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Chemicals in pillows? 

Hi,

Is it possible to buy synthetic hollowfibre pillows without any fire-retardant chemicals?
Is the hollowfibre filling inherently flame resistant or is a chemical always added to make the pillows fire safe. I have noticed that hollowfibre cushion stuffing is advertised as fire resistant so do pillows always contain the same.

Douglas

Hi Douglas,

You raise such an interesting point here, it made us write an article to explain the facts.  We’ve put in in our posts section with the title ‘Chemicals in Pillows?’

You should find some answers to your question there, a bit of pillow advice and some pillow recommendations.  We’re also going to create a new section shortly for ‘Organic’ pillows, as it’s of interest to more and more of our readers- please watch this space.  Thanks for emailing us with your question, it’s an important area to consider.

 

Which pillow?

Hello
Could you please advise which pillow I need, I am suffering from headaches and shoulder pain, I am 61, I do not like a to hard pillow, my husband brought me a Tempur pillow, I hated it, I could not sleep with it at all, I do hope you can help

Wendy

Hi Wendy,

Tempur isn’t for everyone and especially if you sleep on your back then it can push your head too high and cause neck pain. A big factor in getting a comfortable night’s sleep is having a pillow which supports your head so that your head properly (not too high or too low – your head should be in-line with your spine). The quickest way to sort this out is to try a few different types of pillows with different heights and levels of support. A rough rule of thumb is if you sleep on your back then look for a low or soft pillow, if you’re a side sleeper then look for more support. Take a look at our top 10 pillows for a variety of really good pillows of different types – keep on trying pillows until you find the right one – it’s worth it!

 

Head and neck pain

Hi, im waking up every morning with really bad headaches in the back of my head and neck. I have a memory foam and a normal pillow and have been taking it in turns to see what’s best. Neither are working. Any ideas to what pillow would help?

Jade

Hi Jade,

A common cause of head and neck pain can be from the head not being aligned comfortably with the spine – it might be worth trialling a range of pillows which support your head at different heights to see whether it helps. You should be aiming to have your head, neck and spine in a straight line, if your pillow offers too much or too little support then your head and neck can be at an angle which can lead to pain. If you sleep on your back then you should be looking for a soft pillow or one without much filling (so that it is low), if you sleep on your side then you should look for something with more support (more height).

Good luck!

 

Can I get a face down pillow?

Much of the night I need to sleep face down due severe arthritis in lower spine but neck and shoulder problems are developing from head twisted to one side, Is there a pillow with a hole and facial support?

Gillian

Hi Gillian,

It’s difficult to sleep with face down, as you pointed out it requires a special head support pillow with a hole in the middle to allow you to breath whilst keeping your head straight. We’ve not tried any of these so we can’t vouch for them but there are a few types available you could take a look at. You could take a look at this face down pillow or this one meant more for massage tables.

Hope you find comfort!

 

Which pillow to keep cool?

My husband gets hot with a polyester pillow what type of pillow will stop him getting hot and marking my pillow cases.

Chris

Hi Chris,

Take that polyester pillow away from your husband straight away! Polyester, memory foam and latex pillows can all be terrible culprits for sweaty nights if you’re prone to getting hot.

See my answer to Paul’s similar question below.

Best of luck – this should sort him out.

 

Pillows to keep you cool

Hi, are there any pillows out there that help keep your head cool as I get very hot and sweaty. I also sleep on my back and side and occasionally snore??

Thank you, Paul

Hi Paul,

I think many of us can sympathise with your experience, especially over the last few warmer weeks. It’s a question we get asked a lot and oddly it’s only recently that manufacturers have specifically been addressing the issue. First thing to do is to go natural rather than synthetic (use down rather than memory foam or latex which can both be notoriously sweaty) and make sure your pillows are a good quality, checking that the casing as well as your pillowcase are 100% cotton.

M&S offer two interesting options at reasonable prices. Firstly there’s the ‘Goose Quilted Medium Firm Support Pillow which ‘ensures cool comfort during warmer nights’ – see the review.

If that doesn’t appeal, you’ve got two other alternatives: you could try the specifically designed ‘Comfortably Cool’ pillowor combine your natural-filled pillow and cotton pillow case with a product called a ‘Chillow’ or the (better in our opinion) ‘Gel O’Cool’ pillow mat. Both of these products are mats which provide a cool layer between your head and the pillow. We haven’t got specific reviews for these but you can find plenty of happy Amazon pillow mat customers here and Chillow customers here.

 

Reducing pillow height

I bought a beautiful down pillow for a good deal. I am happy with the purchase. But I think it is higher than my need. Can I open it and take off some of the material to make it lower?

Hafid

Hi Hafid,

Yes, sure, why not. This sounds like a logical idea if you’re in love with the pillow – just make sure that your sewing skills are up to the job and you’re prepared for a bit of a mess during the operation!
Down is notoriously flighty, of course that’s what makes it so soft and light, so you are likely to end up with quite a bit of down attempting to escape whilst you are sewing up the casing. You’ll also need to ensure that your stitching is close together and very secure or you’ll find little bits of down in your bedroom for the rest of the life of your pillow. Obviously it depends what the casing is as to how easy this will be; some pillows have piped edges which would be more difficult to open and sew back together without difficulty. Good luck, and if all goes wrong, you can always try this pillow which I think is a little lower than others and (mostly) blissful down.

 

Pillow beds

Hi I am a hypnotherapist and have some pillow beds for my relaxation class. I need some good value pillows that won’t just squish flat when people lie
on them. Any ideas?

Thanks, Sam

Dear Sam,

Marks and Spencer do a (rather outrageously) cheap pillow called the ‘Bounce Back Pillow’, which although not the greatest quality in the world, are very comfortable and certainly do exactly what they claim to – bounce back.

They’re £7 or £12 a pair and certainly won’t squish flat, so hopefully will do the job. You can find them here

 

Asthma sufferer

My daughter suffers from asthma, is allergic to dogs, cats, horses, house dust, feathers etc etc and has hay fever. She sleeps in bedroom with Amtico hard floor, new bed with leather headboard, new mattress, new duvet for allergy sufferers etc. I need to buy the very best pillows on the market for her to stop her wakening up during the night, unable to breathe. Please suggest the best pillows for allergy sufferers. Shona.

Dear Shona,

Unfortunately, as I’m sure you are aware there isn’t a simple solution for severe allergy sufferers. As you’re already doing, a combination of approaches is always the best to ensure you’ve got a range of defences.

I would suggest that you go for a pair of very good quality anti-allergy microfibre pillows, that perform well when you wash and dry them (see below). The key thing is to wash them weekly in a 60 degree wash and dry in a large tumble-dryer (remove any dust and fibres in dryer’s filter). This is common-sense I am sure for any mother of a child suffering from asthma, so sorry if I’m repeating stuff!

You could also use anti-dust mite protectors and wash them first (they can be a little stiff). These ones are good although may come up slightly small on very full pillows. You could try these as quality pillows washable at 60 degrees.

Kind regards and best of luck

 

Pillow to help neck pain

Hi please could you tell me where to get a pillow that will stop me from getting really bad pressure in my face, around my eyes and nose. I also keep getting a tingling sensation on the side of my face that’s on the pillow. I’ve been told I might have a trapped nerve that’s in my spine and is stopping blood flow. All the pillows I buy go flat or are too hard I wake up with head aches as well.

Thank you for your time Alex

I’m really sorry to hear that you’re having such an uncomfortable night’s sleep at the moment – it sounds pretty miserable. To be honest,  I’m a bit reluctant to suggest a particular pillow for you as you have such a range of symptoms.  From your email, it sounds like you are a side sleeper so problems with your pillow are not likely to cause your eye / nose pillow or your headaches. Perhaps the best route is to go back to your doctor and ask for further investigations, plus also possibly a physio referral in the meantime? 

You’re probably doing this already so in terms of short-term help, I would try a really soft, bouncy good quality microfibre pillow.  This shouldn’t aggravate any of your symptoms which you should try and get diagnosed before going for a specific neck-support pillow for examples.  They also have the advantage of being anti-allergy, so you can rule that out as a cause of your skin irritability. Try this one from John Lewis

Here’s hoping 2015 brings you a little more luck in the sleep department!

 

Anti-allergy pillow

Hi I’ve been looking at your site and find it very helpful. I am a side sleeper and also need an anti-allergy pillow. I have spent hundreds of pounds on pillows and always find I end up with my head in the dent between two big clumps of fibre. This has happened with all different makes of pillow including John Lewis which came recommended. I seem to remember you reviewing a Dunlopillow-like pillow from Italy and it got very good reviews. Would you be able to tell me the supplier of this pillow please? I feel I am on my last chance of having a good night’s sleep. I would be very grateful for some advice. Thank you. Regards. Gail

Thanks for your query and your feedback.

Yes, if you’re looking for an anti-allergy pillow and want to avoid the fibre clumping that can happen over time with the average microfibre pillow, latex or memory foam may well be a good idea.

Dunlopillo is the most reputable and popular manufacturer in the UK and we really like this one.

However, it is on the slimmer end of the pillow-spectrum, so if you’re after a fuller pillow, try the Dunlopillo Super Comfort pillow at John Lewis, which people rave about.

In terms of Italian pillows, Italy does have an excellent reputation for latex technology and precision cutting. This is the most popular option in the UK at the moment and has really impressive reviews on Amazon. We haven’t tested it though so if you try it, please do let us know if the Italian reputation is deserved!

Hope that helps!

The Pillow advisor team

 

Low profile pillow

Hello there,

I have a disc problem in my neck and find that the higher profile pillows leave me with a sore neck. I have tried the Tempur cloud which left me with a sore neck as well. I am generally a back and side sleeper. My physio advises that I go for a comfortable low profile pillow that provides support. Can you suggest any that I can try?

Many thanks
Mark

Dear Mark,

Understand what your physio is saying here. Yes, the Tempur pillows can be a little high for some people, so try a slimmer latex pillow instead. It should still give you a good level of support and bounce but is certainly less bulky than the Tempur equivalents.

Dunlopillos have a great reputation and are very good quality. Our favourite is here.

And available through Amazon or John Lewis.

Best of luck with the neck and the disc problem. Not fun, but hopefully this might help – do let us know.

Regards,

The Pillow advisor team

 

Neck pain

Hi, I have been using memory foam pillows for years, but I am having treatment for chronic neck pain and have been told that I need to stop using the memory foam. We have a latex pocket sprung mattress which is great. I tend to sleep on my side. Can you advise please on what pillow would be best for me.

Brenda

Hi Brenda, there’s no one pillow we could recommend for you as it’s always personal, but the best advice we could give is to find the right height of support so that your head and neck are aligned straight with your spine. If your pillow gives too much or too little support then your neck can be strained. Experiment with different heights of pillow, even try a couple of pillow together if you can’t get the height from just one. It doesn’t matter too much about the type of pillow material, as a side sleeper you will be looking for a firm base, so a firm microfibre or memory foam with a decent height, or a combination of pillows. Good luck!

 

Camping / Travel pillow

Hello there

I’m a serving soldier in the British army and I believe a section on camping pillows would be great. I’ve been looking for one and there is quite a lot of variety. I’m going on an exercise very soon and for 6 weeks, which is a long time to sleep on the floor!

Many thanks
Craig

Dear Craig,

Thanks for taking the time to email us. A section on camping pillows is an excellent suggestion!
We can certainly look to reviewing some of the key products on the market and will get to it as soon as we can.

In the meantime, best of luck with your exercise and if you find a great pillow before we get our reviews up, let us know!

All best,

The Pillow advisor team

 

Memory pillow with gel

Hi pillow advisor,

My local bedding retailer is selling a ‘Kaymed IKOOL’ – memory pillow with integrated gel for keeping cool.

Have you come across such a pillow?
Im a side sleeper with neck issues now and then. haven’t used a memory foam before. Looking for a solution.

many thanks

joseph

Hi Joe, thanks for getting in touch.

We’ve not tried this pillow before, it sounds like it could be a little gimmicky. Is both neck pain and overheating an issue for you? If it’s mostly dealing with neck pain and you’re a side sleeper then the best approach is to ensure you’ve got just the right amount of head support so that your neck is held straight.

A firm microfibre pillow or memory foam can do this, you might need to experiment a little to find the right one for you.

Might be worth giving the Kaymed one a go, especially if your local retailer could let you try it on for size.

Suzie

 

Washable feather / down pillow?

Hi!

I think I may be asking for the moon, but here goes…….

I mainly sleep on my tummy with my head to one side and my arms crossed across my chest. Sometimes I wake up and I’m more on my side but still with arms crossed.

I gather I need a softish pillow and I prefer feather/down as I can pummel it into the right shape under my neck which I can’t do with microfibre.

My main problem really is that I get a very sweaty head (I’m 70) especially on very warm nights, so it doesn’t really seem worth spending a lot on a pillow that would have to be thrown out after a while. I don’t have a tumble dryer so a washable pillow wouldn’t be much help.

I told you I was tricky! But if you CAN help, I’d be so grateful).

Kind regards
Mary

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your question and don’t worry about being tricky, we love a challenge.
It’s useful to make sure that we’re on top of the market and know what’s out there for different kinds of needs and sleepers.

Actually, your request is a little difficult as with feather and down you tend to get what you pay for and the nicer products are more expensive.

If you don’t want to spend too much and you can’t wash your pillow, you will have to compromise a little and go for a pillow which is not a Pillow Advisor ‘Best’, but is still a decent pillow. Your email actually made me go and review a pillow I’ve been aware of for a while at Marks and Spencers and I think it may fit the bill as it has a quilted, cool cotton cover with a full down / feather filling and ideal for front sleepers

Have a look at the M&S Goose quilted medium firm support pillow – review here:

The other alternative is of course the Dreams Goose Feather and Down pillow. It also has a cotton cover, is very reasonable and a down / feather filling. It’s not as substantial as the M&S pillow though and squashes down a little too much in comparison. 

Best option in my opinion M&S, 2nd choice is Dreams.

Good luck and here’s to a happy night’s sleep!

Suzie.

 

Need the best Pillow  for side sleeper – Female

Hi

Looking for a pillow for my wife. She is a side sleeper. Can you please recommend the best ones available in UK. Price (Cost) is not an issue.

Thanks

Saurabh

Hi Saurabh, I’m a side sleeper too. Side sleepers need a bit more lift in their pillows to make sure that the head and neck are aligned with the spine, in this way a side sleeper can be comfortable and won’t tend to get pain. If the head is too high or too low then it can cause problems.

I really like sleeping with 2 pillows; the first a supportive and breathable micro fibre as a base (something like the always excellent John Lewis Breathe or the White Company premium hollowfibre On top of this then I love a soft down pillow to add a bit of luxury – if cost was not an issue then I would definitely go for the Winter Goose down, again at John Lewis (they do seem to do some good pillows).

 

How long do Tempur pillows last?

Hi

I currently have a Tempur ergonomic support pillow as I suffer a lot from headaches/neck ache. Recently my neck and head pain has got worse and im now thinking its related to my pillow again. How long should these pillows last? and what would you recommend. I like to sleep on the side and find myself putting another pillow below my current tempur to gain a bit of height

help

Steve

Hi Steve, Tempur foam will start to sag after a while, looks like this can be anywhere between 3 to 5 years of use (according to a quick bit of research). If it is the case that your pillow used to be high enough for you then this is probably the case. If your head is not supported enough, your neck will be out of line with your spine and you can suffer from pain. I guess the options you’ve got are either to boost the height up a little as you are already doing, get another tempur pillow (expensive) or perhaps try out an adjustable height pillow like the Mediflow waterbase pillow (about £36) which you should be able to adjust so it’s just right for you – it might take some experimentation but aim to have your neck in alignment with your spine when you sleep on your side. Hope this helps!

 

Clumpy pillows

I can destroy a pillow in three weeks !!  Any fibre pillow goes lumpy and separates in the middle, so I end up with large ears each side of my head!

I cannot use feather pillows.  And I do get quite hot at night.

Please can you recommend which pillow I should look for.  Many Thanks, Lindsay

Hi Lindsay, fibre clumping can be down to the quality of the filling, we’ve reviewed a few low-end fibre pillows which clumped horribly within days. I suspect that might be the case here, have you tried a high quality fibre like the fabulous John Lewis breathe? I’d recommend giving that a go, alternatively, if feather / down is out for you and you want to avoid memory foam because of getting hot then you could try a micro bead pillow – these synthetic pillows will definitely not clump. We haven’t actually had any reviewed yet, I’ll add a couple to the review list.


Noisy pillows!

My pillows are noisy. All are recent buys, and all grate and judder as I breathe, and as I move. They are very loud. I spend ages thrashing my head around seeking a silent part of the pillow. It may sound daft – noisy pillows, but as fibres rub against each other they create noise. Our ears are pressed very close and so the noise is loud – even the person next to you may not hear the noise, but you (I) do.

This annoyance has increased as I have aged (I’m 62), but it was always present. The only pillow I can remember that was silent was one filled with chopped pieces of foam rubber – nowhere available now – except handmade by oneself. It wasn’t particularly comfortable, it had lumps, but it was silent.

Anyone? Suggestions for a silent pillow?

My bed is a naff tubular steel frame thing which creaks. Because the head is like the bars of a school gate, I have a bolster stretched across it, and that, too, grates and squeaks like a grating, squeaking, annoying thing, due to its filling.

What filling is silent? Please, what filling is silent? Sob. I need to sleep.

Hi Bob, firstly I’m sorry to hear that you’re suffering. It’s not daft, not if it’s not letting you sleep, I know what it can be like to be super aware of all noises around you when you’re trying to get back to sleep at 3 in the morning. The quietest pillow? – It’s got to be memory foam by a long way! Especially with a soft towelling cover. Most other pillow types have a loose filling which rustles, even down pillows. We’ve only found one memory foam pillow we rate (so far), the Tempur memory foam pillow – it’s not cheap (£100) and is shaped for support, but it’s very good. If you’re after a more regular shape then you could try others in the range, we have yet to try them ourselves though.


Alternative down pillow recommendation

hey there!

on the pillow hunt since recently and came across this great site of yours! just wondering if you can advise me an alternative to the discontinued White Company Hungarian goose down pillow?

I’m a side sleeper in search of the perfect blend of firmness/support yet fluffiness at the same time. I had a one night stand with this girl once and she had the perfect pillow that exactly fitted that description. Sadly, I’m unable to ask her what pillows she has.

All the best, Ali

Hi Ali, glad you like the site. We think it’s a shame that the White Company have discontinued the HGD pillow – it was very good. The good news is that we’ve found a successor in the John Lewis Ultimate Winter Snow Goose Down pillow – here’s the review. It’s pretty expensive but worth it? If you’re going to spend years with it then it’s a long term investment.


Tempur pillow availability

I am a Tempur pillow user, but i am having a big problem trying to purchase a pillow cover for my original queen medium.Can you help in giving me information on where i may purchase one.

Kind regards, Chris

Hi Chris, you’re not wrong, pillow cases for the Tempur original queen pillow seem to be very difficult to find. We’ve hunted around and the best we’ve been able to come up with is via eBay, here’s a link. There are a handful of tempur queen pillow cases available, a few of which are from UK-based suppliers, others from the US.


Pillow to help with neck pain

Hello

I am suffering from chronic neck pain and need to buy a new pillow with some support! Can you please recommend what type of pillow I need to buy please? I tend to sleep on my side rather than my back.
Thank you.
Sarah

Hi Sarah, sorry to hear you’re in pain. The trick with sleeping on your side is to have a pillow which will support your head more than the average pillow. Your head, neck and spine should be straight and nicely aligned. If your pillow isn’t supportive enough then your head will be too low and your neck will be out of line with your spine causing it to strain.

You could try a firm pillow or use 2 or 3 softer ones to find the right height for you. You could try a memory foam pillow, takes a bit of getting used to but is pretty supportive.


Recommendation for a latex pillow

Hi, can you recommend a brand of Latex pillow please? There are a lot around with quite different prices. Hypnos Dunlopillo and Silentnight are all so varying, how do I understand what’s best for a reasonable price? Thank you Jo

Hey Jo! We recently reviewed the Dunlopillo Serenity Deluxe pillow, we thought it was pretty good


Which pillows for support?

Morning,

I am in the market for a new pillow and love your site. What surprised me though was the comparatively low scores for side and back sleepers on all your pillows, nothing above 3* for any of them. I am looking for more support from my pillow and was leaning towards a memory foam one but even that didn’t score that highly on those criteria. It did well on reducing neck pain though which is an important factor.

Chris

Hi Chris, you’re right, we haven’t reviewed many pillows for side and back sleepers. We also haven’t really found a memory foam pillow we’re happy with – we’ll get on the case. The search continues!