20 October 2010

How Fresh is Your Pillow?

I've seen it all now, folks.  Pillows that come stamped with a "change" date!

Tontine are now stamping their pillows with a "change date" so you'll know when it's time to buy a one. How handy is that? not!

Good pillows are necessary for comfortable and healthy sleep.I have nothing against new pillows and if you really want them and can afford them go right ahead. But whatever happened to using your commonsense? Surely you don't need a date stamped on your pillow to tell you it's time for a change. A distinctly ugly odour, a sore neck and a few sleepless nights should do the job.

I personally do not like new pillows. They are always too high, too soft or too hard - just plain uncomfortable, which is why I always take my own pillows when we travel (most of my overnight bag is pillows, even if I'm going to be staying in a great hotel). I would much rather renovate the pillows we have every twelve months or so.  It's a job for a warm, sunny day, just perfect for this time of year.  And believe it or not it's very easy to do if your pillows have a synthetic filling. Feather pillows and the new memory foam pillows take a little more effort but can be renovated yourself too.

Once a year seems to be the right length of time for my family, yours may need more frequent or less often treatment. You'll know what works best for you.

I just dunk them in the bath with warm, soapy water, let them soak, rinse and dry flat. The trick is not to wring them, that just ruins the filling, and to let them drip dry flat. That's why you are best to choose a warm day  for your pillow renovation. The next, and most important thing, to remember is to make sure they are thoroughly dry before you start using them. You don't want to end up with a mouldy pillow under your head.

Keep your pillows fresh between renovations by airing them in the sunshine once a month. Just peg them to the clothesline for the day and give them a good shake before you put them back on your bed. They'll smell like the sun and be delightfully fresh, and you won't have spent a cent.

The sceptic in me wonders at the helpfulness of Tontine and the company's concern about your health and well being. Personally I think this is such a clever marketing ploy - how many people are going to buy their stamped pillows and simply put them in the bin when the stamped date rolls around, irrespective of whether or not their pillow is doing a great job. And these pillows will go to landfill - for health reasons you can't donate them or sell them.  You can even register online to receive an email reminder when it's time to change your pillow!

It's another great way to convince those sheep-like people, who don't want to think for themselves or take responsibility for their own life, to buy new pillows. Pillows aren't cheap - even at $10 each we have 14 in our house (we all have two each, and four for the spare beds). That's $140 every couple of years, just on pillows! Actually in two years time it will be more, I'm sure they won't stay the same or drop in price.

Now I'm over my awe, I won't be buying any new pillows according to a change-by, use-by or best-before date, I'll be doing just as I always have and renovating until I feel my pillows are beyond renovation.

My advice to you is to use your commonsense, and give renovating your pillows yourself a go before you rush out and buy new ones.


  1. Cath, Yes, I agree with you! Just a sneaky way of selling more pillows - I have "renovated" my pillows for years and years.
    I put them out on a sunny breezy day to air out at least every two weeks same as my quilts.
    I soak in soapy warm water, rinse in warm water, and lay it out to dry in hot sunny days (though NOT in direct sunlight) and they are usually dry by evening (starting early a.m. that is)
    I also take off the cotton cover and wash that separately or else replace it with a new pretty pillowslip which I hem shut.
    I usually wash my pillows in the first week of really hot sunny weather (in spring here in Qld) and then again in Autumn so it's fresh for winter.
    Works for me.
    Glad to see someone else has the same opinion about those pillow manufacturers. Keep up your great work.
    Cheers Peggy

  2. hello cath,i have been renovating my pillows'for quite a few years also,i soak them in my deep laundry tub(preferably over night),i use a good prewash soaker,and turn the pillows every time i pass the tub,then in the morning sqeeze the water out and use the rinse and spin cycle on my washing machine,and hey presto clean white pillows,i then lay the pillows flat on clothes horses(after fluffing them up)and repeat this action each time i pass them.a good hot day and a good airing has saved me a lot of dollars over the years,keep the ideas coming,kathy


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