How Pillows Are Made: An Overview

by Véronique Raymond

The majority of people in the United States have 2 or 3 pillows on their beds. Today, most pillows are filled with polyester (a manufactured material), feathers, down, or a mix of the two.  How pillows are made? A variety of bird-down pillows are available for a reasonable price. Some higher-end pillows might be filled with a mix of goose feathers and down, and the ratio can differ significantly depending on the cost (the more down, the more costly). The tag on the pillow casing, which must be there by law if the consumer is allergic to the materials, distinguishes the filler of this pillow. 

A pillow is made from two layers of material. The inner layer, called a fiber layer, provides support and comfort to the sleeper. The outer layer, called a cover, is used to protect the fiber layer.

History Of Pillows

Pillows have varied little in form and content throughout the ages. The wealthy Greeks reclined on sumptuously stitched cushions and supports. The Egyptians, considering the head to be the source of life, paid a great deal of attention to dead man’s pillows. At first, the Chinese thought that pillows that are robbed the body of vitality, and the pillows were composed of leather, wood, or ceramic materials. Some were even brimming with herbal medicines to cure illness, turn white hair black, mend lost teeth, and inspire pleasant dreams.

Basic Pillow Component

There are many elements that need to be added to a pillow, but we’ve compiled a list of the most frequent ones utilized in the hotel industry. 

The most significant component of the pillow is the batting. Down is the most expensive filler. The down undercoating of waterfowl consists of clusters of filaments emerging from a central quill tip. Because there isn’t a shaft in the down, it’s more resilient. Duck down has more loft than goose down since it is three-dimensional. Warm air is trapped in thousands of clusters in down, making heat loss more difficult. Duck down is smaller, more plentiful, and less pricey than goose down. It’s worth noting that not all down is created equal. Down is measured in terms of fill power, which refers to the amount of space a full cylinder can contain. The higher the fill power, the better.

how pillows are made

Polyester, a manufactured product, is another option. The cheapest kind of polyester used in pillows is a continuous solid filament polyester that has a decent initial form but rapidly loses loft. A higher grade of polyester is known as hollofill, which is a type of continuous filament fiber with a hollow center that allows the pillow to have more loft for longer.

The fabric for the pillow casing is determined by the stuffing. The weaving density and closeness vary depending on filling, as does the weight and firmness of the cotton or polyester casing. Because feather and down fillings are more costly, they must be composed of a finer, more dense, more tightly woven fabric that prevents the feather shafts from poking the sleeper and blocks the fine down from working its way through it. Polyester batts do not require such tiny threads. During production, starch may be used to make these materials stiffer and more resistant to penetration. Only one other material is necessary for the creation of a pillow: a strong thread for stitching the pillow itself.

How Pillows Are Made And Its Types

The best pillow for you should encourage a healthy spine, reduce pressure, and support your head and neck while you sleep. The range of pillow brands can be overwhelming, but we’ve made things simple by breaking down the many alternatives so you can make an informed decision.


The soft and sumptuous underside of ducks and geese is utilized to make Down. While the material is hypoallergenic, it’s unsuitable for people who are allergic to ducks and geese. Pillows made of down require regular fluffing, but they’re quite sturdy and flexible.

Down is a pleasant and soft cushion fill, especially on chilly evenings. Down pillows aren’t as supportive as memory foam or latex pillows, despite the fact that they are filled with down. For additional support, manufacturers combine down and regular feathers, although blended cushions aren’t as comfortable or warm.

Consider the fill power, or amount of down within a pillow, when evaluating down pillows. A high-quality, long-lasting down pillow needs a fill power of 600 or higher. The disadvantage to sleeping on expensive pillows with a high fill power is that they are rather pricey; some cost $200 or more.

Down Alternative

If you are allergic to down, down alternative, or microfiber, hypoallergenic synthetic fibers like polyester or polyfill are used to create it. It is not as warm, fuzzy, or long-lasting as down, but it’s cheap, responsive, and simple to maintain.

Edge Knife

The most prevalent style of pillow edge is made up of two pieces of cloth sewn together at the edges to form a tapered corner and sharp seams. They are fuller in the center and have thinner edges. This way, pillows with this finish have a clean design with no extra decoration.


how pillows are made

Cotton fill is a popular filling for a variety of bedding and textiles since it is inexpensive and easy to maintain. Cotton is breathable and soft, yet it does not conform to the head and neck well. Over time, the filling becomes softer and flatter, but frequent fluffing can extend the life of your pillow. Cotton’s sweat absorption and mildew build-up are increased with age.


A highly breathable, fluffy, and soft-feeling fill is wool. It’s available in 100% wool or blended with other materials, although 100 percent wool is the fluffiest. Vegan clients may not want to buy wool items since sheep are used as a source of the material. Wool pillows are not as popular as other types because they are more expensive and can only be dry-cleaned.


Water pillows, while uncommon, are a type of adjustable pillow that takes on the shape of the amount of water added to it. Water pillows have no sagging or lumping and are quite consistent in feel, since you may just add more water as needed.

Water pillows are inflexible and don’t conform to the shape of your head and neck. Water pillows are hypoallergenic and do not require fluffing because they are only water, but there is an increased chance of leaks soaking into your mattress and causing damage.


Taking the time to select a high-quality pillow form, size, and fill might help you sleep better and wake up without discomfort. While mattresses are essential for spine wellness and comfort in bed, the type of pillow you choose has an equal impact and should be chosen intelligently. The pillow you choose may be based on personal preference, but it should also help to prevent headaches and migraines, painful neck and shoulder muscles, and good sleep.


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