Do Pillows Block Laptop Radiation (Fact or Myth!?)

Some people just love to laze on their bed and use a laptop until things get uncontrollably hot and uncomfortable. Then comes the genius idea to use a pillow as a “buffer” to soak up the heat. While that kind of works, will the pillow block out the radiation as well?

Pillows will not block out electromagnetic radiation from a laptop. In fact, most fabrics and foam do not offer good protection against radiation. Materials that block out radiation very well are concrete and metal.

That’s right. Unless you have a leaded pillow or want to use a concrete block as a pillow – A normal fabric one is not going to be very helpful. Just what is radiation, why you should be concerned, and what alternatives are there? Read on to find out!




Radiation can be described as energy or particles from a source that travel through space or other mediums. Light, heat, and the microwaves and radio waves used for wireless communications are all forms of radiation.

I have read through quite a number of articles online and couldn’t understand half of the geeky talk about radiation. So well done, Aussies! That is one of the most straightforward layman ways to describe radiation.

Yes, radiation is simply energy that travels through space and mediums. Some you can see, and some you cannot – Light, heat, laser, ultra-violet, infra-red, radio wave, microwave, and more.



Some people immediately freak out when they hear “radiation”, and some scream “cancer” or “death wave”. But no, let us reason things out logically. Humans need radiation in moderate amounts.

  • We cannot see anything without light, but it becomes blinding with too much light.
  • We will freeze without heat, but things will burn with too much heat.
  • Radio, WIFI, Bluetooth, microwave – All of these are our daily convenience.

Either way, nearly everything around us will give off energy in one way or another, even in nature. We cannot run away from the sun, and heated rocks give off heat at night. This is called “background radiation” and it exists everywhere.

So to put things into perspective, radiation is everywhere. There is nothing to worry about in normal circumstances, radiation is only dangerous and harmful to humans in huge amounts.




When it comes to laptops and electronic gadgets, we are mostly referring to electromagnetic radiation. Yes, this is the infamous one that causes cancer and known to fry brains. We are not going into all the geek talk, but there are 2 simple principles when it comes to electromagnetic shielding:

  • Reflection Loss – The material reflects the radiation.
  • Absorption Loss – The material absorbs the radiation.

As most of you already guessed, pillows will not reflect nor absorb electromagnetic radiation. Go ahead and try for yourself, cover a ringing smartphone with a pillow and see if it blocks out the signal. Maybe it will dampen the radiation a tad bit, but they do nothing good otherwise.



The materials that offer a good level of electromagnetic shielding are mostly metals –

  • Lead
  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Nickel
  • Silver
  • Aluminum

So if you are looking for some “serious protection”, a pillow is not the answer… Unless it has some kind of a “special weave”. Sheet metal, metal screen, metal foam, and aluminum foil are your best bets.




This is not a myth, many people have already tested and proven that laptops emit a rather unhealthy level of radiation. The radiation levels get even worse as they are being charged. Of course, this applies to modern-day smartphones and tablets as well. So if you have the habit of using a laptop on your lap, or worse, sleeping beside a charging smartphone – It’s time to kick the habit for good.

While pillows do add some “padding” and prevent “direct contact” with the device, they do not block out the radiation. This will still result in various health issues in the long run… Plus, pillows will damage the laptop. Yep, they don’t disperse heat that well and traps dust.



If you have to use a laptop on the bed, get yourself one of these bed laptop stands. While it does not block out radiation, it puts the laptop a good distance away, without any direct contact with the lap. Plus, it adds good airflow plus it’s comfortable too.

Also, don’t ever use the laptop while it is charging. If you must, there are “EMF protective sheets” available in the market. Although some of those are pretty shady and protect minimal protection – It is better than having no protection.




Just don’t use the laptop on the bed or on the lap! Put in on a proper desk, attach a keyboard and mouse. The bed is supposed to be a happy place for resting. 🙂



Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this short guide. I hope it has helped to answer your doubts, pillows do not block out the radiation. You are not any safer just by putting a pillow between your lap and laptop.

Now go get yourself a proper laptop stand, or kick that bad habit once and for all! Good luck and have better nights of sleep.