39 Questions About Microbead Pillows Answered

Microbead pillows fit any reclining position as well as provide great support. But why do travelers love them? In this article, we are answering the top 39 questions related to pillows stuffed with microbeads.

What Is a Microbead Pillow?

Microbead pillows typically have small polyethylene beads stuffed inside them. Other types of petrochemical plastics, such as polypropylene, polystyrene, nylon, and PET, can also be commonly used in the manufacture of microbeads.

How Many Beads Are Needed to Fill One?

To fill a standard 18”x12” pillow, anywhere from 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 beads are required. The number of beads usually depends on the desired loft of the pillows. Adding more beads will provide a higher loft whereas adding less would make it a pillow of average height.

What Are Their Pros and Cons?

  • Supportive
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Malleable
  • Don’t retain heat
  • Affordable
  • Might have odor
  • Synthetic
  • Require readjustment
  • Unusual shape
  • Not environmentally friendly

How Do They Feel?

Despite its soft appearance, a microbead pillow delivers a strong level of support once you put pressure on its surface. People who are used to sleeping on fluffy pillows might need some time to accustom themselves to such pillows.

When you place your head in the pile of microbeads, they adjust to your head and neck. However, sometimes the beads slip away from each other until their movement is restricted by a pillowcase.

Consequently, a microbead pillow doesn’t keep its shape well for a longer period. As a result, you’ll probably have to readjust it often.

Are They Good?

The microbeads are malleable and able to move around as necessary so \they can adhere to the contours of the person’s body. They can be used for basic head and neck support.

They are also suitable for patients with certain medical disorders since they can use these pillows as a clinical tool. 

Are They Comfortable?

You can adjust the fill of the microbead pillow so it contours to the base of the neck and shoulders, offering uniform support and comfort.

Microbead is airy and cool, so it does not trap heat. Your head will stay cooler throughout the night due to the airflow that is promoted by the spaces between the particles of fill.

Do They Cause Allergies?

In most cases, microbead pillows are a risk-free purchase, which is especially important for people who suffer from allergies. On the other hand, you should probably avoid using a pillow containing microbeads if you have an allergy to polymeric substances.

Are They Good for Neck Pain?

Microbead pillows are frequently recommended for neck support because of their ability to conform to the shape of the user’s head and shoulders.

Because they are firm and supportive, microbeads are frequently used in the construction of neck pillows. This ensures that you remain comfortable even while you are lying in a straight position.

Are They Good for Back Pain?

Microbead pillows can contour to your body parts when pressure is applied to them, allowing you to customize them to meet your specific requirements for comfort, especially if you have back pain.

Microbeads provide adequate support while still allowing the pillow to retain its incredibly plush and squishy qualities.

Are They Good for Side Sleepers?

To use a supportive pillow, side sleepers often find themselves having to bend over backward and mold their bodies to it. This can make their muscles cramp even more. 

For those with more delicate muscles, a microbead pillow’s symmetrical, gentle microbeads allow for greater comfort while providing support to the spinal cord innately.

Are They Good for Back Sleepers?

Microbead pillows are soft and squishy. However, these nanobeads do not lose their shape or disintegrate, making them a suitable alternative to traditional foam and fiber pillows that still manage to offer firm support.

Are They Good for Hot Sleepers?

Microbead pillows are great for promoting proper airflow. They are favored by hot sleepers because they are cold and allow air to pass between each tiny microbead. 

Sleepers who experience issues with their pillows being too warm may like the cool feel of a microbead pillow since it maintains a more comfortable temperature and keeps you sweat-free.

Are They Good for Camping and Backpacking?

Microbead pillows offer the utmost comfort while traveling. In addition to being incredibly easy to maintain and extremely lightweight, they are affordable, too! This is why they are frequently recommended for camping and backpacking.

Do Chiropractors Recommend Them?

The wrong pillow can cause your neck to twist to one side or the other, which can lead to neck or headache pain if you’re a side sleeper, chiropractors often recommend firm pillows for adequate lumbar and neck support. 

Do They Get Lumpy?

Microbeads can get lumpy over usage, old age, and due to moisture, but not that often. However, there could be other reasons why your pillows are lumpy. Moreover, they can be fixed after getting lumps. 

Here’s how to remove lumps from microbead pillows:

  • Empty your pillow into a container in a closed room. 
  • Make sure all fans and windows are closed. 
  • Keep the microbeads on a tray.
  • Let them air dry for a while. 
  • Clean the shell and dry it as well. 
  • Fill the pillow again with microbeads.
  • Zip it to secure everything. 

Do They Get Flat?

Microbead pillows can easily flatten over time due to the pressure applied to them. Their shape can be changed after a while. The microbeads, however, do not disintegrate or change their shape. 

You can easily change the size of your pillow by inserting more microbeads inside. Keep the necessary loft by adding or subtracting the microbeads. 

Do They Become Yellow?

Of the several reasons microbead pillows turn yellow, we have listed the important ones below:

  • Exposure to moisture
  • Accumulation of dust-mite
  • Dirt and food stains 
  • Mold growth

Do not forget to read our detailed article on how to fix your yellow pillows

Do They Attract Dust-Mite?

Many manufacturers claim microbead pillows to be dust-mite resistant despite them being made of synthetic materials.

Due to their super absorbance and ventilation properties, they are said to be inhospitable for dust-mite growth. This, however, is not entirely true, since microbeads do attract dirt, debris, and allergens. 

To keep these microorganisms away from your pillows, you can take the following precautions: 

  • Keep food away from it
  • Avoid exposing it to moisture
  • Maintain maximum hygiene 
  • Wash the pillowcase once every week
  • Sun-bath your pillow once every month

Do They Mold?

Microbead pillows can get moldy in the presence of moisture. People who are prone to allergies should take extra care about mold and mildew growth inside the pillow.

Are They Better Than Cotton Pillows?

Both cotton and microbead are known for their breathability. However, the former is heavier in weight and the latter more affordable. Considering the supportive properties of both, cotton pillows are a natural alternative to microbead pillows.

Moreover, cotton pillows naturally absorb sweat during the summertime, whereas microbeads do not get lumpy easily. Additionally, there are benefits and drawbacks to both kinds. Neither is more advantageous than the other.

Are They Better Than Buckwheat Pillows?

When it comes to their stuffing material, both microbead and buckwheat pillows are the exact opposite of each other. Buckwheat pillows are filled with natural buckwheat husks whereas microbead pillows are made out of nano polyethylene beads.

They both are known to provide adequate support and comfort in sleep, however, microbeads are softer. Moreover, buckwheat hulls can decompose on their own and do not adds up the landfill waste. Choosing which one is better depends on your personal preferences. 

Are They Better Than Memory Foam Pillows?

Microbead pillows are filled with thousands of tiny beads, providing better breathability whereas memory foam is known to reduce snoring. However, memory foam is easy to maintain. Microbead pillows, on the other hand, need high maintenance since they can not be machine-washed. 

Additionally, memory foam loses its shape due to age and can’t provide adequate support. Microbead pillows, on the other hand, can get their loft back after adding more beads. To tell which one is better would be unfair since they both have their distinct qualities. 

Are They Better Than Down Pillows?

Down pillows are superior to microbead pillows due to their durability, fluffiness, and environmental friendliness. Nevertheless, if you are trying to save money, it is recommended that you go with a pillow made of microbeads.

Can You Wash Microbead Pillows?

Microbead pillows are washable. But it is recommended to always check the washing directions on the tag before washing a microfiber pillow. Some microbead pillows are machine-washable and dryer-safe, while others must be cleaned by hand.

You can also dry-clean your microbead pillow. Check out our complete guide on “how to wash pillows” for a better understanding. 

Are They Machine-Washable?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to washing a microbead pillow without ruining it:

  1. To prevent damage, place the microbead pillow in a bigger pillowcase and tie it to secure the wash bag.
  2. Add towels before placing them in the washer. It is beneficial since damp towels drag down the pillow and protect it from damage.
  3. Make sure to use the low setting with lukewarm or cold water and a light detergent. Bleach and fabric softener can harm your pillow’s microbeads.
  4. Use the lowest setting on your dryer to dry the microbead pillow.
  5. Finish drying the pillow by hanging it up outside on the balcony. 

How Do You Hand Wash Them?

To hand wash the pillow, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Soak a wet cloth in warm water mixed with a light detergent. 
  2. Using the soapy cloth, thoroughly clean the pillow’s outside, paying special attention to any dirty stains.
  3. Use a fresh cloth and warm water to remove any soap residue from the pillow’s outer surface. 
  4. Rinse the pillow with a soapy cloth, but make sure it’s clean before using it again.
  5. Dry by either hanging it up or laying it flat on a towel. Wait until the pillow is dry before using it.

How Do You Spot-Clean Them?

To spot-clean your microbead pillows, follow these 7 steps:

  1. Remove the pillowcase. 
  2. Take a bowl of warm water. 
  3. Mix detergent powder, vinegar, and baking powder. 
  4. Apply this mix to dirty stains. 
  5. Rub using your fingers. 
  6. Rinse with a wet towel.
  7. Let it air dry for a few minutes.  

Can You Dry Them In The Dryer?

You can dry microbead pillows by placing them in a dryer set to the lowest temperature. However, it is recommended to keep the pillow with the microbeads inside the case while it is being dried.

After the microbead pillow has been dried for around 10 minutes, remove it from the dryer and take it out of the pillowcase. To complete the drying process, either hang the pillow or set it on a dry towel. Turn the pillow over after a few hours to ensure both sides are dry.

Should You Put Them In A Pillowcase?

Yes, most microbead pillows come with an outer shell, but putting them in a pillowcase will protect them from dust-mite, dead cells, food stains, and other allergens. 

How Do You Make a Microbead Pillow?

Here’s a step-by-step instruction to make microbead pillows at home:

  1. Cut out two identically sized and shaped cloth pieces.
  2. Pin the cloth pieces together on three sides in a way that the pins go parallel to the cloth edges.
  3. Use thread to sew the three sides that were pinned together. 
  4. Allow a half-inch between each seam.
  5. Iron pillowcase creases by turning it inside out.
  6. Use the microbeads to stuff the pillowcase.
  7. Close the opening by whip-sewing the fabric.

How Do You Fill Pillows with Microbeads?

Filling microbead pillows is easy-peasy. The beads can be easily filled by hand just like bean bags as they look and feel similar.

To fill your pillow, open the pillowcase and insert the required quantity of microbeads for the desired firmness and loft. Close it up by sewing, to secure the opening. 

Do They Have an Odor?

The smell of microbead pillows can be a significant source of distraction. The pungent smell of the chemical substance of microbeads can be unpleasant. 

In some cases, the off-gassing of these pillows has been blamed for causing headaches. The odor usually becomes less noticeable over time. However, it can still be off-putting for some people.

Are They Toxic?

Plastic microbeads in microbead pillows do not decompose naturally and, therefore, constitute a risk. They are toxic, and recycling them is not an easy task.

An estimated 8 trillion microbead particles are entering the country’s aquatic environments every day, according to a report issued by Environmental Science & Technology.

According to studies, microbeads have created a surge in microplastic pollution in the world’s oceans and lakes.

Are They Eco-Friendly?

Microbeads pose a threat to the environment as they do not disintegrate over time. According to the findings of several studies, the natural breakdown of microbeads takes around five hundred years.

The best ways to make sure you are not causing harm to the environment are by either disposing of your old microbead pillows properly or by recycling them. 

What Is The Problem With Using Them?

Using microbeads has the drawback that they will spread all over the place if your pillow is torn in any manner. When you fill them, they also create a large mess.

It is a tedious task to fill your pillow with the beads as they are tiny. You might spend the next few weeks unearthing microbeads in the weirdest of spots!

What to Look for While Buying Them?

If you’re looking to buy a microbead pillow, consider the following aspects: 

  • Design: The beads will not spill out if the pillow has a sturdy construction. 
  • Height: They come in four different heights to accommodate different sleeping positions (back, stomach, and side).
  • Brand: Look for a trustworthy brand that provides quality pillows. 
  • Cost: The cheapest or the most expensive isn’t necessarily the best.
  • Size: Choose as per your personal needs.  

How Much Do They Cost?

Depending on their size, loft, brand, design, quality, filling weight, and whether or not they have a zippered shell, microbead pillows often range in price from $3 to $140. They can be purchased separately for future addition.

How Long Do They Last?

Microbeads, as we have already stated, do not disintegrate even after 20 years of use. Therefore, pillows filled with this material can last as long as they are properly taken care of. However, it is advised to replace your pillows once every two to three years.

In order to avoid purchasing a new pillow, you can reuse the microbeads from the old one in a brand-new shell. In such cases, maintaining maximum hygiene is recommended.

Where Can I Buy Microbead Pillows?

Check the following websites to buy the best microbead pillows:

Best places to buy pillows online

Do you have more questions about wool pillows? Let us know as we’d love to answer.