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How To Choose the Best Pillow for Your Sleep Needs

For the most part, when people aim to improve their sleep quality with the intention of clocking a healthy dose of sleep, the focus is usually on finding the best mattress. However, it is equally important to find the best pillow for your head to accompany the mattress for your body.

Keeping in mind that the goal is to rest your head in neutral alignment as you sleep, you need a pillow that compliments your sleeping habits, your mattress, and any other needs you may have. Having a poor quality pillow (a pillow not suited to your individual needs) is just as disruptive to sleeping as having a poor quality mattress. 1

For starters, it can exacerbate the poor sleeping patterns by negating your sleeping pattern. Moreover, it can trigger neck pains, arm numbness, headaches, and other ailments that affect not only your sleep but also your overall health.

Herein we will explore the consideration to have in mind while searching for the perfect pillow for you and your individual needs.

Your Sleeping Position best pillow

Back Sleeper

Back sleepers should opt for relatively thinner pillows with little loft (the amount of head lift and support a pillows yields in relation to the proper alignment of the neck). While sleeping on your back, you do not want your pillow to lift you too much as it will place a strain on the lower part of your neck.

Side Sleeper

Side sleepers should opt for firm pillows that are thicker. The additional loft helps to bridge the gap between the head and your shoulders when sleeping on your side.

Stomach Sleeper

Stomach sleepers require as little loft as possible. When you sleep on your stomach, you place enormous strain on your lower back and having a pillow with too much loft exacerbate the pressure. Therefore, the thinnest pillow is the best pillow for stomach sleepers.

best pillow Pillow Fill & Stuffing Options

The stuffing options for pillows can be both natural and synthetic. Each has its own benefits as well as its own setbacks. Some of the popular stuffing in use for pillows include:

    • Down duck or goose fibers

    • Wool

    • Cotton

    • Latex

    • Memory foam and much more!

When exploring stuffing material, be conscious of material density, fill weight— memory foam and latex are heavier fill material while down and synthetic stuffing material a lightweight material— as well as potential to cause allergies. 2

Pillow Size

Aside from the thinness of a pillow, its size in terms of length and width should be considered. A good pillow is one that has a size that suits your movement. If you tend to move a lot while you sleep, a larger pillow will suffice. However, a regular sized pillow will do fine if you have little movement.

Do You Need Specialty Pillows? best pillow

While the vast majority of people will find regular pillows to provide sufficient comfort, there are people who require specialty pillows to address specific needs. 3 For instance, if you are suffering from persistent neck pains, hot flashes, and headaches, you can opt for specialty pillows as part of the remedy. Some of the specialty pillows available include:

    • Cervical pillows— for enhanced neck support

    • Cool pillows— to deal with night sweats and hot flashes

    • Water pillows

    • Anti-snore pillows

    • Positional pillows

    • Oxygen promoting pillows

The bottom line is, the process of choosing a good pillow is highly individual and there are no one-size-fits-all pillows. Take some time to explore and choose a pillow that suits your needs, since it is a vital component of the quality of your sleep.
Photo Credits: GeorgeRudy/, Oxik/

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