How to Choose Your Perfect Pillow
There's no disputing the fact that the right pillow makes it easier to get a good night’s sleep. Not only is it important to find a pillow that’s comfortable, but the best pillow will also improve the quality of sleep and conform to your sleeping position. Treat yourself well and find a new pillow that addresses your individual sleep style and your needs related to pain and stiffness.
Pay close attention to how your neck and shoulders feel at night, and when you wake in the morning. If you’re experiencing any discomfort, it may be time to choose a new pillow.
How often should you buy a new pillow?
Even quality pillows wear out over time. Many people keep pillows around much longer than advisable, which can lead to poor support, and even allergies from dust mites. Pillow protectors can extend the life of a pillow, but even so, you should plan on replacing your pillow every 6-12 months.
Signs that your pillow needs replacing:
- Discolorations (yellowing of the fabric, or other stains on the surface that cannot be cleaned)
- Changes in firmness, and loss of its original shape
- Age (if your pillow is more than a year old, it’s time to prioritize replacing it)
Why is using an old bed pillow bad for you?
Dust mites, allergens, dead skin cells, moisture, and germs all increase the chance that your own pillow might break down earlier resulting in discomfort, and even result in illness.
Maintaining a regular pillow and pillowcase cleaning schedule can make it easier to keep bacteria at bay, but even doing that, ordinary use leads to the breakdown of the support layers and leads to sleep discomfort.
How to find the right pillow
Sleep position, pillow size, material, and other pillow features need to be considered when you’re choosing a new pillow. One’s sleep position tends to matter a lot because the support layers of a pillow help to protect pressure points. A high-quality pillow with the correct fill will cradle the neck and shoulders differently for stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and side sleepers.
- Soft pillow fill and flat to medium-loft pillows are often the most comfortable; if the pillow is too thick, it can angle your neck and spine, bending your chin down in an uncomfortable way, affecting airflow.
- Memory foam and latex foam pillows are favored by back sleepers with neck pain, as they provide firm, contouring support to the back of the head and neck
- Placing an additional pillow beneath one’s knees can also help to round the spine, alleviate back pain, and promote comfort at night
- Thick, firmer pillows offer additional neck support
- Contouring pillows, such as memory foam pillows and latex pillows can provide the best pillow support for individuals
- Soft, fluffier comfort layers wrapping a firm pillow are favored by some side sleepers for added appeal
- Body pillows can also provide added comfort for side sleepers with lower back pain or hip pain
- Low-loft, thinner pillows are best for stomach sleeping, as they’re less likely to bend the neck and spine and cause spinal misalignment and back pain
- Feathers and down pillows are often favored because they’re compressible, but still provide soft support
Other things to consider when choosing a pillow
Not all types of pillows are made equal, but there are great options available for every budget and personal preference. The pillow fill often contributes to its overall comfort and longevity, and the pillow cover you choose can make a difference, too.
Consider your personal needs, review socially-conscious products, and look at pillow options with adjustable fills to get the best solution for your sleeping needs:
- Polyester, bamboo and Tencel are all moisture-wicking materials and may be beneficial for sleepers who have night sweats or hot flashes
- Organic cotton, cellulosic fibers, and natural latex are good for allergy sufferers, people with sensitive skin, or people who need a hypoallergenic option
- Solid memory foam is favored by many, but tends to retain heat. If you’re a hot sleeper and need a firm pillow, consider a memory foam pillow that contains shredded bits of memory foam, which help to disperse heat at night. Cooling gel is also incorporated into some pillows, and can be used to keep one side of the pillow, or the entire pillow cool all night long.
- Feather pillows have a reputation for triggering allergies, but that usually comes from lower-quality down pillows with fill that is not cleaned well by the manufacturer. If you have any concern about buying down pillows, choose a hypoallergenic down alternative pillow, which offers the support and comfort you need from a softer pillow.
Purchase your new bedroom pillows
Improve your sleep quality by investing in a new set of bedroom pillows. Sleep trials are available for pillows, similarly as to how they’re available for mattresses. When you’re shopping, make sure you read through the manufacturer warranties and comfort guarantee promises so that you can feel at ease buying a new pillow and putting it to test.
If the new pillow you thought would be perfect ends up not being the right fit for you, we’ll be happy to help pair you with a new option based on your needs. The sales team at Mancini’s Sleepworld is ready to help you find the perfect option for your comfort needs based on your sleeping style.