When you have trouble sleeping, you probably place the blame on your mattress before anything else – but pillows are equally as important.
If you want the best sleep experience you can get, you should probably look into getting a quality pillow – and bamboo pillows happen to be some of the best.
They have all the benefits of memory foam pillows, but they’re also hypoallergenic, lightweight and incredibly breathable. They’re well-worth every penny you can spend on them.
Today I’ll tell you all you need to know about these amazing pillows and how they can help you sleep better!
What is a bamboo pillow?
The first thing you might think of when you hear the phrase “bamboo pillow” is a bunch of bamboo stalks bundled together. That doesn’t exactly seem comfortable but, luckily, that’s not what a bamboo pillow is.
These pillows are called that because their pillow covers are made from bamboo fibers – which are extremely comfortable.
You see, bamboo is more of a grass than a tree, and it can easily be broken down into fibers which are then spun into a yarn. Later on, they’re used to make a bamboo-based fabric.
The resulting fabric is one of the softest you can find, and it’s great for your face. It’s hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, keeping your skin safe. The breathability of the material also ensures that you won’t sweat too much.
Inside these pillows, you’ll mostly find a filling that’s mostly memory foam, though some pillows also contain cooling gels and other materials.
That covers the basics, but there’s more to talk about when it comes to bamboo pillows so keep on reading!
Do all bamboo pillows contain memory foam?
When you’re buying a bamboo pillow, you expect the main ingredient to be bamboo, but that is not always the case.
The truth is that, in fact, most bamboo pillows contain memory foam and a lot of it. It’s either solid memory foam inside the case or shredded memory foam, possibly combined with other materials.
However, not all bamboo pillows have memory foam inside them. There are two main exceptions:
- Extremely cheap bamboo pillows will often contain shredded foam inside them, but it won’t be memory foam. They also might forgo foam entirely and use other, even cheaper materials for their filling. You should avoid these pillows like the plague.
- The other type is usually the more expensive kind. They might contain all sorts of fillings –traditional down filling, vinyl or latex-based fillings, or even some sort of bamboo-based filling.
So no, not all bamboo pillows contain memory foam, but the truth is that most of them do.
What are the pros and cons?
While bamboo pillows are all the rage right now and everyone is touting their benefits, there are also some downsides to them. It’s worth taking a look at all the pros and cons before you buy one and that’s what I’m here for.
Let’s start with the good:
They are hypoallergenic – The bamboo-based fabric used for the casing of these pillows is not liable to cause you allergies, ensuring that the more sensitive among you will stay safe while sleeping.
This does not mean there’s a zero percent chance of your allergies triggering, but due to the pure, natural material used it’s far less likely.
They are antimicrobial – Bamboo has the distinction of being one of the rare naturally antimicrobial materials, due to its fibers having high amounts of lignin.
One of the problems with most pillows is that the mucus from your nose and mouth, filled with bacteria, sticks to them during sleep and the bacteria thrive and multiply. With a bamboo pillow, that’s a thing of the past.
It neutralizes bad odors – The pillow casing made from bamboo can easily neutralize unpleasant odors. If you’ve ever felt that your pillow smells of sweat no matter how much you wash it – and I sure have – this will be of great help to you.
They are breathable – If you’re a hot sleeper, you don’t need to worry since bamboo pillows are more breathable than most. The bamboo fabric lets more air pass through that synthetic fabrics do, and it is great at absorbing moisture, so sweat is not an issue anymore.
The filling is usually adjustable – One of the best things about shredded memory foam is that you can adjust it to your liking. Bamboo pillows usually have a zipper on the side, allowing you to reach in and take out or add filling as you like, or just adjust the insides to fit your head.
This can help with both neck pain and snoring if you use it to your benefit.
And now, let’s see what’s bad:
They can make you hot – While the bamboo casing is breathable, memory foam usually isn’t. Having shredded memory foam combined with other materials as the filling makes the situation better, but if the filling is solid memory foam, the bamboo casing won’t help much.
Solid memory foam absorbs a lot of heat, and if you sleep hot, I can assure you that you will be sweating bullets. Bamboo casings are great, but they can’t help with that.
The filling can create a mess – It’s true that shredded memory foam is a good filling since it provides both comfort and breathability. Overall, it’s one of the most popular fillings for bamboo pillows.
However, it’s also one of the messiest fillings available. It’s easy for it to fall out or move out of place and get uncomfortable. Washing the pillows can also be a huge chore, with tons of filling falling out. You can refill it, but that in itself can be a chore and cost a lot.
They can be difficult to wash – As I mentioned, washing a bamboo pillow with shredded memory foam filling can be a nightmare. Foam just falls out and gets everywhere. But it’s difficult even with a different filling.
Solid memory foam also starts breaking down when washed and if you need to wash your pillows often, that’s a huge problem. The bamboo casing is easier to wash, but it can also lose some of its beneficial properties through repeated washings.
Besides that, they need to dry for a long time, and you can’t always put them in the drier. If you neglect to dry them properly, they might smell or even grow mold!
What are the best brands?
The market seems to be swarmed with a ton of different brands, each offering their unique take on the popular bamboo pillow. It can be difficult to distinguish the good from the bad – but I took a look at some of the top brands and did the research for you.
Here are some of the best brands on the market and what I think about their top products.
WonderSleep PREMIUM 2-Pack - Our Top Rated Bamboo Pillow
Plixio Pillows - 2 Pack - Best Selling
LANGRIA Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow – Lowest Price
WonderSleep PREMIUM Queen Size 2-Pack
Top Rated Bamboo Pillow
WonderSleep is a company that’s been around for a while, but they’ve mostly been in the business of selling air mattresses. The jump from selling mattresses to selling pillows seems almost inevitable for most companies, but not all of them make the transition smoothly.
However, in this case, I can say the transition went well – WonderSleep now has more pillows in their arsenal than mattresses.
Their bamboo pillows have followed a line of quality gel, foam, and down-based pillows. Here’s what I think about their best product so far.
WonderSleep hit it out of the park with this pillow – it’s got a bamboo cover, shredded memory foam filling that’s removable, and you get two of them for the price of one.
The look is good, and the stitching is up to snuff, there’s no risk of any filling falling out – the zipper closes well.
Overall, it’s a good and supportive pillow, but you might have some issues with off-gassing at first. It will smell bad the first few days, but that will pass. You might also have some trouble with unpacking it.
- Removable filling
- Good stitching
- Great look
- Decent price
- Smells for the first few days
- Difficult to unpack
Plixio Pillows for Sleeping - 2 Pack
The Best Selling Bamboo Pillow
Plixio is a company that makes a lot of different stuff, including keyboards, clothes, household appliances and, of course, pillows.
Their bamboo pillows are among the more affordable ones on the market – however, they’re not bad by any means. They might cut a few corners here and there, but their products hold up.
Today I took a quick look at one of their top-selling products right now.
These are some of the most affordable bamboo pillows on the market – it’s no wonder they’re selling like hotcakes. Despite that, the quality is up to par with other, similar pillows. They got a great bamboo cover, and the filling is standard shredded memory foam, but it works well.
The main downside of these pillows, however, is that the filling is not removable. The insert is completely closed with no zipper. Sure you can remove the covers itself, but not the actual memory foam filling inside, take a look at the picture below.
That means you can’t adjust the level of filling to your liking. Still, it’s a well-made product that’s sure to last, and it’s supportive enough by default.
- Great price
- Good support
- Quality construction
- The filling is not removable
- Smells a bit initially
LANGRIA Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Lowest Price Bamboo Pillow
This is a company that aims to provide you with everything and anything you need to furnish your home. They aim to make their products timeless and affordable to anyone – and so far, they seem to do well at fulfilling that mission.
Of course, their products also include pillows and their recent ventures into making bamboo pillows have been rather successful. They’re probably the company that’s making the most affordable bamboo pillows at the moment.
Today, I’ll look at one of their most affordable products and tell you if I think it’s any good.
Like it’s standard with a lot of pillows like this, the filling here is removable, and it’s made out of shredded memory foam. It also includes a neat cotton pouch that you can use to store extra filling until you need it.
When it comes to the price, this is the lowest-priced single bamboo pillow you can find. The quality is great for the price, and it doesn’t seem like it will fall apart in just a few years.
The foam filling is a bit on the bad side, though and it might fall apart quickly. However, it’s not too difficult to replace it if you need to.
- Comes with a cotton pouch
- Removable filling
- Amazing price
- The filling is of poor quality
How to fluff a bamboo pillow
When you’re looking for a pillow to buy online, you might see luxurious pictures of huge fluffy pillows and feel giddy when you finally buy them.
However, once they arrive and you get them out of the packaging, you wind up with a flat thing that looks nothing like the pillow you wanted. What gives?
That’s a story I hear way too often, and while some pillows fluff up on their own over time, it might take weeks for them to look and feel like you want. Some don’t fluff up at all – at least not on their own.
Pillows also get flat if you’re lying on them a lot and that’s why they should be fluffed up regularly, not just at the start
Luckily, you can do something about it, and I’ll tell you exactly how to fluff up your bamboo pillow.
Here’s how to do it by hand:
1 – Shake it off!
Take the bamboo pillow and shake it up by hand. This will ensure that any filling stuck together gets unstuck and that clumps get broken up. It will also allow the material to be distributed more evenly through the pillow.
2 – Punch it!
Yes, that’s right. Turn it to the side and give it a few good punches with an open hand. Whatever filling wasn’t broken up by the shaking will probably get broken up now. Repeat this a few times on both sides of the pillow until you feel that the filling is loose enough.
3 – Stretch it!
Take hold of the short sides of the pillow, then pull them together and stretch them out quickly a few times. Repeat the process but this time take hold of the long sides of the pillow. This will allow more air to get in-between the filling and allow them to space out more.
Just don’t do it too hard – you don’t want to rip up the pillow or make all of the casing fall out.
If that doesn’t work on its own, there’s another method – Fluffing the pillow up in a dryer:
1 – Remove the casing
Before you put the pillow in the dryer, you need to take off the bamboo pillow casing. It will most likely get damaged by the dryer and lose some of its beneficial properties. Always wash it and dry it separately from the pillow insert.
2 – Put the pillow in your dryer
You should place the pillow in the dryer with around 4 to 5 dryer balls. Put a few drops of scented oils on them if you want your pillow to smell nicer at the end.
If you don’t have dryer balls, that’s fine – there are alternatives. Tennis balls are a decent replacement, but you might not have them either.
Another low-cost alternative are socks bundled up into balls (just make sure they’re clean). We’ve all got unpaired socks, so why not put them to good use?
3 – Tumble-dry the pillow
Put your dryer on low heat and tumble-dry your pillow. Dry it on its own, maybe using some dryer sheets and nothing else. Do this for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your pillow.
The tumbling will shake most of the filling loose, and the heat will help the pillow expand and plump up.
4 – Plump it up some more
After you remove the pillow from the dryer it won’t hurt to plump it by hand as well. It will help the filling separate even more and fill the pillow with additional air.
You don’t have to do it as extensively as you would if you didn’t dry it beforehand. Just give it a little shake, punch and stretch action and it should be fine.
How to wash a bamboo pillow
So, washing a bamboo pillow can be a bit of a nightmare – I understand. Still, it’s something you will have to deal with eventually, and there’s no way to avoid it.
Just letting it gather sweat, dead skin and dust for months is not an option – even the best bamboo pillow would start to smell after that.
To help you out, I’ll tell you all I know about the best ways to wash a bamboo pillow and ensure that it stays in one piece!
This is by far the best and the safest way to wash your bamboo pillow. It can still ruin your pillow if you don’t do it right, though, so here’s how to go about it.
1 – Remove the bamboo cover from your pillow
You’ll need to wash the cover separately from the rest of the pillow. Luckily, it can be machine-washed if you’re careful with it. Wash it on a gentle and warm cycle. If you want to be safe, you should just hand-wash it in warm water instead.
2 – Prepare for hand-washing the pillow
You’ll need some gentle or mild detergent, and you’ll need a basin for hand washing or a deep sink. Your bathtub will also work. Whatever you choose, fill it with lukewarm water (make sure it’s not hot) and add a small amount of detergent into it.
3 – Start washing the pillow
Place the pillow in the water and start washing it by gently squeezing it and rubbing in the detergent. You can be a little rougher where necessary but do the spot-washing separately before, or after the through hand-washing.
Don’t let the pillow get soaked with water. It should be covered with it, but not soaked and it definitely shouldn’t absorb too much detergent since it might be difficult to rinse it.
4 – Rinse the pillow
The most important thing is to try and get all of the detergent or soap out of your pillow. Gently rinse it and rinse it several times to make sure all the detergent and most of the water drains out of it.
Don’t squeeze it too hard – you don’t need to get every last drop of water out of it. Just make sure it isn’t leaking out of it like it’s a faucet and you’re fine. If you rinse the pillow too hard, it might not return to its original shape.
5 – Allow your pillow to air dry
Place the pillows under the sun, on a drying rack or other surface that allows them to drain while retaining their shape. Make sure that it’s completely dry before you use it, even if it takes a day or two. Otherwise, you might get mold on it.
Once it’s completely dry, you can put it in the dryer to plump it up, but don’t do it before it’s completely dry. That might result in the pillow losing its shape and not supporting your properly (a common complaint with pregnancy pillows).
And that’s about it! Remember to never, ever machine wash your bamboo pillow – it is just a recipe for complete disaster, believe me on that one (I tried it).
So, there you have it ladies and gents! Now I’ve equipped you with all the knowledge you need to get the best bamboo pillow you can find! So go out there and start improving your sleep as soon as possible.
If there’s anything else you’d like to know or if I’ve left something unclear, feel free to hit me up with a question in the comments. I’ll try to answer it as soon as possible.
I hope this helped you at least a little bit and if you know someone who might need similar help – share it with them!
Until next time, sleep tight!