The pillow - much more than just a soft place to lay my head
15 January 2018
How old are the pillows in your home? Do you remember when you last changed any of them? Okay, or what about cleaning… surely, you had them cleaned in the last couple of weeks, right?
Did you know that you should change your pillow from as often as every 6 months to 3 years depending on your cleaning habits, allergies and the quality of the pillow? And you should clean your pillow and its cover every couple of weeks. After all, you will lay your face on whatever dirt, dust and other unwanted visitors are on that pillow… every night! Oils trapped on the pillow cover could lead to acne and the dust mite accumulation to various health problems. 1
People always talk about how nasty a mattress gets, but the gross truth is the pillow is more frequently forgotten. Even when buying new bedding, a pillow is usually an afterthought!
Is it time to change your pillow?
Don’t wait until your pillow feels like lumps of coal in a sack before you finally decide to change it! If you’re constantly waking during the night with a stiff neck, neck pain, headache or are struggling with restless and interrupted sleep with difficulty going off to sleep, it’s time...
Not convinced? Another sure sign is an improved sleep experience when you visit a friend, or stay in a hotel. If any of these sound like you, it's time to change your pillow.
Why a pillow is not just for decoration
So, you know that you lay your head on a pillow to sleep, or use it for decorative purposes in your home, and that pillows are available in all weird and wonderful shapes and sizes. But do you know that the right (or wrong) pillow can affect your entire body?
The right pillow will support your head and neck and other areas of your body like your knees and lumbar region, while sleeping, lying down, sitting or even travelling. According to Physio Works in Australia, a good pillow offering good support and adjustability, will support your head in natural alignment with your spine.2
With the variety of pillows on offer, how does one choose a good pillow?
5 Items to consider when choosing your ideal pillow
Historically, a pillow was simply made of a block of wood and one can only wonder why organic materials such as cotton or wool weren't used for the first pillows?
The Egyptian Pharaohs were buried in their tombs with wood blocks for pillows, while the Greeks and Romans used reeds and feathers. Interestingly enough, the Chinese, citing reasons such as the need to have hard pillows for blood circulation and to keep the demons at bay, also made their pillows with wood and other hard materials like bronze and bamboo.
It was only in the 1900s that pillows as we know them today began to get produced. And with this, came the challenge of choosing the pillow that is fit for the beholder! 3
So, before you just buy a pillow, consider the following:
Do you have any allergies?
If you have allergies, select a hypoallergenic synthetic material. The Velfont Bamboo pillow for instance, is made of bamboo material which has great absorbency and a natural freshness. The Vencasa Micro Gel Pillow is a brilliant choice if you need a down-like pillow, but one that is not made of feathers.
What is your sleeping position?
If you sleep on your back, look at the TEMPUR Symphony pillow for great support while you sleep, but if you’re a side sleeper, or like to sleep in the foetal position, the curved shape of the TEMPUR Sonata pillow supports your head best.
And when sleeping in that awkward position - that is on your stomach - you need a pillow with good ventilation, allowing you to breathe comfortably. The TEMPUR Ombracio pillow is great for this purpose and the special indentations at the sides allow for easy breathing.
But of course, if you feel like you have your own unique sleeping position and need to adjust your own pillow, your way, the TEMPRAKON Ergomagic pillow is the world’s most personal pillow. You can select how much support you need by adjusting the top, middle and bottom layer of the pillow yourself.
If you have broad shoulders, you’ll need a larger pillow to keep your head and neck level while you sleep. Especially when sleeping on your side, the TEMPUR Millennium pillow’s curved edge, cradles your upper vertebrae for superior support.
Do you suffer from back and neck pain?
Reduce muscular tension by choosing a pillow that adapts to the contours of your spine and supports you while you sleep. The TEMPRAKON® Surround pillow provides a luxurious down feeling with extra support and the Velfont Viscosoft pillow is made of memory foam which moulds exactly to the shape of your head and neck, providing greater support.
Are you travelling?
Many of us are guilty of just taking a pillow, any pillow from home when we travel by road or plane. But, just as your car needs shock absorbers to absorb the bumps on the road, so too must your transit pillow absorb the jolts and vibrations while you travel. The TEMPUR Transit pillow not only does this but its horseshoe design also moulds to the shape of your head and shoulders, providing needed support for your muscles.
Well, as you can see, there are pillows designed and specially shaped to support the backs, heads, necks, shoulders and sleeping positions of sleepers of all kinds. Get into a Vencasa store near you and speak to one of our experienced consultants about getting the pillow that’s just right for you.