Organic cotton pillows are made from the fibres that grow around the seeds of the cotton plant.
They are firm and very supportive. Cotton is an excellent vegan option for those who would prefer not to use wool.
Cotton is a major global industry and growing cotton in the regular fashion has serious repurcussions for both people and the planet. Only 35% of cotton is actually made into textiles. The rest is made into either cottonseed oil or cotton meal.
The oil is used in processed foods such as cookies and potato chips while cotton meal is regularly used as livestock feed. All of the pesticides and chemicals used in the production of regular cotton not only end up on the clothes on our backs but in our food supply.
By choosing organic cotton not only are you preventing yourself from being exposed to dangerous chemicals but you are withdrawing your support for the chemical cotton industry which pollutes the planet and poisons the creatures that live on it.
Pillows made from cotton are quite firm and provide excellent support to the head and neck. They hold their shape very well during the night and are a medium height. An organic cotton pillow has amazing longevity.
Regular cotton is bleached with chlorine. This gives it an amazing whiteness but is not safe for the consumer. The chlorine takes a long time before it breaks down, so it will stay in the cotton fibers for you to inhale.
Organic cotton is a beige color in its natural state and is gently lightened using peroxide. Peroxide is a natural by-product created by living organisms when they metabolise oxygen. The benefit of using peroxide as a whitener is that it is natural, but also that it degrades rapidly and does not leave a long term residue on the pillow the way chlorine does.
If you don't like a firm pillow then cotton would not be for you. Best to consider a softer option such as a latex pillow. Because of cotton's height and firmness it is suitable for back and side sleepers but not so ideal for stomach sleepers.
While cotton offers excellent support for your head and neck it doesn't have the ability to contour the way buckwheat pillows and shredded rubber pillows do. The support can also be undermined if the fill lumps or collects on one side of the pillow.