Why are ancient pillows hard and heavy? What is it made of? Maybe a lot of people don’t think about it

There are four seasons in a year, day and night in a day, and life naturally has its own biological clock. Human biological clock is to work during the day, sleep and rest at night. Only after sunset and enough sleep can we have a healthy body and enough energy when we work during the day. After entering the era of science and technology, scientists have found that human sleep and rest is directly related to the health of the body and the length of life.

When we go to bed and rest at night, we naturally need an important living appliance, which is the pillow. I believe you are not unfamiliar with pillows. The pillows we use now are all low and made of soft materials. But friends who like to watch costume dramas will find that people’s pillows in ancient times are totally different from those in modern times. They not only have different shapes, but also are hard and heavy.

Maybe many people are very curious: why the ancient pillows were hard and heavy? What material is it made of? Maybe a lot of people won’t think of the answer. Pillows have a long history. According to the research of archaeologists, pillows appeared as early as the Warring States period. At that time, the pillows were basically made of wood. Of course, they were not completely solid. They were hollow and simple. A well preserved lacquer wooden bed with a bamboo pillow was unearthed from a Warring States Chu tomb in Xinyang, Henan Province. Such pillows do not know how the ancients used them.


Of course, the wooden pillows used by the dignitaries at that time were certainly different from those used by ordinary people. The most commonly used wooden pillows by the dignitaries were boxwood. Boxwood was a kind of high-grade wood, and the color was also more beautiful, which was the most valuable part of the wooden pillows. Before the Han Dynasty, the ancients used wooden pillows. Later, wooden pillows gradually dropped out, and a more important material, the stone pillow, appeared.

Since the Three Kingdoms period, stone pillows have become popular. Both ordinary people and Guizhou in the palace use stone materials to make pillows. For ordinary people, they naturally don’t pay attention to any fine work. They can use a stone as a pillow by grinding it. The nobles are different. They will find craftsmen, choose good stones, and then carve them carefully. A stone pillow can also be carved very beautiful.

The duration of stone pillow is the longest, basically from the Three Kingdoms to the Qing Dynasty, the most widely used pillow is the stone pillow. The main reason why we choose stones as pillow materials is that they are everywhere in nature and don’t need to spend money. For ordinary people in ancient times, it’s something for nothing. If we use other materials to make pillows, we need to spend money.

In addition to the stone pillow widely spread among the people, there is another kind of pillow that has become the favorite of ancient people, that is the ceramic pillow. Porcelain pillows have been used in people’s houses since Sui Dynasty, especially in Tang and Song dynasties. The porcelain pillows of Song Dynasty entered a prosperous period of development. Not only the shape of porcelain pillows was larger than that of the previous generation, but also the decoration techniques were also improved by leaps and bounds. The techniques of carving, drawing, picking, printing and plastic piling were adopted one after another, which greatly enriched the expressiveness and artistry of porcelain pillows.


Ding kiln is one of the five famous kilns in Song Dynasty. Its shape is mainly divided into “geometric shape”, “animal shape”, “figure shape”, “architectural shape” and so on. Among them, “geometric shape” is one of the most basic shapes of porcelain pillows, most of which are popular rectangle and ellipse.

The types of ceramic pillows are the most abundant. These pillows are more colorful than our current pillows. For example, there are figures and animals in the ceramic pillows. There are “child pillow”, “lying woman pillow”, “lion pillow” and so on, can be said to be multifarious, let people dazzled, truly reflects the development and prosperity of China’s ancient ceramic industry.

Of course, in ancient times, not most people could use ceramic pillows. Only a few people used ceramic pillows, and most ordinary people still used stone pillows. Of course, the most noble pillow in ancient times was jade pillow, which could only be used by the Imperial Palace, and was mostly used by the emperor. Coincidentally, there is a acupoint on the back of the head called Yuzhen acupoint, which may have something to do with Yuzhen.


After reading these, I believe we all know why ancient pillows were hard and heavy, because they were made of hard materials, especially stone pillows, which were not only hard but also very heavy. Many people may not understand why the ancients chose this kind of hard pillow? Is there no soft material for pillows.

In fact, in ancient times, there were naturally soft materials to make pillows. Even if the common people could not afford to make them, the Imperial Palace and some powerful people were naturally qualified. However, due to the feudal ideology of the ancients, they would not try to change the traditions of their ancestors. They would rather sleep hard and heavy pillows than soft ones. And the ancient pillow also has a characteristic, that is high.

Ancient pillows, whether stone or porcelain, were relatively high. There are few pillows that we have now. Can’t the ancients make low pillows? Of course not. Hard materials are easier to make low pillows, but the ancients didn’t, so they still chose high and hard pillows. So why didn’t the ancients change? There may be different reasons.

Stone pillow, porcelain pillow and jade pillow are not without any advantages. In summer, it has a very obvious advantage is cooling, when people fall asleep, the head temperature will rise, high temperature will lead to difficult to sleep. In ancient times, there were no air conditioning, fans and other cooling equipment, but these hard pillows can make the head very cool and easy to fall asleep.


Maybe some people will say that it’s colder to sleep on such a hard rock in winter? In fact, the ancients also had soft pillows made of fabrics, but they seldom used them. Generally, they only used them in winter. Of course, more people still use hard pillows in winter. After entering the era of science and technology, pillows also ushered in great changes. People gradually abandoned the hard pillows in the past and chose the soft ones.

From a scientific point of view, hard pillow is not good for human body, easy to cause cervical strain, not conducive to cervical health care. Only when the normal physiological state of cervical spine is maintained during sleep can the whole human body relax and rest together. But the hard and high pillow is easy to damage the body. Maybe the short life span of people in ancient times also has something to do with the unscientific pillow materials.

Don’t underestimate a small pillow, it is directly related to a person’s sleep quality. Only by choosing a healthy pillow can we have a better sleep quality and a healthier body. I believe that even if you are given a jade pillow to enjoy the treatment of an ancient emperor, you will not choose it. It is hard for modern people to adapt to that kind of hard and high pillow.


Guys, what do you think of this? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.

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