If you’ve spent even ten minutes browsing the Internet for a new pillow, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot to choose from. So… how are you supposed to know which pillow is the right one for you? Specially for the weather in Malaysia, it is also important to choose a pillow with good airflow so that it stays cool at all night. Well, allow me to take you through my personal process of picking the pillow that’s going to keep your posture healthy, but also satisfy all your unique sleep needs.
Some of you may noticed that our Hotelier Prestigio™ Luxe Pillow, but if not, don’t worry! For this article, we'll explain some tips so that you can get a better sense of which type of pillow is perfect for you.
How Do I Pick The Perfect Pillow?
Okay, let’s start from square one. At the end of the day, your pillow’s most important job is to support you in your go-to sleeping position, all night long. And when I say, “support,” I don’t just mean that it feels soft and cozy. The right pillow should keep your head, neck, and spine, all in neutral alignment, and support the natural curvature of your spine. Keeping a neutral spine not only alleviates neck pain, it also relieves pressure throughout your entire body.
Pro Tip: If you’re not exactly sure how to tell if your spine is in neutral alignment, check to make sure your ears are in line with your shoulders, and your chin is in line with your sternum.
Now, here’s the tricky part: each sleeping position requires a different type of pillow in order to maintain healthy posture. But before I tell you exactly what each style of sleeper should look for, don’t forget about the fun part of pillow shopping! Once you’ve covered your body’s needs, and you’ve found a pillow that supports a neutral spine, you can dive into all the little details that satisfy your wants. There are, after all, hundreds of pillows out there, so you might as well find the one that’s perfectly suited to you.
You know your sleeping position is just one reflection of your slumber habits, and there’s a lot more to consider when you’re on the hunt for your perfect pillow. For example, hot sleepers, memory foam fans, eco-friendly folks, and latex lovers are all likely to want specific types of pillows in order to accommodate their personal preferences. Remember: your pillow should always support a healthy posture, but it should also be compatible with your whole self.
When is it time to replace your pillow?
As a general rule, bed pillows need to be replaced after 18 months. Memory foam pillows typically last longer, up to three years. Natural pillows tend to last longer than synthetic pillows. And higher quality pillows will last longer than inexpensive ones. If you’re using pillow that’s five or six years old, you’re not getting the support you need—and you’re not sleeping as comfortably as you could.
It may seem like a short life, but think about it: your pillow gets used about 7-8 hours a night—that’s more than 2,500 hours a year! Like your mattress, your pillow is an investment in high-quality sleep, which pays dividends across your waking life.
If you’re not sure whether your pillow has life left in it or not, you can do some simple tests:
First, take off the pillowcase and over, and examine your pillow. Does it have stains from sweat? Is it torn? Does it smell? These are all signs of a pillow that needs replacing. Pillows collect dead skin cells, mildew, mold, fungus, and dust mites (as well as their feces). Over time, as much as half the weight of a pillow can be attributed to these unwelcome organisms, which can trigger allergies, interfere with breathing during sleep, and put out odors that make it harder to sleep well.
If your pillow passes the sight and smell test, it’s time to do the fold test:
Fold your pillow in half. If it just lies there folded, rather than springing back to its original shape, that is a dead pillow. With natural fill pillows, you can do this test over your arm. Does your pillow drape and hang down over your extended arm? That’s a pillow that’s exhausted its useful life.
With synthetic pillows, fold in half and add some weight to the top—a sneaker or shoe works well. Take the weight away, and if your pillow doesn’t spring back to its original shape, it’s time for a replacement.
With large, king-size pillows—whether natural or synthetic—you’ll want to fold into thirds, rather than in half.
Does your mattress matter to your pillow choice?
Another YES. If you use a firm mattress, then a softer pillow may be better, because the pillow is lying on a firm surface and needs to adapt to the pressure of the weight of your head in your starting sleep position. If you have had a softer mattress, then a firmer pillow may be better to keep your head and neck aligned.
Don’t ignore your pillow! It’s such an important element of your sleep environment, and having the right one under your head can make for more comfortable, restful nights.