They’re the most taken for granted part of your bed – the pillows. Are you restless? Do you have a hard time finding a comfortable sleeping position? Do you have neck, back and shoulder problems? A good quality mattress makes all the difference in the world when it comes to neck, back and shoulder support but all too many consumers take pillows for granted. How do you know which pillow is the perfect one for you? It starts with a good understanding of the purpose of a pillow, knowing how to judge whether or not you need a new pillow and how to choose the one that’s best for you. Here are some tips for finding the perfect pillow.
Certainly neck, back and shoulder pain is one glaring indication you could use a new pillow, but there is a way to test your existing pillow to see if it’s too worn out to keep its shape. Fold your existing pillow in half. Next, put a shoe or other light weight on top of your pillow. Now let go of the pillow. If the pillow folds back into shape, flinging the shoe or weight off, your pillow still has the ability to hold its shape. If not, you should consider replacing it.
A good pillow is one that is comfortable to sleep on, that properly aligns your head, neck and spine so you don’t wake up with any aches or pains in the morning. As you shop for pillows and test them out keep comfort and correct sleeping posture in the forefront of your mind. How do you know if a pillow provides the proper head, neck and spine support? Here’s a quick test. Find a wall in the STLBeds mattress store. If you sleep on your back, stand with your back against the wall. Now rest your head against the wall. You’ll see how your neck and head aren’t straight with your spine. That’s because it’s the pillow’s job to fill this gap. Now put a pillow between your head and the wall. Is your spine’s alignment from your neck down to your back straight or bent? Does the pillow feel uncomfortable or comfortable? Is it comfortable enough to spend 8 hours that way? If this were the perfect pillow for you, you would be looking straight ahead with a straight neck. The same test can be applied you sleep on your side by standing with your side against the wall or by facing the wall if you sleep on your stomach.
But how will you know if the pillow will keep its shape? Pillows are filled with a range of materials and come in all shapes, sizes and varying firmness. The trick is knowing your sleeping position and the type of pillow that best supports that sleeping position. Side sleepers require large, thick pillows to bridge the gap between their mattress and their neck and head. Side sleepers need a thick pillow that’s firm to medium that will keep the neck and head in line with the spine. Memory foam, feather and buckwheat pillows offer good support for side sleepers. For back sleepers a medium firmness pillow that supports the head and neck is needed. Down, wool, cotton & polyester pillows are a good choices. For stomach sleepers, soft and flat pillows that lift the head off the mattress just enough to align the neck and spine are required. Softer down, wool and cotton & polyester pillows work best.
By trying out a few pillows in the store you’ll begin to get a feel for the different heights, firmness and pillow types you prefer.