When talking about pillows, the first thing that comes to mind is sleep. Mostly associated with comfort and rest, these seemingly ordinary objects have a long, fascinating history behind them. There are also several interesting facts about pillows that will make you realize that they are more than just a headrest for sleeping.
Below are some things that will change the way you look at pillows.
The pillows that we know now are so much different from the first pillows used by mankind. This is not only true for the materials used and their appearance; pillows now have functions other than being used as a headrest.
The earliest known use of pillows is in Ancient Mesopotamia, which dates back to 7000 B.C.E. Unlike our pillows today, these ancient pillows were hard. They were made of stone. Pillows back then were used only by the wealthy. The more stone pillows you possessed, the higher your rank in society.
In a similar fashion, wealthy ancient Egyptians used stone pillars to elevate their heads and prevent insects from crawling into their ears and noses. In ancient China, people believed that soft pillows sucked the energy out of their bodies while sleeping so they made elaborately designed pillows from stone, wood, and ceramic.
As mentioned above, only the wealthy and the elite used pillows back in ancient times. During the Middle Ages in England, only women in labor used pillows. These cushions were rarely used by men, as they were perceived as a sign of weakness.
Pillows only gained popularity in Europe and the United States during the Industrial Revolution, when they were mass produced in large textile factories. This allowed them to be cheaper. Most households started using pillows not only for their beds, but also for decoration.
With the wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and designs, it may be difficult to name all types of pillows out there. However, they can be grouped into a few basic categories.
First, you have throw pillows, which are small pillows mostly used on chairs or couches as additional decoration. Cushions, which are bigger than the former and come in more sizes, are meant to be sat on. The cylindrical-shaped pillows, also known as the bolster or roll, are usually used for hugging during sleep or rest. Bed pillows are the most well-known and are the ones we commonly use when sleeping.
The main purpose of pillows, which is to be used as a headrest when sleeping, remains the same. However, their functions have evolved. Nowadays, some pillows are mainly used for decorative purposes. These ornamental pillows are used to add accent or contrast in a room.
We also have neck pillows, which can be used to sleep more comfortably in a bus or on a plane. There are pillows specifically designed for pregnant mothers to add support as well.
Generally, pillows provide comfort as well as support for your neck, head, and spine during your sleep. However, there are some pillows that offer specific health benefits, like herb infused pillows, temperature sensitive pillows, and magnetic pillows.
Depending on the type of material, the pillow’s lifespan varies. Feather and down pillows could last up to 5-10 years. Polyester pillows should be replaced after 2 years.
Pillows are the favorite place of dust mites and other microscopic insects. In addition, heavily used pillows accumulate oil, dirt, and dead skin cells over time.
While you cannot see them, these things could cause health issues and allergic reactions. Make sure to wash your pillow covers every three weeks at most. Also, clean the pillow itself at least once every three months.
Source: Mattress World