Many of us can’t dream of sleeping without our favorite pillow. We’re even so attached we can’t part with them when traveling, so we bring along that go-to pillow for the trip. And yet, for all those times your head hits the pillow, how often do you think about whether that old standby is really giving you the right support for a good night’s rest?
Research from the Better Sleep Council (BSC) reveals that, when it comes purchasing our pillows, we undervalue our head’s rest. In fact, only one in three people who bought a mattress in the past five years also purchased pillows, according to a BSC consumer survey.
The other two-thirds of us? We’re hanging on to lumpy, frumpy pillows. When we do pick up fresh ones, research shows that many of us settle for bargain-basement sources.
It’s an interesting behavioral pattern: we adore pillows, but we don’t always value them. And when we do find that favorite pillow, we act as if it should last forever. But the materials in pillows, like any soft products, wear over time.
Knowing when it’s time to say goodbye to your old pillow
BSC research indicates we should reset with a new pillow every 2.8 years. What happens, though, is that we find “the one” and then hang on to it. Each night, we put on our favorite PJs, grab our favorite blanket and pillow, and assume we’re going to have a perfect night’s sleep. But what’s wrong with this picture? The pillow is old, flat and not giving us the comfort we deserve. At this point, it’s time to find a new pillow that will give us sweet dreams.Drifting off to dreamland will be a breeze once you have a pillow that gives your head ease. #BSCSleepTips #bettersleep @BetterSleepOrg
Understanding the possibilities when it comes to pillows
Consumers aren’t the only people focusing on pillows these days. Sleep product manufacturers are now using their best materials and product engineering to prop up the head and neck. Shop for a pillow made by an industry-leading sleep products provider and you’ll find the same collection of features and materials you’ve come to expect in mattresses and other sleep accessories.Pillow feathers aren’t all fluff. #DYK one feather is as strong as carbon fiber? #BSCSleepTips #bettersleep @BetterSleepOrg
It’s fair to wonder what the fuss is about. Would it really hurt to keep plopping your noggin on an old saggy pillow from the ’90s? Well, only if you don’t mind a musty face and a stiff spine.
Pillows give your head and neck the support they need throughout the night, and by supporting your head, they promote healthy spine alignment. They also aid with temperature control. The fabric, or combination of fabrics, in a well-made pillow or cover keeps you cool and dry. It regulates temperature and prevents moisture from piling between your pillow and your face.
For those of us who complain about sleep, pillows may be the source of our woes. Room temperature, another common cause for poor sleep, can also be corrected with the proper pillow. The ideal cushion surrounds your face space with cool air and can remedy an unintentionally tropic bedroom.
Use your head – and remember it – when you shop for sleep materials
Next time you’re buying pillows or a mattress, put a few tips to the test:
- Always use pillows when you’re deciding which mattress is right for you. Switch up your pillow selection, trying various fills, styles and shapes. Sometimes you lie on a mattress and think it’s not for you, when the real problem is that you haven’t found the perfect pillow pairing.
- If you’re in a pro-pillow mood, shop with your head as the top priority. Visit a sleep product provider and tell the sales associate that you want to select a pillow before you match it with your next mattress.
- Pay attention to a pillow’s inner fill, but also note its outer material. These outer layers range in plushness and thickness. Take your time testing them – you’ll get a sense of how the material regulates temperature. (Plus, who doesn’t enjoy research projects that are more like naps?) See if the pillow is meant to be used with a case or on its own, and test it as it’s designed.
- If you have allergies or asthma, you may want to look for hypoallergenic options. As a heads-up, the term hypoallergenic is not a certified term, so there’s no typical standard that these materials need to meet. The best type of pillow research is to test it for yourself in-store.
- Once you have a perfect pillow, don’t plan on keeping it forever. Do enough research to know what makes it special, so that once its materials wear, you can start anew with a supportive cushion.
Pillows may help the look and feel of your bed, providing dimension or pops of color. But as you can tell, they’re far more than decorations. Invest in your health and wellness by making your head’s rest a top priority.