There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to the type of pillow on your bed
Unlike how many steps you should walk every day, or the number of vegetables you should eat — there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to the type of pillow you should have on your bed.
Your preferred materials, sleeping style, and the longevity you need from your pillows will all affect what the right pillow for you looks like. Because everyone is different, and everyone sleeps differently, there are no 'one pillow fits all' solution.
If your pillow feels lumpy, gets stuck to your face when you're sleeping, or moves as you sleep, it's time to invest in a new one.
There is currently a wide range of materials used in pillows which can make the decision process hard, but here are five of the most important things to consider when you are purchasing your next pillow.
1. Fill material
Your pillow's fill material should be consistent with your needs and comfort preferences. Down pillows give you the traditional light and soft pillow-feel.
Synthetic and polyester-filled pillows are less expensive than natural down and are usually hypo-allergenic. They do require replacing more frequently but are a great budget alternative compared to many other pillow types.
These pillows are generally soft to medium but will flatten with wear and use over time.
Memory foam pillows are popular in the mattress and pillow industry, and for a good reason. While these pillows tend to start at a higher price point than synthetic and polyester-filled pillows, they last around three years with proper care.
The foam conforms to your individual shape, fitting your unique support needs. Responding to your weight, body heat, and body structure, memory foam softens and contours to the lines of your head, neck, and shoulders. It has the benefit of consistently distributing weight evenly across its surface.
Memory foam and gel combined pillows have the advantage of a cooler's nights sleep, with natural temperature cooling-infused foams, great for those who find they get too hot overnight.
2. Sleeping style
Your sleeping style may affect the style of pillow that will suit you best. Keep in mind that most people have several sleeping styles; for example, you could move from your back to your side throughout the evening.
- Side sleepers need a firmer pillow and a pillow on the thicker side to support the weight of their shoulders and neck properly. Memory foam or gel-infused foam pillows would fall under this category.
- Stomach sleepers need a softer pillow — or no pillow at all — underneath their head. However, a synthetic or polyester pillow under your stomach and pelvis may help prevent back pain.
- Back sleepers need a flatter pillow, to keep your head and neck in alignment. Back sleepers may prefer softer synthetic or polyester pillows, however, if you wake up with neck or back pain, it may be worth looking into additional support with foam pillows.
Most pillows are designed in two different shapes — the classic and the contour.
- The classic shape is the everyday pillow you can flip and rotate as many times as you like.
- The contour pillow is designed to never be flipped and is shaped to especially support side sleepers.
Synthetic and polyester-filled pillows generally sleep cooler than memory foam pillows.
Memory foam retains heat, which can lead to discomfort and sweating, particularly in warmer weather. High-quality memory foam pillows are often made today with ventilation built into the pillow, or high-quality cooling gels. These pillows can give off chemical-like smells, particularly when new.
5. A pillow's lifespan
As a general rule, pillows should be replaced every 18 months. Higher quality pillows may last longer than budget pillows, and memory foam pillows tend to last longer than synthetic pillows.
Your pillow is an essential component of getting a good night's sleep, as well as supporting a healthy sleeping posture, so it's important to replace them regularly.
We'd love to help you find your dream sleep partner. Take a look at our Chiropedic pillow to see our range of pillows. It's important to try before you buy, which is why we have 9 stores across Victoria.