Good restful sleep is something everyone can appreciate. A luxurious pillow that spares no expense in supporting your precious 5 lb. head every night is worth having! You spend a third of your life in bed after all. In today’s guide, we’ll explain what pillows are used in five-star hotels, so read on to find out more.

1. What pillows are used in the hotel industry

The hotel industry knows what kind of luxury pillows their customers expect. The best hotels have a reputation to uphold. They must wow their discerning customers to maintain and grow their luxury brands. Being that hotels offer their customers a place to sleep, they’ll spare no expense where bedding is concerned. Hotel guests are paying for a place to literally lay their heads. That’s why we don’t have to look any further than the top hotels to find the best luxury pillows.

Most hotels’ luxury pillows are filled with 100% goose down. Goosedown is undeniably great pillow filling. Down pillows are durable and moldable and work reasonably well for all sleep positions. They’re comfortably familiar to most sleepy travelers. That’s why they’re generally the default type of pillow in every luxury room. Most of us are happy to dive into a high-quality down pillow and will sleep well on it.

down pillows

2. Advantages of down pillows

  • Moldable/Malleable – A down pillow tends to hold its shape well, offering good support for your head and neck.
  • Light and Cuddly – Down pillows are very light (heavy feathers don’t work very well for flying after all!) and soft.
  • Durable – With proper care, a down pillow can last many years.
  • A Sustainable Product – Down is a renewable resource that is biodegradable and recyclable.

3. Disadvantages of down pillows

  • Requires Maintenance – To maintain a down pillow’s loft, it requires consistent fluffing.
  • Difficult to Clean – Hotels are experts at cleaning down pillows, but it can be a little difficult to do at home without damaging them.
  • Lack of Firm Options – Down pillows tend to be a little too soft for many. Thus they’re unable to offer the support that some other pillows can.
  • The Poor Birds! Down doesn’t grow on trees and unfortunately, a lot of it is harvested in ways considered to be inhumane.

down pillows

4. Things to consider when buying down pillows

If you’re looking to purchase a down pillow, here’s a couple things to consider:

  1. A real down pillow contains down only — no feathers. Many manufacturers sell a combination of down and feather fill and label it “down.” Feathers are an economical way to add volume, but often the feathers’ quills will stick through the pillow poking your pretty face (ouch!) while you sleep. Avoid combination filling. Look for 100% down only.
  2. Hungarian goose down (otherwise known as European white goose down) is considered to be the best quality. Their down clusters are pure white and larger than most other types.
  3. A luxury down pillow should be made with a high-quality fabric case. These things can last a long time IF its fabric is durable. We recommend organic cotton fabrics.
  4. The Responsible Down Standard is an independent, voluntary global set of guidelines that recognizes and rewards the best practices in the harvesting of bird feathers. Down pillows manufactured to this standard help to prevent the suffering of birds.

5. Other pillows available for the hotel industry

What other luxury pillows are available? Ask to see your hotel’s pillow menu. The best hotels recognize that their customers have refined tastes and appreciate alternatives. It’s a relatively new trend, but many hotels now offer pillow menus. It might sound a little pretentious… but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask! Down pillows excluded, many menu options aren’t what I’d call “luxurious.” If you’ve never tried memory foam, latex, TPE, or the various contour pillow options, don’t bother. I’ve tried them all and the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.

down pillows

6. Try a buckwheat pillow

Buckwheat pillows are available on most luxury pillow menus. Most people have never heard of them. They’re sort of like a bean bag for your head. These unique pillows are filled with tiny buckwheat hulls, the byproduct of milling the buckwheat plant. What’s so great about them?

1) Buckwheat pillows offer superior support

Your pillow’s most important job is to comfortably and consistently support your head and neck. A good pillow will cradle your body all night in what’s called “neutral alignment.” That is, it helps to keep all the bits and pieces in your spine in their ideal positions. This prevents unnecessary pressure on your discs, muscles, and nerves. Proper support=comfort.

Soft squishy traditional pillow types can collapse under the weight of your head or are inevitably too thin/thick. They aren’t conducive to good rest! Buckwheat pillows’ unique malleable quality makes them superior to other filling types. They’ll conform perfectly to the shape of your head and neck providing support that’s just for you.

#1. Ideal support is accomplished with:

  • proper elevation of your head. Your head isn’t positioned too high or too low, preventing uncomfortable bends and twists in your spine.
  • even the distribution of your head’s weight. Your head’s mass is uniformly spread across the pillow’s surface; there are no uncomfortable pressure points.
  • consistent fill density.  Your pillow’s fill will not collapse or flatten under the pressure of your body. Consequently, your head and neck will be consistently aligned.

buckwheat pillow

#2. A buckwheat pillow’s adjustable loft provides ideal support for everyone regardless of body type or sleep position.

It’s quite likely that any non-adjustable pillow you buy will be either too thick or thin for you. Fortunately, most buckwheat pillows allow you to adjust the thickness, or loft, by adding or removing fill via a zippered opening (don’t get a buckwheat pillow without it). It doesn’t matter what size you are or what sleeping position you prefer, a buckwheat pillow can support your head at the correct elevation. You’ll be able to fine-tune the loft so that your head and neck are positioned just right.

#3. A buckwheat pillow’s filling will conform perfectly to the shape of your head, evenly distributing your head’s weight.

Most soft pillows cannot support your head as completely as a buckwheat pillow does. A buckwheat pillow’s unique hull filling will conform to the shape of your head and neck precisely. Its malleable character allows it to firmly and evenly distribute your head’s weight, thus eliminating pain-causing pressure points.

The individual buckwheat hulls’ irregular shape causes friction between them. This friction between the hulls enables the pillow to hold its shape.

#4. A buckwheat pillow won’t collapse in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately, many traditional soft pillows stuffed with filling like down slowly flatten out under the weight of your head while you sleep. This will result in an uncomfortable downward bend in your neck. Folding your pillow in half is a popular solution. Unfortunately, this often creates the opposite problem: an upward bend in your neck.

Continually re-fluffing or adjusting your in the middle of the night to get a bit more loft (thickness) out of your pillow, isn’t the best way to sleep!

2) Buckwheat pillows stay cool

Down, foam, and other pillow types retain body heat and can quickly become hot and uncomfortable. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and had to flip your pillow to the cool side? That doesn’t happen with buckwheat pillows. You’re on the cool side all night.

#1. Buckwheat pillows’ cooling ability is due to the breathable nature of their hull filling. 

There’s lots of free space between the individual buckwheat hulls so that air can flow freely through the pillow keeping it cool and dry even in the hot summer months. lt allows warm humid air absorbed from your body to quickly escape the pillow, consequently preventing uncomfortable heat build-up.

buckwheat pillow

3) Buckwheat pillows are all-natural & biodegradable.

Many popular pillow types contain polyurethane or polyester foam that can emit toxins and carcinogens that aren’t good for you or our environment. There’s no sense in risking your health or filling our landfills with potentially toxic waste!

#1. The comfort of buckwheat pillows comes with no strings attached.

Buckwheat pillows are safe for your family and the environment. Buckwheat crops benefit little from chemical fertilizers, and therefore it is free of many of the contaminants that are present in other crop types. The hulls are also compostable, which helps to reduce unnecessary waste in our landfills and keeps our soil healthy and nutrient-rich for future generations. Additionally, for those interested in a vegan lifestyle, buckwheat pillows contain no animal products like down pillows.