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Posted on 07-31-2017

The Proper Pillow

by Randy Kambic

The right natural pillow is a key component to restful sleep. In fact, pillow comfort and support are as critical to good sleep as the proper mattress. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) (SleepFoundation.org), 91 percent of Americans say that a good pillow is key to their sleep quality. Investing in a high-quality, supportive pillow can be transformative, both personally and professionally. The RAND Corporation calculates that poor sleep among U.S. workers annually costs the U.S. economy some $411 billion.

Replace old, worn-out pillows. Pillows can harbor dust mites and their excrement, dead skin cells and bacteria that can exacerbate allergy symptoms. If a pillow is clumping, losing support or yellowing, replace it, says Michelle Fishberg, co-founder of sleep wellness company Slumbr (Slumbr.com).

“Quality, properly sourced down and feather pillows can be comfortable for those that like classic, soft pillows. Buckwheat and natural latex pillows each have unique qualities promoting better sleep. Buckwheat is therapeutic for back pain, all-natural and hypoallergenic, and reduces snoring for some,” advises Fishberg.

Pillow care. The NSF suggests using pillow as well as mattress protectors; PureCare mattress (PureCare.com) is their official source including a range of down pillows and its MiteTight protector. Organic cotton covers are kind to people and the planet.

Slumbr.com likewise advises using a protective cover to extend pillow life. Don’t dry clean pillows, because chemicals and heat can do damage. A down pillow can be washed, but it’s best to have it professionally cleaned by a down specialist every three to four years. Or wash them at home no more than twice a year on the delicate cycle, alone in a large or commercial washing machine, to avoid breaking down the down’s natural oils and structure. Latex pillows can be occasionally hand washed with mild detergent and air-dried flat. Don’t wash buckwheat pillows—if the hulls get wet, pour them into a fine mesh bag and air-dry them in the sun.

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