Water pillows are found less frequently than other types of pillows and are regarded as a specialist. They come in two main categories; cooling pillows and water pouch pillows, which have different attributes and uses.
Cooling pillows have a layer of foam that is saturated with water and are designed to dissipate heat. They tend to be used for people who suffer from hot flushes, night sweats or otherwise get too warm during the night to reduce their temperature. Many of this type of pillow don’t require refrigeration when not in use.
Water pouch pillows are designed to give comfort and support and to have pain-relieving properties. They used a water pouch that the user fills themselves, which then has a normal polyester microfiber layer on top of it. They can be adjusted in height by the amount of water put into them.
Benefits of a water pillow
Because the heart of the pillow is water, the pillow easily conforms to the shape of the head and neck to give the best support for every individual. The water also ensures that the pillow doesn’t move around during the night, no matter how much the sleeper moves.
As mentioned, it is easy to adjust these pillows by simply removing water from the pouch so if you are finding it too hard, removing some water will make it softer. This means it offers the best support to the neck and head and reduces stiffness and pain when sleeping.
It also helps with a better night’s sleep because it doesn’t move around easily so you don’t have to constantly wake up and move your pillow back to the optimum position. This means that you have more energy during the day because you have had a better night’s sleep.
Water pillow versus waterbed
Water pillows are a very different prospect to waterbeds. Waterbeds have been around in one form or another since the 19th century but the modern form of them came into being in 1971 in San Francisco. It saw great popularity in the US during the 1980s.
A waterbed comes in two types of beds in one; a hard-sided bed and a soft-sided bed. A hard-sided bed is made up of a water-containing mattress inside a wooden frame and resting on a plywood deck, itself on a platform. A soft-sided bed consists of the water containing mattress inside a frame of sturdy foam, zippered into a fabric casing, which then sits on a platform. It looks much the same as a normal bed with the mattress appearing to be a convention box spring mattress.
The less expensive modern versions of the waterbed are like the original idea – they have a single water chamber and when the mattress is disturbed by the weight of the sleep, a wave-like action can be felt. This means that when you first lie down, a period of time is needed for the mattress to settle. More expensive modern versions are waveless, meaning they use a mixture of water and air through a series of interconnected chambers. This means when lying on them there is no wave effect nor a waiting time for the mattress to settle to your weight.
Many waterbeds are heated and the temperature is controlled by an adjustable thermostat. Commonly the temperature is set at 30 degrees C or 86 degrees F and generally, they use around 150-400 watts of power to operate. The mattresses are made from soft PVC or a similar material, meaning they can be easily repaired with a vinyl repair kit.
There are two main benefits to a waterbed. The first is that, like the water pillow, it contours exactly to your body and removes the pressure from joints and the spine to help those with pain in these areas. For people with impaired movement it can even reduce the risk of bedsores. The second benefit is that because dirt and dead skin cannot get through the mattress due to its material construction, there is no chance of dust mites taking up residence.