Tag Archives: sleep aids

Pillows for the persnickety

Pillow: n. a support for the head of a reclining person; esp. one consisting of a cloth bag filled with feathers, down, sponge rubber, or plastic fiber

Persnickety: adj. fussy about small details

People can be very persnickety about their pillows. As well they should be.  Pillows can make or break a good night’s sleep.  I’m often shocked, when I do a feng shui consultation, by how many people hate their mattresses or their pillows….


Pillow choices are very personal. Some like them plump and turgid – and even prefer to prop themselves on more than one at a time. Most hotel rooms and relative’s guest rooms seem equipped with these:


You can try to pummel them into submission, but they bounce right back.


Then there’s the memory foam pillow that remembers how big your left ear is:

And the special cervical pillow to keep your neck properly angled:


And pillows made of gel, filled with water, five feet long to snuggle with lengthwise…. you name it, there’s a pillow for you.

I prefer a pillow that is totally malleable: I punch it and scrunch it into a wadge to support my head when I lie on my side; press it down to a slender edge when I want to sleep on my stomach; or roll it into a sausage under my neck if I want to gaze up at the ceiling:


But Friday when I was at the Asian Art museum in San Francisco I saw the be-all and end-all pillow. From the Song dynasty about a thousand years ago, it’s made of porcelain. The descriptive placard said that once you get used to it, it’s really very comfortable.  Sure.