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How to choose a pillow

Your pillows can be just as important as your mattress, so why buy basic pillows without doing the research? You spend around 2400 hours a year with your head on a pillow, so choosing the right one is extremely important. You should take into account:

  1. The pillow filling
  2. The shape of your pillow
  3. The size of your pillow
  4. Any health concerns you may have that can be aggravated by the wrong pillow choice

Pillow Fillings

The filling of your pillow is what makes it comfortable for you. Each filling type will have different softness, height, and shape. It is important to have the right filling for your natural sleep positions to reduce the risk of neck or shoulder pain.

Feather Pillow

Feather pillows are the standard for most people, as they offer comfortable support to your head and shoulders, as well as boasting a long product lifespan. This means your pillow will retain their height and supportiveness for longer.

The firmness of a feather pillow is determined by the amount of filling. The more filling you have in your pillow, the firmer and taller your pillow will be.

Feather pillows tend to require ‘fluffing’ more often than other pillow types as they can become easily flattened. This reduces the pillow height reducing comfort. Feather pillows also require professional cleaning, making them more expensive than other pillow types.

Microfibre Pillows

Microfibre pillows are an affordable alternative to traditional feather pillows. The microfibre pillow is lightweight, hypoallergenic, and very easy to take care of. This is likely why so many people choose microfibre over feather pillows.

The microfibre pillow can be washed at home, a benefit for users that do not want to pay for professional cleaning. Unfortunately, this means the product lifespan is shorter than other pillow options. It is recommended that you change a microfibre pillow every few years.

Memory Foam Pillows

Memory foam pillows are the most modern on the market. By utilising the same material as a memory foam bed, this pillow is made for total head and neck support. Like microfibre pillows, memory foam is easy to take care of but offers a longer product lifetime.

Memory foam pillows contour to your head and shoulders, but users who not require extra support may find them too firm to be comfortable. Many people also find memory foam pillows too hot in the summer, which can make it difficult to find comfort.

Sleeping Positions

Your pillow supports your head and neck when you sleep. Unfortunately, not many people know that your sleeping position should be a key factor in your pillow choice. Having the wrong pillow for your natural sleep position can lead to headaches, neck problems, shoulder problems, and arm numbness.

The most important thing to remember is that your pillow should cater to a ‘neutral head alignment’. This means your head is not too far back, or too far forward, resting squarely on your shoulders.

Pillows for Back Sleepers

If you tend to sleep naturally on your back, you may benefit from having a thinner pillow. This will ensure your head is not too far forward when resting. You should also try to look for a pillow that is thicker toward the bottom to help cradle your neck. This will ensure consistent support throughout the night.

Pillows for Front Sleepers

Sleeping on your front requires the thinnest pillow you can find. This is to prevent your head from being too far back when you sleep, which can lead to morning neck soreness. Front sleepers also put a lot of pressure on their lower back, so you should think about switching to side sleeping. You can purchase body pillows that you can hug whilst you sleep if you enjoy something pressed on your stomach.

Pillows for Side Sleepers

The majority of people sleep on their side. Side sleepers should look for a firmer pillow to give extra support through the night. You can also look for pillows that are thicker on the edges to bridge the gap between ear and shoulder. You should also think about having a pillow between your knees when you sleep to better align your spine.

Pillow Care Guide

Looking after pillows means looking after yourself. The average person will spend over 2500 hours a year with their head on their pillow, so keeping it clean and looked after is of paramount importance.

You should change your pillow every 18 months to 2 years. This is to protect you from illnesses or allergy triggers that can attach themselves to your pillows. These can include mould, dead skin cells, and dust mites.

The best way to test whether you need a new pillow is the fold test. Fold your pillow in half and then let go. If the pillow springs back then it is still okay to use. If the pillow does not spring back it is ‘dead’ and should be replaced.

You should clean your pillow every month as so as instructed on the cleaning tag. Pillows should always be washed according to the instructions to protect it as much as possible. Different pillow types require different cleaning regimes, for example, microfibre pillows can be washed at home on a 30℃ cycle but feather pillows must be professionally cleaned.

Hypnos Feather and Down pillow close up

Testing your pillow

Testing pillows before purchase ensure a high quality sleep. By seeing first hand any pros or cons of various pillow types, you will find the perfect combination for you. Hypnos have retailers all over the UK with expert staff to help you make the right choice. Find your nearest Hypnos retailer today and find your perfect pillow.

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