August 14, 2018
by Natalie Wilson – Best Bamboo Guide
Your Guide to the Best Bamboo Pillow on the Market
As children, we can fall asleep pretty much anywhere. Kids can be laying on the floor, sitting up straight in a chair, or hanging upside down off of the monkey bars- they’ll fall asleep when they fall asleep. Looking back on these days from the perspective of an adult suffering from insomnia, restless nights of sleep, and constant twisting and turning, we always tell the kids, “enjoy your sleep while you’re young because you won’t be getting much of it after your 20’s.” Read on to discover the best bamboo pillow for you from our comprehensive reviews and guide.
By now, you’ve probably seen all of the commercials for those fancy memory foam mattresses promising you the best night of sleep in your life. While enticing, you’ll quickly realize that the associate price tag can go up over $5,000.
Let’s face it, that’s the price of a used car, and the majority of us simply don’t have that kind of money to drop all at once on a brand new mattress, no matter how nice it seems.
This is where a bamboo memory foam pillow comes in. While they may not be the full-body mattress solution that you crave most of all, they can revolutionize the way that you sleep by providing the appropriate amount of support and comfort to the part that matters most- your head, neck, and upper shoulders. There are also some great option for bamboo body pillows that can give some of the full-body support you need.
If you’ve never heard of bamboo pillows or bamboo bedding in general before, then this is the article for you. Today, we’re going to be talking about everything related to bamboo pillows; what they are, how they’re made, their benefits and drawbacks, and finally we’ll give you our top product recommendations based on tedious research and experimentation.
Let’s get started!
What Exactly Is A Bamboo Pillow?
If you’re like most people, you enjoy a good pillow when you sleep on it. Those fancy pillows that they have at the 5-star resort hotels always give you a night of sleep to remember. You’re probably familiar with your average pillows. They’re soft, fluffy, filled with cotton, down, or memory foam, and have been around for ages.
When most people first hear about bamboo pillows, however, they’re not sure what exactly to picture. They picture a hard stick of bamboo and wonder how it could possibly benefit their sleep. If anything, it seems like it would lend only to a more painful sleeping experience.
However, they’re not considering the fact that bamboo is actually just a species of grass. When it is broken down and processed, the result are tens of thousands of small fibers that are then treated and turned into a special yarn that is used to weave into the outer covers of the pillow.
Most bamboo pillows are then filled with high-quality memory foam, often shredded, and sometimes combined with some form of a cooling gel. Sometimes the bamboo yarn will be woven into the filling of the pillow for increased stability and firmness as well.
Before we go further, here’s a summary table with the rankings of the best bamboo memory foam pillows that we tested, followed by quick reviews of the top 5 choices.
Our Top 5 Picks For Bamboo Pillows
Now that you know a little bit more about bamboo pillows and what they’re all about, you’re probably interested in checking them out. As we just mentioned, for as many reputable bamboo pillow manufacturers there are on the market, there are definitely some who are selling sub-par products that may not even use real bamboo or Rayon yarn. Another place where the quality shows is in the choice of memory foam.
In order to make your shopping experience a little bit easier, we’ve put together a list of out top 5 picks for the best bamboo pillows that money can buy. You can be rest assured that these companies are reputable and that their products are built to the highest standard of quality.
Let’s take a look!
1. Coop Home Goods Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow with Viscose Bamboo Cover
Coop Home Goods has a full line-up of bamboo pillows: the regular bamboo memory foam pillow, the Eden bamboo pillow, and if you’re looking for a full-body snuggle pillow, then the Coop Home Goods memory foam body pillow will make a great addition to your bed.
On all of the Coop Home Goods pillows, the cover is made from an ultra-soft Viscose Rayon blend derived from bamboo and is so cool and smooth, you’ll think you were sleeping on pure silk. You’ll never have to worry about waking up due to uncomfortable hot sweats ever again.
What makes these pillows so great is just how maneuverable they are. This is due to the shredded memory foam stuffing that can be twisted to conform to every curve of your body, effectively swaddling you like a baby.
Unlike many bamboo pillows, this pillow is 100% machine washable, which means that you can pretty much wash it whenever you want without worrying about damaging it.
Also, the regular memory foam pillow and the Eden pillow come with extra memory foam (or extra gel-infused memory foam in the case of the Eden pillow) so that you can increase the thickness of the pillow if you like.
You can see more customer reviews on Amazon for the:
- Coop Home Goods Eden Gel Infused Shredded Memory Foam Pillow with Viscose Bamboo Cover,
- the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow with Viscose Bamboo Cover,
- or the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Body Pillow with Viscose Bamboo Cover.
We also have in-depth reviews (including a nice comparison and lots of photos) for the Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow and Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow as well as another in-depth review for the Coop Home Goods Bamboo Body Pillow.
2. Snuggle-Pedic Viscose Bamboo Ultra-Luxury Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Have you ever wanted a pillow that you can fully customize to fit you personally? If so, then Snuggle-Pedic has just the pillow for you. The ultra-luxurious bamboo pillow is stuffed with a blend of shredded memory foam that provide exceptional comfort and versatility no matter how what your sleeping style is. They also make a full-body bamboo pillow with the same Kool-Flow bamboo cover and with shredded memory foam interior.
If you want a firmer pillow, you can order extra stuffing. If you want a softer pillow, all you have to do is unzip the pillow and remove some of the stuffing. We did find that the Snuggle-pedic pillows are somewhat denser than other options and have a lower profile. This makes them ideal for stomach sleepers, as well as people who like a heavier, denser pillow for firmer neck support.
The real magic of this pillow lies in the cover, however. Snuggle-Pedic’s patented Kool-Flow cover is made from a blend of 43% viscose bamboo, polyester, and a small percentage of lycra to keep your head cool all night long.
It’s also made with CERTIPUR-US certified foam which means that this pillow uses foams sources only from manufacturers who adhere to the highest levels of eco-friendly production and chemical-free treatment.
What’s not to love?
You can see more customer reviews on Amazon for the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, as well as more customer reviews for the Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo Body Pillow.
We also have separate pages for our Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow review as well as a page for our Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Shredded Memory Foam Bamboo Body Pillow review.
3. Cariloha Retreat Pillow
If you’re looking for the ultimate bamboo pillow sleeping experience, then Cariloha has got the pillow for you. The Cariloha Retreat is designed to make every night feel like you were drifting away in a small Caribbean island resort.
The thing that really makes this pillow unique is their bamboo charcoal memory foam. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and is broken down into three plush layers which adapt to the natural shape of your head and your necks curvature. The charcoal bamboo memory foam not only wicks away heat and moisture, but keeps away odors and toxins, while repelling dust mites. Talk about a multi-functional pillow!
Covering this is a 300 thread-count viscose bamboo cover that is so soft you’ll think you’re laying on a cloud. It’s fully removable and washes easily, meaning that you don’t even need to use a pillowcase unless you really want one.
4. Clara Clark Rayon Bamboo Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam
If you’re looking for a bamboo memory foam pillow that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but that still provides decent comfort, support, and is built to quality standards, then this pillow by Clara Clark is a great budget option.
All of the materials are CERTIPUR-US certified, which means that this pillow is as eco-friendly as it gets. It features shredded memory foam for extra moldability and comfort throughout your body. This pillow can be classified as a medium-firm pillow that provides a good balance of both comfort and support.
In addition to this, the pillow is also backed by a lifetime warranty and a 30-day no-questions-asked refund period if you aren’t 100% satisfied. So what have you got to lose?
5. The Original Miracle Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
If you’re looking for a simple, durable, and versatile bamboo pillow, then you can’t go wrong with the Miracle Bamboo pillow. This 3-in-1 pillow can be used as a soft, medium-firm, or extra-firm pillow depending on how you position it. The shredded memory foam is easily adjustable and will quickly conform to the natural shape of your body while you sleep.
In addition to being soft and comfortable, the viscose bamboo cover resists mold, allergens, and even dust mites. It’s multi-layer design provides both comfort for your head and firm support of your neck which helps to keep your spine properly aligned and prevent restless nights of sleep.
Memory Foam Interior: Solid Or Shredded?
As we mentioned above, when you’re searching for bamboo pillows, you’ll encounter two primary types: memory foam pillows and those that are stuffed with down, cotton, wool, or other synthetic materials. Among our top choices, only the Cariloha pillows use a solid memory foam core. Both the Coop Home Goods and the Snuggle-Pedic use shredded memory foam.
So, what’s best for you?
At the end of the day, this is purely a matter of personal preference and comfort. Memory foam has the advantage of providing superior support and conforming to the natural shape of your head, but it is also known for absorbing heat and some customers say that it’s too firm.
Shredded pillows are generally a lot softer and don’t retain heat in the same manner that a memory foam bamboo pillow will, but they also don’t provide the same support to your neck and vertebrae the way that a firmer memory foam bamboo pillow can.
Before you make a final decision, take a few minutes to consider your own needs and your history with pillows. If you’ve been satisfied with memory foam pillows in the past, then you should opt for a solid bamboo pillow. However, if you’ve traditionally had better experiences with soft cotton-filled pillows, then you should choose a shredded bamboo pillow.
From Nature to Nurture: How Bamboo Pillows Are Made
Contrary to popular belief, the pillows themselves aren’t made of 100% raw bamboo. Not only would that be painful, but it wouldn’t make much sense either. Before the bamboo reaches maturity as a full-grown hard plant, it’s harvested while still in it’s “grass” phase.
This grass is then processed in plants depending upon its particular use in the pillow. Some bamboo pillows only feature a bamboo cover, while others feature bamboo filling as well.
The grass is broken down into small fibers, and which are often used in the filling. To make the covers, the fibers are further softened using a chemical treatment process. Once softened, these fibers are turned into a material known as Viscose Rayon which is then further threaded into a yarn which is used to create the bamboo-based textile used in covers, sheets, and clothing.
This Viscose Rayon fabric is soft, breathable, and is often compared with silk in terms of the way that it feels on the skin and its cooling properties.
Although the final bamboo content of bamboo pillows is actually quite low, bamboo plays a vital part in the manufacturing process. The Viscose Rayon textile created from bamboo is both affordable and environmentally sustainable.
Benefits of Using a Bamboo Pillow
If you’re a smart shopper, you’re not going to just buy into the latest fad no matter how great that the commercials make it seem. So, to alleviate some of your doubts, we’re going to take a few minutes to discuss some of the benefits of bamboo pillows and how they can help you get the night of sleep that you deserve.
Bamboo is an all-natural product that grows year-round in multiple locations all over the world. This means that it’s one of the most sustainable products on the face of the earth, similar to hemp. As soon as it’s harvested, it’s ready to grow again and within a few short weeks, a full crop will again be ready for processing.
Unlike cotton, which grows only once a year, and can drain the soil of nutrients, bamboo almost never stops growing due to its grass-like nature. Drought doesn’t affect it, it doesn’t need to be irrigated, and it doesn’t need to be treated by chemicals and pesticides.
All that being said, the processing means used to break down the dense bamboo fibers still utilize a lot of chemicals. However, when you compare the amount of chemicals used in bamboo processing with those of other materials such as nylon or polyester, the bamboo is far less harmful to the environment. In addition, you’re supporting local farms who make their living off of harvesting the easy-to-grow bamboo crops.
Moisture and Heat Regulation
The final Viscose Rayon yarn produced by the bamboo is incredibly effective at wicking away moisture and heat that can build up on the surface of your pillow. One of the reasons why many people get such a poor night of sleep is that they’re constantly waking up throughout the night due to hot sweats and poor air circulation.
This is especially important when you’re looking at memory foam bamboo pillows. For all of its benefits, memory foam is notorious for getting hot. However when covered in the woven bamboo fibers, the heat dissipates on the cover instead of being absorbed into the deeper layers of the pillow. Additionally, any moisture or sweat will be quickly wicked away and evaporate before it has a chance to accumulate.
Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic. Unlike cotton, nylon, and polyester which can cause some people allergies or topical irritation, there have never been any reported cases of bamboo pillows causing these effects.
Who Can Benefit from a Bamboo Pillow?
Pretty much anybody can benefit from sleeping on a brand-new bamboo pillow. They’re comfortable, keep you cool, and provide exceptional support with long-lasting durability. However, there are some people who will particularly enjoy and benefit from a bamboo pillow including:
- Those who suffer from chronic neck and back pain
- Light sleepers who wake up easily
- Those who suffer from insomnia
- People who are prone to allergies or skin irritation
- Those who commonly “sleep hot” at night.
Are Bamboo Pillows Worth the Money?
The one caveat of bamboo pillows is that they tend to be on the more expensive side. While they’re not quite as expensive as those luxury Tempur-Pedic brand pillows, they’re certainly not as cheap as the cotton-stuffed pillows that you’re used to getting from your local Big Box store.
Despite the higher price point, though, bamboo pillows offer quite a few notable benefits when compared to other competitors on the market.
We’ve already gone over some of them including:
- Eco-friendly and sustainable development process
- Increased neck and back support
- Moisture wicking properties
- Heat regulation properties
However, one of the things that we left out was how durable these pillows are. Your traditional memory foam or cotton-stuffed pillows will need to be thrown out and replaced at least once every year or two if you want to continue to receive the same level of support.
Bamboo pillows, on the other hand, are far more durable. Because they regulate heat and moisture so effectively, they prevent these from being absorbed into the deeper layers of the pillow. Heat and moisture absorption are the two things that contribute the most to the breakdown of pillow materials.
Once you consider this, you’ll be able to understand why your average bamboo pillow can last two to three times as long as the pillows that you’re used to sleeping on. In turn, this means that you won’t be having to spend the extra money that you otherwise would on replacement pillows every year.
Environmentally Conscious? Here’s What You Need to Know
While some tout bamboo pillows and bedding products as 100% all-natural, this isn’t quite true. While the bamboo is certainly far more sustainable and eco-friendly than other means of production, it’s not completely honest to say that the process is chemical-free.
In order to turn the hard bamboo fibers into the ultra-soft Rayon yarn used to manufacture the bamboo pillow covers, it requires heavy machinery and chemical enzymes which break down the hard cellulose.
That being said, not every manufacturer and distributor of bamboo bedding products is the same. Some well-known companies such as Cariloha and Bamboo Supply Co, make it a point to ensure that their means of production is not only sustainable, but utilizes advanced filtration and recycling techniques to minimize chemical output and waste.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Opting to purchase “budget options” usually means that you’re getting a product that either isn’t made from real bamboo and Rayon yarn, or a company that doesn’t care about their environmental impact.
Are Bamboo Pillows Safe?
After reading through the previous sections, we hope that you’ve realized that bamboo pillows are a great alternative to traditional memory foam and cotton-stuffed pillows. However, we still get the occasional question from prospective buyers wondering “are they safe.”
When further questioned, these people usually reveal that their queries are the result of them not knowing much about the manufacturing process. They think that the pillows could contain bamboo shards and splinters which could be potentially harmful to those sleeping on them.
As we’ve already discussed though, the raw bamboo is not the final product that’s used in the bamboo pillows. Instead, the bamboo is processed into a fine-threaded and soft yarn known as Viscose Rayon. The pillow itself contains very little raw bamboo, and what it does contain is finely shredded and softened bamboo used for stuffing.
Caring for your Bamboo Pillow
If you’re going to spend the money on a bamboo pillow, you’ll want to know some basics about how to care for it. As with any investment, proper cleaning and treatment will help it to last longer, ensuring that you’re getting the most value for your money.
Here are a few basics about how to clean and care for your new bamboo pillow.
Airing It Out
When you first receive your bamboo pillow, you may notice a light “off-gassing” smell. This is the residual chemicals from the final treatment and cleaning process that the pillow underwent in the factory. While it is by no means dangerous, it can be an unpleasant smell to some.
In order to get rid of the odor, you should let the pillow sit and air out in an empty room before using it. The odor should be completely gone within a half day or so.
Fluffing A Bamboo Pillow
While your bamboo pillow will come out of the packaging crisp, firm, and fluffed up, after a week or two of sleeping on it, you may find that it has lost some of its initial “fluff.” As you sleep on it, the weight of your neck, head, and shoulders compresses the stuffing resulting in a pillow that’s more compact than you want.
Thankfully, you can get the pillow back to its original fluffy state without much effort. The easiest way by far is simply to throw the pillow in a dryer. Set your machine to low heat and let it tumble for about 15 minutes. The heat will activate the fibers and stuffing helping them to break apart from each other, and the tumbling action will actively fluff the stuffing.
When you take your bamboo pillow out of the dryer, it’ll be just like new.
Washing Your Bamboo Pillow
If you want your bamboo pillow to continue smelling fresh and last you for the long run, then you’ll need to wash it from time to time. Most manufacturers recommend that you wash your pillow at least once every couple of months. This helps to wash away any dust and skin cells that can break down the pillow’s materials and attract dust mites.
The best way to wash your bamboo pillow is by hand. While some will tell you that you can throw it in your washing machine, this can be hit or miss. Many peoples’ washing machines are far too rough even on “delicate” settings, and this can cause serious damage to the structure and cover of the pillow.
To begin, you’ll want to fill up your kitchen sink, bathtub, or a bucket with some lukewarm water. Then throw in a little bit of mild laundry detergent (stay away from bleach or products such as OxiClean, though, as these can be too rough on the soft Rayon yarn).
Once the water is prepared, take your pillow and submerge it. Gently agitate the pillow in the water with massaging and squeezing motions. This will allow the soapy water to permeate through the pillow and properly clean it.
After doing this for about 5 minutes, dump the soapy water, squeeze your pillow out, and fill the tub up with cool, clean water for a rinsing cycle. Repeat the massaging and squeezing motions for a few minutes, dump the water and repeat once more to ensure all of the soap has been rinsed out.
Finally, you’ll want to dry the pillow. If you’re in a rush, then you can throw it in the dryer on a low heat setting for about 25 to 30 minutes. However, if you’ve got some time to wait, we recommend letting it air dry for a few hours.
Before we get into our product recommendations, let’s take a few minutes to address some of the common concerns of first-time buyers. These are questions that are commonly found on Amazon review boards and received by bamboo pillow manufacturers, so we thought it would be best to include a few of them in our buyer’s guide.
What is a Bamboo Pillow Really Made Of?
Bamboo pillows are made out of many of the same materials that traditional pillows are made out of. It all depends on the type of pillow that you’re going for. The covers are almost always made the same, utilizing the silk-like Viscose Rayon yarn. However, the stuffing is where you’ll notice the most difference.
Some bamboo pillows utilize memory foam inners and others use a shredded stuffing made from goose down, cotton, bamboo fibers, and synthetic materials.
Why Do Some Bamboo Pillows Smell?
One of the most common complaints about bamboo pillows is their strong chemical smell when they first come out of the packaging. As we mentioned priorly, it’s not harmful, but the strong smell can be quite offsetting for some and can cause some minor nausea.
While they’ll easily air out by the next day, some customers want to know exactly why their bamboo pillows smell the way that they do.
The odor is caused mostly by the cleaning process used before packaging. Some of the cleaning gases don’t have time to air out before the pillow is packaged, which means that they won’t get a chance to fully air out until their unpackaged in your home.
Another reason why your pillow might have a strange off-gassing smell is if you opted for a memory foam bamboo pillow. When memory foam is first unpackaged from it’s compressed state of storage, you’ll often notice a strong chemical smell as the pores of the foam open up and release trapped gas.
In most cases, these smells all but disappear completely within a couple of days. If they don’t then you should contact the manufacturer and request a replacement or refund.
Do Bamboo Pillows Need Pillowcases?
While most people prefer to sleep with pillowcases on their pillows, there are a few customers who ask if it’s okay for them to sleep directly on their pillows. The answer is, yes… kind of.
The Rayon yarn is incredibly soft and is a very soft material to rest your head on. However, if you do this, then you’re going to have to wash your pillow far more often to keep it clean and free of germs, dust, hair oils, and skin debris. If you plan on sleeping on your pillow without a pillow case, then your pillow won’t last you as long as if you did have the protective case.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to get a good night of sleep, then you should try a bamboo pillow. Once you rest your head on one of these, you’ll never go back to the cheap old pillows you were using before.
Not only are these pillows incredibly comfortable, but they’re also proven to last up to twice as long as traditional memory foam and cotton-stuffed pillows due to the strong bamboo fibers and Rayon yarn used to build them.
So what are you waiting for?
It’s time to get the night of sleep that you’ve been waiting for.
About the Author: Natalie Wilson
When I’m not studying up on the latest eco-friendly ways to produce everyday items (particularly using bamboo), you can find me playing trivia at a local bar, or hanging out at the beach.
I love the idea of using an abundant resource like bamboo to make a huge varieties of items we use everyday. Particularly when those are currently being made with plastic, or plants that require pesticides and a huge amount of water to grow.
Hopefully this site will inspire people to think about ways they can improve their sleep, decrease the strain they put on the environment, and generally get better, long-lasting products that are also sustainable and of higher quality than the products they are used to.
You can find a bit more information and a list of my recent articles on my author profile page!