- Jenica Barrett
The Comfiest Zero Waste Orthopedic Neck Pillows for Sensitive Sleepers
Trust me when I saw that I have a particular orthopedic pillow that I have used for as long as I remember, and it goes everywhere with me. Traveling internationally? I bring my pillow. Camping? That too. Only carry on? A sleepover at a friends? I ALWAYS bring my pillow. Anytime I have forgotten to bring my pillow has been a disaster for my neck. I don’t sleep, like at all.
So when I realized that I hadn’t bought a new pillow in 15 years, I was a little freaked out at the prospect of replacing it. Rather than simply replacing it with the same brand, I wanted to make sure this time around I got a supportive neck pillow that was free of toxic chemicals and fossil fuels. It's important that my pillow offers both a supportive and sustainable night sleep.
Orthopedic vs Regular Pillow
So what makes a pillow an orthopedic one?
The definition of orthopedic according to the Oxford Dictionary is “relating to the branch of medicine dealing with the correction of deformities of bones or muscles”. An orthopedic pillow is then one that has been designed to support the natural curve of the spine and neck and ensure proper sleeping posture.
The thing is - no one certifies that a pillow is truly “orthopedic”. It’s become one of those labels like “green” that really doesn’t mean a whole lot.
What I look for is a pillow that is going to follow the natural shape of my spine and neck (which is curvy). The pillow may be the kind that has a “memory foam” style feel so that its shape shifts to match mine. Another option may be a pillow that is built with neck and head ridges in it (this is the kind that I’ve had for the last 10 years).
Exactly what an orthopedic pillow needs to be will vary based on you. Because it's for your body. So shopping around might be important and giving each pillow a thorough testing period.
Don't forget to check out our list of sustainable sheets as well as comforters and duvets! You desire a bed that's lusciously soft and equally nice to the earth.
This post contains affiliate links where any purchases made through the link earns me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Most Sustainable and Supportive Pillows
Turiya™ Organic Latex Pillow
Material: GOLS-certified organic dunlop latex
Material from: Unknown
Made in: Sri Lanka
30 Day Trial
Top of our list is the Turiya Pillow by Coyuchi simply because of its unique features that truly make it designed for your body. The pillow features a head indent to let your neck rest easily while your head feels like it's "floating on a cloud". It also has two indents in the side of the pillow for your ears to rest on for side sleepers. Ever wake up with ears that ache from sleeping on your sides? This pillow is designed to prevent that!
In terms of sustainability, the Turiya pillow is made of GOLS-certified organic dunlop latex. The inner pillow cover is made of 100% organic cotton and the removable protector layer is also made of organic cotton sateen. However, Coyuchi isn't as transparent about where they get their ingredients from (a difference from Avocado and Holy Lamb Organics). The pillow is shipped in a reusable, organic cloth bag.
A cool plus for Coyuchi as a green brand is the launch of their 2nd Home program. Customers can send in old Coyuchi products for 15% off their next purchase and each product is then either renewed or recycled. You can shop their 2nd Home items to find perfectly restored products at a discount!
Holy Lamb Organics - Orthopedic Neck Pillow
Material: Premium Eco Wool & Organic Cotton fabric
Made in: Hand made in Oakville, WA USA
No trial option and not returnable after use
From Holy Lamb Organics Website:
"Developed in partnership with a chiropractic physician, this unique design allows your head to rest on a flat surface while your neck stays properly supported and in cervical alignment with your spine. With a neck bolster along each long edge, one stuffed slightly more than the other, you can choose the exact amount of support you need. Made with 30 oz. of premium eco wool in an organic cotton sateen cover, the orthopedic pillow measures 18" x 24" and fits in our standard zippered pillow case.
This product ships in a sturdy cardboard box secured with paper tape. We don't use plastic wrap or synthetic packing materials in the box. If you'd like a little extra protection, you can request your product be placed inside a biodegradable bag before boxing."
Avocado Mattress - Molded Latex Pillow
Material: GREENGUARD Gold Certified Latex & GOTS organic cotton
Made in: Assembled in California, USA
100 Night Trial (use it and then return it!)
"Need more from your pillow? We designed our Molded Latex Pillow for back- and side-sleepers and others in need of a firmer pillow for greater neck support. The pillow, molded from a charcoal-infused latex core, holds its shape evenly and regulates temperature while eliminating odors and excess moisture. A removable, GOTS organic certified cotton cover is soft, light, and easy to clean. Toss and turn no more."
Avocado Mattress is also a certified B-Corp and Climate Neutral Certified. We purchase our mattress from them and LOVE it!
Brentwood Home - Molded Latex Pillow
Material: 100% latex core
Made in: Assembled in the USA
30 Day Trial & Return Policy
Brentwood Home's pillow is made from 100% latex, certified by OEKO-TEX Standard 100. The pillow cover is made from 68% polyester, 30% recycled plastic bottles, and 2% spandex. The cover is removable and washable.
The latex core is molded into a general rectangular shape and is described as medium-soft. Latex pillows have the benefit of being temperature regulating and naturally breathable to ensure they stay cool at night.
Organic Latex Contour Bed Pillow
Material: GOLS Certified Organic Dunlop Latex
Material from: Unknown
Made in: Unknown
No trial period
Honestly the only reason I would recommend this latex pillow over the Coyuchi, Avocado, or Brentwood above would be if you had already tried those and they didn't work for you. The Futon Shop doesn't offer a trial period which means you can't return it after giving it a few nights sleep. Although it's slightly cheaper than the Coyuchi pillow, the lack of a sleep trial makes it only worth it as a last resort.