The answer is a resounding YES!! When you lay down to rest after a long, hard day, the last thing on your mind is how clean your pillow is. But that is actually something you should consider at some point.
Pillows can carry germs of all types which will include not just bacteria or viruses but also insects. Pillows are a popular home for bugs, mold and fungi, average pillow is expected to harbor over one
million fungi spore. This is especially dangerous if you suffer from allergies, asthma or an immune deficiency disease. Sleeping on bugs, fungi and mold can have adverse effects on your health.
Asides these micro-organisms imbedded in your pillow, its content also can also be responsible for making you sick.
Humans shed between 0.03 and 0.09g of skin every hour, which might seem like nothing but over a lifetime it amounts to 35kg or roughly half your bodyweight. It is these shed skin that dust mites foster on; these
microscopic pests can trigger allergies and asthma. They are probably the most common insects you can find on the surfaces of furniture.
Bed bugs and fleas, bites from these insects can leave uncomfortable, itchy welts on your skin. Scratching these itchy bites could cause a secondary skin infection to develop.
It is understandable for buyers to want to get the best deal possible when going to buy mattresses or its accessories, even if it means buying products simply because they are cheap (er) but the downside of this
move is that more often than not these “cheap” pillows turn out to be expensive sojourns in the long run as they are made with substandard materials and these materials can be very hazardous to your health and general wellbeing.
Pillows in Nigeria often come with crushed foam crumbs inside, fiber fillings or with memory foam; it is also not uncommon to find pillows stuffed with feathers abroad, these fillings are designed with comfort in mind. So it comes as a surprise that people go for the ‘cheap” pillows that have uncrushed foams, tattered clothes, dirt, paper and even sachet as fillings, these fillings can only cause you discomfort in the long run and can be responsible for various types of skin irritation and respiratory problems.
Tips to care for your pillow
1. Dry your hair before bed: These micro-organisms love moisture, endeavor not to give them any. Ensure you dry your pillow anytime there is moisture from it especially from sweating during the night.
2. No pets in bed: Avoid this at all cost; pets are common vehicles for pests; no matter how clean they are.
3. Declutter, dust and vacuum: Just like soft furnishings attract mites and unwanted insects, so do dusty ornaments! Keep décor to a minimum to reduce dust-attracting surfaces, clean regularly and vacuum your bedroom – particularly if you have carpets or rugs – as often as possible.
4. Get rid of extra pillows: extra pillows mean more places for micro-organisms to habituate and because we do not sleep on decorative pillows, they tend not to be washed often.
5. Replace your pillows: Buy a new pillow at least once every two years; a five year old pillow has double the amount of mold in a two year old pillow.
6. Wash your beddings regularly: this goes without saying.
7. Get a dust mite cover for your pillow
8. Invest in a HEPA vacuum: Though they are quite expensive, they are a worthwhile investment as they extract micro-organisms that are in the air. If you often wake up with a runny nose, you might want to try this out.
How to pick a good pillow
There are many options to choose from and it’s hard to pick a ‘perfect pillow’ as most types offer a mix of pro’s and con’s. Furthermore, the lifespan of your pillow will also depend on how well you care for it. One way is to fold your pillow in half and place a book on top. If the book keeps your pillow folded in place, it’s definitely
time to go shopping!
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a pillow that’s right for you:
1. Spend as much as you can.
2. Choose breathable pillows as they are less allergenic, meaning less sweat is retained in the pillow.
3. Go for pillows with low toxic materials, certain foam pillows contain chemicals such as formaldehyde and toluene diisocyanate, which are potentially carcinogenic and allergenic. Do your due diligence by
researching this carefully with the manufacturer before buying.
Research has shown that we now sleep 30% less than the generation before us, yet we cannot dispute the impact of quality sleep has on our health
and wellbeing. So why not pick the right mattress and make every second worthwhile.