Canstar Blue compares 12 brands of pillows in Australia, including Adairs, Bambillo, David Jones, Pillow Talk, Sheridan and Tontine, based on comfort, durability, ease of cleaning, value for money and overall satisfaction.
* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
Canstar Blue research finalised in January 2017, published in February 2017.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Nothing beats a good night’s sleep – especially when you have a big day ahead. But the quality of your sleep can be affected by a number of different things – the weather, the kids, the other half snoring, your mattress, for example. The type of pillow you rest your head on can also play a role in how well you sleep, which is why Canstar Blue has produced a review of pillow brands in Australia to help you pick the right one for you.
To do this, we surveyed more than 1,500 adults across Australia, asking them to rate the pillow they most recently bought and used based on its comfort, durability, how easy it is to clean, the value for money they think it represents, and most importantly their overall satisfaction with it. A total of 12 different pillow brands feature in this inaugural Canstar Blue pillow fight, so which stood out the most?
While David Jones, Dunlopillo, Target and Tempur excelled with five stars in one particular area, Pillow Talk was the clear winner for overall sleeping satisfaction. It also achieved five star scores on comfort, durability, and value for money, plus four stars for ease of cleaning.
Before looking at some of the interesting results from our survey, let’s take a close look at what each pillow brand has to offer Australian consumers.
Unsurprisingly given the name, Pillow Talk sells a huge range of different pillows, both its own lines and other leading brands. Purchases can be made online or in person at one of 57 stores around the country. Pillow Talk’s pillows are branded under a few different names, including Essentials, Pillow Talk Naturals, and Gentle Dreams. The range covers various sizes – standard, king, queen, V-shaped, European, and body pillows. Pillows in the Naturals range have a 30% down, 70% feather filling inside a cotton cover, while the cheaper basic types are mostly polyester fill with a soft polyester cover. There are also pure duck feather fill pillows and polypropylene-covered pillows.
Adairs produces its own pillows under the Adairs Comfort and Downtime lines. Adairs Comfort is an everyday pillow range, while Downtime offers premium products. Adairs pillows come at a mid-to-high price range, with more of a focus on premium products. The product range covers the full size and fill spectrum, with standard, king European, U-shape and body pillows, filled with synthetic fibre, goose feather, wool, natural latex or memory foam.
Bambillo produces just one pillow, but it’s claimed to function as eight pillows in one. The Bambillo pillow is filled with memory foam that can be adjusted into the right shape for your sleep needs. Memory foam is temperature sensitive – it softens when in contact with the body, cradling your pressure points and remaining firm around them. It is also said to breathe well, to keep sleepers from getting too hot. The Bambillo pillow includes an anti-microbial treatment for prolonged freshness.
David Jones produces a small, luxury selection of goose feather pillows with cotton cases. These are mostly standard sized pillows, plus a European size. The European pillow is said to be great for propping yourself up in bed while reading or using your laptop, with a firm white goose feather fill. The standard-sized pillow range from David Jones comes in a range of proportions of down to feather, covering a spectrum of support levels from firm to soft.
One of the world’s most famous brands of pillow, Dunlopillo produces high-end latex and memory foam pillows. All Dunlopillo latex products are guaranteed for 10 years and are made with Talalay latex, which breathes well and is said to naturally resist bacteria, mould, and dust mites. The Dunlopillo memory foam pillow line, called Thermapillo, has been endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association of Australia. The memory foam moulds to the shape of your head and neck for correct spinal alignment and relieved joint pressure.
This budget range of pillows produced by Big W could get you to sleep without having to worry about your bank balance. Polyester-filled pillows with a cotton case are available in European, standard and U-shaped sizes. The Dual Support pillow adds a foam core inside the polyester fill for stronger neck support, while the Down Alternative pillow is filled with a blend of polyester and microfibre to create a down-like feel. House & Home’s body pillow has a polyester fill, and polypropylene cover, plus includes a cotton and polyester blend pillowcase so you don’t have to find one yourself.
True to form, IKEA’s pillow range covers the budget end of the market, right through to high quality. Most pillows come in a choice of softer or firmer fill. Fills available include polyester, duck down and feather (from ratios of 10/90 to 60/40), and memory foam. The fabric used in the pillow casing ranges from polypropylene, cotton, and polyester/cotton blend, to wadded quilting and sateen-woven cotton. Some pillows use moisture-wicking lyocell in the casing, a renewable material made from wood.
One of Australia’s most recognisable luxury linen brands, Sheridan pillows include polyester, goose feather, memory foam, and combination latex/feather and down fills. The line features a kids’ pillow, which is hypoallergenic and has a low, soft profile to better suit the smaller frames of young ones. Another unique pillow in the Sheridan range is the Deluxe Feather & Down latex pillow, which has a Talalay latex core for support with a goose down layer of 85% down and 15% feather for comfort. Some pillows come in multiple sizes, including European and king sizes, and a choice of medium or firm fill.
Target produces a range of cheap pillows for different sleep needs, including tummy sleepers, back sleepers, side and back sleepers, and allergy sufferers. Filling types available are polyester, polyester treated to feel like down, memory foam, duck feather core surrounded with a layer of down, and pincore Talalay latex. The range includes a body pillow and two shapes of latex pillows – a contour shape for back sleepers, and a regular shaped pillow for side sleepers.
Tempur is the only mattress and pillow brand recognised by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation. The Tempur material was first developed by NASA as a way to comfortably cushion astronauts against the massive forces exerted on the body during takeoff. Tempur absorbs motion, which according to the brand means that movement is less likely to disturb sleeping partners. There are two types of Tempur pillow filling – shredded Tempur inside a Tempur membrane, or Tempur poured into moulds. The shredded Tempur types are more like classic pillows, and are easy to hug and shape the way you like it. Most classic pillow models come in a choice of soft, medium and firm.
Have you ever wondered why Australians refer to duvets as ‘doonas’? It’s a trademark of Tontine, an Australian bedding company. Tontine claims that over 80% of its products are Australian made, with a product range that covers the full spectrum from value up through to luxury bedding. Tontine pillows come in a range of combinations of low to high profiles and soft to firm feels in anti-bacterial polyester or microfiber fills, plus two types of memory foam pillow. There are a number of different pillows designed specifically for kids, such as first pillows for children moving from cot to bed. All Tontine children’s pillows are antimicrobial treated and endorsed by the National Asthma Council.
Starting from just a few dollars each, Kmart produces cheap pillows for the whole family. The range includes low profile (for tummy sleepers), medium profile (for back sleepers), and high profile (for side sleepers) pillows in standard sizes, plus anti-microbial kids pillows, European (square) pillows, U-shaped pillows, and body pillows. Fills include the usual polyester, feather, and down-feel microfibre. There are two types of memory foam pillows – either shredded foam fill with a bamboo blend cover, or a contoured foam pillow with removable zipped pillowcase. Kmart also produces a pincore latex pillow and a cooling gel-panelled polyster pillow.
When it comes to buying a new pillow, you’ll naturally want one that’s nice and comfortable to rest your head on. But some pillows are also designed to help with specific sleeping conditions, such as neck or back pain. Our survey found that one in three adults (34%) bought their pillow in an effort to address a sleeping condition, and the good news is that almost nine out of ten of these people (85%) reported an improvement as a result. If you’re sceptical about the claims of some pillow brands, this would suggest help could be at hand after all.
As part of our research, we asked survey respondents how frequently they clean their pillows and pillow cases, and the results were… enlightening! While the majority of Aussie adults wash their pillow cases either weekly (53%) or fortnightly (25%), it’s a different story when it comes to washing pillows themselves. We found cleaning frequency to be as follows:
That’s right, more than a quarter of surveyed adults never wash their pillows! We’re experts on consumer goods and services rather than personal hygiene, but even we’d suggest it’s probably a good idea to wash your pillows every few weeks.
And it’s probably wise to replace your pillow every couple of years, which most Aussies are in the habit of doing, our survey found. Before buying their current pillow, 31% of adults owned their previous one for between 1 and 2 years, while 20% owned theirs for less than 12 months. A further 29% of respondents used their old pillow for between 2 and 5 years, while 12% had theirs for more than 5 years. The remaining 7% weren’t sure how long they owned theirs for.
Adults should be getting between 7 and 9 hours sleep every night, so if you’re not clocking up those hours and suspect your pillow might be part of the problem, it’s probably a good idea to replace it. If that’s the case, we hope our pillow review and ratings have proved helpful.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new pillow the last 2 years – in this case, 1,516 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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