How to find the perfect pillow to match your style
Not sure which is the best pillow choice for a side sleeper or back sleeper? Here’s what to look for and which to avoid to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Choosing a pillow suited to your sleeping style is an important factor in getting a good night’s sleep. Spending a little extra on a good pillow goes a long way to providing a more comfortable sleeping environment, and quality products tend to last longer.
What's the perfect pillow thickness?
To ensure a restful night’s sleep, it’s important that the height of the pillow suits you. Correct spine and neck alignment needs to be maintained while sleeping so there’s no pressure on the neck or back muscles.
To check that your pillow is providing the correct amount of support, you can ask a friend or partner to check your alignment. With your head placed on the pillow, your neck and spine should be straight.
Another way to check is to stand against or next to a wall in the same style as you would lie on your mattress. Place a pillow between the wall and your head, then check the alignment of your spine. Is it straight or is it curved and would you be happy to spend the night in this position?
The pillow that is the one for you will have you looking straight ahead with a straight neck. This will let your spine, neck and head to be fully supported throughout the night.
Avoid these pillows avoid if you're a side sleeper
The comfort of a pillow depends a lot on the firmness of your bed, and your personal sleeping style. If you have a soft bed, you may find a slightly lower pillow more comfortable than what’s recommended for your sleeping style, as this works with your body sinking a little lower into the bed.
Generally, most pillows should be replaced every 2-5 years depending on the quality of the pillow. Some high quality pillows come with 20 year warranties. Using a pillow protector extends the life of your pillow and stops it being degraded by sweat, moisture and bacteria.
When should you replace it?
What makes a pillow comfortable?
Let’s get this out of the way first. There are a few types of pillows to stay away from if you’re a committed side sleeper. Some of these may come as a surprise.
Down and feather pillows are soft, pliable and feel cuddly, but they lack the height and support needed to keep your neck aligned. Down likes to escape its casing from time to time.
Polyester pillows generally don’t last long, and the contents tend to shift creating hollows.
Down Alternatives and Gel pillows often lack the support and firmness needed for side sleepers. They also tend to clump and become lumpy and uncomfortable with age.
Generally, most pillows should be replaced every 2 to 5 years depending on the quality of the pillow. Some high quality pillows come with 20 year warranties. Using a pillow protector extends the life of your pillow and stops it being degraded by sweat, moisture and bacteria.
Which is the best pillows for Side Sleepers?
Side sleepers need higher, medium to firm pillows. The pillow needs to fill the gap between the ear and the outside edge of the shoulder. This will support your neck, head and spine to ensure they are all in alignment. Sleeping on a pillow that’s too soft or thin makes your head lay low, creating a downward bend in your neck. A pillow that’s too thick creates an uncomfortable upward bend of the neck.
Side sleepers needs a pillow to stay firm through the night, without the fill collapsing in on itself. Any of the 4 pillow types listed below are ideal for side sleepers.
#1 - Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillows
Bamboo shredded / memory foam mix pillows are designed to contour to your spine, giving you proper orthopaedic support. These keep their buoyancy allowing your head and neck to remain in alignment throughout the night.
Shredded memory foam pillows have a zipper to easily add or remove foam to adjust the thickness, as well as the overall softness and firmness of the pillow. These pillows are fully washable and come with a removable protective cover making them easy to launder, but still need a pillowcase to protect them properly.
#2 - Latex Pillows
If you’re not used to a Latex pillow these can feel a little bouncy to begin with. The bounce gives the pillows its resilience and prevents it from flattening. Latex pillows adapt to your shape and adjusts itself as you move to provide optimal support neck and spine support.
These pillows come with a protective machine washable cover, making it easy to launder, but they still require a pillowcase.