A good night’s sleep is crucial to the overall mental and physical well-being of a person; however, many people sacrifice sleep quantity to achieve all of the things they set out to do within 24 hours. When sleep is affected, we open ourselves up to an increased risk of stress, anxiety, diabetes, hypertension, and even cardiac failure.
Sleep experts recommend the average adult aims to reach 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but this can be difficult without the right bedding — like a comfortable mattress and supportive pillow. Not everyone is comfortable with just any pillow, and most pillows do not offer the same support. Our experts at PlushBeds are here to help you navigate the continually growing pillow industry to help you start sleeping better today.
How Does My Pillow Impact My Sleep?
A comfortable night’s sleep is something that most of us take for granted, and we likely do not realize there is a problem with our mattress or pillows until pain has set in, or we’re sleep deprived. What if you could sleep better by simply replacing your pillow?
Improper pillow support can lead to stiffness in the shoulders, as well as back and neck pain, due to increased pressure and improper alignment of the head, neck, and shoulders throughout the night. Many people are sleeping with a pillow that is too thin, too thick, or the wrong firmness level for their preferred sleeping position.
What Type of Pillow is Best for My Sleeping Position?
Your personal preferences and comfort often dictate the position in which you sleep. The main goals of your sleeping position should be to eliminate pressure points, and help you to achieve quality sleep. Without adequate pillow support, though, these may not be realistic and achievable goals.
There are a few main sleeping positions, each requiring different support strengths, including:
Side sleeping is among the most common preferred sleep positions. Unfortunately, it is notorious for causing improper alignment of the head and neck with the spine, as many people use a pillow that is too soft or too thick.
A very soft to medium pillow firmness level is ideal for those who are most comfortable sleeping on their side to get a comfortable night’s sleep.
Back sleeping is the most recommended position by sleep experts, but, it is often the least utilized. It allows for optimal spinal alignment, which decreases the risk of head and neck pains in the morning.
Sleep specialists say the back sleeping position should be accompanied by a Medium-Soft to a Medium-Firm pillow for optimal support and relief of pressure points.
Many health professionals advise against sleeping on your stomach, as it creates an unnatural curvature of the spine, leaving you to wake with intense pain. Though not recommended, many people find this position comfortable during the night.
When used with a Medium or Medium-Firm pillow, stomach sleepers are more likely to remain supported and comfortable while they sleep.
What is a Wool Pillow?
Wool fibers are naturally harvested from the hairs of animals like sheep, goats, and rabbits, or inorganic materials like glass and mineral wool. Wool is a common material used to make textiles like clothing, carpet and rugs, blankets, and bedding.
Wool is derived from animal hair, and spun into yarn to be woven into popular textiles with extreme durability and comfort properties, making it an excellent option for those looking for an organic wool pillow.
Why Use a Wool Pillow?
Wool is a popular material that has been used in creating textiles for decades. It has many exceptional qualities, making it a popular option for leading industries like the clothing, mattress, and carpeting industries. Wool pillows have a similar feel to other polyester pillow fill; however, it is known for not being excessively moldable, meaning wool pillows will maintain shape with frequent use, without clumping or flattening.
Benefits of Wool Pillows
A good night’s sleep is important, but choosing a pillow with great support and natural fibers is equally important. A wool pillow is accompanied by many benefits including:
Wool is Breathable
An organic wool pillow is known for its moisture-wicking and heat-insulating properties, allowing the material to absorb moisture as you sleep, and adjust to varying temperatures during the night.
The natural airflow helps to keep you cool, as your body temperature rises, and vice versa as your body cools. Another benefit to the breathability of wool is the benefits it has on your skin. It helps to reduce acne, soothe puffy eyes, and decrease pressure lines.
Organic Wool Pillows are Hypoallergenic
Do you suffer from seasonal or persistent allergies? Allergies are triggered by a variety of things, making it difficult to find bedding that is both hypoallergenic and resistant to bacterial growth that can cause a flare-up. Organic wool is free from all synthetic residues through strict manufacturing, rigorous cleaning, and no toxic chemicals added.
Wool is Dust Mite Resistant
Bedding is notorious for being a breeding ground for dust mites, mold, mildew, and other allergens. Organic wool naturally repels allergens with the lanolin that is trapped within the fibers, as well as the microscopic bristles that make it difficult for dust mites to penetrate.
Wool Aids in Thermoregulation
As you sleep, the temperature of your body fluctuates. As your body temperature rises, the added heat is often retained within your mattress and pillows, making it more difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature. A wool pillow is known for dissipating heat absorbed throughout the night to keep you cool and comfortable.
What is Latex?
Latex is among the best materials for sleep equipment like mattresses and pillows. It is sustainably harvested from the sap of rubber trees, primarily in Southeastern Asia and South America.
Latex pillows may be made using natural latex from Hevea Brasiliensis trees, or through synthetic blends of petroleum-based products like Butadiene and Styrene. The manufacturing process is the most important factor in determining the density or springiness of latex pillows.
Two primary manufacturing processes include dunlop and talalay:
Dunlop Latex Process
Dunlop latex is the traditional method for pouring and molding latex products into pillows, mattresses, and other textiles. The rubber tree sap is whipped into a frothy blend, and then poured into a mold in one pour, allowing the blend to settle becoming denser on the bottom, and softer on top. Once the foam has been vulcanized, it is thoroughly washed and dried, and then prepared for packaging. Dunlop latex pillows are excellent for neck support, as the dense foam maintains its original shape throughout the night.
Talalay Latex Process
Talalay latex is quickly becoming the preferred manufacturing process for companies, as it allows them to customize the amount of support for each latex pillow. A mold is filled halfway with the blend of latex, and flash-frozen to harden the material. Once the latex pillow has its shape, it is infused with carbon dioxide to create an open-cell structured gel for optimal breathability, and a more even feel from top to bottom.
Types of Latex Pillow
Latex foam was first used to create mattresses in the 1920s when the Dunlop company determined the ability to transform liquid rubber tree sap into a comfortable and supportive foam. In the early years after discovery, all-natural latex was used to create foams. As the years passed, synthetic blends were created as a more affordable alternative.
Synthetic materials like Styrene-Butadiene rubber are used to manufacture synthetic pillows and other synthetic latex textiles. It is less expensive than natural latex; however, it is similar to other pillows filled with harmful chemicals and less support.
Blended latex utilizes a combination of natural latex and synthetic latex materials to create latex pillows that can be marketed as “natural”, without the extra manufacturing costs of an all-natural latex pillow. Blended latex allows for the strength of a synthetic blend, and elasticity of natural latex. The ratio of synthetic to natural latex is often made with less than 25% of natural latex.
Natural latex pillows are made using raw liquid harvested sustainably from rubber tree sap that is transformed into a durable foam material containing no synthetic additives. Natural latex is an eco-friendly material, with no environmental impact during harvesting. It is an excellent option for people with allergies that are looking for excellent postural support during the night.
Advantages of Natural Latex Pillows
Natural latex pillows offer many advantages — like better sleep, less head and neck pains, and an eco-friendly textile option.
Major benefits include:
Natural latex pillows are known for their exceptional ability to mold the body, based on your sleeping position. This crucial support of dense latex foam ensures the head, neck, and shoulders are well-supported throughout the night.
Latex is notorious for maintaining its original shape much longer than other competing materials. The dense foam is excellent at bouncing back after you lift your head off of the pillow, and is known to last upwards of 5 years compared to the 2-year lifespan of others.
A natural or organic latex pillow is a great option for people living with respiratory issues, or who have severe allergic reactions to dust mites and other allergens. Hypoallergenic latex is resistant to dust, microbes, dust mites, mildew, and more.
Remaining cool throughout the night is an effective way to get a good night’s sleep, but you likely don’t do want to set your thermostat at 60 degrees to achieve this. Talalay latex is an open-cell structure foam designed to promote airflow and ventilation, keeping you cool all night.
Sleep Better with PlushBeds
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