After a long day of work, whether it is at the office, watching the kids, or taking care of business from home, there is nothing better than enjoying a full night of blissful slumber. And there is nothing worse than tossing and turning all night because of a pillow that doesn’t seem to share your passion for good sleep! You’ve had enough of this relationship. It’s time to move on. Surely there must be a perfect pillow for you out there somewhere! What are some of the options?
Down and Feather Pillows
Some of the best pillows for sleeping fall into the feather category, the down category, or more commonly a mixture of both. Straight up feather pillows provide medium support, tend to be drier and fresher due to the feathers absorbing moisture, and tend to stay cooler in hot weather. They are recommended for back and side sleepers.
Down pillows, on the other hand, are softer than feather pillows, and more moldable. Many stomach sleepers prefer to use down pillows. The downside is that they tend to lack the support of the feather pillows. Oh, and did you know that they’re pricey, too? According to one review site, the average price of a down pillow is $87! If you want to bring this pillow into your life, make sure your bank account can afford him!
Generally speaking, feather pillows with some down added in bring out the best of both materials. One caveat: stomach sleepers may not like this type of pillow, as they may feel like they are settling too far into the pillow when they lay down.
Latex pillows definitely tend to be denser than pillows of the down and feather variety. They have good support, and are more durable than other pillow types. Generally side sleepers report the most satisfaction from using latex pillows, as they have a good combination of loft, support, and softness.
There are some potential disadvantages to using latex pillows. One is that oftentimes a newly purchased latex pillow will come with an odor that is, um, less than pleasant. You may have to spend a little time polishing this “diamond in the rough” before he meets your expectations as to what a proper pillow should smell like! Also, some buyers have reported that they felt like they were resting their head on a rubber ball or a balloon. Whether that’s a pro or a con depends on how you feel about rubber balls and balloons.
Memory Foam Pillows
This pillow is a bit of a science geek: memory foam technology was initially used by NASA, but in 1992 it was commercially released for public consumption. The basic science behind it is that instead of using normal elastic polyurethane, which tends to quickly bounce back to its original shape after pressure has been released, manufacturers use viscoelastic material that more slowly reverts to where it was. In memory foam pillows, this has allowed for more conformity to the outline of the neck, head, and body. Many owners say that memory foam has reduced their neck pain, and they find it very comfortable.
There are two types of memory foam pillows: shredded and 1-piece. Basically, shredded memory foam offers more moldability and less stability than a 1-piece. Some feel that memory foam pillows are excessively firm, and there can be an initial “off-gassing,” or release of odor upon purchase. A few owners also feel that the pillow’s heat retention is bothersome, an issue that can be somewhat alleviated by the right pillow protector.
Buckwheat pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls, the small protective coverings that enclose buckwheat kernels. Their main strength is their support and adjustability. Back sleepers tend to enjoy using buckwheat; in fact, at least 20% of owners have reported less neck pain. There is typically little to no heat buildup. As far as adjustability, this pillow takes what you give him; if you find the right amount of hulls to put into the pillow for your sleeping needs, you may find that this becomes your go-to slumber accessory!
As for drawbacks: buckwheat pillows can be expensive, they can be heavy, and they can be noisy, with the hulls shifting around. Generally these are not recommended for stomach sleepers.
Well, have you found the right pillow for you? There’s no doubt that finding that perfect pillow can make your nightly slumber a heavenly experience. There are so many factors to consider when seeking the best sleep experience for you, including the types of food you eat, the mattress you lay on, your temperature needs, and even the chemicals and substances that surround you at night. Hopefully you will find that perfect pillow for you soon, if you haven’t already!