Organic Pillow Fills
Wool and Cotton
When I was highly sensitive I needed to open pillows up and wash the cotton.
Organic cotton batting sometimes still retains a strong smell from the oils of the cotton plant. Some of them have a zipper, so you can pull out the cotton batting easily.
Never use non-organic cotton batting, if you are avoiding chemicals, as the batts retain a lot of the pesticide.
Alternatives to Wool and Cotton
This silk pillow from Allergy Buyers Club is very pure, as some silk is coated in a surprising amount of chemicals.
I’m not a fan of latex pillows for the reasons outlined in the mattress section.
Synthetic Pillow Fill
I like the Purple pillow, which is made of a type of flexible plastic grid that some very sensitive folks have reported to be safe and tolerable. I really like that it’s cleanable.
I do like polyester as well, even though it’s not natural, because it’s more moisture-resistant than cotton. I don’t find it very toxic, though sometimes it has chemical residue on it.
I use this polyester filled pillow, which needs to be washed or aired out before use. Polyester is also referred to as “down alternative”.
PLA is a type of polyester made from plant starch that is a healthier option than standard polyester.
Naturepedic has a really good brand of PLA filled pillows that are not treated with chemicals.
Coyuchi makes organic sheets, pillows, and other bedding that is made with the chemically sensitive person in mind.
I highly recommend this company. They use natural dyes but the safest bet is always virgin (undyed) fabric. If you react to the product you can return it. I’ve been really happy with all their products.
Even with GOTS certified sheets I find they usually need one wash to get the smell out (probably the smell of cotton oils).
Cotton that has been processed into fabric (sheets, pillowcases, etc) no longer contains pesticides, in theory. But stay away from permanent pressed finish (wrinkle-free finish), and make sure the dyes are steadfast or all-natural.
Almost all cotton that is not organic has a chemical added to it that smells. Look for OEKO-TEX certified fabrics which is the best certification after GOTS.
In a high moisture environment like a trailer, I use all polyester sheets and pillowcases instead of cotton.
I use these affordable organic pillowcases.
1. Wool Blankets
I use wool blankets from Coyuchi – the natural color with indigo stripes. It does have a wool smell, so if you are sensitive to wool try their cotton blankets.
I really like wool because it’s hard for me to stay at the right temperature at night without them.
The wool blankets were a super good investment in my case, as they stopped me from waking up throughout the night due to being too cold.
The wool blankets were a little difficult for me to wash though, I like these Pendelton washable wool blankets a lot too.
2. Cotton Blankets
These are thick and take a long time to dry. Though I used to lug them everywhere with me while traveling.
Others more sensitive than me have really liked the blankets from Organics and More.
3. Polyester Blankets
When I became less chemically sensitive, I used polyester blankets for mold avoidance.
They are cheap! from Walmart or Amazon).
If you are chemically sensitive you can try to wash out the odor.