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Pillow Buying Guide

Pillows

The best way to secure yourself a great nights sleep is with a supportive pillow that is of great quality. There have been many studies into the benefits of a good nights sleep on the general well being of our bodies.

 

If your pillow is the wrong height or not supportive enough, the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back are forced to compensate for a lack of support all night long. This can lead to long term back, neck or shoulder pain and can dramatically effect your ability to enjoy some activities, such as sports.

 

 

How do I know if my pillow is too high?

Your pillow should comfortably fill the crevice between your neck and the back of your head without you needing to raise or lower your head.

 


 

What are the options for a low allergen or hypo-allergenic pillow?

The best bet for allergy sufferers is to buy a latex or memory foam pillow. These pillows offer the greatest resistance to dust mites, mould and bacteria that can grow in pillows given the right (or wrong) environment.

 


 

Should my pillow be hard/firm or soft and fluffy?

The ideal way to tell how hard your pillow should be, is to judge it from the density of your mattress. If you have a soft mattress then you should be looking around for soft pillows. The same goes for firmer beds, firm bed mean firm pillows. This is to help keep your spine aligned correctly and enable that deep and restorative sleep we need each and every night.

 

 


Definitions and Differences In The Range Of Pillows Available


 

Pillows

Why use duck or goose down in a pillow?

Down is the light fluffy coating clustered beneath the feathers of waterfowl that protect them from the elements. Most down can be found on the belly of geese and ducks, as this is the part that is exposed to water and must keep the bird warm. Down is a three dimensional cluster with thousands of tiny fibers, but no quill. Down has the marvelous ability to breathe, lifting away perspiration so you don't experience the clamminess which often occurs with synthetics.

 

Although a bit pricey, nothing feels as soft and luxurious as a down pillow. They aren't ideal where support or neck pain relief is required, but will not disappoint in almost all other circumstances.

 

Pros: Tend to make the softest pillows, nice and light, cool an airy, easy to shape, long lasting, quiet.

 


 

Pillows

Are Feathers better for me?

Feathers have quills and are two-dimensional. They are the rigid plumage found on the outside of waterfowl, and can range in size from 3 cm to several inches. Smaller feathers are often used in bedding products such as feather beds, decorative pillows, and various feather and down blends. In bedding, feathers do provide some insulation, but are mostly used for support.

 

The unique properties of the feather stuffing will help provide warmth and support for your neck whilst simultaneously creating a sumptuous yet firm place to rest your head. These feather pillows are a fantastic way of supporting your neck whether you lie on your side or back.

 

Pros: Usually inexpensive, easy to shape, durable – has a good lifespan

 


 

Pillows

What is Memory Foam?

First designed in the mid-1960s for NASA airplane seats, memory foam is made from a substance called viscoelastic. It is both highly energy absorbent and soft. Memory foam molds to the body in response to heat and pressure, evenly distributing body weight. It then returns to its original shape once you remove the pressure.

 

Memory foam’s key characteristics are that at high densities it reacts to body heat, conforming and molding itself to the body over a couple of minutes, at low densities memory foam is pressure sensitive and will react quickly to body shape.

 

Pros: Offers good support and pain relief, soft and smooth without lumps, can be contoured to closely match head and neck, quiet, durable and easy to care for.

 


 

Pillows

Should I use a Latex pillow?

Latex is a natural polymer derived from plants and trees. When latex is used as a pillow filling, it is foamed to create a matrix of tiny inter-connected bubbles which give it bounce and spring.

 

Generally latex pillows don’t give that ‘sinking in feeling’ you can get with memory foam, it also has better moisture and heat dissipation properties than memory foam, they are also good for allergy sufferers as they prohibit dust mites.

 

Pros: Very long lasting natural material, cooler and lighter than memory foam, shapes itself to the head and neck. Soft and supportive offering effective pressure relief, holds its shape well, quiet.

 


 

Pillows

What are Bamboo pillows?

 

Bamboo charcoal is charcoal made from bamboo plants and has amazing benefits. Bamboo charcoal is pesticide free, sustainable and renewable resource.

 

Made from organic Bamboo, these pillows are pesticide free, sustainable and renewable resource. Provides excellent support to the head and neck. Excellent wicking properties for super absorption, great for people with night sweats.

 

Pros: Anti-static, anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic, terrific for skin allergies. Thermal regulating – warm in winter and cool in summer. Often used as an effective pain relief pillow for neck and shoulder pain, offers good support.

 


How often should I update my pillows


Sleep Positions

People do get attached to their pillows! Some sleep experts suggest replacing a pillow every few years, but it's really up to you.

 

Here's how to tell if your pillow is doing its job: Is the foam or batting inside the pillow felling lumpy or bumpy? Does your feather and down pillow have to be punched or fluffed up for support? If you fold the pillow in half, does it stay folded? If you answered yes to any of these, it's time for a nice, new pillow.

 


The best pillow for back and neck injuries and why?


 

Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge. But the wrong pillow may worsen headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm numbness, discomfort, sneezing, and wheezing.

 

Before you buy a new pillow, think about your sleep position. The goal of using a pillow is to help keep your head in what is called a 'neutral alignment,' meaning your head is sitting squarely on your shoulders without bending back too far or reaching too far forward.

 

Some expert advice:

 

  • If you sleep on your back: "Back sleepers need thinner pillows, so their head is not thrown too far forward," Kammi Bernard, PT (a physical therapist at the Baylor Health Care System) says. Also look for a pillow with extra loft in the bottom third of the pillow to cradle your neck.
  • If you sleep on your side: Side sleepers need a firmer pillow to fill in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder.
  • If you're a stomach sleeper: Look for a very thin, almost flat pillow. You may not even need a pillow for your head, but consider tucking one under your stomach to avoid lower back pain, Michael Breus, PhD suggests.