How to choose a pillow that is comfortable to sleep on

With a comfortable pillow, you will sleep soundly and feel good when you wake up.

Among all pillows, orthopedic pillows form a special group – they repeat the spine’s natural curves and support it during rest. 

How to choose the size and shape of the pillow

The pillows’ width can differ – mainly from 20 to 50 cm. And the length most often varies from 30 to 80 cm. For people of large build and owners of broad shoulders, it is better to choose larger models – for example, 50 × 80 or 50 × 70 cm. products with parameters of 40 × 60 or 40 × 65 cm are suitable for the physique. Children can choose models of 20 × 30 or 40 × 50 cm. But these are universal recommendations because the size of the pillow rather depends on personal feelings and preferences.

As for the form, in this matter, be guided by the position in which you usually sleep. It is worth listening to your feelings and choosing a model that is convenient for you. According to the shape, all pillows can be divided into three types.

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  1. Classic ones usually have the shape of a 70 x 70 cm square or a 50 x 70 cm rectangle. They fit almost everyone and allow you to sleep in any position. True, you need to consider some of the nuances to make the rest comfortable. For example, if you prefer to lie on your side, your head should be completely on the pillow, and your shoulder should, as it were, support it. When sleeping on your back, place your head in the center of the pillow, and place its edges close to your shoulders. It is better to put an additional thin pillow under it to rest on your stomach, providing greater comfort and the correct spine position.
  2. Anatomical pillows can be of various shapes. For example, models with notches for the shoulders are suitable for those who like to sleep on their side, as they will help maintain the cervical region in line with the spine. Pillows with two rollers of different heights are designed for sleeping on the side and the back. Depending on the posture, they can be turned over to the desired side for greater convenience.
  3. Roller pillows are useful if you like to sleep on your back. In this position, they support the neck and head well. But in other poses, such models are unlikely to be comfortable.

How to choose the firmness and height of the pillow

The position in which you usually sleep is also of great importance here. If you are still determining what this pose is, take a few nights to explore.

Lie down for a few minutes on your back, then on your side, and on your stomach when you feel that you are falling asleep. Assess which position is most comfortable for you. For example, if you lay on your stomach for half an hour but do not fall asleep, this is hardly your usual position. Pay attention to the position in which you wake up in the morning. Write down all your observations so you understand.

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  • If you like to sleep on your back, choose a medium-height (8-10 cm) pillow with medium firmness and a recess for the head.
  • To rest on your side, you should take a pillow that is high enough and hard since its role is to fill the space between the shoulder and the ear and support the neck well. The product’s height should equal the width of your shoulder – a segment from the base of the neck to the shoulder point.
  • For sleeping on your stomach, a soft, thin, almost flat pillow 6–8 cm high is suitable.
  • If you constantly roll over, choose a medium-height pillow. It should be soft enough so that it can be adjusted to the current sleeping position. Or opt for a model with two rollers of different heights, allowing you to choose the comfortable side for each position.

Also, pay attention to the filler – the stiffness depends, among other things, on it. Synthetic winterizer, bamboo, cotton, microfiber, and silicone are the softest. Wool, silk, and memory foam are medium firm. Feather and polyester fiber pillows have the highest hardness.

How to choose a pillow filler

Manufacturers give them their names, combine different types of materials, and complicate the internal structure of pillows.

natural materials

Such fillers combine good breathability and comfort. True, most of them are not suitable for allergy sufferers.

  • Down and feathers are considered a classic filler option. Manufacturers often use goose, duck, chicken, and swan feathers in different combinations and singly. Such pillows can have different rigidity and weight. They absorb moisture well, allow air to pass through, and retain heat. True, feather pillows are not hypoallergenic and can become a home for dust mites. Yes, and washing them is a challenging task.
  • Pillows made of sheep or camel wool are soft and warm. They absorb moisture well, retain heat, and are ventilated. But such models do not last long, only about five years, and the filler can clump over time. They are not suitable for washing at home; you will have to spend money on dry cleaning. Yes, and sheep wool may not be suitable for people with allergies or asthma.
  • Bamboo filler, on the contrary, will be safe for everyone. It does not clump, is not afraid of washing in a typewriter, and, with proper care, will last a long time. And bamboo products dry quickly, weigh little, and weakly absorb foreign odors.
  • Pillows with cotton insides are soft and low price, on which their advantages, in general, end. This is ordinary cotton wool, which, even with proper care, will last no more than two years. Such models are unsuitable for washing, and even with the most careful handling, they quickly lose their elasticity, turning into something lumpy and shapeless.
  • Silk filler is rare due to its high cost. The high price is justified by its durability, hypoallergenic, elasticity, and rigidity, which allow the pillow to keep its shape well.
  • Natural latex provides orthopedic properties. This pillow allows you to maintain the anatomical curves of the spine during sleep. It quickly returns to its factory shape and is not afraid of dust, unpleasant odors, moisture, and microorganisms. With proper care, the product will last at least ten years.
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Synthetic materials

As a rule, fillers made from artificial fibers are cheaper than natural ones. They are also hypoallergenic and easy to care for.

  • Microfiber imitates natural fluff. Pillows with this filler are light, fluffy, and resistant to the smell of sweat. With proper care, they will last at least five years. A significant minus – they are too electrified.
  • Silicone filler can also be labeled polyester, holfitex, insulate, or holofiber. The material is a synthetic fiber coated with silicone, which gives the product elasticity. These pillows are lightweight, hypoallergenic, and breathable. And they are also quite soft, which may not be very comfortable for people with diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Pillows with polyester fiber have high rigidity. They are easy to care for, are not afraid of washing at home, and are suitable for people with allergies and asthma.
  • The synthetic winterizer in pillows is often found and captivates with its cheapness. Such products do not absorb odors, are easily washed and seem completely weightless. Only over time do they lose their shape and do not differ in durability.
  • Memory foam, or Memory Foam, is primarily responsible for the orthopedic properties of the pillow. Polyurethane foam in the filler’s composition adapts to a person’s shape under the influence of heat and pressure and then returns to its original position. These pillows last about five years and are more expensive than other synthetic counterparts.

What else to consider when choosing a pillow

  • Tell the consultant what kind of pillow you are looking for (stiffness, materials, cost). Ask if you have sleep problems.
  • Feel free to ask consultants about the properties of pillows and fillers. Moreover, they should explain to you what features of the materials allow the product to breathe, remove moisture, and so on.
  • Of the common fillers, the softest will be fluff (natural and artificial), holofiber, bamboo, synthetic winterizer, silicone, and cotton. Wool, memory foam, and gel are considered medium-soft options. Rigid fillers are latex, silk, and polyester fiber.
  • If you often sweat during sleep, choose pillows made from breathable materials. For example, bamboo, silk, down, microfiber, silicone, or latex.
  • The most demanding in care are feathers, down, and wool pillows. Most likely, they will have to be regularly dry-cleaned. But bamboo, silk, and synthetic products can be machine washed. On latex or memory foam pillows, replace the pillowcase.
  • The most short-lived options are considered to be made of cotton, synthetic winterizer, and bamboo. Latex and silk models will last longer than others with proper care.
  • People with allergies or asthma should choose pillows with bamboo, silk, or synthetic filling.
  • Try to lie down on the offered pillows. Rate your feelings. With the correct height and shape of the pillow, you should feel relaxed; there should be no clamps or excessive tension anywhere.
  • How comfortable your sleep will also depend on your mattress. The softer it is, the higher the pillow should be.

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