Pillows are an essential part of your sleep experience, offering support and comfort to help you snooze soundly through the night. A wide range of pillows is available to meet every need, from firmness to size. Consider choosing the perfect pillow from your preferred store or find the best pillows at Sleep Essentials for a good night’s sleep.
Understandably, trial and error is one way to find the best pillow for you. You can try different pillows to see which works best for you, but that can be time-consuming and expensive. A better way is to determine what factors will make a pillow work for you in advance to find the perfect pillow faster.
The key is to find the right pillow for your sleeping style — there’s no point in buying a soft pillow if you sleep on your side or a firmer pillow if you sleep on your back. Here are some tips to help you pick the best pillow:
- Type of Sleeper
Your sleeping position influences the type of pillow to go for when making a purchase.
Back sleepers need a firm pillow. Because your head is lying on your back, a firmer pillow can help align your neck with your spine correctly and support it well during sleep. A soft or medium-firmness pillow will not provide adequate support for your neck while sleeping on your back.
Side sleepers need a medium-firmness pillow because you’re constantly curling into the fetal position during sleep. For this reason, a firmer or medium-firm pillow will keep your neck straight enough to reduce the risk of pain in this position.
Stomach sleepers are usually better off with softer pillows that allow their necks to relax fully onto the bed. Stomach sleepers will find a soft or medium-soft pillow ideal because they’re usually lying flat on their stomachs during sleep. They don’t need additional neck support because they’re lying in their stomachs.
Feather and down pillows feel more luxurious but can bunch up inside and cause neck pain. Synthetic fibers are cheaper and less likely to lose shape, but they don’t offer the same level of support or comfort as real feathers or down. The fill can make a huge difference in how your pillow feels, whether it’s too hard or too soft and whether it provides the support you need for a good night’s sleep.
- Fill Weight
Most pillows have a specific fill weight. You’ll often see that information in the product description if you’re shopping online. Pillows with higher fill weights will generally be firmer than those with lower weights, so if you prefer softer pillows, look for fewer ounces per cubic foot. Some pillows have multiple layers of fill to provide a combination of support and softness. Others have multiple zones within the pillow to provide different levels of firmness in different parts of the pillow.
A standard-size cushion is large enough for most individuals. It’s fine if you want a larger pillow as long as you can maintain proper sleeping posture. Your pillow’s thickness or thinness should allow you to sleep with your head, neck, and shoulders aligned with your spine while also providing you with comfort. Make sure the pillow cover and pillowcase are both the right size. Don’t cram a giant pillow into a little cover or let a regular pillow float in an extra-large pillowcase.
Specialty-shaped pillows are also available to provide additional support and stability for your head and neck. Cervical and contour pillows may be beneficial for neck and back pain, while contoured body pillows can give support, stability, and alleviation for pressure points throughout the body. But keep in mind that many specialty-shaped pillows have a marketing component.
Cover your pillows with natural, breathable textiles. Pillow coverings under pillowcases protect the pillow from stains and sweat, extending its life. Decorative pillows look beautiful on the bed, but they should be taken off before sleeping.
Chemical methods are used to create synthetic materials like memory foam and polyester, and many pillows are treated with antimicrobials. When choosing a pillow type, be aware of the chemistry used to create it, be willing to invest in a well-made product, and consider your own allergies and chemical sensitivities.
Picking the perfect pillow for your sleeping habits and needs is paramount to a good night’s sleep. For this reason, it may take some trial and error. Remember, if you are not finding the right fit, try mixing and matching brands, fillings types, and materials to find what works best. In addition, look into companies that offer a “comfort exchange” if you need something better or have issues with your current pillow.