Do you need to sleep with a pillow?
Sleeping with a pillow that is too small, low or soft to provide the adequate support for your head and neck – or forgoing a pillow completely – can be one of the quickest ways to invite stress, tension and pain in the neck, shoulders and even spine. Conversely, sleeping with a pillow that encourages a comfortable position, and ensures that your head, neck and spine are in proper alignment, can be one of the easiest ways to help prevent serious orthopedic damage.
Along with the health benefits, the right pillow can also transform the way you sleep. With features such as cooling filling, breathable fabrics, moisture-wicking technology and conforming gel-foams, many high-quality pillows available today are designed for the ultimate in customized sleep comfort.
Below, we've laid out the basics of three common pillow features – foundation level, material and size – to help narrow down your search for the perfect pillow and get you closer than ever to your most comfortable, restorative sleep yet.
Choose a Pillow Foundation
- High Pillow Foundation: For side sleepers, the height of the shoulders often prevents the head from falling into alignment with the rest of the spine; as a result, to help encourage comfortable elevation, a high pillow is often recommended for side sleepers. Many high foundation pillows run at a height of about five-and-a-half inches.
- Medium Pillow Foundation: Because sleeping on the back already encourages the natural alignment of the head, neck and spine, back sleepers don't have to worry too much about pillow height – and often find the medium foundation level to provide the most comfortable support. Most 'medium' pillows feature a height of about four to five inches.
- Low Pillow Foundation: Around two to three inches high, low pillows provide just enough height to give stomach sleepers comfortable support – without forcing posture misalignment.
Choose a Pillow Material
- Memory Foam: Made from the same adaptive, contouring foam technology found in high-quality mattresses, memory foam pillows are designed to conform to the exact shape of your head, neck and shoulders for customized comfort.
- Shredded Memory Foam: A shredded memory foam pillow is made from exactly what it sounds like – individual pieces of 'shredded' foam for a pillow design that's more breathable – and less likely to heat up – than traditional foam filling.
- Shredded Gel-Infused Memory Foam: The innovative sleep technology that is shredded memory foam – with the added benefits of slow-conforming, extra-cool gel filling.
— Pillow Sizes Chart —
Choose a Pillow Size
Because the size of a pillow will usually not have as much of an impact on sleeping posture and support as the height of a pillow, the best pillow size for you should be based most off of your personal preference. Above are some of the most common pillow sizes; to decide on the right one for your comfort, make sure to test each out for yourself in the store before buying!
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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.