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Factors like your mattress and sleep posture determine the overall quality of your sleep. It means the difference between waking up feeling vibrant and waking up groggy and with a stiff neck. However, your pillow also plays a role; having the right pillow is just as important as having the right mattress and maintaining a good sleep position. If it’s time for your pillow to be replaced, then make your next pillow a one that provides comfort for your head and neck.
First of all, keep in mind that a standard foam pillow that you purchase at your local store for $3 may not be ideal. Sure, it’s cheap, but the foam compresses easily and loses its fluffiness within a matter of weeks. If not replaced, then you end up with a flattened pillow that does not conform to your head and neck, which results in pain and stiffness the next morning.
When buying a pillow, always be familiar with the type of filling used. Down feathers are a common filling type that provides comfort and are far longer lasting than your standard foam. With this option, the end points of the feathers are removed, so no need to worry about constantly getting poked by the protruding stems.
If you prefer a firmer support, then consider a memory foam pillow. Memory foam is known for its ability to conform to your body shape, which provides the optimal level of support for your head and neck. The foam, however, is also known for generating heat and might not be appropriate for those who sweat easily. Memory foam typically comes in two types: springy and polyester. Both will conform to your body and return to its original shape when not in use. Springy foam is the more durable of the two; however, polyester foam also gets the job done reasonably and at a more affordable price tag.
The thread count is something else to consider. The average 20” by 26” pillow has a thread count of around 300 and is sufficient for most sleepers. However, for a little more support and durability, aim for a thread count of 500-800. Some brands even go as high as 1,000; of course, these are a little pricier, but they’ll also last a lot longer.
You will also need to take any special needs into account. Consider, for example, whether you have allergies or are a snorer. Some pillows use a filling that is formulated to repel dust and mites. Others are designed to prevent snoring by keeping your head in a specific position to keep the airways open.
Finally, decide whether your current pillow needs to be replaced at all. You can perform the fluff test to make a determination. To do this, fold your pillow in half and see if it remains folded or is able to unfold on its own. A pillow that remains folded is worn, no longer able to efficiently trap air, and should be replaced.
A good night’s rest determines the quality of your morning. A pillow is one of the factors that shape the quality of your sleep and should be given as much consideration as your mattress and sleep posture.