The importance and history of using pillows
When addressing the subject of back pain and bedding, we immediately think mattress, and box springs. We have a tendency to neglect the impact of the pillow. However, a good pillow will significantly improve the quality of our sleep and will help us keep our back healthy without orthopedic problems. A bad pillow on the other hand, will not be able to provide proper support to our head and may cause pain that radiates the whole back, and can even cause quite a lot of other infirmities.
Pillows are perhaps the most simple and at the same time the most successful invention. Since their invention, the human kind has never stopped using them. In fact, the benefits of using a pillow are so great, that very soon the art of making pillows spread all over the world. People started filling small bags with different type of soft materials all over the world. The use of pillows was almost instantly spread all over the world.
The importance of using pillows was realized as early as 7000bc at Mesopotamia. This is the earliest archeological record of people using pillows; of course it is possible that humans started using pillows even earlier. People at Mesopotamia started using pillows to support their head and the rest of their body, for extra comfort and to alleviate back and neck pains during their rest and their sleep. Also one of the main benefits of a pillow was that it protected them from bugs, because it kept bugs from crawling on their face. Back then, the pillows where so expensive that they were also used to indicate the status of the person who was using them. If someone had many pillows, then he was recognized as a wealthy person with high status by the rest of the society.
In ancient Egypt, when someone died, they used wooden and stone pillows to provide comfort for their head. Such was the respect of the Egyptians for the deceased, that we can only assume the importance of the pillows in their life since they were also using them to honor the dead.
Pillows were further developed by the ancient Greeks and then even further by the Romans. They stuffed them with soft materials (such as feathers, straw and reeds) in order to increase the comfort. In ancient Greece, the use of pillows was wide spread, but just like Mesopotamia, the possession of a large number of high quality soft pillows symbolized status. Only the wealthy people could afford them. Such was the importance of a good pillow to the Greeks, that they also used it to honor their deceased by placing them under the head of the dead. Quite similarly was the history of pillows by the ancient Romans.
The only time in history that people condemned the use of pillows was during the Middle Ages. But even then they did not condemn them because of their practical usage. Actually it was quite the opposite. Pillows provided such comfort, that they started to see it as a sign of weakness. There are many good reasons why the middle ages are also commonly described as dark ages. The intellectual darkness of this period is the main reason. Luckily people soon found out that the earth is not square and that pillows are not only for women.
If we examine the history of pillows, we can see that their technology has never stopped involving. What started as a small curved stone under the head has evolved into a huge manufacturing process which involves the utilization of our latest technological advancements, together with our knowledge of anatomy, biology and absolutely everything that we know about the function of the human body.
The different types/forms of pillows
Even after thousands of years, the mankind not only continues to use pillows, but has never stop to further improve them. Today we can find pillows specifically designed for people who have different needs and habits while they sleep. There are pillows for people who sleep on their back, for people who sleep on their side, for people who sleep on their stomach, for pregnant women, for people that snore, breastfeeding pillows, e.t.c. No matter what our needs are, we are most likely going to find a pillow which is custom made precisely for our need.
But that’s not all.
The filling of the pillow is perhaps the most important part of a pillow and can adversely affect our level of comfort and the quality of our sleep. We have to wisely choose between a very wide range of different materials: traditional foam, memory foam, straw, latex, feathers, polyester, polyfil, many types of down and more. Also we get to choose between soft pillows, hard pillows, large and small ones. The variety is simply impressive and this wide variety is a big advantage which can also be a disadvantage if you don’t know how to choose.
The first step to choosing the right pillow is to know the different types of pillows, what purpose each and every type serves and how they work. This way you will be able to correctly identify the pillow that has been designed and developed exactly for people who have your sleeping habits and your special needs.
First of all there are two types of pillows, the ones that we use to sleep and the decorative pillows. For decorative pillows there is not such thing such as choosing the right one because it’s simply a matter of personal taste and it is very rarely used for sleep if ever.
However there are many different types of sleeping pillows and we must carefully choose between them, so here is how they are designed to work:
Pillows for back sleepers
Since the vast majority of people are back sleepers, it comes at no surprise that these are the most common pillows. These pillows are usually designed to be thinner that the other types, since this has proven to be the best pillow design for back sleepers. Top quality pillows for back sleepers will be firmer and provide extra support at the lower side of the pillow, just where we rest our neck. Usually you can find those pillows filled with lots of different materials, and will be a matter of personal taste which one you will prefer. Some manufacturers even go as far as to use a combination of two or more different filling materials to provide a pillow which will successfully alleviate any pressure points between the pillow, the head and the neck.
Pillows for side sleepers
People who sleep on their side are often prawn to neck and back problems, because it is not an easy task to properly support the head and keep it aligned with the rest of the body. These pillows are specifically designed to maintain the head aligned with the spine and at the same time provide support to the neck in order to alleviate the pressure by filling the gap under the neck with a firm material. There are many types of materials used to fill pillows for side sleepers, but among them the memory foam is quickly gaining popularity. Other materials that are being widely used are feathers, down – feather combination, latex, polyester and even water.
Pillows for stomach sleepers
For the stomach sleepers, ultra thin pillows are advised. Some people find out that the best way to sleep with comfort and keep the head aligned with their spine is to not use a pillow under the head at all. In fact a very thin pillow specifically designed for stomach sleepers may be used under the stomach in order to keep the spine properly aligned and avoid lower back pain.
The importance of choosing the right pillow
Using the wrong pillow can have even worse effects than using no pillow at all. As you will see by reading the pillow reviews: A pillow that is not suitable for our specific needs can cause or worsen many problems: Low quality of sleep, discomfort, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, headache and even dermatological problems or allergic reactions to the material that is used to fill the pillow.
So it goes without saying that choosing the right pillow is very important for our well-being and our health. Let’s see some expert tips about how to choose the best pillow in the world for your shelf.
How to choose the right pillow
Consider the size
The first thing to do is to decide about the ideal size of the pillow. It might help to measure an old pillow that you have and that you know that the size fits you. No matter what type of pillow you will choose in the end, it is absolutely crucial that it has the correct size according to your body. It is very easy to begin your search by determining which is the correct size of your pillow, this way you will narrow down your selections and make sure that no matter what you choose in the end, you will not end up with a pillow which is the state of the art but its too large or too small for you. Size is one of the most simple and at the same time the most important factors regarding the selection of the ideal pillow and should be addressed first.
Don’t consider the cost
A pillow that is widely advertised and extremely expensive is not necessarily the ideal pillow for your needs. When it comes down to choosing the right pillow, your number one priority should be to make the choice based only at the comfort that the pillow provides to you. As we can see by reading reviews for pillows you will find that in most occasions people don’t have to spend a fortune to find the best pillow to suit their needs.
Read beyond the specifications by testing the pillow
Sure it’s nice and useful to know what the pillows specifications, but the only proven way to make sure which pillow is ideal for us, is to test it. The best way to test a pillow is to use it while lying down on the bed exactly the same way that we usually sleep. Because it is impossible to test a pillow this way at most stores, many suggest testing them on the wall. Approach the wall and place the pillow between our head and the wall to test it. Personally I think it that the conclusions of such a test are simply wrong and misleading. In my opinion the only real and proven test for a pillow is to use it for at least one good night sleep. Then and only then you can come up with an accurate conclusion and find out if it fits your needs or not.
In other words, when we buy a product as customers it is easy to test the product if for example it is a watch, or a shoe. These are products that we can test immediately. But unfortunately that’s not the case with the pillows. And that’s why it is important to read the pillow reviews. It takes quite more than simply adjusting a pillow next to your head for a few seconds to really test it. In fact the one and only way to accurately test a pillow is to actually use it for at least one night sleep.
The inability to actually test a pillow at the store is the reason why online pillow reviews are so widely used and so popular. Reading pillow reviews from other people with similar needs is far better than checking them out physically at the store. Literally thousands of people all over the world provide their honest feedback and experiences through negative and positive pillow reviews. It comes at no surprise that almost 75% of online pillow reviews are positive. People who write these pillow reviews also read them and this makes it much easier for them to select the right product and then share their positive experience.
By reading for example a number of pillow reviews from side sleepers, we can find out what are the pros and cons of a specific pillow. Pillow reviews are written by people who have already bought and used the pillows, so they already know the pros and cons of the pillow.
Pillow Reviews – Importance of Looking at them Online
Pillow reviews that are found online are not only the easier way to develop a real opinion about a pillow, but also it is actually the only way to gather real experience about a product such as pillow based on experience of people who have actually used the product for sufficient time. So please, be our guest and go through the reviews that people are sharing with you, and if you make your purchase we kindly ask you to come back and write you own pillow review about the product, so others can benefit from your experience too!