History[ edit ] Chimpanzee using its arm as a pillow Though the exact origin is unknown, use of pillows evolved in animals well into prehistory, the earliest examples including reptiles and mammals resting their heads on themselves, and one another, to support the head and neck.
These pillows were stuffed with reeds, feathers, and straw in order to make them softer and more comfortable. Additionally, the Romans and Greeks used their pillows by placing them under the head of those deceased just like the ancient Egyptians did.
Over many Chinese dynasties, pillows were made from a wide range of materials including bamboo, jade, porcelain, wood, and bronze.
The most common synthetic fillers are foam , synthetic plastic fibers typically polyester and viscoelastic foam and latex. Clip the loose threads that are dangling all over.
Chinese ceramic pillows reached their peak in terms of production and use during the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties between the 10th and 14th century, but slowly phased out during the Ming and Qing dynasties between and with the emergence of better pillow making materials. Covers are made of cloth , such as silk , known as the pillow case or pillow slip.
Some pillows have a fancier cover called a sham which is closed on all sides and usually has a slit in the back through which the pillow is placed. Rectangular standard bed pillow cases usually do not have zippers, but instead, have one side open all the time. Often, a zippered pillow protector is often placed around standard pillows with the case in turn covering the protector. Fillers are chosen on the basis of comfort, resilience, cost and to a lesser extent for ethical and health reasons.
The most common synthetic fillers are foam , synthetic plastic fibers typically polyester and viscoelastic foam and latex.
Natural fillers have been used since antiquity. The most common are feathers , or down , wool , cotton particularly in India , buckwheat in Asia. Historically, materials have included straw , wood or stone. Feathers and down are usually the most comfortable and common; they offer the advantage of softness and their ability to conform to shapes desired by the user, but are the most expensive. Down has been known to be plucked from live geese.
In India, traditional pillows are usually made with plant-borne materials, such as the fluffy, glossy fruit-fibres of silk-cotton tree Ceiba pentandra and Bombax ceiba. Lifespan, Maintenance and Waste management[ edit ] The normal lifespan is two to four years. All types of pillow covers should be laundered periodically since they are the part that is in contact with a person's body.
Pillows accumulate dust and microbes among the fill, even when washable pillows are washed. Manufacturers recommend tumble-drying for fifteen minutes every week to freshen them up, and for the heat to kill dust mites.
Charities in most countries will not accept used pillows due to hygiene regulations. While some animal shelters accept forms of bedding, most reject donation of used pillows due to the mess they can cause.
Recycling of pillows, like most textile and bedding items, is expensive and has poor yield. There are three main types of pillows; bed pillows, orthopedic pillows and decorative pillows, with some overlapping of use between these. The appropriate size of a bed pillow depends on the size of the bed.
Larger pillows than standard are available for queen- and king-sized beds. The choice of bed pillow depends to some extent upon sleeping positions: In the US, they are common in these three sizes in inches: Pillows are generally covered with a removable pillow case, which facilitates laundering. Apart from the color and from the material of which they are made, pillowcases are described by three characteristics:
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