Your sleep is as good as your pillow. This is the fact that almost everyone can affirm, though not entirely. Pillows have a very huge impact not only on the quality of our sleep, rest and recharge but also how healthfully we do it. Psychologists and orthopedics recommend at least 6 hours daily, though some extend this by a couple of hours. You can imagine how great an effect a bad pillow can have on your body. As a matter of fact, a wrong pillow can cause or aggravate headaches, neck and shoulder pain, numbness and restlessness among other awful effects.
How do you choose a good pillow?
Here are incredible guidelines to assist you with pillows for neck and back and more:
1. Find Out Your Sleeping Position
This ought to be the first step in determining the right pillow for you. Different pillows work best for different sleeping positions. You can easily know your sleeping style by noting the position you usually find yourself in as soon as you wake up or when you jump to bed. There are three sleeping positions and unless you are a mixed sleeper you will either be:
- Back sleeper
- Side sleeper
- Stomach sleeper
The Right Pillow for Back Sleepers:
You should find a pillow that adequately provides support under the shoulders, neck and the head. The back sleeper pillows should be flatter precisely of medium thickness so that your head is not pushed too forward. The pillow should have an extra loft at the bottom. It is advisable to have an extra pillow which you can place underneath the knees to avoid straining the back.
If you are in this group you should go for a thick pillow with extra loft at the bottom which is firm and having a very wide gusset. The side sleeper pillows should align head with your spine. It should also bridge the distance between the ear and the outer neck.
Front sleepers can do relatively well without a pillow. However, if you are in this category, you should go for a soft and thin stomach sleeper pillows. This is just meant to align your head in line with the spine. You should consider placing a pillow under your stomach to avoid experiencing lower back pain.
2. The Right Pillow Filling
After deciding on your sleeping position, you should choose the right filling according to several considerations like health issues. There are numerous types of pillow fillings. Here are some of the most common ones:
Goose down Pillows: Goose down pillows are very comfortable and can give you adjustability. This means you can adjust or move the stuffing to where you need the most support. They are ideally, one of the best pillow fillings because they are soft and firm. Another benefit is that they are very durable. However, they are not suitable for asthmatic and allergic people.
Goose Feather Pillows: They more or less the same characteristic apart from the fact that the goose feather fillings have those sharp endings which can poke you at night. One great advantage of these goose feathers or down fillings is their ability to retain warmth hence very ideal for cold weather.
Memory Foam: The great beneficial feature of these pillow fillings is the ability to conform to your movement and the shape of your head and neck. It also comes in different shapes including the popular S-shape. They are very suitable for people with neck and spinal problems.
However, they have an unpleasant odor of chemicals especially when new. Memory foam fillings also have a tendency of making sleepers hot and they are expensive.
Wool/Cotton Fillings: Do you suffer from allergies? Well, this might be the best choice for you. This is simply because they are hypoallergenic, resistant to mold and dust mites free. They are also perfect for thermal regulation hence maintain an optimal steady temperature. These pillow fillings are also very firm.
Latex: Pillows made from latex are the best because they are elastic resilient hence very comfortable and supportive. They are in fact the firmest pillow. They’re also hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and dust mites. These pillows are very suitable for allergic people. They are also of great benefit for people who need back and neck alignment.
Polyester Pillows: These are synthetic pillows. The main advantage of these pillows is that they are hypoallergenic and cheap. However, they don’t last long.
3. Consider Special Needs
When buying a pillow you do it for a purpose. It is important to add your special needs into the consideration when buying pillows. Examples of these special needs that should be addressed are being allergic and snoring. There are pillows for special needs which include:
Anti-snoring Pillows: snoring occurs due to the restriction or compression of airways. It can also be due to an allergy. To counter this problem, your head and shoulder should be well in support. Hence choose a pillow shaped in such a way that it positions your head and neck in a manner that will prevent compressing your airways.
Pillows for Back and Neck Pain: There are specially made pillows that mitigate back and neck pain. If you do experience these pains you should consider changing your pillow.
Pregnancy and Cervical Pillows: Pregnancy pillows are specially available in the market for pregnant women. Cervical pillows support the neck by adding extra cushioning at the lower part of the pillow.
Cool Pillows: These pillows are specially made to deal with night sweating and hot flashing. This pillows absorb and put away heat leaving your head, especially the part that touches the pillow, very cool.
Hypoallergenic Pillows: These pillows are a perfect choice for people who suffer from allergy. Wool and Latex fillings pillows are good examples. However, you should choose pillows specifically made for allergic people.
Positional Pillows: These are very helpful pillows made in consideration of the sleeping positions of individuals as discussed above.
Oxygen Promoting Pillows: These are pillows meant to promote blood circulation especially among diabetic people.
4. The Perfect Size
When choosing the right pillow for yourself, consider and decide the best size of the pillow. This decision should be based on the following factors:
The Size of your bed: The size of the pillow should be proportional to the size of the bed. A king sized pillow will suit very well with a king size bed.
Purpose: The purpose of the pillow may affect the size. In this case, a king size pillow makes a fantastic back support when reading or using a laptop in the bed.
The number of pillows you need– If you need to pile up pillows especially when reading, you may need to go for the small sizes. You can layer this to make yourself as comfortable as you want.
However, you don’t have to consider these guidelines strictly. A standard pillow might be a perfect fit for a king size bed according to your taste. Also if you are a front sleeper you will also need a small size pillow regardless of your bed size. In any case, a super standard or standard pillow is most preferable for sleeping. You can also choose a pillow that is size adjustable.
5. Choose the Best Quality
Like many products, quality is an essential feature in a pillow. A good pillow will last long, meet your expectations and bring that elegant appearance on your bed. A high-quality pillow will conform to your body shape, and provide the support.
The material and pillow fillings also determine the quality of the pillow. For example goose down, wool and latex pillows are quality pillows which can last long. Polyester pillows won’t last long, and going by durability, we can say they are not very quality pillows.
The price of the pillow does not determine its quality. While in most cases high-quality pillows, and other products, are quite expensive, this is not always the case. There are good pillows which go for relatively cheaper prices. Nevertheless, when choosing the best pillow, the price should be a determining factor if the choice won’t compromise the quality of the pillow. If you want a good pillow, which will serve you right and which is bound to last longer, you must be ready to part with a good sum of cash. If you have a small budget you can as well get a good quality pillow.
Choosing the right pillow is not an easy task as it seems to be. This is if you want to make your bed a haven. It is advisable to consider the above points. Otherwise you might end up buying the wrong pillow and as a result, start experiencing all kinds of pain ranging from back pain to headaches. This could ruin your well-planned night.