Who Made The Pillow?

  The Pillow, as we know it today, has no single inventor or a specific point in time it can be traced back to. Instead, its development is a result of evolving sleep patterns, cultural practices, shifting trends, and advancements in technology through the years. From simple nature-inspired headrests to the luxurious down-filled pillows, the journey reflects human innovation and ingenuity.

A Journey Through History

  Pillows were not always soft, cozy, and inviting as we see them today. Many ancient civilizations actually preferred hard pillows made from stone, wood, or ceramic.

Earliest Known Pillows

  The earliest known pillows date back around 7,000 years to Mesopotamia, the birthplace of civilization. These early pillows were made of stones and had a primarily practical function – to elevate the head and keep insects and dirt away during sleep. Certainly not the most comfortable by today’s standards, but it showcased the importance humans already placed on sleep quality.

Egyptian Civilization

  In ancient Egypt, pillows were a symbol of wealth and power. Pharaohs, and those of high status, were often buried with intricately designed, stone headrests crafted with a curve to support the neck.

Chinese Civilization

  The ancient Chinese civilization took a similar approach, using hard pillows made of stone, ceramic, or wood. However, what set them apart was their belief that these hard pillows could maintain health by promoting blood circulation to the head.

Middle Ages and Renaissance

  It was during the Middle Ages that people began filling pillow casings with materials such as straw or feathers. However, these were usually reserved for the wealthy as pillows were seen as a luxury item. In the Renaissance period, pillows started to become commonplace. The stuffing varied from cheap materials such as hay or reeds to luxurious down feathers, with the more affluent using exotic materials like silk.

Modern Day Pillow

  With the industrial revolution and the boom in cotton production, pillows started to become available to the masses at much lower prices. Modern technology has enabled further enhancements, leading to a diverse range of pillow types to cater to specific needs. Today, you can find everything from memory foam pillows, latex pillows, microbead pillows to water pillows, each with their unique benefits and features.

Significant Contributions

The Water Pillow

  The concept of the water pillow was introduced by Maurice Bard in 1987. Bard had suffered multiple sports injuries, which led him to seek a better way to get proper sleep. His invention of the water pillow revolutionized pillow designs.

The Memory Foam Pillow

  The memory foam, made from a type of polyurethane initially developed by NASA in the ’60s, was used by Tempur-Pedic International Inc in 1991 to create the first memory foam pillow. Its ability to mold in response to heat and pressure makes it perfect for aligning with the unique contours of a person’s head and neck.

The Cooling Pillow

  The advent of cooling technology has also made its way into the pillow industry. Brands like Coop Home Goods and Bedgear have designed cooling pillows, which aim to dissipate body heat and provide a cooling sensation all night long.

The Smart Pillow

  With the advent of smart technology, nowadays, smart pillows have started making their way to the market. These pillows can monitor sleep patterns, snoring, and even play music to aid sleep.

Finishing Thoughts

  Pillows, over the centuries, have evolved in their design and purpose. From rudimentary stones and blocks of wood to plush down feathers and sophisticated memory foam, the pillow’s progress mirrors human civilization’s evolution. It underscores humanity’s relentless pursuit of comfort and innovation. Today, the wide array of choices means that there’s a pillow out there for almost every kind of sleeper. The journey of the simple pillow spotlights the lengths to which mankind would go to secure a good night’s sleep. It’s a testament to our enduring creativity and resilience.


  • Dominic Johnson

    Hello! I’m Dominic Johnson, the whimsical wizard behind the world of sleep at GoodSleepHub.com. With a background in Sleep Psychology and a quirky love for all things dozy and dreamy, I bring a sprinkle of fun to bedtime blues. I've spent my career unraveling the mysteries of the Sandman, turning dense science into cozy bedtime stories. When I'm not buried in research papers or testing the fluffiness of the latest pillows, I'm usually found playing impromptu lullabies on my old guitar for my twin daughters or teaching my labrador, Rocket, new tricks. My approach to sleep is simple: blend science with a touch of magic and a hearty laugh.

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