Sleep helps rejuvenate and restore your body. Getting a good night’s sleep sets the tone for your day, making you more mentally alert and energized. But most people don’t get the required amount of sleep or quality rest during sleep. Using the wrong pillow can impact the quality of sleep, worsen headaches, increase neck, shoulder and joint pain, promote arm numbness, and increase sneezing and wheezing. And while a bad pillow doesn’t cause these problems, it may make them worse and prevent you from getting the most restful night’s sleep.
It's recommended that you buy a pillow every 12 to 18 months, because If your pillow is past its prime, it may contain dead skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites, which can make up more than half of an older pillow's weight.
When purchasing a new pillow consider your preferred sleep position and the filling. And remember that regardless of whether you’re a side sleeper, or sleep on your back or stomach, the goal of using a pillow is to keep your head resting squarely on your shoulders without bending too far back or forward.
Pillows for Your Sleep Position
Back Sleepers: Use a thinner pillow so your head is not thrown too far forward. Also look for a pillow with extra loft in the bottom third of the pillow to cradle your neck.
Side Sleepers: Choose a firmer pillow to fill in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder.
Stomach Sleepers: Look for a very thin or nearly flat pillow. You may not even need a pillow for your head, but consider tucking one under your stomach to avoid lower back pain.
Foam: The higher the density, the less breakdown, and the more support you will have without getting too soft.
Memory foam: It reduces pressure points by molding and adjusting to the shape of your body as you move Memory foam pillows come in various shapes, but some sleepers claim it makes them hot..
Latex: This is the firmest type of pillow, and it resists mold and dust mites. Latex pillows are often contoured for neck support so they may also help with back and neck alignment.
Wool/cotton: Wool and cotton pillows are hypoallergenic and resist mold and dust mites. Both also tend to be quite firm.
Down/feather: This type of fill is often recommended for a good night's rest. You can move the stuffing around so that you have the most support where you need it. It’s soft, yet firm enough to give you the support you need. A combination of half feather and half down seems to work best. If you're allergic to down, synthetic down pillows are an option.