Next only to choosing the right mattress for yourself, is choosing the right pillow, in order to ensure good quality sleep and rest. Neck and shoulder support and posture is crucial to ensuring beneficial sleep, and this is largely dependent on the pillow you will use. Picking a pillow also comes down to a very personal preference and can vary hugely from person to person,
however the basic criteria for what constitutes a “good” pillow is one that offers maximum comfort, the right kind and amount of support, and that ensures that you consistently wake up without any neck pains and strains.
If these criteria are met, you will more often than not, wake up feeling rested and energetic. Take the time to find a good pillow and invest in one that really works for you.
Height of the pillow is the first factor to consider. There is no perfect height that is suitable to all. Finding the right height for yourself will require you to try different pillows, experiment with different heights and understand which one works for you and why.
Next, consider firmness, which is based on the material used. This is again a personal preference. From latex pillows to polyester pillows, foam pillows and memory foam and cool gel pillows, the market offers a wide range of materials that provide varying firmness. Choose one that meets your preference for firmness, while also keeping in mind the height you would like.
If you suffer from spondylitis or any pre-existing neck or spinal condition that requires special attention, choose an orthopaedic pillow for good cervical support.
It is important to consider the other features each of these materials come with. For example, some materials like memory foam have the ability to contour to the shape of your neck, head and shoulders so may provide ample support and firmness, but memory foam has a tendency to heat up. So, if you are choosing a memory foam pillow, you may want to consider one that also has an in-built cooling technology, like Cool Gel, PCM, etc. If you are someone who sweats around the neck and head area when you sleep, pick a pillow with cooling technology inbuilt
Other factors to consider are allergies – avoid feather or fine foam and pick a latex pillow instead. It is 100% natural , chemical free, allergen free and also biodegradable.
It is worth investing in a good-quality branded pillow which will complement your mattress choice. Low-quality pillows use poor fill material and synthetic fabrics that could ruin the quality of your sleep, due to poor support, excessive heat generation and improper contouring. A good pillow that uses 100% cotton, high-quality fabric on the other hand will ensure that you get the maximum benefits from your mattress too, as it completes the promise of restful sleep, enabling you to get the best
Side sleepers may need a firmer pillow and a pillow on the thicker side. Typically, it is good to choose one that is as thick as the distance between your ear and outside shoulder.
Stomach sleepers may prefer a soft pillow—or no pillow at all. However, a pillow under the stomach and pelvis area may help prevent back pain typically experienced by those who sleep on their stomach.
Back sleepers may want a flatter pillow so as to keep the head and neck in alignment. This can be a softer pillow, however, in cases of neck pain, a pillow that provides additional support, while maintaining the desired softness for you could be beneficial.
Considering a pillow gets used every single day or night of our lives, it requires a little care and maintenance in order to get the maximum benefit from it. Daily use makes the pillow prone to getting quite dirty, as it comes in contact with night sweats, drool, oil secretion from the scalp, etc. Here are a few easy ways to look after your pillow:
Invest in pillow cases that can protect the pillow from dirt and grime.
Use the right sized pillow cover. A smaller pillow case will lead to over-stuffing and will cause the pillow to change shape and form over time, while a larger case will have the pillow moving around too much and in both cases it hampers the right kind of support.
Wash pillow cases weekly and change them frequently.
It is ideal to replace your pillows every 18 months. Overusing them will cause more wear and tear leading to inadequate support.
If you use a microfibre pillow, test it by holding it up on the centre of your palm. If the two sides of the pillow flop, it has aged and needs to be replaced. Alternatively, fold it in half, if it doesn’t come back to shape it is time to change it.