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Choose The Most Suitable Pillow For The Sweetest Dreams!

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Humans sleep on average 25 years over the course of their lifetime, and sleep is one of the most important precursors of health. So, it’s pretty important that you get a good night’s sleep.

Lack of sleep is related to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, healthy function and even emotional wellbeing. Ensuring you get between 7-9 hours per night on a comfortable surface, with limited artificial lights and sounds is important. But, how do you know that your bedroom furniture creates the perfect sleep conditions?

Choosing the best pillow for well-rested sleep ensures you will get enough sleep to stay in your best health. Follow these steps to identify the best pillow for you.

 

What Matters in a Pillow?

  • One of the most important parts of good sleep is your sleep posture – A position which keeps your head, neck, and spine in perfect alignment is best. The wrong pillow will throw off this alignment possibly causing soreness and stiffness throughout the body. When purchasing a new pillow, try it out for 2-3 weeks before deciding if it’s a perfect fit for you. Your posture may correct itself over the first few nights, leading to some soreness, but you should feel well-rested and without stiffness and soreness after two weeks of use if the pillow improves your sleep posture.
  • Your sleep position also matters. Most of us tend to sleep in one position normally, and which position you typically sleep in will alter your sleep. These are not strict rules, however, as many may change positions through the night. Back sleepers should locate a thinner pillow to maintain alignment, while side sleepers should locate a thicker pillow. Stomach sleepers should use a very thin pillow, or no pillow at all.
  • Finally, your mattress also matters. A hard mattress may mean you need a softer pillow, and vice versa. This may greatly change the type of pillow that’s right for you, so be open to trying a number of pillow types.
  • Regardless of these three important pillow considerations, remember that everyone is different. Try out different pillow styles, and don’t rest until you have found one that gives you the best rest.
Young man peacefully sleeping in bed

Photo credit: bigstock.com

How to Choose the Best Pillow: 10 Important Aspects

  1. Fill Material and Fabric

Pillows are filled with a plethora of materials from synthetic to natural. Synthetically- filled pillows may cause allergic reactions to those who are sensitive. If you are inclined to allergies, look for a pillow that is “hypoallergenic” or choose a more natural option.

Wool – Wool is a natural fiber that wicks moisture away from the body is hypoallergenic, resistant to dust mites and mold, and is firm.
Latex – Latex is a firm, thick pillow that is resistant to dust mites and mold.
Synthetic – Pillows made of synthetic materials may cause allergic reactions, and are typically lower quality than natural pillows. They will need to be replaced more often, and are often medium to soft.
Cotton – Cotton is hypoallergenic and tends to make thin and firm pillows, and is resistant to dust mites and mold.
Memory foam – Memory foam pillows conform to the shape of the head and neck, and are ideal for those who have neck pain and alignment issues. However, memory foam pillows easily overheat and also contain harsh chemicals, which may harm those with allergic health concerns.
Down – Down pillows are made from duck or goose feathers, and make a very soft pillow. Cheaper versions may cause allergic reactions as some debris could be left on the animal fibers if not well-cleaned.

Outside of the filler material, the outer fabric of the pillow is also important. Opt for a more natural material of the outer pillow fabric, as well. Of course, you can cover your pillow with a hypoallergenic pillowcase, but if you are very sensitive to allergens, you may need to opt for a hypoallergenic pillow fabric altogether.

Don’t forget there’s another layer to your pillow – the pillowcase. It’s also important to purchase a high quality pillow case, especially if you have issues with allergies, and to choose a pillowcase that is the right size for your pillow.

  1. Fill Weight
    Pillows may be heavy or light. Down pillows are typically very light, while memory foam pillows are heavy. This aspect is totally up to your personal preference. Lighter pillows will fold easier, while heavier pillow will retain their shape.
  2. Size
    Pillows are made in a variety of sizes. A standard sized pillow if adequate for most, but you may also find larger pillows and pillows designed for special parts of the body. Speciality pillows, like pillows designed for pregnancy, are available.
  3. Fill Power
    Just like bed sheets, the fill power of a pillow depicts its quality. A higher fill power means a higher quality pillow and can range from 600 to over 800 power. The fill power technically denotes the amount of inner material fills the pillow in one cubic ounce.
  4. Quality
    Like any product, pillows are made of high or low quality materials. Though pillows of higher quality are more expensive, remember that you will be spending a good percentage of your life sleeping and that your sleeping health is pivotal to your general health.

 

Pillow Recommendations

A natural pillow may be your best bet, at the specific thickness matching your sleep position. It’s okay if that doesn’t feel comfortable. It also may take a few nights to adjust to the new pillow, so give yourself one to two weeks. If you still don’t feel rested or feel sore, try another pillow. A pillow is an investment to your healt h.

 

READ ALSO: Here’s Why Night Shower Might Be Your Key To Better Sleep Infographic

 

Pillow Maintenance

Like your other furniture, your pillow becomes worn and should be replaced on time to ensure optimal use. Lumps, a stain, or smell signal that it’s time for a new pillow. Pillows can collect bacteria, mold, fungus, and dust mites. If a pillow can be folded in half, then it is also has used up its life expectancy.

Though your pillow may be the last thing on your mind, it’s an important part of your sleep and overall health. Invest in a quality pillow and notice the difference better sleep has on your everyday energy levels and lifestyle.