Daily Challenge Saturday Mar. 17, 2012

Everyday Well-Being

Check your bed pillows for cushioning and firmness.

How to do it

Place your favorite bed pillow on a flat surface. If you have a synthetic down, polyester fiber, or natural down pillow, fold it in half lengthwise. Hold it folded for a few seconds and then let go. A synthetic down or polyester fiber pillow in good condition should quickly bounce back to its normal shape. Likewise, a natural down pillow should bounce back, but more slowly. If you have a memory foam pillow, use the palm of your hand to push on the center of the pillow until it's about half its original thickness. Does the pillow regain its shape when you pull your hand away? It should.

Why it matters

There's no set timetable for replacing bed pillows, but experts advise changing them regularly. Over time, even the puffiest pillows lose their firmness and cushioning ability. Pillows also accumulate body oils, flakes of skin, sweat, debris from dust mites, and general grime. If your pillow doesn't look or smell clean, if it's lost its spring or is lumpy, or if it gives you an achy neck, it's time to replace it. You're likely to have a more comfortable night's sleep if you get a new pillow when your old one is looking pooped.

Fun fact

Pillows can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt - they have been found in pharaohs' tombs! Most were made of solid wood.


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