A good pillow factors heavily on the quality of sleep one gets. Sleep has been linked to promoting heart health, regulating blood sugar, reducing stress, inflammation and making one more alert. It improves memory and helps the body repair itself from damage. You need quality sleep for more than just aesthetic reasons. Old, worn pillows are linked to countless neck cramps and poor sleep quality. A good one should be able to give comfort in the best possible way and should not deflate or lose fluffiness very quickly. Here’s what to consider when purchasing new pillows.
1. Personal preference and sleeping position
This will vary from person to person. How firm or soft do you like it? Then there’s the question of how you sleep. Your preferred sleeping position says a lot about the type of pillow you need. Different sleeping positions require different kinds of support.
If you sleep on your back, your head, and neck minimal support. A pillow that’s too dense may push your head too far forward possibly overextending your neck. Go for a low or medium density pillow or a contour pillow that supports the neck while keeping the body aligned.
Side sleepers need extra support to keep the neck and head aligned with the body. Improper support for a side sleeper can result in shoulder pain. A medium-density pillow supports the neck and takes the strain off the shoulder without overextending the neck sideways.
Stomach sleepers lay flat but turn their heads to the side. For them, soft and low-density pillows are ideal because they provide support and take the strain off the neck while keeping the body aligned. It’s also easy to arrange and keep the neck from being overextended sideways.
Press down on a pillow to gauge its firmness. Shake, fluff, squeeze and even lay on it if you can to feel what you are buying. For a one made of loose filling instead of a slab of foam, check whether it maintains its shape after you fluff it and whether there are any lumpy spots. You want one that maintains a uniform shape and thickness.
2. Pillow filling material
The type of pillow filling dictates how long it will last. It is also arguably the most important thing in a pillow so choose carefully keeping in mind what works best for you. The most commonly used materials for filling pillows are down, foam, and synthetic polyester fibres.
- Stuffed with real feathers usually of geese or ducks
- A natural insulator, they are warm and preferable for colder regions
- Most comfortable option available
- Susceptible to mould and dust mites
- More expensive
- Might not be good for people with allergies
- Retain heat generally
- Memory foam pillows are cool and don’t retain as much heat as general ones
- Do not produce allergens
- Not recommended for people who sweat easily
Synthetic and polyester fibres
- Alternative to ‘down’
- Easily washable in a machine
- Generally hypoallergenic
A common rule of thumb is the denser the pillow filling, the lower the breathability. You want one that allows air to pass through instead of trapping heat.
The size of your pillow will greatly affect your quality of sleep. The size should complement your bed size so that it looks great and provides support no matter how much you move in your sleep. The most common pillow sizes are standard, queen, and king matching their respective bed sizes.
There are also body pillows. This is an oversized pillow for cradling the entire body during sleep. It does not shift or move around while sleeping. It is soft and comfortable to lie on and popular among stomach sleepers. It is easily washable and overall a great investment.
Set a budget before you go out shopping and stick to your estimate. Don’t buy a one you can’t comfortably afford or put yourself in a position where you are putting a needless financial burden on yourself.
5. Snoring issues
If you snore while sleeping, your pillow may be a contributing factor. Consider consulting your physician before buying one for their recommendations that may reduce snoring.
6. Skincare issues
Your pillowcase might or might not be contributing to your face skincare issues so you might be breaking out because of your pillowcase. So the material covering your pillow matters. Lifestyle & Beauty: Why Silk Pillowcases Are Best For Your Skin And Hair
Here’s hoping that helps you get something that works for you.
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