If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you might think that the main culprit of your nighttime woes would be your duvet or mattress, but did you know that your pillow is also crucially important, especially for your neck and shoulders?
The issue is, however, that there’s no one pillow that’s right for everyone, and it largely comes down to personal preference.
Figure out your sleeping style
First things first, you’ll need to figure out which position you sleep in.
- Front sleepers – Not many people sleep on their front, which is probably for the best as it’s one of the worst for spinal alignment. We recommend sleeping on as flat and soft a pillow as possible. You may even find it comfortable to sleep without a pillow at all.
- Back sleepers – You should still look out for a fairly thin pillow if you sleep on your back as you don’t want your pillow to be pushed too far forward.
- Side sleepers – If you sleep on your side you’ll need a firmer pillow as there is more space for the pillow to fill between your head and shoulder. It might also be worth purchasing a pillow to place between your knees as while it is a little unusual, this can help to align your upper hip and make you more comfortable.
Make sure to take a couple of nights to discover which sleeping position you naturally prefer and try and note which position you wake up in in the morning.
Of course, there are a number of different ideas about what else your sleep position says about you, which you can make your mind up on for yourself by reading this post on Minq.
Choosing a filling
The filling that is right for you will depend on your own personal preference, as well as your budget and whether you have any special requirements.
- Feather/Down – These naturally filled pillows are made using the feathers of duck or goose and are among the most luxurious pillows available. Being made from natural material, they are naturally breathable which means that they will regulate your body temperature.
- Wool/Cotton – These pillows are also made using a natural filling, but are a bit firmer so offer more support than feather and down.
- Latex – These elastic and resilient pillows are similar to memory foam as they mould to fit your neck, but do not offer as much ‘give’.
- Memory Foam – These pillows are specially made to react to your body heat and mould to fit the contours of the body. They offer excellent support, so are great if you suffer from neck or back pain. One issue some people have is that memory foam isn’t very breathable and so can get quite warm.
Pillows with natural fillings such as duck or goose feathers are very popular are they’re super soft and very luxurious.
While this is great if you want to sink into your pillow, it can trigger allergies in a lot of people as they contain lots of tiny allergen particles.
While they are designed with cases to try and keep these particles contained, you may be better off opting for a synthetic pillow as these are naturally hypoallergenic.
Consider specialist pillows
If you’re suffering from a certain problem, chances are that there’s a specialty pillow out there to suit you.
For example, there are anti-snoring pillows, anti-allergy pillows, and pillows that are designed to help sleep apnoea or to help align your spine like this one from SleepyPeople.com
Once you’ve made the decision on the type of pillow that’s right for you, make sure to shop around to get the best one.
Most websites will now have user reviews which will give you a good idea of what the pillow is like.
While a lot of the time, the higher the price means the higher the quality, this isn’t always true, so don’t assume that because a pillow is really expensive that it’s going to give you a great night’s sleep.
If you’re buying your pillow on the high street, see if they’ll let you test it out before purchasing so that you can get a real feel for what it’s going to be like.