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Let’s talk about your pillow!

Pillows are made from a variety of materials, have different thicknesses and even different shapes.  So, we’re going to talk about how to choose and maintain a pillow to get the best experience possible from it.

To be clear, we aren’t talking about the decorative pillows which lend an air of comfort to a bed; we’re talking about the pillow used to rest your head.

A pillow is an intensely personal piece of comfort, and to achieve maximum comfort, it’s imperative to choose one which offers the qualities which are tailored to the needs of the individual.


Sometimes, a sleeper will awaken with sinus problems, itchy eyes, or repetitive sneezing. There have even been reports of pillows causing hives, shortness of breath. It May never occur to the sleeper that he could be allergic to his pillow.

If you get a new pillow and start having symptoms, the easiest way to figure out if it’s your pillow is to take it off the bed for a while and see if the symptoms clear up. If the pillow isn’t new, it may be harboring bacteria or other undesirables and need to be washed.

Dust Mites

While dust mites are an unnerving thought, Phoenix residents have less to worry about than people in other places because our humidity is so low. Dust mites thrive in higher humidity. Unless you spill something on your pillow, which can trigger the onset of a mold village, the chief problem with your pillow will probably be lack of support, rather than dust mites.


There are three basic positions for sleeping: On the back, side, or belly. Generally speaking, a side sleeper will need a thicker pillow, a belly sleeper will need a thinner pillow, and a back sleeper–well, you back sleepers run the whole range of thickness needs.  Like a quality bed, a pillow should be tested by the sleeper while he’s in the sleeping position to know what thickness is right for him.

Also, did you know that a sleeper can have a small, medium, or large frame, all of which require different thicknesses and support?  It will also depend on the position the sleeper prefers.


Feathers (and down), memory foam, latex, polyester, and gel are all used to make pillows. Some pillows even have a bamboo shell or ticking, intended to thwart dust mites and bacteria.

Pillows made of feathers or down can cause a reaction in those who are allergic to birds, but also, memory foam pillows have been mainly known for off-gassing, which can cause a reaction in itself for those who are sensitive to it.

Latex is usually a blend of natural and synthetic latex, as pure latex is very rare.  Many people find the combination is acceptable due to the high level of comfort it provides.


Pillows can either be a traditional shape or contoured, such as a neck pillow. The right shape depends on the sleeper and his needs. Contour pillows are almost always made of memory foam.


Before buying a pillow, take a moment to read the washing instructions. Following these instructions will keep your pillow at its best regarding extending its life and keeping it clean.

A protective cover is also a necessity to keep it free of mold, mildew, and allergens.

Changing Needs

Pillow requirements may change as people age. Sleeping positions and allergies can change, as well as comfort needs. The crucial thing is to be aware of it and go with a change if on seems necessary.

Sweet Dreams!

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