Choosing The Right Bed Pillow


What Kind Of Pillow Do You Really Need?

Can you remember when you last changed your bed pillows? If it’s been a really long while, chances are that you’re not the only one. Most people focus primarily on their mattresses when thinking of their sleeping equipment, and usually tend to neglect the lifespan of their pillows. While your mattress is probably going to be the priciest investment, pillows are equally important in terms of getting you that good night’s sleep. Those who like their pillows silky soft can try this silk pillowcase canada.

If you’re still sleeping on a terribly overused pillow, fluffing or folding it every night in order to sleep in that sweet spot, that’s a big sign to change your pillow to a new one. Even without it being deflated, you should still consider if your current pillow is the best choice to maximize support and comfort.

What’s The Big Deal?

You’re probably spending about eight hours a day in a still position on your bed, which makes the case why having a proper sleeping posture is really important. With a bad sleeping posture, you probably won’t be able to sleep as soundly and be greeted with a stiff or painful neck in the morning. A good pillow helps you to achieve that healthy sleeping posture — having your entire body aligned from the knees and hips, through your spine, and towards your chest, shoulders, neck, and head.

If you often wake up feeling like you slept on the wrong side of the bed, that can be because of a lack of support in your neck and shoulders. You might be supported too high up causing misalignment and a strain in your neck, shoulders, or back. Getting a good pillow prevents you from experiencing that strain.

So, When Should You Get A New Pillow?

Generally, you should be changing your bed pillows every one and a half years, but it differs based on the kind of pillow you’ve chosen. Memory foam pillows will usually last you three years before you need to swap them while synthetic pillows often don’t last as long as natural pillows. Investing in a higher quality pillow will definitely last longer than the cheaper ones.

While your pillows might seem to have a short lifespan, it’s a worthwhile investment as you will be empowered to seize the day from a good night’s sleep. If you’re still unsure whether your pillow is still usable, here are some quick and easy steps to check:

  1. Visual Test: Remove your pillowcase and check for perspiration stains, signs of wear and tear, and odd odor. Pillows do collect a myriad of things like mold, fungus, dead skin cells, and even dust mites. These unwanted organisms can cause your allergies to be triggered and negatively affect your breathing during your sleep.
  2. Fold Test: Fold your pillow in half. If it’s a good pillow, you should be able to see it spring back into a flat plane instead of staying folded. For natural fill pillows, you can just drape it down over an extended arm. If it managed to hang on your extended arm, that’s a dead pillow that needs changing. For synthetic pillows, do the standard fold test but add some weight on top, then remove the weight. Similarly, your pillow needs to be swapped if it stays folded. Lastly, for large pillows regardless of their fill, you will need to fold them down into thirds instead of halves.

How To Select A Pillow For Yourself

Choosing a pillow is a very personal decision as you will have your own criteria. Here are a few dimensions you should consider to guide your decision in choosing the best pillow for yourself. Go for whichever feels the most comfortable and suitable for you.

  1. Fill Type: The most common types of pillows are down, synthetic down, polyester fill, wool, cotton, latex, and memory foam. Down pillows are usually lighter and softer, as they are made out of goose or duck fibers. Many people worry about allergic reactions to down. However, many sensitive reactions come from low-quality filling that isn’t cleaned sufficiently. In that case, look out for hypo-allergenic down or hypo down as it increases the lifespan and allergy-free features of the pillow. Synthetic and polyester down are cheaper but will require replacing more quickly. Another thing you should take note of is the fill power which indicates the quality and lifespan of the pillow.
  2. Fill Weight: If you prefer re-shaping or moving your pillow about, light pillows will be more attractive.
  3. Quality of Fill: Quality equals comfort, support, and lifespan, which is also shown in the price. Choose something you can afford and comfortable with.
  4. Size: If you prefer larger pillows, make sure the pillowcase fits properly. Some special shapes can be useful to provide more relief.
  5. Chemistry: For those with sensitive skin and allergies, check what goes into your pillow before purchasing it.

How Your Sleeping Position Affects Your Pillow Choice

Your sleeping position definitely affects which pillow you will need to get. However, with changing sleeping positions through the night this factor isn’t always a hard rule. Generally, there are three types of sleeping positions — slide sleepers, stomach sleepers, and back sleepers.

Side sleepers will require a thicker and firmer pillow. Ideally, it should be thick enough to support your neck and should fill the space between your outer shoulder and ear. Stomach sleepers will need a softer pillow to prevent any awkward neck strains. Depending on the individual, sometimes no pillow is required at all. Having a pillow under your stomach can prevent or reduce back pain as it reduces the severe arc in the back.

Lastly, back sleepers will need flatter pillows to ensure that alignment between the head and neck is achieved. While most back sleepers will really appreciate softer pillows, those with neck pain might want to look for additional support.

How Your Mattress Affects Your Pillow Choice

Firmer mattresses will suit softer pillows as the pillow will need to adapt to the weight of your head. If you have softer mattresses, choose a firmer pillow to ensure it functions properly in keeping your neck and head aligned.


Pillows are some of the most overlooked items we own, even though we use them every day. If you constantly wake up with cricks in your neck, it’s time to check out your pillow and pay a bit more attention to getting yourself that good night’s sleep.

Deepak Chopra
Dr. Deepak Chopra is a well-known figure in integrative medicine and holds an MD. His previous roles include professorships at medical schools and leadership in holistic health organizations. He is a prolific author, with works focusing on the intersection of science, spirituality, and health. He is a keynote speaker at various global health conferences and has authored numerous articles and books on health optimization. He is deeply involved in philanthropy, focusing on global health initiatives. His hobbies include astronomy and exploring ancient healing traditions.

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