Just as everyone knows to choose a comfortable bed for a good nights sleep, you should also be concerned with the pillow you choose. Each type of pillow has its own set of pros and cons associated with the filling.
Do you realize that you sleep on your bed pillow about 2,500 hours a year? As such, you should be concerned with your pillow because it is much more than a place to lay your head at night when you sleep. A great pillow is just as important as a great bed to have an overall good nights sleep. The pillow you choose should be comfortable as well as support your neck and spine in the correct orientation to relieve aches and pains.
Synthetic Fiber Pillows
Pillows that are manufactured with synthetic fibers have synthesized polymers or small molecules inside that are made from raw chemicals, such as petrochemicals.
- Pros: This type of pillow is lightweight and inexpensive. They work well for any sleep position and also are great for sleepers with allergies. Synthetic pillows are easy to change their shape for the height you desire and they are easy to wash and care for. They are also flame resistant and waterproof as well as resilient and durable.
- Cons: Synthetic pillows do have some drawbacks as they are non-absorbent, they don’t contour very well to the head and neck and they are highly static. They also have the shortest life span of 6 months to 2 years and the filling can become clumped up or it may flatten quickly. Repeated washing can easily damage synthetic pillows and they lose their shape too quickly.
Feather pillows were very popular many years ago, but that was also when there weren’t many other choices that are better as today. They are similar to down, but not as soft, durable or lightweight and they are not recommended for side sleepers.
- Pros: Feather pillows are quite expensive although super soft. You can bend them easily in any shape you wish and they do last a bit longer than the synthetic pillows. They are also easy to wash.
- Cons: Feather pillows don’t offer enough height or support for your head and neck. The feather quills can also poke out through the cover and it needs to be shaken and fluffed on a daily basis to maintain its original shape. Feather pillows are not good for anyone who suffers from allergies.
Microbead pillows contain thousands of tiny beads, much like the beads in a beanbag chair, but much smaller. The advantage of microbead pillows that are not seen in other types of pillows is that the tiny beads can slide around to conform to your head and neck for great support.
- Pros: The beads support your neck and head for a great night’s sleep and they don’t compress in any manner. This allows microbead pillows to maintain a high level of firmness. The combination of firm and supportive is great in this type of pillow, which also has good airflow.
- Cons: Microbeads retain a lot of heat, but you can shake the pillow and the heat will disperse quickly. If the pillow should break, you will have thousands of tiny beads all over the bedroom. If you are washing a microbead pillow and it breaks open, you can clog up your plumbing system immediately. Microbead pillows do not work well for children because of this and you may not want them in a home with pets. Microbeads are not as durable as some other types of pillows and some people find them too firm. In addition, it has a slight chemical smell that some people do not like.
Latex pillows are made from latex rubber that is harvested from rubber trees as a sustainable product. They are great for neck and back pain and persons with allergies.
- Pros: Latex pillows are biodegradable, flame resistant and really long lasting. They resist mold and mildew and they are insect resistant to bed bugs and dust mites. It has no chemicals and is non-toxic even if it is burned. Latex pillows mold to your head and neck with a firm but cushioned sleeping surface.
- Cons: Latex pillows are more expensive, but worth it for all of the pros and for being environmentally friendly.
Buckwheat pillows are unique in their construction. The hulls of the buckwheat plant are first roasted to remove any dust from the growing fields and then place in a pillowslip and an additional pillowcase to prevent it from spilling its contents.
- Pros: Buckwheat pillows are natural and renewable and very long lasting. They work great for side sleepers and provide natural air circulation between the individual hulls, which also keeps the pillow from heating up. Buckwheat pillows provide excellent support for the back, neck and head since they contour to your shape.
- Cons: Buckwheat pillows are heavier than ordinary pillows, but some people love the extra weight, so this is actually and pro and a con. This type of pillow will not return back to its original shape like memory foam pillows do.
Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam pillows revolutionized everyone’s relationship with their pillows. It provides the ultimate in spine and neck support and is best for side and back sleepers. If you are searching for the best support possible, this might just be your favorite pillow. Memory foam is polyurethane with some added chemicals to increase the density and viscosity. It reacts to your body heat and pressure so it molds to your neck and head in only seconds and then returns back to the original shape when heat and pressure are removed.
- Pros: It is amazingly soft and firm at the same time and it’s smooth without any lumps. It offers the ultimate in pain relief and support for your neck and back. It contours to your body based on your body heat. It doesn’t make any noise when you roll over. Memory foam has extended durability over all types of pillows and it’s easy to care for. Several varieties exist that have insect repelling and hypoallergenic properties.
- Cons: Memory foam doesn’t bend or shape easily and it will initially have the smell of polyurethane foam. This type of pillow is heavy and it becomes warm when you sleep, which could be a deal breaker for people in warmer climates.
Wool pillows are pure, natural and breathable. They are a great alternative to synthetic fiber pillows. Wool pillows have a great degree of insulation to help you if you routinely get cold or hot at night.
- Pros: Wool pillows are allergy free and they stay cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Wool has a good airflow to prevent moisture from perspiration when you sleep. It is also a natural insulator to keep your body at a constant temperature. Wool is the perfect pillow for sleepers with allergies who are not as concerned with neck and back support.
- Cons: Wool pillows flatten over time and need to be refluffed on a daily basis.
Now that you know all the pros and cons of the different types of pillows, you can make an informed decision on which type is best for you.