It can seem like a never ending search – finding the perfect pillow. Of course, you want it to be comfortable. Obviously, if you’re not comfortable with your pillow, then you won’t sleep well. At the same time, it needs to be supportive enough for your head and neck so that there isn’t any strain on them while sleeping. And many people need to look for a hypoallergenic pillow depending on whether they have allergies and sensitivities to certain fabrics or materials used by pillows. So how does one find this “unicorn” pillow?
Well, first it’s important to understand the different types of pillows available. And the major mistakes a lot of folks make when it comes to pillows.
The Most Common Pillow Types
Latex Pillows are a good option for those wishing to avoid allergic reactions or environmental chemical sensitivities that may be present in feather or wool pillows. They also may offer more lower neck support and neck pain relief than traditional feather or synthetic pillows which may be too firm and can leave the sleeper with an aching neck, shoulders, back and head. The latex filling allows just enough give to mold itself around your body while still providing the suppleness so often desired by pillow buyers
A down pillow is a pillow that is filled with feathers from the underbelly of ducks or geese. The feathers are collected in clusters and then inserted linearly along the length of the back of a rectangular form. They provide comfort because, like memory foam, they conform to your body’s shape more than other pillows do. These types of pillows often have an odor due to their natural materials so it’s important to buy one with care!
Down pillows don’t last as long as synthetic pillows but also don’t require you to wash them as often either.
Synthetic Foam Pillows
Synthetic foam pillows come in several different types themselves.
- Fiber Filled Pillows – these can be soft to medium density, but often don’t support the head well.
- Memory Foam Pillows: they can quite rigid due to its closed cell structure but newer memory foams can still soften over time and adjust to your head to create more contour where it meets the neck. Memory foam pillows are perfect for those who suffer from neck and back pain due to their ability to conform perfectly to the size, shape, and weight of your head.
And to complicate things further there are different types of memory foam pillows, too.
A memory foam pillow with cooling gel infusion is ideal for those looking for a pillow that gives you the cool, comfortable sleep you’ve always wanted. It is infused with gel to keep your head, neck and shoulders cool without letting it get too hot.
A moldable memory foam pillow is designed for back and side sleepers with its ability to contour itself around your body’s shape. It is also the best choice for those who suffer from chronic pain as it provides more cushion and support than traditional memory foam pillows.
A ViscO2 ventilated memory foam pillow provides an oxygen flow system that helps keep your head cool and dry throughout the whole night. As a result, you’ll never wake up with any headaches, neck or shoulder pain.
A gel memory foam pillow is designed to keep your head cool and comfortable. It wicks away any moisture on the surface, keeping your head dry and fresh all night long. The gel material is also hypoallergenic so it will not trigger any allergic reactions like other products might.
So, you’ve taken the first step to finding the perfect pillow which is knowing how to identify the different types. But before you purchase your next pillow, make sure you avoid these common mistakes!
Pillow Purchasing Mistakes
Mistake #1: Buying a Pillow based on Size and Shape – People often think that they need a larger or smaller size of pillows in order to get more comfort but this is not true at all. In fact, most people find that their necks are best supported when they use a firm-sized pillow regardless of their height or sleeping position. So don’t be fooled by what looks good in the store because it’s better for your neck if it doesn’t look right while you’re lying down in bed!
Mistake #2: Overbuying – Don’t buy a bunch of pillows and then toss them all after testing for one night’s sleep. But you should invest in several and test them over time.
Mistake #3: Buying a Cheap Pillow – Perhaps the most common way to bring home the wrong pillow is by buying one that’s too cheap. Sure, it might be cheaper and good enough for use on your couch or as a decorative element on your bed, but if you want something that’s going to last, then you have to buy the right pillow for your needs. You’ll find that when you choose a great quality product, it will last for years and still be as good as new!
A quality pillow will last at least 5 years if properly taken care of. A brand new pillow is usually fine to use right away but it’s better to air it out in the sun for a day since new pillows can contain harmful chemicals that need to be removed first. When you’ve been using your pillow for several months, wash it in cool water at least once every month.
Tips for Buying the Right Pillow
1) Try to test out the pillow before buying – It might look nice at first but this is not always the case when it’s time for bed. Make sure it feels good right away and doesn’t give your neck any pain or discomfort. If you can find an adjustable pillow this is the best, you can make it thick or thin depending on your preference.
2) Choose the right size- just because a pillow looks like it would fit your needs doesn’t mean that it will be comfortable! In fact, most people find that their necks are best supported when they use a firm-sized pillow regardless of their age.
3) Know your sleeping positions – If you sleep on your back, stomach or side then it’s important to choose a pillow that will be best for these positions. Based on the amount of pressure and movement in each position, you’ll find that some pillows are better than others at supporting specific parts of your body depending on which position you’re in.
4) Always choose a breathable fabric – This is important regardless of how you sleep. If your pillow isn’t made from breathable materials then it will be hot and uncomfortable to sleep on! You should avoid synthetic materials such as polyester or plastic since they trap heat instead of absorbing it. Instead, use something like bamboo or new technical fibers like Celliant or Frio to ensure a good night’s sleep.
5) Invest in quality – While it may be tempting to buy on the cheap, you’ll usually end up regretting it later. Since pillows are something you use every day for at least 8 hours, they will slowly start to lose their shape and even become less comfortable over time unless they’re made from quality materials. As a result, it’s better to invest in something that will last and give you the restful night’s sleep you deserve!
My husband, Kim, and I both use the SoftCell Chill Reversible Memory Foam Pillow. This pillow is fabulous in that it supportive but soft at the same time, with one side having a cooling memory foam gel pad. The cover is made from the technical textile: FRÍO® rapid chill cooling fiber cover that helps keep your head cool and dry. This pillow features MiteTight® seams and locking zippers, so the cover creates a physical barrier that resists allergens, dust mites and bed bugs. Additionally it has an insert inside the pillow that is easily accessible from the zipper opening to adjust the height. When you are ready to wash it, just unzip it and take out the insert pad and memory foam pad and throw it in the washer!
There is no “perfect” pillow that will suit every body type, sleeping position and other factors. Instead, it’s best to get several different pillows that you can alternate depending on how you feel or what is going on in your life and test them. The more types of pillows you have, the better prepared you will be for whatever life throws at you in the future! Just remember, don’t skimp on your pillow – you spend a third of your life on it!!