little soft.
You don’t have to worry about being too rough with it either. This pillow is fully machine washable and comes with both a 5 year warranty and a 100-day money back guarantee.
5. Pinzon Hypoallergenic Down Alternative Body Pillow
Full-Body Side-Sleeping Support
This body pillow from Amazon’s own bedding brand is filled with a hypoallergenic polyester down alternative that makes it soft while maintaining its shape. It lofts to nearly 10 inches tall, remains supportive over time, and doesn’t deflate or clump.
At 54 inches long, this pillow is great for even tall side sleepers. However, its size also means that it can be cumbersome, especially if you share a bed, and may take some maneuvering.
4. Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Firm But Not Hard
This hypoallergenic pillow is made from dust mite-resistant memory foam and has a breathable bamboo cover meant to keep you cool. It is quite lofted and firm but is also adjustable–just take out some of the stuffing if you need it to be lower.
The price point is rather high, but this pillow also comes with excellent service–you can send it in, and the company will adjust it for you, fixing everything from its weight to its firmness to even the springiness/buoyancy.
3. Zen Bamboo Ultra Plush Gel Pillow (2-pack)
Offers Cool Comfort All Night
This set of pillows feature a gel-fiber fill and bamboo cover for maximum breathability. They’re dust mite-, mold-, and mildew-resistant and free of irritating chemicals. They’re soft and cool to the touch, even through a pillow case, so these pillows are great for anyone who prefers to sleep cool.
These are also great for those who like a cozy sleeping situation–the pillows are quite soft and run large. And if you find that these pillows aren’t for you, they come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
2. Langria Luxury Hotel Collection Bed Pillows (2-pack)
Hotel Luxury That Won’t Break the Bank
These pillows are filled with hypoallergenic synthetic down and are covered with a soft cotton exterior that won’t let any of the down through. Like the kind of pillows you find at hotels, these pillows are large and fluffy and guaranteed to bounce right back up. However, they are still very moldable, so even if you’re a back sleeper, you won’t find your neck straining.
Also like hotel pillows, though, they are a little noisy when moved, so if you’re a light sleeper, these may not be for you. They are also not machine washable, so remember to put a pillow case on them!
1. Queen Anne Heavenly Down Hypoallergenic Pillow
Like It Was Made Just for You
The Heavenly Down line from luxury pillow company Queen Anne was made specifically with allergy sufferers in mind. This pillow is filled with synthetic down and covered in a 300 thread count cotton case. It is lofted pretty high and retains its shape as you sleep.
You can choose from three different firmness levels, and the company’s website even has a handy chart to help you decide which would be best for you based on your sleeping position, as well as any other pains or needs that you might have. This pillow is machine washable and comes with free adjustments; you can also exchange or return it.
In short, choosing a pillow is a very subjective process, and throwing allergies into the mix just makes things more confusing. Hopefully, this guide has helped to make your decision easier and put you on the path to getting a great night’s sleep.
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