No two people are exactly the same in how they sleep. Some sleep flat on their back, some curl into a ball on their side, some are stomach sleepers and others switch between multiple positions during the night. It’s important to keep your sleeping position in mind when choosing a pillow, as different types of pillows offer different levels of support depending on how you typically sleep.
A good pillow will keep your spine in a neutral position, regardless of how you sleep. It should also provide enough cushioning to keep your head and neck comfortable without putting too much pressure on them.
If you're pregnant or suffer from neck pain, back pain or other ailments, you'll want to make sure you choose a pillow designed specifically for your needs. Here are a few tips for choosing the right type of pillow for your sleeping position:
If you sleep on your back, opt for a pillow of medium height and density that allows your head and neck to remain in a neutral position. Avoid pillows that are too high, as they could increase the arch in your neck and upper back, which can cause discomfort.
You could also choose a pillow with a contoured shape, often marketed as pillows for neck pain, to better cradle your head, neck and shoulders. Memory foam pillows are ideal for back sleepers as they conform to the shape of your head and neck for optimal support.
Sleeping on your back also makes you more likely to snore, so you may want to look for anti-snore pillows designed to keep your airway open and your head slightly elevated.
The best pillow for side sleepers is one that keeps your neck and spine in a neutral position while you rest. Choose a pillow that’s thick enough to fill the space between your ear and shoulder, so your neck and spine stay in alignment, and make sure your pillow isn't too soft, as this won't provide enough support.
Memory foam, latex or feather pillows are all good options. You may also want to opt for an adjustable pillow that can be customised to your preferred level of height and firmness.
Most experts don't recommend stomach sleeping as it can cause strain on the back and neck muscles. However, if you do prefer this position, choose a thin pillow to keep your head in line with your spine.
Down pillows can be a good option for stomach sleepers, as they compress easily and provide minimal resistance. Whatever you do, avoid pillows that are too thick or high, as they can cause strain on the back of your neck.
Pillows for medical conditions and special circumstances
Your sleeping position can sometimes be affected by medical conditions, such as neck and shoulder pain or pregnancy. In this case, a specialist pillow may help you to find a more comfortable position and provide additional support while you sleep.
Pregnancy can be the cause of sleepless nights and discomfort for many women. The extra weight of a growing belly puts strain on your spine and hips, so it’s important to choose a pregnancy pillow that provides extra support. In addition, it's not recommended to sleep on your back for long periods from the second trimester of pregnancy, so a body pillow can be a good way to keep your body in an optimal position.
For those who suffer from neck pain, a contoured pillow may be a good option. These chiropractic & orthopaedic pillows are designed with an ergonomic shape to help keep your neck and spine in alignment while you sleep. As they reduce pressure on your head and neck, they can also be used as therapeutic pillows for migraines and headaches.
Other tips for choosing a pillow
Whether you're buying kids' pillows for your children or choosing a pillow for yourself, it's important to pay attention to personal preferences and comfort.
Some people prefer soft and fluffy pillows, while others want them to be firmer and more supportive. Test out different types of materials until you find the perfect combination of comfort, support and firmness that best suits your needs.
For those who get too hot at night, look for pillows made with breathable materials like cotton or bamboo. Cooling pillows are also available, infused with cooling gel or copper to help regulate your body temperature while you sleep.If you find it difficult to get a good night's sleep when you're away from home, you might want to consider investing in decent-quality travel pillows that you can take with you. This means you'll always be able to get comfortable and sleep soundly wherever you are.