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The history of the pillow


When you think of history you do not usually think of pillows, but while they may seem like a rather boring if common object, they actually have a long and interesting history.

As with many items that we know consider a common necessity, pillows were once the domain of the wealthy, a luxurious sleeping aid that most couldn’t afford. Across Asia, pillows were heavily brocaded with beautiful patterns and expensive silks and metals. In Egypt during the time of the pharaohs, they were placed in the tombs of the wealth as an item of such import that they were to be taken into the afterlife. In this era pillows were as much an art form as they were a pragmatic and functional sleeping aid and were seen as prized possessions through Asia, Arabia and Medieval Europe.

It was during the reign of the Tudors in England, between the 13th and 15th Centuries, that the pillow made the transition from luxury to necessity though many initially saw them as something that only women and the infirm would use. As time went on they became increasingly acceptable amongst men and by the time of the Industrial Revolution they had become cheap and ubiquitous and even the toughest of men were happy to use them.

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