In Pursuit of the Perfect Pillow

A picture of a cat in a pile of bedsheets and pillowcases.

Ivy the cat “helping” with the laundry of the bedsheets and pillowcases

While I wouldn’t consider myself to be particularly picky, it would seem that for all of the comparison shopping I do, I am perhaps very “discerning”. How is that for a positive spin?

And frankly, why would I buy something that isn’t exactly what I am looking for especially when health and comfort are part of the equation?

The head-scratcher is how fortunate we are to have as many shopping options as we do, yet it often feels like we are looking for a needle in a haystack.

This particular hunt holds similarities to a Goldilocks-style tale given that we have elements of “too hard”, “too soft” and “just right”. Although in my case it seems like it’s never hard enough… I’m talking about pillows.

As far back as I can remember, I have preferred firm mattresses. Over the years, I discovered that I felt the same way about pillows.

It used to be that I could buy a pillow and it would last for years. Lately, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore and a firm pillow tends not to stay firm for very long.

I wonder to myself if it’s the weight distribution of my body. Could it be because of my huge, round, beach ball of a Charlie Brown head? Is it possible that I am wearing them out faster than most people?

In recent years, it seems like I’m forever auditioning pillows. In the spring of 2019, I purchased two firm support pillows to prop up my gigantic head. Yet only six months later, they seemed to have broken down resulting in temporary neck issues. As a result, I was back in pillow shopping mode… again!

For the graveyard of pillows I seem to be accumulating, it’s not a total loss as they are put to good use. Those pillows tend to be lurking behind sofas and chairs, ready for any joint or muscular emergency (as seems to happen routinely past age 50) requiring the propping up of a body part while watching TV.

On a pre-pandemic shopping expedition, I wandered into a popular department store to check out their pillows to see if they were offering any new styles. To my surprise, some new brands had made their appearance. After reading the labels of every pillow in the bedding section, I finally settled on buying one pillow, not a pair. If the experiment was successful, I’d be back for another. If it wasn’t, my financial loss would be minimized.

The one I chose seemed to tick all of the boxes. It was hypoallergenic. It was described as being suitable for side sleepers. And most importantly, it was marked as extra firm support. A few solid yet non-violent punches confirmed that it was indeed pretty firm.

Unfortunately, that pillow did not last either.

When Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were being eased, one of the first things on my shopping list was a pillow… again!

I paid a visit to another bedding store and after a thorough review of the offerings, I succeeded in finding a new brand that seemed to meet my seemingly unreasonable expectations.

And now, here we are, several months later, it still seems to be maintaining its firm support. Fingers crossed!

I really don’t know why a maximum support pillow seems like a key factor for maximum quality sleep for me, but it does. I don’t sleep well with other alternatives.

In our travels before the pandemic, there have been some hotel stays that were rather disappointing due to skimpy pillows. In some worst case scenarios, my head would sink to the bottom of the hotel pillow mere minutes after I went to bed, even if I tried to double them up. Where was the support?

I will never forget one hotel in Montreal with its euro style pillows that were maybe two inches high. I knew that this was not going to be sufficient for either myself or my partner. I called housekeeping and asked if they had normal pillows. They didn’t. I asked for eight more of their euro style pillows. There was a long pause at the end of the line, followed by the question, “how many people are staying in your room?”

The housekeeping supervisor regretted that eight additional pillows would not be possible as the hotel was completely booked and did not have that many to spare. She sent up what she could, which was only 2 more.

We ended up borrowing furniture cushions to prop ourselves up comfortably. I was so desperate for firm support, I almost stuck the hotel room’s bible between euro pillows.

Fortunately, there are hotels that offer different options in recognizing that everyone has different support needs. I recall a travel show on TV that showed a hotel offering a long menu of pillow options, allowing the guest to select the one that is perfectly tailored to their individual sleeping needs. There is hope!

Either way, I do find it remarkable how something as simple as a pillow can make or break a good nights’ sleep and how many options there are to make dreams come true… literally!

As long as that is the case, pillow producers and retailers can count on me to keep visiting and to keep trying, as I continue the pursuit of the perfect pillow.

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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,

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Filed under 50+, home, Humour

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