Pillows affect not only the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge. Here are a few questions to ask to make sure you buy and maintain the right one.
Do you like a soft or firm pillow?
The "loft" of a bed pillow is determined by the volume of its fill. In a firm pillow, the fill will be tighter. In a soft pillow, it will be lighter.
What size do you need?
For a twin bed, you'll most likely choose the standard size; for a queen bed, you'd want to get two queens or two standards. For a king bed, you'd get two king pillows or four standards. If you prefer a large pillow to snuggle with on a smaller bed, use a king on a twin. If you want a stack of large pillows to lean against, choose as many as is comfortable. You could easily choose four or six standard pillows for a king-size bed. Luxury hotels use four kings on a queen bed. The choice is yours.
Do you sleep on your back, side, or stomach?
The way you sleep will affect the loft of your pillow, and different positions require different types of support. The goal is to help keep your head in what is called a "neutral alignment," meaning it's sitting squarely on your shoulders without bending back or forward too far. Most good-quality manufacturers give information about the best use for the type of pillow you're considering. Try out several variations to find what works for you.
Are you worried about allergies?
Some people think they can't use down if they have allergies, but there are certain downs that have been specially cleaned to remove common allergens. Choose a fill that's synthetic if you're concerned — poly-cluster can be a great substitute for down, but any synthetic option can be considered hypoallergenic. And make sure you change your cases regularly.
Pillow protectors can help extend the life of your pillow. You can test whether a pillow is "dead" by seeing whether it springs back after you fold it in half. If it doesn't, it's time to get a new one.
How do you care for your pillow?