1. Sleeping Position
Your preferred sleeping position says a lot about the kind of pillow you need. If you sleep on your back, you need a different type of support than someone who sleeps on their side. Neck or back problems will also determine the type of support you need. The right pillow for your sleeping position can help relieve neck and back discomfort. Read more about common sleeping positions and the pillows we recommend for them.
If you sleep on your back, your head and neck need minimal support. A pillow that’s too dense might push your head too far forward and possibly overextend your neck. Opt for a low- or medium-density pillow or a contour pillow that supports the neck while keeping the body aligned.
Side sleepers need extra support to keep the neck and head aligned with the body. Improper support for side sleepers can also result in shoulder pain. A medium density pillow supports the neck and takes strain off the shoulder without overextending the neck sideways.
A soft, low-density pillow is ideal for stomach sleepers because it’s easy to arrange and keeps the neck from being overextended sideways. Because stomach sleepers lay flat but turn their heads to the side, soft and low-density pillows provide support and take strain off the neck while keeping the body aligned.
The size of your pillow will greatly affect your sleep quality. When the pillow complements your bed size, it looks great and provides support no matter how much you move in your sleep. The three most common pillow sizes are standard, queen, and king. Bed pillows are usually made to complement standard bed sizes. For example, a king size pillow measures 20 inches by 36 inches so that two king size pillows will match the 72-inch width of your king bed. Choose a pillow size by first determining your bed size. See the chart below for suggested pillow measurements.
Pillow filling makes a difference in how your pillow holds up over time, how it supports your head and neck, and the type of comfort it adds to your bedding. Types of pillow fill include foam, memory foam, down, feather, and polyester. Each offers their own type of comfort and support. Below are a few types of common pillow fillings to help you decide which material is right for you.