The right pillow can transform your sleep by maintaining your spine’s alignment and providing the best position for your head and neck.
Here are some tips for achieving pillow perfection.
What feels most comfortable to you? Bear in mind:
YOUR PREFERRED SLEEP POSITION If you sleep on your stomach or back, consider a soft pillow. Side and back sleepers may prefer a medium firmness. If you sleep exclusively on your side, a firm pillow is best.
PHYSICAL FACTORS The pillow should comfortably accommodate your shoulder depth, neck length, head size and weight, and your perspiration factor.
FLUFF FACTOR A fluffier pillow provides better cushioning, is longer lasting, and allows fresh air to easily travel through it. If you fold a pillow in half and it unfolds on its own, it has a high fluff factor.
NIGHTIME MOVEMENT You’ll change positions throughout the night, so make sure your pillow can move with you. Many people find down pillows to be more accommodating than foam or pre-shaped pillows.
A little TLC goes a long way:
PLUMP DAILY Grab the corners on the short end and rap it against the bed surface two or three times. Do the same to the other end. If your pillow becomes too plump, place it flat on the bed and press down with your forearms from the middle of the pillow outward.
WASH WEEKLY Toss your pillowcases and pillow protectors in the wash each week.
REPLACE REGULARLY Assess your pillow's comfort regularly to make sure it's still providing the best spine alignment and head and neck positioning. And replace it every two to three years.
Perfect your form with the following:
SLEEP POSTURE Sleep in an elongated position, not a ball, to promote a healthy back.
SIDE SLEEPERS Place the upper arm on your hip or side—or place a pillow under your armpit— to keep your shoulders aligned. Position your pillow to be shoulder-width high, so it fills in the space between the bed and your head.
BACK SLEEPERS Create a wedge shape with your pillow, with more height and dimension toward the top of your head. This lengthens your neck and forces your chin down, decreasing snoring and providing greater comfort for your lower back.