When you choose a pillow make sure you consider the 4 main elements to a pillow: the filling, the support it offers, the construction and the size. This information will help you decide what the best pillow is for you. Plus, the best pillow for neck pain and the right pillow for side sleepers.
How to choose a pillow:
The perfect pillow is key to a good night’s sleep. It should provide the right amount of firmness and softness. It should support your neck and contour to your head. It should be breathable, long-lasting and spring back after use. It shouldn’t be poky, go flat, set off your allergies or lose its shape after six months. The perfect pillow should feel luxurious, combining the best filling with the cleverest construction.
Your first choice is whether to go natural or synthetic?
Down and feather - usually combined in varying amounts to create the right support and comfort. Down is fine, soft and springy. Feathers add weight, firmness and support. Goose down and feather are finer and fluffier than duck down and feather. This filling is breathable and allergen resistant if it’s good quality and properly treated. Look out for the anti-allergy NOMITE mark.
Wool, silk and cotton - other natural choices. Generally firmer as they are more naturally compressed or have less loft. Naturally hypoallergenic and breathable.
Man-made fibres can be manufactured to different measurements of thickness.
Hollowfibre - a hollow thick synthetic fibre which is lightweight but firm. Creates a supportive pillow if well filled.
Microfibre - a much finer synthetic fibre which is soft and silky and produces a pillow with medium firmness. Needs to be well packed to provide enough neck support.
Memory foam - developed by NASA scientists! It contours to the shape of your head and only adjusts shape slightly, providing good support if you can get used to it. Not washable though.
If you suffer from neck pain, check whether your pillow is providing the right support. If your pillow is too high or too firm your neck will be extended which can lead to neck strain.
Side sleepers: Ideally you should sleep on your side or your back for a comfortable night’s sleep rather than on your stomach which can give you neck or back ache. Your pillow should be higher under your neck than your head to keep your spine straight when you sleep on your side.
You should only need to sleep with one pillow - if you find you need more support then it’s time to find the right pillow.
Feather and down pillows contour well to your head and neck. Memory-foam pillows can also conform to the contour of your head and neck. Their manufacturers claim they help foster proper spinal alignment.
How a pillow is constructed can have a big impact on the support it provides. A chamber pillow is essentially a sandwich with a central core of firm filling such as feather in the scooms pillow and outer surrounding chambers of soft, squidgy filling like the goose down in the scooms pillow. This provides good support for the head and neck.
Synthetic pillows can also use chamber construction and may have the firmer hollowfibre in the core for support with softer microfibre in the surrounding chambers.
There is no specific reason to choose a particular sized pillow apart from your bed size and your personal comfort. Go for a standard pillow size, 50cm x 75cm (20” x 30”), if you have a single or double size bed. If you have a King size or Super King size bed, then you may want to cosy up to a larger King size pillow 50cm x 90cm (20” x 35”).