Best Pillow Fillings: Material & Comfort - Inn Mattress

Searching for the best filling for your pillow? The array of choices can be daunting, ranging from traditional down feathers to innovative memory foam. Each type of filling not only influences the comfort but also the support level of your pillow. This comprehensive guide delves into the best filling materials for pillows, highlighting their distinct advantages and potential drawbacks. Whether you’re looking for the best filling for firm pillows, the softest filling for a pillow, or specialized options like the best filling for yoga eye pillows and best pillow filling for stomach sleepers, we’ve got you covered.

Natural Fillings

Down Feathers: Renowned for their luxurious softness, down feathers are sourced from the undercoat of ducks or geese. Perfect for those seeking the softest filling for a pillow, down offers a plush feel and lightweight comfort. Ideal for soft pillow enthusiasts, down is also breathable and moisture-wicking, aiding in temperature regulation throughout the night. However, it’s essential to note they may not be the best filling for firm pillows and could be a concern for allergy sufferers.


  • Softness
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Moisture-wicking


  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for people with allergies
  • May flatten over time

Wool: Sourced from natural sheep’s wool, this filling is transformed into cozy balls or batting, offering a denser alternative to down feathers. Wool strikes a balance between support and softness, making it an ideal candidate for those seeking the best filling for firm pillows while still enjoying comfort. Additionally, its hypoallergenic properties and resistance to dust mites cater to those with allergies, positioning it as a top choice for health-conscious sleepers.


  • Hypoallergenic
  • Naturally dust-mite resistant
  • Supportive but still soft


  • Can be heavy
  • Needs regular fluffing

Synthetic Fillings

Memory Foam: Memory foam, a standout choice for those seeking the best fill for a pillow regarding support, is composed of adaptive polyurethane foam. It molds precisely to the contours of your head and neck, offering exceptional support and relief for neck pain or discomfort during sleep. While its conforming nature is a boon for many, it’s crucial to consider that memory foam might retain heat, making it less ideal for hot sleepers.


  • Conforms closely
  • Good support
  • Relieves pressure points


  • Can retain heat
  • Some off-gassing odor when new
  • May be too firm for some

Polyester: As one of the most cost-effective options, polyester is a staple in budget-friendly pillows. While it offers reasonable support, its longevity is a consideration; it may not maintain its shape as effectively over time. For those questioning what is the best filling for a pillow on a budget, polyester stands out as a practical choice, though it’s important to balance cost with durability.


  • Affordable
  • Provides adequate support


  • Quality varies greatly depending on price
  • Can lose shape over time

Specialty Fillings

Buckwheat: Buckwheat hulls, an unconventional yet increasingly popular choice, offer a unique filling for pillows. These tiny seeds adapt to your neck and head contours, providing unmatched support and comfort. Ideal for those looking for the best filling for a pin cushion or a supportive pillow, buckwheat is also favored for its longevity and allergen-free qualities.


  • Conforms to your body
  • Good for people with allergies
  • Long-lasting


  • Heavier than other fillings
  • Rustling noise may be bothersome while sleeping

Silk: For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury and the softest filling for a pillow, silk-filled pillows are unparalleled. They not only offer sublime softness but also excel in temperature regulation. Additionally, their hypoallergenic and anti-mold properties make them an excellent choice for health-conscious individuals.


  • Softness
  • Temperature-regulating
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Expensive
  • Needs professional cleaning


When choosing a pillow filling, there are many factors to consider including personal preference, budget, allergies, sleeping position, firmness needs etc. The materials we have outlined above vary in their qualities from softness to durability so you will want to match the material up with what you hope for from your specific pillow along with any secondary health concerns such as allergens that you might have. We hope this guide has helped clear up some confusion around various fillings available on the market today making it easier for you choose which option would work best for you!


What is the best filling for a pillow?

The answer to this question depends on personal preferences, as some people prefer firmer pillows while others prefer softer ones. However, materials like memory foam, down feathers, and microfiber are popular due to their comfort and durability.

Can I wash my pillow filled with down feathers?

Yes, you can wash a pillow filled with down feathers but it’s important to follow the care instructions carefully. It’s recommended to use non-abrasive detergents that are specifically made for delicate fabrics like those found in feather-filled pillows.

Is there any way to tell if it’s time to replace my pillow?

If your pillow has lost its shape or firmness and no longer provides adequate support for your head and neck when sleeping, then it might be time to replace it. Alternatively, if you experience frequent allergies or asthma attacks during the night despite washing your pillows regularly then consider replacing them with hypoallergenic alternatives such as microfiber or synthetic blends.

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