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The Best Types of Pillows for Your Best Sleep

The Best Types of Pillows for Your Best Sleep

Whether you are a busy working gal, hard-working mom, or both, it can sometimes be difficult to get a full 8 hours of sleep each and every night. If you are anything like me, the second your head hits that pillow, you are running through your to-do list. What didn’t I have time for today? What do I need to get done tomorrow?  

Getting enough sleep is SO important—if you are not sleeping enough, your mind and body will suffer the consequences. This means more stress and fatigue, which can really wreak havoc on our skin, brain, diet, muscles, and energy levels.

So, since we are in the midst of a hibernation season, we must ask ourselves: what is the solution? Let’s start with one of the most important factors in a good night’s sleep: that pillow of yours. There are so many types of pillows out there to choose from, and it may seem like it’s not that important of a decision. But different types of pillows can have different effects on how well you are sleeping, so I’d say it’s an especially important one. Plus, if you are having body aches or struggle with existing medical issues, your pillow can really make or break how your body feels when you wake up. 

Luckily, choosing the best type of pillow for you and your needs isn’t tricky if you ask yourself these questions: What is your favorite sleeping position? What are your sleep concerns? If it has been years since you have considered these questions, it is definitely time for an upgrade. I guarantee that if you address these 2 questions and cater your pillow decision to the answers, you are on your way to a restful night’s sleep. 

What is your favorite sleeping position?

Best type of pillows for back sleepers

Sleeping on your back is one of the most natural sleeping positions, and it can be a great remedy for certain ailments. Sleeping flat on your back aligns your spine naturally, which is helpful for those with back pain, or spine issues like scoliosis. Also, beauty experts have said that this is the best position to avoid wrinkles and acne because your face does not touch your pillow. 

That being said, if you have the wrong pillow, this can cause some serious neck pain. Your pillow should be thick enough to support your head, but soft enough to follow the natural curvature of your neck. For these reasons, the best types of pillows for back sleepers are memory foam or adjustable pillows. Memory foam will form to your natural curvature and support it throughout the night, while adjustable pillows (typically with removable layers) can be adjusted to your desired comfortable height. 

Best type of pillows for side sleepers

Sleeping on your side is the most common sleeping position, experts say. Sleeping on your side can be super comfortable, but it comes with the risk of damaging your neck if you do not have the right pillow. If it is too high or low, your neck will spend hours strained in an unnatural position, which is sure to result in neck pain the next day. Because the curve of the side of your neck is greater than the back, you will need a pillow that is thicker and firmer than a back-sleeper pillow.

Look for microfiber filled pillows if you are a side sleeper but be sure to test out its firmness before committing. Some memory foam pillows will work if they are firm enough, as well. Many companies are now offering types of bed pillows specifically for this category—look for “side sleeper” pillows. 

Best type of pillows for stomach sleepers

Studies show that only a small number of people sleep on their stomach, but for those who do, be sure to have the right pillow to avoid neck and body aches. For stomach sleepers, you will want to look for a very flat pillow, because this will align your neck and spine naturally while you sleep. Feather pillows and down pillows are the best types of pillows for stomach sleepers because they are not very firm.  

What are your sleep concerns?

Allergies

If it has been years since you have replaced your bed pillows, it is likely that there is a good amount of dust and allergens trapped in there. If you suffer from allergies, you may be inhaling aggravating allergens while you sleep without even knowing it! Not only should you be replacing your pillow every couple of years, but if you have allergies, the best type of pillow for you is a hypoallergenic pillow. Also, look for pillows or pillowcases made with bamboo-derived fibers, as this material helps block out allergens. 

temperature

If you are overheating while you sleep and waking up throughout the night because of it, have no fear. Temperature-regulating bed products are now readily available, and they seriously work (I can personally attest to this). If you are a hot sleeper (like me) there are many different types of pillows for you to choose from that will help you sleep through the night at a comfortable temperature. Look for “cooling” pillows or “temperature regulating” pillows. Many of these types of pillows will have materials like cooling gel or “outlast” technology, which stores and releases heat throughout the night to keep you cool.  

changing sleep positions

If you are a restless sleeper, chances are you are tossing and turning all night, changing positions and keeping yourself awake (even if you do not realize it). Luckily, there is technology available now that helps keep you in a comfortable position throughout the night. For this kind of support, look for J-shaped and U-shaped pillows. These types of pillows will align your body in a healthy, comfortable position, and help you maintain that position throughout the night, resulting in a more restful sleep. 

Snuggles

Let’s face it, we all feel ourselves needing a little cuddle every once in a while. If you are single (no shame!), or your significant other isn’t a cuddler (gasp!) and you need something to hug at night, a body pillow will do the trick. There are many shapes, sizes and styles to choose from (furry stuffed animal body pillows, anyone?), which makes picking a body pillow almost as fun as the cuddle itself.  

**Be sure to consult your doctor if you are feeling pain of any kind as a result of your sleeping position or pillow choice.**

About The Author

Kari Emerson

Kari Emerson is a NYC-based blogger and model. She is the writer and creator of The Important Things blog, chronicling her experiences navigating life as a 20-something in New York City. Her goal is to help her readers attack “adulting” in a stylish and resourceful way.

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