Finding the Perfect Pillow!

Sweeter Dreams with the Perfect Pillow April 19 2017

Finding the perfect pillow can be challenging. Let us guide you through 7 different fill options to help match you to the best fit.
The perfect pillow is a treasure; hard to find without ‘x’ to mark the spot. Let us be your guide to the Perfect Pillow and sweet dreams will soon follow. 
If you are like many, you have purchased an abundance of pillows over the years trying to find the one that fits you just right. But, as we learned in Goldilocks, what is comfortable for some, may not be for you. You may have found that some are just a little too hard, or a little too soft, or even a little too itchy! Nothing has been what you had hoped for after the hours of research you have spent trying to find the perfect pillow. Grrr… we know this can be frustrating!!  

The most important factor when choosing a pillow is YOU. The purpose of a pillow is to keep your neck in line with your spine. Getting the proper support is important, but too much support will give you a kink in your neck and then you’ll be kicking the pillow to the guest room!

If you are petite or have a small frame, a softer pillow gives you the flexibility you need to fill the space between your neck and the mattress. Obviously, someone with a larger frame, will need a firmer pillow UNLESS they are a scruncher!

Scruncher? Yes. People who scrunch their pillows into whatever shape they need to fit their frame and sleeping position.

Which, brings up another important topic: your sleep position.  Soft to medium pillows are good for people who sleep on their stomachs or backs because they have less space to fill from their mattress to their head. Firmer pillows help keep the neck in line with the spine for people who sleep on their sides, unless they are a pillow scruncher. (see above) 

Despite what you may hear, size matters! Don’t just buy king size pillows because you have a king size bed. You may get some for aesthetics, but when it comes to sleeping, get personal. It is very difficult to have a firm king size pillow unless you fill it with memory foam or polyester or bricks. There is just too much space to move around for a loose fill, like down, to stay really firm. If you like firm pillows, go for a smaller size like a standard to prevent the fill from moving out from under your head.

As you know, pillow filling options are seemingly endless; from Hypodown®, down and feather, wool, memory foam, polyester, and even buckwheat hulls, people have gotten pretty creative in what they will use to rest their weary heads. But, as we have learned so far, not every fill is perfect for everyone! What is important is to find YOUR preference. 

Let’s take a look at some options:

1. Hypodown® has been used in our pillows for over 30 years. It is a combination of 80% goose down and 20% syriaca clusters that come from the milkweed plant.  The hollow tufts of fluff wick moisture away from the body and fully integrate with down to make Hypodown® more durable and breathable than down by itself. The syriaca clusters, a natural, cellulose fiber, also trap and suppress the dust and dander in down giving an allergy free sleeping environment.  Our syriaca clusters are wild harvested through Monarch Flyway and help protect and encourage milkweed stands for a healthier Monarch habitat.

2. Down pillows are almost indistinguishable from Hypodown®; they are both flexible and have a luxurious feel. Goose down is considered high quality because they have large clusters and very little odor. On the other hand, duck down will have smaller clusters and is given away by the “foul” odor caused by the oils in the down. Note: If it does not state goose down on the law label, you are probably sleeping with a duck.

3. Feather pillows are similar to down, but consist of the feather, which are used as an outer layer of protection from cold and for flying. Unlike down, feather has a quill which can be pokey when you lay your head down. In addition, there is much more dirt and dander in feather products which can cause allergic reactions.

4. Wool is a hollow, natural fiber and certainly meets the criteria for being firm. One of the nice things about wool is it wicks moisture away from the body like a straw, so if you have a hot head, this maybe the fill for you. In addition, wool is a less expensive, natural alternative to down.

5.  Memory Foam is normally synthetic, but recently some good Organic options have come to market.  Memory foam conforms to your head and sleep position.  If you consistently sleep in one position, it may be a good choice for you.  If you change sleep positions or like to scrunch your pillow, it probably isn’t the best choice.  Reviews also indicate that many people believe they are too hot and when you first open the package, they have a chemical-like odor.  If you choose memory foam, opt for natural, organic ones found at www.thecleanbedroom.com or other reputable dealers.

6.  Polyester is the pillow of choice for most Americans; simply because they are inexpensive and readily available at any major retailer. Are they convenient, yes.  Healthy, no. Polyester is a petroleum-based, nonrenewable resource and contains toxins like, ethylene glycol, which are absorbed by your body while you breathe. That doesn’t sound like a perfect pillow to me! 

7.  Buckwheat Hulls are an agricultural by-product and some people swear by their buckwheat pillows. The filling moves easily and conforms to your head. When it is time to clean your buckwheat pillow, you do need to remove the hulls from the casing and only wash the covering.  Some may feel buckwheat pillows are loud and crunchy, but others find both aspects very comforting and would never give up their buckwheat.

While there are many other fill options available, we have highlighted a few to help you in your quest for the “Perfect Pillow”.  Out of the seven we highlighted, we would only discourage the use of polyester pillows due to the adverse impact on the environment and possible health concerns.

As you journey toward finding that perfect pillow, remember to think about your body frame, sleep position, and how you use your pillow.  The purpose of a pillow is to keep your neck and spine in alignment so you can wake up happy, refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of your day.

Thanks for reading and wishing you the Sweetest of Dreamzzz.
- Debbie Dekleva
Photo Credit: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_arthurhidden'>arthurhidden / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Life as an Intern March 01 2017

Just like any other high school junior, I was starting to feel overwhelmed with the idea of applying for colleges and entering into the “real world”.  I had always had a summer job at a local restaurant but I was beginning to look into the possibility of an internship that would help my job experience stand out for those college applications. I contacted the local chamber of commerce who helped me find just what I was looking for – a paid internship with a local business, named Ogallala Comfort Company. After an interview with the owners, Herb & Karen Knudsen, I had found myself the perfect summer job!

My days with OCC consisted of a variety of tasks depending on the day. First, I had to learn about all the products and ventures of the company & familiarize myself with everything going on in the business. I had no idea the process it took to make these luxury bedding products! From picking the milkweed, to blending the Hypodown, ordering the bedding shells, hand-filling each item to fit the customers specifications, hand-sewing the tags, and packaging each order – and those were just the basics! There was much more that happened behind the scenes. Plus, at that time, the company was just beginning the process of marketing and selling their Milkweed Balm, which has since become a whole other segment of the company!

I helped conduct market research for our various products & tried to help find places or people that could help advance our sales. I also helped with our social media at the very beginning (I’m talking less than 300 likes!) and assisted our Sales Manager, Chanielle with other sales projects. I helped gather & design the elements for our booth that we were taking to trade shows that year, and also organized and cleaned the office, storage rooms, and store front. To this day I can thank the OCC for my box taping skills – as I helped package & ship items in production every day. As a high school student, I got to sit in on office meetings, listen to conference calls & learn the overall workings of a small business.

Above all, the best thing about working at OCC were the people. We had a small team back then and it was fun to work with, and get to know every one of them. They sent me off to college, kept up on Facebook, and some even came to my wedding just this last year. Bonus: luxury pillows as a wedding gift! J Also, they liked me enough to let me come back & work for them out of my home! I currently help as a social media assistant – helping with Facebook and handling daily Instagram posts. 

So I may have set out to find just a summer internship, but I found much more than that. I found a company that cares about its employees & people that make you feel like you’re part of a family.

 

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-- Blair Cissell

 


Dress Your Bedroom as You Dress Yourself. February 24 2017

The ever so lovely Peacock Alley Linens shared some Wednesday wisdom with us today from their founder, Mary Ella Gabler.  

"It made sense to me that these women would want to dress their bedrooms as they dressed themselves: in natural fibers, simple silhouettes and classic colors.  It was how I dressed and it was how I wanted to live."

If you're like most women, you put a lot of time, money, and effort into your wardrobe.   It could be because we like our clothes to be comfy and cozy, because we wear them against our skin for 12+ hours a day, and what woman doesn't love a good compliment!?  So why not treat yourself to these same luxuries when choosing your bedding?  After all, we do spend 1/3rd of our lives sleeping in that bed!

By dressing your bed in Ogallala products, you are not only surrounding yourself in naturally hypoallergenic luxury, you are helping support and revive the Monarch butterfly population.  How, you ask?  Our luxurious Hypodown® products are made with 70% white goose down, and 30% Syriaca clusters (also known as Milkweed fibers).  By responsibly collecting milkweed pods to make Hypodown®, we help preserve the native milkweed stands and create demand for milkweed products.

Do yourself, and the Monarch butterfly population, a favor and treat yourself to one of many Hypodown® products at Ogallala Comfort Company - www.ogallalacomfort.com.

For more information on the Monarch butterflies and our story, visit www.monarchflyway.com

 

-- Cassie Knoop


Vintage? February 07 2017

As much as we'd like to consider it "vintage", our company sign has been up for over 30 years and didn't quite age as well as we would have liked (I wish I could insert an emoji here).  Designing our shiny, new signs was a lot of fun but once we returned to our showroom all bright-eyed and full of creativity, we knew that it needed some new life breathed into it as well.  

Side note: all of this was decided while the bosses were traveling for the week. SURPRISE!

Being located in a rural, ranching community of 5,000 people, you can probably assume the bulk of our business is not in store. Instead, we shift our focus to maintaining a significant online presence and making sure your incredible Hypodown products are quickly out our door and into yours! Have I mentioned that we make everything to order? You won't find your product sitting on a dusty shelf here! You'll find it being carefully hand-crafted by the skilled members of our production team. You, our wonderful and faithful customers, sure keep us busy (thank you!), but who says we can't make time for a little wallpaper removal? Check out a little "behind the scenes" remodel in action and check back soon for the finished product!

-your Ogallala Comfort Company crew

 


Chief Dreamin' January 17 2017

          What does milkweed have to do with luxury down bedding?? To the blind eye; probably nothing, but to the creative dreamer; everything. Chief Dreamer and Founder of Ogallala Comfort Company, Herb Knudsen, discovered the amazing qualities of milkweed fiber for bedding after ending his career with Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio).  

            Sohio had a $2,000,000 research budget for special projects, and reached out to Herb to be their creative genius to develop alternative oil sources. This was the beginning of Herb’s connection with Milkweed. It wasn’t long before Kimberly-Clark of Wisconsin contacted Herb about his research. They had been interested in Milkweed for some time, but for different purposes. Sohio was in it for the oil and Kimberly-Clark wanted the Floss, or the silk-like fibers inside of the Milkweed pod. Through extensive testing, Kimberly-Clark found that Milkweed Floss tested high in warmth and absorption, as well as obtained hydrophobic, or waterproof qualities. This research project was short lived after Sohio was bought out by British Petroleum, who had no interest in many of the special projects Sohio had started.

            After having his job eliminated with Sohio, Herb continued with the milkweed project on his own; discovering quickly that producing results as Herb Knudsen, rather than Sohio, was much more difficult. Though he encountered rough roads to his success, Herb never gave up. He knew that milkweed was much more valuable than just a weed farmers considered to be a pain in their crop fields.

            For his continued research, Herb needed to grow milkweed; which was not a problem when he was with Sohio. He knew to be successful, he needed to find a location west of the 18” rain fall line. After asking around, he came up with the name Ralph Holzfaster, who had previously worked on a Chick Pea project with Sohio. Herb flew to Nebraska to meet with Ralph about growing milkweed. After much discussion, Ralph agreed to plant milkweed in a field of his where no other farmers could be disturbed by it. Naturally, this field seemed to be the target of many hailstorms and suffered much frustration, but eventually, the milkweed grew. Herb still lived in Cleveland, Ohio at this time and spent two years flying to Nebraska every other week to continue his research. Eventually, he move to Nebraska with his wife Karen, and their four children. 

          In 1987, Herb founded Ogallala Comfort Company after discovering Milkweed Fiber was comparable to down; actually Milkweed Fiber was better than down alone. He sought out several different down companies to share his research and propose that, instead of using 100% down in products, they blend the down with his Milkweed Fiber. This would create a higher quality product with a lower volume requirement. Many told him he was crazy, down was great on its own. He refused to feel defeated though and he kept going. He finally decided that he would make his own down comforters and pillows after the lack of interest from other companies. He trademarked the name Hypodown® because Milkweed Fiber was discovered to be hypoallergenic, more durable and more breathable – how AMAZING! It took Herb years of his time, mounds of his effort and perseverance, and a dream that most deemed “crazy”, but Hypodown® proves itself and has continued to grow throughout the 30 years of business.  Now you know why Herb will always be our “Chief Dreamer”. 

P.S. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is the title on his business card ;)

 

-- Marlee Waugh

 


New Year, New Blog! January 10 2017

I know, I know - we all get a little tired of seeing everyone's New Year's resolutions plastered all over Facebook when, let's be honest, they most likely won't survive until February.  But we promise that this one will last much longer!  

2017 is such an exciting year for us at Ogallala Comfort Company.  We have teamed up with the amazing crew at GRIT Advertising Agency to completely revamp and refresh our brand.  What exactly does this mean?  Updated, improved product line, fresh photography, new, exciting material for you social media lovers, and that's only scratching the surface!  We thought it would only make sense to add a new blog to that list - one that gives you more of an insight on who we are, what happens behind the scenes, our travel adventures, and anything else our readers would like to see.

Check back soon so we can tell you how we got started 30 years ago, why our Founder & CEO decided to chase his (what some would call "crazy") dream, and why we're so passionate about what we do.  Until then, good luck on those New Year's resolutions - you got this! ;)

 The team!