Pillows are the least thought yet most important bedding product. We spend almost 7-8 hours of our day with our head on these pillows. They are as important as a mattress when it comes to quality sleep.
Like the mattress, the pillows too come with an expiry date and hence, they must also be replaced after a certain period of time. It is normally believed that the pillow comes with a lifespan of 18-36 months. If you have exceeded that time interval, which in most of the cases I assume they did, then its time to replace it.
You may even perform some simple tests to check whether your pillow is fine or needs a replacement:
You may check for sweat stains or smell or may check if it’s torn somewhere. If any, then you know that it is time to change the pillow. They are something that you put your face on while sleeping. They collect the shredded dead skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and even dust mites. These organisms have a tendency of interfering with your sleep, triggering allergies and sometimes they even put out odor making it difficult to sleep.
If your pillow passes these tests, then try fold test. Just take your pillow and fold it into the half. If it regains its original shape after releasing then it passes the test else it is of no use. Leaving you with only one option: to go out and get the right pillow for you.
How to pick the right pillow?
The right pillow has no particular definition. It ranges from person to person. The best way to consider the right pillow is to make a list of qualities you want in your pillow and then use your right judgment to choose the right one.
There is a wide range of options available in the market to choose from. Every option comes with its pro and cons. It just depends upon the requirements and preferences of the individual.
Synthetic pillows have gained a lot of popularity these days. These pillows are light-weighted, easy to maintain, ideal for people with allergies and they are affordable too. The only problem faced by the people using these pillows is that they have a shorter lifespan and they flatten quickly.
Down pillows, also known as feather pillows, are the softest pillows. They last long and are easy to shape. Though they are not a good option for the side sleepers as they do not provide proper support to the spine and neck.
Latex pillows are firmer in comparison to the down pillow. They are long lasting, comfortable and hold their shape. They are even resistant to molds and dust mites. Though they are heavy and expensive.
Memory foam pillows are also becoming popular these days due to their nature of conforming to the individual’s body shape. They evenly distribute the weight across its surface. They are popular amongst people with neck pain, head pain or pressure point. Though they come with one problem, they do not regulate temperature hence cause sweating and discomfort.
The pillow weight depends upon the filling you choose. If you choose synthetic or down, then your pillow would be a light weighted pillow while if you choose a Latex or memory form pillow then it would be heavier.
The weight of the pillow is the personal preference of an individual.
After choosing the pillow filling, the next step is to choose the fill quality. Select the highest quality as per your budget since a pillow is something you will spend your one-third of the day with.
Fill quality ensures the comfort, support, and longevity of your pillow.
The size of the pillow should be in alignment with your sleep posture. It should be such that your head, neck, and shoulders are in proper alignment with your spine. Also, make sure to choose the pillow covers of the right size. Don’t stuff a big pillow in a small cover or vice-versa.
Pillows also come in special shapes to provide additional support for your neck and head. Cervical and Contoured pillows are available in the market that may help you support your neck and back. Contoured pillows even provide relief for the pressure points in the body.
Some of the pillows made from synthetic materials may have gone through some chemical processes. It is better to know your options and make an investment accordingly. While selecting a pillow, make sure it works fine along with your allergies or sensitivities.
Your sleeping position highly affects the kind of pillow that you choose.
If you are a side sleeper, then the height of the pillow is the most important factor to consider. Choose a pillow having medium to high thickness, a firm pillow will help align the neck with the spine.
A low-density pillow placed in between the knees would align the pelvis and upper hip with the lower back.
Stomach sleeper, on the other hand, may require a soft pillow underneath their head. A pillow under your stomach and pelvis may help you prevent back pain.
Back sleepers require a flatter pillow for proper alignment of head and neck. They may require a soft pillow but in case of neck pain or back pain, additional support might be required as well.
Ignoring your pillow is like ignoring a comfortable, restful night. Don’t avoid it. Just like a mattress, it is also an investment to a healthy body. Just go out there explore the options and then buy the one that is most suitable for your needs.
After all, we deserve a perfect sleep after the hardships we face every day.