Sleep Soundly: How to Find Your Perfect Pillow!

Your ideal pillow is designed to maintain a neutral stress-free alignment of your spine. However, since we are all built differently, like the three bears in Goldilocks, your best pillow may differ from that of your partner, child, or best friend.

What is the Best Pillow Type?

To choose the best pillow for you, consider the different types available in the market. The market offers a variety of pillows, each with a specific purpose. Some of the most common types of pillows are:

  • Memory foam pillows: Viscoelastic foam makes up these pillows, which conform to your body's shape, giving you customised support.
  • Down pillows: The soft and fluffy undercoating of geese or ducks fills these pillows, providing a plush and luxurious feel.
  • Latex pillows: Natural or synthetic latex forms these pillows, which are recognised for their durability and support.
  • Body pillows: These long, cylindrical pillows offer support for your entire body, particularly during pregnancy.
  • Wedge pillows: Shaped like a triangle, these pillows elevate the upper body or legs, relieving acid reflux, snoring, or other medical conditions.
  • Cooling pillows: These pillows regulate your body temperature and keep you cool throughout the night, making them ideal for hot sleepers.
  • Buckwheat pillows: Filled with buckwheat hulls, these pillows conform to your body's shape, providing customised support.

How Often Should You Replace Your Pillow?

You should replace most pillows every 1-2 years since they gradually lose their firmness and ability to support your neck and head. Properly maintained high-quality pillows, on the other hand, can last for 5-7 years. It's time to replace your pillow if it becomes lumpy, flat, or discoloured.

What Should You Consider When Buying a Pillow?

When buying a pillow, you should consider several factors to make the best choice. These factors include:

  • Sleeping position: Your preferred sleeping position should guide your pillow selection.
  • Pillow filling: The filling of your pillow determines its level of support and comfort.
  • Pillow size: Your pillow's size should match the size of your bed and body.
  • Pillow shape: Different pillow shapes offer varying levels of support for different sleeping positions.
  • Pillow cover: A good quality pillow cover should be breathable, hypoallergenic, and easy to clean.
  • Pillow durability: You should opt for a good quality pillow that provides consistent support and comfort for several years.
  • Price: Investing in a good quality pillow can enhance your sleep quality and overall health, despite a higher price not always guaranteeing a better pillow.

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ABC Radio Interview Regarding Pillow Selection

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

What are the Classic Signs of an Unsupportive Pillow?

Most quality pillows will last three to four years before requiring a replacement. However, some lesser-quality pillows lose their supportiveness within just a few months.

The main issue lies in the breakdown of the internal supportive materials of a pillow over time and with use. Feathers, memory foam, rubber, latex, or any other natural or synthetic material used in pillows eventually deteriorate.

If you consistently experience the following problems, it indicates that it's time to change your pillow:

  1. Waking up at night or in the morning with a stiff neck, neck pain, or headache.
  2. Experiencing restless or interrupted sleep with difficulty falling asleep.

Another unmistakable sign is experiencing better sleep when using a friend's pillow, borrowing your partner's pillow, or staying in a hotel.

If any of these situations resonate with you, it's time to consider obtaining a new pillow.

Neck pain, stiffness, or headaches? Your pillow might not be the cause!

If you frequently experience restlessness or wake up with neck pain, stiffness, or headaches, your pillow could be the culprit. Maintaining a healthy sleeping position and using a suitable pillow is essential for a good night's sleep. A quality pillow will align your head naturally with your spine and provide proper support. However, there are situations where you need a pillow to be perfect for you.

Suppose you have a neck injury or experience pain and stiffness. In that case, you may lack the necessary range of motion in your neck to attain a comfortable and pain-free sleep. In such cases, seeking professional assessment and treatment for your neck is crucial. Sometimes, a high-quality treatment targeting your neck can alleviate years of sleeping difficulties in a single session.

Can an Unsupportive Pillow Cause Neck Headaches?

Absolutely! An unsupportive pillow can contribute to both neck pain and headaches. Pillows come in various shapes and sizes, and finding the one best suited to your neck shape and body size can help prevent these issues. Unfortunately, using a pillow that lacks adequate support or isn't suitable for your neck can increase the likelihood of experiencing neck pain or headaches.

If you suffer from neck pain or related problems, seeking professional advice from a physiotherapist is highly advisable. They can guide you on the ideal pillow style and size that would suit your needs. Don't hesitate to consult one of our physiotherapists to receive personalised pillow advice tailored specifically to your neck requirements. Take the proactive step towards finding the right pillow for a night of pain-free and restful sleep.

ABC Radio Interview Regarding Pillow Selection

What Pillow Is The Best For You?

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