Personal Care

Choose the perfect pillow

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No matter how great your mattress is, a bad pillow will cause you grief.

You may have the most comfortable mattress in the universe but a bad pillow is going to disrupt your sleep and cause kinks in places that you would rather not have them. Most of us do not put enough thought into our choice of pillows and then we pay the Piper. It's important to invest a little research, sampling and time when you are trying to choose the perfect pillow.


Before you select a pillow, determine how it is that you primarily sleep. Are you a back sleeper? Side sleeper? Belly sleeper? Your sleep position determines to a great extent what type of pillow you should purchase.


After you have determined your sleeping position, consider what kind of filling you want in the ideal pillow. Filling choice depends on personal preference. Realize that a synthetic pillow will only last one to three years. A good down pillow will stay in shape for five to eight years. If you cover your pillows with a washable and removable protector this helps maintain the integrity of your pillow. The pillow case goes over the pillow protector.


Synthetic fill is cheaper than a down pillow and is washable and usually non-allergenic. Goose down fill, considered the gold standard of pillow fills, provides resilience, insulation and top quality softness. Goose down comes from the underbellies and breasts of waterfowl.


Cotton fill is hypoallergenic and does not contain chemicals or synthetics which is good if you are highly allergic. Wool fill keeps you dry and warm and is a natural dust mite barrier. In addition, it is mildew and mold resistant and allergy free. Tempur-pedic fill adapts to your individual shape. It is made from material developed for NASA to aid astronauts as they are exposed to extreme gravitational forces. This type of pillow is temperature sensitive and dense.



If you are a dyed-in-the-wool back sleeper, your best bet is to get a neck cylinder shaped pillow or a medium density pillow that will bolster your neck. To choose the perfect pillow for a comfortable night's sleep, you may also want to place a cylinder shaped pillow under your knees because this will relieve lower back pressure.


Dedicated side sleepers require a pillow that fills the space between the bed and the body, which reduces stress on your shoulders and neck. The side sleeper must keep his head and spine in a horizontal line to prevent misalignment and morning aches and pains and stiffness. Placing a pillow between your knees will keep your hips in proper alignment.


Stomach sleeping devotees only require a soft, thin pillow that gently cushions the head at a natural angle.


If you find that you are waking up with a headache or lots of aches and pains and stiffness it may be the result of your pillow. Higher density foam pillows give firm support and do not break down as easily as less dense pillow; however a foam pillow may smell funny. Down pillows are the choice by experts, who believe that they provide the best overall comfort. Feather pillows do not cause allergies and may in fact be a better option when you are considering options to choose the perfect pillow for those who suffer from allergies than a synthetic pillow.


Some people opt not to use a pillow at all, particularly if they sleep on an extremely soft mattress. Searching pillow options at a retailer of fine linens and bedding will yield the most choices.

Do not underestimate the importance of your pillow. Your body needs to be properly elevated while you sleep. If you are suffering from edema, which is swelling, elevation wedges can situate you in a 45 degree angle that will reduce swelling and optimize circulation during the night. A wedge is a little different from a pillow. You can also investigate a body pillow, which supports more than just your neck and shoulders. Both may be used to afford you with ultimate comfort.



Make Me Heal: About Pillows

WebMD: Choose the perfect pillow

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