How To Choose The Best Pillow


If you found this, you’ve probably been looking around at other sites to figure out how to find the best pillow for sleeping.  And, you’ve probably noticed that most advice begins with examining how you sleep – on your side, back or stomach.  And that bit of information is good to know.  However!  No one seems to be talking about the most important thing to consider when choosing a pillow – what it is made of!

If you want to have a healthy, restful night’s sleep, you need to sleep in, on and under Wool!

People spend an average of eight hours a night sleeping in bed.  Eight hours with your head resting on something.  Eight hours of breathing and exhaling moist air.  Eight hours of gently perspiring from your head (yes, we all sweat while we sleep – and some more than others – night sweats!).  With all of that activity happening at a microbial level, choosing a wool pillow is essential for your health and well-being.

The Number One Priority when choosing a pillow -- select the correct fiber - Wool!



Wool is an all-natural fiber and the only fiber that breathes.

  • Down doesn’t breathe.
  • “Down Alternatives”, (also known as polyester and other synthetics,) don’t breathe.
  • Memory Foam doesn’t breathe – even if it is chopped up into little pieces.
  • “Cooling Gel” doesn’t breathe.

It is striking how much effort synthetic manufacturing companies make to try to mimic the unique breathable quality that Wool naturally has.  In fact, humans have never been able to create a synthetic that has all of the unique qualities of wool. Rather than mimic Wool, why not simply use it?

So, first and foremost, select wool for your pillow.

Why Wool?  It wicks moisture away from you as you sleep, and then the moisture slowly evaporates from the wool fiber over time.  This natural process keeps you dry and helps regulate your temperature to keep you cool.  And!  Wool is a renewable resource.  Wool is annually sheared from a sheep – it’s like giving the sheep a haircut.  The sheep needs this annual primping for her health and well-being, and is not harmed when she gets sheared.  Also!  Wool can be composted at the end of its life.  So, when you choose Wool, you’re also saving our planet!  (That alone should help you sleep better at night!)



Do not choose memory foam or polyester or any type of synthetic material.

These man-made materials trap moisture and heat.  You get all hot and sweaty because there is nowhere for the moisture to go.  The heat wakes you up, and you toss and turn, trying to cool down.  This is disruptive not only to your brain, but also to your heart, which has to work harder to try to keep you cool while you sleep.  Also!  Warmth and moisture is the ideal type of habitat for bed bugs and other types of microscopic critters.  Ick.  And!  Foams and plastics never ever go away.  They never decompose.  After you are finished using it, your pillow will live on forever in a landfill somewhere.  F-O-R-E-V-E-R!  Yikes.

Do not choose down.

Down is feathers.  Feathers are great for birds, because they know how to plump them up to get air in between them to keep themselves warm.  And they are great at keeping the birds dry.  But once off the bird, the feathers do not maintain those qualities.  Feathers do not breathe.  They trap moisture and heat, and dark, warm, moist places are where microbes like to live and mildew likes to grow.  Double ick.   And – have you ever noticed how down doesn’t maintain its loft?   The feathers always end up in one corner or another of a pillow, never around when you need them.  Sort of like a fair-weather friend, not very reliable.   Also!  Down is removed from birds that have been harvested for food.



Ok, now that you know you want a Wool Pillow – how firm should it be?  Sonoma Wool Company Pillows come in three types – soft, medium and firm.

Our soft pillow has about 2.0-2.2 pounds of wool; our medium pillow has about 2.4-2.6 pounds of wool; and our firm pillow has about 2.8-3.0 pounds of wool. Generally speaking, unless you are a very small or very large person, on average…

Side and Back Sleepers:  We recommend our medium wool pillow.  It is firm enough to keep your neck and spine in alignment, and align your head with your shoulder.

Stomach Sleepers:  We recommend our soft wool pillow.  It will still elevate your head above your mattress, but is soft enough to maintain your alignment.

We recommend our firm wool pillow for larger people who are side or back sleepers. Our firm pillows are also great as an extra pillow on your bed for reading, or raising your legs, or to put against your back for additional support while you sleep.   

Don't forget, our wool pillows are made in the USA with wool from USA family ranches!

Oh, and when you hear that you have to replace your pillow every 18 months – not so when it comes to Wool!  A wool pillow may indeed last you a lifetime.  Just put it out in the sun every few months to sanitize it.  Use a 100% cotton or linen pillow protector and a similar fiber for a pillowcase, and you should be good to go!   Please don’t use a synthetic or a blend for your pillowcase or pillow protector.  It won’t let wool do its thing!

Another thing to watch out for when looking for a wool pillow is to make sure the wool used is not superwashed wool.  Wool fibers that have been superwashed have been coated with a polymer, and they no longer breathe as nature intended.  Sad, but true.  There may be a time and a place for superwashed wool, but your bedding is not one of them.

Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Sawyer and Amy.

Re-Discover the Wonders of Wool.

Wool sourced, washed, carded, felted and sewn entirely in the United States!