Time for a New Pillow?

Posted by on January 8, 2013

January “white sales” are a marketing strategy employed by retailers since the late 1800s. In 1878, John Wanamaker of Philadelphia, the pioneer of the department store, decreed that January would be the time for a white sale—selling bed linens at a discount. (At the time, bed linens were available only in white, hence the term.)

With many retailers maintaining this 100+ year January tradition, now is the perfect time to take a look at your bed pillows, sheets, mattress protectors and blankets. If anything needs replacing, now might be the perfect time to buy something new.

© karam miri – fotolia.com

Your pillow can either make or break your night’s sleep, as anyone with a sore neck can tell you. How can you tell if you need a new pillow? If it’s a down and/or feather pillow, fold it in half; if it bounces back relatively quickly, it’s in good shape. If not, the down could be broken down to a point where it is no longer functioning to support your head. (Moisture and natural body oils cause down to break down over time.)

Whatever type of pillow you have, if you notice any back or neck pain, or your pillows just aren’t comfortable anymore, it’s time to buy new ones. Also note if your allergies seem to be flaring up. Over time, dust mites feed off of dead skin cells we shed and they can cause allergic reactions. (Which is why I spray my bed and pillows with Lysol every time I change the bed, and wash the pillow protectors often.)

When shopping for a pillow, keep in mind how you sleep—on your back, your stomach or on your side—as this can impact the firmness of the pillow you need. Also keep in mind any allergies to down or feathers as several alternatives are available from synthetics to memory foam and natural buckwheat. And then there’s the budget; generally speaking, you get what you pay for in a pillow. A high quality (and high cost, $150 and up) pillow will last years longer than a $15 variety. Hence, the white sale is a great time to buy!

No matter what type of pillow you buy and how much you spend, pick up some pillow protectors if you don’t already have them. (I like the kind with a hidden zipper.) They do extend the life of the pillow by adding another layer of protection from moisture, perspiration and skin oils.