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Pick your perfect pillow

pick your perfect pillow

While your mattress is the biggest, most important (and likely most expensive) investment you’ll make in your sleep, pillows play an important role too. This is because one of the keys to good sleep is good sleeping posture, which makes sure you wake up without any pain or stiffness.

This means your head and shoulders must be properly supported and aligned with your spine. If your neck is twisted to an angle, you risk strain and discomfort – not only in your neck, but in your shoulders and back too. Plus, it can be harder to sleep!

But, aside from support, you also need to be comfortable (the same goes for mattresses). It’s an individual preference, but here are some things to consider as you make the decision.

Material choice

  • Pillows can be made from a variety of materials, from down or feathers, to memory foam, hollow fibre and wool, among others.
  • Down tends to be expensive (it refers to the tiny, fluffy feathers that sit under ducks’ and geese’s tougher, outer feathers) and don’t offer a huge amount of support. There are also moral considerations – down collection can be painful and harmful to birds if not done ethically. However, down remains a popular choice because the pillows feel very soft and puff back quickly after being squashed.
  • Feathers are a less expensive alternative, but are also soft and pliable, making them another popular choice. However, over time, they tend to clump together, making the pillows flatter.
  • For people with allergies, synthetic options can be a better choice (or for people who would prefer not to use animal products). Hollow fibre is a popular choice. It’s made from hollow strands of polyester that trap air, helping to provide a fluffy pillow filling.
  • Memory foam is a supportive option that adapts to fit to your neck and shoulders. It supports the natural curve of your cervical spine, comprising the first seven bones in your neck. The memory foam adapts to your shape when subjected to temperature and pressure, and then returns to form again. Although it can feel a bit too firm when cold, it softens in response to body heat. And the big benefit is that a memory foam pillow gives you the same amount of support in every area, which stops your neck from lying crooked.
  • Similarly, latex chip pillows, which are manufactured from 100% granulated latex, are designed to provide maximum sleeping comfort and support. They feel initially softer than memory foam pillows, and have a quicker response to pressure. They tend to feel cooler than memory foam pillows.

Both memory foam and latex chip pillows are dust-mite resistant and durable.

Sleeping position

  • The position you sleep may affect which pillow will work best for you.
  • People who sleep on their back require the least support from a pillow, as their spines are already resting in natural alignment. Back-sleepers might find the best pillow choice is soft, so it doesn’t raise the head too much (which will affect spine alignment).
  • On the other side of the spectrum, side sleepers need a fair mount of support to lift the head and support it to keep it in line with the spine. They may find a firmer pillow more comfortable. However, if this does not feel comfy, you can always try layering a very soft, squishable pillow on top of a firmer one.
  • Front-sleeping can put stress on the neck and spine, but the right pillow can hep to mitigate this. People who sleep on their tummies may find a very slim pillow the most comfortable option.
  • Subscribe for the monthly newsletter from Restonic Sleep Club and you could stand a chance to win a set of two memory foam pillows. Sign up here.
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