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Tag Archives: pillow
5 Ways to Assess if Your Pillow Needs Replacing
If you can’t remember the last time you changed your pillows, know that you’re not alone. We don’t tend to think about the longevity or performance of our pillows when we lay down at night, exhausted from a long day. We’re just happy to be in bed, able to catch some shut eye – if only for a few hours. However, if you want to guarantee that the sleep you are having is top quality, that starts with your pillows.
Even though you aren’t a pillow expert, there are a few easy steps you can take to assess if your pillows are in desperate need of replacement.
Here are 5 quick tips for determining if you need some new pillows:
- The Fold Test: Take your pillow, and attempt to fold it in half. If you fold it in half and your pillow quickly bounces back into shape once you let go, chances are you have a few more months with that pillow. However, if your pillow fails to assume its prior shape, and slumps sadly onto the bed, it’s definitely time to consider new, supportive pillows. These are the things that support your head throughout the night, after all.
- Take a Peek: Sometimes, what we can see in plain sight is telling enough. Take off the pillowcase and observe your pillows. Do you see any yellowish stains? Those stains are the result of body oils, dead skin, and dust mites building up over time – yuck! If your pillows are discolored, you definitely need some new pillows and bedding.
- Take a Whiff: Moving onto the next sense, smell, it’s time to get up close and personal with your pillows on a scent level. Take your pillows and smell them. If they have an odor, it’s likely due to a bacteria build-up over time. That’s both disgusting and detrimental to you and your partner’s health. Time for some new, bacteria-free pillows.
- Feel It: Now it’s time to really feel around at the composition of your pillows. When you take and touch your pillow, can you feel lumps or feathers poking out of the pillow? Do you see foam or batting? If yes, that means your pillow has lost the supportive structure it once had. If the pillow is unable to contain its composition, it most certainly is unable to support your head and shoulders.
- Sleep Quality Test: This one is more figurative in nature. Sit down and really ponder if you are catching quality sleep at night. Do you wake up with a sore neck or headaches in the morning? Are you tossing and turning all night, struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position with your pillow? Is your pillow giving you the support it used to, a long time ago? If you suspect your pillow is linked to your sleep quality, it’s time for pillow replacement.
Here at Pillows.com, we’re happy to provide you with new, clean, structurally sound pillows that are complementary to a sound night of sleep.
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.
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 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)
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 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)
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:
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
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
These are the heaviest comforters that keep you warm, even in the dead of winter.
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!
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
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!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Pillow inserts: Pillow inserts are another decorative option, and come in all shapes, sizes and fill options!
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!