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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Pillow for a Good Night’s Rest

“Sleeping with the wrong pillow can be a real pain in the neck—literally.”

Why your pillow matters

Getting a good night’s sleep with a misfit pillow is impossible even when you have chosen the right mattress. This is because aside from the mattress, your pillow is critical in supporting a healthy sleeping posture. If pillow does not adequately support your neck and shoulders, the strain due to the lack of support will cause your spine and body to be out of alignment, leading to undue stress to your neck, shoulders, and sometimes to your back.

So, here are 5 areas that you should look out for when it comes to choosing the right pillow.

1. No one size fits all

Due to the difference in body shape, size and preferred sleeping positions, a pillow that is suitable for you might not be the best for your partner. In addition, the firmness or softness the pillow is a highly individual preference!

Image from domino

2. The Pillow needs to be replaced over time

As we age, put on or lose weight,  the pillow will lose its original shape, firmness over time.  The life expectancy of a pillow depends on the type of fillings and material it is made. Nevertheless, the general rule of thumb is when you have an aching neck, chances are is that you need to change your pillow. In addition, since hair and body oils soak into the pillow during use, it is a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites!  Therefore, you should wash your pillow at least every quarter.

Image from domino

3. Sleeping Position

Your sleep postures would influence your pillow selection. You should always use your favorite sleep position to determine the types of pillow you should consider.

For stomach & back sleepers

Low to medium-thickness pillow to keep neck and shoulders are closer to the mattress.

Soft to Medium pillow recommended.

For side sleepers

Medium- to high-thickness pillow to keep neck aligned with the spine; the neck and shoulders are furthest from the mattress in this sleeping position.

Medium to very firm pillow recommended.

Image from domino

4. Pillow fillings

There are numerous types of pillow fillings to choose from and these will influence the firmness of the pillow. However, aside from the types of fillings used, the density of the fillings and the size of the pillow casing also affects the firmness of the pillow. In addition, pillows from different manufacturers might feel differently since the origin and make of the materials might be different too.

If the density of the fillings is high, the pillow will be firmer. In addition, when the pillow casing used is too small, the pillow will be firmer. A general rule of thumb is that natural fillings are more breathable as compared to synthetic fillings. Natural fillings also absorb and dispels moisture better and prevent mold.

Additional Tips
If you have certain conditions such as asthma, allergies, you should consider specifically treated pillows that are dust mite-resistant. 

Cotton & Polyester
Less expensive than wool. Most affordable and commonly used. They are lightweight but possess a shorter lifespan and flatten easily over time. They are hypoallergenic recommended for allergy sufferers.

Medium to Firm.

Feels cool during hot weather and vice versa. Retains shape very well, and is antibacterial, hypoallergenic and naturally dust mite free.
Soft to Medium.

Ablility to retain and adjustable shape easily. Due to its density, does not offer a lot of support or height. Needs fluffing up everything prior use. Not recommended for people with asthma or allergies. Since the fillings for the feather pillow are harder, some of the feather quills in cheaper feather pillows might poke through the pillow casings.

Down feathers
Softer and more expensive than normal feathers. Due to its density, does not offer a lot of support or height. Needs fluffing up everything prior use. Not recommended for people with asthma or allergies.

Memory Foam
Adjusts and molding its shape around the head and neck. Designed for relieving pressure points, but retains heat from the body. However, when memory foam materials can off gas and creates strong fumes that can cause allergies.

Long-lasting than memory foam and does not retain heat. More expensive and heavier. Not recommended for people with allergies to natural latex. 


5. Test Drive the Pillows

Picking the perfect pillow is not an academic exercise where you can determine the suitable pillow just by choosing the right properties. In fact, you should use these tips as general guidelines and proceed to the nearest store to test drive the pillows personally. By laying down for a few minutes, you would be able to determine whether if the pillows are comfortable for you!

Image from domino


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