Ask Happy Dan: Flat, Hard or Soft Pillows


When you have questions about pillows and other bedding, Happy Dan the Pillow Man is your guy!  He’s happy because he always gets a good night’s sleep.  Happy Dan is the alter ego of Dan Schecter, Senior Vice President at Carpenter Co., and the creator of  He’s spent 30 years learning about pillows and sleep and how those two items go together, and he’s now available to answer your questions!

In this edition of Ask Happy Dan, Dan answers a number of questions about flattened, soft and hard pillows.

Debbie Nagle – Why do my pillows keep going flat?

Debbie – GREAT Question! All polyester pillows will go flat at some point – that is just the way it is. The most important thing about a polyester pillow is what is inside. Forget about the cover (we call the cover a tick in the trade). Always feel through the tick to get to the fiber. Here is the key … ready? … the slicker the fiber the better. Slick fibers move against each other better so it will stay puffy longer. The fact is that at some point your pillow will flatten out, and when that happens it’s time to get a new one. If you buy a pillow for $4.99 that is exactly what you will get — a bed pillow that is worth about five bucks. It’s better to spend a little more for a longer lasting fill. So Says Happy Dan the Pillow Man!

Carol Hoover – What is the best pillow and mattress for good sleep?

Good Question and there is no one answer. What I can tell you is that you get what you pay for and this is true of both pillows and mattresses. For mattresses you need to take your time, do some research and lay on mattresses in the store and not just sit on them. You don’t sleep on your backside! You need to lay down on your back, then your side, then on your stomach and you need to take plenty of time. Asking what the return policy is a key question when talking to the sales person. Pillows are really great things. You want a pillow that is adjustable or self-adjusts and you don’t want to be cheap. As I’ve said before, you get what you pay for! I don’t subscribe to side – back – and stomach sleeper pillows. Why? Because when we sleep, we are on our back, our side and we are all over the place. That is why an adjustable pillows is the best. So Says Happy Dan the Pillow Man!

Sharon Coleman – What kind of pillow do we need to keep our necks from hurting?

You should be sleeping on a pillow that is 100% adjustable. Take a pillow and push in the corners on opposite ends. If the pillow bounces right back, put it back on the shelf! If the corners stay pushed in that pillow is adjustable and should be considered. So Says Happy Dan the Pillow Man!!

Mario Benavides – What sleeping position is best for person with back pain?

That is a great question to ask your doctor. So Says Happy Dan the Pillow Man!

Patricia Zbleski – Do you use a soft or hard pillow?

I prefer a softer but well filled pillow as they are usually 100% adjustable. So Says Happy Dan the Pillow Man!!

Bill Woolman – What is the best pillow for a side sleeper with a bad back and neck problems?

I cannot respond to back and neck pain, although if you have an old mattress you may want to begin there. The best pillow for a side sleeper is on that has at least a two inch gusset and has a higher crown, These pillows (as long as they are adjustable) will fill the space between your shoulder and your cervical spine and give you the support and comfort you need. So Says Happy Dan the Pillow Man!

Check back soon for another edition of Ask Happy Dan.  If you have a question for Dan, ask it on our Great American Bad Pillow Project page, and be sure to enter our contest for a chance to win one of three bedding makeovers, each valued at approximately $700!