Sure you already know that pillows can go on your couch or bed. And you already know that you can lay your head on them and rest or even sleep in comfort with the right pillow. But did you know that the history of the pillow can be traced by to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia? If not, then you may want to read to rest of this.
When man invented the wheel, it was made of stone and the carts that used this wheel provided for a very bumpy ride. The first pillows invented weren’t very comfortable either. Pharaoh’s of Egypt were buried with pillows in their tombs made out of wood, with curvature cut out that would fit their heads and neck.
The Chinese also made their own versions of pillows. These were constructed out of jade, porcelain, bronze, wood, and bamboo. One can only wonder why organic materials such as cotton or wool weren’t used for the first pillows. Even using a pet that likes to sleep 16 hours a day would be a better replacement for some of these first rock hard pillows.
But, according to Chinese mythology hard pillows were preferred because they help both with blood circulation and to keep the ancient demons away. Beautyrest, Tempur-Pedic and those comfortable pillows you steal from hotel rooms would have to overcome years of cultural bias before putting these hard pillow myths to rest.
The Greek and Romans did it right back then. With their hedonistic tendencies that some say led to the downfall of Rome, the people were into luxury and the pleasure of the self. So, instead of rocks, stones or metal, the Greeks and Romans used reeds, straw and the all-time favorite of the rich, feathered down.
These Europeans did not believe that there Pillow Pets were going to come to life at night and eat them as they slept. No, they believed in gorging themselves in tryptophan-laced foods and plenty of wine to put them out for a good night’s sleep.
And, yes a comfortable pillow was part of this experience as well. Eat, drink, sleep, repeat was the norm for many living in this culture.
Now, in the 1800’s pillows had become common place. Every Tom, Dick and Harriet homesteading in the U. S. had some form of pillow to aid them in a quality sleep at night. Back then the stuffing in the pillows had to be changed frequently because of mold, mildew and other issues.
And in the 1900’s pillows started to become mass produced and compete in the marketplace. Today there are many different kinds of pillows including those that use memory foam, hypo-allergenic materials, duck down, goose down and Hugh Downs.
So, you see, you’ve learned something about pillows today. Sleep well tonight, and by all means, don’t let those nasty bed bugs bite.
Kevin Blevin writes about the history of pillows plus funny pillowcases for a humorous shopping site that he owns, runs and manages.