Organic Pillow Fills
Wool and Cotton
For pillows, you generally want natural fibers like wool or organic 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
Healthy pillow fills also include down, kapok, buckwheat, bamboo and silk.
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.
You can find them on Amazon as well as their website.
Coyuchi makes organic sheets, pillows, and other bedding that is made with the chemically sensitive person in mind.
You can find them on Amazon as well as through their website.
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).
Those more sensitive than me like the brands Organics and More and Brooklinen.
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
I also tried these organic cotton blankets which I really liked when I was very chemically sensitive.
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.
I am searching for a fitted sheet that doesn’t have toxic rubber all around the edge
Anyone know of a company that might work?
A word about kapok. I’ve been using it to make my pillows for several years and love it. BUT, be aware that:it flattens very quickly, as in a matters of days. It seems unimaginable since it’s looks like cotton candy. But it degrades very fast so you have to keep filling the pillow with more to maintain the firmness you need. In addition, it is, apparently, highly flammable, so, fyi. I would also imagine that like cotton and many other natural fibers w/wood being the exception, it absorbs water easily so that’s always something to consider when it comes to bedding. Natural is great, but mold, not so much. Despite these issues, I’m still a huge fan of kapok given the alternatives.
wool, not wood. sorry.