Modern Pillows a Quantum Leap Ahead of Ancient Forerunners

When most people think of pillows, they think of a plush and comfy cloth-covered cushion with feathers and beads, or super-comfortable sleeping pillows that offer a promise of a deep, restful sleep. The technology behind today’s neck-supporting, anti-wrinkle pillows are about as far removed from their ancestors as a Formula 1 race car is from a Model T.

ancient Mesopotamians

The first recorded pillows were used by the ancient Mesopotamians thousands of years ago, and far from comfortable. Made of stone, the pillows did provide support for the neck and also functioned to keep their owners’ heads off the ground to prevent insects from crawling over their faces.

Ancient Egypt refined the pillow concept, making them somewhat more comfortable. Ancient Egyptian pillows were carved from wood. Reserved mainly for the wealthy, Egyptian pillows had a spiritual element, as the Egyptians believed that the head was an important life center of the body.

In ancient China, pillows were made of a variety of materials, including bamboo, bronze, porcelain, and jade. The ancient Chinese preferred these pillows to softer pillows, as they believed that softer pillows would rob the user of vitality. They also felt soft pillows were less effective in deterring demons who may have harassed men and women during their sleep.

The Greeks and Romans developed the most direct predecessors of modern pillows by creating soft cloth pillows filled with soft feathers or straw. Not everyone had a pillow during this time – in fact, pillows were often only owned by the well-to-do during this era.

During the Middle Ages, soft pillows fell out of favor as people in this highly religious era felt they were associated with decadence. The Renaissance brought a renewed interest in comfort, and pillows made a comeback. During the industrial era, pillows became more common as improvements in textiles and related fields made the production of pillows easier. Once the province of the rich, industrialization put pillows within reach of everyone.

Modern Pillows


As more evidence has emerged that quality of sleep and human health are related, researchers and manufacturers have developed improved pillow designs to help facilitate better sleep. By providing additional support for the head and neck, and encouraging good sleep positioning, these pillows can help reduce health problems associated with poor sleep, such as sleep apnea, acid reflux, and more.

Improving sleep is important to improving health. Experts say that millions of Americans do not get enough sleep or enough quality sleep. That deficit is contributing to a host of health issues and also causing people to look old before their time.

JuveRest, The Sleep Wrinkle Pillow, invented by a board-certified plastic surgeon, not only promotes proper sleep posture, but can help delay the appearance of sleep wrinkles. To learn more, visit