Wake up feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and pain-free.
The right pillow can mean a better night’s rest and insurance that you wake up feeling calm and refreshed. As you sleep, your muscles and ligaments relax and heal themselves. If you’re using the wrong pillow, you’ll likely wake up feeling achy and sore—whether it’s your neck, shoulders, or back.
To avoid a painful night’s rest, it’s important to consider the filler, firmness, and loft of your bed pillows, as well as your regular sleep position. Bed pillows should also be replaced every year or two. When a pillow starts to feel lumpy or too flat, it has likely stopped providing the proper level of support.
From firmness and loft to filler preference and sleep position, read on to learn more about how to select the right pillow for a rejuvenating sleep.
Bed pillows can be filled with various materials, including polyester, microbeads, horsehair, wool, and feathers. The best pillows can also be made from foam, latex, or cotton. When choosing the right filler, consider your sleep position and whether you are a hot or cold sleeper.
- Foam pillows, whether memory foam, latex, or gel foam, offer a lot of support by contouring to the natural shape of your body. The support helps to prevent your head from sinking in too deep into the pillow, avoiding strain on the neck and spine.
- Down pillows are extremely soft and fluffy. They are made from quill-less feather clusters of the chest and underbelly of geese and ducks.
- Soft and supportive, wool pillows are naturally hypoallergenic and temperature regulating.
- Polyester pillows are the most affordable option, but they are more likely to feel lumpy and lose their shape over time.
A pillow’s firmness is essential when it comes to a great sleep free of back and neck pain. Bed pillows come in soft, medium, firm, or very firm. The right firmness depends on your sleep position and personal preference.
- Plush and fluffy, soft pillows provide very little support—although this is ideal for stomach sleepers.
- Medium pillows, ideal for back sleepers, provide gentle support to help maintain a healthy posture.
- A firm pillow should provide consistent support, ensuring your head is well positioned and is not sinking too deep into the pillow. Firm pillows are designed to conform to the shape of your head and neck.
- Very firm or extra firm pillows can help ensure your spine is aligned, although if it is too firm, it can result in pain-causing pressure points. The pillow should not be too firm that it is unable to contour the shape of your body.
The average pillow weighs between three and five pounds.
Pillows come in various sizes, which usually correlates with the size of the mattress. Standard pillows measure 20 inches by 26 inches. There are also super standard-, queen-, and king-size pillows, which are all longer than standard pillows.
The loft of pillows refers to its height as it lays flat on the mattress. A thin pillow has a low loft, while a thick pillow has a high loft. The wrong loft could result in poor neck alignment, as well as pain and difficulty breathing. When choosing the correct loft, consider the mattress type, as well as your head size, weight, and ideal sleep position.
When shopping for bed pillows, sleep position is the most important consideration. The proper filler, firmness, size, and loft all depend on how you sleep at night. Most people sleep on their back or side, with a small number of people sleeping on their stomachs. In order to ensure that you wake up feeling well-rested and pain-free, shop for a bed pillow that will promote a healthy posture all night long.
The majority of people prefer to sleep on their side. Side sleepers need extra support and should use a thick, firm pillow to align the spine, head, and neck. The best pillows for side sleepers should be medium-firm or firm, like the medium or firm BlanQuil Elegance Cluster Memory Foam Pillow.
Whether it’s memory foam, polyester, or down, the material is not as important when it comes to finding the right pillow for side sleepers as long as it is thick enough. Side sleepers usually need a medium to high loft pillow, which means the best pillow for side sleepers should be at least 4 inches thick.
While sleeping on your back, your pillow should support the natural curvature of the cervical spine; your head, neck, and shoulders should also be properly aligned. The right pillow can ensure better posture for back sleepers.
Use a pillow with medium firmness and medium loft, which will help to keep your head supported and aligned with your spine. If you’re using a pillow that is too soft, it will likely flatten and lose its shape under the weight of your head. The pillow should also be the correct height, which means the pillow provides the ideal buffer between you and the mattress to ensure a healthy posture.
Material is also important for back sleepers. Conforming materials, such as memory foam, help to relieve pressure on your back, neck, and shoulders. Made from 100% cotton, the medium BlanQuil Fluffy Pillow is ideal for black sleepers.
Only about 7 percent of people sleep on their stomachs, according to studies. For stomach sleepers, it can be difficult to find a pillow that doesn’t stress the neck. Those who prefer to sleep or rest on the stomach should opt for a pillow that is soft and relatively flat. If the pillow has firm or thick cushioning, the head will be pushed into an unnatural upward position—which can lead to neck and head strain.
The pillow should be slim and thin, and made up of a breathable material such as memory foam, cotton, or bamboo. The BlanQuil Elegance Cluster Memory Foam Pillow comes in soft, medium, and firm with soft being ideal for stomach sleepers. The BlanQuil Essence Aromatherapy Pillow is also soft enough for stomach sleepers.