How to Choose the Right Pillow
Sleep plays an extremely important role in health, wellness, and performance. While many overlook its importance, it can, in fact, have a major impact on both your mood, cognition, performance, and energy, and may even reduce the risk of disease.
With that said, there’s much more involved with achieving a good night’s rest than simply placing your head down on the pillow and closing your eyes. In fact, several factors impact the quality of your sleep and the duration at which you remain asleep.
Some of the primary factors include sleeping position, mattress choice, and, of course, pillow choice. Unfortunately, choosing the right pillow is more tedious of a task than you might assume.
With that said, in what follows, we’ll be detailing how to optimize your sleeping position, how to choose a good pillow, and why choosing the right pillow for you matters!
How to Sleep Right?
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to optimizing your sleeping position. Instead, it comes down to identifying your preference and learning how to optimize that position through pillow choice, head/neck position, and otherwise; Notably, some sleeping positions are more optimal than others when it comes to the health and resilience of your back and neck.
Though preference and comfortability are two primary factors that go into the choice of which sleeping position is best for you, other factors include whether or not you suffer from back/neck pain or sleep apnea, if you’re pregnant, and whether or not you snore.
With that said, based on your preferential sleeping position, whether on your back, stomach, or side, be sure to situate your pillow so as to neutralize your spine and align your neck accordingly.
Why Does the Right Pillow Matter?
Choosing the right pillow matters for a variety of reasons, not merely coming down to preference and comfort. In short, depending on both your desired sleeping position, body type, and current physical health status (ex. Neck pain), sleeping on the right pillow will make all the difference to both the quality and duration of sleep.
You might ask, then what pillow is right for you… The answer, however, isn’t as cut and dry as you might hope. Instead, it comes down to a variety of factors, some of which were just mentioned.
Before identifying which pillow is right for you, It’s important to first understand each type and its characteristics.
The Main Types of Pillows
Although there are several types of pillows on the market today, there are a select few which are the most popular. Again, depending on the factors discussed above will determine which type of pillow you choose to purchase.
Below are the four (4) most common types of pillows:
• Down Alternative
• Memory Foam
Both soft and supportive, down alternative pillows are filled using soft Fiber, providing the perfect balance of support and comfort. Though it might need to be frequently fluffed in order to keep its shape, down alternative pillows are a great ‘alternative’ solution to improving the quality of your sleep!
Pros: Affordable, breathable, and soft
Cons: lacks long-lasting durability
Often viewed as the superior choice in the world of pillows, memory foam pillows are made with polyurethane, earning the name “memory foam” for their ability to change shape under pressure and return to their original form upon release. Much like down alternative pillows, memory foam pillows are designed to achieve both comfort and support; a durable and long-lasting choice for all.
Pros: Molds to neck, comfortability, durability, pain relief,
Cons: May lack breathability, cost, sensitive to extreme temperatures
Latex pillows are comparable to that memory foam pillows due to the cushioned nature of the filling and the responsiveness of the pillow itself when the head rests on top of it. Its main distinction, however, comes down to the level of firmness. Though some people enjoy it, others prefer a softer pillow. In this case, you’d likely opt for a memory foam pillow instead.
Pros: Naturally cooling, breathable, affordable, soft
Cons: Lacks contour responsiveness
Undeniably the lightest, most breathable option on the list, cotton pillows are typically what you’ll experience at standard hotels and Airbnb's. Typically viewed as the cheaper option, cotton pillows don’t provide the support that a premium pillow does. Unresponsive and largely unsupportive, it’s recommended to use cotton pillows as secondary support between the legs or under the shoulder, avoiding its use as a primary head pillow.
Pros: Affordable, easy to clean
Cons: lacks durability, quality, and responsiveness
How to Choose a Good Pillow?
As mentioned in the preface, choosing the right pillow for you can be quite a tedious and even overwhelming decision to make. With so many factors to consider, you might be concerned about whether or not your making the right choice.
To help combat such a tedious decision below is a breakdown of key criteria to consider when seeking to purchase the best pillow for you. Notably, the criteria to be discussed include quality, size, fill, and fabric…
- Quality of Pillow
Obviously stated, ensuring that the quality of the pillow that you invest in is both long-lasting and reliable will not only help you achieve a more comfortable sleep but a more restful one as well. When looking for a quality pillow, look for those that provide great ventilation, breathability, and cushioning.
- Size of Pillow
The size of the pillow doesn’t necessarily play a role in the quality of the said pillow. Instead, it simply comes down to preference. While most will be satisfied with a standard-sized pillow, some may decide to opt for a king size, largely for comfort purposes.
- Fill of Pillow
As noted earlier, there are many types of pillows, largely defined by the fill. Some of the more common fills include memory foam, feather, gel, down alternative, latex, and cotton. Each type of fill boasts its own characteristics and intent.
- Fabric of Pillow
Though the fabric of the pillow won’t result in any additional comfort as it will likely be covered with, well, a cover, the fabric does tend to depict quality, ensuring both breathability and durability of the pillow itself.
In the End
Choosing the right pillow is much like choosing the right diet. With no ONE diet most suitable for everyone, it’s important to identify which one you’ll enjoy the most and choose that one; the same goes for picking the right pillow.
With that said, as discussed throughout, there are several considerations to be made aware of to ensure the most appropriate choice of pillow for you is, in fact, chosen…
Nevertheless, if you’re looking to invest in a high-quality, comfortable, and most importantly, affordable pillow, visit the BedStory Store to check more pillows and mattresses.
It’s time to sleep better and live better. Start today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you wash a pillow?
While many are concerned with washing their pillow, uncertain as to whether or not they’re doing it properly, most pillows happen to be machine washable. Simply haul off the pillow cover and/or foam insert if it's a memory foam or gel pillow, toss the pillow in cold water, and opt for a gentle cycle.
What is a standard-sized pillow?
Though pillows come in all different shapes and sizes, a standard-sized pillow is typically defined as 20 inches by 26 inches. With that said, there isn’t an “industry standard” as to what a pillow should be sized.
How do you choose the best pillow for neck pain?
If you’ve ever heard the adage of lying on a hard surface like the ground when suffering from back pain and discomfort, it happens to hold some truth. The same adage remains relevant when choosing the best pillow for neck pain.
In short, choosing a firm, or at the very least, semi-firm pillow will provide the necessary support and alignment needed to both relieve and prevent future neck pain.