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6 Types of Pillow Stuffing Explained: Which one is Best For Me?

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Buying a pillow is not as easy as laying your head on it and you may be wondering about the types of pillow stuffing. The quality and types of pillow you are about to buy will directly affect your quality of sleep and, ultimately, health. On the contrary, poor quality and poorly stuffed pillows can make your muscles feel stressed and result in pain as well.

Before getting the purchase done, include factors like stuffing, material, breathability, etc., into your consideration. The most crucial factor that dictates the feel of your pillow is its stuffing. If you do not know which pillow stuffing to get, do not panic, as we will guide you through it.

What Are The Different Types of Pillow Stuffing?

types of Pillow Filling

The stuffing of your pillow is the most vital aspect that impacts your comfort, sleep quality, and health as well. This factor builds the feel of a pillow. So, having a little know-how about the types of stuffing is critical as well. Below we have mentioned the different types and their benefits and cons to assist you in deciding which one to get.

Types of Pillow Stuffing: Memory Foam

Memory foam pillow

This is one of the most common types of filling or stuffing that you will come across. In such pillows, you will either see shaped blocks or shredded pieces of memory foam. The highlight of memory foam is its ability to adapt to the shape of your head while getting back into its original shape instantly. But that is not it. This stuffing also comes with a specific set of pros and cons. So, here they are.


  • This filling can suit a wide range of different people irrespective of weight and body type.
  • This filling is moldable. Hence, you can get greater comfort and relief by using it.
  • There is no need to worry about the clumping of the stuffing. Memory foam serves as the best when it comes to shaping retention.


  • Off-gassing can put you off.
  • May give out a chemical odor.
  • Not budget-friendly.
  • Has heat-retaining tendencies.

Also Read: Best Anime Dakimakura Body Pillow Buying Guide

Types of Pillow Stuffing: Buckwheat Hulls

If you want to go for an old-fashioned and natural way, buckwheat hulls are the right type of stuffing for you. The users of such type state it as the ultimate filling that no other type can beat. They serve as the perfect balance between firmness and malleability. Here is the list of points that will take you through the up and downside of this filling made from buckwheat kernel’s exterior shell.


  • The breathability is remarkable, as higher airflow is present between the shells.
  • Buckwheat hull filling is famous for its longer-lasting capability.
  • The support that this type offers to the neck and head is unmatchable.
  • This filling is eco-friendly.
  • Exceptional in retaining its shape.


  • The rustling noise that it makes might irritate you.
  • This type of pillow stuffing is relatively heavier.

Types of Pillow Stuffing: Down Feather

Down feather is yet another type of filling for pillows that comes through geese and ducks. Many people are confused between down feather pillows and feather fill pillows. However, in the case of down feather stuffing, you will only get a maximum of 25 percent feather fill and a least of 75 percent down fill.

The expensive nature of this stuffing may keep you from buying it. But, do remember, with great expense, it does bring great comfort as well.


  • The malleability of this type makes it one of the most comfortable stuffing you will ever come across.
  • The lightweight nature of this filling makes it even more comfortable.
  • With a luxurious and soft feel, a down feather pillow ensures stress relieving and peaceful sleep throughout.
  • The durability of such pillows is also above the average.
  • It is best for all seasons as it absorbs relatively less bodily heat.


  • It is the most expensive type of pillow stuffing.
  • It may not suit sleepers who weigh heavier.
  • Some people may be allergic to down feather filling.

Types of Pillow Stuffing: Kapok

Kapok Filling

Kapok is a natural, fluffy material that you get from trees. This material’s origin is Mexico, and the plant gives out a feel that is quite similar to cotton. This is the reason for which it is also known as silk cotton. Choosing this can prove as a great alternative for both down filling and polyester as well.


  • The non-toxic nature of this material makes it quite attractive.
  • With a soft texture, Kapok is there to grant you a comfortable night-time sleep.
  • Kapok stuffing is eco-friendly as well.


  • The shape-retaining factor is quite poor when it comes to Kapok.
  • It is not as easily available as other stuffing.
  • You might notice the development of lumps after a short period of use only.
  • The material is flammable.

Types of Pillow Stuffing: Polyester Fiberfill

In a pillow filled with polyester fiberfill, you will get man-made curls of polyesters that are quite small in size. Such pillows are also known as poly-fil pillows.

If you want something that is long-lasting in shape-retention, then this option might suit you. However, in terms of affordability, no other option can beat this type. You can take it along with you outdoors as well. 

Here are the pros and cons that poly-fil has to offer.


  • The best when it comes to affordability as compared to all other types of pillow filling.
  • Perfect for the ones who are looking for a lightweight option.
  • Such pillows are quite easy to get cleaned.
  • For people who are allergic to genuine down, poly-fil can prove a perfect alternative.


  • This type of filling can easily become clumpy. Hence, readjustments are required quite often.
  • These are not too durable, as they get flattened quite quickly.
  • Not too breathable.
  • They are not all-rounder, as heat retention makes them ideal only for colder nights.

Types of Pillow Stuffing: Cotton

If you want the easiest option, cotton is always there for you. This material’s soft feel coupled with a reasonable price point and breathable nature will not fail to win your heart.


  • The breathability of cotton is remarkable.
  • The naturally hypoallergenic quality of cotton is a huge plus point.
  • Comfort will not be compromised.
  • It is organic and free from toxic materials.


  • Cotton can get clumpy with time.
  • Changing filling is often required.

In the below YouTube Video you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the four most popular fill kinds for ornamental pillows and cushions. For you to pick the ideal filler for your project, examples of polyester fiber fill, cluster fill, and various feather/down mixtures are provided.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S)

What is the best pillow stuffing for you?

  • Down
  • Synthetic Fiber
  • Feathers

What is the best filling for a pillow?

  • Feathers, 100% feathers
  • Down, 100% down
  • Buckwheat hulls

How often should you wash your pillows?

  • Weekly (every 7 days)
  • Monthly (every 30 days)
  • Yearly (once a year)

Related Post: Best pillow stuffing for all types of sleepers

The Closing Thoughts

With stepping into the market, various pillow stuffing types might confuse you. However, if you have prior information about each type’s negatives and positives, you can get the best. From readily available cotton to rare Kapok filling, every type’s pluses and cons have been mentioned above.

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