For a good night’s sleep, it’s not just the bed that matters. A lot of other factors such as a relaxing environment, cool and neat bedspreads, comfy blankets or quilts, and of course, the pillows matter too. However, when it comes to it, perhaps, it’s the pillows that we most often pay less attention to. We don’t go out and research what pillow to buy or where to buy it from. We pick it up in supermarkets and then forget about it for a few years. However, it’s good to know that there are different varieties of pillows, and some are meant for specific purposes. For example, if you suffer from back, neck, or shoulder pain, it may be a good idea to check which pillow suits you most.
Memory foam pillows
These are filled with pieces of memory foam and are suitable for most sleeping positions through the night. They are firm and yet comforting and durable too. Its biggest advantage is that it moulds according to the contours of the body to give a comfortable sleep. Thus, it keeps your spine aligned and can prevent snoring due to the elevated head position. This is a good option for people suffering from head, neck, and shoulder pain, and most cervical or orthopaedic pillows have memory form filling. The material is breathable and distributes weights to relieve pressure points and provide comfort. It doesn’t cost more than the traditional pillows and is often suggested as a therapeutic aid. Just be sure to air it before use to remove the chemical smell when it is newly unpacked.
Possibly the soft, cushy pillows you snuggled into some five-star hotel was a down pillow. It is filled with feathers from the underside of birds as in the case of down quilts. However, while it is soft with a good feel, it is not suitable for people suffering from any body aches.
These synthetic pillows have mostly taken over most Indian households today. They are soft, hypoallergenic, easily available, inexpensive, and also easy to maintain. These can be machine-washed, and they are durable and can run for years. Some polyester pillow manufacturers have tweaked their products to provide relief to the head and neck.
These days you also get microfibre, cotton, and bamboo fibre filling pillows. These are washable and durable and can be disposed of in an environmentally way. Also, they are durable and reduce waste.
What to consider when buying a pillow?
A few factors to consider when buying a pillow are cost, durability, maintenance, special needs such as body aches and functionality, the breathability of the material, etc. Even your sleeping position should influence your pillow choice. For example, back or stomach sleepers should opt for a low density one, whereas side sleepers should opt for a high density one. Also, if you have neck pain, then you should also have a travel pillow handy to carry along during journeys. Also, there are back support or wedge pillows available these days for support while sitting or sleeping in a specific position. These are very good and comfortable for alleviating pains.
Care and replacement
For pillow care, kindly follow the washing instructions given on the pack. Traditional cotton pillows have to be aired in sun and cannot be washed. However, over time, most pillows do lose shape and hygiene is an issue, especially because of sweat, oil, hair fall, dandruff, etc. Changing pillow covers and periodic washing can help maintain hygiene.
However, most pillows start losing shape, sagging, or developing lumps, which is when we wake up with neck or shoulder pain. Ideally, pillows should be changed every 2 years, especially if you are waking up with a sore neck. Also, old pillows become less hygienic and attract more allergens. Thus, replacing them at least once in 3 years is best. Polyester pillows may have to be changed in 2 years.