How to buy a pillow

When I was researching how to buy a bed, someone said to me that buying the right pillow is just as important as the mattress: “Because the pillow is the mattress for the head.” And that quote stuck with me, because it’s so true, right? So, if you’re after a great night’s sleep and wondering how to buy a pillow, I’ve got you covered.

Ok, you’ve just invested in a beautiful bed frame, a luxurious mattress – but haven’t really thought about the pillows. What a mistake! Why is it that when it comes to bedtime comfort, mattresses seem to get all the attention and pillows are often overlooked?

It’s equally important to get the right type of pillow to suit you. Because, choosing the one could lead to discomfort while sleeping or even neck pain in the morning.

So, to ensure you get the right support, and a great night’s rest, first think of the position you sleep most at night: side, front or back.

According to Dreams, for those who sleep on their front, the best types of pillows are ones that lie on the softer scale, including feather pillows and pillows with a comfort grade from soft to soft‐medium.

Feather & Black offer a variety of pillows.

Unlike side sleepers, it’s recommended front sleepers stick to pillows without much height, as raising your head too high risks arching the spine backwards.

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For side sleepers, like me, a memory foam pillow or an orthopaedic pillow is best. This is because those of us who sleep on their side can damage their spine’s natural alignment if their head is positioned either too high or too low.

Orthopaedic and memory foam pillows are designed to cushion vulnerable pressure points on the head and ensure the neck remains in the optimum position. To achieve this correct height, go for a firm or medium‐firm pillow.

Finally, if you’re a back sleeper, the best type of pillow for you is one with a medium comfort grade, this will help provide support to your head without pushing it too far forwards.

Hollowfibre and wool pillows are also good for back sleepers as they provide a bouncy surface that isn’t too soft.

Hungarian goose down pillow, from £79, from Scooms.

What’s inside my pillow?

While it’s important to choose a pillow based on your sleeping position, it’s also worth considering any specific conditions you may have.

For example, if you suffer from neck pain, asthma or even overheating in the night, there are specially designed pillows that can help combat any kind of sleep hindrance you have.

For instance; memory foam contours to your body; anti-allergy pillows have microfibres that protect against dust mites; and cooling pillows, which contain a layer of ActiGel as well as breathable fibres that can absorb heat, unlike other materials.

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Natural pillow fillings are good for avoiding an irritation‐free sleep, while synthetic materials include innovative technology that is designed for maximum comfort.

Feathered pillows are usually produced from ducks. The composition is often 85% duck feather and 15% duck down, giving the pillow a light and soft feel.

Merino wool pillow, £59, Piglet in Bed.

When is it time to get a new pillow?

According to MattressNextDay, you should aim to replace your pillow every two years. Pillows can become worn, deformed and discoloured from persistent use. In some cases, they can also become ineffective at support your head, neck, and spine during the night.

An old pillow can isn’t great for your nose and breathing airways, especially if there are dust mites present within the material.

If you notice any of the above and you believe you’ve fully exhausted your pillow too, it’s time to start shopping for a new one.

There are three classic UK pillow sizes: standard, superking and square. But, if you want to create a luxury hotel look why not have a mix of standard or superking pillows, square pillows, cushions and a bolster too.

Featured image: Supplied by Dreams

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