You've certainly heard why a proper mattress is important for your sleep, but what about your pillow? Most people don’t know that investing in a pillow that supports healthy sleep posture is just as important as choosing the right mattress. Where you rest your head at night plays a huge role in determining how well you sleep, so we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to choose the most comfortable pillow, and why doing so will help you fight any sleep problems you may have.
Why Is Having Comfortable Pillow Important?
Let’s make it clear, having a good pillow is not just important, it's vital for your state of health in general. Your pillow impacts what mood you wake up in, how rested and energetic you'll feel, and consequently, how productive and relaxed you'll be throughout the day. The point is that the proper pillow should support your sleeping posture and keep your spine, chest, shoulders, neck, and head in alignment with your lower body.
If your upper body doesn't receive necessary support, very soon in addition to having your body in pain, you'll become a primary candidate for various parasomnias and other sleep disorders that might result in a bigger issue not only for you but also for your sleep partner. Don't be scared, though. We'll walk you through the process of choosing the most comfortable pillow in the following steps.
How To Choose The Most Comfortable Pillow
1. Identify Your Ideal Sleeping Position
Before thinking about any other factors, you'll need to determine what sleeping position is the most comfortable for you. Do you sleep on your back, stomach, or are you a side sleeper?
· If You’re A Back Sleeper: a thin pillow with extra support towards the bottom should be the focus of your pillow attention. If you are sleeping on your back, a thin pillow will help keep your neck aligned with your spine and make sure that it’s not pulled too far forward. Make sure your pillow isn't too soft, otherwise your head will sink into the pillow and mess up your posture.
· If You’re A Stomach Sleeper: search for a soft, thin pillow or sleep with no pillow at all. If you sleep on your stomach, you put a lot of pressure on your lower back, so having your head inclined at an angle will only worsen the pressure.
· If You’re A Side Sleeper: a thick and firm pillow is your best bet. Your pillow's thickness will help you to support the distance between your ear and shoulder, while it's firmness will prevent your head from sinking into the pillow and placing all the pressure on your shoulder.
2. Choose Your Pillow Filling
Before getting overwhelmed with trying to choose from the numerous pillow filling types, make sure you account for your existing health conditions like allergy, asthma, or chronic pains that may require a certain filling your doctor should prescribe. If you don’t have any restrictions based on existing or prior conditions, you’ll have a variety of pillow fillings to choose from:
· Down & Feather: Down and feather pillows are made of duck or goose plumage and can be used by all kinds of sleepers. While down filling is light and soft, a feather pillow would be much firmer. If you're a side sleeper, take a closer look at feather filling and leave down filling for back and stomach sleepers.
· Cotton & Wool: Cotton and wool pillows are usually pretty firm, which is great for back and side sleepers and not so much for stomach ones. Additionally, cotton and wool fillings are hypo-allergenic and more resistant to dust and mold mites compared to other pillow filling types, which is a considerable benefit if you suffer from allergies or any pulmonary diseases. On top of the abovementioned benefits, wool pillow filling will keep your head cool in high temperatures and keep your head warm in low temperatures. What could be better?
· Memory Foam: Memory foam filling immediately attracted consumers' attention when it appeared on the market, and for good reason. Memory foam remembers your individual shape and responds to your body lines in addition to distributing your weight evenly across the entire surface. This helps to relieve any head or neck pain and relax your pressure points. That being said, a drawback to memory foam pillows is their heat retention. While it's a useful feature that can keep you warm when needed, it can also be a huge disappointment if your body needs to be cooled down.
· Latex: Just as a wool or cotton filling, latex is an allergy-friendly mold and dust resistant option. Latex pillows are usually firm and always hold their shape, which is the type of support you need if you suffer from neck or back pain. And also, if you are searching for a contoured pillow, most of the time the filling will be made of latex.
Who Else Can Help To Choose The Right Pillow?
Even though our guide helps patients get a better idea of how to choose a perfect pillow, there are still more factors like your spine shape, neck position, and sleep habits that you need to consider. If you want to choose a pillow that's not only comfortable but also therapeutic, consult one of our experienced sleep doctors at the Pulmonary Associates of Brandon. After a careful analysis, our physicians will choose a pillow that is responsive to all your needs and ensures your sleep is safe and sound.