How to Choose a High-Quality Pillow For a Good Sleep

When was the last time you woke up tired and with a sore neck or back? If the answer is “this morning,” or if you often don’t get a good night’s sleep, it’s probably time to change your pillow! 

Did you know that pillows are among the most important regarding sleep quality? Therefore, when choosing a good sleeping pillow, you must consider several factors, such as the position in which you usually sleep, the dimensions of the pillow, and its filling and thickness.

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So, here is our guide on choosing the best-sleeping pillow to wake up rested and fresh every morning.

Why is the pillow very important for good sleep?

A correct position during sleep is a very important aspect of a good and restful sleep, without waking up stiff and with back pain the next morning. And the pillow you sleep on is the biggest contributing factor to that position.

What does a correct sleeping position mean?

To sleep well, the head, neck, shoulders, and lower back should be aligned so that the spine is as straight as possible. If the neck and shoulders do not have the necessary support, the spine will no longer be properly aligned. And in the morning, you will wake up with neck or back pain, but also very tired.

As with the mattress, comfort and support are very important. The best pillow is one that you feel comfortable on, but at the same time, it must also be suitable for the position in which you usually sleep.

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How to choose the right pillow for a restful sleep

Choosing a pillow is an individual process. When it comes to this choice, no one shape, size, or material fits everyone. The best way is to discover which pillow is right for you.

So, here’s what you need to keep in mind when looking for a new pillow:

1. The filling or “core” of the pillow

Here you will have a lot of options to choose from, and most of the time, the choice comes down to everyone’s preferences, but this is also where certain sensitivities or allergies will come into play.

Pillows filled with goose down 

Pillows filled with goose down or a mixture of goose and duck down are soft and light, and experts recommend choosing this filling if you tend to change your position often during sleep. Thus, this type of pillow will slightly change its shape during the night, depending on your posture.

However, goose down can be difficult to clean, and in these situations, there is a risk of developing allergic reactions and sensitivities to this type of filling. Therefore, if you use such a pillow, remember to clean and air it periodically to prevent the development of microorganisms.

Pillows with synthetic filling

Synthetic-filled pillows are more affordable than goose-down-filled pillows and are usually medium to soft but softer than natural-filled pillows. They will also flatten faster and must be changed more often than other pillows.

The most popular choice for cushions with synthetic filling is silicone down. The advantage of this filing is that there is no risk of developing allergies, as in the case of those with natural filling.

Pillows with wool filling

Pillows with wool filling are hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and dust mites. They do not retain moisture and are very effective at regulating body temperature during sleep, being cool in summer and warm in winter. Pillows with this type of filling are usually firmer and retain their properties for quite a long time. If you want a softer wool pillow, look for one made from alpaca wool.

Pillow with bamboo filling

Pillows with bamboo filling are especially recommended for children due to their absorbent, anti-allergic and antibacterial properties. Thus, bamboo allows the skin to breathe and provides increased comfort throughout the night.

Pillows with cotton filling

Cotton is very similar to wool, being a hypoallergenic and mite and mold-resistant filling. Cotton pillows are usually flat and firm and are often the right choice for people with allergies or sensitivities to chemical treatments.

Memory foam pillows

Memory foam pillows have become extremely popular in recent years, as they mold to the shape of your head and neck and distribute the weight evenly across its entire surface.

All these qualities make this pillow a popular choice among those suffering from neck or back pain. However, memory foam retains heat, which can lead to discomfort and sweating during sleep. That’s why specialists advise choosing quality memory foam pillows with a ventilation system that alleviates this discomfort.

2. The weight of the pillow 

Pillows with natural or synthetic fiber fillings are lighter, while memory foam pillows are heavier. The weight of the pillow is a matter of personal preference. For people who move a lot in their sleep and change their position, a lighter pillow might be the preferred solution.

3. The quality of the filling

The best sleeping pillows are those that contain the highest quality filling. Once you’ve decided on the best pillow for you, experts advise you not to compromise on quality and choose the best pillow that your budget allows.

4. The size of the pillow

Most people choose standard-size pillows, but if you prefer a larger pillow, you must consider your posture alignment while sleeping. The thickness of the pillow contributes a lot to this aspect, and you have to choose it in such a way that you get a good and comfortable sleep. Also, make sure the pillow and pillowcase match perfectly. A smaller pillowcase will change the shape of the pillow, which can affect the position of the head and neck during sleep.

5. The shape of the pillow 

Today’s pillows are made in various shapes to provide more support for the head and neck throughout the night. Some of these even have therapeutic properties in the case of those with neck or spine problems. Cervical or ergonomic pillows have amazing curves: one of higher height for those who sleep on their side and a second of lower height for those who tend to sleep on their backs. These curves help support your head and neck throughout the night.

6. The position in which you usually sleep

Although many people ignore this criterion, the position in which you usually sleep is very important in choosing a good pillow. So, even if we change our position during the night, we all have a “dominant” position in which we spend more time and must take into account when choosing pillows.

Pillows for side sleepers

If you are used to sleeping on your side, experts recommend choosing a firmer and slightly thicker pillow. Ideally, it should fill the space between your ear and the outer point of your shoulder to check the alignment of your head, neck, and spine.

Pillows for stomach sleepers

If you are used to sleeping on your stomach, then it is recommended that you use a thin pillow – or even sleep without a pillow. Also, to prevent lower back pain, experts recommend using another pillow under the stomach or pelvis to align the spine.

Pillows for back sleepers

Those who tend to sleep on their backs need a flatter pillow to maintain proper alignment. Specialists also recommend using a soft pillow. Therefore, ergonomic or anatomical pillows could be ideal for those who prefer this position. 

The pillows you sleep on should be replaced after 1 and a half years. Memory foam pillows last a bit longer, up to 3 years. Pillows with natural fillings are more durable than synthetic ones; of course, a higher-quality pillow will last longer than a lower-quality one.

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