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You have a new bed, a new mattress, perhaps a topper; you are looking forward to a good night’s sleep. Hold on! If you haven’t investigated the importance of your pillow(s), you aren’t ready for that good night’s sleep yet.
Often overlooked in the buying process, a pillow supports your head and neck, and that support will impact your entire body. The best mattress in the world won’t alleviate morning soreness, if your pillow is not doing its job. It’s hard to know which type of pillow you need, but you can make a better choice if you understand a bit about each type.
Firmness of the pillow is also a consideration and is specifically important relative to sleep positions. For those who sleep on their backs or sides, a firmer pillow is preferable. For stomach sleepers, however, a softer pillow is recommended, so that the head and neck are not placed in an unnatural position during sleep. (Article: Best Pillow For Back Sleepers) (Article: Best Pillow For Side Sleepers)
Another consideration, especially for side sleepers is support that will keep a body contour correctly. For this reason, it may be wise to invest in either an additional pillow or a long pillow, either of which can be placed between the knees. This will keep the spine in the appropriate position throughout sleep and will certainly reduce back stiffness or soreness when first getting up. And the older one gets, the longer it takes to recover from such soreness!
Whatever pillow you determine to be the best for you, understand that you should replace pillows at least every 4-5 years. As well, they should be regularly cleaned, either by washing or dry cleaning. All but memory foam pillows can be placed in washers and dryers, but cheaper pillows tend to lose shape and smoothness of filler. Memory foam pillows must be dry cleaned. Just as with your mattress, dead skin cells and dust mites will accumulate, and a good reminder is to clean your pillows with every seasonal change.