Bed & Mattress Guides

A complete buyer's guide to pillows

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How many pillows is too many pillows? Well, there is no such thing as "too many pillows." Some people like soft pillows while others like firm ones. Like mattresses, pillows play a key role in providing the best sleep. There is no one pillow for everyone; while looking for an ideal pillow, one must consider the sleeping style, body weight, and other position preferences.

How to pick the right pillow

Sleep position: A sleeping position can influence which pillow suits you the best.

  • Side sleepers prefer firmer pillows which help keep the head and spine aligned. These support the neck, shoulders, and head, keeping the body in a horizontal line.
  • Stomach sleepers generally like softer pillows that are flat as firmer ones tend to prop the head too high, causing a curve in the back, eventually leading to back and neck strain.
  • Back sleepers prefer medium-firm pillows that provide just enough support for your head and neck while maintaining the spine's natural curve.

Pillow height: Pillow height is also called "loft" or thickness. People who sleep in different positions prefer pillows with different lofts.

The pillow's height is divided into low, medium, and high lofts. The approximate height of a low loft pillow measures 3 inches or lesser. The approximate height of a medium loft pillow measures anywhere between 3 and 5 inches thick, and the approximate size of a high loft pillow measures over 5 inches.

Pressure Relief: Again, like mattresses, pillows offer excellent pressure relief. Stress on the pressure points can lead to pain and discomfort. Many sleepers use pillows for their pressure-relieving properties.

Quality:  There are different types of pillows available on the market, and each type will have different quality products.

Cooling properties:  Pillows also come with cooling properties that sleep cooler than others.

Firmness level: Like mattresses, even pillows come in different heights and levels. Thickness or firmness affects how the pillow feels once weight is put on it and how it essentially holds the head. For instance, the looks of a soft pillow with a high thickness might not have your head as high as you think because of the softness feature, the heat sinks.

Density : The density and the weight are the essential points to consider. The fill density and weight determine the durability and comfort level.

Memory Foam and Latex pillows have medium-firm density; on the other hand, down pillows and their alternatives have lighter density because of the softness. Wool and cotton pillows come with higher density.

Price: There are pillows for every price point and a varied range. The make and construction determine the cost of a pillow.

Types of Pillows

Down Pillow: 

Down pillows are made of soft fibers; these fibers are close to the skin of a goose, duck, or swan. The filling is sometimes blended with feathers, so ensure you check the down to feather ratio before buying the pillow. These pillows are best suited for side, back, and stomach sleepers. Works best for stomach sleepers because of its cushiony softness. 

The advantages of these pillows are that they are easily moldable, light and cushiony, and durable. The disadvantages, though, are some people might be allergic to feathers, overheating, and it can be challenging to clean. 

There are also alternatives to down pillows on the market made of synthetic fibers, usually polyester, mimicking the sinking feeling. 

Memory Foam Pillow:

Memory Foam pillows are extremely popular, just like memory foam mattresses which feature body contouring abilities. This means that it can be a good fit for all sleepers. This pillow molds the head and neck into a most comfortable position for the sleeper. 

These pillows are best suited for side, back, and stomach sleepers. 

These pillows offer pressure relief while contouring the body perfectly. However, some memory foam pillows tend to retain heat.

Gel Pillows: 

Gel pillows are made of gel combined with other materials like foam or latex to offer cooling and softness. These pillows can keep the sleeper cool at night and are a huge relief from those hot summer nights.

These pillows are best suited for stomach and back sleepers.

These pillows are hypoallergenic, keep cool, and are easy to care for. However, they might be too expensive and too firm for a few.

Latex Pillow: 

Latex pillows are high on support for the head and neck while also soft. Don't forget to check out the purity of the latex, as some pillows are blended with other toxic materials. 

These pillows are best suited for side and back sleepers. 

These pillows are highly durable, breathable, and biodegradable. However, they might be expensive. 

Gusseted Pillows: 

Gusseted pillows offer an extra piece of material or fabric called the gusset. This fabric gives the pillow additional structure and shape and a higher loft when compared to a regular pillow. The advantage of gusseted pillows is that it supports the head and neck throughout the night, reducing neck pain.

These pillows are best suited for back, side, and stomach sleepers.

Sizes of Pillows

Standard size: A standard pillow approximately measures between 20 inches wide and 26 inches long. This size is the most popular, smallest, and least expensive.

Super Standard: A Super Standard pillow approximately measures between 20 inches wide and 28 inches long.  

Queen size: A queen pillow approximately measures between 20 inches wide and 30 inches long. This size gives extra room to sleepers who tend to toss and turn throughout the entire night.

King size: A king-size pillow approximately measures between 20 inches wide and 36 inches long. King pillows are spacious and work well with king-size beds and large sleepers.

Our recommendations for most comfortable pillows

Tempur-Pedic Breeze ProHi Medium

Tempur-Pedic Breeze ProHi Medium

With Tempur-Pedic Breeze ProHi Medium sleep cooler and wake up refreshed. From cover to core, TEMPUR-breeze technology is expertly engineered and thoughtfully designed to provide superior temperature-regulating cooling while cradling your head, neck and shoulders for a deeper, more refreshing sleep. The removable and washable SmartClimate Cover is made from breathable, high-stretch performance fabric to provide maximum airflow and continuous cool-to-touch comfort throughout the night.

Purple Harmony Pillow-Low

Purple Harmony Pillow-Low

Purple Harmony Pillow-Low features sophisticated engineering and innovation. Using the same cushioning technology developed for the mattresses, the Purple Harmony Pillow features a layer of honeycomb-patterned Purple Grid Hex surrounding a supportive inner core of hypoallergenic ventilated latex. Wrapped in a moisture-wicking, breathable mesh material, the no-pressure, supportive combo offers cool comfort all night long and never falls flat.

Aireloom Nimbus Visco Pillow

Aireloom Nimbus Visco Pillow

Aireloom Nimbus Visco Pillow offers luxurious sleep with pressure relieving properties. Inside you'll find naturally hypoallergenic talaylay latex which contours your neck for ideal comfort and support. It is biodegradable, antimicrobial. The outer material is lined with TENCEL New Age fabric. This ultra-conforming fabric is smooth to the touch and manages temperature keeping your head cool and relaxed.

Pillow care

Each pillow comes with guidelines about care from the manufacturer. It is best to follow the instructions for maximum support and comfort. Most pillows are machine washable and dried. But before that, check the instructions to keep your pillows fluffy for a long time.

Ensure your pillow is fully dry before use. Damp pillows can be home to mold and mildew.

Ultimately, using a pillow protector can extend the life of the pillow. The extra layer of protection can keep it away from mites, sweat cells, moisture, and bugs.  

When should you replace your pillow?

A pillow should offer great comfort and support throughout the night. It is recommended that you replace your pillows once every one to two years. If you feel you are waking up with neck pain, if you see any noticeable lumps or bumps on the surface of your pillow, if there are any stains or body sweat, if it is not giving you the optimum comfort, it may be time to replace your pillow.

Getting that well-deserved sleep is just a step away with this complete guide. Keep this guide handy while buying your pillows.

If you are still confused, fret not; you can step into your nearest Mancini's Sleepworld and speak to our specialists or even shop online.

June 28, 2022