Often, we don’t give much thought as to what is the right pillow for the way we prefer to sleep. Rather, we opt for what we think is the most comfortable and supportive mattress and that’s that – we forget about the rest. However with this being said, a pillow is paramount to ensuring your head, neck and the upper part of your spine are correctly aligned whilst you sleep. Read on to find out what the right pillow may be for you.
When you sleep on your side, your neck and head need to be in line with your spine and body. This will help avoid aches and pains associated with a misaligned spine, often caused by sleeping in awkward positions.
With a pillow designed for side sleepers, typically called a box pillow, the large edging around its circumference fits snuggly into the shoulder area. A firmer pillow is usually required for this preferred sleeping position too, as it ensures your head and neck are correctly aligned with your spine.
The opposite is needed for anyone who prefers to sleep on their back or front. With your spine flush to your mattress, you don’t want to elevate your head and neck too much that it doesn’t align with your back. This is also why these preferred sleeping positions also require a softer pillow too. With this being said, a thin, soft pillow is recommended for back and front sleepers.
Given the difference in pillows needed for side, front and back sleepers, it makes finding a pillow harder for those combination sleepers. Do you have to compromise your support in a certain sleeping position to get it right for the other? The answer is no.
You simply need a pillow to be high enough to support you when you sleep on your side as well as one that is capable of being easily compressed for when you’re on your front or back. Latex pillows are great for this because their consistency is bouncy, allowing the pillow to mould to your neck and head in whatever sleeping position you’re in.
If you’re affected by hay fever, you may want to consider avoiding pillows filled with feathers or any kind of natural filling. These types of natural fillings have large pore sizes, which makes it easier for dust mites to pass through. Dust mites can trigger hay fever symptoms and pillows with natural fillings can encourage more of a build-up of the allergen, especially when compared to hollow fibre or latex pillows. These materials have smaller pore sizes and a closed-cell structure respectively, which makes it harder for dust mites to pass through and build up.
In the case that you prefer the comfort that feather pillows provide, there are pillow protectors specially designed for keeping allergens away yet remaining extremely breathable.