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Best Hypoallergenic Pillows – Top Picks and Buying Guide

38
Hypoallergenic Pillows Considered
52
Hours of Research
4
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

Many sleepers experience allergies triggered by dust mites, tiny organisms that feed on dead skin cells and mold. Dust mites typically settle in fabrics and other fibrous materials, including pillowcases, sheets, and other types of bedding. The most common effects associated with dust mite allergies include a runny nose, irritated eyes and nose, and coughing – all of which can potentially disrupt sleep.

Best Hypoallergenic Pillows

Many bedding manufacturers address this issue with pillows made from hypoallergenic fabrics. These include plant-based fibers that are naturally hypoallergenic, such as cotton, linen, and silk, as well as synthetics treated with hypoallergenic additives, such as polyester and rayon from bamboo. In addition to dust mites, hypoallergenic pillows also stave off other allergens, such as mold and mildew.

Read on to learn more about how hypoallergenic pillows are made, benefits of using them, and performance ratings for different hypoallergenic materials. Below you’ll find our picks for the top hypoallergenic pillows sold today. These selections are based on verified owner and customer reviews, as well as our own product research and analysis

Our Top 5 Picks

Best Hypoallergenic Pillows – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow

Editor's Pick – Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow

Highlights

  • 100% down alternative fill, natural cotton shell
  • 2 sizes
  • 3 loft options
  • Spot or dry clean only
  • 365-night sleep trial
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Editor’s Pick Overview

Down alternative is composed of polyester puffballs that mimic the softness and lightness of natural down feathers. However, authentic down can trigger serious allergies for sleepers, whereas down alternative is completely hypoallergenic. Our Editor’s Pick is the Brooklinen Down Alternative Pillow, which also features a naturally hypoallergenic shell made of smooth cotton sateen. A double-stitched design also makes the pillow highly durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Customers can choose from low, medium, and high loft settings, ensuring most sleepers can find a thickness setting that suits their head size, sleep position, and comfort preferences. Standard and king sizes are available, both of which are priced below $80 in all three loft settings.

Brooklinen offers a 365-night sleep trial for the Down Alternative Pillow, which includes free shipping for exchanges and replacements. Full refunds are issued for all returns, as well.

Best Value – Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Best Value – Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Highlights

  • 100% gel-infused polyfill, cotton shell
  • 2 sizes
  • High loft
  • Machine washable
  • 30-night satisfaction guarantee
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Best Value Overview

Most hypoallergenic pillows are generally inexpensive, though one high-quality model often costs at least $60 to $70 in any size. Our Best Value pick, the Gel Pillow from Beckham Hotel Collection, is widely available in packs of two for less than $50 in queen and king sizes. However, the pillow offers strong protection against dust mites, mold, and mildew thanks to its hypoallergenic down alternative fill. The polyester fibers are also infused with gel for added cooling, and the pillow is encased in a breathable cotton shell.

The Gel Pillow is fully machine washable, as well as stain- and fade-resistant. It is also designed to maintain a full shape with above-average loft, and should not require much fluffing or primping to maintain a comfortable thickness setting. The pillow is very well-suited to those who prefer a plush feel.

Beckham Hotel Collection offers a 30-night satisfaction guarantee on the Gel Pillow, which includes full refunds on all returns. Amazon Prime members also qualify for free one-day shipping when they order a two-pack of pillows from Amazon.com.

Best for Side Sleepers – Layla Kapok Memory Foam Pillow

Best for Side Sleepers – Layla Kapok Memory Foam Pillow

Highlights

  • Kapok fiber and memory foam fill, blended fabric shell
  • 2 sizes
  • 4" loft
  • Spot clean only
  • 120-night sleep trial, 5-year warranty
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Best for Side Sleepers Overview

Most side sleepers prefer pillows with medium to high loft. This ensures minimal space between their head and shoulders, which reduces pressure points and improves spinal alignment. We’ve selected the Kapok Memory Foam Pillow for Kapok as our top choice for side sleepers. It has a medium loft of about four inches, which is suitable for side sleepers of any weight but particularly optimal for those weighing at least 130 pounds.

The pillow’s fill consists of shredded memory foam and fibers from the kapok tree. Both of these materials are hypoallergenic, and also sleep reasonably cool compared to other pillow fills. Additionally, the cover is made from a blend of polyester, viscose, and Lycra® spandex to keep dust mites and other allergens at bay. Customers can choose from queen and king sizes.

The Kapok Memory Foam Pillow is somewhat pricey. However, Layla offers free shipping within the contiguous U.S. and low rates for customers in Alaska and Hawaii. The pillow is also backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a five-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Best for Back Sleepers – Original Casper Pillow

Best for Back Sleepers – Original Casper Pillow

Highlights

  • 100% polyester microfiber fill, cotton shell
  • 2 sizes
  • 5" to 6" loft
  • Machine washable
  • 100-night trial, 3-year warranty
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Best for Back Sleepers Overview

Most back sleepers prefer pillows with medium to high loft. This ensures even support by keeping the head aligned with the rest of the body, rather than letting it rest too low or high. We’ve selected the Original Casper Pillow for back sleepers because it offers a loft of five inches in a standard size and six inches in a king size. While these are fairly thick loft settings, the pillow has a plush feel that allows the head to sink to a comfortable, supportive level. The Original Casper also sleeps exceptionally cool.

The Original Casper Pillow is constructed with an inner pillow with crimped polyester microfibers and a larger outer pillow padded with longer fibers for extra cushioning. Both components have hypoallergenic fill, and the pure-cotton shell also staves off dust mites and other allergens. Both the shell and the interior are machine washable, allowing owners to save time and money when cleaning the pillow.

The Original Casper Pillow is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a three-year warranty. Casper also offers free shipping and full refunds on all returns.

Best for Stomach Sleepers – Parachute Down Alternative Pillow

Best for Stomach Sleepers – Parachute Down Alternative Pillow

Highlights

  • 100% down alternative fill, cotton shell
  • 2 sizes
  • 3 loft options
  • Machine washable
  • 60-night sleep trial, 3-year warranty
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Best for Stomach Sleepers Overview

Although many stomach sleepers do not use a pillow, those that do typically prefer low to medium loft. Higher loft settings can elevate the head to an uncomfortable degree, potentially resulting in poor spinal alignment and neck pain. We’ve chosen the Down Alternative Pillow from Parachute for stomach sleepers because it is available in three loft settings, including a firmer, lower-loft design that is suitable for most stomach sleepers. A medium-loft option is also available for sleepers who prefer their head and neck to be slightly elevated.

The pillow is constructed with clustered down alternative fill encased in a smooth, percale-weave cotton shell. These hypoallergenic components help resist dust mites, mold, and other contaminants that trigger allergies in sleepers. They also sleep very cool, making this pillow a good option for people who run hot in bed. This pillow is offered in standard and king sizes.

Parachute backs this pillow with a 60-night trial and a three-year warranty. Free ground shipping is also available to customers in all 50 states, as well as overnight and expedited delivery for an added charge.

Buying Guide – How to Shop for a Hypoallergenic Pillow

Allergies affect millions of people in the U.S. The most common household allergy triggers include dust mites, mold, mildew, and pet dander. These contaminants are drawn to fibrous surfaces, including pillowcases and sheets. As a result, people with allergies often experience poor sleep quality.

In recent years, hypoallergenic pillows have become popular among sleepers. Some are made from naturally hypoallergenic, plant-based fibers, while others contain synthetics treated with hypoallergenic additives. All of these pillows stave off allergens to some degree, but some are more effective than others. Read on to learn how hypoallergenic pillows are made and what they do to keep allergens at bay.

Please note: Tuck.com is not a medical website, and our advice about allergies and hypoallergenic pillows should never replace information from a licensed medical professional. If you experience allergy symptoms and want to learn more about your best options, please consult your physician to learn more.

Common Allergy Triggers for Sleepers

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies affect millions of adults and children in the U.S., and are one of the nation’s leading causes of chronic illness. Some allergies are considered allergic diseases, such as food, drug, and insect sting allergies. These can be life-threatening in some cases. Others, such as hay fever caused by exposure to pollen, are considered seasonal allergies.

Perennial allergies, characterized by light to moderate year-round symptoms, are a persistent source of irritation for sleepers. Allergens associated with perennial effects include:

  • Dust mites, small white arachnids that subsist on dead skin cells. They are found throughout the world, but thrive in warm, humid areas. The mites themselves can trigger allergies. Additionally, their feces contains enzymes that can cause respiratory issues.
  • Mold and mildew are fungi that scatter seeds known as spores. When spores enter the air, they can trigger allergies in humans. Indoor molds and mildew are considered perennial allergens. Exposure to outdoor mold and mildew may also lead to allergy symptoms.
  • Those who own dogs, cats, and other furry pets are vulnerable to allergies from dander, a microscopic, dandruff-like substance that animals (and humans) periodically shed. Dander can trigger allergies when it enters the nose, mouth, and other mucous membranes. Dust mites may also feed on dander, leading to an increase in mite populations.

Although perennial allergies affect everyone in different ways, the most common symptoms include:

  • Runny nose and nasal congestion
  • Itchy and/or watery eyes
  • Excessive sneezing

Perennial allergies may not cause serious symptoms for most, but they can be highly disruptive to daily life, including sleep cycles. In the next section, we’ll learn more about hypoallergenic pillows and how they work.

What Is a Hypoallergenic Pillow?

First, it’s important to note that the term ‘hypoallergenic’ can be somewhat misleading. The federal government does not regulate the use of the term, meaning some pillows labeled as hypoallergenic may not be effective as others at reducing the spread of allergens. The bottom line: just because a manufacturer calls a pillow hypoallergenic does not mean it will completely eliminate allergy triggers.

Hypoallergenic pillows, by definition, contain materials that won’t trigger allergies in most sleepers and are designed to thwart the accumulation of dust mites, mold and mildew, and other common allergens. Most hypoallergenic pillows share at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Allergen barrier: Dust mites and other allergens often thrive in pillow interiors, which are filled with dead skin cells and fairly warm. Some hypoallergenic pillows have outer covers, casings, or shells constructed with a tight weave that is difficult for allergens to penetrate.
  • Consistent airflow: Air circulation can cause dust mites, mold and mildew spores, and other allergens to scatter, making it more difficult for them to settle. Certain types of pillow fill, such as buckwheat hulls and shredded memory foam, offer relatively strong airflow compared to other fill materials.
  • Antimicrobial properties: Certain pillow materials are antimicrobial, making them resistant to allergens as well as bacteria. Antimicrobial fill materials include memory foam, and latex. Additionally, cover fabrics like linen and rayon from bamboo are also antimicrobial.
  • Anti-allergen treatment: Pillows containing materials that are allergy triggers may actually be hypoallergenic if allergens are removed from the fill. For example, this practice is commonly used for pillows containing down and/or feathers, both of which can be allergy triggers.

As we’ve discussed, many natural and synthetic materials can possess hypoallergenic qualities. The following table breaks down hypoallergenic qualities for the most common pillow fill materials based on allergy trigger potential, fibrous texture, airflow, and other key factors.

Pillow Material Buckwheat Down/Feather Down Alternative Latex Memory Foam
Description Pillows are filled with hulls, the hard outer casings of buckwheat kernels. The pillows are firm and sleep very cool. Pillows are filled with a combination of softer inner plumage (down) and coarser outer plumage (feathers) from ducks or geese. These pillows are exceptionally soft and airy. Pillows are filled with clusters of polyester puffballs, which mimic the airiness and softness of natural down. Pillows are filled with latex, a flexible substance derived from rubber tree sap. The fill may be shredded or consist of a single piece. Latex pillows are responsive and very durable. Pillows are filled with viscoelastic polyurethane foam (aka memory foam), a material that becomes softer when it comes into contact with body heat. The fill may be shredded or consist of one piece.
Allergy potential Fairly low, although some people have buckwheat allergies. High. Down and feathers are arguably the biggest allergy triggers among common pillow fills. Low. Unlike authentic down, down alternative does not trigger any allergies in sleepers. Medium. Some people have latex allergies. Low. Memory foam should not trigger allergies for anyone.
Allergen protection Fairly low. Buckwheat pillows do not keep out dust mites or other allergens. Low. Dust mites often thrive in down and feather fill due to its warmth. Medium. Down alternative fibers may attract dust mites due to their fibrous texture. Fairly high. Latex naturally blocks mold and mildew spores. However, dust mites may settle on the material. Shredded latex pillows attract fewer mites. Fairly high. Memory foam is inedible to dust mites and tends to resist spores. Solid memory foam pillows tend to attract more dust mites than those with shredded fill.
Anti-microbial? Many buckwheat pillows are antimicrobial and antibacterial, particularly those with organic components. Down and feathers may emit dander and contain microbes. Some manufacturers treat the fill to remove these contaminants. Down alternative fibers may have antimicrobial qualities, but this usually involves chemical treatments and additives. Latex is naturally antimicrobial, meaning dust mites won't consume it. Memory foam is antimicrobial. Like latex, it does not serve as a common food source for dust mites.
Average price range $50 to $75 $70 to $100 (pure down) $25 to $50 (down/feather combo) $20 to $30 $40 to $60 $50 to $60
Rating for sleepers with allergies Fair Poor Good to Very Good Good to Very Good Good to Very Good

Additional Strategies for Sleepers with Allergies

In addition to choosing a hypoallergenic pillow, sleepers with allergies can alleviate symptoms with the following bedroom strategies:

  • Launder pillowcases, sheets, and other linens in warm or hot water. Unless care tags explicitly advise against it, washing bedding materials in warmer water is an effective strategy for eradicating dust mites, mold, and mildew.
  • Occasionally air out bedding materials. Exposure to direct sunlight can freshen pillowcases and sheets, which helps eradicate dust mites, mold and mildew, and other allergens. For best results, air out these items at least once or twice per year.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier. A humidifier is a bedside appliance that draws from a water reservoir and emits cool or warm mist, which helps clear the air of dust mites and other contaminants. Owners must clean their humidifier regularly to prevent excessive mold growth, and they should also wash and/or replace the air filter to keep it working properly. To learn more about these products, check out our Best Humidifiers guide.
  • Try aromatherapy. Aromatherapy involves the infusion of essential oils, which helps open up the nasal passages. This practice may not stave off allergens, but it can make sleepers less susceptible to allergy symptoms. Learn more with our Essential Oils for Sleep guide.
  • Keep bedroom windows closed. Many allergens enter the home from outside, and open windows are often the culprit. Because dust mites and mold/mildew spores are microscopic, it’s possible for them to enter through screens and other smaller openings.
  • Manage bedroom humidity levels. Mold, mildew, and dust mites all thrive in humid environments. For best results, keep bedroom humidity levels below 30%.
  • Consider switching to central heat/air conditioning. Central air is much more effective at staving off allergens than free-standing heaters or air conditioning units, which protect a more limited space. However, this can be an expensive investment. Additionally, it may not be a feasible option for renters.
  • Forbid furry pets from entering the bedroom. This may be easier said than done for some pet owners, but this is the best defense against dander and associated dust mite infestations in pillows and bedding materials.

For more information about choosing pillows and keeping your bedroom allergen-free, please visit the following guides on Tuck.com:

Additional Tuck Resources

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