We’ve put together some tips on what to look for when buying pillows – read this before you do anything!
True to our mission here at rightbuy.com.au, we’ve kept this simple to save you time.
We avoid jargon and explain in everyday language what type of pillows are available and what it means for you. Hopefully you find this guide of use - there is more to pillows than you probably thought!
Given pillows are one of the key factors in getting a good sleep, you'd think we'd all pay a little more attention to them. However, they are usually the most forgotten piece of the bedroom yet are the biggest influence on comfort after the mattress! If you have stayed in a 5-star hotel, you might have noticed the plumpness and softness of the pillows they provide. So how do we at home have a similar experience? What pillows should we choose? What pillow is the best for you to buy?
Pillows to rest your head on (excluding decorative pillows, tri-pillows and the niche body pillows) in Australia come in 3 sizes.
The life expectancy of a pillow is mainly dependent on what type of pillow it is. Generally cheap polyester pillows have a life of anywhere between 6 months to 24 months. If you have invested in a good quality polyester pillow (usually with a better quality and higher gsm filling eg 500gsm above), then you can get two years or so out of your favourite pillow. If you have invested in a memory foam or latex pillow, you should be able to keep it much much longer than a few years. Composition also definitely determines price.
How long you can keep your pillow is also influenced by how your treat your pillow. How many times have you washed it in a year? Generally good quality pillows are washable and ideally should be washed at least 2-4 times per year! Why? Just like any other bedding item, they do capture dust, mites and particles of skin. Regular washing keeps it clean - if you leave to once a year, it's a big job to restore it to its white glory. Of course, the better quality pillow, the better it washes too. Cheap polyester pillows can go lumpy after a wash and pretty much not useful for anyone's head anymore!
Synthetic pillows are another name for Polyster pillows and are the most popular around due as they are not expensive. They are filled with a polyester filling and are nice and bouncy initially but overtime will lose the 'bounce'. Some Polyester pillows have had the filling anti-bacterial treated and have a higher gsm filling than others ensuring a better quality pillow as a result.
Microfibre pillows are another type of polyester and are the result of a different and newer manufacturing technique. Microfibre is definitely one of the wonder fabrics of modern day (see our Buying Sheets/Doona Cover Guide where Microfibre is explored in more detail) as they are generally easy to care for, breathe just like cotton and dry quicker. Microfibre pillows are filled by blowing in a fine denier fibre to give the effect of being filled like 'down'. Obviously microfibre pillows will be a little more expensive than your standard polyester range.
Most quality synthetic pillows are excellent for those suffering allergies as compared to natural down, feather or wool pillows.
These are quite traditional pillows that over time have been replaced by the newer synthetic, foam and latex pillow ranges. Whilst both down and feather offer great insulation (down being the lighter feathers under normal feathers of geese or duck), they offer no better benefits than the newer types of pillows. And over a long period of time, the feathers will slip around and deaden compared to an equivalent latex or memory foam pillow which will have held its shape.
Latex pillows are definitely the 'in' pillow of the moment. Harvested from a special type of tropical tree, Latex is a sustainable and renewable product. It is also naturally anti-bacterial so excellent for allergy sufferers and will last for many years. Check that any latex pillow has a latex core and not a polyester filling to ensuring you are comparing accurately.
Memory foam is the technological breakthrough of the traditional foam. It adjusts to your head shape and distributes weight evenly (and no it doesn't leave a dent in your pillow permanently!). It's great for those needing extra support and has many similar benefits as Latex pillows. They are usually in the same price range so it's a personal choice but are more expensive than polyester pillows. Expect to pay more than $50 at least.
The best way to choose how soft a pillow you need is to examine how you sleep. If you tend to sleep mainly on your stomach, then softer is better. If you are a side or back sleeper, you can go for a firmer type. The most popular is medium by far.
Our pillow suggestions.