Picking a Stuffing for Your Body Pillow

Woman in a coat squeezing a large pillow
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Nothing quite comforts like a body pillow and the right stuffing can improve the experience. But what is the right stuffing?


Foam can be a very comfortable filling if it is firm and shaped properly. Often foam in large pillows is divided into small pieces. Small pieces tend to migrate to one end of the pillow or the other. Another problem with foam is that it crumbles with age. This spoils the feel of the foam pillow.


Synthetic fillers are often presented as fibers. They can be comfortable but can become uncomfortably warm. Some fibers represented as being hollow can be very comfortable and cool. While they are not as comfortable as down pillows they can be as comfortable as feather pillows.

Styrofoam Beads

Styrofoam beads are more comfortable when small. They tend to be a little cooler than synthetic fiber fills. Because the beads move around each other very easily the pillow can be forced into just about any shape for comfort. When you move about with a bead stuffed pillow they make a pleasant shuffling sound. If you obtain even the smallest tear or seam separation your beads will leak out, creating a mess.


Raw cotton is a wonderful stuffing. It is resilient and remains cool. A cotton pillow can hold its shape quite well. Sometimes a cheap cotton stuffing will collapse and become hard over a time. Dry cleaning can restore them but they will never be as comfortable as in those first few months again.


Buckwheat is a popular filling for some smaller pillows. This natural product adapts to your shape. It is not really a viable stuffing for a large pillow because of its weight.


Hops are another natural product that is very comfortable and has the added advantage of a very pleasant aroma. Hop-stuffed pillows are know to ease insomnia.


putting a pillow cover on

Feathers are a natural product but can cause allergic reactions in some people. Some feather fills include larger feathers and these can sometimes poke through the cover.


Down is another natural product being the under-feathers of a goose. Down is very soft and probably the most comfortable filling available. Down pillows can assume the shape that is desired and don’t often compact themselves. For those with allergies, down pillows can now be obtained in hypoallergenic style.

Stuffing Problems

It is unfortunate that pillows collect a prodigious amount of dust in normal use. The dust will also harbor microbes and mites. No matter what stuffing you have you will want to replace it every two or three years. This frequent rotation may force you to choose between a high-quality stuffing material and an affordable one.

All Pillows

All pillows will remain comfortable for a longer period of time if they are kept in a fairly tight sleeve. The appropriate-sized pillow case will help hold the pillow's shape, keeping it firm.

If luxury is the aim, you will not be able to find anything more luxurious than down. Goose down is the best. Down pillows can be cleaned by specialists to extend the lifespan. For the best in comfort at a reasonable price you will probably find that hollow synthetic fibers fit the bill.