Iowa Sleep Blog

Choosing the Right Pillow

Monday, July 06, 2015

We all know sleeping is important for our bodies and we should aim to get at least seven hours or more of shut eye each night. But, without the correct pillow for your sleeping position, you could be hindering yourself from sleeping well. According to a poll conducted by the Huffington Post, 70 percent of people say a comfortable pillow is very important to a good night’s sleep.

When choosing new pillows, take these suggestions into consideration based on your most frequent sleeping position:

If you sleep on your side – Look for a pillow with very firm support to create a cradle for the head, neck and shoulders. Some pillows that are designed especially for side sleepers has grooves in the sides of the pillow to create that space for the upper body. A great pillow type for side sleepers is memory foam. These are extremely supportive and dense to provide significant support and are great options for sleepers who have struggled in the past to find the right level of support in their pillows.

If you sleep on your stomach – The best pillow for you has soft levels of support that won’t turn the head unnaturally to either side. You should look for pillows with a natural fill, such as down or down-feather blends. If you want a fill that won’t lose feathers through the fabric, try a poly-cluster fill that will also give you that “soft cloud” feeling.

If you sleep on your back – You should look for a pillow that provides medium support. This means the pillow should be firm to support the natural shape of the upper spine, as well as the head, neck and shoulders. A great pillow option for these sleepers are synthetic or combo-synthetic filled pillows. This is the middle ground between feather-filled or memory foam, and these pillows are generally hypoallergenic and machine washable for easy care.

Besides your sleeping position, the size of your bed can also affect the number of pillows you should have. One pillow is plenty for Twin and Twin XL beds; Queen-sized beds need two to three, and King and California King can require three or more pillows. You may more commonly hear about replacing your mattress, but pillows should be replaced much more frequently – every 12-18 months.

To learn more about the picking the perfect pillow, check out the infographic we recently shared on our Facebook Page. If even the best pillow isn’t helping you achieve a good night’s sleep, call the doctors at Iowa Sleep to schedule a consultation.