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How to Choose The Right Pillow

How to Choose The Right Pillow

Are you a stomach sleeper, side sleeper, or back sleeper? You're probably wondering, "How do I choose the right pillow for me?"

Each sleeping position requires a different type of pillow to maintain a healthy position for your body. Maintaining a neutral spine is the most important part of getting a good night's sleep and keeping your body healthy. To check if your spine is in a neutral alignment while sleeping, check to make sure your ears are in line with your shoulders and your chin is in line with your sternum. 

Your sleeping position is just one factor you need to think about when finding the right pillow for you. Other factors to take in are whether you're a hot sleeper, enjoy memory foam, want to be eco-friendly, and more! Your pillow should always support a healthy posture but should also be compatible with your whole self. 

While reading about the suggested pillows for each sleeping position, also consider whether you prefer a pillow with cooling properties, a pillow with bouncy support, and what material you want your pillow to hold.

Choosing The Right Pillow for Back Sleepers

To maintain a healthy posture, back sleepers need a medium level of loft and firmness. Back sleepers might also consider pillows filled with materials that conform to pressure like memory foam.

  • Medium Loft — A medium loft is going to help alleviate pressure in your neck and shoulders by providing a nice, cushy buffer between you and your mattress. 
  • Medium Firmness — A medium firmness will keep your head supported enough to be aligned with the spine, and make sure that the pillow won’t flatten more than the course of the night. 
  • Conform to Pressure — Materials constructed to tightly comply with pressure can attend to keep the head feeling comfortably cradled, and held in neutral alignment with the neck. Additionally, pillows that option a tufted top are going to supply several additional cushions upon which you can rest your temples (many backside sleepers sleep with their head tilted to one side


Choosing The Right Pillow For Side Sleepers

To keep a neutral spine and healthy posture, side sleepers need a pillow with a high loft and firmer support. Side sleepers might prefer more fluffy materials like Kapok, or shapeable materials like down.

  • High Loft — Most importantly, a pillow with a taller profile is going to prop your head up so that it’s in neutral alignment with your spine. Additionally, a lofty pillow will relieve pressure on your shoulder, and make sure that it’s not bearing the brunt of your body’s weight.
  • Firm Support — Pillows with a medium-firm or firm level of support will serve to keep your head and neck in line with your spine throughout the night. If your pillow is too soft, your head will gradually sink, throwing your spine out of neutral alignment.
  • Fluffy & Shapeable — Search for more fluffy materials like Kapok, down, or down alternatives. Pillows that are easily shaped, allow you to reach one arm beneath the pillow in a cozy embrace, which is a go-to move for many side sleepers.


Choosing The Right Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

When it comes to stomach sleeping, finding the perfect pillow can be a little tricky. In fact, some experts suggest avoiding the prone position altogether, as it tends to position the upper cervical spine at end-range rotation or extension. Essentially, this means you’re at greater risk of straining your neck and putting pressure on your lower back or abdomen. 

  • Low Loft — In order to maintain neutral spine alignment, stomach sleepers need a pillow with a low loft. If your pillow’s loft is even slightly too high, your head will be craned upwards, and your whole posture will be thrown out of whack. Remember: your pillow should support the natural C curve of your spine.
  • Soft Support — Pillows with soft support are going to provide a cushy buffer between you and your mattress, but also ensure that your head is not too propped up. The firmer the pillow, the more likely it is for your neck to be lifted out of alignment with your spine.
  • Compressible Fill — Pillows filled with feathers or down alternatives are ideal for stomach sleepers. Why? Well, those materials are easily compressed into a super low loft. They are also very shapeable, which lends itself well to stomach sleepers who like to embrace the underside of the pillow rather than lie with their arms at their side. Finding a pillow with an adjustable fill is also a bonus, as you can decrease the loft as much as you need.

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