by Chris Chamberlin, co-founder of The Clean Bedroom
A pillow’s diminutive size belies its colossal importance to both a good night’s sleep and good health. The right pillow encourages and supports proper alignment of the neck and spine, leading to easier breathing, a deeper night’s sleep (with less tossing and turning) and reduced strain on muscles and joints to help ease chronic pain. In a word: Aah.
Plenty of pillow varieties are available, with a range of cover materials and types of fill. With so many options, here are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the right pillow:
Preferred Sleep Position:
o Back sleepers should consider a pillow that’s thin at the center with good neck support, like Naturally Organic Oyasumi Shredded Rubber Contour Pillow by Sleeptek—it features GOLS Certified Latex in an adjustable baffled system for customizable neck support.
o Side sleepers should consider a thicker pillow to compensate for the space between the shoulder and the head and neck, like the Organic Wooly Bolas Pillow by Suite Sleep—it’s extra-stuffed, with a zipper to add or subtract fill as needed, and can be ordered with additional fill.
o Stomach sleepers should consider a thinner pillow to keep the neck from craning, like the Alpaca Wool Pillow by Crescent Moon—it’s available in soft and medium fill.
The right pillow is very personal, and doesn’t always match with sleep position. A broad-shouldered side sleeper, for instance, can use a pillow with softer fill, as long as the pillow has a good amount of fill; conversely, the same person might opt for a lower profile pillow with less give if the preference is for a firmer feel.
· Mattress Firmness: The same pillow will perform differently on a soft mattress than it does on a firm mattress, so mattress type needs to be taken into consideration when choosing the right pillow. It’s important to find an all-natural or organic mattress in a sleep showroom like The Clean Bedroom that replicates the feeling of sleeping at home, and then test pillows on that mattress while in the preferred sleep position.
· Personal Build: Everyone has his or her own unique body type, which is why it’s critical to test-drive (or test-nap!) a pillow in a true sleep setting to get a proper fitting.
The pillow is a powerhouse, but it can only do so much—for the best night’s sleep and the best health, the pillow works in tandem with the mattress. If the mattress doesn’t properly contour to the sleeper’s shape (especially men, with a typical “V” shape), the shoulder will be pressed out from the mattress and cause strain on both the neck and shoulder, regardless of the pillow.*
Looking to make a change? Here are two ways to get a NEW pillow:
1. SAVE: 20% OFF organic pillows going on NOW through July 31st
2. WIN: Instagram Contest #TCBpillowfight : post the pic of your desperate pillow to be entered to WIN a brand new Naturally Organic Oyasumi rubber pillow! WINNER chosen Friday July 18 at 7pm EST.
* Excerpted from original article, titled The Secret is Picking the Perfect Pillow, published in Essential Living Maine, June 2014