How To Choose The Right Pillow For a Comfortable Night’s Sleep

 Young woman comfortably lying under blanket while using the right pillow

Doctors recommend a solid eight hours of sleep every night, but for many, achieving a restful night’s sleep is a difficult task. Many stress out about getting the right amount of sleep to the point that it hinders their ability to stay asleep or go to sleep at all, but your bedroom should definitely be a place of relaxation, not stress. Curating a sleeping space that promotes maximum comfort can help you associate sleep with its restorative and healthy benefits: think soft, sumptuous, “on-a-cloud” comfort that envelopes you in pure relaxation.  

Aside from comfort, your sleep set up should support healthy body posture and positioning. Often aches and pains after sleeping are a direct result of strained posture, causing your neck and shoulders all the way down to your hips and legs to feel misaligned. This pain, whether it’s mild or severe, can affect your mood causing irritability and a lack of energy. From a mental health standpoint, your whole day feels off when you don’t sleep well the night before.

Pillows are a perfect place to start when considering how to improve your sleep and wake up well-rested in the morning. Simple yet effective, choosing the right pillow for sleeping can positively impact your body and mind. 

How The Wrong Pillow Affects You

Young man lying on a bed suffering from the negative effects of using the wrong pillow

Pillows provide support to your head, neck, and shoulders while you sleep. Resting on a pillow that’s too high or too flat can negatively affect your posture, causing interrupted sleep and signaling discomfort during your waking hours. Muscle pain, back aches, insomnia, migraines, and feeling drained could all be due to using pillows that don’t offer the correct support you need while you recharge. 

5 Considerations On How To Find The Right Pillow 

All pillows are not created equal. There are many factors to consider when you pick a pillow, and what works best for you may not be the best solution for someone else. Regardless of your personal preference, there are 5 simple ways you can determine which pillow is right as you design the resting space of your dreams.

Young woman in a pillow store choosing the perfect pillow for her bed 

1.) Choose Quality Materials

The higher quality, the more restful your sleep will be. Pillows with lower quality materials tend to bunch, fold, and have difficulty retaining their most effective shape. Once a pillow is distorted, it can no longer give you ample support. Before you pick your perfect pillow, know which materials best suit your comfort needs and how they can properly promote good sleep.

What You Need To Know About Pillow Materials

Fill or Fibers

Fill (sometimes called fibers) is what’s inside the pillow to make it plush and soft. Common fill materials include memory foam, cotton, wool, polyester, down, and down alternatives. 

Woman's hand holding Polyester stable fiber pillow fill

Different fills create different levels of density, breathability, coolness, and comfort. For instance, a memory foam pillow adapts to the shape of your head rather quickly, but it can also trap heat while you sleep. Down pillows boast high quality but can fall flat over an extended period of rest. 

Hypoallergenic

What a pillow is made of is also important if you suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin. Materials like cotton are typically hypoallergenic, while some synthetic fabrics, down, and feather pillows have the potential to trigger allergies and disrupt your sleep. 

If allergies are an issue for you, choose a pillow made from hypoallergenic materials like the Beckham Hotel Collection down alternative pillow. Down alternative is a great, luxurious option that won't trigger allergies. Additionally, pillows with the OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certification ensure that your pillow has been tested and deemed free of harmful substances to a strict, high standard.

2.) Look at Loft

Loft refers to the height your pillow provides for your head to rest and help better align your neck and shoulders. Firm pillows give the greatest amount of loft, while soft pillows are a good choice for sleepers who don’t need a lot of shoulder and neck support. 

3.) Right-Size Your Pillows

Matching the pillow’s size to its corresponding mattress size not only creates a sleek, symmetrical look to your comfort quarters but also allows for proper proportions as it lays on the bed and as you lie down. Standard sized pillows are a sensible option for twin and full sized beds. Otherwise, queen and king sized pillows are the best choice for their respective sizes. If you have broad shoulders or prefer extra surface area, opt for a larger pillow size. 

4.) Pay Attention to Your Sleep Style

Young couple sleeping comfortably with blankets and pillows 

Identifying how you prefer to sleep will also aid in finding the right pillow. Typically, there are three types of sleeping positions: lying on your back, side, or stomach. Each sleep position requires a different level of loft from your pillow to make sure the neck, back, and rest of the body is in proper alignment.

Thin to medium pillows work best for those who tend to rest on their backs. This provides support without creating a harsh angle, which causes strain to the neck. If you sleep on your stomach, a soft, thin pillow helps to keep the head level and avoid pain to the neck and lower back. Side sleepers require extra height in their pillows to effectively bolster the head and alleviate unwanted pressure on the neck and shoulders. For optimal posture alignment, firm pillows are recommended.

5. Pillow Cleaning & Care

Woman fluffing pillows and placing them on her bed

A good pillowcase protects your pillow from surface contact and extends its life. However, a pillowcase isn’t the only way to maintain its quality and keep it hygienic and clean. Washing the pillows in addition to frequent pillowcase cleaning is crucial to proper pillow maintenance. Regularly cleaning your pillows eliminates the threat of bacteria or mold and deodorizes the fabric.

The materials inside a pillow inform how to properly care for it—many pillows are washing machine safe, including ours, but some require handwashing. Always check the care instructions on the specific pillows you choose to preserve their density and shape. The type of pillow you purchase may also require special care. For instance, there are different tips and techniques for washing cooling bed pillows  to keep them dust and dirt-free. 

Young woman sitting on her bed with a pillow in her arms

Now that you have compiled research on the right pillow for you, you can apply your newly acquired knowledge and pick pillows that will elevate your relaxation space. Enjoy uninterrupted sleep and the experience of the exceptional comfort you deserve so you can enjoy a more well-rested life. Happy sleeping!

Looking for more information on how to choose the right pillow that matches your needs? Fill out this pillow quiz for more insights!