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PILLOWS AND BEDS

PILLOWS AND BEDS

A pillow is designed to provide support and comfort to the body and head. There are three main types of pillows; bed pillows, orthopedic pillow and decorative pillows, with some overlapping of use between these. The appropriate size of a bed pillow depends on the size of the bed. In general a twin bed goes best with a standard pillow while for queen and king sized beds larger pillows are recommended.

Beds


Several pillows on a bed.

The classic bed pillow shape is usually a square or rectangle. In the US, they are common in these three sizes (in inches): Standard (20 x 26 inches), Queen (20 x 30 inches), and King (20 x 36 inches).

Pillows are generally covered with a removable pillow case, which facilitates laundering. Apart from the color and from the material of which they are made, pillowcases are described by three characteristics:
  • Size
  • Features
  • Opening/closing
Size conforms to the pillow the case is to contain. They are typically described as:
  • Standard: (square) 16 × 16 in (41 × 41 cm)
  • Square: 26 × 26 in (66 × 66 cm)
  • Standard: 20 × 26 in (51 × 66 cm)
  • Queen: 20 × 30 in (51 × 76 cm)
  • King: 20 × 36 in (51 × 91 cm)
Square is also called continental in the UK. German pillow sizes are 80 cm × 80 cm (older) or 40 cm × 80 cm (newer). When considered as a subset of Bed Pillow, Euro pillows finish 26 in × 26 in and older style Travel Pillows commonly finished 12 in × 16 in.
The main distinguishing feature is whether the pillow case is plain or with a valance around the edge. In the former case this is described as 'plain style' and in the latter as 'Oxford style'.
"Oxford … has a 5cm-10cm valance round all four sides. With a hemstitched or corded decoration around the inner edge of the valance."
The opening/closure of pillow cases ranges from the straightforward approach in USA called simply bagstyle to the more usual European method with a pocket inside the open end to fully contain the pillow. This is Housewife style.

"Housewife is … essentially a bag, with a flap in the open end to tuck the pillowcase behind to keep it in…"

Other methods of closure are ties or buttons/buttonholes.

A body pillow with a light blue pillow case
Body pillows are as long as a full adult body, providing support to the head and neck at the top and to the knees and legs lower down. This type of pillow can be especially useful in providing support for those who sleep on their sides and for pregnant women. Size is 40 cm x 140 cm.

Orthopedic

Neck pillows support the neck by providing a deep area for the head to rest and a supportive area to keep the neck in alignment with the spine while sleeping. These can also be known as cervical pillows.
Travel pillows provide support for the neck in a sitting position. Their "U" shape fits around the back of the neck and keeps the head from slipping into an uncomfortable and possibly harmful position during sleep. However, U-shaped pillows can sometimes force the head forwards creating neck stiffness.
Donut pillows are firm pillows shaped like a torus with a space in the middle to alleviate pressure on the tailbon area while sitting. These pillows are used primarily by individuals who have suffered an injury to the tailbone area or who suffer pain from hemorrhoids or another ailment of the colon. Kevin Bacon famously used a pillow like this in the movie Footloose

Lumbar pillows are designed to support the inward curve of the lower back, filling the space created between the lower back and the back of the chair when in a sitting position. These pillows are generally used to support the lower back while driving or sitting, such as in an office chair. Orthopedic pillows are similar to Memory foam pillows.

Decorative


A pile of pillows on a couch.
Decorative Pillows serve a dual purpose. They likely have fancy cover material which serves to decorate the room where they are found. Since Decorative Textiles are commonly 54 inches in width, many decorative pillows finish about 17x17 inches. (54/3 = 18 less seam allowance) When used to decorate a fully made up bed, decorative pillows are likely thrown aside at bedtime, since they are not covered with a washable pillow case, thus, while found on the bed, they are primarily there for decoration, hence they fall under this category. These pillows may be custom made, as well as made by freelancers.
Decorative pillows are also found on furnishings in more public parts of the home, such as sofas, chairs and window seats. Here, their common use may overlap both orthopedic and bed pillows. For example, unless a person has some particular medical condition, they will likely use a handy decorative pillow for lumbar support, as needed, while seated on a sofa. Likewise, for the occasional nap, decorative pillows are handy for supporting the head or neck, even though they are not covered with a pillow case, as are bed pillows.
There are five common synonyms for decorative pillows which are descriptive of their use in the home. "Accent" Pillows emphasize or accent some other part of the home decor. The terms Sofa Pillow and Couch Pillow refer to the place these decorative pillows are likely found. The terms "toss pillow" and "throw pillow" may refer to the way they generally arrive in their places.

Novelty Pillows are shaped like humorous objects (a banana, tweety bird, a human leg, a chainsaw, a dill pickle, a former president), and are meant to brighten up and add humor to a room or lounge area.
Floor Pillows are another subset of decorative pillows. These pillows often finish 26x26 inches (one half of the width of the textile, less seam allowance)

Miscellaneous styles


Three firestop pillows.
  • Dakimakura is a hugging pillow originating in Japan.
  • Guling is a long hugging pillow originating from Indonesia.
  • Abrazador is a long hugging pillow originating from the Philippines.
  • Firestop pillows are technical firestop products, used in passive fire protection.
  • A husband pillow (also known as a boyfriend pillow) is a large, high-backed pillow with two "arms". It is used to prop the user upright while in bed or on the floor, as for reading or watching television.
  • Shitou zhentou (Chinese for rock pillow) played an important role in ancient China. Made from jade, it was believed to translate the energy from the stone to the human brain. Derived from the Ming dynasty, this piece of material was trusted to cure headaches or depressions, or simply to better the intelligence of those who use it. It was more common in the royalties because it was expensive 
 Article courtiesy ; by http://en.wikipedia.org

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