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As more sleepers are seeking out natural materials for their bedding, bamboo pillows have enjoyed a surge in popularity. Bamboo has many advantages over other traditional pillow fabric and fill materials. The process of growing and harvesting bamboo can be more sustainable than other textile crops like cotton, which require larger amounts of water, fertilizers, and pesticides. Bamboo materials are also naturally durable, cooling, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic.
However, bamboo pillows can vary widely from brand to brand. This includes their general construction as well as the type of bamboo fabric and interior fill used. With a higher price tag than your average pillow, it’s important to know exactly what sets the best bamboo pillows apart. Our comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know so you can determine whether a bamboo pillow is right for you. We’ll break down the different bamboo fabrics, common types of fill material, differences in pillow constructions, and how to tell if a certain pillow will work for your unique comfort preferences.
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Made in the U.S. and available in three sizes, the Snuggle-Pedic Original Bamboo Pillow features a thick, durable cover made from bamboo viscose stuffed with shredded memory foam fill. Unlike some bamboo pillows made with shredded memory foam, the Snuggle-Pedic’s fill is ultra-fine. This gives the pillow a plush feel similar to down feathers, but, unlike down, memory foam will hold its loft for much longer.
The Snuggle-Pedic’s cover uses a proprietary bamboo viscose weave that is heavyweight but still soft. Micro-vented stitching gives the cover extra breathability despite the thickness of the fabric.
The Snuggle-Pedic’s foam filling is manufactured in the U.S., and the company’s memory foam is CertiPur-U.S.-certified, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) Biogreen foam. This means the Snuggle-Pedic is made without a number of harmful chemicals and produces less off-gassing odor.
This pillow is also highly adjustable. While the cover is not zippered, it has a fair amount of stretch, making it easy to rearrange the filling from the outside of the pillow. This allows sleepers to adjust the firmness and shape of their pillow to suit their needs no matter what sleep position they prefer.The entire pillow can be machine washed and dried.
The Snuggle-Pedic Original Bamboo Pillow ships free to the contiguous U.S., with potentially paid shipping to Alaska and Hawaii. Lastly, the pillow is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and 20-year warranty.
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The Sweet Night Bamboo Pillow is an adjustable bamboo pillow made using a combination of natural materials and a unique, temperature-regulating fill. A breathable, hypoallergenic bamboo-derived rayon cover surrounds an adjustable core of shredded memory foam. The memory foam is made with activated bamboo and charcoal, helping to prevent unpleasant odors and enhance its cooling capability.
The Sweet Night Bamboo Pillow has a two-part design with a zippered outer cover wrapped around an inner chamber that contains the pillow’s fill. The outer chamber is made entirely from bamboo-derived rayon. This natural material allows air to flow through the pillow while also helping to prevent the buildup of dust mites and common allergens. The outer cover can be machine washed for easy care.
The Sweet Night’s fill is held in place in the protective inner chamber with a zippered cover. The fill is largely shredded memory foam that has been made with activated bamboo and charcoal. Shredded memory foam is more breathable than a solid memory foam core, while the charcoal and bamboo are meant to help with nighttime sweating and excess moisture. There is a small blend of comfort polyfoam fill mixed in for additional cushioning.
The pillow’s loft starts rather high at about seven inches, with a relatively dense medium firm feel to it. Sleepers can easily open the pillow’s inner fill chamber and add or remove fill to adjust the pillow’s loft and firmness as needed.
The pillow is available in standard, queen, and king sizes. The Sweet Night Bamboo Pillow ships free to the contiguous U.S. It comes backed by a 100-night sleep trial as well as a 3-year warranty.
Best for Combination Sleepers
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The Sleepsia IK Bamboo Pillow is a great option for people who change sleep positions throughout the night. The pillow contains shredded memory foam fill that owners can add or remove whenever they wish to change the thickness and overall feel. Those who primarily sleep on their sides or backs can increase the loft to promote better spinal alignment, while stomach sleepers can reduce the fill to reduce the potential for neck and shoulder pain.
The IK Bamboo Pillow is also suitable for hot sleepers and people who live in warm or humid places. Air circulates well throughout the interior to help the pillow maintain a comfortable temperature, while the cover is produced from breathable rayon derived from bamboo for added cooling. The pillow cover can be removed and laundered in your household washer and dryer, but you shouldn’t attempt to clean the foam. Queen and king sizes are available.
Every purchase includes two pillows. Ground shipping is free for orders to all 50 states. Sleepsia also backs the pillows with a full satisfaction guarantee.
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The Nuovo Organico Contour Pillow from Luxor Linens is constructed with an orthopedic shape that delivers optimal support for the neck and head. The gentle incline allows side sleepers to rest comfortably without compromising their spinal alignment, while the adaptive memory foam core contours closely to alleviate aches and pains for back sleepers.
The pillow’s cover is composed of a polyester and rayon from bamboo blend. This material is quite breathable, allowing the pillow to remain cool despite the heat-absorbing properties of memory foam. If you’ve found that other memory foam pillows sleep too hot, the Nuovo Organico should be cool and comfortable by comparison.
The cover can be removed and machine washed, allowing for convenient and inexpensive cleaning, and you’ll never need to launder the foam. The pillow’s compact size also makes it a great travel accessory, and it can be compressed to fit in most suitcases and overnight bags.
The pillow’s sticker price is very reasonable compared to similar memory foam designs from other brands. Luxor Linens also charges a low, flat rate for domestic shipping. Returns and exchanges are accepted within 365 days of the original purchase, provided you try out the pillow for at least 30 nights.
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Bamboo pillows are generally ideal for hot sleepers due to the exceptional breathability of bamboo-derived materials. The Cariloha Gel Pillow stands out for temperature neutrality thanks to its core, which consists of bamboo charcoal memory foam infused with cooling gel. Bamboo and charcoal both have natural cooling properties, and the gel is intended to draw heat away from your body.
The pillow’s cover also assists with temperature control because it is made from a fabric blend of polyester and viscose from bamboo, the latter of which is a very breathable fabric. For these reasons, the Cariloha Gel Pillow is a great pick for people who tend to sleep hot on memory foam pillows.
The foam also contours closely to the head and neck, which can alleviate pain and pressure points that develop in these areas. This makes the pillow particularly well-suited to side sleepers, who often experience discomfort along the spine because their preferred position does not promote even alignment as well as back sleeping.
The cover can be removed and washed in your household machines whenever it needs to be cleaned, but the foam should only be spot cleaned if it becomes dirty or stained. Standard and king sizes are available.
The Gel Pillow is reasonably priced and Cariloha Bamboo offers free ground shipping for U.S. orders of $100 or more, which includes both sizes for the pillow. You’ll receive a 30-night sleep trial with your purchase.
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The Bamboo Buckwheat Pillow from PineTales marries two of the most popular pillow materials used today. The fill consists of buckwheat hulls, which are certified as organic and grown in the United States, while the cover is made of rayon from bamboo. The cover fabric is quite breathable and airflow is steady throughout the interior, so this pillow is very well suited to hot sleepers and people who reside in warm or humid climates.
Adjustability is another perk. The hulls can be added or removed to change the loft, making the pillow comfortable for different sleep positions. That said, the hulls have a consistently firm feel regardless of how much fill you use and you should expect a very supportive feel from this pillow. PineTales sells extra hulls in bulk if you ever need to replenish your supply.
Three sizes are available. In addition to a standard, you can also select smaller “compact” or “Japanese” sizes. To clean the pillow, first completely remove the hulls and then wash the cover and inner cotton liner in your household machine. If any hulls get wet, simply air dry them until they can be placed back into the pillow.
PineTales provides free ground shipping for all orders in the contiguous U.S. The company also allows pillow returns within 45 days of the original order.
Bamboo pillows with memory foam fill may either be solid or shredded. Shredded memory foam, memory foam that has been torn into small pieces, allows sleepers to more freely adjust the loft of their pillow depending on their preferred sleep position.
The bamboo-derived pillows covers are made from 100% bamboo fiber. Bamboo is frequently touted for its benefits over other common materials such as cotton and synthetics. Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, lightweight, and cooling.
However, bamboo is often combined with other materials to create a hybrid woven material for the pillow cover. This can improve the softness of the material while retaining the best features of bamboo fabric.
Bamboo belongs to the family of Poaceae plants more commonly known as grasses. While all continents except Antarctica and Europe have their own native bamboo species, it grows especially well in warm and moist areas including both tropical and temperate climates.
As a grass, bamboo grows very quickly. Its fast growth makes bamboo well suited to commercial use. After harvesting, plants that have been cut can regrow back to full height in a short time. Unlike cotton, bamboo requires little in the way of fertilizer, pesticides, or irrigation. This also makes bamboo an environmentally friendly crop that can help restore degraded land.
Once harvested, there are two common methods to create bamboo fiber.
Mechanical Processing: the woody stem of the plant is crushed using machinery and then a natural enzyme treatment helps to break down the bamboo walls. The result is a mushy mass that can be combed through to extract the plant fibers. Plant fibers are then spun into yarn. The result is often referred to as bamboo linen which is highly durable, requires minimal processing, and readily takes up dyes, but is very expensive.
Chemical Processing: this is a more affordable method for creating bamboo-derived fabrics. Also referred to as the viscose process, this method uses strong chemicals to dissolve bamboo stalks to create a thick liquid. The liquid can then be filtered to separate the bamboo fibers, which are spun into a thread to create bamboo-based rayon fabric. Lyocell bamboo involves a similar process but uses less harmful chemicals.
Bamboo pillows offer a highly breathable sleep surface that can help promote proper spinal alignment in the neck. However, you must take into account your own unique needs when shopping for a new pillow. Here we cover the most important aspects to consider when choosing a bamboo pillow.
Bamboo pillows are known for their breathability, adjustability, and natural materials. While most bamboo pillows share these same general qualities, not all bamboo pillows are created equal. They can vary widely in terms of the type of bamboo fabric, fill material, and construction.
Many bamboo pillows only contain bamboo fabric in their cover while others use bamboo construction in both the cover and the pillow fill material. The type of fill material will have a significant impact on the performance and comfort of your pillow. That’s why we recommend comparing different brands and pillow models before deciding which bamboo pillow to buy.
Below we’ve highlighted the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a bamboo pillow. If you take these factors into account and prioritize based on your personal preferences, you’ll be able to find a bamboo pillow that suits your needs.
Loft refers to how tall a pillow sits. Side sleepers typically prefer pillows with higher lofts, stomach sleepers gravitate toward low loft pillows, and back sleepers often look for a more medium loft.
Most bamboo pillows are designed to provide an adjustable loft, where an interior zippered cover allows you to access the interior fill. Fill can be removed or added to create a customized loft that’s comfortable for all types of sleepers.
Bamboo pillows typically come with either a memory foam or bamboo fiber fill. Memory foam fill can take the form of the more traditional solid memory foam core or shredded memory foam. As the name suggests, shredded memory foam fill is made up of finely torn pieces of memory foam. While solid memory foam can be more firm and supportive, shredded memory is more breathable and adjustable to suit a wider range of comfort and sleep position preferences. Bamboo fiber is even more breathable and may emit fewer off-gassing odors.
The level of support will largely depend on the exact type of fill the pillow contains. Bamboo pillows with a memory foam interior tend to provide ample support, as the foam molds to the shape of the sleeper’s head and neck promoting proper spinal alignment. However, bamboo pillows made with bamboo fiber fill can also offer suitable support that cushions the head and neck.
This is an indicator of how soft a pillow will feel. The ideal firmness is largely subjective. Some sleepers prefer a more soft, plush pillow while others enjoy a pillow with less give. Bamboo pillows made with shredded memory foam make it easy to adjust the level of firmness by manipulating the shape of the pillow to create a customized firmness level that matches your comfort preferences.
Memory foam-based bamboo pillows provide excellent pressure relief by molding to the sleeper’s head, neck, and shoulders relieving pressure, tension, and pain.
Bamboo pillows follow the traditional rectangular sizing conventions for pillows sold in North America. This includes standard, queen, and king sizes. Some brands may also offer specialty sizing in the form of square or body-style pillow options, but these shapes will be harder to find.
Bamboo pillows typically cost between $50 and $150 depending on the quality and materials. While this is on the higher end of the price range for a new pillow, it’s relatively easy to find sales, deals, and promotions to reduce the final price tag.
Bamboo fiber is generally considered a long lasting, durable material. Often, the limiting factor when it comes to the life of your bamboo pillow will be the fill. Memory foam and other fills will degrade over time, eventually losing their ability to properly support your head and neck. However, some bamboo pillows made with shredded memory foam or bamboo fiber fill may be able to be restuffed with extra fill, extending their life span.
This refers to how pliable or squishy a pillow feels. Bamboo pillows made with a solid memory foam interior will have the classic conforming comfort of memory foam, but lack moldability. In contrast, bamboo pillows made with shredded memory foam or bamboo fiber will be more moldable and easy to manipulate.
Pillows may sleep hot, cool, or neutral. The degree of temperature regulation for an individual pillow will depend on both the fill and cover materials. Hot sleepers typically prefer a cooling pillow to help stay comfortable through the night.
Bamboo fabric is known for its excellent breathability. Combined with a shredded memory foam or bamboo fiber fill that promotes greater airflow than traditional solid memory foam pillows, most bamboo pillows will provide a temperature neutral sleep surface for your head and neck.
Bamboo pillows are naturally breathable and made to be highly adjustable. However, bamboo pillows made with a memory foam-based fill share some of the benefits and downsides of other memory foam pillows. The following table presents an in-depth look at the pros and cons of bamboo pillows.
Rayon: Rayon derived from bamboo is one of the most common forms of bamboo-based fabrics. Also called bamboo viscose, bamboo rayon is a semi-synthetic fabric made by chemically processing raw bamboo to extract the plant’s fibers for use in textiles. Rayon is affordable and also very soft, making it a good fabric to use in pillows.
Lyocell: Lyocell bamboo shares many similar properties to bamboo-derived rayon. And while the process used to create lyocell is similar to the one used for rayon, it uses a more environmentally-friendly process. If you’re worried about the environmental impact of rayon bamboo but also need an affordable bamboo pillow option, lyocell bamboo represents a good middle ground.
Linen: Bamboo linen is considered the most environmentally friendly option in terms of bamboo fabrics. That’s because it requires very few chemicals and minimal processing. Bamboo linen can be coarse and may not be the best for next-to-face comfort. However, higher thread count bamboo linen fabrics are softer. Bamboo linen is highly durable, but also costly. Because the process involves more manual labor, a pillow that uses bamboo linen will likely be on the highest end of the price range for a bamboo pillow.
Similar to mattresses, pillows also come in various sizes to suit a wide range of sleeper preferences. However, not every retailer carries every size, so be aware of what sizes are available as you scout different brands of bamboo pillows. While sizes tend to be standardized, there can be some minor variations from brand to brand. With that in mind, here are the most commonly available pillow sizes.
How much do bamboo pillows cost?
Bamboo pillows typically cost between $50 and $150 for a standard or queen size. While a bamboo pillow may be a bit more expensive than your ordinary pillow, it’s possible to find affordable options. Many brands often hold frequent sales and promotions which can significantly lower the cost of a new bamboo pillow.
How do I clean a bamboo pillow?
Bamboo pillows constructed with shredded memory foam or bamboo fill can usually be cleaned in your washing machine, while solid memory foam models should be spot-cleaned. Some models feature a zippered outer cover that can also be removed for machine washing. Regardless of the type of bamboo pillow, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
Where can I buy a bamboo pillow?
You can buy a bamboo pillow online or in stores at major retailers that stock home goods. Many big box stores as well brick and mortar mattress and bedding retailers sell bamboo pillows. However, if you want more options, you’ll be able to find many more choices when it comes to sizing, firmness, loft, and different materials by shopping online.
How long do bamboo pillows last?
If frequently used, bamboo pillows typically last around two years. Pillows will start to sag and lose their shape and supportiveness with repeated use. It’s important to periodically replace your pillows to ensure your neck is properly supported during the night.
Are bamboo pillows adjustable?
Bamboo pillows made with shredded memory foam are often adjustable. Many models feature an interior cover that you can use to open and adjust the inner filling material. This allows sleepers to customize their pillow’s loft to suit their comfort preferences and favorite sleeping position.
Do bamboo pillows have an odor?
Yes, bamboo pillows may initially emit off-gassing odors but this should quickly dissipate. Many bamboo pillows contain a memory foam interior. The production process used by most memory foam manufacturers creates volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
While not considered harmful, VOCs can create an unpleasant odor, especially for products sealed in plastic directly after manufacturing. This smell may be obvious when you first unbox your new pillow. Simply give your new pillow a few hours to air out in a well-ventilated room before sleeping on it.
Bamboo pillows featuring bamboo fiber fill are less likely to emit noticeable off-gassing odors when new.
Is bamboo environmentally friendly?
It depends on the type of bamboo fabric. While bamboo cultivation and harvesting requires far fewer resources such as water, pesticides, and fertilizer compared to other textile fibers like cotton, different manufacturing methods for creating bamboo fabric have varying levels of impact on the environment.
Bamboo linen made by mechanical processing is the most natural and environmentally friendly form of bamboo fabric. On the other hand, rayon derived from bamboo requires heavier chemical processing that can be harmful for both the environment and the workers involved. Lyocell bamboo represents a good middle ground. It’s not as minimally processed as bamboo linen but uses fewer chemicals than rayon.
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