All pillows aren’t created equal and a fluffy fave might not be the best for your body. If you’re looking for a pillow that will keep you from tossing and turning and prevent a stiff neck in the morning, there are a few things you need to consider before you make your choice.
Find out what makes a good pillow and how your pillow should fit your unique needs.
Your pillow’s most important job isn’t to be comfy–it’s to support your neck and spine.
How do you know if your pillow has the proper support? It should keep your head from sinking down into the mattress.
Your head shouldn’t be too high up off the bed, or too low. The right elevation is about 3-6 inches from the bed, which is typically a neutral position. Consider how you stand; if your’re craning your neck back behind you, you’ll eventually get tired and experience pain. If you press your chin forward and pull your head out ahead of your chest, you’ll experience pain. The best place for your head is directly above your heart, keeping your spine in alignment–the same is true when you’re sleeping. So, make sure your pillow can help your maintain this neutral, head over heart alignment.
Hint: Your ears should be in with your shoulders and your chin in line with your sternum
Quality, Breathable Materials
A good pillow will be comfortable, a great pillow will stay that way for a long time. If your pillow quickly loses its firmness or shape, you lose the benefits it provides. A pillow that becomes too soft over time can lead to poor support and discomfort.
Memory foam, down, and synthetic materials are great options as they are breathable, moldable, and high-quality.
You also want a material that breathes because you’re not going to get a good night’s sleep if you’re hot and sweaty. Your pillow should allow air and heat to pass through instead of trapping it. Polyester and shredded foam were found to stay the most cool.
Your pillow isn’t somewhere you want to get cheap. A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body and your brain so do not just get a pillow because it’s the most affordable.
Fits Your Needs
Your pillow should meet your body and sleeping needs.
Side Sleepers: You need a pillow that helps fill the gap between the bed, your upper back, and your shoulder blades. A fuller pillow will help achieve this.
Back Sleepers: You need a flatter pillow since that gap is smaller.
Stomach Sleepers: Make sure your pillow is think enough to maintain the the natural curve of your neck
Allergy or Asthma sufferers: Make sure your pillows are easy to clean and have removable and washable covers, or that they can easily be cleaned with a cloth
So make sure you’re checking the right boxes when you’re looking for a pillow. Do’nt be afraid to try one out in a store before you purchase and make sure your chosen pillow has a good return policy because there is no guarantee it will work for your body.
Take your time choosing a pillow so you can enjoy your time using it!