Don’t Lose Sleep Over Choosing a Great, Affordable Pillow

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Bed pillows are probably one of the most overlooked factors influencing the quality of our sleep. The wrong pillow can cause us to be uncomfortable and therefore experience restless or unsound sleep. The right pillow, on the other hand, can be something to which we become quite attached and hesitate to replace, even though it’s recommended by experts that we do, fairly frequently. If you feel your sleep is suffering because of your pillow, consider replacing it.

If you’ve been to the bedding department of a store, you know that there are a multitude of styles, firmnesses, materials and price points where pillows are concerned. This can make choosing the right pillow confusing and needlessly expensive. One thing that’s worse than having an unsatisfactory pillow is paying good money for a new one, only to discover that it’s uncomfortable. Let’s examine the topic of pillows to uncomplicate your search for one that will please you for many good nights of sleep.

Consider these factors when choosing your pillow:

The position in which you sleep

The best pillow enhances your physical comfort while maintaining your natural spinal alignment.

  • If you sleep on your back, choose a thinner pillow to support your head without it being raised forward.
  • If you sleep on your side, choose a firmer pillow that will fill in and support the space between your ear and shoulder.
  • If you sleep on your stomach, choose a very thin pillow to allow your head and neck to remain in alignment with the rest of your body without being bent unnaturally backward.

The material with which the pillow is stuffed

Pillows can be stuffed with various materials which determine their firmness and adjustability.

  • Polyester foam makes a medium-to-firm, inexpensive yet comfortable pillow. Look for greater density to provide better, longer-lasting support.
  • Memory foam makes a shape-conforming pillow that lasts a long time but may be hot to sleep on.
  • Latex pillows are the firmest and resist mold and dust mites.
  • Wool and cotton make firm pillows that are hypoallergenic and resist mold and dust mites.
  • Feathers make a firm, adjustable pillow, but they can occasionally poke through the pillow.
  • Down makes an adjustable pillow of medium firmness which can be quite expensive.
  • Water-filled pillows are easily adjusted for desired firmness but may be noisy when you move.
  • Buckwheat/millet make medium-to-firm, highly adjustable pillows. Buckwheat, however, can be noisy when you move.

The material in which the pillow is covered

The covering of the pillow itself is also important to consider. A thread count of 230 or higher will be soft and durable. Don’t take a good pillow cover for granted; it seals the contents inside while keeping impurities out. Some pillow covers are treated with stain- and water-repellent and/or anti-microbial finishes.

Preference and price

In many things, pillows included, paying more does not ensure your satisfaction. Take the above factors to heart but ultimately choose according to comfort. Because it’s such an individual preference, the “right” pillow is the one that feels just right to you. If at all possible, try out the pillow by lying down on it. This may not be as improbable a scenario as it sounds because many stores that sell pillows also sell mattresses. If a mattress is unavailable, use a wall by standing against it as if it were your bed. Place the pillow between your head and the wall to determine whether the pillow supports you where it should and how you prefer.

There’s no need to lose sleep over finding a pillow you’ll love at an affordable price.

What’s in your pillow?

(Also check out how you can choose a great mattress here.)

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