Bed Pillow Buying Guide
The average person spends around one third of his or her life in bed. In light of this, it is easy to see why there are so many types of pillows to choose from. With the great variety of taste in comfort and fashion, many luxury hotels even offer a "pillow menu" of pillows made of various high-end materials. When buying a bed pillow, many things should be taken into consideration, including size, shape, firmness, and materials.
Bed Pillow Sizes
Generally, standard pillows, which measure 20 x 26 inches (51 x 66 cm) are used on twin beds. Queen beds usually have two queen-sized pillows, each of which is 20 x 30 inches (51 x 76 cm), and a king bed is generally equipped with two king-sized pillows, each measuring 20 x 36 inches (51 x 91 cm). Of course, your own comfort is what is more important. Some people like fewer pillows of a small size and some prefer large stacks of king-sized pillows.
Polyester bed pillows are usually quite inexpensive, and come in a variety of sizes and firmnesses. Polyester bed pillows are difficult to clean effectively, and do not last as long as down or feather pillows. Some polyester pillows are made to resist bacteria and microbe growth, making them better for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam pillows have become very popular in recent years, and can be expensive - costing between $20 US Dollars (USD) to over $120 USD. Memory foam bed pillows are created to mold to the shape of a person's head and neck, creating comfortable contours, and are often sold by makers of foam memory mattresses. Memory foam pillows come in many shapes, including basic rectangular pillow shapes, rectangle shapes with contours to support the neck, cylindrical neck pillows, and U-shaped travel pillows. Generally the rectangular pillows are used as bed pillows, but some people prefer to use other shapes.
Down bed pillows are filled with the soft down of ducks or geese. A down bed pillow is extremely soft, and tends to work better for stomach sleepers or those who prefer soft cushiony bed pillows instead of firm ones. Down pillows can be much more expensive than pillows filled with synthetic materials, but they last much longer. Down is often considered the most comfortable type of fill for bed pillows, but can be a problem for people with allergies.
A bed pillow filled with feathers is generally more firm than one filled with down, and works better for many side or back sleepers. A mixture of down and feathers can cause a pillow to be medium-firm. One advantage of feather pillows is that it is less expensive than down, but this type of bed pillow may also cause problems for people with allergies.
Buckwheat Hull Pillows
This type of pillow is more unusual but has been gaining in popularity. A buckwheat hull pillow is filled with buckwheat husks, which feel somewhat like cereal grain or flattened beans. This lets the pillow adjust to the sleeper's desired height and shape, making them good for people who sleep in any position. Buckwheat hull pillows usually have a zippered opening, allowing people to add or remove buckwheat hulls as needed.
Wool bed pillows, or pillows made of a wool-cotton blend, can be very fluffy, and are washable. Wool pillows help to regulate body and head temperature, and are better for allergy sufferers.
Written by Bronwyn Harris
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