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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 11:43 am | Updated: 11:44 am, Wed Nov 21, 2018.

W.C. Fields said, “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” Funny, but true.

Last week this column addressed the need for the correct pillow thickness based on the favored position one chooses to sleep in. So, today’s focus is on the materials used to make pillows.

Most people think down and feather pillows are the same; however, they wear a disguise. Down is very light and soft, and is usually located underneath the harder, stronger feathers, which protect the bird from the elements.

A feather pillow will be harder, and there is a chance that some of the feather quills could poke through the fabric. This is particularly the case in cheaper feather pillows. The good news about both types is they tend to last up to ten years.

It is a widely-held belief that feather pillows cause allergic reactions, but studies show that the porous materials used in some synthetic pillows can actually retain more mold and dust mites than feather pillows.

Wool and cotton pillows are also natural materials and not inclined to dust mites and mold; however, these materials tend to be on the firmer side and not suitable for stomach sleepers.

A latex pillow is made from the sap of rubber trees, making it elastic and resilient. They are also good for allergy sufferers. They tend to be cooler than memory foam, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, although some come in shredded form and others are solid.

Memory foam pillows come in various shapes and sizes as well as in an S-shaped version. The makers advertise good neck, jaw, and shoulder support. Some consumers complain about the pillows making them hot when they sleep.

Also, people who move around a lot at night should know it takes the memory foam pillow a few minutes to reshape itself. Some who purchase memory foam pillows complain about the “new pillow smell” being unpleasant, users say it goes away in a few weeks.

No matter which type of pillow is purchased, it is always best to find out about the return policy and guarantee.

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise appears each Thursday.

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