Pillows- general information
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Pillows are usually made of a stuffing material that is enclosed in a cover made of fabric.
They come in different shapes, sizes, and functions with the most common ones being those that form part of the bedding.
As a part of bedding, pillows are used in giving support to the neck and head during sleep.
Pillows are made of different fillings which give a pillow its features.
A pillow can be characterized as a hard, soft, firm, high or low loft, but most importantly, supportive.
These contents of a pillow are the definers of how the pillow can be used.
Most often than not, the type of pillow one uses determines the level of comfort they have while sleeping or sitting.
What works for one person’s comfort may be the cause of unbearable neck or back pains for another person.
Some of the most common stuffing used in the making of pillows are bird feather pillow fillings, polyester fiber pillow fillings, memory foam, microbead pillow fillings, cotton pillow fillings among others.
Don’t forget we also have decorative pillows such as down pillow, poufs and floor pillows.
Over time, pillows have been improved and therefore come in different designs and technologies.
These are also sometimes referred to as cushions.
Some pillows are even designed to take the shape of the human body which in turn increases your comfort during sleep.
These pillows that take the shape of the human body are called memory foam.
What are memory foam pillows made of?
Memory foam is made of foamed viscoelastic foam. They have other chemicals added to them which increase their viscosity and density.
This special formula has the open foam bubbles which create a medium through which air can move.
The method of engineering the viscoelastic foam varies from one company to another and different formulae alter the characteristics of the foam.
Some types of these viscoelastic foams may not easily change to take in the shape of the person lying on it. This means that they may take a longer time to take your exact shape.
The unique characteristic of viscoelastic foam is that it is very dense and solid which means that, unlike regular foam, most substances cannot pass through its surface.
At high densities, they react to your body’s heat thereby conforming and molding itself to your body in a few minutes.
A lower density of the viscoelastic foam is sensitive to pressure and will quickly take your body shape.
Additionally, it is also elastic and is, therefore, able to recover their shape over a certain period.
This means that it will become softer when you lie on it and then return to its standard form when you rise up.
Memory foams were first discovered when NASA was looking for the possibility of new materials to increase cushion safety in their aircraft.
They were used for the safety and comfort of the astronauts during the launching of the aircraft. They were liked so much and their manufacturing was opened to other people.
Memory foam come in three forms. The traditional memory foam is the first one that was invented and it works by molding itself to your body.
The main complaint about it is that since it responds to your body temperature, it is uncomfortable to sleep in since it retains the body heat.
The open cell memory foam has a different internal structure that allows air to move in freely inside it thus transferring the heat away from your body.
The gel-infused memory foam as the name suggests has been pumped full of gel.
Its main advantage is that it regulates your body temperature as you sleep on it. Science has finally found a comfortable pillow!
Pillows that are made of memory foam may be made of a single piece of foam or the fillings made of shreds of memory foam.
Some of the memory foam pillows can also be raised to elevate the neck which provides better support for people with neck and shoulder pain.
Their advantage is that they give good support for the head and the neck, are soft and smooth and without lumps.
Unlike most pillows, the memory foam pillows are not washable and therefore should have washable pillow covers which can be periodically removed to help in keeping the pillow hygiene.
Should kids sleep on pillows?
Essentially, sleep is important for the growth and development of kids.
A child who has slept adequately is growing well because their muscles are well-rested, repaired and strengthened for other activities that contribute to their growth and development.
It is therefore important for your child to sleep in a safe environment.
A safe sleeping environment ensures that the baby can have enough sleep.
This is important because it helps in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which can also be called Cot Deaths.
A safe place considers the surface on which the child sleeps, the position they take in sleep, a quiet and peaceful place among other factors.
Generally, the use of pillows is discouraged for babies to avoid suffocation.
But in the case of breast feeding you it is recommended you get a boppy pillow.
However, children aged three years and older can safely use memory foam pillows, even though a few memory foam pillows can be made specifically for children as young as age 2.
It is important to note, however, that if your child is still in a crib, he is simply too young to use a pillow.
For a good fit, you need to select a pillow that fits with your child’s current bed size.
You may pick the standard-size pillows for toddler beds and twin beds.
For older children, a larger pillow can be used to fit their bed size.
You can also involve the older children in the decision of which pillow size to choose.