How to Choose the Best Pillow ?
The best pillow to buy complements the mattress by supporting your head, neck and spine in neutral alignment. This is important for alleviating upper back pains, which may lead to frequent night awakenings.
However, the tricky part is identifying the right pillow for your sleeping posture and unique needs from the hundreds of options available. Just like with mattresses, pillow preferences are subjective. The perfect pillow for you comes down to your sleeping style, mattress firmness, and body shape and weight.
This pillow buying guide has the tips you need to purchase the best pillow for your sleeping position.
How to Buy the Perfect Pillow
Choose Pillow Height and Based on Your Sleeping Style
There is a pillow for every sleeping position. Side sleepers want a pillow that’s tall enough to fill the gap between the shoulders so that the chin and the sternum are in alignment. You also want a pillow that will retain this level of support throughout the night. In that case, side sleepers prefer thick pillows with a firm to medium-firm grade.
The best pillows for back sleepers are comparably flatter than what side sleepers would prefer. As a back sleeper, pick a pillow that keeps your spine perfectly straight. You don’t want a pillow that pushes your chin too far forward or backward. The best type of pillow for back sleepers are the ones in the medium comfort range.
Stomach sleepers need a thin but supportive pillow to avoid raising the head too high. As a stomach sleeper, it’s also advisable to go with a breathable pillow to prevent heat buildup from your breath.
Consider Your Mattress Firmness Level
Another crucial aspect when picking the perfect pillow is matching it to your mattress firmness. The softer your mattress is, the softer the pillow should be. The reason for this is pretty straightforward.
A soft mattress will allow your body to sink more, thereby leaving a relatively smaller gap between the mattress and your neck.
On the other hand, you won’t sink as much on a firmer mattress, so there will be a larger gap between your head and the sleeping surface. Consequently, it would be best if you had a fuller pillow to fill this gap to ensure that the neck and shoulders get sufficient support.
What’s the Best Pillow Filling?
After deciding on the best pillow firmness and height, you want to think about the ideal pillow filling. Filling affects various aspects of the pillow, including washability, durability and affordability. Also, it’s important to practice due diligence, especially if you’re allergic to certain materials.
Down pillows are filled with approx. 75% down fill and around 25% feather fill. Thanks to their natural fluffiness, down filled pillows will mold and adapt to your neck and head shape nicely to improve overall comfort. On the downside, they are the most expensive and may not pack enough support for heavy individuals.
Polyester fiberfill, a.k.a down alternative, offers most of the qualities of down pillows but at a lower price tag. In addition to being more affordable, polyester-stuffed pillows are a great alternative if you’re allergic to genuine down. On the not-so-good side, this filling clumps easily, necessitating frequent adjustments and tends to sleep warm.
Memory foam pillows are preferred due to their superior supportive feel. These pillows come in two major categories: solid and shredded. Solid memory foam pillows have unmatched support and don’t lose shape overnight. On the other hand, shredded memory foam pillows offer customizable support and loft. This allows you to create a pillow that’s perfectly suited to your unique comfort and support needs.