Are you sleeping with “the one”? No, I’m not talking about a human, I’m talking about a pillow! A recent experience led me to consider who, I mean, what, I am sleeping with, and if it’s really treating me the way I deserve to be treated. #ITakeNappingSeriously
A few months ago I stayed overnight at a friend’s house. I stripped the bed in the AM to make it easier for washing the dirtied sheets and found this old, yellowed pillow under the pristine white pillowcase I slept on the night before. You can imagine my reaction as a clean freak; but let’s be honest, you’d probably have the same one.
**Fun Fact** pillows yellow from sweat and any dampness (like sleeping with your hair wet…or drool?).
The experience got me thinking about the state of my pillows: their color, fluffiness and age. Then I thought about just how many pillows, specifically for sleeping, I have. The final count: twelve between my boyfriend and I. And the reason? No one pillow does the trick; we both have to stack multiple pillows under our heads to get the support we need. This was clearly a problem to be solved with some awesome outcomes: 1. get rid of the twelve pillows cluttering our home, 2. get one, maybe two, amazing pillows, 3. take a nap mid-week during work for “research.”
So how do you find the perfect pillow to replace your multi-pillow-sleeping-structure-of-greatness? Here are some things to know when choosing a new pillow:
PILLOW DENSITY – depends on your sleep style.
- Sleep on your back? Thin pillows are your best shot as they support your head gently while not tilting your head too far forward making it difficult to breath.
- Sleep on your side? (me too!) You’ll want a denser pillow to support you head and avoid your shoulder cramping up towards your ear.
- Sleep on your stomach? You may not need a pillow, or if so, a very very thin one. Experts say this sleeping position is best avoided as it puts strain on your lower back.
FILLING – a personal preference.
- Down & Feather: fluffing these pillows allows air to move between the feather particles, making these pillows incredibly malleable. They’re light, yet supportive and feel so darn luxurious. But be warned: they can cost a pretty penny, so be prepared.
- Foam: these pillows can be dense, and may be a good option for side sleepers who want a lot of support. Consider that foam tends to have odd smells when first opened, so if you have a sensitive nose, be warned.
- Memory Foam: like memory foam mattresses, these pillows are praised for adjusting to the form of your body as you sleep. You’ll find many come in an S-shape which helps support your neck. Memory foam can also have a chemical odor when opened, and retain heat, so if you’re prone to sweat the bed, this pillow might leave you uncomfortable.
- Polyester Fillings: pillows filled with polyester (like the filling in most stuffed animals) tend to be the most affordable, but they are the least durable. These pillows hold their shape, but over multiple uses lose their form, and therefore function, swifter than other options.
PILLOW SIZE – corresponds to mattress size, and your pillow case.
- Standard Pillow = 20” x 26”. 1 fits a twin, 2 fit across a full/queen, and 3 across a king.
- Queen Pillow = 20” x 30”.
- King Pillow = 20” x 36”
Where to Get Rid of Your Old Pillows:
Many animal shelters are happy to take old pillows. You can also post them on Freecycle. Old pillows are not recyclable, but you can reuse the stuffing to refill old stuffed animals or cushions needing some extra oomph.
So what pillow did I go with? As a side sleeper, tired of continually stacking polyester-filled pillow atop pillow, I decided to invest in a standard-size firm 100% goose down, and I have to say, I think I’ve found the one:)