With so many different options available, it can be difficult to know which pillow can offer you the best night's sleep. We caught up with Dr Hilary Jones to find out just what we should be looking for when picking the perfect pillow.
1. Establish what type of filling is most suitable for you
Natural-filled pillows are known for their excellent thermal and breathable qualities. Feather fillings offer more firmness and support, while down has no quills making it extremely light and soft, offering medium-soft support.
Synthetic fillings such as hollowfibre, polyester and microfibre are suitable for those who suffer with allergies, as the fillings used are naturally non-allergenic. Quality synthetic fillings have an enhanced internal hollowfibre structure, ensuring greater insulation and softness.
Synthetic filled pillows can be easily re-plumped to maintain their shape, and gently mould to the shape of your head whilst having the added advantage of being washable at home.
Memory foam pillows cradle the head and support the neck - perfect if you suffer from aches and pains and want a high level of support throughout the night. They can also help to reduce pressure points and ease stiffness for a more relaxing night's sleep.
2. What is your typical sleeping position?
Not many people are aware of this, but the position you most frequently tend to sleep in affects what type of support and therefore what type of pillow best suits your needs.
If you sleep on your back
Your neck and head need full but gentle support, so choose a medium to firm pillow. Feather pillows typically fall into the medium-firm category.
If you sleep on your side
Without the correct support, your head will ‘flop' into your pillow if it is too soft, potentially leading to aches and pains. Choose a firm pillow that offers full support, like a memory foam pillow or a firm synthetic.
If you sleep on your front
The weight of your head pushes down into the pillow, which ideally should be met with a cushioning softness. Choose a soft pillow for maximum comfort, such as soft down.
3. Put your pillow to the test
If you have a natural-filled pillow
Place the pillow on a flat, hard surface such as a tiled floor or table. Fold the pillow in half, and apply pressure until all the air has been squeezed out.
Release your pressure and watch what happens to the pillow. If it slowly unfolds and returns to its original shape, it is still supportive and in good condition. If, however, it remains mostly folded, the pillow has been worn and can no longer offer you the support you require and needs to be replaced.
If you have a synthetic-filled pillow
Do the same as above, but instead of directly applying pressure to the folded pillow, place a weight around 400g (e.g. heavy hard-back book, or large bag of potatoes) on top. When you let go, if the weight is thrown off the pillow it still has bounce and can retain its shape. If not, the pillow is too worn to be supportive and should be replaced for a better night's sleep.
For more information, please visit www.finebedding.co.uk