by G. Keith Evans
Having the right pillow can help induce sleep and extend a good night's rest. Some people, whether because of allergies or personal preference, avoid traditional feather and down pillows in favor of modern ecologically-friendly and animal-friendly alternative pillows. From professional-grade buckwheat to memory foam, the top 5 alternative pillows welcome tired heads with the best in quality and comfort.
Buckwheat pillows: Shoppers who demand the best in support, stability and temperature-control often turn to these alternative pillows for their firm support and thermodynamic qualities. Buckwheat pillow stuffing easily shifts to accommodate any head and neck size or shape, supporting even the pickiest sleeper. This support is so firm and flexible that chiropractors often prescribe buckwheat pillows to patients who require neck and cervical support. In addition, many buckwheat pillow manufacturers support environmental, earth-friendly concerns.
Double-filling pillows: Some consumers admire the ability of buckwheat to conform to the head and neck but also treasure the cool comfort of millet or organic cotton. To give customers the best of both worlds, a few pillow manufacturers offer double-sided, double-purpose bed pillows. With a double-filling pillow, sleepers can enjoy the firm support of buckwheat any time, but when they want a softer pillow, they can simply flip the pillow over and enjoy the luxurious feel of cotton or millet.
Memory foam pillows: Pillows made of memory foam, a soft and supple material that exploded in popularity during the 1990s, gently shift to accommodate the head and neck, providing firm, constant support. Even better, tiny pores in the foam funnel heat away from the head to leave a cool, comfortable surface even after hours of use.
Recycled material pillows: For earth- and animal-friendly shoppers, few pillows can be more socially responsible than those filled with recycled materials. Cotton, hemp and millet are often used in these pillows.
Latex pillow: Latex is useful for a wide array of products, ranging from protective gloves to pillows. When manufacturers produce a latex pillow, they extract sap from rubber trees and then use proprietary processes to convert the goo into a commercially useful product. According to promotional literature, independent testing found that latex pillows relieve up to 97 percent more pressure than other leading alternative pillows; in addition, the pillows are naturally resistant to dust mites, fungus and microbes.