Finding the perfect pillow can be overwhelming. With so many different brands out there it’s hard to figure out which one might be right for you. What is the best pillow for the way I sleep? What kind of fill should I choose? What is the difference between down/feather pillows and polyester? What does fill power mean? These questions are among many that plague pillow consumers everywhere. I’m here to tell you that there’s no reason to fret my friend.
1. What is your preferred Sleeping Position?
First of all and probably the most important question to ask yourself is which position do you prefer to sleep in? Are you comfortable sleeping on your stomach? Or do you prefer to sleep on your back? Are you a side sleeper? Or are you one of those people who like to switch it up throughout the night? This is very important because the level of support that you need depends on the position in which you get the best sleep.
Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers should look for something soft and compressible with a lower profile (thickness). This helps to prevent your head from being propped up to high, which can lead to neck strain.
Stomach Sleeper Pillow Recommendations:
Back Sleepers: When it comes to sleeping on your back, medium is the name of the game, meaning that you should look for a pillow that’s not too high and not too low. Something right in the middle will provide enough support without propping your head up to high. Medium support pillows are also great if you switch positions a lot through the night. Choose a pillow that cradles the natural curvature of your spine
Back Sleeper Pillow Recommendations:
Side Sleepers: If you are a side sleeper, you need a pillow with a profile that’s high enough to fill the space between your head and the mattress. You should go for a medium to firm support to ensure that your body is properly aligned. To create the perfect alignment, consider placing a pillow between your legs to cushion your knees. This will also help to alleviate any pressure and align your spine properly.
Side Sleeper Pillow Recommendations
2. What is your fill preference?
When it comes to fill, the choice is really yours. Here’s a little break down to help identify the different choices of fill that you can choose from when looking for a new pillow:
Down: Down is most often considered the most luxurious of all fills and is also usually the most expensive. These small cluster-like feathers are closest to the bird’s skin and are used to protect them from frigid temperatures by providing warming insulation. Down offers superior loft (fluffiness), is lightweight, and luxuriously soft. Be aware that not all down is created equal. The quality and insulating value of down is referred to as fill power. The higher the fill power, the higher the quality of the down. This means that the down will be loftier, softer, and have greater insulating properties. Look for a down pillow with a fill power of at least 500.
Down/Feather: This fill refers to the down clusters combined with the larger outer feathers of the duck or goose. The down lends the softness and the feathers are what lend the support. Down/feather pillows vary in the degree of support that they offer depending on the percentage of the composition of feathers and down inside. For example, 50% feather 50% down pillows will be on the softer side, 75%feather 25% down pillows will be more of a medium support, and 95% feather 5% down pillows will be on the firmest end of support. Knowing the level of support that you’re looking for will help you to decide the composition of the pillow.
Down Alternative: Down alternative pillows can be either natural or synthetic fibers that are manufactured to mimic down. Down alternative pillows are great for those with allergies. With all of the new technologies out there, down alternative pillows can resemble the feel of down so much so that often times you can’t really tell the difference. Shop our down alternative selection
Synthetic: This refers to man-made fibers, the most common being polyester. The varying degrees of thickness of these fibers can range from 10-15 micrometers all the way down to a fraction of a human hair. These different fibers create different feels and come in all types of firmness. These pillows are generally less expensive than feather/down pillows and are very low maintenance. They can be machine washed and are also great for those with allergies to feathers and down.
Foam: There are two different types of foam used in pillows today: memory foam and latex foam. Memory foam will conform to your body and is very dense. Memory foam pillows are typically considered firm-support pillows, although with advances in the manufacturing process they can also be found in a plush support. Latex comes in both Talalay Latex and Dunlop Latex. These names reference the process by which they are made. Dunlop is generally more dense and firm. Talalay has a wider range of firmness and is thought to be the better option if you’re looking for latex foam with more of a “pillowy-soft” feel.
- 3. What size pillow do you need?
Pillows do come in different shapes and sizes.
Common Pillow Sizes: The most common bed pillows are rectangular in shape and come in sizes that range from Standard (20” x 26”), Super Standard/Jumbo (20” x 28”), Queen (20” x 30”), and King (20” x 36”).
Square Pillows: There are square pillows called Euro Pillows that come in all different sizes. Euro pillows are great for decorating your bed and can serve as a backdrop for your other pillows.
Pillow Inserts: There are also other decorative pillows, often referred to as pillow inserts. These pillows can be filled with feathers or polyester to maintain their structure and come in fun shapes in all different sizes.
Body Pillows: If it’s full body support that you’re seeking, you can choose an elongated body pillow. These pillows come in different sizes and are shaped to extend the length of most of your body (hence the name). Body pillows can help align your body properly by providing support to your head, neck, shoulders and knees.
Contour: Contour pillows are ergonomically designed to cradle your head, neck and shoulders. The contour shape holds you in alignment and is especially helpful if you suffer from neck and back pain. Contour Foam pillows as well as traditional foam pillows do come in slightly different sizes, but if you use the above as a reference you should be able to find the right size for you and your bed.
It can be quite overwhelming with so many different choices out there but if you use these simple guidelines, you should be able to find a pillow fit for what you’re looking for. Just remember, the level of support that you need depends on the position that you enjoy sleeping in. Still need help finding the perfect pillow for you? Please email our bedding expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-720-6973
Blog Author: Monique, Bedding Expert.