On average we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping so having a quality pillow is important for spending that time in comfort. Choosing the right pillow depends on your preferences but with so many choices, you may feel overwhelmed. Let’s take a look at the differences between feather and cotton pillows and try to make the process of choosing a new pillow simpler!
Feather pillows are generally considered the more luxurious option between the two choices. The pillows are often made with goose feathers that are flat and have quills running through their centers. Feathers are soft but not as fluffy as pure down, however they do provide firmer support than down pillows.
Some benefits of feather pillows are that they are soft, warm, and can easily be shaped for better comfort and support. These types of pillows are very durable if well cared for and can last for years. Another great feature is that most feather pillows are washable.
Some cons to consider would be that pillows of this type can feel sweaty and hot to some who sleep hot. Feathers flatten easily and need to be coaxed and pulled into the shape you want every time to change positions. Another consideration is allergies. How sensitive are you? Many have found themselves to be allergic to feather or down pillows so do not commit to buying one unless you’re sure that it won’t be a problem for you.
Cotton pillows provide wonderfully soft, gentle yet firm lift for all the natural support you need as you sleep. This type of pillow is natural, and rarely contains allergens that would affect the sensitive sleeper.
Some benefits of cotton pillows are that since the fiber is naturally absorbent, you will not have to deal with a sweaty, hot pillow on an average night. Cotton pillows are much firmer than feather ones. The surface is smooth, plus there’s no chance of being startled awake by a rogue feather!
Some cons with cotton filled pillows are that as time passes the cotton can compress and begin to feel very hard and may even be described as lumpy by some. This pillow type does not contour easily to body curvature. If the pillow is not cleaned regularly it can create an attractive environment for dust mites and molds, as cotton can retain water.
Sleeping Style vs. Pillow Type
The way you sleep will determine the firmness of your pillow. Those of us who sleep on our back or side often prefer a medium support pillow that cradles the natural curvature of the spine. Stomach sleepers enjoy a soft, plump pillow that cushions the head and neck at a comfortable angle.
Everyone has a different image of their perfect pillow. For me being a side sleeper and having many allergies, a cotton pillow is the perfect match, but it may not be for everyone. Make sure to find your perfect fit for all your bedding because remember, we spend 8 hours of our day sleeping – if we’re lucky!
Many people have an extra bed skirt or two in the home. The skirts are sometimes included with larger bedding sets, and come free with things like air mattresses. Throwing the skirt away would be a waste – especially when you can re-purpose those unwanted bed skirts into something fashionable and fabulous!
Here are just a few things you can do with an unwanted bedskirt:
Make a Valance
An old bed skirt can be turned into a valance for your windows without much work. The skirt is already the right size and shape. Some even have a fold in the top that can hold a curtain rod once the elastic is removed. The only thing you really need to do is trim the skirt to the right length. You might have to sew a pocket along the top to fit the curtain rod through. Also, you might be able to get multiple valances from a single large skirt.
Create an Apron
You can turn old bed skirts into aprons for cooking, crafts or other hobbies. The patterns on some skirts are attractive and look good as an apron. You can do this by turning one part of the skirt into the lower portion of the apron. The apron will be especially attractive if the skirt has a lacy edge along the bottom. You can then cut the material to create the upper portion and straps. Then you sew the two parts together to get a finished apron. If you have extra material from the bed skirt left over, then you can make pockets for the apron.
Cover Outlet and Light Switch Panels
Bed skirts can be used to cover outlet and light switch panels. You start by unscrewing the panels and cutting the skirt material into the right size and shape. Make sure the material covers the edges of the panel. You can attach the skirt fabric with spray adhesive, fabric glue or even double-sided tape so that it is flat against the panel. You can rotate the pattern randomly to get some variety throughout the home.
Sew Clothes for Dolls
You can make fun and attractive clothes for dolls from an old ruffled bed skirt. The ruffles can be used to create dresses for dolls of any size. If you have multiple bed skirts available, then you can mix and match fabric patterns. You will generally be making simple clothes for dolls that do not have sleeves or other complex parts. Kids can even help to design or make the doll clothing.
You can do quilting with nearly any type of fabric. Bed skirts are excellent when used as part of a quilt. The skirt can be cut down into squares of any size. The material is usually durable and attractive. You could turn a single bed skirt into an entire quilt or you could use the fabric across multiple projects. Also, you can use every part of an old skirt for quilting.
Decorate Picture Frames
Something unique is to decorate picture frames with an old bed skirt. You can attach the fabric to an old frame to hide damage and wear. You can use some of the skirt as batting underneath so that the frame has a three-dimensional look. You can make worn picture frames interesting and distinctive by wrapping them in bed skirt fabric.
People invest thousands each year in expensive skin care and wrinkle reducing projects. On the quest for the flawless skin, women are starting to explore other options for improving skin health and have discovered satin. Women have made the connection between rest and youthfulness on a deeper level; they are sleeping on satin sheets and pillow cases to keep their skin soft and glowing.
Skin and Fabric
Researchers have long advocated the importance of wearing certain types of fabrics to minimize skin problems in those with certain disorders. One study found that people with conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema should steer clear of fabrics like wool because of their toughness. Skin that is exposed to tough fabrics, especially those used garments and bedding, are more likely to exacerbate skin conditions. Switching fabrics could not only preserve skin health but could also be the key to preventing wrinkles.
How do Wrinkles Form
Wrinkles are viewed as fact of life that occurs as a person ages. The skin cannot regenerate as quickly as it used to when it was younger. In losing the ability to retain moisture in the epidermis layer, the skin begins to slow the regeneration process. Since the skin cannot regenerate as quickly as it used to, wrinkles gradually begin to form. Exposure to environmental conditions like the sun, wind, UV rays and a poor skin care regimen all accelerate the aging process, causing wrinkles to form rapidly.
Silk Sheets and Skin Health
Friction between the skin and the sheets can cause wrinkling to the skin. Satin pillowcases and bedding can reduce the impact of friction with the sheets. Bedding is often made from other fabrics like cotton, which can result in the formation of creases in the skin. Cotton fibers are durable and tough, and that’s why they are great for everyday clothing. Sleeping in cotton, however, can exacerbate certain skin conditions and accelerate the aging process by gradually weakening the skin. Satin helps the body retain moisture, which is a common problem for those who are showing signs of wrinkling. Cotton strips the amount of moisture in the skin, and lack of moisture is the leading cause for premature wrinkling in women. While investing in silk sheets is considered a luxury, it can potentially reduce the need for costly procedures to minimize and correct imperfections in the skin like wrinkling.
Sleep is very important in promoting good health. Much of the rejuvenation, healing and regeneration processes occur as one sleeps. Consider how often you sleep and how much of an impact sleeping on harsh fabrics could ultimately affect your skin health over time with constant friction. Sleeping on satin sheets and pillowcases can slow the aging process by minimizing the impact of friction your skin must endure while you slumber.
What constitutes a good night’s sleep? The generally held consensus on the appropriate amount is 8 hours per night for adults. The average American gets less than seven hours per night and that’s not enough for them to function at their best. A lack of sleep can have a variety of negative impacts on our lives from an increase in disease susceptibility to an unhealthy gain in weight.
Making a Good Night’s Sleep Great
When we are overly tired, we also have slower reaction times which can have consequences when we are driving. Lack of sleep can result in a rise in blood pressure and can trigger hormonal imbalances that increase our appetites while making us tired during the day and less likely to exercise. This can lead to obesity and diabetes. Many obese Americans suffer from sleep apnea where normal breathing can become interrupted as many as 400 times per night.
When we are able to sleep well the benefits are immediate. Our memory improves, losing weight is easier and so is fighting depression. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, make sure your bed is comfortable and your mind is clear at bedtime. Drink caffeine-free herbal tea and avoid checking your electronic devices which can throw off your body’s natural clock.
You may have heard that you can save energy by putting curtains on your window. You may be wondering if that’s true or just a way for curtain manufacturers to sell more of their curtains. Let’s pull the curtain back on the rumors and find the truth!
Curtains Save Energy and Money?
The answer is yes, curtains can save energy and save you money. There are, however, some caveats to that answer. You need to use curtains correctly and use the right type of curtain. If you use energy-efficient curtains in your home, including blackout curtains where appropriate, you can save money. The curtains will retain heat from inside your home during the winter. They will reflect heat from the outdoors in the summer. You will see lower heating and cooling bills. You’ll also control the amount of sunlight and heat in your home by adjusting the curtains as you like.
Fix Your Windows First
Before you rush out and buy energy-efficient curtains, however, you need to take a look at your windows. If you’re like many people, you have no idea if your windows are properly sealed or letting in outside air. Check the caulking around all of your windows. If you’re not sure whether the caulking is in good repair remove it and apply new caulk. This will prevent drafts and allow your curtains to do their job.
Buy the Right Curtains
You should buy sturdy, solid curtains that will block light and heat. While sheers and lace curtains are pretty, they don’t count as curtains when it comes to saving energy. The best type of curtains are either blackout curtains, which you might like to have in a bedroom or other room where you want to block the sun completely, or lined draperies. You might also want to buy a drape and a separate energy-efficient curtain which hangs as close to the window as possible. These curtains prevent air from escaping around the edges of the drapery if the drape hangs farther from the wall.
Managing Your Curtains for the Season
During the summer you need a drapery with a light-colored backing. The light backing will reflect the sunlight and not absorb heat. You can also use these same curtains during the winter. In the summer you should keep the curtains closed during the heat of the day. This keeps the heat from warming the air in your home and allows you to run the air conditioner less. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a white curtain lining can reduce home heat intake by 33 percent.
In the winter you should open the curtains during the day if the window is in the sun. The more sunlight you use, the less you need to heat your home. Close all of your curtains as soon as the sun sets to keep the heat inside the house. The DOE estimates that closing curtains could reduce heat loss by 10 percent.
Hang Your Curtains High and Close
Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible or mount a cornice over the curtain rod to keep heat from leaking in either direction around the top of the curtain. Consider sealing the curtain to the wall with magnetic tape. Put a strip of tape on the wall and one on the curtain. Use floor-length curtains to trap air and keep it from leaking at the bottom of the curtains.
Just think – not only will using curtains improve the decor and style of your bedroom, using them correctly can also save you money!