Most of us know that a comfortable, supportive mattress is vital for a good night’s rest. But did you know that your pillow also plays an important role when it comes to the quality of your sleep?
The right pillow supports a healthy sleep posture and keeps your body in alignment — not to mention, it’s a joy to nestle into the end of a long day. On the flipside, the wrong pillow can quite literally be a pain in the neck, creating discomfort, exacerbating chronic issues, and compromising your ability to get enough shut-eye.
So how does your pillow affect your sleep, and how do you pick the right one? Keep reading to find out.
Why does the right pillow matter?
Pillows are an essential part of any good sleep system. After all, we spend almost a third of our lives in bed, which means we spend almost a third of our lives with our heads on a pillow. In this sense, your pillow is truly a bed for your head.
A good pillow works with the to support the intricate structures in your head and neck and keep your shoulders, hips, and spine in alignment. All of this helps your body to relax and rest comfortably, so you wake up feeling refreshed. If your upper body doesn’t get enough support, you might find yourself struggling to get a decent night’s rest or you might wake up with a stiff neck and back.
How to choose the right pillow
Like anything, the right pillow for you may not necessarily be right for someone else. The best pillow for you largely depends on a number of factors, including your body size and shape, sleep position, mattress firmness and personal preference.
The ideal pillow for every sleep position
The way you sleep impacts the type and amount of support your body needs during sleep. There are general guidelines that match up each to a certain type of pillow; however, these aren’t set in stone, as most of us sleep in multiple positions throughout the night.
With that being said, here are the best pillows for different sleeping positions:
- Best pillow for back sleepers. Back sleepers benefit from a flat, thin pillow that supports the neck and spine If you suffer from lower back pain, it may also be worth placing another pillow beneath your knees to help alleviate some of the pressure.
- Best pillow for side sleepers. If you are a side sleeper, opt for a thicker pillow that provides firm support for your head and neck, such as the . It’s firmer edge provides support for your neck, while a slightly softer centre zone gently cradles your head. In many cases, it’s also beneficial to place a thin pillow in between your legs to help your spine stay in alignment.
- Best pillow for stomach sleepers in Australia. If you’re a front sleeper, try opting for a thinner pillow — or remove the pillow under your head altogether. A thick pillow might put unnecessary strain on your neck or exacerbate existing spine conditions. If you are still experiencing stiffness or back pain, try placing another flat pillow under your stomach to help your lower back keep its natural alignment.
Latex, foam, down, ergonomic…there are a number of different types of pillows out there, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. However, the most common pillows are typically made from synthetic materials such as polyester, which can trigger .
If you’re after a non-allergenic pillow, it’s worth considering a natural latex option like the , This hypoallergenic pillow is firm yet comfortable and resistant to mould — plus, it has a dust-mite resistant inner cover. Cotton and wool pillows are also naturally hypoallergenic.
Another ergonomic pillow option that’s become quite popular in recent years is memory foam. As the name suggests, memory foam ‘remembers’ your body and contours to the curves of your head, neck, and shoulders. Opt for the standard for pressure-relieving comfort and support during sleep, or cool down with the .
How often should you change your pillows?
Even if you’ve found the perfect pillow, that doesn’t mean it’s going to last forever. Unlike mattresses, which can last for eight years or more, your pillows need to be replaced roughly every two years depending on the quality and type of material.
If you’re not sure whether your pillow needs to be replaced, there are a couple of tests you can do.
Start off by examining your pillow. It sounds straightforward, but this is a quick and easy way to gauge whether it’s time to invest in a replacement. Take off your pillowcase and have a good look at your pillow. If you spot clear signs of wear and tear, such as stains or rips, or your pillow smells of mildew, it’s time to buy a new bed for your head.
Even if your pillow doesn’t have obvious signs of wear and tear, it still might not provide the level of support you need. To test this, simply fold your pillow in half. If it doesn’t spring back, that’s a sign that your pillow has reached the end of its life.
All A.H. Beard pillows are designed to provide you with the right amount of support, without compromising on comfort. Plus, our pillows come with a two-year guarantee — so you can rest easy.
Browse our range of .