Although it’s something we use every day, not a lot of people know how to choose the right pillow. But finding the right pillow for your needs isn’t just a game of chance. You need to know exactly what to look for, which is why we put together this guide.
How to Choose the Right Pillow
Choosing the right pillow involves analyzing the different characteristics of a pillow to determine if it is right for you. Using these six elements as a guide will show you how to choose the right pillow for a good night’s sleep.
1. Consider the Filling
There are several fill options available for pillows. Although no one fill option is the best, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each.
These pillows are often soft and fluffy, filled with either goose of duck fibers. These pillows are often more expensive than synthetic fillers, but they provide lasting comfort and maintain their position night after night.
These pillows are filled with a less-expensive alternative to natural down. This material is often chosen by individuals with allergies as down can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. These pillows are less soft than down and tend to be in the medium-soft range.
This material is hypo-allergenic and stands up well against dust mites and mold. They are moisture wicking and can work well to regulate your body temperature as you sleep. These pillows are generally firm and last long.
These pillows are, like wool, resistant to dust mites and mold and hypo-allergenic. They tend to be more flat and firm than other types of pillows, but fair well for individuals that have chemical sensitivities.
These pillows are comfortable but they are often more firm than down. They hold their shape extremely well and often contoured to deliver extra support to the neck or head. These pillows are often restrictive to movement during sleep.
Memory foam conforms to the body and is highly responsive to weight and body heat. It softens and contours to you as you sleep, providing evenly-distributed support. Unfortunately, memory foam retains body heat, which can be uncomfortable for some users.
No matter what pillow filler you choose, it is important to analyze the fill-power. Pillows rated with a power over 600 are considered to be higher quality and longer lasting options. Don’t be mislead with fill power. Just because an advertisement boasts their pillow as being over 800 doesn’t mean it is going to last forever.
2. Review the Fill Weight
When it comes to how to choose the right pillow, the fill weight is all about preference. Materials like down and synthetic fillers are lightweight. Latex and memory foam tend to be heavier. A lighter pillow is better for individuals who prefer movement and re-shaping of their pillow as they sleep. Individuals that like contouring shapes and fixed positions are better off by selecting heavier weights.
3. Consider the Quality of the Fill
The quality of the fill will determine the longevity of use. This is often reflected in the price of the pillow. Once you decide on the preferred filler, determining the amount you want to spend will enable you to find the highest quality pillow in your budget. This is generally an important investment as you will spend thousands of hours sleeping over the course of your lifetime.
4. The Size You Need
A standard size pillow is sufficient for most individuals. The thickness of the pillow should allow you to keep your head, shoulders, and neck aligned with the spine as you sleep in order to maximize comfort. It is important to match the pillow size with the pillowcase. Lack of fabric covering can cause your pillow to age quicker while having too much fabric hanging off can be bothersome as you shift around throughout the night.
There are different shapes of pillows as well that provide additional support and stability for your neck and head as you sleep. Cervical or contoured pillows can help with back pains or neck pains, where contoured pillows can also provide additional relief to pressure points. This is not true for everyone; however, so you will be taking a chance that very well may pay off.
5. Fabric Requirements
Although this is not specific to knowing how to choose the right pillow, it is important that you use a breathable fabric pillow cover. This will greatly extend the life of the pillow and protect it against sweat and stains. Decorative pillows should not be used and should be removed from the bed prior to sleeping.
6. The Pillow Chemistry
Take into consideration the chemistry, or chemical makeup, of a pillow before you buy it. Pillows containing polyester and memory foam are often made following a chemical process. They may have even gone through an antimicrobial treatment. Consider your own chemical sensitivities and allergies when selecting what pillow you will be resting on.
Why Is The Pillow So Important?
A pillow is extremely important as it ensures we keep good posture as we sleep. This is the key to a sound night of sleep without any pain or neck discomfort and stiffness. The pillow promotes healthy posture by aligning the neck, spine, knees, and hips.
If there is a lack of support in the neck and shoulder areas you sleep, the spine will not align properly. This discomfort can cause pain in the neck, back, and shoulders and can result in a loss of sleep.
The best pillow choice should be both comfortable and supportive. There are several factors that go into selecting the best pillow for a good nights sleep.
How to Know When It Is Time to Replace a Pillow
In general, most pillows are designed to provide peak performance for up to 18 months. The type of pillow can either shorten or extend this period. Natural materials often last longer than pillows that include synthetic materials. Memory foam pillows can last up to three years.
In addition to performing as expected, there are other factors that can render a pillow inadequate. If you examine a pillow and find that it has an unpleasant smell or unsightly stains, this can have a negative impact on your sleep quality. These factors can trigger allergies and can cause unpleasant odors to keep you up at night.
Next, the pillow you use should still be responsive. Testing this involves taking the pillow, and folding it in half. If the pillow does not spring back into place, the pillow is not good. With synthetic pillows, you will want to fold it in half and place a heavy book or weight on top. Once you remove the weight, the pillow should spring up and return to a flat position. If this does not happen, you need a change.
Once you take these six elements into consideration, you will be well on your way to choosing the best pillow for a good nights rest. Selecting a pillow that is reliable, comfortable, affordable, and supportive will ensure your spine is aligned and you are sleeping like a baby.
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