Synthetic pillows are often referred to as hollowfibre pillows, microfibre pillows or polyester pillows – these are all man-made fillings and are the cheapest UK pillow types. The chemical manufacturing process creates threads which are then spun into denser filling to use to stuff pillows, duvets, cushions and toys. Polyester synthetic pillows are usually simply constructed with a cotton, or polyester slip (the outside of a pillow) with spiral fibre, microfibre or hollowfibre inside.
These pillows are great if you’re on a budget or have bad allergies but are the worst long-term pillow investment and have the least satisfaction rating amongst all our reviewers. Some wash well but others will clump after washing and make you hot at night. You’re unlikely to fall in love with a synthetic pillow, but they’re very cost-effective if you just want to put your head on something other than a mattress.
- Pros: Cheap, lightweight, good for those with allergies, easy to care for, easy to bend and scrunch to get required height, not noisy
- Cons: Have the shortest life-span (6 months to 2 years), flatten quite quickly, retain heat and moisture, plus the filling can clump and get out of shape
Pillow advisor summary: Synthetic pillows are the workhorse of the pillow world and are the most versatile; being a reasonable choice for most people and suited to many sleeping styles. Do yourself a favour though and get yourself a decent one.