Our top picks for pillows made ethically and sustainably, with green certifications you can trust.
Unfortunately, the majority of conventional pillows are made using polyester, a mass-produced petroleum-based, nonrenewable resource. While polyester is cheap compared to better quality materials, its manufacture is incredibly energy-intensive, which contributes to climate change and costs us more in the long run.
The best natural materials for pillows
Some of the most popular materials used for eco-friendly pillows include:
- Buckwheat (and millet)
- Rubber (natural latex)
- Organic wool
- Organic cotton
In recent years, kapok pillows have become increasingly popular, and for good reason. And, while buckwheat pillows were once seen as something only the most committed of eco-warriors would own, these pillows are now beloved by a wide spectrum of people.
Eco-friendly pillow companies
As far as possible, the companies I recommend at Leaf Score are chosen because they not only produce safe products from natural materials, but also show a commitment to environmentally friendly manufacturing practices and charitable enterprise.
Sometimes, of course, a company with a less than stellar (or non-existent) track record for charitable giving and social enterprise happen to make what looks like a great product. In these cases, it’s often worth supporting these products in order to provide economic incentives to companies to focus more on eco-friendly manufacturing. Also, frankly, economies of scale will often mean these pillows are simply cheaper than those from well-meaning artisanal small producers.
All that said, some of my favorite companies to recommend for bedding products such as duvets and bed sheets also make excellent pillows. So, without further preamble, here are my top picks for the most eco-friendly pillows around.
The best kapok pillows
Kapok is a big tropical tree with seed pods containing fluffy, cotton-like fibers that are as soft as down and ideal for filling pillows. Typically, kapok pillows are chemical-free, because kapok fibers need little to no processing, and are totally plant-based, soft, resilient, and resistant to mold, mildew, and dust mites.
For the best kapok pillows, I recommend the following excellent companies:
- Savvy Rest (View Prices on Savvy Rest)
- Rawganique (View Prices on Rawganique)
- Avocado (View Prices on Avocado)
Savvy Rest, Rawganique, and Avocado all deliberately overstuff their kapok pillows, so you can remove and save the fill to add back later if the loft settles over time.
Highlights: This vegan-friendly kapok body pillow is as fluffy and soft as down, without the animal exploitation, and is available in three sizes.
Savvy Rest’s Organic Kapok Pillow (View Prices on Savvy Rest) is a fluffy, cozy pillow that can be easily customized to meet your sleep needs. Savvy Rest Kapok Pillows are available in Standard, Queen, and King sizes. This pillow is stuffed with pure organic kapok and is encased in certified organic cotton. The case has a brass zipper, making it easy to remove or add fill as needed. The pillowcase is hand-washable, and the pillow is as soft as down but animal-friendly, making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Savvy Rest’s Organic Kapok Body Pillow also offers unparalleled comfort, especially for side sleepers and in pregnancy. This vegan-friendly body pillow is as fluffy and soft as down, without animal exploitation, and is available in three sizes. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: Extremely soft and comfortable, 100 percent sustainable, and vegan-friendly kapok pillow.
Rawganique’s Vegan Organic 100% Wild Kapok Pillow (View Prices on Rawganique) is fantastically soft and comfortable and 100 percent sustainable and vegan-friendly. The kapok pillow is encased in organic cotton and is available in Standard, Queen, and King size with Soft, Medium, and Firm options for loft. All of the pillows feature a zipper for easy access to remove or add back filling as needed. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: Super soft, lightweight, 100 percent sustainable, and toxin-free kapok pillow.
Avocado’s Green Pillow (View Prices on Avocado) is made from certified organic cotton, natural kapok, and shredded latex. They are OEKO-TEX Certified, Greenguard Gold Certified, and stuffed to the hilt. These super soft pillows are lightweight, cool but cozy and 100 percent sustainable and toxin-free. They are available in Standard, Queen, and King sizes. You can read our full review here.
The best organic cotton pillows
For an organic cotton pillow, pickings are unfortunately slim. But, as with buckwheat pillows, Rawganique will treat you right. They offer a whole range of delightful organic cotton pillows that are chemical-free and made entirely in the USA from certified organic cotton grown in the USA. These pillows are free from sweatshop labor, non-toxic, and suitable for vegans. They are filled with 100 percent organic cotton in different lofts (soft, medium, and firm), have organic cotton covers, and are sewn together using organic cotton instead of nylon thread.
Highlights: This organic cotton bed pillow comes in a variety of sizes, with an option to add a safety zipper to the case so you can adjust the fill.
Rawganique’s Organic Cotton Bed Pillow (View Prices on Rawganique) comes in a variety of sizes, including Standard, Queen, and King, as well as Bolster, Sofa, and Travel pillow sizes, with choices of loft for each size. There’s also an option to add a safety zipper to the case for $8 regardless of pillow loft or size, so you can adjust the fill to your needs. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: This organic cotton sofa pillow is available in four sizes.
Rawganique’s Organic Cotton Sofa Pillow (View Prices on Rawganique) is available in four sizes including two sofa pillows, a travel pillow, and a bolster pillow. The pillow is vegan, made in the USA, hypoallergenic, and chemical-free. The sofa pillow can be ordered with or without a zipper; ordering with a zipper allows you to remove the filling and wash it in a machine or by hand, or even replace the filling if desired. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: This organic cotton body pillow offers excellent support for side sleepers.
Rawganique’s Organic Cotton Body Pillow (View Prices on Rawganique) measures 72” long and 24” wide. It offers excellent support for side sleepers’ neck and hips when hugged. You can choose to have the zipper added for $8 and can also add an organic cotton sateen pillowcase. This one is firmly on my wish list for use during pregnancy, although I’ll probably still go with the Rawganique kapok body pillow instead; it looks so cozy! You can read our full review here.
The best hemp pillows
Options are pretty limited if you’re looking for a genuine, eco-friendly, high-quality hemp pillow. Fortunately, though, this might not matter, given that one of my favorite companies at Leaf Score, Rawganique, offer two fantastic hemp pillows at an entirely reasonable price.
Rawganique has long demonstrated a serious commitment to producing sustainable, healthy, and ethical products, with many products made at their homestead using materials grown on the family farm. In the case of the hemp pillows, Rawganique work with partner artisans in Europe to craft high-quality hemp pillows that will serve you well for many years.
Highlights: This hemp pillow is chemical-free and vegan, and is perfect for use at home or while traveling.
The Cloud Nine Hemp Pillow (View Price on Rawganique) is handmade in Europe, measures approximately 16″ x 11″ x 2″, is chemical-free and vegan, and is perfect for use at home or while traveling. This pillow is made up of four sections, so you can adjust the pillow height as needed. This hemp pillow is shipped along with an included pillowcase equally free of toxins and forever chemicals as well! You can read our full review here.
Highlights: This hemp pillow is made up of 12 sections, can be adjusted as needed, and is made from 100% organic hemp.
The second hemp pillow from Rawganique is made up of 12 sections and can also be adjusted as needed (View Price on Rawganique). Again, it is made in Europe from 100% organic hemp and is vegan-friendly and free from azo dyes, dioxins, bleach, formaldehyde, pesticides, GMOs, and heavy metals. This one measures ~ 35″ long, 17″ wide, & 2″ high and is great for use in bed, on the couch, or for back support. You can read our full review here.
The best buckwheat pillows
Highlights: This buckwheat pillow is vegan-friendly and is available in multiple sizes.
Rawganique also offer two fantastic buckwheat pillows that are both hypoallergenic and chemical-free. The first is vegan-friendly as it is made with pure buckwheat in an organic cotton case (View Prices on Rawganique). This pillow is available in Travel, Standard, Queen, and King sizes. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: This pillow offers the best of both worlds and is a great choice for anyone who finds straight-up buckwheat a little too ‘crunchy’.
The second buckwheat pillow is my top pick. The Organics Buckwool Pillow combines a layer of buckwheat with a layer of wool in an organic cotton case (View Prices on Rawganique). This pillow offers the best of both worlds and is a great choice for anyone who finds straight-up buckwheat a little too ‘crunchy’. It’s available in Travel, Small, Standard, Queen, and King. You can read our full review here.
The best eco-friendly wool pillows
Your options for eco-friendly wool pillows are a lot more varied than for hemp or buckwheat pillows. Two of the best companies for pillows are, again, Rawganique and Savvy Rest. They offer a range of sizes and fills for their organic, eco-friendly wool pillows.
Highlights: An eco-friendly, non-toxic, bed pillow made from wool washed only in hot water, without any chemicals.
Rawganique’s Organic Wool Bed Pillow (View Prices on Rawganique) is an eco-friendly, non-toxic, wool pillow encased in organic cotton and made in the USA. It is handmade, chemical-free, free from sweatshop labor, and the wool is washed only in hot water, without any chemicals. Available in Standard, Queen, and King size in a choice of soft, regular, and firm loft. There is also an option to add a zipper, so the loft can be adjusted as needed. Stomach sleepers will likely want the soft option; back sleepers will do better with the regular; and side-sleepers might prefer the firm option. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: This wool pillow is a great option for anyone who sleeps hot or likes a slightly firmer, less responsive pillow.
Savvy Rest’s Wool Pillow (View Prices on Savvy Rest) is a great option for anyone who sleeps hot or likes a slightly firmer, less responsive pillow. Wool is a wonderful temperature-regulator, making it a good choice for a pillow that works all year round. This pillow is available in Mini, Standard, Queen, and King sizes. You can read our full reviews here.
This wool pillow is available in two sizes, both of which are intentionally overstuffed, so you can remove the fill as needed to get the loft your desire.
The Savvy Rest Wool Body Pillow (View Prices on Savvy Rest) is another lovely choice that is available in two sizes, measuring 52” long and either 17” or 20” wide.
Both pillows are intentionally overstuffed, so you can remove the fill as needed to get the loft your desire. The outer organic cotton flannel pillow case can be washed in cold water and line dried.
Through personal communications, Savvy Rest confirmed that the wool in their pillows is mostly sourced from New Zealand by way of their supplier, Woolgatherers, based out of California. They source the certified organic wool wherever they can get it. This wool does not, however, necessarily carry kfB certification (so cannot be considered cruelty-free), but the pillows are GOTS certified, meaning that they are organic and adhere to significant social and environmental standards. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: This wool-latex body pillow provides an ideal balance of softness and support; it’s ideal for side sleepers, and during pregnancy or when nursing.
Savvy Rest also offer a Wool-Latex Body Pillow (View Prices on Savvy Rest), which provides an ideal balance of softness and support. The pillow feels a little firmer than a pure wool pillow and is more responsive. This body pillow is ideal for side sleepers and during pregnancy or when nursing and helps keep your spine aligned to relieve pressure on the hips and neck. You can read our full review here.
The best down pillows
Top Tip – Watch out for most ‘down alternatives’ – these are usually made with a polyester blend.
As for down pillows, your best options come courtesy of:
Highlights: All of CocoMat’s products are Certified and compliant to OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
Coco-Mat offer four down and feather pillows that use RDS-certified filling and are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. Their Sithon VII Pillow is a premium soft pillow filled with goose down and and encased in a tight-weave cover to prevent the feathers poking through. It is suitable for lighter, smaller individuals. The Sithon IX Pillow offers extra support while still feeling soft and luxurious, and the Sithon II Pillow is suitable for medium to light builds and the neck roll volume can be customized thanks to the zipper openings. The Sithon III Pillow is soft and fluffy and suitable for lighter builds.
All of Coco-Mat’s products are Certified and compliant to OEKO-TEX Standard 100, they also claim GOTS certification on their products, and their factory, which is located in Greece, meets the criteria requirements for ISO 9001: Quality Management System & meets the criteria for 14001: Environmental Management System.
Highlights: Scandia Home offer a lifetime guarantee on their products and are one of the few companies to use RDS-certified down across the board.
Scandia Home offer a range of down pillows, including a down-filled travel pillow and the luxury St. Petersburgh pillow with a high fill-power and high thread count cover. If you’re looking for serious indulgence for your ‘home, yacht or plane’, Scandia Home is the place to shop. All of Scandia Home’s down pillows are stuffed with RDS-certified down. They still use conventional cotton covers though, and they sell synthetic down alternatives, which is a shame. But, they get ⅗ leaves in part because they offer a lifetime guarantee on their products and are one of the few companies to use RDS-certified down across the board. You can read our full review here.
Highlights: These down pillows are made in Cincinnati, Ohio, come with a 3-year warranty, and are dry clean or machine washable on a cool setting and delicate cycle using mild detergent.
Parachute offer a range of bedding options including luxury down pillows that are more affordable for the average consumer. Their down pillows have a 750 fill-power European down and are available in Soft, Medium, and Firm densities, in Standard and King sizes. These pillows are made in Cincinnati, Ohio, come with a 3-year warranty, and are dry clean or machine washable on a cool setting and delicate cycle using mild detergent. They can also be put in the dryer on the low setting with dryer balls to re-fluff as necessary.
Parachute’s pillows are stuffed with RDS-certified down and are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. This means that they have been tested for harmful chemicals and synthetics. Unfortunately, the cotton used for the cases is not certified organic, although Parachute maintain that it is better to use long-staple Egyptian cotton rather than relying on a not-so-stringent organic label. Why? Because this type of cotton is naturally stronger and softer than other forms of cotton. This could make it more durable than conventional cotton, adding to its eco-friendliness. You can read our full review here.
The best eco-friendly latex pillows
If you want a lot more variety, however, latex pillows are where it’s at. Tons of companies make excellent quality natural latex pillows in different shapes, sizes, and forms. And most of these offer lots of room to tailor the firmness of the pillow to your needs. The best companies for eco-friendly, non-toxic latex pillows include:
- Savvy Rest (View Prices on Savvy Rest)
- Organic Textiles (View Prices on Amazon)
- PureTree (View Price on Amazon)
- Malouf (View Prices on Amazon)
Whichever pillow material is right for you, buying a pillow that is non-toxic and eco-friendly can help you sleep more soundly at night. And, if there’s a company you love but who doesn’t make a non-toxic pillow, why not reach out and ask them? The more pressure we put on companies to make earth-friendly and people-friendly products, and the more they see the financial merits of doing so, the better off we’ll all be.
We hope you have found this comprehensive journey through nontoxic pillows useful and maybe you found your pillow along the way! If you’re looking for more bedroom products, be sure to check out our top picks for organic mattresses and organic bed sheets.