Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: Pick the Perfect Pillow

 

By Tinka Davi, Chief of Snooze News
released in conjunction with World Sleep Month and Pillow Week– #SleepMonth #PillowWeek

Are you a pillow puncher? Or do you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow?
Trying to get comfortable for some people is difficult while other don’t have any problems.

But how do you feel when you get up in the morning?

If you’re tired, groggy or have a stiff neck and shoulders, you may have a problem with your pillow.

How old is it? Some experts say you should buy a new pillow every year. But some sleepers don’t want to part with the pillow that they punch and crunch in their arms at night. But, pillows past their prime may contain mold, mildew, fungus and dust mites, according to sleep expert and clinical psychologist Michael Breus, PhD who was quoted in a WebMD article.

The right pillow should provide support for your head and neck and shouldn’t lose its puffiness or fluffiness quickly. You should wake up feeling refreshed.

Here are some pointers for picking out a pillow:

Pillow Stuff

Walk into any store that sells pillows and you see a wide selection of pillow fillings and range of prices.

The best way to choose is to test the pillows. Pull out a few and rest your head on them. Or lie down on a nearby mattress with the pillows you prefer.

What’s the best pillow for you? Here’s a rundown according to “Types of Bed Pillows” by Kimberly Sayers Bartosch and “How to Choose the Perfect Pillow” by Michelle Ullman. Both articles are on About.com:

Natural Fill Pillow – Feather, down with fluffy insulation under feathers, or a combination. They conform to the head and neck. The higher the fill power the more loft and durability.

Synthetic Fill Pillow – Man-made, customarily polyester and most affordable. They have shorter life spans, but don’t conform to the head and neck like a natural fill pillow. They are hypoallergenic.

Polyester – The most common synthetic, it’s non-allergenic, inexpensive and washable.

Poly-Cluster Fill Pillow – A synthetic fill of polyester clusters coated with silicone to feel and move like down which conforms to the head and neck. These are great for allergy sufferers because they offer the softness of true down but without the high cost.

Latex – Supportive and dense but don’t conform to the body like foam pillows. They’re often heavy and thick.
Foam Pillows – Made of solid pieces or chunks of foam, these are an inexpensive alternative to Memory Foam.

Memory Foam – Dense, sponge-like pillows that mold around the head and neck for extra support. They’re recommended for people who like a firm pillow or who have neck and spine issues.

Pellets – Pillows filled with polyester beads used for beanbags and therapy pillows. They adjust to movement, but can be noisy.
Buckwheat Hulls – These feel like beanbags and are heavier, make a crinkly noise and tend to flatten over time.

Sleeping Style

Back sleepers need thin pillows so their heads are not thrown forward; others recommend a fluffier pillow that lifts the head and chin. Memory Foam pillows offer the best support.

Side sleepers need firmer pillows that support the head, neck and shoulder. This position is preferred by most people and is recommended as the best way to sleep. Recommended pillows are some Memory Foam, natural filled and poly cluster.
Stomach sleepers need thin, practically flat pillows. Experts advise against sleeping on the stomach as it can lead to physical problems such as postural pains. Best pillows are fluffy down or poly cluster pillows.

Size Up the Situation

Your preference for pillow size also affects price and selection.

Sizes range from standard, queen and king to body pillows that help side sleepers, or square European pillows and travel pillows.

Choose according to your sleep style – side, back or stomach and any allergic reactions to fillings.

The best pillow for you is the one that allows you to get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and raring to go.