I always love to see people lugging their pillows around on trips. It really is amazing the people who are VERY serious about their pillows. Even in airports you will see the most together, best dressed ensemble with a pillow as this odd, mismatched addition tucked carefully under their arm.
In essence, picking a pillow depends on three things: how you sleep, what feels best to you, and how you breathe.
The goal for a pillow is to keep your neck in alignment with your spine. Imagine a straight line from the top of your head down to the bottom of your spine. Now think about how you woke up this morning. Could you draw that straight line or was it more like an incline of sorts? Or if you are my middle daughter, a contortionist amoeba?
So there’s one thing to consider.
Now, ask yourself how long you have had that favorite pillow? Pillows, whether you want to admit it or not, do have lifespans. Want to guess what is recommended? Eighteen months. And I decided I would not talk too much about the “Ick Factor,” so just trust me when I say you want a new pillow after eighteen months. One quick way that you can tell if your pillow is still alive and kicking is to fold it in half and see if it bounces back to its original shape. If it does, you are ok. If it doesn’t, it is definitely time for a new one.
In another blog we recently wrote, we discussed how to wash and care for your sheets. The general recommendation is to wash your sheets at least every two weeks. A dermatologist several years ago recommended to me that I wash my family’s pillowcases once a week as well.
According to Sleep.org’s “What Pillow Is Best For You?,” the types of sleeping you do most of the night is the biggest part of the solution to the perfect pillow.
I Sleep On My Back:
You may benefit from a thinner pillow (so your neck is not thrown too far forward) that has an extra loft in the bottom third to help cradle your neck. (Loft just means how much lift the pillow has, so having extra loft at the bottom means it will be a little thicker in this area.) Memory foam is a good option, because it molds to the shape of your head and neck, as is a water pillow, since it offers all-over consistent support. Also, try sleeping with another pillow under your knees to alleviate pressure on your lower back.
I Sleep On My Stomach:
You could use the thinnest type of pillow—or even no pillow at all. Sleeping on your stomach puts lots of stress on your lower back, so try sleeping on your side instead and hugging a body pillow if you like the feeling of something pressing against your stomach.
I Sleep On My Side:
Go for a firm pillow, and one with an extra-wide gusset to help bridge the distance between your ear and shoulder. (Instead of a pillow that has just a top panel sewed directly to a bottom panel, a gusseted pillow has rectangular panels along all four sides that increase its thickness.) You might also sleep with a pillow between your knees to better align your spine.
What Filler and What Level Of Support?
I Prefer Vegan Home Decor or I Have Allergies: Consider a down alternative
I Like Natural Products: A Down stuffed pillow is for you.
I Have Always Like The Memory Foam Toppers and Mattresses: Try a memory foam pillow. I actually started with a memory foam pillow and then realized that I would probably really enjoy the mattress as well.
Pillow Fills Come in Soft, Medium, and Hard… Which One Is Best For Me?
I do not know if this is really true, but it has been 100% accurate in the fourteen people I have asked today. I have always heard that whatever toothbrush you like, that is the same fill of pillow you prefer. Now, that seems pretty silly until you start asking around. See if it works in your office or household. Other than that, it really does depend on your preference and there are not hard and fast (or medium or soft) rules regarding the feel of your fill.
We do recommend that whatever pillow you choose, you remember the following:
- A straight line from bottom of spine to top of the spine is the ultimate goal in your sleeping most of the night
- The way that you sleep most of the night (not how you go to sleep originally) is what you should focus on when determining a pillow
- Your allergies, your preferences, and a little bit of a wives tale philosophy can aid in the fill and the level of fill within the pillow
Remember, you can always order extra pillow cases from DreamFit. You certainly want your pillow to match your airport outfit the next time the two of you journey into the sunset!