If you’ve been having frequent neck pains lately when you wake up in the morning, you might want to upgrade your pillow. When it comes to sleeping, most people pay a lot of attention to mattresses, for good reason. A good mattress plays a significant role in giving you a good night's sleep. But, a good pillow, and the right type for that matter, is the key to quality sleep. Take a ride with us as we explore the different types of pillows and how to choose one that’s right for you.
What's Your Sleeping Position?
Before you set out to buy your next pillow, it is important to recognize your sleeping position. You must have at least one favorite sleeping position that you adopt each night. By recognizing it, you’ll be at a better place to choose the right type of pillow. This might come as a surprise to many, but your sleeping position dictates your choice of pillow. If you are not sure about your sleeping position, you can record the position you fall asleep in and the position you wake up in every day. If you discover that it’s the same position each night, well, you have your answer right there. If, on the other hand, you record different sleeping positions every night, don’t sweat it. There are pillows for mixed sleepers as well. For a healthy sleep, you need to keep your spine neutral and healthy by sleeping in the right posture. Below we take a look at the different sleeping positions, how they affect your spine, and the best pillow to choose.
This is one of the most common sleeping positions. To support your neck and align it properly with your spine, you need a thick and firm pillow. A pillow that is too soft will sink down and put your neck at an uncomfortable angle, causing neck pain. Opt for a fluffy and shapeable material like down or kapok because they are soft. Make sure they are stuffed to your liking and that the loft is high enough. You might also want to consider latex, a renewable and biodegradable product made from the sap of a rubber tree. You will find different shapes, densities, and profiles. Plus, they last long – up to 10 years. The advantage of using latex pillows is that they hold their shape, helping you sleep comfortably. They are also resistant to molds and dust mites.
If you're a back sleeper, go for a thin pillow to avoid putting stress on your neck. However, avoid a pillow that’s too thin and soft, or too thick and lofty, as this will allow your head to fall back too far or tilt forward, making your sleep uncomfortable. Memory foam can be a good choice as it tends to mold to your neck’s curve, giving you consistent support. The pillow responds to your weight, softens then and contours to your neck, head, and shoulders. Memory foam pillows have become popular, especially for people with neck and head pain that are caused by poor sleeping postures. However, there is a downside when using a memory foam pillow – heat retention. Plus, they may not be good choices for restless sleepers as they make it difficult to move about. Top choices: Casper Pillow and Luxe Pillow.
Stomach sleepers usually sleep with their spine already elongated, which means, technically, they may not need a pillow. However, due to the turn of the neck and head, spinal alignment might be compromised. To sleep comfortably, stomach sleepers need a flat, soft and thin pillow that contours to the neck and head. Synthetic, wool-fiber, feather and down fillings are good options for keeping your head low. These materials are easily compressed into a low loft and also easily shapeable, which is ideal since most stomach sleepers embrace the underside of the pillow. Top choices: Diamond Adjustable Pillow and Ultra Slim Sleeper Memory Foam
If you don’t have a particular sleeping position, then you're a mixed sleeper, and finding the right pillow might be tricky. You might want to opt for a fairly soft pillow of medium thickness to keep you comfortable regardless of the position you sleep in. Top choices: Coop Home Goods Eden and Brookline Down Alternative Pillow.
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