Pillow protectors help keep your pillows clean and fresh by serving as a barrier against moisture, allergens, insects, and soiling. Since you spend many hours of your life with your face and head pressed against your pillow, you want to choose a pillow protector that helps promote a healthy and hygienic sleep environment. While ordinary pillow cases are usually open on one end, pillow protectors are typically designed to fully encase your pillow on all sides. A zippered closure seals out liquids, dirt, dander, and household pests. Regardless of your specific needs, Overstock has the right pillow protector to help you sleep more soundly without worrying about damage to your pillow, lurking parasites, mold, and other health risks. Lucid, Windsor Home, Sealy Posturepedic, and other respected bedding experts provide quality products you can trust. The more you know about pillow protectors, the better equipped you are to select the perfect products for your home. Keep reading to learn about various types of pillow protectors, available fabrics, and other information.
One of the major triggers of nighttime allergies is a tiny pest called a dust mite. No matter how well you clean your home, chances are you've got some of these annoying critters in your home, even if you've never seen them. These microscopic parasites seek out dark, warm spaces, such as the inside of your favorite bed pillow, where they feed on skin cells and deposit waste. Many people experience sneezing, wheezing, stuffy noses, red eyes, and even asthma after contact with dust mite waste. Hypoallergenic pillow protectors are typically made from tightly woven fabrics that prevent dust mites from reaching your pillow. They also inhibit infestations by bed bugs, which are biting insects that produce itchy welts that can be particularly uncomfortable if you have allergies or skin sensitivities. Hypoallergenic pillow protectors come in many different varieties of fabrics. Soft pillow protector materials that contain zero or minimal chemicals can help reduce the risk of skin chafing, which can further inflame irritated skin.
Waterproof pillow protectors help prevent your pillow from being exposed to sweat, saliva, and other liquids. When liquids seep into the interior of pillows, they may cause mildew or mold to form, which can pose potential health hazards. If you enjoy having a cup of coffee or other beverage while reading in bed or watching television, a waterproof pillow protector can keep spilled drinks from staining your pillow or saturating the filling. They also protect your pillow against facial or hair oil and makeup, which can leave behind harmful bacteria and odors.
Many makers of bed linens craft pillow protectors from sustainable materials such as cotton, bamboo, and eucalyptus plants, and use manufacturing processes that do not harm the environment. These natural materials are woven into eco-friendly fabrics that are biodegradable. Most of these materials also offer the added benefits of breathability and moisture-wicking properties to help keep you cool and dry as you sleep.
Durable and economical, cotton is a naturally hypoallergenic fabric woven from plant fibers. Depending on the specific cotton species used, the type of weave, and the finishing treatment applied to the end product, cotton pillow protector materials can range from silky sateen to soft, absorbent terry cloth. Some cotton pillow protectors include quilting that prevents feathers from poking out of down-filled pillows.
Tencel is the brand name of a material used to create garments as well as ultra-soft bedding fabrics, including pillow protectors. Made from cellulose, it derives from the wood pulp of farm-grown eucalyptus trees that have not been treated with pesticides. Since the fabric is breathable, it does not trap odors. It also resists wrinkling.
Often used to produce soft, snuggly jersey knit fabrics, rayon from bamboo contains organic fibers from woody bamboo stalks. Since bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet, rayon from bamboo is often considered to be a sustainable, Earth-friendly fabric. It may also offer antibacterial qualities.
A synthetic material, polyester is used to make many types of fabric for pillow protectors. Microfiber made from polyester is crafted using very thin fibers woven tightly to produce fabric that's durable yet very soft. Frequently containing a blend of polyester and cotton, most polyester pillow protectors are easy to maintain with machine washing.
Pillow Protectors FAQ
What's the difference between a pillowcase and a pillow protector?
Made from a variety of fabrics in decorative patterns, pillowcases combine aesthetic and practical features. They have a slip-on design with an opening at one end. Pillowcases are often constructed from fabrics that match or complement your duvet cover or comforter. In contrast, pillow protectors are primarily functional linens. They zip closed securely and are typically made from white fabrics designed for comfort and practicality over looks. It's a good idea to cover your pillow with both a pillowcase and a pillow protector. Used in combination, they provide a double layer of protection against dirt, bacteria, and pests.
Do pillowcases reduce the need to launder pillow protectors?
Since pillowcases come into direct contact with your skin and airborne dander and other contaminants, they need to be washed more often than pillow protectors. Wash pillowcases at least weekly. Read the label to make sure your pillowcases are safe for laundering in your washing machine. Although pillow protectors can be laundered less frequently than pillowcases, you should still run them through the washing machine every few weeks to keep them fresh and eliminate debris buildup.
Should you wash your pillow if you use pillow protectors and pillowcases?
Even though pillowcases and pillow protectors do a great job of providing a filter against allergens and microbes, you still need to wash your pillow at least a couple of times per year. This prevents any buildup of dander or dirt from weighing down the pillow's feathers or other filling, which can shorten its longevity. Since you can't wash pillows in hotels when you travel, packing a pillow protector is a smart way to ensure your pillow is sanitary. Slipping on a pillow protector offers that extra element of confidence to help you sleep soundly when you climb under the covers in a new city.