A bed or couch is often considered incomplete without a pillow. The supportive function of this item has become quite valuable in recent years.
However, it was not until the 19th Century, that embroidered cushions began to be produced for and marketed to the masses. The pillow used to be a reserve of the wealthy and mighty, and even so, it was not the soft cushion we know of today.
Pharaohs and the rich people in ancient Egypt used curved stone and solid wood carvings as headrests. These hard pillows were believed to assert one’s strength, aid in blood circulation and keep demons away as one slept.
Since then, the pillow has evolved to have softer stuffing such as grass and feathers and it is still evolving. From the current cotton stuffing to softer synthetic fillings and even memory foam material that is designed to adjust to your weight to give you custom head and neck support, no matter what position you sleep in.
But the question remains, must we really use pillows to support our necks while sleeping and backs while sitting?
Several researchers such as Michael Tetley, have indicated over time that our heads and necks are perfectly capable of resting without support. When we are young, our bodies are adaptable and can handle sleeping almost anywhere.
We don’t need pillows, but through aggressive marketing and continued use over time we have become conditioned to feel like we need them.
The Turkana people of Kenya and the Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert also use a curvy wooden or stone object to keep the head off the ground while resting and prevent insects from crawling into mouths, noses, and ears. Perhaps this was the main purpose of a pillow.
Therefore, there is absolutely no harm if you choose to sleep or sit without using the support of a pillow. You can still have them for decorative purposes or even better, for a fun pillow fight.
The most important aspect is you find a position in which you are most comfortable. However for the diehard pillow lovers, here is some expert information that could be useful in guiding your choice of a pillow for your bed.
Mwende Maritim is a budding freelance writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has always had a passion for well written content but began writing professionally in 2014. Her writing mainly covers lifestyle issues and anything to inspire people especially the teenagers she mentors.