A million fungus amongus? EEEW. June 25 2015
As I am turning into The Pillow Lady, the question was asked of me recently: "How long is too long to keep my pillow?" If you know me, you won't be surprised to know that I answered the question with a question: "How long have you had your pillow?" Knowing that the pillow had...expired. Yep, pillows can expire. Well, the majority of them can.
Warning: The following information may cause you to have the same reaction I had when I learned what was lurking inside my pillow, which quickly met an instant death in the garbage can at the curb.
You see, inside a pillow that is 12 months old or older are so many gross and unhealthy things. There is mold, bacteria, dust-mites and their feces, skin cells, and if that isn't bad enough- FUNGUS. Yuck. There can be over a million fungal spores inside your pillow right now. 75% of people feel that fresh air, free of allergens in their sleeping area, is as important as getting a good nights sleep. So why rest your head on all those allergy causing creepy-crawlies?
The biggest reason that I can find is the lack of understanding of just how important pillow fill really is to your overall health. We spend 30% of our lives cheek to cheek with our pillows and when sleep is finally rewarded, we should rest well knowing we are not in the presence of a million fungi and their dust-mite roomies. Walk into any major store in the US and you will find 3 common pillow fill types: Down, Polyester and Memory foam. Not so natural and definitely not organic. People say 'wash your pillow regularly', but even me- the biggest germaphobe ever, will not do that on 6 month basis. Besides, does that really work? Why not just eliminate the issue and go with something healthy?
So what is a good, healthy, comfortable alternative for a pillow? I prefer wool and latex. There are so many reasons why. Let's start with the most top level: Both can be sourced organically and sustainably. HUGE. To be able to decrease your contribution to the destructive consumption habits of most of the world makes a big difference over time. Wool and latex are both incredibly durable materials and, if properly cared for, will remain healthy and comfortable for a decade or longer.
Another reason why I love wool and latex? They are naturally fire resistant. There is no need to add chemicals or fire retardants to wool or latex pillows so you eliminate exposure to scary off-gassing and respiratory irritants.
Wool and latex are:
Hypoallergenic: Unlikely to cause any allergic reaction.
Antifungal: Destroying fungi or inhibiting their growth.
Breathable and thermal, regulating a neutral body temperature. You won't get too hot or too cold because of your pillow. Less sweating=less bacteria, mold and fungus.
Dust-mite resistant: The wool fibers and latex properties are inhospitable for dust-mites. They just can't live in the wool or latex environments. No dust-mites. No dust-mite feces. YAY!
These are some of the many reasons why we choose organic wool and organic shredded latex for the fills in The Right Pillow. We needed ingredients that didn't expire or make us sick. We needed pillows that improved our sacred 30% sleep time. We needed to shake up the thought that down, poly and memory foam were the best solutions out there...and we did. We make sure that from pasture to pillow, we stick to what was important: the health of the planet, the animals and the sleepers.