A pillow seems like a small thing; not too important. However – not so! Experts say that three things have a major impact on the quality of our sleep: a well-chosen mattress, a good quality bed and a suitable pillow. So it’s definitely worth taking the time to choose, and to invest in, the right pillow. But how do you know what’s right for you?
Take a lie-down!
Because a pillow (like a mattress) is a highly individual thing, everyone should choose one suited only to them. However, just buying the first one you see in the shop, or maybe one that has nice branding, is not the way to go! Try that baby out, right in the shop! Remember – the mattress you lie down on to test drive your pillow should be as similar as possible to the one you have at home – or you might get the wrong impression of the effect of the pillow. If you try out a pillow on a soft mattress in the shop and have a hard mattress at home, the pillow might not be enough and would probably be too low, and vice-versa.
So what height should you go for? Well, to a certain extent, it depends on personal preference or needs, but just remember the position a pillow puts you in should feel natural, with no tension or straining. If you have back or neck problems – always get advice from a medical professional.
Anatomically shaped options
A pillow is only meant to support your head and neck, not to cushion your shoulders and upper back, which is a very common mistake. The pillow should support the spine and place our head so that it follows the axis of the whole body, not unnaturally bend or tilt it. The ideal option for this are so-called ergonomic pillows, which are curved and are designed to complement the sleeper’s natural position. These pillows are usually shaped with two waves: remember the higher one is always placed under the neck.
High-quality materials increase your quality of sleep
Cheaper pillows are usually filled with cheap foam, which is a really bad option. It will get lumpy in no time! Better, and more long-lasting, are the more expensive ones that are usually made of memory foam. A great material is of course Tempur – the only foam material with an open cell structure that effectively balances the body’s back pressure and responds to its temperature and weight.
Down filling is another option, and you can get some great pillows made from recycled down, which is easier on the planet. It’s best to combine a down pillow with another, firmer pillow, as they can become flat when the feathers redistribute over time.
Of course, both the filling and the covers of your chosen pillows should meet the requirements for anti-allergy and antibacterial concerns. As with mattresses, a higher price usually equates to better sleeping comfort, better performance and a longer life.
TIP: Some pillows are sold vacuum-packed. After opening the package, the pillow should be left lying loose on a flat surface for about 2 hours to absorb the necessary amount of air and gain its final volume.
Pillows tailor-made for our needs
By combining different shapes with the optimum material, each pillow literally does something different. This is why we find on the market medical pillows for sleeping on your back, pillows for sleeping on your side, pillows for those who snore at night and others for people suffering from sleep apnea. The right pillow can help all of this. There are even options for people who like to sleep in a curled-up position on their side!
- Pillow covers should of course always be removable, and washable.
- Washable pillow protectors, like mattress protectors, are also a great idea – it will protect the filling from sweat and other damage.
- Silk pillowcases are the latest beauty trend – great for the skin, and no more fly away hairs or face creases.
- For washing, use gentle gel liquid detergents that rinse well out of the fabric when soaking. Try to choose ones suited for sensitive skin that are hypo-allergenic.
- Don’t use fabric softeners. They actually degrade the quality of the natural fibres, and anything highly scented should never be used in contact with the face.
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