Buying Guide – Shopping for the Best Polyester Pillow
Polyester is a synthetic fabric engineered to mimic the softness, coolness, and breathability of natural cotton. Polyester pillows are filled with hypoallergenic polyester fibers. They come in a wide range of sizes, as well as loft and firmness settings. In addition to sleeping pillows, polyester is commonly used in couch pillows and decorative throw pillows. It’s important to note that many down alternative pillows are also made with polyester material, but the consistency is different than that of a standard polyester pillow.
Polyester pillows are generally the least expensive pillows on the market, and are also widely available. They are usually machine washable, emit minimal odor, and tend to be fairly lightweight. However, polyester pillows are also associated with excessive lumpiness and below-average durability. They may also produce noise, which can be disruptive for sleepers, and although the polyester fill is hypoallergenic, this material also attracts dust mites.
Read on to learn more about polyester pillows and how they compare to other pillow types.
What to Consider in a Polyester Pillow
As one of the most common types of pillows materials, polyester has a number of advantages, though, there are some concerns to be aware of. In the sections below, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of choosing polyester, along with buying considerations such as size and material.
There are many reasons polyester pillows have become the most popular pillow types over the years. The most compelling pros associated with polyester include:
- Price: Polyester pillows are perfect for shoppers on a budget, with an average price-point of $15 to $30.
- Softness: Polyester is similar to cotton in terms of softness, and pillows with polyester fibers are suitable for people who prefer to snuggle with a pillow while sleeping.
- Lightweight: The average polyester pillow weighs three pounds or less, making them fairly easy to move and adjust during the night.
- Odor: Unlike pillows made from other materials, polyester pillows do not usually emit any off-gassing smells.
- Cleaning: Most polyester pillows are machine washable, and very rarely require spot cleaning or dry cleaning.
- Sleeping Cool: Polyester pillows retain minimal body heat and sleep relatively cool as a result.
For all the pros that come with polyester pillows, there are a few drawbacks worth considering. The cons associated with polyester pillows include:
- Lifespan: Durability is a chief weakness of polyester pillows because they typically flatten after one to two years of use.
- Shape: Polyester pillows are prone to lumpiness over time, which can lead to pain and pressure in the head, neck, and shoulders.
- Allergy Potential: Although polyester fill is hypoallergenic, this material is known to attract dust mites, which can trigger allergies in sleepers.
- Support: Because they flatten easily, most polyester pillows provide below-average support.
- Noise: Polyester pillows often produce sounds when compressed.
- Moldability: Polyester pillows are not very moldable, and some sleepers may not be able to scrunch them into a shape that makes them comfortable.
Polyester pillows are insulated with shredded tufts of fiber fill. In most cases, polyethylene terephthalate, or dacron, is used. Polyester fibers are exceptionally lightweight, and these pillows usually weigh one to three pounds. Cotton covers are widely used, and may range in thread count from 150 to 400.
Polyester pillows are generally available in the following sizes:
- Standard: Standard is the most popular pillow size in terms of overall sales, and generally carries the lowest price-point. With the exception of some Euro sizes, Standard-size pillows are the most compact, as well.
- Super Standard: Also known as ‘Jumbo’ or ‘Huge,’ Super Standard pillows are two inches longer than Standard pillows. This makes them suitable for people who find Standard sizes too compact and don’t toss and turn too much.
- Queen: A Queen-size pillow is four inches longer than a Standard, and may be suitable for sleepers who find Standards too compact. They also provide enough room for people who toss and turn or rotate their head while sleeping.
- King: King-size pillows are generally the largest size available outside of body pillows; they are six inches longer than Queens and 10 inches longer than Standards, making them ideal for people who toss and turn to a significant extent. They also serve as comfortable headrests or backrests for people who sit up in bed to read, work, or watch television.
- Euro: Euro sizes are unique, in that they are square-shaped and come in a wide range of different measurements. In addition to sleeping pillows, Euro pillows are often used as head/backrests or decorative pillows.
- Body: Body pillows are exceptionally wide, making them a suitable choice for people that prefer to snuggle with a pillow while they sleep.
The table below features general measurements for each of the pillow sizes discussed above, although specific dimensions vary by manufacturer.