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Night after night, your face rests on your pillow. You breathe in and out everything that could be lurking inside.

Pillows can trap allergens, like dust mites, setting off allergy symptoms, like sneezing, stuffiness, eye redness, and eye itching. The result: feeling awful as you wake up.

Instead, you might consider choosing a hypoallergenic pillow to help reduce your exposure to allergens. There are a variety of pillows on the market that are hypoallergenic and come with additional features, like cooling gels, moisture-wicking fabrics, and even adjustable fill levels.

Pillows can trigger allergies, as they can be a reservoir for dust mites, according to Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network in New York City.

Down feathers — a common fill for pillows — “can act as an allergen by collecting dust,” she adds.

Changing out an old pillow may help decrease your allergy symptoms — as long as you make a smart switch. This may mean changing from down to down alternative or natural fibers.

It’s also a good idea to top your pillow with a hypoallergenic dust mite cover.

“These encase the pillow to create a barrier between you and the dust mites,” adds Parikh. She recommends washing these cases in hot water weekly. Bonus points if the pillow itself is washable, too.

There are a few main features we looked for:

  • Removable and washable cover. We looked for pillows that put a barrier between you and your pillow. The ability to wash the cover keeps the material closest to your face clean and fresh.
  • Alternative down fills. Down is known for trapping dust mites and other allergens. We skipped down options in favor of synthetic or natural fills.
  • Materials certifications. For easily irritated airways, we considered pillows with certifications that show the materials limit the off-gassing of chemicals.
  • Positive reviews. We searched for reviews by people with allergies to get a sense of whether the pillow helped relieve symptoms (or, conversely, made them worse and warranted a return).

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Best cooling hypoallergenic pillow

Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow

  • Price: $$$

This pillow is designed for hot sleepers, no matter what your preferred sleeping position is. It has a foam core and is encased in gel foam meant to limit nighttime sweating.

Healthline Editor Candice Abellon, who has severe dust mite allergies, notes that this pillow comes with a removable, washable cotton knit cover. The cover is quilted, so it gives the memory foam pillow extra structure and cushioning.

She also adds, “It has a lot of loft that makes it comfortable for side sleeping.”

Another bonus: The 5-year warranty comes with a promise of repair or replacement should something happen to your pillow.

Pros

  • gel foam for cooler, more comfortable sleep
  • cover is removable for easy washing
  • good warranty

Cons

  • high price point
  • high loft may not be ideal for back or stomach sleepers

Buy the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Breeze Dual Cooling Pillow online.

Best organic hypoallergenic pillow

Avocado Green Pillow

  • Price: $$

This Greenguard Gold certified pillow is vegan and organic. It includes several layers: a machine-washable Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton cover, an organic cotton jersey liner, and a fill that combines Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certified latex with GOTS certified kapok (a plant fiber).

Another bonus? It’s adjustable. You can add or remove fill to find a height that’s comfortable for your preferred sleeping position.

Most reviewers with allergies say the pillow is comfortable and doesn’t cause their allergies to flare up.

All of Avocado’s products come with a 100-night sleep trial.

Pros

  • vegan and certified organic
  • adjustable fill
  • sleep trial available

Cons

  • adding or removing fill might not appeal to everyone
  • some reviewers describe it as lumpy

Buy the Avocado Green Pillow online.

Best down-alternative hypoallergenic pillow

Original Casper Pillow

  • Price: $$

Casper’s design pairs a pillow within a pillow. The inner pillow is meant to give support for proper neck alignment, while the outer pillow is designed to provide loft and softness.

With a fiber down alternative, you can skip the stuffing that might lead to sneezes. The cotton cover is designed to keep you cool at night, which hot sleepers say actually works.

Note that at 30 days, Casper’s trial period isn’t as long as other companies.

Pros

  • design ensures proper alignment and comfort
  • machine washable

Cons

  • shorter trial window

Buy the Original Casper Pillow online.

Best adjustable fill hypoallergenic pillow

Coop Home Goods Original

  • Price: $$

Not everyone feels comfortable with the same pillow height — and with this pillow, you can customize it to your preference. Every pillow comes with a half-pound bag of medium-firm density fill, which you can use to stuff your pillow to your head’s desire.

The fill is a blend of memory foam and microfiber that’s certified by CertiPUR-US and Greenguard Gold to limit off-gassing.

Not only is the cover washable, but you can also wash the pillow itself (a recommended) once per year.

Ruby Thompson, an editor for Healthline’s sister site Greatist, uses this pillow and says, “I have chronic allergic conjunctivitis (basically pink eye from allergies) and I often wake up with uncomfortably dry and itchy eyes. When I switched to this Coop Home Goods pillow, I noticed that my eyes watered way less at night and my morning symptoms improved a lot, too. Also, it’s one of the comfiest pillows I’ve ever owned, so I’m totally hooked.”

She also notes that the pillow wasn’t the only thing that improved her symptoms, saying that the eye drops her doctor recommended are helpful.

Pros

  • adjustable fill
  • machine washable

Cons

  • adding or removing fill might not appeal to everyone
  • some reviewers describe it as lumpy

Buy the Coop Home Goods Original online.

Best soft hypoallergenic pillow

Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow

  • Price: $$

You might assume that, if you can’t have the fill of down feathers, then a soft pillow is not an option. But this down alternative pillow from Boll & Branch comes in multiple density options, including soft, medium, and firm.

Boll & Branch says the company’s synthetic fiber fill — called PrimaLoft — is a fluffy, soft material that provides the similar squish of down feathers.

Happy sleepers say the fill doesn’t aggravate their allergies. Some reviewers, however, call it “too soft.” Another win for those with allergies: the 100 percent organic cotton shell.

Pros

  • choice of soft, medium, or firm density
  • mimics the weight and loft of real down

Cons

  • may be too soft for some sleepers

Buy the Boll & Branch Down Alternative Pillow online.

Best hypoallergenic pillow for side sleepers

Columbia Down-Alternative Allergen Barrier Pillow

  • Price: $

This well-rated pillow from Columbia is made with moisture-wicking fabric. The built-in allergen barrier prevents dust mites and other nasties from forming in the pillow.

Reviewers like how the pillow keeps its shape without the need to constantly “fluff.” Because it keeps its heft, the pillow offers good neck support for side sleepers.

Pros

  • great price point
  • retains shape for comfortable support

Cons

  • may not be suited to back or stomach sleepers

Buy the Columbia Down-Alternative Allergen Barrier Pillow online.

Best hypoallergenic pillow for all sleeping positions

BreatheWell Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly Pillow

  • Price: $

This pillow comes in a two-pack, making it even more affordable. The pillow is certified asthma & allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Allergy Standards Limited.

Pillows are awarded this designation if they:

  • have a covering that acts as an allergen barrier
  • are breathable
  • are durable and can be easily cleaned
  • don’t contain high levels of chemicals that trigger allergens or breathing problems

This pillow has enough loft and support for back and side sleepers, but enough squish to be comfortable for those who snooze on their stomach, too.

Pros

  • comfortable for all sleeping styles
  • two-pack means great value

Cons

  • some reviewers describe it as too soft and lacking support

Buy the BreatheWell Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly Pillow online.

Still searching for the right sleep products?

Let us help. Shop our top picks for pillows by condition or sleeping position to get the sound sleep you deserve.

The mere act of buying a new pillow could reduce your exposure to dust mites.

Research from 2014 found that pillows that had been used for quite some time had high levels of allergens. So, if you’re searching for a new pillow, you’re already on the right path to less allergen-filled sleep.

As you shop, look for a pillow that doesn’t contain down feathers. It should either have a built-in allergen barrier or come with a removable, washable cover.

Also, look for third-party designations, like Greenguard or CertiPUR-US, which demonstrate that the pillow is free from certain chemicals.

Lastly, you might also consider finding pillows that are certified asthma & allergy friendly. The only catch is that many of the pillows in this database are no longer available, so it can be hit or miss.

If your pillow can’t be washed…

…or if it doesn’t have an allergen-proof cover, consider buying a separate allergen-proof cover to encase your pillow, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

This also opens you up to a larger range of pillows. Then, you could choose one based on your preference for loft, firmness, or sleeping position.

What’s the best way to wash a hypoallergenic pillow?

It’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before washing a pillow. If it’s machine washable, these will note the water temperature and spin cycle to use.

Even if the pillow itself can’t be washed, many hypoallergenic pillows have removable covers that can be.

How often should you wash a hypoallergenic pillow?

If your pillow has a removable cover, or you use a separate hypoallergenic dust mite cover (which is recommended), make sure to wash it weekly in hot water.

Some hypoallergenic pillows can also be tossed in the wash, but you should check the manufacturer’s instructions first to confirm.

Who should use a hypoallergenic pillow?

Anyone with environmental allergies will likely benefit from a hypoallergenic pillow. By helping to limit the number of dust mites or other allergens that become trapped inside, a hypoallergenic pillow may help reduce your allergy symptoms.

If you have allergies, it may be a good idea to start fresh with a new pillow.

Avoid down feathers and choose one with a removable, washable cover to keep dust mites at bay.


Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007, covering everything from pregnancy and parenting to cannabis, chiropractic, stand-up paddling, fitness, martial arts, home decor, and much more. Her work has appeared in mindbodygreen, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee + Crumbs. See what she’s up to now at jessicatimmons.com.


Jessica Migala is a freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition, and fitness content. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two young sons, and rescue pup. Find her on LinkedIn or on Instagram.