Compare pillow brands Sheridan, Pillow Talk, Dunlopillo, Big W Smart Value, Adairs, David Jones, Tontine, Big W, ALDI, Kmart, IKEA and Target on their comfort, value for money, durability, ease of clean and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
There are plenty of factors that can impact the quality of your sleep – your mattress, the weather and your kids to name just a few – but keep in mind that your pillow can also play a big role. A well-designed pillow provides the right foundation for a good night’s sleep, helping to relieve any unsettled neck and shoulder tension. While it might seem like a small part of the whole sleep equation, the right pillow can help you wake up fresh and ready to take on the day. Taking the time to choose the right pillow for your sleeping habits and needs is essential, so to help, Canstar Blue has produced a review of pillow brands in Australia.
We’ve surveyed more than 1,400 adults across Australia, asking for their opinions on the pillow they’ve most recently bought and used. We asked respondents to rate their pillow based on a number of crucial factors, including comfort, durability, how easy it is to clean, whether it represents good value, as well as their overall satisfaction with the pillow. 12 major brands received the minimum sample size required to be included in the star ratings table you see above, with Sheridan the only brand to receive five stars for overall customer satisfaction in 2019. It also got five stars for comfort, durability, and ease of clean, plus four stars on value for money.
The 12 brands in Canstar Blue’s 2019 pillow review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
Pillow Talk, Dunlopillo, Big W Smart Value and Adairs got four stars for overall satisfaction, while David Jones, Tontine, Big W House & Home, ALDI, Kmart Homemaker, IKEA and Target were all left on three stars respectively.
However, some other noteworthy results include Big W Smart Value and Kmart Homemaker being the only two brands to get five stars on value for money. Pillow Talk and Dunlopillo got five stars on comfort along with Sheridan. In addition, Dunlopillo was the only other brand – aside from this year’s winner – to get top marks on durability.
To help you decide which pillow to buy, read on for details about the 12 brands in this year’s ratings.
Probably one of Australia’s most recognisable luxury linen brands, Sheridan has been producing pillows since back in 1967. Sheridan’s pillows include polyester, goose feather, memory foam and combination latex/feather and down fills. The range also features a kids pillow, which is hypoallergenic and has a low, soft profile that’s claimed to better-suit the smaller frames of younger people. Another unique pillow in the Sheridan line 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.
Some pillows come in multiple sizes, including European and king sizes, and a choice of medium or firm fill. Sheridan’s kids’ pillow costs around $45, while the standard sized range starts from closer to $70 for the Ultralux Pillow. Sheridan’s pillows at the high-end price range, including its Deluxe Feather & Down Pillow, cost between $280 and $320 depending on size.
Established in 1977, Pillow Talk is Australian-owned and operated. Unsurprisingly given the name, Pillow Talk sells a huge range of pillows including both its own lines and other leading brands. Purchases can be made online or in person at one of 59 stores around the country. Pillow Talk’s pillows are branded under a few different names, including Essentials, Pillow Talk Naturals and Gentle Dreams, just to name a few.
The Pillow Talk range covers various sizes – standard, junior, 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 cheapest basic types are mostly polyester fill inside a soft polyester cover. There are also pure duck feather fill pillows and polypropylene-covered pillows. Prices start from $7.95 for the baby range and go up to around $300 for Pillow Talk’s ‘Superior 90/10 Goose Down Pillow’.
One of the world’s most famous brands of pillow, Dunlopillo produces high-end latex and memory foam pillows. It seems to focus on its premium ranges, with latex products usually costing between $140 and $180, and memory foam pillows starting from $85 and maxing out at $200. The open-cell structure of its latex pillows is boasted for superior ventilation, and for those who find memory foam a bit too warm, its range uses a Therapillo Cooling Gel for its cooling properties.
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 Therapillo, has been endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association of Australia. They are also guaranteed for 10 years against ‘faulty workmanship and materials’. The memory foam moulds to the shape of your head and neck for correct spinal alignment and relieved joint pressure.
The cheaper of the two Big W brands in this year’s review, Big W’s Smart Value pillow can be had for $5. It comes in a pack of two with each pillow measuring up to a standard size of 44 x 68cm. These pillows are stated to be durable, with each one featuring soft plush polyester filling, and a cover that has been finished with a convenient stain-resistant treatment.
Adairs produces its own pillows under the Adairs Comfort and Downtime lines, as well as several pillows under South Australian brand MiniJumbuk. Adairs Comfort is an everyday pillow range, while Downtime offers premium products. MiniJumbuk offers premium wool bedding including wool pillows containing a blend of 60% Australian wool and 40% manmade fibres.
Adairs pillows tend to come at a mid-to-high price range, with more of a focus on premium products. Its line-up 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. The Comfort Memory Foam Pillow uses shredded Memory Foam with a removable bamboo blend cover for apparent easy washing.
While you can find Adairs pillows for around $30, most of its range sits between $50 and $100. You can find the ‘Comfort Low & Soft Standard’ pillow from just $27 and its Downtime Ultimate Siberian Goose Down pillow from $230.
Australia’s upmarket department store, David Jones offers a variety of brands in the pillow space from Sheridan to Dunlopillo, as well as its own line. Starting from $60, and maxing out at $280, expect latex, memory foam, goose feather and down pillows, plus both firm and soft varieties to suit the type you prefer.
David Jones’ pillows with synthetic fibres are stated to be an option for those who suffer with asthma or allergies as these are claimed to be more breathable, with a soft cotton cover and an ultra-fibre fill. The David Jones Dual Layer Latex Pillow is boasted to be anti-microbial, hypoallergenic and even dust mite resistant, made with air-infused foam rubber for durability.
Its most expensive pillow in the line-up contains a blend of 85% goose down and 15% goose feathers, claimed to offer a luxurious soft feel. It comes in a standard size of 45 x 70cm.
Have you ever wondered why Australians refer to duvets as ‘doonas’? Well, 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 antibacterial polyester or microfiber fills, plus several types of memory foam, latex and down-like pillows. The full Tontine line is priced under $100.
There are a number of Tontine pillows designed specifically for kids, such as first pillows for children moving from their cot to bed. These sit around $15 to $20 in price. All Tontine children’s pillows are antimicrobial treated and endorsed by the National Asthma Council.
For a unique sleeping experience, Tontine also offers organic cotton pillows, claimed to use cotton which has been grown from non-genetically modified plants and without harmful chemicals.
The ‘premium’ range from Big W is House & Home. Unlike its ‘Smart Value’ counterpart, you’ll find a number of different pillows to choose from in the House & Home range. It offers latex products as well as memory foam and polyester fillings, plus different sizes, from your standard 60 x 40cm pillow to European size. Big W House & Home pillows also come in a range of combinations of high and firm support, as well as specially designed side sleeper pillows, body and curved pillows.
Starting from $10, expect its standard back sleeper pillow in a two pack. It has a medium profile with a polyester fill and a cotton cover. It’s said to be machine washable for easy cleaning. Its most expensive pillow is still relatively cheap, coming in at $29. It features a natural latex inner with pin core ventilation throughout, plus a soft profile claimed to suit most sleeping positions. It also has a cotton blend machine washable cover.
ALDI is a well-known brand for its ‘Special Buys’ that are released every week, to try and get your hands on before they’re all gone. One of its exclusive offers includes a range of pillows that tends to come out just once a year. ALDI pillows are claimed to be designed for maximum support and comfort. ALDI’s most notable types are an assortment of memory foam pillows, down like and latex pillows. It offers three support levels – soft, medium or firm.
ALDI also featured a V-shape, memory foam pillow, coming in with four different colour variations. It’s stated to respond to movement and continuously reset for ultimate relaxation. The memory foam range tends to cost around $30, while its latex pillows will likely set you back about $35. Its Ultra-fresh health pillow was priced as low as $9.99, being designed with a cotton japara cover, piped edges and a gusset for neck support. It’s also said to use an ‘antibacterial fibre’, aimed to reduce the growth of bacteria.
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 a number of memory foam pillows available, including a shredded foam fill with a bamboo blend cover and a contoured foam pillow with a removable zipped pillowcase. Kmart also produces a pincore latex pillow and a cooling gel-panelled polyester pillow.
Prices range between $5 and $29, with its Kids Pillow coming in at $7. At the ‘high price’ end of Kmart Homemaker pillows you’ll find the Memory Foam Contour Pillow (medium profile) for $25 and the Latex Pillow (high profile) for $29. Both feature a removable pillowcase with a zip for apparent easy cleaning.
True to form, IKEA’s pillow range covers the budget end of the spectrum, right through to high-quality and higher price tags. Most come in a choice of soft or firmer fill. Fills available include polyester, duck down and feather (from ratios of 10/90 to 60/40) and memory foam. Fabrics used in the pillow casing vary from polypropylene, cotton and polyester/cotton blend to the wadded quilting and ‘sateen-woven’ cotton varieties. Some pillows use moisture-wicking lyocell in the casing, a renewable material made out of wood.
IKEA’s ‘Sköldblad’ pillow costs as little as $2.49, and while it might be a fairly simple polyester pillow, it’s stated to be ideal for those who like to sleep on softer pillows. There are a few other options that are all priced under $10, so for a budget-friendly option, IKEA may have you covered. Its most expensive pillow is the ‘Hirsstarr’ at $89, which uses 85% natural and 15% synthetic latex for the outer filling, along with 64% polyester and 36% cotton for the ticking.
Target produces a range of cheap pillows for different sleeping 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, as well as 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. Additionally, Target offers two types of pregnancy sleeping pillows for support.
You can score one of Target’s pillows from $6 in a pack of two, with prices maxing out at $59. Target’s ‘high-end’ pillows use Talalay latex for extra support, stated to allow for greater ventilation. These also feature ‘Healthguard’ protection, that’s claimed to have antimicrobial, anti-bacterial and anti-dust mite properties. For a luxurious feel, the Target Down Surround Pillow is also offered at the same price of $59 and is boasted to suit all sleepers with its medium support and high loft.
Similar to mattresses, there’s no shortage of pillows on offer, as everyone has their own preference when it comes to resting their head. Some may prefer something to sink into, while others may prefer something a bit firmer for additional support. Here are some of the more common types of pillows available for purchase.
Apart from finding out which pillows Aussies love sleeping on the most, our review identified the key drivers of customer satisfaction, listed in the following order of importance:
Comfort was the most important factor, with value on money coming in second. Survey respondents spent an average of $41 on their new pillow, suggesting that many are keen to take a relatively cheap option. Only 15% of survey respondents said they wish they had spent more on a better pillow, while 31% said they replace their pillow at least once a year.
Interestingly though, the retailers that are generally home to the cheapest pillows around – ALDI, Kmart, IKEA and Target – all earned just three stars overall, suggesting that it pays to spend a little extra on a quality pillow. Our survey found that a quarter (23%) of consumers often wake up with neck or back pain, so investing in a well-designed pillow may in turn provide you with a better night’s sleep.
While it will depend on what your pillow is made from, it is generally recommended that pillows are replaced every one or two years, or more often if you suffer from allergies. Your body sheds skin, hair and body oil every night, most of which is absorbed by your pillowcase, but some of which is absorbed by the pillow itself, which means that it may begin to smell, and become home to dust mites.
In addition to your pillow becoming dirty, your pillow may also need replacing if it loses shape or becomes lumpy, as it isn’t providing as much support for your head and neck as it should be.
Washing your pillow is a good way to prolong its life and keep you from dealing with allergies, but how often should you be washing your pillow, and what is the best way to wash it? Before you simply chuck your pillow in the washing machine, it’s best to check the label beforehand, as only certain types of pillows are machine-washable. Non machine-washable pillows will require spot cleaning, meaning there may be a bit more effort involved to keep your pillow feeling, and staying, fresh.
Ultimately, there’s plenty to consider when it comes to where, and on what, you decide to rest your head, so it may pay off in the long run to sleep on your decision before purchasing.
Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk/shutterstock.com, Quality Stock Arts/shutterstock.com
Our latest customer satisfaction research on pillows saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new pillow in the last 2 years – in this case, 1,486 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 by mean overall satisfaction. 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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