What to Look For When Buying a Fiber Pillow

The right pillow is paramount for a good night’s sleep. You want your head to be cradled in the perfect position as you nod off, and you want it to stay comfortable throughout the night. Neck cricks and back aches? No thank you.

Selecting the right pillow is both an art and a science: your personal preferences will play an important factor, but so will other considerations, like the way that you sleep. The following points will help guide you to your dream pillow.



Sleep Position

We all have our favorite way to snuggle up for a sleep. Whether you stay flat as a board all night, curl up into fetal position, or dance through various positions throughout your slumber, your go-to sleep position should influence the pillow you pick. Not sure how you sleep? For the next few mornings, take note of what position you find yourself in when the alarm clock goes off.

Stomach Position

The key for stomach-sleepers is to find a relatively flat and soft pillow. This will prevent your head or neck from turning unnaturally to either side. Read: less awkward neck and back pain when you wake up.

Side Position

If you snooze on your side, you need to make sure that your spine stays horizontal. Your pillow can help with that. The right pillow for a side-sleeper will keep your head and neck right in line with your spine, with evenly distributed weight.

Back Position

Back-sleepers, look for a pillow that supports the upper part of your spine. You’ll want something that follows the natural curvature of your head, neck, shoulders and spine.




Finding the right pillow firmness for you is all about channeling your inner Goldilocks: keep on testing until you find some that feels just right. Remember that over time, a pillow will lose its firmness. If you fold your pillow in half and it doesn’t bounce back to its normal shape, it might be time to look into a replacement.

Extra Soft

An extra soft pillow will cradle the head and neck, minimizing any pressure points along your spine. Stomach-sleepers, this firmness level is ideal for you.


Medium support pillows offer the best of both worlds: plenty of support, but still quite lofty.

Extra Firm

A firm pillow will allow maximum support, perfect for side-sleepers who need to maintain proper alignment.




Fiber pillows offer synthetic alternatives to down. They offer a more affordable hypoallergenic option, while still providing the cushiness, loftiness and softness. There are many different types of synthetic fills used in fiber pillows, including the following.

Gel Fiber Fill

Gel fiber is made to feel just like down. It is pleasantly plush and fluffy, while still providing support and firmness. It’s a breathable fill that washes easily.

Synthetic Cluster Fiber

This synthetic down alternative consists of clusters of synthetic fill, providing a puffy, lofty pillow.

Micro Fiber

This lightweight material has down-like softness. It creates a satisfyingly thick surface that is plump and airy.  

Synthetic Polyester Fill

This type of fill is made up of polyester threads; fill using thinner strands of thread will be dense and warm, while fill using thicker strands of thread will be lofty and durable.



Thread Count

The thread count measures the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. The general rule of thumb for a pillow is that a higher thread count equals a more plushy and durable pillow. Keep in mind that you’ll be covering your pillow with a pillowcase, which will have its own thread count.

140 to 180

Known as muslin, options in this range will be available at a lower price point.

180 to 250

A thread count in this range will provide you with a tightly woven, smooth fabric.

250 to 300

A pillow with a thread count in this range will have good durability without breaking the bank.

300 to 400

Once you reach this point, you’re getting into the realm of luxury. Expect durable, silky material.


The ultimate in luxury, a 400+ thread count fiber pillow would satisfy even the Princess—you know, from The Princess and the Pea.




Fiber pillows come in an assortment of sizes. The size of your bed, the size of your pillowcases, and your personal preferences should all play a part in your final selection.

Standard: 20"x26"

Standard pillows are the smallest, most narrow option—perfect for a twin bed or if you’ll be piling on the pillows.

Jumbo: 20"x28"

Slightly wider than a standard pillow, you can use a standard pillowcase with a jumbo-sized pillow.

Queen: 20"x30"

These wide pillows will fit perfectly on a larger bed, but most standard pillowcases will still be able to accommodate them.

King: 20"x 36"

You’ll need king pillowcases for these fantastically oversized pillows.

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