Gel pillows (also known as gel fiber pillows) are becoming increasingly popular. Does one deserve to be on your bed? Let's look at their main advantages and disadvantages. But first, let me explain exactly what a gel pillow is.
A gel pillow is not filled with any type of gel or liquid-like substance. Rather, it is filled with polyester gel fibers. This makes the pillow similar to a traditional polyester / synthetic-filled pillow in some ways. However, polyester gel does have some unique properties, which I will now discuss.
Gel pillows have a similar soft and cushy feel as down, but they offer somewhat more support. The pillows can be easily molded or scrunched to provide support where you need it.
They are easy to take care of in that they typically do not need shaking or fluffing to maintain their loft as down pillows often do. And they can be machine washed and dried. Gel pillows are also light weight and hypoallergenic.
Finally, they are probably a good value because they are fairly inexpensive yet will likely last a few years.
The pillows may not provide the support needed for some people, especially side sleepers, because the pillow is quite soft and may not have the need loft / height.
Like other poly-fill pillows, gel pillows may shift, clump and develop hollow spots as they age. Also, a few owners complain of a noticeable smell when the pillows are new.
Finally, the poly-fiber fill of the pillows can be susceptible to dust mites, which can cause allergies.