Tag Archives: pillows
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Let’s talk pillows. We’ve already done an overview of shams, but what about some serious sham inspiration? Whether you realize it or not, shams can quickly transform the look of your bed. No matter if you prefer standard or Euro, knife-edge or trimmed, a pair of custom pillow covers could be all the décor your bedroom is asking for. Peruse the photos below for easy sham ideas to apply to your own sleep space.
Imagine this room without the shams; it would be a tad dull wouldn’t it? It’s amazing how those two lovely boxed pillows enhance a very traditional space. The trims introduce the right amount of detail too.
We’ve discussed how monograms can add personality to a space. A layer of throw pillows acts as a backdrop for the crisp white shams in this girly bedroom.
These shams throw a dash of pattern into this Chicago home. The floral picks up the blue wall color and connects every element in the room.
Elegant and neutral, this calming Denver bedroom successfully boasts toile, seersucker, florals, and stripes. The button and ruffle introduce interesting details to the otherwise plain shams.
This twin bed uses a simple green and white pattern on a single sham with a smaller throw pillow in front. Every item is perfectly proportioned to the rest of the space in this Salt Lake City Bedroom.
This mostly white room is modeled after a luxury hotel. Euro shams with embroidered edges complete the look. Remember, shams like these can be laundered with your sheets and duvet cover – an advantage over others, which usually require dry cleaning.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Down pillows provide restful sleep for some, but for others, snoozing on down can provoke allergic reactions and even cause insomnia. Before you begin shopping for bedding, you’ll want to be sure that down will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Even a low percentage of down can bring on an allergy attack. As an allergy sufferer myself, I learned that my allergies improve when I sleep on a synthetic pillow. If you like the feel of down, it’s fairly easy to find non-down pillows with a down-feather feel. Granted, any bed accoutrement lacking actual feathers won’t mimic the sumptuousness of down, but rather, be a suitable substitute, and usually provide enough comfort for a sound sleep.
Down pillows can attract dust mites, which is another allergen and asthma irritant, found in bedding and households in general. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you might consider synthetic pillows and bedding. Typically, synthetics are covered in materials that resist dust mites and allergens and come free of dyes. Most often, the maintenance of synthetic bedding is easier and doesn’t require professional cleaning, but can be laundered at home instead.
Down can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew under the right conditions, so that’s something else to consider when choosing feather vs. synthetic bedding. Do you live in an unusually moist environment? If so, synthetic might be the way to go.
If you choose to go with synthetics, you can find any size hypoallergenic pillow and comforter. While you’re at it, select hypoallergenic mattress cover and sheets too.
If you’re certain you and your family are allergy-free, and you can’t resist the feel of real down, then by all means, envelope your bed with down and sink into your feather-filled cocoon every night. Otherwise, you’re probably better off with hypoallergenic bed clothes for a healthier bedroom, not to mention night after night of restful sleep.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Choosing the right pillow can be a timely and expensive endeavor, roiled with many restless nights’ sleep. That is, until you find the right one. I personally have a closet of pillows that don’t quite work for me; a constant reminder of the work I’ve done (and money I’ve spent) in pursuit of bedtime nirvana.
To help expedite your search for the best pillow, I’ve gone over some of the basics of choosing the right pillow in a previous post right here on the Charles P Rogers blog. That post details some of the basics of pillow construction, and the general types of pillows that are best suited to your sleep style. Once armed with that knowledge, the only thing left is to go to test out a bunch of different pillows in person. This can be a tiresome task, especially if your current pillow hasn’t been giving you the best night’s sleep. However, there may be a shortcut to your pillow hunt if you find yourself staying at New York City’s Benjamin Hotel.
A quick review of their website, and you’ll find that The Benjamin holds sleep paramount. So much that they offer a sleep guarantee, which promises, “you’ll sleep just as well at The Benjamin as you do at home, or we’ll give you a free night’s stay.” This is a pretty bold statement for a hotel in the middle of the city that never sleeps, though you may discover that you’ll sleep better at The Benjamin than you ever have at home thanks to their robust sleep program.
The sleep guarantee, however, is merely a backstop to The Benjamin’s full sleep program. At the forefront is the pillow menu: a selection of 12 pillows ranging from a 5-foot body cushion, to buckwheat and hypoallergenic pillows, all the way to water-filled pillows. I’ve never tried a water pillow before, but am intrigued by the idea. You can view the complete pillow menu here.
And if you’re having trouble making a selection from the pillow menu, there is even a dedicated sleep concierge to help. The sleep concierge will assess your sleep habits, recommend one of the pillows from the menu, and even send up bedtime snacks or schedule you for specific spa services that can help you achieve the best night’s rest you’ve ever had. Wow!
In any case, I think the idea of a pillow menu is a pretty cool, especially if you have yet to find the perfect bridge between your head and the mattress. Throw in snacks and customized sleep programs, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a great night’s sleep. I also wonder if there are companies that provide personalized sleep assessments in your home – a sleep consultant? I know I’d be game to give them a try, especially if the service came with a guarantee!
Post by Stephanie Noble.
The first rule of any design show makeover of a bedroom is more pillows! Not just the pillows you rest your head on while you sleep, but ambiance pillows of varying shapes, textures and patterns.
I’ll admit to being a reformed pillow fanatic. I wanted my bedroom to look like a hotel room every time I walked in. But, with a long commute, a full time job, a 19 month old son and a never ending stream of laundry to fold; my husband and I are lucky if the bed gets made. There is simply no time for complex pillow schemes. So we’ve streamlined our cushion display to three sleeping pillows each and a turquoise satin embroidered pillow. My great grandmother started the pillow in the 1920s. My grandmother worked on it at some point during the 1960s and my aunt finished it in the 1990s. This family treasure is the only decorative pillow in our cushion lineup.
That’s not to say I do not notice other pillows. I do, all the time. They are such a quick and easy way to freshen up a room. They’re also an easy nod to a holiday without going overboard. Although, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, I’ll admit to being attracted to Valentine pillows. Here are a few of my favorites.
These Scrabble-inspired pillows are all over Etsy.
This personalized tree initials pillow cover is available in five colors from Red Envelope.
This love postcard pillow cover is available online only from Pottery Barn.
It’s not too late to add a Valentine flair to your room.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Once you’ve selected a mattress, the second most important decision you have to make in regards to your bedding is which pillow to use. There are a ton of options, each with different pros and cons depending on the type of sleeper you are. Constantly searching for the ultimate night’s sleep, I’ve been through more pillows than I care to admit; finding the right one can be an arduous task—especially if your shopping on a budget. To help you in your decision-making, I’ve put together a quick list of a couple different types of pillow selections, and why you may prefer one over the other.
Synthetic, Organic, or Down Pillows
The first decision you need to make when buying a pillow is what type of filler material it’s made out of. There a lot of different choices, especially if you start looking into some of the more specialty pillows, but there are three broad options to choose from: synthetic, organic, or down.
Synthetic pillows can be made of either polyester or a memory foam material. Polyester pillows are made to resemble the feel of down, but without the allergies and often for a fraction of the cost. Interestingly, I am somewhat allergic to polyester bedding – particularly sheets – and I find the feel of polyester to be less satisfactory having slept with down pillows for much of my life. People who suffer from asthma are often more inclined to purchase synthetic pillows as there is a belief that down pillows contain and collect more allergens such as dust mites. Interestingly, a study conducted by alergyasthmacenter.com found that many of these claims are not entirely based in science.
Organic pillows are made of anything other than synthetic materials or down. One of our writers, Laura Cheng, wrote about her experiences with Japanese Buckwheat pillows, which a popular alternative to synthetic or down pillows. I haven’t tried them myself, but I imagine they feel like a larger (and more natural) version of the neck pillows you see people traveling with on the airplane. Since I cannot testify to their comfort first hand, I will leave my evaluation of them as a good alternative for sleepers who cannot have down pillows (due to allergies or ethical reasons), but don’t want synthetic either.
My personal favorite type of pillow is the down filled variety. Down pillows are made from one of several different types of feathers and down, including: chicken, goose, and duck. Goose down is often thought of as the higher-end filler since ducks are more abundant throughout the world, and marketers have done a good job convincing us that Goose is better. That said, there is probably little actual difference between a comparably made pillow of either duck or goose. Chicken feather pillows are less common, and make up the lower end of pillow stuffing. Feathers aren’t nearly as soft, not do they have the insulating characteristics of down and used mostly for support. I actually sleep with a pillow stuffed with chicken feathers that my girlfriend’s grandmother made for her back in Italy. It is one of my favorite “base pillows” as it provides a stable base to put a more plush goose down pillow on top of.
Firm, Medium, or Soft Pillows
Once you’ve narrowed down you pillow preference in terms of the filling materials, the next set of choices (and perhaps the more difficult) is whether to get a firm, medium or soft pillow. The firmness of the pillow is largely a factor of the fill-count (e.g., how many feathers are stuffed inside the pillow); however, the actual feel of the pillow varies significantly between manufacturers. Generally, softer pillows, which use less filling, are less expensive than firm pillows.
Your choice between a soft, medium, or firm pillow largely has to do with how you sleep. Soft pillows are ideal for stomach sleepers, or sleepers who move a lot during the night since they are much more pliable than their firmer counterparts. Medium pillows are ideal for back sleepers, and firm pillows are best for side sleepers. As I mentioned above, the actual firmness of the pillow has more to do with the manufacture than the label attached to the pillow, so you’ll want to do your pillow shopping in person so you can feel the difference. I generally err on the side of more firm, since down tends to soften with time.
The type of pillow you choose ultimately depends on your sleeping habits, and personal preferences. If I had my druthers, I’d get a soft, medium, and firm pillow because I like to have choices and find that some nights I’m looking for something different.
What type of pillow do you use? Do you have any recommendations for readers currently in the market for a new pillow? Share your thoughts in the comments below.