When was the last time you thought about your bed pillows? If your answer is ''it has been a long time,” or “not at all,” you’re not the only one.
While mattresses get their due attention when it comes to sleep, pillows are equally important. You spend a great deal of money on choosing the perfect mattress thinking it to be a good sleep investment, then why not the same for pillows?
Did you know that pillows have an expiry too? If you’re sleeping on a worn-out pillow, scrunching and folding it up every night to get comfortable, that’s a red flag that it is time to update. Even if your pillow isn’t old, it may not necessarily be the best choice for your head, neck and comfort in terms of support.
Why your pillow matters
How you sleep matters because it affects you the next day. A good sleeping posture is essential to waking up without pain and stiffness.
Your pillow helps to support a healthy sleep posture. What does that posture look like? A body in alignment, from the knees and hips, through the spine to the chest and shoulders, head and neck.
If your neck and shoulders don’t get sufficient support, chances are it could cause twisting, craning, or crunching thereby putting your spine and body to risk making them out of alignment.
Just as in a mattress, comfort and support are both very important in selecting the right pillow. So what should a good pillow be like?
1. The best pillow for you is one that feels comfortable to rest your head on, supports it fully, and doesn't have you wake up with a headache or stiff pain.
2. It is chemical-free and allergy-free. Truth is polyfibre emit VOCs and are harmful for your health. You tend to breathe in these
3. It does not lump.
When is it time to replace your pillow?
As a general rule, bed pillows need to be replaced every 18 months. Natural, Kapok pillows tend to last longer than synthetic pillows. And high quality pillows last longer than inexpensive ones like Recron. Don't keep using a pillow for 3-5 years.
Think about it: your pillow is used for 7-8 hours a night, that’s more than 2,500 hours a year!
Here's how to do a simple pillow test: Smell and Sight
Take off the pillowcase and examine your pillow. Does it have stains from sweat? Is it torn? Does it smell? These are all signs that a pillow needs replacement. Pillows collect dead skin cells, mildew, mold, fungus, and dust mites. Over a period of time, nearly half the weight of a pillow can be attributed to these unwelcome harmful organisms. Mind you these trigger allergies and pass on odours that make it difficult to get a good's night's sleep.
Once the above is done, do a fold test:
Fold your pillow in half. If it just lies there like dead pan, it is time to give it up. If it folds or springs back to its original shape, stick with your pillow. With natural fill pillows, you can do this test over your arm. Does your pillow drape and hang down over your extended arm? That’s a pillow that has exhausted is life.