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What Is a Microbead Pillow?

By S. Gonzales
Updated: May 23, 2024

A microbead pillow is a soft and squishy pillow filled with small, polystyrene beads. Many people associate microbead pillows with bean bags, because they are similar in feel and can be composed of the same materials. These pillows can be used for general head support, or they can be employed as a therapeutic device for those suffering from medical conditions.

Polystyrene beads are miniature versions of beads that fill bean bags and contribute to the feel of the pillow. Regarding size, the beads can range anywhere from 0.3 mm (0.001 inches) to 0.8 mm (0.003 inches) in diameter. Microbeads also can be referred to as "snow beads."

Microbead pillows typically are made out of a stretchy, soft fabric such as spandex or nylon lycra. Stretchy fabric lets the microbeads shift as needed to conform to the shape of the user's body or his or her position. Because they mold so easily to a person's body, microbead pillows are often thought to provide good body support, especially in regard to the neck.

Great support might mean an alleviation of pain for some users. While the average pillow might contribute to pain because it can irritate pressure points, microbead pillows do not present this problem. The pillows can be so beneficial to pain sufferers that doctors often recommend their use to patients who complain of back or neck problems. They also are commonly given to patients after surgery.

Microbead pillows encourage air flow. Owners who have problems with regular pillows becoming too warm might prefer a microbead pillow because it will remain a suitable temperature. In addition, the pillows are hypoallergenic, so allergy sufferers can use them without fear of bacteria, fungus and dust mites accumulating in or around the pillow.

Caring for a microbead pillow is generally very easy. An owner of a microbead pillow might need to refrain from using sharp objects around or on the pillow. The pillows don't encourage fungus and bacteria growth, but they might need to be spot-cleaned on occasion. After these minor cleanings have taken place, owners should place the pillow on a flat surface so that it can dry evenly.

It should be noted that microbead pillows can vary in quality and durability. Potential owners would do well to purchase a microbead pillow manufactured by a company that specializes in creating medical-grade microbead pillows. They also should note that because a microbead pillow usually is small, it can be portable and taken with its user wherever he or she goes. A microbead pillow can be used during rides on trains, planes and automobiles, making the investment a solid one.

PillowGuide is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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