With the holiday season wrapping up and the start of a new year, getting a good night sleep is more important than ever. All the hustle of the holidays is finally over and people can start to relax, hopefully. Of course, there are still all the modern day struggles that many of us are facing as we are living through unprecedented moments in history like the Coronavirus pandemic. With everything going on, it becomes even more essential that we are making sure that we have everything we need in order to help us settle down at night when we go to sleep at the end of the day.
What most often comes to mind when people think about a good night's sleep is their mattress. However, what some people may not know is that the pillow you lay your head down on at night also has a huge effect on your quality of sleep as well--a good pillow is essential for getting a good night's sleep! All too often people overlook their pillows and fail to replace them when they purchase a new mattress. Even more so, pillows tend to wear down faster than the average mattress so they potentially go years without being replaced when they so desperately need it.
Additionally, a worn down pillow could also be the underlying reason why you wake up and experience pain, even after having replaced your mattress. Not only that, but some pillows are known to collect allergens which could be the cause of flare ups that keep you up at night. Bottom line, the pillow you lay your head down on at night matters for a good night's sleep. So, if you are pretty sure that your pillow is at the heart of your discomfort, then here are a few things to keep in mind when you pick out a new one.
When it comes to pillows, there are many choices for the fill, or fiber that are available. Much like with anything, this is largely a personal preference. For instance, memory foam has become widely popular in recent times and is a great choice for those who need a little bit more joint support for their neck and shoulders to help relieve any pressure. Down and down alternatives are another popular choice for pillow filler yet some report these materials trigger allergic reactions due to the natural goose fiber that is found in some of these materials. If you are prone to suffer from allergic reactions, there are many hypoallergenic options available, even for down/down alternative pillows. Materials like wool and cotton are naturally hypoallergenic and are popular choices for standard pillows as well.
When selecting your preferred fill/fiber, keep in mind the fill power of the pillow as well. Generally speaking, the higher the fill, the better quality of material. A pillow with a 600 fill rating or higher is a sign of high quality material, but don’t let the sales pitch fool you. A pillow with an 800 fill rating won't last anybody a decade, regardless of what the package tries to tell you but fill power is still important just like the thread count of your sheets.
Along with the fill/fiber of the pillow is the weight. Materials like down/down alternative or synthetic fibers are more lightweight than others. Pillows made from materials like memory foam or latex are much heavier than others. Once again, this is largely a personal choice but if you like to move around a lot at night and reshape your pillow, a lightweight material is going to help you sleep better at night. If you need a sturdier pillow that offers more support, a material like memory foam or latex will help you sleep better.
Even though most people cover their pillows with pillowcases, choosing a pillow that has a lightweight and breathable fabric is still important. The fabric that encloses the material inside of the pillow needs to be durable as well as allow airflow to make sure that no excess heat or moisture is allowed to collect inside of it. It is also worth noting that using an additional pillow cover underneath your pillowcase will also help to extend the life of your pillow.
What may also be another little known fact about pillows is that like mattresses they actually come in different sizes! Generally, however, sleeping pillows come in two different sizes; standard and king. For most people, standard is usually big enough, but for some they need a little extra room for snuggling. That is why there is a king size pillow. King size pillows also tend to fit king size mattresses better as well.
When it comes to pillows, your preferred sleeping position may matter as well. For back sleepers, the pillow should support the neck and head but not so much so that your head is propped up at an unnatural angle. For that reason, back sleepers should look for a medium to thin pillow, something that's not too thick but also not too thin. For those who sleep on their side, your pillow should support your head at a natural position. Because sleeping on your side allows your shoulder to take most of the pressure, a thicker or fuller pillow will give your neck the support it needs while taking some of the pressure off of your shoulder at the same time. To all of the stomach sleepers out there, this happens to be the most stressful position for your back and neck. Many experts suggest trying to retrain yourself to favor a better sleeping position. To that end, until that habit changes, you'll want to look for a softer, thinner pillow to minimize the stress.
If you are looking for that perfect new pillow, consider checking out the new Taylor & Wells Polar Flip Smart Pillow. This pillow utilizes cutting edge technology to offer comfort year round to any and all types of sleepers. Visit The Bedding Mart online or at any one of our 7 in store locations for all of your bedding needs!