World's Best Pillow?

Linda Tang

Is there such a thing as the world's best pillow?

As the owner of a bedding company and someone who was rear ended in two car accidents, I am super particular about my pillow.  I am particular about its height or loft. It can't be too high or too low. I am particular about its size. Too big it can't provide the contouring, but too small I can easily roll off it in my sleep. I am particular about its firmness. A pillow may look full and fluffy, but can totally compress once your head is on it, providing no support at all. I am particular about its breathability. Synthetic materials trap heat and moisture, which can cause the body to overheat and leave you feeling foggy. My pillow of choice is the buckwheat pillow. It's filled with buckwheat hulls, a grainy material that shifts to conform to the contour of the neck and head, providing maximum support. Unlike fiber fill, buckwheat does not "push up" when you put your head on it, so you won't tense your neck muscle just to stay on the pillow. Buckwheat also allows air to circulate freely, keeping the head cool, which is very important to one's health. Buckwheat is quite heavy, so while I sleep on a standard sized pillow at home, when I am traveling, I always take a petite sized one with me.

Although I swear by the buckwheat pillow, I wouldn't go so far as to claim that it's the world's best. Because pillows are very personal - what's best for one person is not necessarily right for another. Quite often people have a very fixed notion about what their best pillows should be like. My husband and I constantly argue about, among other things, who has the better pillow. When I was pregnant, I used to have terrible headaches in the morning. I didn't think it had anything to do with my pillow until one day I fell asleep reading in bed and didn't have a headache when I woke up. Apparently my head needed extra elevation during pregnancy.  I slept on two big pillows from then on till I gave birth. Our needs for pillows can change from time to time. To sum up, the pillow that you are used to the most isn't necessarily the best, and what works best for one person is different for another. When it comes to pillows, there is no such thing as the best in the world. That's why at Dream Designs we always offer three different yet all superb choices of natural pillows, buckwheat, kapok, and alpaca wool, so customers can try and decide for themselves what's best.

While there is no "best" pillow, there are three truly bad pillows consumers should be aware of.  They are considered mainstream in the market nowadays but we do not carry them because we do not believe they are good products.  The first one is polyester or other synthetic fiber filled pillows, which are popular because of their low price point. The manmade fibres lack structural integrity and thus provides very little support.  It also traps heat and moisture. The second kind of pillow we don't like is a foam pillow. We dislike it for the same reasons we dislike foam mattresses. While foam provides good support, it doesn't allow air to flow through freely, and could lead to overheating and sweating during sleep. Most foam, including latex off gas and carries odour that does not dissipate.  The last kind of pillow that we would not recommend is a down-filled pillow, which we actually used to offer up until eight years ago.  The reason we stopped offering it is the rising number of people who are allergic to their down bedding.  Down offers great insulation and loft, however it is very dusty and tend to attract dust mites.  Not a good pillow?  We don't think so.