I want to know everything about pillows

Pillows rest at the head of the bed and are not exactly thought much about until the time comes to turn in for the night. Yes, pillows are somewhat taken for granted! They do a lot more than just help someone sleep comfortably though. They assist in achieving to get comfortable night's sleep without waking up with a crick in your neck.

Contributing to better rest is a great reason for purchasing the best quality pillows. Pillows do a lot more than their "primary task", which is why choosing the best pillows is always a good idea.

Types of Pillow Fillings

Buckwheat - Filled with buckwheat husks these pillows are considered to be good at helping to alleviate back pain and are particularly useful for people who sleep on their backs.

Memory Foam - Foam filled with polyurethane and other chemicals to increase their viscosity and density, memory foam pillows are soft and smooth without any lumps. They mould and shape to the head and neck to provide supportive comfort. memory foam pillows aren't a good choice for mixed sleeps as they have a fixed height.

Feather/Down - Soft, lightweight and quiet feather or down pillows area good all-round pillow that suits most sleeping positions. Feather and down pillows are made from duck and goose feathers with a typical ratio of 75% down and 25% feathers.

Gel Fibres - Gel fibre pillows have a soft and squidgy feel similar to down, but they offer more support. They are lightweight, durable and easy to maintain as they don't require any shaking or fluffing up. Gel pillows are also hypo-allergenic, although this pillow filling isn't recommended for side sleepers as they may not offer sufficient head height.

Polyester - Lightweight, soft and huggable polyester pillows suit most types of sleepers. They are filled with hypo-allergenic polyester fibre, making them ideal for allergy sufferers.

Water - Believe it or not there are such things as water pillows. They have an outside polyester fibre surface which holds water. Water pillows are usually quite high and can be pulled and tugged for a comfortable fit around the back of the head, neck and shoulders.

Micro-bead - Made with unexpanded EPS beads micro-bead pillows offer a hard support for the head and aren't suitable for many people.

Size Matters

Helping the Upper Body

We do more than rest out heads on a pillow. We rest what our heads connect to: the neck and the spine. The human head is rather heavy and the neck and spine work very hard to support all that weight. The neck and spine's best work is on balancing and supporting the head while standing. When people sleep, things change. The spin and neck cannot support the head effectively and can be strained. A good pillow, or two, adds better symmetry and balance to the way the head is supported. The neck and the spine end up being alleviated somewhat.

The Right Pillow for the Right Position

Not everyone sleeps the same way. Sleeping on the back, the side, and the stomach are all based on personal preference. It is not like there is a bed that can't accommodate any one of these three sleeping positions. Not all pillows are perfect for a particular position. No worries here. There is enough variety in pillows to meet the needs and comfort levels of any person no matter how he or she sleeps. The thinness, thickness, and even the material of a pillow factor into its ability to assist particular sleeping positions.

Maybe it would be a good idea to purchase more than one type of pillow. This way, it is possible to change them when specific comforts are needed.

Back Sleepers - If you sleep mostly on your back a medium thickness pillow will help you get a comfortable night's sleep. Medium thickness pillows will support the head, neck and shoulders.

Side Sleepers - Side sleepers should choose a medium-high thinness of pillow as they need flexible support for their neck and shoulders.

Tummy Sleepers - A soft, thin pillow is recommended for tummy sleepers as these will won't make the head rise too much.

Mixed Sleepers - We all move in our sleep, however, if you know that you have a tendency to keep changing your sleeping position you should choose a medium thickness for your pillow.

How Many Pillows Should You Use?

The purpose of using pillows is to remove the angle between your head and shoulders when you lay down. This angle will vary from person to person, so you'll need to experiment to find how many pillows you are comfortable with. For example, one person may find sleeping with one pillow sufficient, while another person may prefer two or even three pillows.

Of course pillow aren't solely for your head you can use pillows for other parts of your body too.

For example:

  • A single pillow for the head
  • Two pillows; one for the head and one for the feet
  • Three pillows; one for the head, one between the knees and one for the feet.

Tips for Using Pillows Effectively

Irrespective of how many pillows you choose to use, there are ways you can arrange them that will help you get a good night's rest and sleep.

  • When you lie down your body should be in a mid-line position making your head and neck relatively straight. If you use one pillow make sure that it isn't too flat otherwise your head can fall down onto the mattress.
  • You shouldn't stack two pillows under your head because it will raise your head to an angle which can cause discomfort and a stiff neck. A better option is to use one plump pillow.
  • Side sleepers should place a pillow between their legs for additional support.
  • Tummy sleepers will find a single flat pillow sufficient.

There is no “right” answer when it comes to the number of pillows you use when sleeping as it’s down to your own personal preference.


As mentioned above if you suffer from allergies such as asthma or are allergic to dust mites then it's imperative you buy a hypo-allergenic pillow. These are available in various thickness’s to suit your preferred sleeping position.

Quality Means A Lot

The type of pillow is important, but so is the quality. The pillow must be made from excellent materials that maintain the integrity of the pillow and won't tear, rip, or fade not long after purchase.

This doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay a lot of money. There are plenty of good quality pillows available at very affordable prices here at Terrys Fabrics.

How Often Should You Change Pillows?

According to the Sleep Council pillows should be replaced every two years, while Dr Robert Oexman, of the Sleep to Live Institute, says you should swap them after 6 months. One thing to remember is that your pillow can become dirty surprisingly quickly, with most of the grime build-up being made of oils from your hair and skin, dead skin cells, dribble and dust mites. So, all there is no hard and fast rules as such replacing pillows should probably be done more than you think!

Can You Wash Pillows?

Many cotton-polyester, down and synthetic fibre pillows can be washed in a washing machine, however, always check the manufacturers' label before doing so. One of the major down-sides to machine washing pillows is they can take a long time to dry properly and, depending on the filling, can end-up lumpy and bumpy.

Today's synthetic fibre pillows are easy to machine wash and can also be tumble dried, so keeping them clean is no real hassle. Air-drying outside is a good option, more especially on a warm, breezy day.

If you prefer to have your pillows dry cleaned make sure they are well aired before you use them to get rid of any residual fumes.

Should a stain seep through the case onto the pillow you should treat the stain as soon as possible. Use your preferred washing liquid and apply directly onto the stain, stain removers can also be used, ensure you thoroughly rinse the pillow to remove all washing detergents before drying.

Try and wash pillows in pairs (2 at a time) to help maintain the balance of your washing machine.

Never Forget Style

One last point has to be mentioned here, pillows can do a lot to help with the décor inside a bedroom. The variety of styles of pillow cases (and bed covers) to choose from ensures any type of décor can be complemented and of course help you get the correct support you need for a good night's sleep.



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