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Pillows are an essential part of the sleeping process. Just like your mattress, your pillows also define the quality of sleep you get. The pillow you sleep on makes all the difference between a comfortable, relaxing night’s rest and waking up with aches and pains all over.
Most times, people tend to concentrate solely on their mattresses and forget all about their pillows. This is a big mistake, and it can also be a costly mistake since you might just be replacing your mattress when the problem can be easily solved with a pillow replacement. Pillows, just like mattresses, aid in comfort and support. They align your head, neck, upper shoulders with your spine. Body pillows are even better at support.
This article will focus on the newest trend in the pillow market, the highly popular Japanese Dakimakura pillows. It will take you through all the finer points of the Dakimakura pillow, making it a breeze to buy the perfect one for yourself.
What is Dakimakura Pillow?
Dakimakura pillow is a relatively new addition to the world of pillows. It has been around for quite some time in Japan but has only recently made its way into the mainstream USA market. Since its “discovery,” the Dakimakura pillows have been steadily rising in popularity worldwide. In Japan, Dakimakura pillows have a dedicated pillow market share since the 1990s. This is fast catching up in the USA markets as well.
Dakimakura pillow was first manufactured by the Japanese company “Cospa.” In the early ’90s, Cospa created a pillowcase for body pillows with the popular anime characters printed on it. With the anime culture already spiraling out of control in Japan, these pillowcases with anime characters took off instantly. Before you knew it, the market was flooded with all types, shapes, and patterns of Dakimakura pillows.
To keep it simple, Dakimakura pillows are usually pillowcases with anime prints or themes on them. They are a long body pillow meaning that the length is long enough to cover the average human adult with special Japanese cartoon or “anime” printed on it. Even though they are called Dakimakura pillows, they are generally pillowcases only. The inner pillow needs to be purchased separately. Some company’s especially in the west, tend to sell the pillowcase with the pillow in it, but originally Dakimakura pillows were just anime-themed pillowcases.
Dakimakura Pillows Vs. Body Pillows
While body pillows are used to define and explain the Dakimakura pillow concept, there is a very basic difference between these two products. They both tend to look very similar in their sizes and shapes, but the basic difference lies in their uses. Where body pillows are typically used more for physical support and comfort, Dakimakura pillows are emotional tools.
Body pillows, in the conventional sense, are orthopedic pillows or specialized pillows that are recommended by a healthcare practitioner to provide you with better spinal support. They are used after a physical injury to maintain correct posture during sleep or under special medical conditions like pregnancy. The basic aim of body pillows is physical support.
The Dakimakura pillows, on the other hand, are purely for emotional support. They were started as anime spin-offs and have since taken over as comfort products just like your safety blanket or the plush comforter you like to sink into in the evenings. They are a different spin to your oversized teddy bear that you like to hug to sleep.
Apart from the obvious difference in the usage intention of body pillows and Dakimakura pillows, they also differ in their sizes. Body pillows have no hard and fast rule for size. They can come in a variety of different sizes. But, Dakimakura pillows are traditionally only available in three sizes:
- 150x 50 cm
- 160x 50 cm
- 100x 35 cm
The sizing matters with Dakimakura pillows since they are meant to correspond and relate to the anime theme it sports.
Reason Behind 100, 150, and 160 cm Dakimakura Pillow
The difference in the size of the Dakimakura pillow is largely to service the demand for Dakimakura pillows outside of Japan. Traditionally Dakimakura pillows were only manufactured in 160 cm. However, this meant almost double the shipping costs as compared to a slightly smaller dimension of 150 and 100 cm. Hence to accommodate the anime and manga “Otaku” culture and to remain cost-effective, the smaller size of Dakimakura pillows was created.
These two standard sizes are Dakimakura pillows are strictly adhered to because given that the nature of these pillows, they tend to appeal to a segment of the population that are into Japanese anime, which would like uniformity in the collections they acquire. Also, not everyone buys a Dakimakura sized inner pillow with every pillow cover change. Given that Dakimakura pillows are essentially pillow covers, it makes sense to keep them in a uniform size.
Features of Dakimakura Pillow
It is easy to spot a Dakimakura pillow. Some telltale features are:
- Only available in three sizes
- Printed with anime, manga, video game characters. Sometimes they sport real people photos as well.
- Sport double sides of the character. You will have both the front and backside of the character on the two sides of the pillow.
Why Should You Buy a Dakimakura Pillow?
There are a few reasons that might convince you to buy a Dakimakura pillow, even if you are not necessarily an anime or manga fan. If you are one of the many anime lovers, then the chances are you already own a Dakimakura pillow. The benefits of having this pillow handy are:
- Ideal body support for a good knee, back, and neck alignment
- Relieves body pains and pressure point aches
- Good spinal alignment
- Helps in medical conditions like “Fibromyalgia.”
- Provides good support during pregnancy by taking the weight off the back and belly
- Helps improve blood circulation, especially in the legs and ankle during sleep
- Comfort: Just like you hugged a doll to sleep while growing up and clutched your favorite blanket tight, these Dakimakura pillows can provide emotional comfort while sleeping. They are soft and cuddly with an anime character printed on it. Hugging these pillows gives the illusion of hugging the character on it, giving you the much-needed comfort you require
- Aesthetic Appeal: Dakimakura pillows are great at adding the extra level of cuteness to your bedroom decor. There is nothing more adorable than having a soft and cute anime character staring up at you.
Buying Guide for Dakimakura Pillows
It always helps to keep a few practical points in mind when you purchase any product. When looking at your next Dakimakura pillow, you should bear in mind the following factors:
- Size: Dakimakura pillows come in three sizes. Pick the one that fits your existing pillow or collection. It is always better to have a uniform sized pillow cover set than one that is all sized unless, of course, you have all three sizes of “inner pillows” with you.
- Fabric: Dakimakura is available in four types of fabric. These are discussed below:
- Smooth Knit: Dakimakura pillows in smooth knit are, as the name suggests, incredibly smooth and fine to touch and feel. They are made with 100% polyester fabric that lends it the smoothness factor. The polyester also ensures that the graphics and design printed on the fabric remains true even after several washes. The only flip point is that the material can only be stretched one way.
- Peach Skin: This is a toned-down version of the smooth knit material. It is also the most budget-friendly option in the Dakimakura pillows. Just like smooth knit, peach skin is also made of 100% polyester. However, the quality of the polyester differs. The peach skin Dakimakura pillow is soft and smooth to touch as well, but the fabric is not elastic at all. The prints come out well and stay true after continual use as well.
- Soft Velvet: This is one of the lesser preferred options for Dakimakura pillows. This because even though the velvet feels gorgeous, it also does not make for a good base for life-like prints. The Dakimakura pillow in soft velvet looks somewhat blurry and also tends to retain heat. So, unless you are headed into the winters and don’t mind a blurry print, it is better to skip this material.
- Twill: This is another budget-friendly option that is only made by Cospa, the original Japanese manufacturers of Dakimakura pillows. It is not a very attractive option since twill tends to result in washed-out prints and does not retain its shape either. It is also an option you will have to import from Japan, so do take into consideration the additional shipping costs.
- Two-Way Tricot: This is hands down the most preferred option by the Dakimakura community. The fabric used is extremely soft, silky, and smooth to the touch with a slight sheen and an excellent finish. It brings out the character printed on it very vividly with high contrast making it a favorite amidst all the other fabrics. It is also very elastic and can be pulled in all directions.
- Print: This is an extremely personal choice. You can have any print you desire. The prints can also be custom designed to suit your individual preference. Apart from the usual prints, you will also get loads of adult options as well since Dakimakura is associated with the “love pillow” concept as well.
- Cover: Given the adult element that is associated with Dakimakura pillows, it is a good idea to buy a cover for the pillows well in advance. This way, you can always zip them up in the cover and keep it away from censure and prying eyes.
- Price: These days, you don’t necessarily have to buy from Japan. There are lots of onshore sites that offer Dakimakura pillows. You should look at these options first since they will save you the shipping costs.
Caring for Your Dakimakura Pillow
It is simple to care for your Dakimakura pillows. Most don’t need any special attention. Just bear these points in mind:
- Wash in normal or cold water to preserve the print colors. Avoid warm or hot water unless you are looking to shorten the lifespan of your pillow.
- Avoid cloth whitening and stain removal chemicals since they will strip the vibrancy of the print.
- It is best to hand wash Dakimakura pillows since the machine cycle might be hard on these gentle covers.
- Soak the Dakimakura pillow in water and a gentle detergent for about 15 minutes. Then gently remove the detergent by keeping it under running normal temperature water. Hang to dry in shade
Dakimakura Pillow Buying Sites
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying a Dakimakura pillow online. Some things you should be on the lookout for when looking at any site are:
- Shipping Support: It is best to look for a site that supports shipping to your address. There is no point in going through the many options and selecting the one you want only to realize that they do not ship to your zip code. So, before you start selecting, make sure they support shipping to your location.
- Payment: When you are looking to buy objects that have a strong adult theme, it is best to pay through channels that are safe and secure. Choose PayPal, especially with offshore sites. This way, your financials are protected, and you will not have divulged important personal information to some fraud site.
- Design and Variety: Look for an authentic site that offers original designs. This way, you will not be cheated and disappointed with the final result. It is best to look at sites that promote authentic Japanese artists since they are your best bet at a replica.
- Custom Style Service: Many Dakimakura pillow sites offer custom design services for those looking for a personal touch on their pillows.
- Money-Back Options: It is always best to go with sites that offer a trial period. Since you have no way of knowing if the quality will be as promised, it is a good idea to have a money-back guarantee. It also gives you confidence in the site.
Where to Buy Dakimakura Pillow?
There are two parts to a Dakimakura pillow:
- Dakimakura inner pillow
- Dakimakura pillow cover
These two parts are generally sold separately, much like your usual conventional pillows. You do not have to buy from Japanese manufacturers anymore since there are plenty of onshore options available these days. Most people prefer to buy their Dakimakura inner pillow from Japan to retain the authenticity of the pillow. However, with so many onshore options that are no longer necessary unless you are extremely particular. You can easily get an original inner Dakimakura pillow from one of the regional manufacturers as well. The top options for Dakimakura pillow shopping are:
Dakimakura Inner Pillow
The top Dakimakura inner pillow options are as follows:
This is a high quality Japanese kawaii body pillow that feels 100% authentic Japanese. It contours to the body well and maintains the right level of plush and comfort you want from a Dakimakura pillow. It is only available in 160x 50 cm size.
Available in 150x 50 cm dimension, this is another high-quality Dakimakura pillow that you can get in the USA. It is covered with cotton cover and comes in a vacuum compressed packaging for easy handling and transport.
You can buy this pillow in both sizes of 160x 50 cm and 150x 50 cm. It is made of PP cotton and features a hypoallergenic cover. It has a medium softness that allows it to conform to your body shape for maximum comfort.’
Dakimakura Pillow Cover
The Dakimakura pillow cover is the main part of a Dakimakura pillow. It is an extremely personal choice. Below is a list of the top sites where you can buy the covers.
Amazon always tops the lists when it comes to online shopping. There are few more reliable shopping sites than Amazon. However, Amazon also has very limited options. So if you are happy with the options available to you, then Amazon is a good place to shop from. Key features of Amazon:
- Limited designs and variety
- Good for inner Dakimakura pillows
- No custom option available
- High reliability
- Safe payment options
This is one of the most popular sites for Dakimakura pillows. They sell the most original and authentic products with their “Cuddly Octopus” logo. Some of the key highlights of this site are:
- Only two-way tricot fabric pillows available
- They only offer two sizes of 150x 50 cm and 160x 50 cm.
- High-quality zip that runs along the full length of the pillow
- Both normal and adult versions available
- Fabric features high elasticity that stretches well on all sides.
- Good quality prints with high contrast level
This is a Japanese site that caters to all things anime and manga. They offer worldwide shipping but do check out their shipping costs. Their Dakimakura pillow collection is expensive, and you will not be disappointed with their quality. The key highlights are:
- Most designs are in 150x 50 cm and 160x 50 cm sizes
- Two-way tricot fabric used.
- Caters to all sections from adult to the safe for work
- Ships to the USA, but it is a lengthy process
- Inner pillows are available for order as well.
This site is like Amazon. It is an online retail platform for other vendors to sell their products. The good thing about this is that you get a lot of different brands and vendors all in one site. Also, Mandarake is very efficient and conscious of providing only the originals, so you won’t be coming across any knock offs here. The key highlights are:
- Ships to the USA even those products that the original companies don’t offer shipping for
- Protection against knock offs and substitutes. Only original Dakimakura pillows are sold.
- All versions, including adult versions, are available.
- Second-hand products are also available for a cheaper rate.
There are many reasons to buy a Dakimakura pillow. You don’t have to be an anime fan to own one or even be looking for a love pillow. There are many benefits to having a Dakimakura pillow, right from a good comfort level to a haven feeling. So, go ahead and indulge in one of these cute and cuddly sleep companions.
For the longest time, we have depended on the mattress to solve most of our sleep problems. But even the most expensive mattress begins to sink and gets dips within the first five years. The more the mattress sags, the lower is the support provided to the body. No matter what kind of mattress you buy, you cannot keep it from sagging. Sooner or later, it is going to dip and sag, leaving you with an improper sleep position.
This is one of the reasons why several people change their mattress so often. A sagging mattress has little firmness and fails to provide your body with the support it needs for proper proper sleep. When you keep sleeping on this worn-out mattress, you develop soreness and aches and pains in various parts of your body. You believe that you are suffering from some ailment when the actual culprit is your mattress.
Unfortunately, mattresses will sag. There’s not much to do about it. But instead of relying only on a mattress for proper sleep, why not choose another solution for quality rest? That’s right; we are talking about a body pillow. It is the next best alternative to a mattress for adding in a good night’s sleep. Whether you suffer from medical conditions that make it hard for you to sleep at night or sleep on a mattress that does not provide enough support, a body pillow can make sleeping a more comfortable and relaxing experience.
What Is A Body Pillow?
A pillow that’s narrow and long and runs the entire length of the body is called a body pillow. Initially, body pillows were mostly used by pregnant women for extra support during sleep. But these pillows have gained massive popularity in recent years because they provide support to the whole body when the mattress fails to do so.
A lot of people prefer to sleep with a cuddle pillow. But these pillows are usually small and do not provide support to the entire body. A body pillow is soft and comfortable but firm enough to support the top leg (for side sleepers), torso, back, and arms throughout the night. Body pillows are counted among the best orthopedic pillows and are widely available online, at bedding stores, and
What Is Body Pillows Made Of?
A body pillow is no different than a regular pillow and can be made of a variety of materials. Some of the materials that a body pillow is made of are:
Shredded latex: Body pillows with an outer cotton casing and a shredded latex fill are bouncy and conform to the shape of your body. Shredded latex body pillows are great for those who suffer from neck and shoulder pain because it’s responsive and keeps the spine aligned while hugging the body. Natural latex is hypoallergenic and can be conveniently used by those with allergies.
Memory Foam: Body pillows are also made with memory foam, another hypoallergenic material. Memory foam is breathable and comfortable and also regulates temperature. The firmness of the pillow can also be adjusted according to preference.
Wool: If you want a body pillow that keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter, then choose wool. Because wool is a natural insulator, it keeps you comfortable in all seasons. Wool body pillows are comfortable to sleep with, and also keep the back and spine aligned, regardless of your sleep position.
Feather/Down: Although body pillows made of feather or down are soft, they aren’t capable of providing the best support. Besides, feather or down can cause allergies, which doesn’t make them suitable for all.
Wool-Latex Blend: When wool and latex are combined to make a body pillow, it becomes soft and supportive at the same time. The combination of shredded latex and wool gives the pillow a firmer feel, while the wool functions like a natural insulator and promotes breath-ability and circulation. The latex makes the pillow responsive while keeping your spine aligned and helping relieve pressure points.
Kapok: Cotton makes for some of the most breathable and comfortable body pillows. Kapok cotton is used to make organic body pillows, which have the same fluffiness of down without the feathers. Cotton pillows keep you cool on hot nights, providing proper support for side sleepers, spine alignment, and pressure relief.
Benefits of A Body Pillow
Pillows are used by everyone for comfort. But pillows are also great at providing support to the body. These days, there are orthopedic pillows, which are ergonomically designed to provide support to various parts of the body. There are pillows for the legs, for the back and spine, and for the neck and shoulders. Body pillows combine the support of all pillows into one. If you have a body pillow, you can use it for supporting any part of the body or the entire body.
Some benefits of the body pillow are:
Spinal Alignment: Keeping the spine aligned is of utmost importance when sleeping. When we sleep, we often aren’t aware of our position. This leads to soreness when we wake up. A body pillow keeps the sleeper supported no matter which position he sleeps in, improving spinal alignment and keeping aches and pains away.
Pressure Relief: When we are in a supine position, our body takes the maximum pressure. This is heightened if the mattress isn’t supportive enough. A body pillow provides extra support, relieving the pressure and preventing soreness.
Improved Circulation: When your sleep position isn’t proper, your blood circulation is also poor. A body pillow keeps you supported and comfortable, keeping your sleeping position right and improving circulation.
Diminished Snoring: A body pillow can be used to elevate the upper part of the body, to help with snoring and sleep apnea. Body pillows designed for sleep apnea makes sure that the sleeper remains in a side sleeping position all through the night, helping relieve symptoms of sleep apnea like obstructed breathing, snoring, coughing, and dry mouth.
Body pillows are available at all bedding stores or online marketplaces. Quality body pillows last long and provide ample support for the whole body.