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First of all, just what IS a body pillow? Regular pillows are of course found in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are decorative, while others are very functional. Body pillows are one of the latter types.
Simply put, body pillows are typically as long as a full-grown person. They are designed to support your entire body, especially if you sleep on your side. When a body pillow is used properly, it will provide support for your knees and legs, as well as support your head, neck and shoulders. Pregnant women, who have greatly enlarged abdomens, often find body pillows help them to be more comfortable in bed. Interestingly, several cultures have their own versions of the body pillow. The Japanese know them as Dakimakura, while in the Philippines they use a full-length pillow called the Abrasador.
Since body pillows support the entire body, it is important that you keep your body pillow cases clean and fresh. Body pillow cases have a tendency to pick up body odors, as they come into contact with the entire body of the sleeper. Especially if a person has been ill recently with the flu or colds, both the body pillow and any body pillow cases used by the sick person should be completely disinfected, in addition to a general cleaning.
Of course you realize that since body pillows, by definition, extend to the full length of the body, that you will not be able to use regular pillow cases on them. In our house we have tried from time to time to substitute (in a pinch) 2 regular bed pillow cases for 1 body pillow cases – by using one at the top (for the head) and one at the bottom (for the feet) – but they invariably come off during the night, with the result that the person sleeping ends up sleeping on a bare body pillow, with no body pillow case on it at all.
Enemies of Your Body Pillow Cases
The principal enemies of your body pillow cases are: germs, dust mites, and body dirt/odor. If your body pillow cases are not changed regularly, they will become smelly, germy, dirty sources of odors, discomforts and all sorts of health problems. Again, your body pillow cases must be kept completely clean and in good repair if you are to get the maximum enjoyment from your body pillow.
One Type of Body Pillow Case Does Not Fit All
Although body pillows themselves are standardized in length, not all body pillow cases will suit every person. For those desiring some extra warmth (especially in the winter time), flannel body pillow cases are an ideal choice. On the other hand, in the summer flannel would be too warm. Then you should perhaps select body pillow cases made from a lighter synthetic fabric. I personally find that silk body pillow cases strike a perfect balance between softness, warmth and yet coolness when you the weather turns cooler.
And don’t forget that the proper selection of body pillow cases can enhance the decor of your bedroom. Body pillow cases are available in solid prints, stripes, modern designs, geometric patterns, nature scenes (my wife is partial to anything floral). If you are buying body pillow cases for a teen’s room, then select something with a modern, hip feel. For younger children, you can sometimes find body pillow cases depicting favorite TV or movie heroes. Body pillow cases – don’t sleep on a pillow without one!