Everything you are doing wrong with your pillow and it hurts you

Which is the most appropriate? When should they be changed? How can they be cleaned? We tell you everything you need to know about this fundamental element for optimal rest

The mattress is an important investment, both for our economy and for our health. For this reason, people are particularly aware of their care and of their periodic replacement. The pillow, however, is usually seen as little more than a mere rectangle of cloth covering some kind of soft material. If we think that we spend a third of our life with the head resting on one of them, the object in question begins, however, to acquire relevance.

The quality of sleep depends on several factors and between them, the pillow plays a fundamental role. Size, height, consistency, anatomy … So that you begin to understand the particularities of this object destined to rest, we present you a complete guide with which to correct both in the election and in its care.

The right position

When we sleep, our spine should be in a natural, relaxed position beginning with our cervical spines. It is known that the height of the pillow is an important conditioner. One that is too high or too low (or absent) causes the alignment of the spine to be lost both in the supine position (looking at the ceiling) and on the side, something that the muscles try to compensate, with the consequent pains that afflict us nothing more Wake up If we tend to sleep on the side, the pillow should fill the gap between the neck and shoulder, so it is recommended that in these cases are thicker than if we chose to sleep face up.

Pillows filled with goose feathers are in focus because of their association with pulmonary fibrosis

It must be remembered that the height is intimately linked to the stiffness and the position between two pillows of the same thickness can be very different depending on how hard or soft they are.

The special case is that of people who sleep on their stomachs. This is a position that doctors advise against, but if we still can not avoid falling into it the best may be to even dispense with the pillow. If we can not deprive ourselves of the pleasure of placing the head on a smooth surface then we should choose one that was especially fine.


Just go to a specialized store to check a number of materials with which these objects are now filled for rest. The first question is to verify that we are not allergic to any of them, or we do not suffer affections like asthma that before materials especially prone to the colonization of mites can prevent us a good breathing during the dream.

Following the publication of a study carried out by the University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, pillows made with goose feather are in the spotlight. Although they are usually very soft and pleasant, they are unhygienic and it is even argued that the natural pen can be closely related to the development of pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes the hardening and loss of elasticity of these organs, reducing our Respiratory capacities. It must be considered that pulmonary fibrosis is even a recognized problem in Spain as a professional disease of poultry breeders.

The viscoelastic, a material created by NASA that evenly distributes the weight of the head across the surface, is the breakthrough in the sector

Foam pillows are more hygienic than the previous ones and more suitable for those suffering from allergic rhinitis. The problem is that they are rigid and very uncomfortable for the summer.

The middle term between comfort and hygiene is found in latex, which is washable and prepared against mites. However, they may be too rigid for those who are accustomed to the softness of those that are stuffed with feathers.

Sleeves should be changed every week. They should be washed with water at 60 degrees

The most modern options are made of microfiber that redistributes the weight of the head very well. While “cutting edge” technology, as far as pillows are concerned, is found in viscoelastic or memory foam, a material originally designed by NASA that adapts to the shape of the head evenly dissipating pressure throughout the surface.

Other fillers can range from buckwheat, polyester or even water. The latter are adjustable in height: just empty or fill their contents.


As we have seen, one of the health risks of pillows is in the mites that can colonize them. Dust mites are invisible and proliferate in humid and hot environments. Even in people who are not allergic, they can create important problems. For this reason, the pillows should be washed regularly, while the covers must be changed weekly and placed in the washing machine with water at 60 degrees.

For feather-filled pillows, it is recommended that three or four tennis balls wrapped in socks are inserted in the washing machine to help prevent them from taking, always using cold water. The drying of the same should be done on a flat surface, trying to remove them from time to time so that the feathers are dispersed.

Pillows should be replaced when they are no longer comfortable or when they are two years old

Those that carry synthetic filling can be washed by hand or machine and it is important that they are dried on a flat surface to avoid deformation. You can also use a dryer, but always with a program at low temperature.

Latex pillows should be washed by hand and with cold water. To dry them, it is preferable to place them outdoors, in the shade and horizontally.

When it comes to viscoelastic foam pillows it is recommended to look at the label since many manufacturers do not advise their washing.


As with mattresses, over time the pillows are losing their properties and may even be detrimental to rest. The rule is usually as simple as changing them when we notice that they are no longer comfortable or when we begin to feel discomfort that was not present before.

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