How to Choose the Right Pillow

by admin 24-Feb 2022

When was the last time you gave your bed pillows some thought? You're not alone if you say "it's been a long time" or "not at all." When it comes to sleep equipment, I see a lot of patients who think about their mattresses first. Mattresses get a lot of press, and rightfully so. The largest and most essential financial investment you'll make in your sleep is your mattress. However, pillows are almost as crucial as your mattress when it comes to sleep quality.

If you're sleeping on a worn-out pillow and have to scrunch and fold it up every night to be comfortable, it's time to replace it. Even if your pillow isn't old or deflated, it might not be the most comfortable or supportive option for you.

Why is your pillow so important?

A proper sleeping position is essential for sleeping soundly night after night and awakening pain-free. Your pillow aids in maintaining a healthy sleeping posture. How does that stance appear? From the knees and hips to the spine, chest and shoulders, head and neck, the body is in perfect alignment.

If you don't have enough support for your neck and shoulders, or if they're propped at an angle that causes twisting, craning, or crunching, your spine and body will be out of alignment, causing tension and discomfort in your neck, shoulders, and back, as well as insomnia.

As with your mattress, comfort and support are both vital in selecting the correct pillow. The finest pillow for you is one that is soft to the touch, supports your head, neck, and shoulders, and complements your mattress.

There are various variables to consider when selecting a pillow, so let's talk about them.

When do you know it's time to get a new pillow?

Bed pillows should be replaced every 18 months, on average. Memory foam pillows have a longer lifespan, lasting up to three years. Synthetic pillows have a shorter lifespan than natural pillows. Pillows of greater quality will endure longer than those of lower grade. You're not getting the support you need if you're sleeping on a five- or six-year-old pillow, and you're not sleeping as comfortably as you could be.

It may seem like a brief existence, but consider this: your pillow is used for roughly 7-8 hours per night or more than 2,500 hours per year! Your pillow, like your mattress, is an investment in good sleep that pays off in other areas of your life.

If you're not sure whether your pillow still has life in it, try the following tests:

To begin, remove the pillowcase and examine your pillow. Are there any sweat stains on it? Is it ripped? Is there a stench? These are all symptoms that your pillow needs to be replaced. Dead skin cells, mildew, mold, fungus, and dust mites are all collected in pillows (as well as their feces). These unpleasant organisms can add up to half the weight of a pillow over time, triggering allergies, interfering with breathing while sleeping, and emitting scents that make it difficult to sleep properly. 

If your pillow passes the visual and olfactory tests, it's time to put it through the fold test:

Make a half-fold with your pillow. A dead pillow is one that remains folded rather than springing back to its former shape. This test can be done over your arm with natural fill cushions. Do you have a pillow that drapes and hangs over your extended arm? That's a pillow that has outlived its usefulness.

Fold synthetic pillows in half and add some weight to the top, such as a sneaker or shoe. If your pillow doesn't spring back to its normal shape after removing the weight, it's time to replace it.

When folding large, king-size pillows, whether natural or synthetic, fold them into thirds rather than halves.

Choosing a pillow is a very personal decision. When it comes to choosing the ideal pillow, there is no such thing as a universal size, shape, or material. Determine your personal criteria (using the six aspects below as a guide) and then go with your gut instinct about what feels most comfortable and acceptable for you.

1. Fiber/fill

Pillows can be filled with a variety of materials. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; each has benefits and cons that vary depending on your needs and tastes. Let's have a look at some of the more prevalent ones:


These pillows are light and fluffy, so if you prefer a nice place to rest your head at night, a down pillow might be for you. Down pillows are often made of goose or duck feathers. Goose down is softer and more expensive than duck down, albeit there is some variance in softness within goose down. Down pillows are made up of various fillings such as down, feathers, and other materials. Keep in mind that pillows labeled "pure down" or "all down" may still contain feathers and other content.

Synthetic down pillows

Synthetic down pillows are less expensive than natural, hypoallergenic down pillows, but they will need to be replaced more often. When compared to other cushion types, polyester fill pillows are a budget-friendly option. They're usually medium to soft, though not as soft as down. They flatten down over time and require more frequent replacement than other types of pillows.

2. Fill weight

Pillows made of down and synthetic fibers are light, whereas memory foam and latex are heavy. Your pillow's weight is a matter of personal preference. A lighter cushion may be a better choice if you want to re-shape and shift your pillow as you sleep.

3. Quality of fill

Quality counts in every type of pillow for comfort, support, and longevity—and it will be reflected in the price. Select the finest quality pillow your money will allow once you've decided on the type of pillow fill that's right for you. Keep in mind that you'll be sleeping on this pillow for hundreds of hours over the course of its life.

4. Size

A standard-size cushion is large enough for most individuals. It's fine if you want a larger pillow as long as you can maintain proper sleeping posture. Your pillow's thickness or thinness should allow you to sleep with your head, neck, and shoulders aligned with your spine while also providing you with comfort. Make sure the pillow cover and pillowcase are both the right size. Don't cram a giant pillow into a little cover, or let a regular pillow float in an extra-large pillowcase.

5. Fabric

Cover your pillows with natural, breathable textiles. Pillow coverings under pillowcases protect the pillow from stains and sweat, extending its life. Decorative pillows look beautiful on the bed, but they should be taken off before going to sleep.

Does sleeping position matter to pillow choice?

The answer is: YES. There are some general guidelines for matching sleeping positions and pillow types, but they are not set in stone. Why? Because nearly every one of us changes positions during the night. You might be a side sleeper who also spends some time during the night on your back. The stomach sleeper who turns to one side from time to time is in the same boat. You'll need a pillow that supports you in all sleeping positions.

Visit also: How To Choose A Mattress: The Ultimate Mattress Buying Guide


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