Best Polyester Pillows

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 is the Makeup of a Polyester Pillow?

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.

Which Sizes Are Available for Polyester Pillows?

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.

Pillow Size Dimensions
Standard 20W” x 26L”
Super Standard 20W” x 28L”
Queen 20W” x 30L”
King 20W” x 36L”
Euro 26W” x 26L”
24W” x 24L”
22W” x 22L”
20W” x 20L”
18W” x 18L”
16W” x 16L”
Body Pillow 54W” x 20L”
48W” x 20L”

Pros and Cons of Polyester Pillows

Pros of polyester pillows include the following:

  • Price: Polyester pillows are perfect for shoppers on a budget, with an average price-point of $10 to $15.
  • 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.

Cons of polyester pillows include the following:

  • 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.  

Who is a Polyester Pillow Good For?

Generally speaking, polyester pillows are best suited for the following sleepers:

  • People who sleep on their back, side, or stomach. Polyester pillows are considered suitable for all sleep positions, although side-sleepers generally need higher-loft pillows while stomach-sleepers feel more comfortable on low-loft pillows.
  • People who prefer to cuddle with a pillow while they sleep, due to the softness of polyester-based models.
  • People who are sensitive to unpleasant smells produced by other pillow types, such as latex, memory foam, or down.

On the other hand, polyester pillows may not be suitable for the following sleepers:

  • People who are prone to dust allergies, since polyester fill often attracts dust mites.
  • People who have pain or pressure in their head, neck, and/or shoulders. Polyester pillows often flatten and become lumpy, which can exacerbate pain and pressure points.
  • People who awaken easily due to noise, as polyester pillows can be somewhat loud.

Polyester Pillow Ratings

Criteria Polyester Pillow Rating Explanation
Affordability Very Good to Excellent With an average price-point of $10 to $15, polyester pillows are considered the least expensive pillow type available. Some models cost as little as $2.
Durability Poor to Fair Polyester pillows have shorter-than-average lifespans, and often become flat and unshapely after just one to two years of use.
Support Poor to Fair Most sleepers do not receive adequate support from polyester pillows, which can become lumpy and create pain and pressure symptoms.
Noise Fair to Good Polyester pillows are not as loud as some other pillow types, such as buckwheat, but some owners report that their pillow makes noise when bearing weight.
Weight Very Good to Excellent Polyester pillows generally weigh one to three pounds, making them easy to move, shift, and adjust for most adults.
Odor Very Good to Excellent Polyester pillows emit little to no odor.
Washable Very Good to Excellent Polyester pillows are usually machine washable, and hardly ever need to be spot cleaned or dry cleaned.
Firmness/Loft Options Very Good to Excellent Most polyester pillows are medium-loft and rated as Medium to Medium Firm, but due to the wide selection of products available, sleepers can generally find models that range from low- to high-loft and Soft to Firm.
Availability Good to Very Good Polyester pillows are widely available.

Buying Tips for Polyester Pillows

Polyester pillows are available through a wide range of brick-and-mortar and online home goods retailers, including Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ikea, Target, and Macy’s. They are also sold on exclusively online retail sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com.

The average polyester pillow costs between $10 and $15. On the low end, select models are sold for as little as $2 or less, and polyester pillows rarely exceed a price-point of more than $30. This makes them the cheapest pillow type on average, followed by down alternative ($20 to $30), feather ($25 to $50), and latex ($40 to $60).

In most cases, polyester pillows can be machine washed and do not require specialty cleaning. This makes them fairly inexpensive to maintain in the long run. However, due to their below-average durability, sleepers may need to replace them every two to three years. Washing polyester pillows in hot water can help eliminate dust mites.

The graph below compares the average price of polyester pillows against seven other commonly sold pillow types.

Polyester Pillow Brands and Models

Brand Name Ikea (Multiple Models) Mainstays (Walmart; Multiple Models) MyPillow Sealy (Multiple Models) Serta (Multiple Models)
Polyester Pillow Price Range $1.99 to $15.99 $2.00 to $8.42 $79.98 (2-Pack) $28.00 to $35.00 $29.98 (2-Pack)
Sizes Standard
Queen
King
Body
Standard
Super Standard
King
Queen
Euro
Body
Standard/Queen (16 1/2W” x 26L”)
King (16 1/2W” x 32L”)
Standard
Queen
King
Queen
King
Cover Lyocell and Cotton Blend Polyester Undisclosed Cotton Cotton
Firmness Range Soft
Firm
Soft

 

Medium Medium
Firm
Very Firm
Medium
Firm
Loft Range Low to Medium Low to Medium Low to High Medium to High Medium
Trial 365 Nights 90 Nights 60 Nights 30 Nights 30 Nights
Cleaning Machine Washable Machine Washable Machine Washable
Machine Dry to Recover Shape
Machine Washable Machine Washable
Customer Satisfaction Rating 76% (895 Customer Reviews) 79% (1,065 Customer Reviews) 82% (1,143 Customer Reviews) 81% (902 Customer Reviews) 78% (676 Customer Reviews)

Conclusion

Conclusion

For more information about polyester pillows and other pillow types, please check out our Pillow Buying Guide.