Finding the right pillow is essential if you want to sleep well every night. However, choosing a pillow is not always easy. There are a huge range of materials and sizes to choose from, and you may be confused when you begin your search.
Here is a guide to the most important considerations so you can find your perfect bed pillow.
Natural and Synthetic Pillows
There are two types of pillows: natural and synthetic. These are divided into separate types of pillows, and the right choice for you depends on how you sleep and whether you have any allergy problems.
Natural pillows come in three options: feather, down or a combination of the two. They come from ducks and geese from cold climates, which can include Scandinavia, Siberia and Canada. Feather pillows provide a firm support, whereas down pillows are softer and lighter. These pillows will typically mould to the shape of your head and provide good, long-lasting and comfortable support.
However, if you suffer from allergies, natural pillows are usually not the best option. Natural pillows can lead to more problems with dust mites, so this is something worth considering.
There are various types of non-natural pillows made using synthetic fibres. Synthetic pillows do not have the same issues with dust mites, and they are often a better choice for allergy sufferers.
They range in the level of firmness they provide from very soft to quite firm. However, down pillows still remain the softest option. Cheap pillows can often become lumpy, so it is best to choose a high-quality pillow.
If you want a particularly firm pillow, memory foam is often a good option. This is a special type of pillow that is often used by people suffering from back pain and neck pain because it provides very good support.
What's Right for You?
There is no right answer when it comes to choosing a firmness for your pillow, and it all depends on your personal comfort levels. However, as a basic guide, different levels of firmness are recommended depending on the position that you sleep in.
For example, if you sleep on your front, a soft pillow is often the best option, so either a soft polyester or a natural down pillow. This will provide the right level of support and keep your spine in its natural position.
If you sleep on your back, a pillow of medium firmness is best. This will provide you with shoulder support and keep your head up while you sleep without pushing it forwards.
If you sleep on your side, a firm pillow is recommended, which could mean using a memory foam pillow. This will provide the required support for your neck and will help to keep your spine in its natural position.
The size of the pillow you choose depends mainly on the size of your bed. Pillows come in a wide range of sizes, from standard to king size, so take the size of your bed into account when you choose your new pillows. There are also whole-body pillows that can be used by people suffering from back pain.
Once you have your new pillow, you
will want to keep it in good condition.
Pillows get a lot of usage, and it is generally
recommended that you change yours every few years.
They become flat and lose their support over time, so if you find that your pillow is not as comfortable as it once was, it could be time to change it. Pillows can also become unhygienic after years of usage, and it is a good idea to replace yours when it becomes discoloured.
To keep your pillow dust-mite free, you may want to put it through the tumble dryer for a 10 minutes every few weeks. However, check whether this is possible when you buy the pillow.
You should also avoid buying cheap pillows if possible. Try to spend as much as you can realistically afford on your pillow because it will be an investment. Even an expensive pillow is a small price to pay if it helps you to sleep well each night.
If you want to sleep peacefully through the night and wake up relaxed and refreshed, your choice of bed pillow is important. Spend some time going over the available options and then start the search for your ideal pillow. If you find that you are not sleeping well, don't hesitate to change your pillow because the benefits will be well worth it.