Quality sleep is unnegotiable when it comes to good health. But what about when your sleep starts to cause your pain? Surprisingly, this is more common than you might think, and often this all comes down to your mattress or pillow. In fact, a good pillow might make all the difference when it comes to thwarting shoulder and neck pain.
So, if you wake up with a stiff neck and feel as though you didn’t get a good night’s rest, it’s time to take a closer look at your pillow. You literally spend hours of your life with your head on your pillow, so let’s find out how to choose the best for your body—and your budget. Keep reading to find out more.
How to Choose a Good Pillow
A good pillow supports your neck so that it remains neutrally aligned with your spine. It isn’t bent too far back or forward or at an unnatural side-ways angle (towards one of your shoulders).
When your neck is adequately supported, the muscles around your neck and shoulders relax, which reduces tension while you sleep. How you sleep changes the support your neck needs, let’s take a closer look.
Figure Out Your Sleeping Style
Everybody is unique, from their sleeping position to their size and weight. To choose the right pillow, you’ll first need to figure out your sleeping style and then take into account other aspects that influence your sleep at night.
There are four main sleeping styles that require different pillow needs. These include:
- Back sleeping (a medium to firm pillow)
- Side sleeping (a medium to firm pillow)
- Tummy sleeping (a soft pillow) – NOT IDEAL!!
- Mixed sleeping (a medium-density pillow or two soft pillows)
Take note of the position you feel the most relaxed in before you fall asleep. Also, take note of the position you wake up in. If you share the bed with a partner, they can also confirm your typical sleeping position, helping you solve this piece of the puzzle.
Do You Have Any Other Sleeping Needs?
Ultimately, the perfect pillow for you might come down to a few other factors. Thus, keep the following things in mind when you go shopping—you don’t want to regret your investment!
- Do you snore? There are special pillows that can reduce the habit.
- Are you allergic to down feathers? There are non-allergenic options on the market.
- Do you suffer from chronic neck pain? Contoured or cervical pillows might help!
Types of Pillows for a Healthy Neck
Walking into a bedding shop can be a bit overwhelming as there are many different types of pillows to choose from. The good news is that with such a wide variety, you’re bound to find the right fit for your neck—and your budget!
Remember: Always give a pillow a try before you buy it.
The Traditional Pillow
The traditional pillow is filled with feathers or fibres. They range from luxurious down (£50+) to affordable polyester, cotton, or shredded foam (£15-20) and are suitable for mixed sleepers due to their versatility.
We recommend getting two pillows (one softer than the other) to allow you to squash them, change their position, or layer them until you’re comfortable. A single soft, down pillow is a good choice for a tummy sleeper. For a non-allergenic option, steer clear from feathers or down.
The Orthopaedic Pillow
Memory foam and latex are making big waves in the sleep department. While more expensive than most traditional pillows (£20-£50), these are some of the healthiest options for back and side sleepers. They retain their shape, so your neck always receives the support it needs. Some are contoured to provide additional support—like the sausage-shaped cervical pillow.
The Water-Filled Pillow
This is one of the few pillows that give you options after you purchase it (£30-40). If you require a more dense pillow, just add extra water. People love the natural support that water provides, and its versatility makes it suitable for any sleeping style.
Making a Decision
The right pillow can transform your sleep at night. For the best results, buy a pillow that caters to your sleeping style, size and weight, and other health needs that you have. Be prepared to buy the best one that suits your budget, and always try out a pillow in the shop before you buy it.
Do you struggle with neck and back pain? Do you wake up feeling exhausted? The Bradford House Chiropractic Team is happy to help you overcome stiffness and pain and work towards getting the rest you deserve. Book your appointment with us today.