Alpaca Pillows

Pillow Talk

Mary Anderle cares a lot about pillows. She cares about the filling (100% alpaca), the fabric cover (made from viscose bamboo) and even the thread and tags (organic materials).

You might not have given a lot of thought to your pillow, but Mary definitely has. An interior designer for more than 25 years, she became inspired to
create alpaca pillows after learning about the inherent benefits of alpaca fiber. It’s lofty, inhospitable to dust mites, and it’s naturally fire retardant without the need for chemicals. Alpaca is also great for allergy-prone sleepers. Many people who are sensitive to wool find that they’re not sensitive to alpaca, since their fiber doesn’t contain lanolin, which can hold dust and microscopic allergens.

Mary’s Malpaca pillows are hand-sewn and filled entirely with fiber from U.S. alpacas raised in herbicide-free settings. They’re not dipped in pesticide baths, and no chemicals, dyes, or bleaches are used during processing. Maintaining one of Mary’s pillows is as simple as setting it in the sunshine, which cleans and deodorizes the pillow. And did we mention the comfort factor? Utterly luxurious. You’ll feel the difference alpaca makes, every time your head hits the pillow.
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Mary

    Hello Daily Grommet Followers! My name is Mary, and I founded Malpaca because of a passionate testimonial from a fireman about fire dangers and daily chemical off-gassing we are inhaling in our bedding. Are you looking for a safe, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic alternative to your current bedding? Malpaca is it! I’m here to answer any questions you may have about our alpaca sleeping pillow that offers natural safety to your family.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/14/2012 1:02 PM

    A $179 pillow? We know that is high for a pillow, but this is a premium product with many rare and amazing natural benefits.

    We are excited to be presenting today's grommet. This Grommet is more about Mary’s a-ha moment when the firefighter challenged her to start getting toxic products out of bedding so he can have a chance at saving someone’s life. It was an a-ha moment for us, too, one that made us think more critically about the materials we bring into our home and their effects on our health and safety.

    We are hoping, even if you can’t afford a Malpaca pillow, that it will be an a-ha moment for you too and get us all thinking about and talking about our sleeping environment and toxic products in general. By spreading the word on the many benefits of alpaca, we can encourage the emergence of more natural alternatives within the home and bedding industry.

  • Maria
    2/16/2012 2:36 AM

    @Katherine Klinger:

    I appreciate the healthy value of these pillows, but frankly as a person who is knowledgeable about bedding construction who lives in an area where alpacas are raised, I find the price very overinflated. what could possibly make this pillow so costly?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/16/2012 1:13 PM

    @Maria: There are many factors that go into the pricing of any product. Mary takes great care in choosing the best materials and processes to ensure that her pillows are top quality.

  • Lyn
    2/14/2012 1:07 PM

    I am VERY interested in this pillow however I do find the price to be very prohibitive especially in these economic economic time!

  • Chris
    2/14/2012 1:12 PM

    Can it be washed?

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    2/14/2012 1:26 PM


    They can be professionally dry cleaned by a natural dry cleaning service only, but to naturally clean and deodorize at home, place in sun a few hours- this really works!

    They cannot be saturated with water; do not wash in automatic washer or put in dryer.

  • Kalissa
    2/14/2012 1:38 PM


    I have 2 small children who have slept on these for a year. One of whom is in the middle of potty training. Which means we wash his bed several times a week! When his pillow needs to be cleaned we put it in direct sunlight for about an hour a side and you'd never know it had been "initiated" (sometimes nightly!) It smells great and looks brand new still!

  • Jan
    2/14/2012 1:14 PM

    I am a pillow "nut" and find it to be one of the most important keys to a good nights sleep. But I also am a mother of two college students and the price of this pillow is out of reach for me. Unfortunate because I like everything about the philosophy and the pillow.

  • Jeanette
    2/14/2012 1:16 PM

    I am wondering why the price isn't adjusted by the amount of loft. Seems like the light should be less since there is less Alpaca material inside.

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    2/14/2012 2:15 PM


    My reason is that when the Grommet and I discussed the differences in pricing, we thought it might be too confusing to charge that many different prices, so I ended up actually suggesting charging the lowest price for all three fill options-

  • Ina
    2/14/2012 1:19 PM

    I am interested in this pillow and would like to know if it gives out a lot of heat. I'm still suffering from menopause and have to flip my pillow constantly during the night, in order to cool off.

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    2/14/2012 1:32 PM


    Alpaca fiber has a unique medullated core, which means it can be fully or partially hollow. This porous alpaca fiber creates an extra insulative value for a constant balance of temperature when we are in contact with it.

    I understand- I am in my 50's!

  • Phil Baeten
    Phil Baeten
    2/14/2012 1:20 PM

    I hopefully spend 6-7 hours every day with my head on my pillow. I was concerned with off gassing occurring with my old pillows and I spent the money for alpaca pillows for my wife and I. We've been using these pillows for well over a year and really miss them when we are overnight without them along. I do think I breathe better using this alpaca product. I certainly won't ever have a different pillow.

  • jennifer
    2/14/2012 1:47 PM

    Like Jeanette, I would like to see a price differential for:

    light loft vs. medium loft vs. dense loft within each pillow size category.

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    2/14/2012 2:15 PM


    My reason is that when the Grommet and I discussed the differences in pricing, we thought it might be too confusing to charge that many different prices, so I ended up actually suggesting charging the lowest price for all three fill options-

  • Susan
    2/14/2012 2:09 PM

    The description states that these pillows are hypo-allergenic. Does that mean that an individual with severe cat, horse and dog allergies, but with no information regarding alpaca allergies, could safely use this pillow?

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    2/14/2012 2:13 PM


    Susan, I have had people order that have severe allergies to other animals and have not had a problem with Malpaca pillows. You can always try it, and if it does not work, by all means, return it.

  • Debra Bolin
    Debra Bolin
    2/14/2012 3:36 PM

    My husband & I have been using these pillows for the last year and can't sleep without them. We even take them with us when we travel, whenever possible. With our allergies, we sleep so much better with this pillow. And my husband has even snored less! Love them & would never buy anything else!

  • Steve Kaehr
    Steve Kaehr
    2/14/2012 4:20 PM


    I want to take a moment to say thanks for bringing this pillow to market. When I think about all the money I have spent (and wasted) trying to find a quality, natural, and healthy pillow it makes your pillows a true bargain in a marketplace filled with such vastly inferior products. I have paid much more for pillows I have ended up throwing away because of poor construction and materials. In an age when quality is often sacrificed for the bottom line, your products are a refreshing change from the norm.

  • Connie J. Johnson
    Connie J. Johnson
    2/14/2012 5:11 PM

    Mary, Alpaca is indeed a marvelous natural product which I have discovered over the last year working in Bolivia where alpacas dwell. What a great idea for a pillow! I have my alpaca pillow and love not only its anti-allergy properties but also the ability alpaca to conform to my neck and head shape. And now I see that the alpaca pillow is available in different levels of firmness. Thanks for offering these options as well.

  • Wayne Dorband
    Wayne Dorband
    2/14/2012 7:04 PM

    Wow, what a joy to see Malpaca featured here. Mary, you deserve to be featured on this site as well as in many other quality natural product sites. You are the best. You have been so committed and persistent in marketing your wonderful product line of natural alpaca fiber filled pillows. I hope the audience here realizes how inexpensive your pillows are for the value they provide. The value of a great night's sleep coming from having a quality pillow can never be overestimated. You are true ecopreneur who is doing all you can to make this planet a better place for all.

  • Sandi Gallagher
    Sandi Gallagher
    2/15/2012 9:13 AM

    I've been sleeping on a contour pillow for my neck. Do you have something like this? Do you think the contour pillow is still necessary in the alpaca pillow?

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    2/15/2012 9:54 AM

    @Sandi Gallagher:


    I also use to sleep on a contour pillow (which I loved), so I had that in mind when I designed these and chose the unique fill. The alpaca in this pillow has a supportive feel like no other you have ever tried, conforming to the way you sleep, so I feel it is not necessary to design a contour alpaca pillow. You would understand once you hold it and sleep on it.

  • Lauren
    2/15/2012 11:42 AM

    When the cost of some products are relatively high, especially when considering a consumer may be buying multiple items, I find it very appealing when a business offers customers the option of spreading out payments over 3 months or so when paying by credit card. That way, it takes the sting out of having to pay full price all at once. Would you and/or the DG folks ever consider giving this option to buyers for higher priced products?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/15/2012 11:48 AM

    @Lauren: That is a great idea! I will pass your suggestion on to the team and we will see if this is something that we can do. I will let you know directly.

  • Anna White
    Anna White
    2/15/2012 2:55 PM

    Mary, your pillows look great! I'm just wondering about the covering fabric. Is it certified organic bamboo fabric? I am asking because 2 of our kids are particularly sensitive to toxins and so we go out of our way to find natural chemical-free products for them.

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    2/15/2012 3:11 PM

    @Anna White:

    Anna,Yes, the bamboo fabric I use is Viscose from 100% Organic Bamboo Knit Fleece, and the manufacturer I use received USDA and OCIA organic certifications on their bamboo. Thank you for asking, as not all bamboo is organic certified.

  • nancy d
    nancy d
    2/15/2012 4:48 PM

    Ever heard of the saying, "you get what you pay for?"

    How important is your, and your childrens, health?

  • Jenny
    3/1/2012 3:40 PM

    Do the pillows have a zipper so that the fill could be custom adjusted if necessary?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    3/1/2012 11:26 PM

    @Jenny: There's no zipper; this makes the pillow more comfortable to use. Thank you for your interest.

  • Jenny
    3/19/2012 12:48 PM

    @Chew-Hoong : Bought the pillow, love, love, love the pillow! I would still recommend a zipper, I did end up removing some of the fill, no big deal (I just made a small pillow with it). and I was able to get it just perfect to my liking! This is truly the pillow I have been looking for for 50 years! It is soft, soft, soft like I like it and comfy. I have bought dozens of pillows trying to find the right one including a sheep shear fill which felt lumpy bumpy like sleeping on a bag of dead cats. This one is so totally different & I am so grateful that I don't have to buy another pillow!!! :)THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! In return I will be sure to recommend to EVERYONE I know! jenny

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    3/21/2012 12:53 PM

    @Jenny: That's great that you are so dexterous in making the pillow more comfy for you; with extra bonus of now having another smaller pillow. We've shared your zipper suggestion & rave review with Mary. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with everyone.

  • Mary Anderle
    Mary Anderle
    3/21/2012 1:17 PM

    @Jenny: First of all, thank you for taking the time to write back such a wonderful review of the Malpaca pillow. Every suggestion I receive I take seriously, and will never say "never" about a good idea. Thank you, thank you, thank YOU!

  •  turtle lady
    turtle lady
    8/31/2012 12:34 PM

    how do i order the queen in firm?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    8/31/2012 1:09 PM

    @ turtle lady: Thank you for your interest. The FULL Alpaca Fill is the one you want to select. Under the Price Range, in Options, pick Queen and Full.

    The FULL fill has the most full and firm support, great for the snorer who needs to be elevated, and also popular in King size for those who like a supportive & safe body pillow, especially for those expecting mothers. You can read more info of the pillows in the DETAILS tab (under video) on the featured Malpaca Pillow page.

  •  Kimberly Buechner Fouse
    Kimberly Buechner Fouse
    8/31/2012 8:07 PM

    Mary, a Daily Grommet e-mail landed in my inbox today. As an alpaca breeder and retailer of high-end alpaca clothing and household accessories, you can imagine my enthusiasm about your product. I would be very interested in partnering with you in some way. I invite you to visit my website, Be sure to check out the photo gallery and all the adorable alpacas that live on the farm!

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    8/31/2012 9:39 PM

    @ Kimberly Buechner Fouse: We love it when folks like YOU in our community with similar passions reach out to connect and open to collaborating. Mary is very excited and has already contacted you directly.

  •  Linda Smith
    Linda Smith
    8/31/2012 9:15 PM

    Are these animals killed in order to make these pillows? Are you using the fur, or what to stuff the pillows? I'm curious about them because I have many allergies, but, don't want to contribute to any animal suffering involved in creating a product that being sold for profit.

  • Mary
    Mary – Special Guest
    8/31/2012 10:15 PM

    @ Linda Smith

    I appreciate the care you have for animals- I also am an animal lover. The alpacas are not harmed in any way and are sheared once a year much like sheep, for their fiber (fur). This happens in late spring and makes the alpaca much cooler and able to enjoy the warm summer months ahead. By fall they are growing that fur back so it keeps them warm in winter. Alpaca has no lanolin like sheep's wool, and is also resistant to dust mites, which is what causes most allergies in the bedroom, making alpaca ideal for allergy sufferers. I have many testimonials of severe allergy sufferers who have been relieved by this pillow. Thanks again, for your kind regard for animals here.

  •  Kris P
    Kris P
    9/22/2012 2:31 PM

    Hi Mary, I'm using a very old foam pillow because i can't find anything to suit me on the market these days. I don't want to sink into a pillow (like a down pillow). And the memory foam pillows also bother me. Does your pillow hold its shape so it's soft but supportive?

    Also, if I order a medium loft and find that I need a low loft, can i exchange my pillow? Thanks. P.S. They sound fascinating!

  •  Ann D
    Ann D
    9/22/2012 2:36 PM

    Mary and Grommet folks,

    We use down pillows - medium to firm fill. Hard to keep clean, expensive, down shifts and compacts a lot. How do these compare vis a vis a high-quality down pillow? Do they need to be replaced yearly?



  •  Sue
    10/17/2012 12:54 PM

    This pillow intrigues me. i have been looking to replace my 20 year old down pillow. I will not buy a pillow without trying it, smelling it, feeling, it and laying my head on it. Where can I go to do this?

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.