In ancient civilizations people used rocks as pillows, which was obviously not for comfort. It was a means to prevent bugs from getting into their ears, mouths, and noses. That’s a far cry from today, where you need to know how to choose the right memory foam pillow for your sleep habits because comfort is essential to restful sleep.
Nowadays, there is more to selecting a pillow than just purchasing one online or from a traditional department store. Not only are there many materials, sizes, and shapes to consider, but there are also multiple purposes for pillows.
Can you imagine how picking the right pillow for your sleep habits or sleep position makes a difference in how well you sleep? Whether you can imagine it or not, your pillow choice does affect how well you sleep.
Why Does Choosing The Right Pillow Matter?
Finding your ideal pillow can optimize your restful sleep time by enhancing your sleeping posture. According to Clearwater Chiropractic, your mattress strongly affects how well you sleep. Nevertheless, if you fail to supplement your mattress with the right pillow, you aren’t likely to achieve the kind of restful sleep you need and deserve.
Your most suitable pillow should provide the proper amount of support to your unique sleeping position. Have you ever awoken feeling like you slept wrong? Perhaps you had to rub your neck to relieve some stiffness. If you have ever felt this way, you can correct the problem.
The way to correct sleeping difficulties related to your spinal alignment is by finding a memory foam pillow designed for the way you lie down. Proper sleeping posture is imperative for restful sleep. Therefore, you must consider the position in which you fall asleep when you are choosing the right pillow.
Regardless of your sleep position, your neck and spine should be in proper alignment to ensure a good night’s sleep. Whether you are a back sleeper, stomach sleeper, or side sleeper, you need to have the right amount of neck support.
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What Are The Best Pillows For Back Sleepers?
If you’re a back sleeper, look for a memory foam pillow that is designed to support your head by positioning your neck at the appropriate and natural angle to achieve spinal alignment. The right pillow for back sleepers is a medium loft pillow measuring 3 to 5 inches in thickness.
- A medium height, or loft, pillow is best for back sleepers because it relieves pressure in your shoulders and neck and acts as a buffer between your body and your mattress. A pillow that is too high will create an awkward head and neck position that will cause neck pain. One that is too flat will not provide adequate support.
- As for firmness, the back sleeper requires a pillow with medium support. Your head and neck will have the proper support to result in correct spinal alignment, and the pillow will not go flat during the night. If you choose a pillow that is too soft, it will likely flatten under your head’s weight.
In addition to firmness and height, there are other factors to consider when choosing the right memory foam pillow. For instance, you can choose a pillow with cooling options for a better night’s sleep.
What Pillows Are Best For Side Sleepers?
Side sleepers require a pillow that supports a neutral, relaxed position to provide proper alignment with the spine. Since the most pressure is on your shoulder when you are a side sleeper, a firmer pillow is the preferred choice.
A firmer, fuller pillow will support your head and neck and alleviate the stress on your shoulder.
- Pillows that have more height, or loft, are best for side sleepers since they prop your head up enough to provide ideal spinal alignment. If it feels like your shoulder is digging into your bed mattress, it means your pillow isn’t at a good height or loft.
- Firm neck and head support is the key to helping side sleepers get a restful night’s sleep. A pillow that is too soft will not consistently provide the alignment needed for side sleepers.
Side sleepers may also want to consider choosing a moisture-wicking pillow. Even the best cooling pillows may not provide moisture-wicking solutions. If you’re prone to overheating or sweating during the night, a fabric that naturally absorbs sweat will keep you cooler and more comfortable.
What Pillows Should Stomach Sleepers Use?
Sleeping on your stomach puts more stress on your neck and back. Experts recommend that you change your sleep position to remedy the problem. However, because it’s challenging to change sleep habits overnight, you want to look for a soft, low loft pillow in the meantime. Your spine will be in the most neutral position possible with the right pillow.
- Since the goal is to achieve neutral alignment in the spine, a pillow with a lower height (loft) is what stomach sleepers need. Even a pillow that is a little too high can throw your sleep posture off enough to negate neutral spinal alignment.
- When it comes to the firmness of the stomach sleeper’s pillow, look for a soft one. You need to have a fluffier, more cushioned buffer between your body and the mattress. A softer pillow also prevents your head from being propped up too high.
Stomach sleepers can also benefit from a pillow that allows you to customize the ideal firmness, fluffiness, and shape for your sleep posture. Look for a pillow with adjustable loft options for total customization.
What Are The Benefits Of Choosing Memory Foam Pillows?
One of the most common traits of memory foam pillows is that they conform to your neck and head to allow for a natural sleeping posture. According to Gregory Gasbarro, M.D., a Mercy Medical Center orthopedic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland, memory foam pillows can reduce neck and shoulder pain.
WebMD reports that memory foam pillows put you in the best sleep position that won’t tax your spine.
- Memory foam pillows provide an array of options that fit nearly all types of sleepers. For instance, some provide cooling options, flexible filling, gel additions, etc.
- Memory foam pillows absorb movements, so there is little to no noise produced when you sleep. This helps to reduce sleep interruptions, and whether you sleep alone or have a partner, no one will be disturbed.
- The viscous composition of memory foam pillows gives manufacturers the ability to mold them into a wide array of shapes. This is one of the reasons memory foam is used to make orthopedic pillows.
- Because dust and allergens cannot grow in the dense foam of a memory foam pillow, this pillow is great for people with allergies to certain bacteria and dust mites. Unless you’re allergic to the actual foam, this is an excellent hypoallergenic option.
- Since both one-piece and shredded memory foam pillows are widely available, you can find one to suit your needs almost anywhere.
Are There Any Disadvantages Of Memory Foam Pillows?
Along with the benefits, there are also drawbacks to consider with memory foam pillows. While most of these are easily resolved by choosing the right memory foam pillow, they are legitimate concerns.
- Memory foam tends to stay warm because the nature of the material traps heat, which can make your sleep less comfortable.
- When you first open a memory foam pillow, it gives off an odor called off-gassing. This is due to its synthetic nature. Therefore, it’s advisable to let it sit for a couple of days before sleeping on your new pillow.
- This material is not highly responsive, leaving some people feeling stuck as they try to shift positions or sides while sleeping.
- Most memory foam pillows have a lifespan of about three years, so they aren’t considered a very durable option. Eventually, the material will lose the ability to retain its shape. If you buy a higher quality pillow, it may last longer.
What Are The Types Of Memory Foam Pillows?
Since there are a plethora of memory foam brands and manufacturers with their own variations of traits, it’s essential to understand the various differences in them. While these manufacturers and brands tend to succeed in their goals, there are still challenges in knowing what’s best for you. Therefore, you should be aware of the basics regarding memory foam pillow types.
There Are Two Primary Types Of Memory Foam Pillows.
When there is a single piece of memory foam in a pillow, it’s considered a one-piece pillow. The shape can be traditional, curved, or tailored to a shape to fit the neck and head. The one-piece memory foam pillow concept is slower to respond to pressure made by lying on it. After you take your head off the one-piece pillow, it returns to its initial shape.
Memory foam pillows with shredded filling can be either 100 percent memory foam, or it can be a blend along with materials like fiberfill or latex. One of the appealing traits of shredded memory foam pillows is that you can add or remove the shredded filling to customize your pillow loft and shape, to a certain extent. This type of pillow also provides better airflow when compared with its one-piece counterpart.
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What Are The Main Differences Between One-Piece And Shredded Foam Pillows?
- Support: Shredded pillows require adjustments as you move at night. One-piece pillows are firmer and retain their shape better.
- Fluffing: Shredded memory foam pillows require fluffing, while a one-piece pillow will never need fluffing.
- Temperature: Shredded foam pillows keep a neutral temperature, leaving space for good airflow between the shredded foam. One-piece foam pillows retain heat.
- Shaping: The ability to mold shredded memory foam pillows gives them an edge over one-piece versions, since these styles are not moldable.
- Weight: Overall, memory foam pillows weigh more than down or fiberfill pillows. Shredded versions weigh less than one-piece foam pillows.
What Are Other Factors For Choosing A Memory Foam Pillow?
Memory foam retains heat. Heat retention causes your body to become restlessly warm, interrupting your sleep. However, manufacturers have developed methods to prevent the pillow from getting too warm while you sleep. Shredded memory foam pillows allow sufficient airflow, helping you to stay cool as you sleep.
The firmness of your pillow is dependent upon your body type, sleep position, and personal preferences. Memory foam pillows commonly range from soft-medium to medium in firmness level. The one-piece type provides only one level of firmness, while shredded foam pillows allow you to customize between soft-medium to medium.
The loft of a pillow relates to its height. Finding a pillow with the ideal loft is crucial to restful sleep. If the loft is too high, it throws off the neutral balance in the spine needed to sleep well. If it’s too low, it’s not providing proper support. Shredded foam pillows offer customizable loft, but one-piece memory foam pillows are usually medium to high in loft. Another option to consider are one-piece pillows that use removable foam inserts to allow for some level of loft customization.
Memory foam offers superior pressure reduction whether you choose the shredded or one-piece design. Memory foam conforms closely to your head and neck, relieving pressure. You will find that memory foam is commonly used for making orthopedic pillows that alleviate neck pain.
Most memory foam pillows come with a medium price point, though shredded types are priced slightly higher than the one-piece types. When you are choosing the right memory foam pillow for your sleep habits consider looking for special offers, like getting free memory foam pillows with the purchase of a mattress.
Memory foam quality relates mostly to the materials used in making the pillow. If you find a memory foam pillow that cannot consistently bounce back to its initial form after sleeping on it, this will adversely affect its ability to relieve pressure. Pillows with high-quality memory foam last longer than lesser quality versions. This difference is reflected in pricing.
The consideration of your sleeping position should take priority as this determines the memory foam pillow best suited to you. Side sleepers should look at one-piece types because they have a higher loft and are most well-suited to them. Stomach sleepers need a shredded memory foam pillow that they can customize with most of the loft removed. Back sleepers should choose either type to fit their level of comfort.
Does Pillow Size Matter?
Generally, the size of the pillow you choose isn’t related to how well you sleep, so it is a personal preference more than a rule. Typically, pillow size selection simply relates to the size of your bed. Pillow size only matters if it matters to you.
For instance, if you have a king-size bed, you want to use king-size pillows for uniformity. The same concept follows for queen and full beds. If you have a twin bed, you can use a queen-size pillow instead of the standard size.
You may also want a body pillow for extra support or comfort. This pillow size is suitable for a twin-size bed if you have room for one.
Memory foam pillows come in more than just bed pillows. You can also find them in seat cushions, body pillows, travel pillows, neck pillows, orthopedic pillows, throw pillows, and more.
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Memory Foam Pillow FAQs
Can You Clean Memory Foam Pillows?
If you have a shredded memory foam pillow, it is likely machine washable. On the other hand, one-piece versions must be spot cleaned. If you don’t maintain your memory foam pillows by using the recommended cleaning and drying methods, they can generate mold. When you are spot cleaning your pillows be sure not to get them too wet.
What Is The Average Cost Of Memory Foam Pillows?
If you are looking at high-quality memory foam pillows, prices start around $50 and can go up to $150 or higher. Pricing will vary depending on the size, features, density, shape, pillow covers, and other factors.
Generally, they are higher priced than polyester down alternative pillows, but less expensive than traditional down or buckwheat pillows. You can find discounts and special pricing on them, depending on where you shop.
When you want the best prices for the highest quality memory foam pillows, doing your own research online is recommended.
It’s Time To Get Quality Sleep
When you are choosing the right memory foam pillow for your sleep habits, quality matters. According to the National Library of Medicine, we spend around one-third of our lives either sleeping or trying to sleep, so the need for a quality pillow is vital.
Your sleep positions and memory foam pillow needs may change over the years. Knowing what’s available and which options are suited to your sleep position is essential, not only to a good night’s sleep, but also to your overall well-being and quality of life.
There are many benefits of choosing memory foam pillows that will help you get the quality of sleep you need. It’s well worth the investment to find the right pillow for your sleep habits.
Now that you have some ideas for how to choose the right memory foam pillow for your sleep habits, you can finally get the restful night’s sleep you desire.