How To Choose Right Pillows To Get A Very Sound Sleep? A Complete Guide By Doctors

Jun 21, 2021
How To Choose Right Pillows To Get A Very Sound Sleep? A Complete Guide By Doctors

Our topic today is how to choose the right pillows. Why should you care about it?

Many reasons are causing you to have trouble getting sound sleep at night; improper pillows are the one.

Too soft, too solid, too small, or too high pillows might result in headaches, neck pain, or shoulder pain every morning you wake up.

Thus, keep reading and you will thank us.

3 Types Of Sleepers

You will want to understand your styles and learn how to choose pillows for bed because different people might have different sleeping styles and change their positions multiple times at night

Most of them either sleep on the belly, back or side, though. We can’t say that one position is better than one another. The most important thing is your comfort.

types of sleeper - how to choose a pillow

Belly (Stomach) Sleepers

Simply put, those sleepers often lie flat on the chest with their face down and body touching the mattress. Stomach sleepers have several variations:

  • The freefall: Sleepers often put their heads to the sides, having the two hands wrapped around the pillow. That position can cause the neck to be curved up. Thus, you will happily learn how to choose the best pillow for neck pain.

  • The running man: Imagine that you sleep on the belly, with one arm along with the side. Meanwhile, the other arm and one leg are up in a running gesture. Your back and neck will feel better compared to the freefall.

  • The skydiver: Similar to the running man sleepers, skydiver sleepers often lift their legs and arms by the head. Nevertheless, one arm is under a thin pillow. This is a more neutral position with fewer twisted accidents.

belly sleepers - how to choose the best pillow for neck pain

Sleeping on the stomach mitigates snoring, reduces acid reflux, and decreases sleep apnea symptoms. Doctors do not recommend it, though.

This style causes a strain on the neck and spine, even worse if the sleepers turn and toss a lot.

Back Sleepers

The back-sleeping style is known as the supine position when sleepers lie on their backs, with the head, spine, and neck in a neutral position.

  • The soldiers: Only 8% of people worldwide can sleep on their backs, leaving the arms down and close to the side.

  • The starfish: The arms are up over the heads, posing a gesture like a starfish.

how to choose pillows for bed - back sleepers

[Find more] Don’t you know, instead of owning a body pillow, you can also replace it with a throw pillow. At Gossby, there is a diverse collection of personalized pillows for you to choose from. It’s soft and fit to hug while sleeping and you might want it.

how to choose throw pillow

Back sleepers are prone to snoring problems. Women in late pregnancy should also avoid this position.

Sleepers are often not suffering from neck pain. Moreover, having a neutral spine and neck, plus a small pillow under your head, can lead to heartburn and poor sleep quality as a result.

Side Sleepers

By far, the side-sleeping position is the most popular. Scientists call this style lateral sleeping. It helps prevent deep breaths that might block your diaphragm and cause snoring.

  • The fetal: About 41% of sleepers prefer bending their knees and curling up on their sides, generally toward the torsos. It is also recommended for pregnant women.

  • The log: The side sleepers lie in the log position with the arms down by the body. It reduces snoring yet causes some arthritis pain in the morning.

  • The yearners: Sleepers often have one arm outstretched in front, while the other arm is next to the body.

  • The spoon: This position is ideal for couples. One in the back will hold the other in the front. It is romantic, but couples are often jolted by each other and wake up more often during the night.

How to Choose Right Pillows - side sleepers

Side sleepers suffer more minor acid reflux issues and GERD symptoms. Additionally, women often blame the side sleeping for their facial wrinkles and even sagging breasts.

How to Choose The Right Pillows For Each Type of Sleeper?

Each sleeping type has pros and cons, and it is hard to change your sleeping habit overnight. However, choosing suitable pillows can significantly help.

Overall, the right pillow keeps your neck and head in neutral alignment. Meanwhile, your spine will be supported with natural curvature. It also relieves pressure on your entire body.

Keep scrolling down and learn how to choose to throw pillows for bed - or how to choose throw pillows for the sofa if you want to take a snap there.

Choosing Pillows For Back Sleepers

The key is to buy “medium" pillows in terms of loft and firmness.

The average loft provides a cushy buffer between your neck/shoulders and the mattress. 

Resting on a pillow that is too lofty will cause your head to be craned upwards. On the other hand, low loft means lying almost flat on the mattress, which is nothing like comfortable.

pillow for back sleepers

Related to the firmness, you should ensure that the pillow will not flatten under your head weight. Instead, it holds a neutral alignment between the neck and spine.

Now, let's check out the best pillow features for back sleepers.

  • Customizable support: It would be best if sleepers can customize the pillows' firmness or loft according to their preference. 

For example, some pillows have a removable insert in the middle. Otherwise, some have a zip to open and manipulate the internal fills to the most comfortable point.

  • Cooling qualities: In the summer, cooling properties will save your sleep. There is often gel bad on the side or a phase change material woven into pillows' fabric.

  • Bouncy support: A buoyant support and bouncy response to touch are great for those who do not want to sink into their pillow. Thus, they often prefer pillows filled with Talalay or Dunlop latex.

Choosing Pillows For Side Sleepers

An extra firm option is suggested for the side sleepers.

Low or medium lofts are not for side sleepers because you might end up deeply sinking into the pillows. In addition, it is not comfortable at all. 

Thus, avoiding materials like leathers, feathers, polyester, and gel since sleeping on the side requires pillows with high loft and extra firmness.

The high loft is a tall profile to keep your head up. The ideal height recommended by experts is around four inches.

how to choose pillows for side sleepers

Firm pillows are made of soft latex or orthopedic to maintain a stable curve of the neck and head - and in a proper alignment. Some manufacturers also use soft materials like down-alternatives but keep the pillows amply stuffed to remain the high loft.

Other features for side-sleeper pillows to consider:

  • Moisture-wicking: If you are a kind of sleeper prone to night sweats, you must aim for naturally absorbent materials like Tencel, bamboo, and polyester. They feel cool to the touch and offer comfort while sleeping.

  • Breathable foam: The benefit of foam is to conform to the shape of your head and distribute the weight evenly. As a result, you will suffer from less sink and strain on the spine and neck. 

Unfortunately, foam often traps heat. You will love pillows with individual or popcorn-sized foam shreds because they move freely under the pillow's cover and offer better breathability.

  • Natural materials: As mentioned, side sleeping causes wrinkles and sagging breasts. Organic and hypoallergenic materials like cellulosic fibers and natural latex are highly suggested.

Choosing Pillows for Stomach Sleepers

An important feature to take notes of is a low loft.

Some belly sleepers say that they can sleep well without a pillow since they feel comfortable aligning their neck with the back. However, they can break this old habit as soon as they find the right pillow.

Then, a soft or flat pillow will help to support your neck and still keep you nearly flat on the bed. There is no pressure on the abdomen or lower back as usual.

Then, how low should it be? The ideal loft is two inches or fewer, along with the soft cushy buffer. A firmer pillow will cause your head to be strangely propped up on lying, and leaving the neck falling out of alignment. That’s when you’ll likely suffer from soreness in the spine.

how to choose pillows for belly sleepers

Specific features to look for:

  • Compressible fill: Materials such as feathers are possibly compressed into an ultra-low loft. Pillows for the stomach often feature obtuse shapes and deep contours. 

When compressed, the pillows will lend themselves to belly sleepers under the chest as an alternative to their arms.

  • Pillowcase characteristic: Whether the pillows should have a case or not is based on your preference. If there is a case, you should get some decorative and silky shams. 

On the other hand, you will want a case that does not change the traditional shape and loft. Provided that you do not bother with a case, you can get organic cotton instead.

  • No animal materials: Although feathery materials from animals are known for being malleable and easily compressed into an ultra-low loft, they disturb animals.

In that case, you can choose pillows filled in down alternatives like micro-denier or poly gel fiber. Those materials are also preferred for being machine washable.

Are you wondering the way to clean pillows? Let's check out this article about how to wash your pillows properly.

Wrapping Up

There are no pillows that are one-type-fits-all. What is your sleeping type? You should consider the tips on how to choose the right pillows to make the best decision. All in all, select some pillows that help you wake up pain-free, rejuvenated, and refreshed for an energetic day ahead!
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