Tag Archives: pillow

Mother’s Day Buying Guide

It’s time to start planning for Mother’s Day! Finding that perfect gift for your mother or grandmother can be a daunting task. If you are tired of sending flowers year after year, bedding is a soft and cozy alternative. Not sure what she might like? Not to worry! This bedding guide will walk you through the different options of bedding, and provide links to products that might delight your mother on her special day.

Pillows

Give your mother the gift of a peaceful night’s sleep with pillows that support and cradle her head. In this section, we’ll break down our pillows on Pillows.com by fill. Each fill offers its own set of support levels.

Feather/Down

Feather and down pillows are probably some of our best selling pillows. These pillows have a cloud-like feel and compress under the head. If your mother is a little “old-fashioned”, she might prefer a feather and down option. They are offered in varying support levels as well. Generally, a good rule of thumb for determining the support level of a feather and down pillow is to look at the ratio of feathers to down. A 100% down pillow is going to be the softest and most compressible pillow you can get, whereas the firmest is a 95% feather/5% down or 100% feather pillow. Below are some pillows under each support level category:

Soft: Pacific Coast Feather Company Natural Down Pillow (Good for stomach sleepers)

Medium-Soft: Phoenix Down 50% White Goose Feather/50% White Goose Down Pillow (Good for stomach and back sleepers)

Medium: Manchester Mills Down Dreams Pillow (Good for side back, and some stomach sleepers)

Medium-Firm: Pillowtex Triple Core Pillow (Good for side and back sleepers)

Firm: Down Dream Classic Firm Pillow (Good for side sleepers)

 

 

Photo by Ted Gotwals

Polyester

 

Polyester pillows have several advantages over the traditional feather and down pillows. The first is that they are great for people who suffer from allergies. Many people are allergic to the dust particles that tend to cling to feathers, and polyester doesn’t retain dust.  The second reason why polyester is a good option is that it doesn’t need frequent fluffing like its feather/down counterparts. Polyester has a more springy quality to it, so it helps the pillow maintain it’s loft and form. Below are some pillows under each support level category:

Soft: Pillowtex Down Alternative Pillow  (Good for stomach sleepers)

Medium-Soft: Restful Nights Conformance Supreme Pillow   (Good for stomach and back sleepers)

Medium: Down Alternative Eco Pillow (Good side, back, and some stomach sleepers)

Medium-Firm: Dream Surrender Pillow (Good for side and back sleepers)

Firm: Dream Surrender Firm (Good for side sleepers)

Extra Firm:  Infinity Pillow (Good for side sleepers with a wider shoulder width)

Memory Foam

Memory Foam is certainly an acquired taste for many sleepers. These pillows tend to be firmer and a little warmer than the traditional pillows. Of course, memory foam technology has come far in recent years. Many manufacturers are making memory foam more dough-like, and some introduce cooling gel to combat the heating qualities of this material. Below are some of our favorites:

Soft to Medium-Soft: Malouf Zoned Dough Low Loft Plush Memory Foam Pillow (Good for stomach and back sleepers) This pillow is also offered in High Loft Plush, Low Loft Firm, and High Loft Firm)

Medium: Technogel Deluxe Pillow (Side and back sleepers)

Firm: RemFit 400 Series Pillow (This pillow is adjustable, so it can potentially be good for all sleep positions)

 

Comforters

Another excellent Mother’s Day gift is a new comforter! Depending on where you mother or grandmother lives, she may need a comforter to fit the climate. Below are some great comforters for summer, winter, and fall:

Summer

These comforters are very lightweight and feel more like a blanket or throw. They are excellent for summertime sleeping or for areas that stay warmer for longer during the year.

Down Comforter: Phoenix Down Brussels Comforter

Polyester Comforter: Tempo Duvet Insert

All Season/Fall

These comforters are very versatile and are great for the fall, or climates that generally stay in the mid-range temperatures.

Feather and Down Comforter: Pillowtex Classic Weight Feather and Down Comforter

Polyester Comforter: Malouf Down Alternative Microfiber Comforter

Winter

These are the heaviest comforters that keep you warm, even in the dead of winter.

Down: Down Lite Premium White Goose Down Comforter

Feather and Down: Pillowtex Arctic Weight Feather and Down Comforter

Although we carry many different pillows and comforters, these are some of our favorites. Hopefully, this guide can lead you to find the perfect gift for your mother or grandmother! Happy Mother’s Day!

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How to Pick the Perfect Pillow!

Alright pillow fans, it’s time for another round of Pillow Talk! Last week we walked you through the history of the pillow, and I think we all can agree that pillow technology has come a long way in the past 9,000 years!

In fact, with so many modern advancements and brands to choose from today, pillow shopping can seem like an overwhelming task at first glance. What’s the difference between down and feather? Which firmness level is right for me? And what the heck is “fill power”?

We answer all of these questions and more in our buying guide below! So read on and start yourself on the journey to pillow perfection as we break down the steps you should take in the purchasing process.

Step 1: Assess your sleep position

Sleep-junkie-sleep-position-mean

Source: Sleep Junkie

While there are many different opinions on which sleep positions are most beneficial, ultimately the “best” sleep position may come down to what’s most comfortable for you.

Determining your sleep position is also the first step in choosing the right pillow to meet your needs. Are you most comfortable sleeping on your back? Or do you favor one of your sides, or your stomach? While there is some variation among these three sleep styles, these are the three main terms we use when discussing sleep positions and determining which level of support is best for your style.

Stomach sleepers: If face down is your favorite sleep position, you will want to choose a soft, thinner pillow with a lower profile. Not only will this be most comfortable for you, but it will also prevent neck strain by keeping your head from being propped up too high while you sleep. (Because let’s face it: waking up is already hard enough without having to readjust your neck!)

Luckily there are plenty of low profile pillow options for stomach sleepers that still provide excellent support!

Back sleepers: When it comes to this position, “medium” is the name of the game. Basically, you want a firmness level that will provide adequate support for your head and spine without propping them up too high. (Again: neck strain. You don’t want it.) This will vary based on the individual, but a good rule of thumb is that if the pillow is listed as “medium support” or something similar, it’s a good place to start. Browse our recommendations here!

Side sleepers: If you sleep on your side, you should look for a pillow with medium to firm support and a high enough profile to fill the space between your head and your mattress. You may also want to consider an additional pillow to place between your legs to cushion your knees, as this will help your body maintain its proper alignment as you sleep.

Step 2: Determine your fill preference

Now that you’ve assessed your sleep position, it’s time to decide which type of fill you’d like in your new pillow. There are a LOT of options, and they each have their advantages and disadvantages, so read on for the full breakdown!

Down: Down is widely considered to be the most luxurious of all fills, and thus, it’s usually the most expensive. But what is it, exactly? Basically, down is the type of warm, insulating feather found closest to a bird’s skin that helps protect it from frigid temperatures. Some advantages of down are that it’s very lightweight, it has superior loft and fluffiness and it’s exceptionally soft. However, down can trigger allergic reactions in those who have feather allergies, so make sure you’re not one of those unlucky few before making a purchase!

Also, be aware that not all down is created equal. Remember that term “fill power” we mentioned earlier? Here’s where it comes into play. “Fill power” refers to the quality and insulating value of down. So the higher the fill power, the higher quality the down will be, and thus, the loftier, softer and more insulating the resulting pillow will be. If you’re in the market for a down pillow specifically, we recommend one with a fill power of at least 500.

Down/Feather: This fill type is a combination of down and the larger, exterior feathers found on the duck or goose. Down/feather pillows vary in their levels of support and softness based on the ratios of included down and larger feathers. Basically, the more down that’s in the mix, the softer and loftier it will be, while the greater the percentage of larger feathers, the more firm and supportive it will be.

The main advantage of this fill type over others is its versatility and range of firmness options. Basically, no matter your firmness requirements, you’ll be able to find a down/feather option that’s right for you! However, the same disadvantages of down still apply: if you have a feather allergy, go with an alternative pillow type.

Down Alternative: Allergy sufferers, this fill type is for you! If you still want the soft luxuriousness of down without the coughing and sneezing fits, a pillow with a down alternative fill is a great choice. Down alternative fills are comprised of either natural or synthetic fibers that are designed to mimic the feel of down, and thanks to modern technology, many of them are so realistic it’s difficult to tell the difference!

Nomex 2 Cropped

Synthetic fibers under microscope. Source: microlabgallery.com

Synthetic: This is another great option for those with feather allergies! Synthetic fibers are man-made, the most common being polyester. These fibers can range from 10 to 15 micrometers in thickness all the way down to a fraction of a human hair, so manufacturers can create all types of loftiness and firmness levels by varying the thickness of the fibers. Because of this, there is likely a synthetic pillow out there that meets your needs! In addition, synthetic fiber-filled pillows are machine washable, very easy to maintain and much lower cost than feather and down options.

Foam:
When it comes to foam pillows, there are two main options: memory foam and latex foam. Memory foam pillows are typically very dense, provide a firm support level and conform to the sleeper’s body. Latex pillows come in two varieties: Talalay Latex and Dunlop Latex. Dunlop latex pillows are generally more dense and firm, while Talalay latex offers a wide range of firmness options and have more of a “pillowy-soft” feel.

CranesMattress

Source: cranesmattress.com

 

Step 3: Decide which size is right for you

Like the people who use them, pillows come in all shapes and sizes! Ultimately, the right size for you comes down to personal preference. Below are some common configurations.

Common sizes: These are the rectangular bed pillows you’re probably most familiar with. The most common sizes are “standard” (20 inches x 26 inches), “super standard” or “jumbo” (20 inches x 28 inches), queen size (20 inches x 30 inches) and king size (20 inches by 36 inches).

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Source: pillows.com

Body pillows: If you find yourself amassing an army of pillows to cuddle up to in the night, you may want to look into a body pillow to meet your needs for full body support. Body pillows come in all shapes and sizes, so there is an option for everyone! Since they provide total body support, body pillows are great for keeping your body properly aligned as you sleep.

pillowtexbodypillow

Source: pillowtex.com

Contour pillows: Contour pillows are designed to cradle the user’s head, neck and shoulders. They are ergonomically crafted to hold the sleeper in proper alignment, so they are especially good options for those with neck and back pain. Like most pillows, contour pillows come in all shapes and sizes.

contourpillow

Source: pillowtex.com

Square pillows: These square-shaped pillows are also referred to as “Euro” or “European” pillows, and they come in all different sizes. Euro pillows are great for decorative use and for acting as a backdrop for your other pillows, but many people also use them for sleep as well.

PacificCoastEuro

Source: pacificcoast.com

Pillow inserts: Pillow inserts are another decorative option, and come in all shapes, sizes and fill options!

Fine Design by Willie Pillow Insert 4

Source: finedesignbywillie.com

Step 4: Enjoy your new pillow!

You made it! See, pillow shopping wasn’t so scary after all. Once you understand the terminology and range of options available to consumers, finding the perfect pillow becomes simple and stress-free—the way your sleep should be!

Once you find that perfect pillow, however, you may encounter some brand new problems: getting out of bed in the morning, for example! Luckily, we have you covered there as well: in next Monday’s post we’ll be dishing out our favorite tips for waking up in the morning, so be sure to check back then!

Until next time: sleep well, live well and be well!

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Happy Sleep Awareness Month! How About Some Pillow History?

With Sleep Awareness Month in full swing, everyone here at Pillows.com has sleep on the brain even more than usual. (And that’s saying something because, as you know, we’re pretty passionate about the subject!) It’s true though: being in the business of sleep, we’re constantly staying on top of the latest sleep research and hunting for the newest and best products to add to our store, and this month is no exception.

As pillow and bedding experts, we think it’s important to discover everything there is to know about the products we sell. And if you’ve ever talked to one of our customer service reps on the phone, you know how much we love sharing everything we learn! So in the spirit of pillow education, we thought it was only fitting to kick off this month’s series of blog posts with a little history lesson: the history of the pillow. So lay back, fluff up your favorite pillow, and dive in!

Think your pillows are rock hard? Think again!

Believe it or not, humans have been using pillows since around 7,000 BC, or about 9,000 years. However, you probably wouldn’t want to use one of these ancient pillows today, as they were made of solid stone! Instead of enveloping your head in a soft cushion like the modern pillows we know and love, these “pillows” featured chiseled grooves for the sleeper’s head and neck to rest in.

Sounds uncomfortable, right?! It gets better. Because without one of these pillows to keep your head off the ground, you would have had to worry about bugs crawling in your hair, mouth, nose, and ears as you slept. Talk about a rock and a hard place! The number of pillows a person owned was also symbolic of his or her social status. (So we like to think that much hasn’t changed!)

Ancient-Egyptian-Pillow

Ancient Mesopotamian pillow via hankeringforhistory.com

As it turns out, pillow technology didn’t improve much in the 5,000 years between 7,000 BC and 2,000 BC. Like the Mesopotamians, the ancient Egyptians also had a penchant for hard pillows, sticking with stone and wood as their construction materials. Unlike their Mesopotamian predecessors, however, they weren’t even intended for living people! Instead of using them for sleeping or bug protection at night, ancient Egyptians really only used these pillows to prop up the heads of the deceased after death, as they believed the head to be sacred.

Hard pillows were also all the rage in ancient China. (Like parachute pants and mullets, we’re seriously hoping this isn’t a trend that makes a comeback.) The ancient Chinese version of this torture comfort device consisted of a range of materials including bamboo, jade, porcelain, wood, and bronze. In addition to being hard and unforgiving, they were also highly decorative. But instead of using pillowcases like we do today to protect and adorn their pillows (microfiber, anyone?), they usually covered them in carefully painted designs.

chinese pillow

Ancient Chinese Pillow via ancient-chinese-porcelain.com

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the first soft pillow!

It wasn’t until the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations came along that humanity first discovered the pure joy that is resting your head on a nice, soft pillow. In addition to feathers, these ancient Greek and Roman pillows were also stuffed with reeds and straw. (While a vast improvement over stone and wood, we’d obviously recommend down or advanced synthetic fibers as filling instead of the reeds and straw, but who are we to judge?!) Like the Mesopotamians, ancient Greeks and Romans also saw pillows as a status symbol, and they even borrowed the practice of putting them under the heads of deceased loved ones from the ancient Egyptians.

While we have the ancient Greeks and Romans to thank for saving us from laying our heads on pillows made of stone, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that modern pillows began to really take shape. And the rest, as they say, is history!

The modern pillow—so many choices!

With so many different materials found in pillows today, choosing the right one to suit your sleep needs can almost be overwhelming! Luckily, that very process is the topic of our next Pillow Talk blog, so check back next week as we walk you through the details! And if you can’t wait that long, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-720-6973 to talk to one of our bedding experts personally. We’d be happy to guide you!

Until next time: sleep well, live well, and be well!

Pillows

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