The chances are good that if you have looked at buying a new pillow recently, you will have come across at least a mention of bamboo pillows. If you have never owned one before, the chances are also good that you are probably wondering what bamboo pillows are, what advantages they have to offer over other pillow types and why you should consider buying one.
These questions, along with a look at some of the best bamboo pillows to buy available right now, are what we are going to take a closer look at here.
What are Bamboo Pillows Made Of?
The first thing that it is important to note about bamboo pillows is that the term refers to the pillow’s casing, not to the fill itself. Often, bamboo pillows are filled with a shredded memory foam to help give them loft – the word used in the bedding industry for a pillow or mattress’ height – shape, and to add support.
The bamboo pillow cover may be crafted using 100% bamboo, or a bamboo composite that also makes use of another material as well.
Bamboo itself is a fast-growing grass – although it looks a lot like a tree, it is in fact a grass – that is used to make everything from fabric to be used in bedding, clothing and more, to furniture products, flooring and even, in some countries, scaffolding.
What’s the Best Bamboo Pillow to Buy?
As the idea of sleeping on a bamboo pillow becomes more popular, and the use of bamboo in general in the West (it has been popular in the East for centuries) an increasing number of bamboo pillow choices are coming to the market. But which should you buy?
To help you make a better shopping decision, here is a look at some of our top bamboo pillow picks for different sleep styles and preferences.
Why we love this: As the fill is crafted from a shredded memory foam, you can remove some of it for a more customized sleeping experience if so desired.
The Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow combines the customized support shredded memory foam offers with the cooling, hypoallergenic benefits of an all-bamboo fiber pillow casing. As not everyone likes a very dense pillow, then the fact that the fill will move and shift to match your unique head shape might be a big plus, and you can even remove some fill if you find the pillow too lofty for your tastes.
Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow Pros
- Customizable adjustable loft and fill levels offer personalized comfort.
- Affordable high quality bamboo pillow choice.
- Good choice for those looking for the firmer support memory foam can offer.
Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow Cons
- Harder to launder than some other options.
- Shredded memory foam may clump over time.
Why we love this: Offered by a well-known name, this bamboo pillow is a durable choice that is even backed by a 101-night sleep trial!
The Puffy Pillow, which is offered by the same folks who make the extremely popular Puffy mattress, is a cooling and supportive pillow that makes use of a proprietary bamboo and polyester blend to create a silky smooth, easy to care for pillow that offers both great support for your back and neck – which is especially important – and sleeping comfort.
Puffy Bamboo Pillow Pros
- Easy to launder ‘zip and wash’ bamboo pillow cover means you can keep it first day fresh.
- High quality CertiPUR-US® memory foam fill is free of the heavy metals and formaldehyde some pillows may contain.
- Easy to fluff and soften right out of the package.
- 101-night sleep guarantee allows you to purchase with more confidence.
Puffy Bamboo Pillow Cons
- Not an inexpensive choice.
Why We Love This: We’re obsessed with the Luxome LAYR Pillow; it checks all the boxes for better sleep and is fully adjustable.
The LAYR Customizable Pillow from Luxome is fully adjustable; you can add or remove the inserts to suit your sleep style and personal preferences. It features three inserts: a soft layer of down-alternative fill, a medium memory foam and down alternative mix and a firm gel-infused memory foam insert.
This makes it extremely flexible, modable and supportive – great for any body type and sleeping position. You can rest assured that this pillow is safe, and CertiPUR-US certified and comes with a cooling cover made from thermal-regulating bamboo.
LAYR Pillow Pros
- Fully adjustable for desired firmness and height, comfortable and supportive.
- Cooling and natural bamboo viscose cover.
- Pillow and insert covers are machine washable.
- Free same-day shipping, 30-day return policy.
LAYR Pillow Cons
- A strong odor when first unwrapped, so you’ll need to let the foam layers air out a day or two before use.
- A little pricey.
Why we love this: This is an affordable bamboo pillow option that makes use of both bamboo and charcoal to offer durable, cool comfort that is also very eco-friendly.
The Sweetnight Bamboo pillow differs from many other options in that both its casing and its fill are crafted using bamboo. The pillow casing is made using a bamboo derived rayon and the fill is a bamboo, charcoal and rayon foam that is designed to make the pillow even cooler and more moisture resistant. Its construction also helps keep odors to a minimum over time.
Sweetnight Bamboo Pillow Pros
- Makes use of bamboo throughout its construction.
- The natural fill is low odor and very soft.
- Great for hot sleepers as it aggressively protects against moisture and is sweat resistant.
- A very affordable option when compared to others.
Sweetnight Bamboo Pillow Cons
May not be as supportive as a pillow that makes use of memory foam for its fill.
Why we love this: The Cariloha air pillow features one of my favorite materials to sleep on: bamboo charcoal memory foam and proves that quality always wins when it comes to a great night’s sleep.
This 3-layered 100% bamboo charcoal memory foam pillow does an outstanding job at keeping me cool through the night. The memory foam retains its shape and adapts to your head size, providing support and pressure relief. Back and side sleepers should like the height and medium-firmness level of this air pillow. The organic bamboo charcoal is also hypoallergenic and doesn’t have any of the odors that you’d find in a memory foam pillow.
Cariloha Air Pillow Pros
- Great airflow to regulate body temperature as you sleep.
- Machine washable plush quilted cover
- Made from sustainable materials
- CertiPur-US certified bamboo charcoal memory foam
Cariloha Air Pillow Cons
- Can be a little firm and getting used to at the start.
Bamboo Pillows FAQs
Have more questions about bamboo pillows? Given they are a newer bedding concept, that is not surprising. Here is a look at the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions people have about them:
Are There Different Types of Bamboo Pillows?
As you shop for bamboo pillows, you will find that they are not all the same. Some only make use of bamboo in the casing, while others use it in the fill as well. Some also make use of an additional fabric ingredient to help increases durability, or to add another benefit.
Is Bamboo Memory Foam?
No, bamboo is not memory foam. Bamboo fabric is an all-natural plant derived fabric, while memory foam is a chemical-based synthetic substance. Some bamboo pillow offerings, like the Puffy Pillow on our best bamboo bed pillows list, do make use of memory foam for their pillow fill, leading perhaps to some confusion in consumers’ minds between the two.
Are Bamboo Pillows Good? Are They Safe?
Bamboo itself, and the thread for fabric derived from it, is a fast-growing grass. In itself the use of bamboo is very eco-friendly as it is a resource that renews far more quickly than wood, and it does not need to be treated with pesticides as it grows thanks to the plant’s natural resistance to pets and bacterial agents.
Any additions to bamboo pillows – like memory foam, or the charcoal used in the Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow we reviewed here – usually have different properties that may alter how ‘safe’ they are. Memory foam, for example, may contain VOCs, although a CertiPUR-US® memory foam like the one used in the Puffy pillow keeps the levels as low as possible.
Are Bamboo Pillows Washable?
Bamboo pillows will need to be cared for according to the manufacturers; instructions to the tee, so while there are general guidelines we can offer, what is on the label should always take precedence. In most cases, however, the bamboo pillow casing can be removed and machine or handwashed at a cool temperature and then tumble dried on a low heat.
Are Bamboo Pillows Hypoallergenic?
One of the big selling points you will see listed for bamboo pillows in manufacturers’ descriptions is that they are hypoallergenic.
There is some evidence that bamboo is less likely to cause allergy reactions than other fibers.
It should be emphasized, however, that in those tests, good quality cotton produced similar allergy prevention outcomes.
Are Bamboo Pillows Soft or Firm?
How hard or soft a pillow is when it is in use depends on the level of fill and ho firm that fill is, and many are offered in different firmness levels, just like a mattress. Some bamboo pillows, like the Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow, give users the options of adding or removing fill to adjust the firmness level to suit their unique preferences and needs.
How Long Are Bamboo Pillows Good For?
Like most high-quality pillows, the majority of the bamboo pillows available are designed to have a useful life of 1-2 years, although some very high-quality options may have a slightly higher lifespan.
Ensuring that you care for a bamboo pillow correctly will help extend its useful life too.
Are Bamboo Pillows Good for Snoring?
Snoring is caused by all kinds of factors, including health conditions like sleep apnea, that need to be addressed by a health professional. A firm, supportive pillow can be helpful for some people who snore, but there is no evidence that bamboo pillows can prevent snoring any better than any other type of pillow.
What To Do with Old Pillows?
Ideally, old pillows of any kind, including old bamboo pillows, should be responsibly recycled. In some areas of the country, fabric recycling is a part of general garbage collection, but if that is not an option where you live, you could check with the manufacturer of your pillow to see if they accept recyclables (some do).
However, you do not have to just throw old pillows away, as they make great craft materials.
Old pillows can be added to a fabric casing to create an easy floor pillow like this offering from Amazon, they can be donated to a pet to make their bed comfortable, or even added to a kids’ craft project.
The more often you do this, the eco-friendlier your purchase of a pillow will be, and getting creative is always fun and rewarding anyway!