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What Is a Pillow Tick?

Decorative covers are placed over pillow ticks.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of katherine raz

A pillow tick wraps around a pillow’s filling, keeping it contained and shaped. All ticks prevent the filling from exiting the pillow, and some are available that prevent moisture, dirt or dust mites from entering the pillow.


Pillow ticks are available in different fabrics, such as cotton, wool or man-made materials. You can purchase or make empty ticks and fill your own pillows, but pre-filled pillows are readily available and come encased with a tick that you can place a pillowcase or decorative cover over.


Consider purchasing a hypoallergenic pillow tick that fits over a basic pillow tick. This kind of tick keeps dust mites, a major contributor to allergies, from getting into the fill of the pillow.


Dust mites are microscopic organisms that live off dead skin cells shed by humans, and some people suffer allergic reactions to their feces.


Bring your own hypoallergenic pillow tick with you when staying in a hotel. It won’t take up much room in your suitcase and will offer protection from dust mites and previous guests’ germs.

Fun Fact

Ticking fabric used to be made in many different striped patterns. These patterns are now reprinted on everything from wallpaper to drapery fabric and called ticking stripes.

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