The Perfect Pillow
How important is a really good pillow? It can mean the difference between a sound, restful slumber, and a nightmare of sleep spent tossing and turning. Literally, the wrong pillow can be a serious pain in the neck - and back.
But how do you know if you’re sleeping on the wrong pillow? Any of the following signs indicates it’s time for a new one:
A pillow that is no longer comfortable, or just doesn’t feel the same as it did when you bought it, should be retired.
A lumpy, misshapen, or stained pillow has also seen better days (and nights).
Fill coming out of your pillow through holes or worn seams? Rest assured, it’s time for a new one.
Fills & Construction – so you know the difference.
Down – Extremely soft, fluffy and comfortable, down is grown under the breast feathers of waterfowl such as geese and ducks. When considering down as a pillow fill, you’ll need to consider fill power to ensure your pillow has enough fluff. (The higher the fill power, the more fluff.)
Feathers – Though feathers are more durable than down and also provide better support, feathers are also flatter than down and are nowhere near as soft and warm. Feathers also have a tendency to poke through your pillow, which can account for a rather rude awakening.
Synthetic Fills :
Down-Type Synthetics – Though not the real deal, these imitators are soft and fluffy and come without the allergens and cost of real down.
Foam – Designed to provide proper support to the neck, back and spine, foam is gaining popularity as a fill. Since it is synthetic, foam is a good choice for people with allergies.
Polyester - Light, strong and durable, polyester is popular as both a stand-alone fill, and a blend in pillow covers. Its attributes are: inexpensive, wrinkle-resistant, hypoallergenic and washable.
Construction - what to look for when choosing a pillow:
Fill – The type and amount determine how soft, or firm, your pillow will be.
Covering – Your pillow should be covered with material (also known as ticking) that is soft and absorbent. Naturally filled pillows should be covered with a quality fabric that breathes to resist mildewing. Cotton is an excellent cover choice. If you’re looking for a really soft cover, choose a better quality one of a higher thread count. These covers will do a better job of keeping the fill inside the pillow, and are essential when covering a down pillow to keep allergens from getting out.
Seams – Choose a pillow with tightly bound edges, cording or piping trim. This will ensure a longer pillow life, while gusseted sides increase loft and support.
Shape – Rectangular is the most typical shape of a sleeping pillow, but quite a few specialty pillows have been making their way into the market lately. Most of these are ergonomically designed for those with special needs.
Your favorite sleep position determines the type of pillow you need.
There are 3 basic sleep positions and a 4th reserved for those tossers and turners of the world, and believe it or not, a specific pillow type recommended for each.
Stomach – Not recommended because it can cause serious neck problems. However, if you have to sleep in this position, you can minimize the strain on your neck by choosing a flat pillow (one with less fill) that is soft and light.
Back – A medium firm, average fill pillow is perfect for this sleep position. The medium fill offers your back the correct support while lending some softness at your head.
Side – You’ll need a firm, extra fill pillow for this sleep position, one that will support your neck to correctly align with your spine.
Frequently Change Positions – If you’re a tosser and a turner, it’s best to go with a soft pillow that can be fluffed and adjusted to achieve comfort in various positions. Natural fill pillows are your best bet here, because they are the most flexible.
Choosing the right pillow size.
Though commonly thought that the size of your sleeping pillow should coordinate with the size of your bedding, i.e. twin bed – standard size pillow, king bed – king size pillow, you certainly can think outside the box on this one. If you prefer to sleep on a king size pillow, but sleep in a twin size bed, just keep your bedding coordinates in mind when choosing pillowcases, shams, etc. Or, feel free to keep your sleeping pillow out of sight or hidden behind other pillows on your bed.
Pamper your pillow and your pillow will pamper you.
Extend the life of your pillow by putting a pillow protector on it as well as a pillowcase. This helps keep dust mites out and allergens in, which surely makes for a more restful night’s sleep.
Wash your pillow frequently following the directions on the label for proper cleaning instructions. Always make sure that your pillow is completely dry before replacing the pillowcase to prevent molding and mildewing. A damp pillow can also become misshapen and therefore lose some of its intended benefit.
Finally, fluff your pillow by hand, or in the dryer, to help keep the loft.
Luxury Down Pillows