Bedroom pillows are the unsung hero of the bedding world, essential for a good night’s sleep. It’s not all about the mattress and the thread count of the sheets. If you’re searching for some new pillows for your apartment, it can be overwhelming. Rather than make a throw-away decision, make a personal preference by the key features a pillow presents. Do you want a firm or a soft pillow? The density of a pillow depends on what position you sleep in. What about the pillow filling? There are many types of pillow stuffing to get your head around. To really unwind and sleep well, have you considered the ergonomic or hypoallergenic? We’ve rounded up the essential guide to picking the best pillows to get you prepped for bedtime.  


Sleeping style

Man resting his head on a white bedroom pillow

The position you sleep in provides clues as to which bedroom pillows to pick for your new apartment. Are you a side sleeper or a back sleeper? The rule of thumb is firm and denser filled pillows for side sleepers and contoured pillows to support the neck and spine of back sleepers. Those that sleep on their front are considered to be best bolstered with soft and thinly filled pillows. So now you have a guideline as to what your pillow prescription is, you can look into the finer details.



Pillow fillings vary a lot. ‘Down’ is the term for feather filled pillows. Specifically, down-filled pillows are picked from the fluffiest part of a bird’s feather. It’s known for providing a very soft filling and holding its shape well compared to synthetic alternatives. High-quality down-filled pillows, such as ‘goose down’ are more expensive at the outset, but will provide a longer lasting cushioning for sleepy heads.


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Feather filled pillows aren’t as expensive as down pillow filling as the feathers don’t provide the same quality of softness or longevity. However, they are still sustainable and soft. If you’re on a tight budget, you may come across economically priced pillows filled with fiberfill. As well as being cheap, it’s a lightweight stuffing that’s easy to clean. That said, it does contain chemicals, can clump easily and isn’t worth investing in if you’re looking for a long lasting pillow.

Memory foam isn’t a natural filling, but it holds its shape well, offering good support. It has a smooth texture which doesn’t clump and keeps its original height. This type of material is manufactured using chemicals, which can give off a ‘chemical odor’. Cotton filled pillows, on the other hand, are odorless, chemical-free and an extremely breathable material to sleep on. It doesn’t retain the same density or malleability as memory foam, but it’s a great filling for those looking for a toxic-free option.


Sensitive sleepers

Conversely, pillows filled with synthetic materials can be an alternative for those who are allergic to feathers. Anti-allergy pillows are specially designed with chemically-treated coatings to ward off common household allergens such as dust mites. Other ways hypoallergenic pillows weave their magic are with tight-knit natural fibers, such as wool and silk, that keep allergens from permeating into the pillows.

The size and shape of pillows are also worth looking into as they can ease pain and offer extra support to certain styles of sleeping. Ergonomic pillows are curved to support the head and the natural bend in your neck. They are well suited for side sleepers to avoid neck strain. Orthopedic pillows, which are curved to correct your body alignment in sleeping postures, are a good option for back sleepers to keep the spine neutrally aligned.


How many pillows should you have on your bed?

Blueground bedroom with set of pillows

The pillows on which you sleep on are the bare essentials when it comes to how many pillows to place on your bed. Standard sizes for sleeping pillows, like bed linens, come in ‘standard’, ‘queen’, or ’king’ dimensions. Outside of sleeping pillows, of which two per person should be enough, you may consider purchasing decorative pillows. As you may have experienced in hotels, these additional pillows, known as ‘euro’ (square shaped) and ‘accent’ (decoratively covered) can upgrade the visual appeal of your bedding. Euro pillows are placed in front of sleeping pillows, acting as a barrier and adding extra comfort. Accent pillows are where you can get creative with coverings, fabrics, and textures, to inject your own personal interior style preferences.

If you’re looking to create a calm environment in your bedroom, picking the right pillows to help you sleep is a key factor for wellbeing. But there are other interior design tricks that make a space more peaceful. These include using a neutral paint pallet, investing in some easy to care for apartment plants – which also purify the air – or introducing some natural scents with essential oils or toxin-free fragranced candles. Of course, you can opt to rent an apartment that has the decor and bedding already covered. Blueground apartments are designed by in-house interior designers with hotel-quality pillows, bedding, and linens ready and waiting for you. 


How to look after your pillows

The first thing to do when you invest in a new set of bedroom pillows is to encase them in a pillow protector. Get into the habit of ‘fluffing up’ pillows when making your bed to keep them in good shape. As well as cleaning your linens, don’t forget to wash your pillows occasionally, around every three months. Though down filled pillows are high-end products, they aren’t as easy to clean as their more economical counterparts. If you opt to machine wash them, use a delicate setting with cold or tepid water. It’s advised to run two rinse cycles to clean the detergent thoroughly.

Once washed, use a cloth to delicately absorb excess water. If you’re going to run the pillows through the dryer, an insider secret to fluffing them up is popping in a couple of tennis balls which gently massage the filling. In-between washes, keep pillows fresh by airing them outside for a few hours. Other natural fillings like cotton can also be cared for and cleaned in the same manner, with the dryer on a low setting. Synthetic filled pillows cannot be washed, only spot cleaned and aired outside.

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