Pillow Talk – How safe is your pillow?

Let’s have some Pillow Talk – How Safe Is Your Pillow? Sleeping pillows can contribute to lack of good sleep but did you know it could affect your health too?  Everything from the type of fibers used for the filling, fabric covering, the contour factor, feel of the pillow, moisture absorption / retention factor, temperature regulation ability and finishes applied to the pillows can affect your sleep quality and overall health of your body in the long run. Learn how to look for safe pillows with this post – Pillow Talk – How Safe Is Your Pillow?



Pillow Talk - How Safe Is Your Pillow?

Pillow Talk – How Safe Is Your Pillow?

Image: Polyore



It’s a no brainer that lack of good sleep can affect your immune system and decrease productivity during the day but many of us are unaware of the toxic chemicals such as flame retardants used on pillows, which can ruin your health and damage your major organs in the long run. If you are suffering from headaches, dizziness, thyroid problems, puffy eyes, skin irritation, respiratory problems, nose bleeds, vertigo etc., it could be because of all the toxins in your house including the bed and pillow you sleep on every night! Considering how close your face comes in contact with a pillow, it’s pretty scary when you realize that many pillows can be covered with toxic chemical based flame retardant finishes on them.   Also, chemicals can also be used at any point during fabric making – from growing cotton to fabric manufacturing and finishing processes like dying or printing. I personally realized how bad these chemicals could be for health when I started working in the textile / fabric department at an apparel manufacturing company. Being surrounded by loads and loads of freshly manufactured / processed fabrics all day everyday made everyone in our department including me sensitive to fiber dust in the air and chemical infused odors oozing off from those fabrics. Headaches, sneezing fits, eye or nose irritations etc. were everyday issues for us, and some even wore face masks to reduce their sensitivity!  Here is my take on what to avoid when buying a pillow, why natural is better, how to clean your pillow and when to toss them out –


What To Avoid –

Flaming Foam – Polyurethane foam is a highly flammable petroleum based product and requires a flame retardant finish on it by law. Flame retardant chemicals can be highly toxic and can ruin your health. Click here to read why flame retardants are so bad for you. You can go for a polyester fill if you still want to buy a synthetic product and are looking for an affordable option. Even Dr, Oz recommends polyester fiber fill (click here).

Suffocating Synthetics –  Synthetics are generally not breathable and comfortable so whenever possible it’s better to go for natural bio-based fabrics such as cotton or wool.


Why Natural Is Better –

Natural Wonders – Natural fills and fabrics have always been around for years and better option to choose when it comes to sleep area. Natural fabrics like cotton and wool don’t need flame retardant finish. Cotton is less flammable and wool is naturally flame resistant. Wool has good moisture wicking ability and great temperature control making it ideal for warm or cool season. Wool also resists growth of dust mites, making it great for people who have allergy problems. For more info click here. If you can buy organic then it’s better, but going for natural sources like cotton or wool is a good start. Silk, natural latex, buckwheat fill, Kapok, PLA are other natural materials to go for. To choose the right filling for your sleeping position, click here to learn more about it.


Clean Up –

For most type of fills, airing them outside under the sun or drying them in a dryer with tennis balls will refresh them up and get rid of the dust mites. For detailed instructions click here.  


When To Toss –

A fold test is the best way to figure out if your pillows need to be washed or tossed away. When you fold the pillow in the centre and let it go, it is supposed to regain its shape and bounce back well. Read more about when to replace your pillow – here  


Where to buy –






Credits and Further Reading:

Toss toxins from your home

Dr. Oz







Hope this post: Pillow Talk – How safe is your pillow? helps you find a pillow that is safe for you and your family. 🙂


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead



Heel in Mint

  18 comments for “Pillow Talk – How safe is your pillow?

  1. Kim Alston
    August 30, 2014 at 2:07 am

    This post was so informative. I’m mindful of my mattress, but I didn’t think about my pillow being toxic. So changing mine out!!! Thanks

    • August 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      You are welcome! Thanks for leaving your views Kim. I think pillows matter more than mattresses because your head, eyes and nose is so close to it! Easier to breathe in, get itchy eyes and headaches. I personally have problems with synthetic foam pillows and have suffered from vertigo and headaches from using them. I would generally not recommend synthetics for pillows. I don’t mind polyester but would prefer natural bio based ones. Hope you have a fabulous weekend. 🙂 xx

      • September 8, 2014 at 7:51 am

        vilken fin kudde! Vi vet precis hur det ke4nns.. man ska re4cka till e5t alla he5ll! Hoppas du haft en rktiigt mysig ff6rsta advent! kram emelie och elin

        • September 18, 2014 at 7:57 am

          Hi. I love the pillow. Where can I buy it? Do you have a link to the shop? I linked your blog through my friend’s blog, Rue Rice. Please e-mail me at sari-garcia@sbcglobal.net

  2. August 30, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Very interesting post!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!! my g+ for you!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

    • August 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Marcela! You have a wonderful weekend too! 🙂 xx

      • September 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm

        memory foam pillows tend to retain heat. perhaps you could find a cooling blanket of some sort. tempurpedic beds retain heat. I know, I hae one and they were partly developed for that.

        • September 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm

          Well they are not good for you health wise being made from synthetic materials and coated with flame retardant chemicals. They could cause cancer, vertigo and so many other health problems. I personally would rather not use anything made from synthetic foam. 🙂

    • September 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Hey, killer job on that one you guys!

  3. August 31, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Wow, I also hadn’t thought about the materials and properties of my pillows! I’ve been transitioning towards healthier skin, food, and cleaning products – why not natural pillows too? Thanks for the post!

    little luxury list formerly Chic ‘n Cheap Living

    • September 2, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      You’re welcome! We sometimes tend to not thing about everything and I was the same way when I was younger. I even majored in Community Health and Applied Nutrition along with Textiles & Apparel Design but I didn’t adopt a lot of things that were taught in the class until later in life. One day I was like enlightened. I’m glad I had that major today because it’s really helpful to me right now from a health and sustainability perspective 🙂 xo

    • September 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Free knowledge like this doesn’t just help, it promote democracy. Thank you.

      • September 18, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        I think you must make more of those pillows!! Love the burning idea too, how creative and versatile. Thanks so much for sharing! Love me some freshly made projects!

  4. September 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Good reminder! x

    • September 2, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks of the comment. 🙂 xo

  5. September 1, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Great post! I definitely, think it’s important to think about your pillow, mattress, etc.

    • September 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Thanks! I think so too..it’s important to think about everything we do today. I recently had a friend lost her husband to cancer and he was just in his early 40s! They were heavily into organic food so if people think eating organic will save them, they should know that it’s not enough. We live in such a toxic world today that everything around us and what goes into us matters. xo

    • Eve
      September 13, 2014 at 5:17 am

      Grazi for making it nice.

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