A trip to the bedding section of any retailer reveals several types of pillows addressing almost every comfort need. So, where does one begin? Well, that depends on your position . . . your sleeping position that is.
Different sleeping position require different supporting pillows to keep the head in line with the back and spine.
- Soft support pillows are ideal for those who sleep on their stomachs. This type of pillow allows your head to sink down and decreases the pressure on your neck and spine.
- Side sleepers are probably most comfortable with medium support pillows. Medium support cradles the head and helps fill the space between head and mattress to help keep your spine in a straight and natural line.
- Back sleepers may find that the ideal pillow is one with firm support. The contents won't shift or flatten during the night, thus your head, neck and shoulders will have adequate support.
As to what the pillow is made from, there are three main materials: down, synthetic and Tempurpedic. The ideal pillow for you comes down to personal preference in this category.
Down pillows are thought of as the most luxurious, which also makes them more expensive. The "down" refers to the feather down of the goose and other birds. These type of pillows aren't usually recommended for those with allergies.
Synthetic, foam or polyester fill, pillows are comfortable, hypoallergenic, less expensive and can last a long time.
Memory Foam Pillows or Tempurpedic pillows are designed to remember the contours of your head, neck and shoulders to provide comfort and support.
CLEANING YOUR PILLOWS
It is critical to wash your pillow frequently to protect against dust mite and dirt particle buildup, usually every six to eight months. It is recommended that you use the care instructions on the care tag of the pillow or take it to a dry cleaners. If you are the type to cut the tags off the pillows, tape the tags inside the linen or laundry closet for easy reference.
Pillow protectors are an easy and inexpensive way to lengthen the life of your pillow. The protector adds an additional barrier against dirt, oil and sweat. It is recommended that you buy two for every pillow. This allows you to use your pillow while a set is being washed -- which should occur at least once a month.
WHEN TO REPLACE A PILLOW
If your pillow is over two or three years, it may be time to purchase a new one.
To test if your pillow is past its prime is to fold it in half. If it pops back into shape, you are good to go. If it is slow to unfold or doesn't budge, you should start shopping for a new one.
Another tips is to write the date of purchase on the back of your pillow's care tag. This will let you know how long you have used your pillow and give you an idea as to when you need to shop for a new one.
The perfect pillow can make a huge impact on your sleeping experience. Take the time to experiment with the styles and find the pillow that makes you feel comfortable and gives you the optimal support. It's a small investment that will payoff in zzz's.
For more information, watch Jennifer Adams' segment on pillows from The Better Show below.