A white pillow and white bedding looking slept in on a bed with a dark wood bed frame and matching night stand next to it

How To Pick Your Perfect Pillow

November 10, 2017

Author: Josie Sivigny

When it comes to sleeping comfortably, your pillow can be just as important as the mattress you sleep on. While it’s a relatively small item, sleeping on the wrong pillow could not only make for an uncomfortable night’s sleep, but in some cases even lead to neck or back pain. In order to get the best sleep possible, here are a few quick tips on how to find your perfect pillow. (Side note: if you are experiencing back or neck pain, you should always visit your doctor and take their advice on the best remedy!)

Pillow in a tan and white pillow case on top of a bed. Image Credit:imgur

Sleep Position

Since your pillow’s main job is to keep your head and neck aligned while you sleep, your sleeping position is probably the most important factor to take into consideration.

Stomach sleepers may be most comfortable with a soft, almost flat pillow. Since this position can be very stressful on both your back and neck, it might even be more comfortable that you sleep without a pillow and lay your head directly on the mattress. If you notice you’re waking up with back pain, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. In consultation with your doctor, you may also want to try sleeping with a pillow under your hips and lower abdomen to take some of the pressure off your back.

Back sleepers may do better with a medium-firm pillow that provides more support for the neck. Some pillows provide what’s called a “loft”, which is a thicker area at the bottom for additional support, typically designed for back sleepers.

Finally, side sleepers may be most comfortable with a firm to extra firm pillow to fill the gap between the ear and shoulder while sleeping, keeping the best possible alignment of both throughout the night.

Pillow Materials

The material your pillow is filled with might also affect how comfortable you are and how well you sleep. For people who prefer a softer, more easily adjustable pillow, down or feather fills should do the trick. The only drawback to these are that they tend to retain warmth and don’t necessarily provide the best support.

Polyester pillows can provide good support and hold their shape throughout the night, but aren’t necessarily very durable. Foam pillows tend to hold their shape over time, and shouldn’t retain as much heat as some other materials. The biggest drawback for foam pillows is typically the price, as they are generally more expensive than other fills.

Finally, cotton and wool fill pillows are hypoallergenic, sleep relatively cool, and resist mold and mites. Organic cotton pillows can be great for those with chemical sensitivities, and wool pillows tend to be light and fluffy, so they can be a great alternative to down fills. One drawback here is that cotton pillows tend to become extremely firm over time.

The best pillows to buy will fit your sleeping style and also be made of the materials you find to be the most comfortable, which is why testing each of the common materials is key!

Blankets hanging on the foot of an iron bed frame, you can see the head of the bed with two white pillows propped up in the background. Image Credit:imgur


What type of pillow you have will determine how often you should replace it. Some materials last longer than others, but there are a few universal indicators that it’s time to find something fresh. If your pillow has started to feel flat and uneven in the support, or if you find that you’re constantly having to fluff it to get to sleep at night, it’s probably time!

For hygiene purposes, you should consider replacing your pillow at least every few years. Over time, even the best pillow will collect dust and dirt from use, so make sure you’re following care instructions. You can also look into a protector to help extend the life of your pillow and keep it cleaner and healthier during its lifetime.

Best Place To Buy Pillows

Depending on your own shopping preferences, where to buy good pillows may be different from one shopper to the next. While most shopping lately has moved onto the Internet, you may find that you prefer a more tactile approach. Local stores will have pillows to handle and try so that you can get a feel for different materials quickly, but the only real way to know for sure is to test your pillow for a few nights!

We hope these tips help you find the most comfortable pillow for you; happy pillow hunting!

Featured Posts