How Pillows are Made: Comparing Garnett & Blown Fiber Pillows

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When you wake up in the morning, there is a high likelihood that you have a fiber pillow underneath your head. They are known for their comfort and conformability, but what exactly distinguishes the many different types of fiber pillows from each other? In the second installment of our “A Closer Look” series, we dive into the details of how fiber pillows are made. 

At Soft-Tex, we manufacture many different types of fiber pillows that all use cruelty-free materials. Many fiber pillows can look the same on the outside, but there are two main types of fiber pillows that are differentiated by what goes inside the pillow shell: garnett fiber pillows and blown fiber pillows.

A Closer Look at Garnett Pillows: Lofty, Supportive “Poly-Fill Pillows”

Garnett pillows, otherwise known as “poly-fill pillows,” are commonly found at lower price points. These inexpensive pillows use heavier thicker fibers, known as “higher denier” – with longer length, or “ long staple length” fibers. In a machine called a garnett, the fibers are combed and straightened.  Next, the fibers pass through several rollers and are layered into a flat web. This web is then layered onto itself, cut down to size, and rolled into a “bat of fiber” that is determined by the size of the pillow. The bat is then flattened and inserted into the pillow shell.  

Typical Characteristics of Garnett Pillows

  • Use fibers that are thicker, higher denier and have a longer staple length
  • Made with sheets of fiber that are layered on top of each other (similar to an accordion)
  • Inexpensive pillows that are often made with cost-effective materials
  • Typically provide a firmer, more stable feel, and a less conformable sleep experience

A Closer Look at Blown Pillows: The Premium Fiber Bed Pillow

Blown pillows feature “open” fibers that are air blown directly into the pillow shell. Unlike the fibers in garnett pillows, the blown fibers feature a lower denier and a shorter staple length and are “opened” from a compressed state prior to being blown into the pillow cover. This results in a soft, silky, and slick feeling fiber strand that is designed to mimic the feel of lofty down fill. The loose fiber clusters also provide these pillows with a softer, more fluffy overall feel. Blown fills are “premium fibers,” and can be combined with other supplemental fill materials, such as cooling fibers, memory foam clusters or gel beads, to enhance the feel and overall luxury of a pillow. Blown fibers can also be altered and enhanced with an extra finish to create “gel fiber” which provides a more luxurious “down-like” feel. This versatility makes blown fiber pillows far superior to the more simple garnett pillow. In addition, blown pillow covers often feature higher thread count fabrics for a luxurious soft touch.

Typical Characteristics of Blown Pillows

  • Use fibers that are thinner, lower denier (offering a soft, silky feel) and have a shorter staple length
  • Made with loose clusters of fiber that are blown directly into the pillow shell
  • Typically made with more premium, higher quality fibers
  • Blown fibers can be combined with higher end “enhancements”, such as gel fibers and cooling gel beads
  • Typically offer a more customizable and conformable sleep experience

Blown vs. Garnett Pillow Fibers at a Glance

garnett vs. blown denier comparison
garnett vs. blown staple length comparison

How Fiber Pillows Are Made – “A Closer Look Series”