11 best organic, natural & non-toxic pillows for the UK

white non toxic pillow on bed

11 best organic, natural & non-toxic pillows for the UK

In our never-ending quest for a healthier lifestyle, it’s worth taking a look at the place where we spend a big chunk of our lives – our beds.

We’ve already written about non-toxic mattresses and even mattress toppers, but what about the place we rest our heads every night, our pillows? This article looks into the world of non-toxic pillows in the UK, looking at how the bedding choices we make can impact not just our sleep quality, but also our overall health and the environment.

I’ll uncover the downsides of conventional synthetic pillows and introduce you to a range of non-toxic alternatives, helping you to make an informed choice for a safer, more sustainable sleep.

Non-toxic and organic pillows UK: A safe and healthy choice for our sleep

Girl lying on pillow
Photo by Dominic Sansotta on Unsplash

Did you know that many standard pillows contain harmful chemicals that can negatively impact our health? To be honest I didn’t. These chemicals can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and skin irritations. But what are non-toxic pillows exactly?

Non-toxic pillows are made from materials that are free from harmful chemicals and are often eco-friendly, such as organic cotton, wool and latex to name a few. These pillows are designed to provide a healthier and more natural sleeping experience. They are also a great option for people who suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin.

In this article, I will be exploring the best non-toxic pillows available in the UK. I’ll take a look at the materials used to make these pillows and how eco-friendly they are. So that you can choose a non-toxic pillow that will provide you with the safest and most comfortable sleeping experience!

Understanding non-toxic pillows

As we consumers become more aware of the potential health hazards posed by toxic chemicals in everyday products, many of us are now looking for non-toxic alternatives for our bedding, including pillows. Here I will look at the benefits of non-toxic pillows, their environmental impact and which materials to avoid.

Health benefits

Toxin free pillows offer a range of health and sleep benefits. One of the main ones being that they help to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.

Traditional pillows are often made from synthetic materials that contain toxic chemicals such as flame retardants, formaldehyde, and phthalates. These chemicals can off-gas over time, which means that gases are released into the air and can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, potentially affecting our health.

Non-toxic pillows are made from natural materials that are free from harmful chemicals. This means that they are safer for you to sleep on, especially if you have allergies or sensitivities to certain chemicals. They can also help to improve your sleep quality by reducing exposure to irritants that can cause discomfort and disrupt your sleep.

Environmental Impact

Switching to non-toxic pillows also has a positive impact on the environment. Organic and natural materials are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides, which means that they are better for the soil, water and air.

Organic farming practices also promote biodiversity and support local communities. By choosing non-toxic pillows, you can help to support sustainable and ethical practices in the textile industry.

Materials to avoid

When choosing a non-toxic pillow, it’s good to be aware of the materials to avoid. Some common materials used in traditional pillows can be harmful and are best avoided if possible. These include:

  • Synthetic materials such as polyester, which can contain harmful chemicals such as ethylene glycol and antimony, used in the chemical process to create them. Luckily there are more and more non polyester pillows now available.
  • Memory foam, which can contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene.
  • Down feathers, which can be treated with harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and bleach.

Instead, opt for pillows made from natural materials such as organic cotton, wool, or natural latex. These materials are free from harmful chemicals and are biodegradable, making them a more sustainable choice.

So in summary, non-toxic pillows offer a range of health benefits and can help to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals. When choosing a non-toxic pillow, be sure to avoid synthetic materials and opt for natural materials instead.

Types of non-toxic pillows in the UK

Pillow against yellow background with flowers
Photo by Jude Infantini on Unsplash

When it comes to non-toxic pillows, there are several types to choose from. Each type has its own unique features and benefits that cater to different needs. In this section, I’ll look at the most common types of non-toxic pillows in the UK.

Organic cotton

Some of the best natural pillows are made from organic cotton. Organic cotton pillows are made from cotton that has been grown without the use of harmful chemicals. These pillows are hypoallergenic and breathable, making them a great choice for people with allergies or respiratory issues.

Organic cotton pillows are also typically biodegradable and sustainable, making them an eco-friendly option.

Natural latex

Natural latex pillows are made from the sap of rubber trees. They are durable, hypoallergenic, and resistant to dust mites and bacteria. A natural latex pillow is also breathable and provides good head and neck support. It’s an ideal choice for asthma or allergy sufferers and for those looking for medium firmness and a similar feel to memory foam pillows.

Latex is also an animal free product so as long as it is not combined with animal products such as wool when making a pillow, latex pillows should be considered to be vegan pillows.

Wool

Wool bedding and pillows are naturally fire-resistant, breathable, hypoallergenic, and resistant to dust mites and bacteria. Organic wool pillows are made from wool that has been sourced from sheep that have not been exposed to harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Wool can also help regulate body temperature, making it a great choice for those who tend to sleep hot or cold. For ethical pillows UK customers can also look out for the Responsible Wool Standard.

Kapok

Kapok pillows are made from the fibres of the kapok tree. They are naturally hypoallergenic, resistant to dust mites and bacteria, and breathable. Kapok pillows are also soft and comfortable, providing a good night’s sleep. They are a good choice for people who want a pillow that is both eco-friendly and comfortable.

As you can see, there are several types of non-toxic pillows in the UK, each with its own unique features and benefits. We’ll look more into where you can find them below.

Certifications for non-toxicity

One thing that can help when looking for a non toxic pillow is to check out their certifications. There are several certifications that can help identify whether a pillow is genuinely safe and sustainable. Here are some of the most important ones to look out for:

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

GOTS is a globally recognized certification for organic textiles, including pillows. To receive this certification, a pillow must contain at least 95% organic materials. Additionally, the manufacturing process must meet strict environmental and social criteria, such as prohibiting the use of hazardous chemicals and ensuring fair labour practices.

OEKO-TEX

Another certification to look for is the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. Products that receive this certification have been tested for over 100 harmful chemicals, including pesticides, heavy metals, and formaldehyde.

The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification is the highest level of certification and ensures that the pillow is free from harmful substances. It’s based on a comprehensive list of criteria, including legal regulations and scientific standards. You can be very confident that a pillow with this certification is safe for you to use.

Certified Organic

A pillow that is certified organic has been produced using certified organic materials that have been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. This certification ensures that the pillow has been made using sustainable practices that are environmentally friendly. 

Global Organic Latex Standard

The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) is a certification that guarantees the organic and sustainable production of latex used in products like mattresses and pillows. GOLS ensures that the latex comes from organic rubber tree plantations that don’t use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

It also ensures environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, including reduced water and energy use and fair labour practices. When you see GOLS certification, you can trust that the latex product meets high standards for organic and eco-friendly production.

These certifications can be a helpful guide. However, it’s important to note that not all certifications are created equal. Some certifications may be little more than greenwashing, so it’s important to do your research and choose certifications that are reputable and trusted like those listed above.

Where to buy organic & non-toxic pillows in the UK

If you’re looking for the best non-toxic pillows UK wide, there are several options available. In this section, I will provide you with some of the best places to buy toxin free and natural pillows in the UK.

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1. Rise & Fall: wool & recycled down pillows

Recycled down pillows pictured on a bed from Rise & Fall

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Made in: Yorkshire, UK
Price range: £60 – £75
Sustainability creds: Organic materials, recycled down, biodegradable products, organic cotton covers

Rise & Fall’s non-toxic pillows, made from 100% organic wool or recycled down, are designed for eco-friendly comfort.

They come in soft, medium and firm densities to fit all sleeping styles, offering support and temperature control for better sleep. Covered in organic cotton, they increase comfort and sustainability.

With a focus on eco-friendly practices, these hypoallergenic and biodegradable pillows aim to minimize environmental impact.

Working directly with manufacturers, Rise & Fall provides high-quality, sustainable pillows at fair prices, promoting a more eco-conscious sleep experience.


2. Soak & sleep: eco friendly pillows

Soak & Sleep eco-friendly pillows on a chair

Based: UK Ships to: UK
Made in: Hungary, China, Canada
Price range: £21 – £150
Sustainability creds: Ethical sourcing, natural and synthetic fill options

Soak and Sleep offers a range of luxury pillows made from a mixture of materials. These include synthetic pillows made from recycled and non recycled materials and pillows made from natural materials including goose down and feather, wool and silk.

Their feather and down products are certified to either the Responsible Down Standard, Downpass or Downmark and they make their wool pillows from non mulesed New Zealand wool. They also offer 80% recycled down pillows. Soak and Sleep acknowledge that silk is still made using the hot water method which is not known to be particularly kind to silk worms, however they are always on the look out for kinder methods. 

With an emphasis on ethical sourcing and a mix of natural and synthetic fills, they cater to various needs, including hypoallergenic options. Prices span from affordable to premium, ensuring a choice for every budget.


3. The Wool Room: wool pillows

Girl holding The Wool Room natural wool pillow

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK
Price range: £40-160
Sustainability creds: Ethical sourcing, organic wool

The Wool Room combines traditional craftsmanship with innovation, offering wool bedding that’s natural, breathable, and moisture-wicking. Their natural wool pillows, made from ethically sourced organic wool, are designed for comfort, durability, and their hypoallergenic properties. They even sell extra wool stuffing if you’d like more wool in your pillow and wool pillow protectors. 

Their range of pillows includes organic washable wool pillows, wool and latex pillows for a firmer feel and even body and V-shaped body pillows, all with an organic cotton cover. They are perfect for those eco-conscious consumers among us looking for a sustainable sleep. We salute The Wool Room’s commitment to health, comfort and sustainable materials.


4. Cuddledown: silk and down pillows

Cuddledown non toxic feather pillows

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: not specified
Price range: £21-150
Sustainability creds: Ethical sourcing, OEKO TEX certification, EDFA certified down and feathers

Cuddledown offers a range of luxurious down, feather, silk and synthetic pillows that are all OEKO TEX certified, meaning that they are non toxic and hypoallergenic. They are all coverd with high thread count cotton casings for a truly luxurious feel.

Their Pure Silk Pillows are made from Tussah silk which is known to have a long thread, and are considered to be flatter than their down counterparts, offering a medium support.

Their down and feather pillows are sourced from EDFA-member suppliers meaning full traceability and no live plucking or animal cruelty. The down is taken from animals used for the food industry and so is considered a by-product. They come in soft, medium and firm densities.

Emphasizing ethical sourcing, Cuddledown’s pillows reflect their commitment to high-quality, natural materials, providing a breathable and temperature-regulating sleeping environment. These pillows cater to eco-conscious consumers looking for natural bedding options that do not compromise on luxury. They also offer 5% off your first order if you sign up to their mailing list.


5. The Little Green Sheep: children’s pillow

Little Green Sheep organic children's pillow

Based: UK Ships to: UK and international
Made in: UK
Price: £39.95
Sustainability creds: Organic materials, GOTS certified

The Little Green Sheep specializes in organic baby mattresses and bedding, focusing on natural, non-toxic materials for children’s safety and comfort. They make their products without harmful chemicals such as nasty fire retardants, shockingly common in cot mattresses. Their organic wool products are naturally flame retardant and also breathable and anti-allergy. Each item is crafted to high standards, with a commitment to ethical practices and organic certifications.

Their organic wool pillow is machine washable and made for children from 12 months upwards. It measures 40 x 60cm, shapes around the child’s head and is perfect for a cot or starter bed.


6. Naturalmat: natural material pillows

Naturalmat organic wool pillows

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Devon, UK
Price range: £40-190
Sustainability creds: B-Corporation, GOLS certified latex, GOTS certified cotton, European Down and Feather Association (EDFA) certified down, ethically sourced

Known for its organic and sustainable bedding, Naturalmat specialises in mattresses and eco-friendly pillows made from natural fibres.

Their products, designed for both adults and children, are handcrafted in the UK, ensuring high quality and ethical manufacturing practices.

Naturalmat’s organic wool pillows are hand stuffed in Devon using locally sourced wool. Their wool and duck down pillow uses down certified by the European Down and Feather Association (EDFA).

Only using chemical-free materials, Naturalmat offers a healthier sleep environment with a focus on comfort and durability, for eco-conscious customers looking for natural, non-toxic sleep products.


7. The Cornish Bed Company: natural pillows

The Cornish Bed Company natural pillow

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK
Price range: £70-190
Sustainability creds: Ethical sourcing, organic lambswool


8. Dreams: duck feather & down pillow

Dreams non toxic feather and down pillow

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK
Price: £40
Sustainability creds: Ethical sourcing, organic lambswool

Dreams offer a range of pillows for side, back and stomach sleepers, and while the majority are made from synthetic materials, they do offer an ethically sourced duck feather and down pillow. They recommend the pillow for side sleepers and it comes with a high thread count cotton cover. 

Dreams are doing their bit for the environment. They have signed up to the bed industry’s “Pledge for our Planet” which means reducing their waste and taking more responsibility for their environmental impact. The specialist bed company recycle 55% of their waste and 45% goes to energy creation. They acknowledge that it’s very difficult to re-use some materials such as foam and mattress covers but they are targetting 100% waste recycling.

Their stores are green too, powered by 100% renewable energy and 96% of lighting is low energy.


9. Snoozel Green: latex pillow

Snoozel Green organic non toxic pillow

Based: UK Ships to: UK mainland
Made in: Sri Lanka
Price: £65
Sustainability creds: GOTS certified organic cotton, organic latex, biodegradable

Snoozel Green specializes in eco-friendly and organic pillows, mattresses and mattress toppers. Their pillows are filled with organic latex flakes for medium firm support and have a GOTS organic certified cotton cover. They are handmade with perforations to ensure air flow and breathability and come in two shapes to cater for back and side sleepers: classic standard size elliptical and contour for better spine alignment. And while they are not advertised as vegan pillows, I could find no reference to any animal materials meaning that they should be a great option for vegans.

Committed to environmental responsibility, their products are designed to be hypoallergenic, naturally antibacterial, and free from toxic chemicals. Snoozel Green offer high-quality, sustainable products at fair prices, promoting healthier sleep and a greener planet.


10. Dunelm: natural alternative pillows

Dunelm wool toxic free pillow

Based: UK Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: UK
Price range: £18-90
Sustainability creds: Ethical sourcing, OEKO TEX certification, WOOLMARK

While Dunelm pillows are not made from organic materials, they do have a range of natural alternative pillows at a lower price point. Even their synthetic polyester filled pillows are OEKO TEX certified meaning that you can be sure of no nasties while you sleep.

Their unbleached wool pillow is made from 100% New Zealand wool certified by WOOLMARK meaning high quality standards have been met. It comes with a high thread count cotton cover.

The brand also offer a range of goose down and duck feather pillows. Each pillow comes with a firmness rating and recommendation of which sleeping position it is best for.


11. Origin Mattress: Coolmax Latex pillow

Origin Mattress Coolmax latex pillow

Based: UK Ships to: UK plus incorporated in 7 other countries
Made in: Malaysia
Price range: £99
Sustainability creds: OEKO-TEX® certification, tree planting

Origin Mattress works with a German design team made up of chiriopractors and physiotherapists to create the perfect pillows and mattresses for your spine.

Their Coolmax Latex pillow has an anti-allergenic, eco friendly and breathable Tencel cover and a cooling latex core. It is designed to relieve pressure points and provide the perfect neck support for side, back and stomach sleepers.

With OEKO-TEX® certification, you can be sure that your pillow is totally toxin free. The cover is also machine washable.


Cleaning your non-toxic pillows

One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for non-toxic and organic pillows is to avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can harm the natural materials. Instead, use natural cleaning methods such as spot cleaning with a damp cloth or washing the pillow cover in cold water with a mild detergent. And avoid bleach and fabric softeners, as they can damage the pillow’s fibres.

Another important factor to consider is the frequency of washing. While it’s important to keep the pillow clean, washing it too often can cause the natural fibres to break down more quickly. You should try to wash your pillows every six months to a year, depending on whether you use them every day or not.

Investment in health

While non-toxic pillows may sometimes come with a higher price tag than traditional pillows, they are an investment in your wellbeing. Traditional pillows are often made with synthetic materials and chemicals that can be bad for your health. Non-toxic and organic pillows, on the other hand, are made with natural materials that are free from harmful chemicals and toxins.

Investing in a non-toxic pillow may also help improve your sleep quality and reduce the chance of an allergic reaction and asthma. These pillows are also better for the environment, being made with sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

So, while non-toxic pillows may be more expensive than traditional pillows, the investment in your health and the environment may make the cost worthwhile.

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