Scientist to Develop Bacteriaproof, Lownoise and Breathable Pillow Encasings
Encasings are most familiar as covers used by allergy sufferers to protect mattresses, pillows and duvets from dust mites. However, they are becoming more and more widely used in areas where hygiene precautions need to be taken because of the number of different people using the bed. Special pillow encasings are being used in hospitals and care homes and also in hotels. They are bacteria-proof, so that no microorganisms can penetrate inside the pillow and then be transferred from one guest or patient to another. However, until now these encasings have had some major disadvantages because of the special membranes they require: people found them less comfortable to sleep on, mainly due to the disturbing rustling noise right in their ear. Scientists at the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim are now working on a newly developed pillow encasing, with the aim of eliminating this problem. Bacteria-proof spacer fabrics are to be incorporated in the construction of the encasings so as to reduce the noise considerably and make them more breathable.
The task for the research team led by Dr. Jan Beringer is to review all essential aspects of previous pillow encasings and develop an entirely new and optimised product. Dr. Beringer is confident that the new generation of pillow encasings will be very popular: "Until now, despite their clear advantages in terms of hygiene, pillow encasings have not been very widely used in this kind of institution. Weighing up the costs and the benefits often resulted in conventional pillow encasings not being used," says Dr. Beringer. "It's not surprising, there were lots of complaints about the loud rustling noise, the 'airbag effect' caused by delayed release of air, or generally disturbed sleep due, for example, to excessive sweating."
In their research, the scientists are paying particular attention to reducing the loud rustling noises which occur right in a patient's ear as they move their head, and, by disturbing their sleep, greatly impair their healing or recovery. In a further step, the researchers want to optimise the way the spacer fabric and the membrane system are combined, with regard to their effects on thermophysiological comfort (thermal insulation, permeability to water vapour) and skin sensory comfort (softness, smoothness). Finally, the resistance of the textile construction to commercial processing conditions will be tested. When the innovative pillow encasings are launched on the market, they must be suitable for leasing, meaning that they do not lose any of their special properties during commercial cleaning.
Thanks to the new encasings, hotel guests will be able to sleep in their hotel beds without worrying about hygiene. The encasings will also be effective in improving hygiene conditions where there are frequent changes of occupancy in care homes, especially during short-term or respite care stays.
Conditions will be greatly improved where there are frequent changes of occupancy. Thanks to encasings, hotel guests can sleep in their hotel beds without worrying about hygiene.