Pillow Fight

Today’s post comes from Renee in North Dakota

Whenever our children come home to visit at the same time, I have to scramble to make certain that there are enough bed pillows to keep everyone happy.  We have a saying in our family “A well made bed is a work of art”, and that means a minimum of two goose down pillows for each head. Son once had six pillows on his bed, and daughter would have that many if I would purchase more for her. I notice that bed pillows start disappearing from our bed when the children visit, until husband and I are left with one apiece. Then we steal them back. I have been known to take my pillows with me on the road because you can never find a good pillow in most hotels.

This pillow obsession is my maternal grandmother’s fault. Omie prided herself on giving each grandchild two, made-to-order, goose down pillows upon the occasion of their marriage. She had a goose connection in a neighbor woman (a Mrs. Flanagan, I think) and made the pillows herself. She asked each recipient their preferences for pillow thickness and whether they were side, back, or stomach sleepers. My mom had many Omie pillows, and I grew up expecting my pillows to be soft and wonderful . My husband and children expect the same.

We also have down comforters on each bed, and daughter asked for a down mattress pad for her birthday this year. She insisted that we give her best friend a down comforter as a high school graduation gift.  Friend says it is like sleeping under a cloud.

I don’t go in for decorative pillows, just fat and soft standard size bed pillows with plain white pillowcases. A good night’s sleep is important, and I think that good bedding is a sensible investment.  I would rather have good bedding than fancy cars or boats or jewelry or any of the other things people buy to spoil themselves. It is just a good thing no one here is allergic to feathers.

Describe the perfect pillow.


48 thoughts on “Pillow Fight”

  1. i grew up in a house similar to yours renee. the pillow formula was a goose down not duck down requirement and the fluffability was primary in the consideration. my mom had a cleaner who would when needed take the feathers and transfer them to a new cover wen the cover got too sweat stained. i guess i sweat in my sleep and need to have that as a part of my process. i have tried the foam stuff and the fancy foam that forms to your head but always comeback to goose down. when we moved i must have inherited all the non needed pillows and i had to decide which and how many to hang onto. i ended up with the correct stack of 3 or 4 and seem to have lost the goose and inherited duck where the quill part of the feather pokes me and dirves me crazy but not crazy enough to right the situation. i guess i wouldnt feel right giving someone else the pillows that stick you. where the heck did they come from anyway.
    comforter yes 2 please. nothing else will do. my wife is going for the single blanket these days as she is hot. not me i need weight on my body to sleep. lighter int he summer but still weight is required.
    i loved traveling to europe where the beds are always dealt with as a place of honor vs the comfort sites slab with a brick you get at american hotels.
    so let me get this straight renee, when you travel to look and feel right you need a skirt sensible sweater pearls and a goose down pillow? anything eelse?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have yet to find the perfect pillow. Well, I found one once in a luxury hotel that I stayed in on a work trip – but when I looked up how much it would cost to purchase that pillow retail, I realized why it was at a luxury hotel and not my local Holiday Inn. I’m in an in-between stage right now where the pillows I have are no longer satisfactory but I have not yet found the next good one. I usually sleep with two – and have one that is a foam contoured affair that is supposed to be good for side sleepers, and it was for the first while…but it’s been I think a decade since I purchased it and while I’ve gotten my money’s worth, it’s time for it to go. Sigh.


    1. I keep seeing a pillow commercial late at night. A guy invented the “Perfect Pillow”. He’s in Minnesota and brags that they’re made here (as opposed to China). They’re $19.99


      1. There was a store out at Southdale selling those pillows. Not sure I’d trust a pillow from a store devoid of shoppers (or heck, some days even sales people).


        1. Hans bought one of those pillows because they advertised you could return it if not completely satisfied. He returned it (to a store in Rosedale) two days later. He tried it one night, and tried it the next. The verdict, not very comfortable and certainly not worth the $49.99 he had paid for it. To their credit, they took it back without any questions.


  3. I thought everyone had feather pillows will y mom got a foam one, and I couldn’t believe she preferred that. Now there are all kind of synthetic materials, but the pillows aren’t pliable enough – I like a pillow you can shape to whatever you want… but it must have enough feathers, otherwise you need two or three. The perfect pillow LOOKS like it’s way stuffed, but has a little room in it for molding.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My pillows are very old – the kind with feathers. I did buy one made of some kind of memory foam. Found it was not good for sleeping at all. I prop it up for reading. It doesn’t have much give to it.

    If the room is not too cold, I like having one leg outside the covers.


  5. I bought goose down pillows when I got married…I read or heard (or was it on Fiddler on the Roof) that that is what you should get. Mine now need to be re-stuffed, but…I am content with the two goose (or are these feather? or a mix?) down and two foam….and sometimes a fifth feather stuffed. I also have a body feather pillow that is in dire need of additional feathers, but spent the money on a soft mattress instead. Yes, and I too often take a pillow with me when away from home.


  6. Like everything in our house, our pillows are whatever we are given as someone’s cast-offs and we live with that.

    I do have one great pillow that is an inheritance from my great-grandmother. I treasure it. Like the chicken and noodles of my childhood, it’s like will not be seen again.

    I had it cleaned and re-ticked longer ago than I am willing to admit, and it needs to be done again.

    Today is not that day, I am afraid. Tax day. I fear the government is going to think I have made an enormous amount of money (for me).

    The fact that there is precious little left is proof of my extravagance.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So. That’s done. I have until the 18th to come up with an amount that was just about equal to a large invoice I was sending in so I could get paid and merrily pay my bills.

        While that is better than not having it coming in at all, it was rather discouraging.

        So I grimly started going through the orders, piece by piece and seeing what had fallen through the cracks as it invariably does (nature of the beast, I cannot explain).

        I found not one, but 2 cracking big orders that were not in the billing. The work is done, I just need to bill it.

        This is one of those moments I would like to sort of collapse in relief, because while I had set about the necessary juggling and figuring out just where we could make further cuts, it would really not have to plane things any finer to the bone. There are also things I have been hoping to get to (new glasses and shots for the above mentioned cats among my indulgences).

        However, there is yet more work that needs to be done for tomorrow, and right now, I have a warm kitty that is going to have to be shifted.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Where does one find a goose down pillow? Now you have me curious.

    I’ve tried sleeping under a down comforter, but I get too hot and throw it off mid of night… any covers actually become too warm and I usually discard the top one.

    I now have a down mattress pad (featherbed?) on my futon, but it should be fluffed more often that I do it. Is this what they did for mattresses in the past? I used to wonder how a mattress of straw on the “bedstead” (Little House books) could have been comfy.


    1. I get our pillows from The Company Store or Cuddledown. The latter sells an eiderdown comforter that runs about $8000 for a queen size bed. It is said to be super warm. The down is collected from nests which are on cliffs wherever it is in the Atlantic where Eider ducks congregate. It is said to be quite useful if you sleep in an unheated European farm house. I can’t imagine spending that much on a comforter.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I can only add one thing to add to a discussion about pillows, and it is a confused observation. I spend much of my time sitting in a stuffed chair reading books, watching TV, listening to radio and/or playing with my Kindle tablet. Several years ago I learned how comfortable it is to have a pillow on my lap. In an average day I might spend six hours with a pillow on my lap.

    Confusion becomes an issue when I try to figure out why this is so comfortable and comforting. I don’t understand this. It is nice to have something soft and bulky to help me hold up a book or the Kindle. The pillow is warm, and that’s good since I keep my environment cool. The weight of the pillow is also a pleasure. Part of my confusion is that I don’t know why everyone wouldn’t want a pillow to use like that. What’s so odd about me? (Okay, I shouldn’t have asked that! Forget I did.)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I like down pillows. I don’t know if the kind of down I like is goose down or some other kind. The best pillows for me are not very thick. I want the thickness to be just enough to give comfort with my head resting barely above the level of the bed. My neck gets sore when I sleep on a pillow that is too thick.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In 1938 my mother, with the help of several of her aunts, made large quilts for her hope chest. I am using one on our bed that she never, ever, used. It is 78 years old and looks new. She also embroidered pillowpillow cases which my grandmother then crocheted decorative edging for. I am using those now, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I also bring my pillow when travelling whenever possible. My perfect pillow is thick enough to accommodate my fairly wide shoulders when I sleep on my side, is firmer than average, and doesn’t give me horrendous bed hair when I wake up. I doubt the last problem will ever be solved by a pillowologist.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Morning all. Like MiG, pillows at our house are a mish-mosh and have to live a long life, probably longer than they were intended to. And like Renee, I like to “cuddle” w/ a pillow.

    I discovered two years ago what makes a pillow for me – it is the pillowcase. At the insistence of a client, I took a one-night trip down to Mayakoba, Mexico to see a hotel. Even though it was only me and I was only there for one night, the hotel gave me the full VIP treatment; a suite, a “butler” (both of these completely wasted on me) and an embroidered pillowcase! When I was packing up after a very good night’s sleep, I figured I should take the pillowcase, since unless they saved it up waiting for another VIP w/ my initials, it would be wasted (I did later confirm with my hotel contact that this was OK). This pillowcase has the highest thread count of any linen I’ve ever owned. It is SO soft. I have it on my bed every other week (change sheets on Saturday) and I can hardly wait to have it back.

    Maybe one of these days I’ll splurge and get a whole set of high-count sheets but for now my checkbook says I’ll have to live with just my one precious pillowcase!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I grew up with down pillows and comforters, but never thought of them as anything special so didn’t bring them along to the US. Blankets were a shock to my system. Too much weight and not enough warmth, and I’d get all tangled up in the sheet. Comforters and duvet covers have been making inroads in the American market for the last couple of decades and it’s now reasonably inexpensive to get a decent one. I recall my dyne – the Danish word for a comforter – at the boarding school felt like it was stuffed with dead chickens, all lumpy and heavy light that.

    A good pillow is hard to find at a reasonable price, I think. The one I currently have is a reasonable one, and I had to shell out $250.00 for it, but in retrospect I should have probably have spent twice that.

    I wrote the above and was interrupted by a phone call. By the time I got back to it, and pressed the POST COMMENT button, for some reason it posted it under Anna Bliss in The Baboon Congress. Sorry about that Anna. Have no idea how that happened.


  14. OT-to Plain Jane and Krista: If you get a chance, please tell your mutual friend TJ, who is my second cousin, that I have contacted our remaining family near Bremen. We will be able to see the farm where our grandfathers, Otto and Ernest, were born.


    1. I’m not sure how much or how little Krista checks in on the trail anymore, renee, so I’ll send this message to TJ.


  15. After my cancer, I was told that because I had no “shut-off” valve at either end of my rearranged anatomy (my stomach’s attached to my throat), I’d have to sleep at 1/3 of an angle the rest of my life and only on my back. My dentist had to be told. Massages are out of the question, but back-sleeping only is very peaceful. Lying flat results in painful acid reflux attacks every time.

    For five years, I slept on a wedgie with two pillows. Unfortunately, I’d often slip down into a prone position frequently and be jolted upright when acid came into my mouth. I’d rather be in late-stage child labor than this!

    Several months ago, as I shared in a guest story, my kids talked me into making changing the den into a master bedroom, so I bit the bullet and did what all of my doctors had urged me to and bought the adjustable bed. This has helped a lot, but I still turn on my side occasionally and pay the price for it. Sleeping only on my back took some getting used to. I really miss side-sleeping.

    I read a stat yesterday that only 5% of esophageal stage lll survivors even make it to five years, so I’m blessed to even be here. People tell me that “There’s a reason that you’ve beat the odds”. I’ve looked under the bed, in the closets, behind furniture and still haven’t found it yet, though!

    Liked by 5 people

  16. I have been away from the Farmer’s Market all winter, but I seem to recall the very nice people who sell some excellent cheese also sell pillows filled with lambswool that I would love to try.

    The cosmos is having fun with us. Today was not only tax day, but also ACT scores arrived for the s&h (they were fine, but I think we’ve had enough excitement, thank you).


    1. I bought one of those pillows a couple of years ago, mig, and it was a waste of money. I had enjoyed a lambswool mattress cover for years, and thought a pillow stuffed with lambswool would be great, but in a matter of days it was all compressed and no longer comfortable. Ended up throwing it out after struggling with it for a month, just didn’t want to be reminded that I squandered a good chunk of money on the thing.


  17. Hi–

    We have a couple of the ‘my pillows’ that are made in MN. Are those the same as ‘perfect pillow’? I hope not… we really like the MY Pillows. I sweat a lot at night and with these I don’t wake up with my neck and head all sweaty.
    We like the firmness and feeling of them.
    Kelly has a smaller size and I ordered a medium. It’s nice and firm.

    The first ones we got, were sucked flat, rolled up and stuffed in an envelope. You put them in the dryer to fluff them up again. I thought that was really fun. But the next two we ordered came regular size in a large – yet very light- cardboard box. Not nearly as much fun.

    I remember having feather pillows growing up. How feathers would poke out every now and then and I thought that was really bizarre.

    Guess I’m not too fussy about pillows. The last hotel we were at, there were 8 pillows on the bed so there was plenty to make a suitable mound for my head.

    Liked by 1 person

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