To learn more about the most commonly asked questions regarding pillow types, compositions and sizes, read below.
ALLERGY SAFE/ HYPOALLERGENIC: Pillows characterized as Allergy safe or Hypoallergenic are made from materials that are less likely to trigger allergies. The materials have often been treated to prevent dust mites and associated allergens. Check packaging for specific claims.
CONTOUR: Contour pillows are shaped differently from other pillows as they are designed in a contour shape that dips in the middle for better head and neck support. The curves on each side of the dip are often varying in size to accommodate back and side sleeping. Physiotherapists and chiropractors will often recommend a contour pillow to clients who are unable to find the support they need in stand pillows. They are also known to benefit spine alignment and keep airways open. They may also help people who suffer headaches and neck pain associated with restless sleeping.
COOLING GEL: The cooling gel is used in pillows to cool sleeping surfaces and is beneficial to hot sleepers. It can relieve pressure on the head and neck whilst drawing heat from the body.
EUROPEAN: Used as a design element in many cases European pillows can also offer back joint support when watching tv or reading in bed. Style and functionality combine when European pillows are added to a bed. Also known as a Euro Sham pillow a standard European pillow is 66cm x 66cm.
EXCELFIBRE: A type of specially enhanced polyester fibre that promote good health, allergy resistance and restful sleep.
FILL: The fill is an abbreviation of FILLING and is referring to the internal filling of the pillow. It may be referred to as stuffing of filler but it is basically what’s inside the casing. The fill defines the character of the pillow and determines the pillow's size and quality, softeners or firmness and low or high loft. It is what makes pillows uniques to meet customers’ specific preferences. The different fills include:
BAMBOO: Bamboo fill is great for people with allergies as it is a hypoallergenic material that is breathable and repels allergens and dust mites. Being a natural fibre appeals to those who are environmentally conscious. Its absorption ability and cool nature made it a great material for restful and comfortable sleep.
FEATHER AND DOWN: Feather and Down fill will come from either a Goose or a Duck. Feathers are from their outer layer on their wings and backs, include quills, are less expensive and often don’t last as long as Down. Down fibres come from beneath the feathers and are from the bird's insulation layer. Down material is softer, more expensive and lasts longer. Down has a higher loft and holds its shape more than the feather, hence its preference in pillows. The natural fibre is circular in shape and when pressure is released it returns to its original shape. This is unlike feathers which tend to lie flat when pressure is applied and stay that way. For this reason, many pillows will combine Down and Feathers for extra loft, lightness and fluffiness. Pillows containing Feather and Down are often preferable to customers who want a pillow that is made from natural materials, lightweight, washable and will last for years.
LATEX: In its simplest terms Latex fill is rubber. Its high elasticity, mildew resistance, durability, hypoallergenic and anti-final properties make it a popular choice for people with allergies or who sweat a lot when sleeping. Latex pillows are recommended for customers who are after a memory foam pillow but do not like the firmness. Latex offers a softer alternative without losing out on durability or support. Latex is often seen as the eco-friendly version of memory foam as it is produced from a renewable, natural material, while memory foam isn’t. Latex also can hold its shape for many years, ten or more, which makes this an investment pillow.
MEMORY FOAM: A unique material that uses traditional polyurethane, which is found in many lounges, mattresses and other products, but combined with an additional compound that increases its viscosity and elasticity, giving the pillow the ability to contour when pressure is placed on it, and then slowly return to its original shape when the pressure is released. Memory Foam is a high-quality material that when used in pillows creates a personalised support system as it moulds around the individual sleepers head, next and spine. This unique quality ensures a higher quality of sleep where the neck and airways are in the correct position.
SYNTHETIC: Pillows made from synthetic materials, such as Polyester and Microfibre, are filled with man-made fibres which replicate the feel, down and ability to flow around the neck and head, just like other pillows. Due to their manufacturing process, they are often hypoallergenic. Much of our Synthetic range is designed for our commercial customers and the medical industry to maintain the health and safety of those using pillows that are in high rotation. Some synthetics are mixed with other fill types, for example, Bamboo and Microfibre.
TALALAY LATEX: Some products may specify that they are made of Talalay Latex, which is a type of latex that has an extremely springy and bouncy feel to it that some people prefer.
GSM: GSM stands for grams per square metre, and like with quilts, it refers to the weight of the filling. The higher the GSM the thicker the fill will be. Our range varies from 600GSM to 1500GSM.
GUSSET: The Gusset is an extra piece of material that runs around the side of a pillow. It expands a pillow and gives it more structure with its side panels, instead of just having a top and bottom like standard pillows. A gusseted pillow holds more fill and can offer more support. Standard gusset height 4cm.
HOLLOW CONJUGATE POLYESTER FIBRE FILLING: Found in many of our commercial range of pillows. This man-made filling is made hollowed strange of polyester. The hollow centres trap air and help provide loft to the fill. It also creates a lightness to the product leaving you with an incredible warm fill that is light and fluffy.
HOTEL-STYLE GUSSET: As above but with an additional 1 cm added to the gusset height, taking it to 5cm to add extra height, fill and luxuriousness to the pillow, like those found in hotels.
If a customer is a BACK sleeper the right pillow will see their ear and shoulder line up. Too high and you will see their chin dip. Too low and you will see their head tilt back too far.
If a customer is a SIDE sleeper look at their spine and made sure it is running straight at their neck. If the pillow is too high or low you will see the neck kinking up or down.
If your customer is a STOMACH sleeper it is suggested they use a thinner pillow to reduce angling of their neck and spine. You can also suggest a pillow for under their pelvis (especially if they suffer back pain) as this will help their back be in a more neutral position and take any pressure off their spine.
KING: Our range of King Pillows are longer and a little wider than our standard pillow range. Measuring 51cm x 92cm they add.
MACHINE WASHABLE: Although some pillows are machine washable it is vital to check the manufacturer's label for care instructions. If a pillow is washed when it shouldn’t be it can be destroyed. If the label advises ‘machine washable’ then using warm water on a gentle cycle is suggested (unless otherwise stated on the label). For non machine washable pillows, spot cleaning, vacuuming and allowing pillows to air in the sun and breeze are all things that can be suggested for cleaning.
POLYURETHANE FOAM: Used often as the core of a pillow, Polyurethane Foam is a more rigid foam that can give a pillow more structure, loft and support. The foam core is then surrounded by another fibre, for example, Excelfibre (see below), to create the expected softness we desire in our pillows.
PROFILE AND FEEL: A pillow’s profile refers to the height of the pillow (low, medium and high) whilst the feel describes just that, how it feels (soft, medium and firm).
PVC REINFORCED TARP FABRIC: Used in commercial pillows designed for the healthcare industry the PVC is a type of plastic that covers the fabric of the pillow. This extends the longevity of the pillow's life, especially when it is in high rotation and used by many, whilst making it water repellant, fire retardant and fluid resistant.
RECTANGULAR BODY: Rectangular body pillows are extra long pillows that measure around 51cm x 137cm. They are great for adding extra support to the body while sleeping and the benefits include; relieving joint pressure, aiding proper spinal alignment for side and stomach sleepers, improving blood circulation and overall sleep quality. They are also great for pregnancy as they can support a growing belly.
SPINAL ALIGNMENT: Spinal alignment refers to the correct position your spin needs to be in to achieve quality sleep. It should be as straight as a line and problems achieving this will occur at the neck if it is over or under extended, or curved out of line. Depending on how a person sleeps will determine optimal spinal alignment.
STANDARD: The Australian dimensions of a standard pillow is 51cm x 66cm yet each pillow can vary slightly from this. Dimensions will be stated on each packaging.
V SHAPE: These versatile pillows are great for additional support for anyone spending extra time in bed. The back and side support whilst in a sitting position relieves pressure from parts of the body and helps with relaxing and resting. The elderly, ill and breastfeeding mothers can all use the extra support, flexibility and comfort V Shape pillows can bring. For use as a traditional pillow, they offer many benefits including, preventing rolling, alleviating neck and back pain, good for extra elevation and reducing airway pressure.
What is the difference between memory foam and latex?
Both styles are what we would categories as Support therapy pillows. Each has specific functions to accommodate different customers needs.
- Memory foam has a certain density to it which allows the customers head to sink into the pillow and if the correct pillow is selected then their posture/ spine alignment will be set perfectly when lying down.
- Latex has a lot more bounce and keeps the head and neck more supported and up higher. Latex is a good choice for customers who don’t like the pillow wrapping around their head. Quality Latex is pin cored which allows for a breathability.
What is the best pillow for neck and back support?
Picking a pillow that is right for the customer is most important as everyone will have different needs. Firstly, it is imperative that a pillow offers support to the next and back. The right pillow for posture will depend on how the customer sleeps:
- SIDE SLEEPERS? A pillow that fits into the space between the head and the bed will offer the best support. Generally speaking a customer with broader shoulders and a bigger build will need a higher pillow. A smaller customer with smaller shoulders will need a lower pillow height.
- BACK SLEEPERS? A pillow that is not too high and fills the space between the head and the top of the shoulders is best for back sleepers. The customers size will also play into which pillow is best (high, medium or low).
- FRONT SLEEPERS? Customers who sleep on their front need a low pillow that doesn't throw their head and neck back. This ensures spine alignment and a better night’s sleep.
Once sleep style has been accommodated the next deciding factor for a pillow is FEEL. This a personal choice and will depend on what the customer likes, for example a soft and fluffy feel or a harder pillow that they don’t sink into. FLUFFY pillows are often made from top end synthetics where fibres have been blown into the casing. Feather and down also offer this feel, as does mircrodown.
Why should I choose a contour pillow?
In many cases customers coming in looking for a contour pillow have been advised by a medical professional to use one in order to relieve a current or ongoing neck, head or spine complaint. For customers who are not aware of them as an everyday pillow can be sold on their ability to switch from a high to a low pillow, making them an option for back and side sleepers. They are also a good choice for customers who like full support and the feeling of being ‘tucked’ into their pillow.
How long do pillows last?
The type of pillow purchased and the care taken will depend on how long a pillow will last.
Feather and Down have a long life which can be doubled it used with a pillow protector (5-10 years)/
Synthetic Pillows can last 2-3 years as they have a tendency to flatten out. But a higher end Synthetic (where the fill has been blown into the case) is able to hold its shape for longer, therefore ensuring a longer life span.
How often should I change my pillow?
It depends on how well the pillow has been looked after, the materials it is made from and how long the customer has had it for. It is advisable to check your pillow yearly and look for mold, dampness, flattening, cleanliness and wear and tear. If its starting to look dirty and old it’s time for a new pillow.
Additionally, if you notice a change in your sleep pattern, or you’re waking with new neck, back and head tensions, that may be an indicator a new pillow is needed.
Can I wash my pillow safely?
All out pillows come with washing instructions. Many pillows today can be washed but some of the Support therapy pillows can’t be (due to the nature of the internal material). Alternatively, airing is a way to clean and refresh pillows.
What should I be looking for in a children’s pillow?
Children from 3-12 (generally and dependent of their growth) should be using a LOW pillow to ensure the correct sleep position and to reduce next or back strain. Whether the pillow is from a child’s range or a low adult pillow doesn’t matter. Once they hit the teen years they can choose a pillow that suits them and their body.
What does a breathable pillow mean and why should I get it?
The term breathable in a pillow refers to the movement of air throughout and around the pillow and is dependent on the internal fibres and the encasing materials. Our Latex Pillows have pin cores that allow air to run through it. Memory foam is not a breathable material but if you use a pillow protector that is made from a breathable material it will increase the products breathability between the pillow an the sleeper.
Why is a bamboo pillow good?
Bamboo pillows are climate orientated and feel the heat. But it’s important to be aware of the product packaging and check the material make-up of the product. Bamboo pillows are most often combined with other fibres to increase height, as bamboo fill will eventually flatten on its own and has no bounce. Its important to ensure it is missed with other natural fibres (cotton) to guarantee its product integrity.
Mircrofibre is often used to give it height, which is fine. But if a bamboo pillow has a synthetic cover then its beneficial properties are lost. These pillows are also a lot cheaper.
What is the coolest pillow?
The coolest pillows are those that are tagged as breathable. After that, the best way to ensure a cooler pillow surface is by selecting a pillow protector made from natural fibres (cotton or bamboo). These materials will increase the coolness of the product. The latest technology in cooling is the use of cooling get pads on our latex pillows. These pads assist in cooling down but will eventually heat up. Once they have warmed the pillow does need to be flipped.
The next option is the choose a pillow CASE that can help with the cooling down. Silk, bamboo, cotton or linen pillowcases. Do not suggest synthetic pillow cases.
Why should I buy a V-Shape Pillow?
V-shape pillows are a comfort product that offer great support to users. The use of them is a purely personal choice as they are often used for sitting up to read or to drink in bed.
Which pillow is best for allergies?
All pillows that make allergy claims are tagged as such. In general, most synthetic pillows are allergy safe. In regards to feather and down you should check packaging. Alternatively, suggest a allergy safe pillowcase.
Which pillow is an anti-dust mite?
Hypo allergenic tagged pillows claim to be anti-dust mite. The best option is to encase the pillow with an anti-dust mite protector, such as the mite-guard range.
Can I return/exchange a pillow if it’s not right for me?
No. Pillows are classified as White Goods and once taken home cannot be swapped.
What’s the difference between a cheaper and more expensive pillow?
Cost differences come down to the differences in manufacturing. Cheaper pillows are layers of fibre layered on top of each other and then cut to size before being placed in a casing. Versus blown in fibres which ensures more fibre and more air and more give in the pillow.
The outer casing is also a price factor, as are the materials being used.
What does GRAMS mean and why is it important?
The Grams on the pillow packaging points to the weight of the product and gives us an idea of the height of the pillow. This will also be dependent on the internal fibre type, as some may be lighter and airier versus others that are heavier and flatter BUT the GRAMS may be the same. For example, looking at two pillows at 600grams, one with virgin fibre has a higher loft, whilst one made of recycled fibres will have a lower loft.
I want a pillow as I had at the hotel?
In most high end hotels Feather and Down feathers are used. Others also use feather and down pillows but they may have a higher percentage of feather (making them cheaper).
It is also possible that a high end Microfibre Pillow was used, one that was between 800-1000grams and with a high end casing.
Check out our latex pillow, european pillow, european pillowcase, super king bed sheets, quilt, super king quilt and bamboo quilt range here.