Human beings spend a third of their lives sleeping which is a necessary activity to help your body rest and function properly. To achieve a good night sleep, a lot of things have to be right. Apart from having the right mattress, comfortable sheets, temperature control, noise and light disturbances all have a role to play in how well you rest. Your pillow is also part of that equation. What you lay your head on can also affect how well your sleep and how you wake up the next morning. If you have the right mattress but the wrong pillow, you may end up tossing and turning the whole night because you can’t get a comfortable position to sleep on. 

However, before you go shopping for the right pillow, there are a few things you need to consider first.

The bed pillow filling

The material your pillow is filled with can make a huge difference, especially if you’re allergic or sensitive to certain materials. There are many different types of fillings you can choose from. The goose down or feather filling that retains warmth and keeps you cozy during cold nights. Down pillows don’t contain the sharp ends of feathers that can poke or prick your skin. If you have allergies but want the comfort of a down pillow, you can get the hypo-allergenic down pillow covers to prevent aggravating your allergies.

There is also the spring memory foam that conforms to your head movements which are a great choice for a restless sleeper. It evenly distributes your weight which alleviates your head and spine problems. The polyester filling is not durable material, but it provides enough head support and maintains its shape reasonably. The wool and cotton pillows are naturally hypo-allergenic. Wool regulates your body temperature, keeps you warm, and is pretty firm, while cotton is firm and flat and ideal if you have allergies or are chemically sensitive.

Right size

The right size of your bed pillow will depend on the size of your mattress and your sleeping position. You’ll also need to consider how many pillows you need and what you need them for. That doesn’t mean you can’t get an oversized pillow to make your small bed feel cozy. If you like using lots of pillows to prop yourself while you read your favourite book or magazine, you can get large pillows that you can lean on. For a king or queen-sized bed, you can get two large pillows.

Consider your sleeping position

To attain a good sleeping posture, the mattress that you sleep on like the Saatva should provide good support for your body and proper alignment for your spine. Your sleeping positions tells you the kind of support your body needs from a pillow. You could be a side sleeper but you spend part of the night sleeping on your back. Or you could be a stomach sleeper but you shift to sleep on your side sometimes. So you want to select a pillow that caters to all your sleeping positions.

For stomach sleepers, you can use a very thin pillow or none at all. When you sleep on your stomach you put a lot of pressure on your lower back making it hard to keep your spine aligned and your head and neck at an unnatural angle for long periods. This is the reason why this sleeping position isn’t recommended.

For back sleepers, you need a firm but thin pillow to make sure your head and neck aren’t tilted too much. A pillow made from memory foam or gel will mold to the curves of your neck providing support to your neck muscles and reducing neck and back pains. 

For side sleepers, you can get a large, firm, thick pillow to help keep your spine straight while you sleep and also help fill in the gaps between your ear and shoulders, adding extra support for your head and neck. To better align your spine, add an extra pillow between your knees. 

Select the right softness

There are different fillings you can choose from as the quality of the fill will reflect on its comfort, longevity, and support. A foam pillow provides good support and doesn’t lose its shape, while a down pillow will contour with your head and provide great cushioning. A pillow with the polyester filling will give you the best of both pillows. 

Pillow cover fabric

The fabric of your pillow covers should be natural and breathable to help increase the life of your pillow and protect it from sweat and stains. To make your bed more appealing, you can use decorative pillows, but you should remove them before you go to bed.

Weight of the fill

Pillows made from latex and memory foam are heavy, while those made from synthetic and down are light. Choosing the weight of your pillow is a personal preference. If you prefer a firm pillow, choose one with tight fill, but for a soft pillow get one with a light fill. If you cuddle your pillow and move around in bed, a light pillow would be the best choice.

Know the chemistry of the pillow

Pillows made with synthetic material like polyester and memory foam go through chemical processes, while many other pillows go through antimicrobial treatments. Knowing the processes through which the pillow has been put through to make it will help you decide if that is the right pillow for you. Putting into consideration if you have any allergies or are sensitive to any chemicals.

Final thoughts

Your pillow is an important part of your sleeping environment. Getting the right pillow can make the difference between having a restless night with neck and back pains the next day and having a comfortable restful night. The right pillow will provide your head, neck, and spine with proper support and body alignment that will help your body to relax as you sleep. Also, don’t forget that for each good pillow there is a good pillow protector to help keep it clean and extend its life.