Eco-Friendly and Comfy: Top Sustainable Pillows for Side Sleepers

Do you sleep on your side? If so, you’re among 74% of people who prefer this common sleep position. As a side sleeper, you know it’s crucial to have a comfortable pillow that cradles and aligns your head, neck, and spine. Luckily, there are eco-friendly pillow options designed for side sleepers like you.

The Growing Importance of Sustainable Pillows

With approximately 50 million pillows discarded in US landfills every year, it’s time to consider our bedding choices. Choosing pillows benefits the environment and helps create a healthier sleep space free from harmful pesticides and chemicals.

As pillows decompose, they release methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Meanwhile, conventional pillow manufacturing utilizes copious amounts of water, energy, and virgin resources like petroleum-based fabrics, cotton farming reliant on pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and foam fillings emitting hazardous volatile organic compounds.

Opting for pillow options not only reduces landfill contributions but more addresses the root cause of this environmental damage. Sustainable pillow materials like FSC-certified latex harvested from rubber tree farms, reusable buckwheat hulls requiring no chemical processing, and GOTS or OEKO-TEX-certified organic cotton need far fewer resources to produce while eliminating pesticide use.

Moreover, sustainable pillows offer health benefits to the end-user by excluding harmful VOCs and chemicals commonly found in conventional bedding options. This allows for better indoor air quality and reduced risk of allergy or sensitivity triggers. These combined ecological and personal health incentives make sustainable pillows an easy choice for conscientious consumers.

Key Benefits of Choosing Sustainable Pillows

Reduced Environmental Impact: Sustainable pillows reuse materials, produce less pollution, and divert waste from landfills. Certain pillow production methods also conserve thousands of gallons of water.

Healthier Sleep Environment: Many sustainable pillows omit harsh chemicals and instead use sourced organic or natural materials. This means you avoid allergy triggers and exposure to pesticides.

Tailored Comfort for Side Sleepers: From cradling curves to ample cushioning, the side sleeper pillow provides spinal alignment and pressure relief at the shoulder and neck. Materials like buckwheat and latex are adjustable.

Cost Savings: Despite common misconceptions, sustainable pillows are a bit pricey, especially when factoring in their exceptional longevity and warranty periods.Investing in an eco-friendly pillow results in long-term cost savings.

Top Sustainable Pillow Picks for Side Sleepers

Below are top-rated pillows recommended for side sleeping based on supportive design, comfort, and sustainability credentials:

materials used in pillow production and their sustainability ratings

1. Organic Cotton Pillows

Pillows stuffed with organic cotton must meet stringent sustainable production standards to earn certification from agencies like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Some reputed brands offer premium organic cotton pillows preferred by side sleepers for their breathable, anti-microbial, and customizable fill.


  • Free of pesticides, GMOs, and toxic dyes
  • Natural moisture-wicking and hypoallergenic
  • Available in adjustable fill levels


  • Requires regular fluffing to maintain loft
  • Prone to dust mites

2. Recycled Material Pillows

For eco-conscious side sleepers, recycled material pillows are an environmentally conscious choice. Some brands transform recycled plastic bottles into silky-soft, durable pillow stuffing. Others upcycle scrap foam, cotton, wool and more into pillow fills. hese innovative fabrics provide the same level of support as virgin materials while also reusing resources.


  • Water and energy-efficient production
  • Divert plastic and textile waste from landfills
  • Offers similar performance to conventional pillows


  • Limited selection compared to traditional pillows
  • Varying proportions of recycled content

3. Buckwheat Hull Pillows

These firmer, moldable pillows stuffed with natural buckwheat hull fill offer customizability side sleepers crave. As an added eco-perk, reusable buckwheat hulls are hypoallergenic. Popular options like the Sobakawa buckwheat pillow have superb airflow for temperature regulation too.


  • Adjustable fill material
  • Promotes air circulation and dissipates heat
  • Suitable for all sleep positions


  • Makes rustling sounds when shifting head
  • Firmness takes a change for some

Also Read: Are Meditation Pillows Worth the Investment?

4. Natural Latex Pillows

Sourced from rubber trees, natural latex is a durable, responsive fill material. As a breathable option suitable for hot sleepers, Talalay latex pillows cradle the curves of side sleepers. Many natural latex pillows are manufactured right here in the USA.


  • Biodegradable and compostable
  • Excellent ability to contour
  • Resists dust mites and mold


  • Not recommended for individuals with latex allergies
  • Less available than other pillow types

Choosing the Best Sustainable Pillow for You

While all four pillow varieties pick for side sleepers keep these key factors in mind when deciding:

Your Sleep Style: Consider whether you prefer a firmer vs. softer feel. Test adjustable fills like buckwheat and shredded latex to find your right loft and density.

Material Sustainability: Check for legitimate organic, sustainable farming or production certifications when available. Understanding the proportion of recycled content also helps make an informed decision.

Allergies: Buckwheat and latex are hypoallergenic. But, those with dust mite, mold, or latex sensitivities should verify pillow materials will meet their needs.

Budget: Keep in mind that cost and longevity are interconnected when it comes to sustainable pillows. While $100+ price tags seem lofty, they better reflect years of quality use over cheaper conventional options.

Give Eco-Friendly Pillows a Shot

Are you ready to transform your bedding for the sake of both people and the planet? When shopping for a replacement pillow, consider the exceptional and comfortable sustainable options catering to side sleepers. With materials sourced to ensure proper alignment and healthier indoor air quality, sustainable pillows enable you to both feel good and do good for the environment.

Not ready to commit? Try purchasing one sustainable pillow to test out as you assess comfort. HerCheers to more mindful and restorative nights ahead, thanks to eco-conscious bedding choices.


What makes a pillow sustainable? Why choose one?

Sustainable pillows employ manufacturing practices and materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and natural latex. This reduces the use of pesticides and plastics compared to conventional pillows. Sustainable options promote cleaner air quality too. Considering that 50 million pillows are discarded each year, choosing a sustainable option is better for the planet.

Are sustainable pillows as comfortable as traditional pillows?

Yes, pillows can provide equal, if not better, comfort. It comes down to personal preference and choosing the right loft, shape, and material. Some find options like buckwheat and latex provide more personalized comfort for side sleepers than down or polyester.

How do I clean and maintain sustainable pillows?

Most often, sustainable pillows should be spot-cleaned with mild detergent and air-dried. Some organic cotton and latex varieties can withstand washing on gentle cycles on occasion. Avoid excessive heat and harsh chemicals when cleaning. Little fluffed or manipulated fills like buckwheat extend longevity. Refer to manufacturer care instructions.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

Related Articles

Back to top button