There comes a time in the life of every woman when she must solve an age-old mystery: the co-dependent relationship between a man and his one, manky pillow.

We, the fairer sex, have all been faced with this pillow. It sits, pride of place, in the centre of the mattress, often the only furnishing in the wall-to-wall carpeted hellscape that is the male bedroom. It is both thinner than a sheet of paper, and lumpier than a sack of potatoes.

And it is always, always yellow. Seasoned, like a chef’s cast iron skillet, with years – or even decades, if there’s been no early intervention – of sweat until every hole in the linen is clogged.

Ratty pillow discourse is not new. But once again, it is sweeping social media, thanks to an unsolicited admission of emotional attachment by one brave man: Cam Thomson (who posts to X, formerly Twitter, under the handle @largemotorcycle).

“Gf (sic) is mad at me because I have revealed to her The Yellow Pillow. Fellas, I’m sure you all know that this is magic,” he wrote.

“It’s not my fault the pillow is yellow and bestows upon me the most peaceful slumber.”

It’s unclear whether Mr Thomson understood the power of his deeply personal confession when he made it. If he knew that, with those 40 words, he would simultaneously do two things: leave women appalled, and set men free.

It acted as a Bat-Signal, prompting his vindicated brethren to crawl out of the woodwork in their thousands to share that they, too, had a jaundiced pillow with which they refused to part. It was, they said, their “father’s pillow, and his father’s before him”.

“Part of being a man is using the same pillow since the age of 10 and never washing it,” one wrote.

“I got rid of my yellow pillows maybe a year ago and I legit haven’t rested comfortably since,” another said.

“Best sleep ever using this sweat soaked abomination,” a third declared.

While a different man, somewhat depressingly, tweeted: “My life has been [on] a downward spiral since I threw away mine when I was like 23.”

For some, words were not enough. They needed to do more than just tell men of their pillow. They needed to show them as well.

At the time of writing, the tweet has been viewed some 4.5 million times, liked by 63,500 people, and retweeted by 4500 more.

Mr Thomson told NBC News he was amused by the internet’s response – and surprised so many felt strongly about the subject.

He’d owned the pillow for many years, switching out its case on an annual basis.

“To me, it’s my most comfortable pillow and a sign of a well-loved item,” Mr Thomson said, adding that his girlfriend had pushed him to finally retire it.

“I’ve tucked it away into storage. I don’t think I can bring myself to throw it out.”

According to research organisation the Sleep Foundation, a pillow’s unsavoury yellow pallor is caused by the collection of moisture – like sweat, oil, drool or wet hair – on its surface over time. That ultimately leads to a build-up of pore-clogging bacteria, as well as allergens such as dust and mildew. A pillow protector, or higher-quality pillowcase, is recommended to prevent discolouration.


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By Rahul

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