For most of us, hotel pillows are an afterthought.
It takes a night of compromised sleeping positions and desperate pillow kneading in an attempt to create matter where none exists to highlight their actual significance.
But there's much to know about these under-appreciated accoutrements of the travel biz.
As Keith Pierce, executive vice president for brand operations at Wyndham Hotel Group told us, "There's more to pillows than just pillows."
Glad you asked.
1. That annoying pillow tag? It fought smallpox
The tags attached to pillows and comforters in the United States that list the exact percentages of fills, be they foam or down?
According to the International Association of Bedding and Furniture Law Officials, it's known as a law label.
While it might seem like government red tape, it's actually a product of the 1800s when some less-than-scrupulous business people were stuffing their pillows and mattresses with old hospital blankets that might have carried smallpox and tuberculosis.
Sleep tight. And smallpox free!
2. Your hotel pillow is probably younger than the one you have at home
According to Kris Beck at Hilton Worldwide, a synthetic pillow lasts approximately 18 to 24 months when cared for and laundered properly, while a down or feather pillow can last 24 to 36 months.
Keith Pierce from Wyndham says that pillows at Microtel locations -- the budget arm of the Wyndham Hotel Group -- last less than 24 months, with properties replacing a third of their inventory every 6 to 8 months.
For Microtel, that means a purchase of 20,000 pillows in 2012.
Wyndham as a whole purchased more than a million pillows last year alone.
3. Housekeepers and hot dog vendors have something in common
Rather than tucking a laundered pillowcase under their chin, hospitality expert Jacob Tomsky says that hotel housekeepers have a chop-and-fold method of slipping pillows into pillowcases.
"Kind of like a hot dog bun," he says.
A 10-year veteran of the hotel business, Tomsky's New York Times bestselling book "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality" was published last year.
The hot dog bun trick could come in handy at home. Surely there's a Youtube video out there.
4. In the hotel biz, BYOP = WTF
Tomsky says that one thing that drives housekeepers bonkers is people who bring their own pillows.
"That housekeeper is going to see hundreds of thousands of hotel pillows," he explains. "Why would you need to bring your own?"
For guests allergic to down-filled pillows, Tomsky says that hotels keep a large supply of foam pillows.