Healthy Lifestyle
Fitness, Nutrition and Overall Personal Wellness

Trouble getting to sleep? Wake up tired and groggy? Get an organic pillow!

  • Nov 3, 2010
About 7 years ago, my polyester-fill pillow was so compressed and old that I decided to replace it. My parents offered me a memory-foam contour pillow they'd gotten free with a purchase but neither had found comfortable. I accepted it. I found it comfortable, so when I started having severe insomnia problems soon after, I never thought my new pillow was causing my insomnia. After about a year, my insomnia problems got better but I never got back to "like before."

This year, I did unusually heavy physical labor during the summer. I'd get to sleep just fine but wake up groggy and feeling more tired than when I went to sleep (even though I'd gotten 8-10 hours of sleep). In late July, I just happened across a quote from a book called Toxic Bedrooms: Your Guide to a Safe Night's Sleep by Walter Bader. It talked about memory foam causing health and sleep problems--and I realized how my memory foam pillow was right next to my face for the third of a day I'm in bed! The quote was something like "more than 60 different chemicals are being emitted [outgassed] from a memory-foam mattress and 37 chemicals emitting from a typical innerspring pillow-top mattress. The vast majority of these chemicals are derivatives of petroleum and natural gas" (from LifeKind's FAQ page) and that some of these chemicals are known to be harmful.

So I decided to replace my memory foam pillow as soon as possible! I looked into organic wool pillows, and (after getting over price-tag shock) bought an Organic Wullie Ball Standard size Heavy fill pillow at the start of August 2010. (I bought it on ebay from kountrybears, for those who are interested.)

I eagerly replaced my old pillow the moment I received my new one in the mail. The next morning, after only 7.5 hours of sleep, I felt clear-headed and fully rested the moment I woke up. It was amazing. In the last 2.5 months, I haven't had any trouble getting to sleep (though my physical labor level is down now) and I've awaken feeling rested and clear-headed. I'd highly recommend not using memory foam pillows and, if you're having trouble sleeping, replacing your pillow with something organic and chemical-additive free.

In case you're worried about organic wullie ball pillows smelling like wool, there was only a very faint (and, to this farm-girl, pleasant) wool smell at first. Even that is pretty much gone now. The pillow feels much like sleeping on a polyester-fill pillow.

One note, though: I'd read that the wool in wool pillows would compress a lot, so I got a wullie ball pillow (which resists compression) and a heavy-fill instead of a regular-fill. However, the heavy fill meant I woke up with a stiff neck for about 3 weeks until the wool was compressed some and I'd "arranged" the fill to my liking. Now it's extremely comfortable, but the wullie balls did their job and I've had to push the "excess" fill from under my head to the edges of the pillow. I probably should have gotten the regular fill.

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May 03, 2012
Good observations- particularly the ones about inorganic chemicals in the bedware.
June 13, 2011
Sounds like a product well-worth considering. Pillows are so flimsy these days. We take ours with us whenever we travel because the pillows in many hotels are hideous. When I was a kid pillows lasted for years and years Today they are shot in a matter of months. I had never heard of organic wool pillows before. How long do you think they will last you?
July 21, 2011
I apologize for taking so long in replying to you. First, I wasn't sure how to respond, and second, I've been so extremely busy for several months and it's only now slowing down. :) To me, the pillow seems to be a quality product that I expect to last for years. It's still comfortable, and I've had it for several months now. But I've also not thought that pillows are flimsy, so I'm not sure I'd note what you'd have a problem with. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
February 03, 2011
Congrats on being nominated for a Lunch Award! Great review. I see an organic pillow in my future. Thanks.
February 03, 2011
Thanks! I'm surprised but happy to be nominated. :) I'm glad to know my review has been helpful to a number of people.
November 09, 2010
Whoa, I've been using memory foam pillows and mattress toppers for the past four years and haven't noticed all those negative effects on me. Maybe I'm immune, =D
November 09, 2010
This is a good point: I am mildly chemically sensitive, so I probably reacted more obviously to the off-gassing than others might. I also wasn't as chemically sensitive when I was younger, which might be another factor. While I am convinced that using organic beds and pillows is healthier than using those made of synthetic materials, I mainly wrote this review to help others who are suffering the same reactions I did. For us, it's "visibly" worth the extra price for that better sleep! :)
November 09, 2010
Ah, got it. Nevertheless, I try to live as green as possible, so I definitely agree with organic products, =].
November 08, 2010
Well you convinced me to acquire that toxic bedrooms book, and pursue organic pillows which hopefully will allow themselves to be bought for less than 100$ (a recently googled price).
November 09, 2010
I know, the price for organic pillows is a bit of a shock! I found some good prices on ebay and Savvy Rest ( has some other types of organic pillows that are under $100. Organic wool seems to be the most expensive type of pillow. I also found an article that talks a bit more about the chemicals in memory foam and such:
November 08, 2010
Wow! I had no idea that memory foam had so many toxins. I'm looking for a new mattress and was leaning that way but, after reading your review, I may have to research another option. Thanks so much!
November 09, 2010
I'm also looking for a new mattress, and, after my experience above, I'm leaning toward getting a natural latex mattress from Savvy Rest. They say it gives the pressure point relief of memory foam but is healthier. If you're interested, you can read more at (and an article: I'll probably buy my new mattress in January 2011, and I'll write a review of it then.
November 09, 2010
Thanks for the link...I'll definitely have to check it out!
November 08, 2010
I totally know someone who could use one of these! Actually, even though I don't have any trouble sleeping, you've sold me on this with your review. I'll definitely have to look into this. I had no idea pillows could have so many toxins in them. Thanks so much for sharing!
November 09, 2010
You're welcome. I'm glad my review might help said person. :) I didn't know pillows and mattresses were off-gassing so many harmful chemicals, either. I wish I'd known that sooner, which is why I decided to share.
November 09, 2010
I really appreciate that! And apparently, so do many others. The person I was referring to was actually @willw2. He's hunting down organic pillows now after reading your review! :)
About the reviewer
Debbie White ()
Ranked #8
I review books, do organic gardening (vegetables, fruit trees, etc.), mentor a young lady, and work with inmates at the local jail and state prison units. I live in a passive solar house (with an active … more
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About this product


These unique soft organic wool pillows with woolie balls will lull you into a deep restful sleep! The woollie balls resist the need to attach to each other helping to keep your pillows loft over the years. The wool balls prevent ear pressure and give a feel more like poly filled pillows. Made from pure, tested free of chemicals, wool and processed organically to remove vegetation, dust, and excess oils. The result is lofty, clean wool that does not have the pungent odor of many natural wools. Certified Organic Cotton Damask Outer fabric.
  • Standard, Queen, King, Child, Throw, & Body sizes
  • Light, Regular, or Heavy/Firm fill levels
  • Filled with certified organic wool
  • Certified Organic Cotton Damask Outer
  • Made in the USA
  • 3 year warranty

Care Instructions: occasionally machine wash on hand-wash cycle and air drying indoors - do not place in dryer.

The certified O-Wool is from healthy and organically raised sheep on small family owned farms in the US. These sheep are raised using certified organic living standards for food, care and environment while receiving plenty of sunshine and fresh air. This creates a pure and natural beautiful wool. The fleeces are sorted, and washed with only hot water and vegetable-based soaps (no detergents, chemicals, or chlorine bleach).

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Brand: Pure-Rest Organic Bedding Co.
Category: Home and Bath

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