You smoosh your face into it, your hair has started parting along where you sleep on it, you've covered it in drool; your pillow needs to stand up to a lot, even as it comfortably supports you. Because you spend a good portion of your life face down in it, shouldn't you get yourself a quality bed pillow?
Many of these pillows are used by renowned lodging companies like Ritz Carlton and The Hilton, where maximum comfort and cleanliness are absolute necessities. Pick up a set for yourself and see why these pillows are nothing less than exceptional.
By far the most important aspect of any pillow is its filling.
* Some materials offer firm support for the head and neck, others offer a soft and cozy resting place.
* The right pillow for you is one that helps you get a good night's sleep.
* Generally speaking, people who sleep on their sides (about 85% of the population) should use medium to firm pillows. 800 fill is considered firm.
* People who sleep on their stomachs do better with soft pillows. Back sleepers do well with medium pillows.
** Down pillows are soft and squishy. Some find this comfortable, others do not. Those allergic to feathers should stay away from this filling.
** Hypodown is for the down-allergic. It is processed to remove allergens, but has a bit of milkweed fiber for good measure.
** Be aware of the feather content in your down pillow. Some pillows are 100% down (goose is softer than duck), and others are down-feather blends.
** Pure feather pillows are firmer than pure down pillows.
* '''Synthetic Down'''
** Primaloft makes a synthetic down that is as soft and squashy as the real thing, but without eliminates the chance of allergic reactions.
** Soft, lightweight, hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and machine washable.
** May not last as long as some other kinds of pillows.
* '''Wool '''
** Wool provides a firm pillow that doesn't squash down easily or lose its shape.
** Available in medium and firm.
** Hypoallergenic, resistant to dust mites and mold, warm on cool nights, long-lasting, and wicks away moisture.
** Alpaca pillows are not as firm as sheep's wool pillows--they are generally available in soft to medium.
** Harder to clean than some other fillings and can't be machine washed.
** The pillow is made of cotton batting, which is about as hypoallergenic as you can get.
** Generally firm and can be compacted further over several years.
** Cool, breathable, and mold-resistant.
** Many companies manufacture all-cotton pillows that are free of dyes and made from 100% organic, cruelty-free, environmentally and economically sensitive cotton.
* '''Buckwheat Hulls'''
** Especially popular for neck/travel pillows. Also available in standard sizes.
** Provide excellent support.
** Additional inserts allow you to mutate your pillow at your will.
** Cool in summer, warm in winter--some can also be warmed or cooled to use as compresses (see our guide on therapeutic pillows).
** Buckwheat is a renewable resource, hypoallergenic (when properly processed), and resistant to breakage.
** Also known as "''makura'' pillows" (redundant as ''"makura"'' is the Japanese word for "pillow").
** Latex gives good support, but crumbles over time.
** Look for natural latex--it is hypoallergenic (unless you have a latex allergy, of course) and has no odor.
** Synthetic rubber can give off unpleasant odors.
** Latex can also be made into contoured shapes specifically designed for certain sleeping positions.
** Latex is sometimes shredded. These pillows can be fluffed but also provide a lot of support.
** Memory foam is an intriguing idea and gives good support.
** Foam can be very hot and some kinds of foam harbor dust and dust mites.
** Certain types of synthetic foams can give off gases, such as toluene (a liquid aromatic hydrocarbon that resembles benzene but is less volatile, but still flammable and toxic. It is used as a solvent in organic synthesis, and as an antiknock agent for gasoline, according to Webster's). Do you really want to breathe that?
* Loft refers to the pillow's thickness.
* The thickness you prefer is up to you--but keep in mind that a thick pillow made of a soft material will have a lot of give to it.
* It may be a good idea to layer pillows--a firm latex pillow beneath a down pillow can give desired firmness and softness.