How the right pillow can help you get a good night's sleep

How the right pillow can help you get a good night's sleep

Tunde from our linens department is an expert on pillows and an advocate of the right fit for you. We hope her advice will be useful here, but don't forget you can come and see our Linens team if you want some face to face advice. 

Something to bear in mind is that we spend approximately one third of our lives in bed! So in life you deserve a good pair of shoes, a good mattress and an excellent pillow. A poor night’s sleep can ruin your day. So let's avoid that and find the best pillow for a comfortable nights sleep.

You have plenty of options to choose from in our store. We also have plenty of samples for you to try from our range, so don't be shy and test some out.

We are all very different and so are  pillows so which one is the best for you?

It depends on the following:

Your mattress hardness

If you are keen to spend a bit on a good mattress, it will only be worth it if you will buy the right pillow to match it. The mattress hardness has an effect on the pillow’s thickness. If you have a softer mattress your shoulder may sink into it and therefor a thinner pillow may suffice. If you have a harder mattress the opposite is true.

How broad your shoulders are

A person with broad shoulders and a wide neck will probably need a firm pillow to get the right support. 

Your sleeping position

Sleep positionsWhat is the best sleeping posture? We don't think there is a definitive answer for that but flat on your back is a winner according to most experts. It reduces pressure on your muscles and joints and even prevents your face from wrinkling since it is not being pressed into the pillow. The only disadvantage is that a person sleeping on their back is more likely to snore! 

The danger of sleeping on your side is that if your pillow is too far down, your head ’falls’ causing your upper neck muscles to constantly stretch.

Either way, an important thing to remember is to keep your spine straight. An incorrect thickness or a poorly designed pillow will lead to a bad and restless night’s sleep and over time can create problems for the spine and muscle tension. A small trick I’ve been using for many years is to place a small pillow between your knees, especially when you sleep on our side. It keeps your knees comfortable, your pelvis aligned and  your spine supported. Try it out!

  • A medium hard pillow is the best option when you sleep on your back or side. It has to be large enough to hold up the head and neck but not so large that the head is tilted too far forward.
  • If you prefer to sleep on your front (you are a tummy sleeper) the best option is a soft, thin pillow (like a goose down one).

 For more information on sleeping positions in regards to health and even what it says about you read more here.

Filling of the pillow

A pillows filling provides support and comfort for the user. It can be natural (feather and/or down – goose or duck – and wool) or synthetic (hollowfibre or microfiber made of polyester). The filling is extremely important to anyone with allergies as natural fillings are likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Non-allergenic – the material itself will not cause an allergic reaction but triggers such as dust mites can still be present over time. This is also what hypoallergenic means.

Anti-allergy – the material is not only non-allergenic, but is actively preventing or minimizing an allergic reaction.

For synthetics the base fibres don't not give off any dust unlike natural fibres and this in itself make it non-allergenic.

The one pillow to mention here comes from Dunlopillo – it has 100% breathable latex for extra comfort.

Natural fillings such as feather or down do give off dust particles and aren't recommended for those with allergies but are absolutely fine for those without.

The wool pillow  is also non-allergenic - there is a rare allergy to lanolin a natural oil in wool, but when people think they have a wool allergy it is more commonly a sensitivity to to the texture rather than the lanolin allergy. If you think you may be allergic to wool it is worth getting this checked by your doctor. With a pillow case on top and a smooth finish to the pllow this sensitivity to texture can be non-existant. The main benefit to wool is that it has thermoregulation properties which means it keeps your face warm in winter and cool in summer. Pretty useful.

Memory Foam

If you like a firm pillow you may like the memory foam pillow (normal shape or V-Shaped). The memory foam keeps its shape through the night to ensure you get a good nights sleep and helps to provide a comfortable temperature during sleep. 

V shape pillowA V-Shape is excellent for reading and listening to music. If you like reading in bed, the best support would be a memory foam pillow which you can put behind your back in bed.

Whatever the shape, when you buy the pillow in the box it will have been pressed so you should depress your pillow before you use it, by taking it out of the box and plumping it, then just leaving it. It takes 4-5 hours to reform properly. Psst - we have a half price deal on the Dreamtime Deluxe Memory Foam Sensation Pillow with Bamboo and Satin Cover right now!

Price

Dreamstime pillow

We have pillows ranging from £9 up to around £65. Pillows have a minimum life expectancy of around 5 years. But I would suggest changing your pillow every year for hygiene reasons. If that seems a bit much at the higher priced end of the pillows, think of it as 15p a night for a goods night sleep as opposed to £2 a day for that coffee gone in 5 minutes.

While I was writing this article I had a chance to serve a customer from the US. He moved to Oxford 2 months ago and was looking for a good pillow. I let him try many different ones and was able to answer a lot of questions that he had. I come from Hungary and I’m aware that my English is not perfect. Fortunately, the pillows speak for themselves! He bought a wool pillow.

See all the pillows on our website here

23rd June 2015

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