Have you ever been to a hotel and had the best night’s sleep? It’s possible to get that same luxurious sleep in your own bed every night, and it starts with your pillow.
Choosing a perfect pillow is more than choosing by feel or shape – though that is important. It’s about thinking through your sleep habits so you find a pillow that supports your own particular way of sleeping.
Know What You Need in a Pillow
A pillow is more than a place to rest your head. It can support healthy sleep in a number of ways:
• Supporting a sensitive neck
• Encouraging healthier sleeping positions
If you’re looking to reduce the allergen triggers in your bedroom the right pillow can help. Down is an excellent option for your pillows. It’s naturally hypoallergenic, and is also less likely to get moldy like synthetic fillings.
Know Your Sleeping Habits
Down pillows also mold well to your head and neck, offering an ideal level of support for your neck. Down is very light, making these pillows cool in the summer while not feeling confining. These pillows are also very soft (due in part to the high thread-count cotton-encasing) and will not poke or prick like feather pillows.
It’s also important to take your sleeping habits into consideration. A side sleeper will need a different pillow from a back or stomach sleeper. Side sleepers have more pressure on their neck, making a supportive pillow essential. Soft pillows don’t support the head and neck, making the sleeper more susceptible to aches and pains.
Back sleepers also need a supportive pillow, but it needs to cradle the head and neck differently than a side sleeper’s pillow. Look for a pillow that comfortably supports your head without losing the natural curve in your neck. If it’s too thick or too thin, your neck will be at a suboptimal position and this can impact spinal health over time.
Stomach sleepers benefit most from a thin, firm pillow. This is important, as it keeps their head and neck at an ideal angle while turned to the side. A pillow that’s too thick can impact spinal health and also lead to more aches and pains.
Choosing the Right Pillow Filling
There is an array of pillow filling options in addition to down. These include:
• Memory foam
While these pillow fillings can help create a comfortable sleeping environment, they may or may not always be suitable to our needs. For those without allergen concerns, wool and memory foam can be ideal options. However, down is the only naturally hypoallergenic and lightweight option, giving allergy sufferers a reprieve.
There is no right answer to choosing a pillow filling, because we are all unique! Weigh the pros and cons of each, and make the choice that’s right for you.
How to Choose the Right Sized Pillow For Your Bed
Pillow size is important for a number of reasons. If you have two pillows that are too wide for your bed when laid side by side, they are more likely to fall off, and your freshly made bed won’t look as neat. If pillows are too small for your liking, you may have trouble falling and staying asleep.
Regardless of bed size, there’s a pillow size to fit:
•King size: 20” W x 36” L
•Queen size: 20” W x 30” L
•Standard size: 20” W x 26” L
•Euro size: 26” W x 26” L
We recommend using king pillows with king-sized bed and queen pillows for queen-sized beds. These will fit your bed best while providing excellent comfort and a superior finish. For twin and double beds, standard pillows are best.
Even with these recommendations, though, it still comes down to personal preference. It could be that a different pillow size is the difference between an okay night’s sleep and an excellent one.
Create a Luxurious Bedroom Setting
Choosing the perfect pillow involves more than the pillows you sleep on. Creating a luxurious and peaceful bedroom setting includes decorative pillows that help you feel at home and ready to relax. Whether you want only one or two additional pillows or more, playing mix ‘n match is a great way to bring your personality into your bedroom décor.
One ideal way to do this is to choose a variety of pillows. Choose two to three square pillows and a rectangle one that ties in your bedroom’s colors. Pillow shams are ideal, as they are easily removed for washing. Employ a mix of pattern and solid colors to create a calming aesthetic that you look forward to coming home to each day.
Decorative pillows can also hold a sachet of dried spices for aromatherapy. Our Spice Collection features a feather and down pillow insert and either a lavender or chamomile sachet. These pillows are easy to take care of; just remove the sachet and wash as you would other silk and down pillows.
Then, add a bolster pillow for a finishing touch. This cylindrical pillow is a favorite of hotel decorators the world over, and is the perfect addition to your bedroom oasis. It’s also filled with hypoallergenic down for a sneeze-free environment.
Pro Tip: Use a Pillow Protector Every Time
If you want your bedding to last many years, a pillow protector is essential. Pillow protectors zipper shut and are a barrier against common allergens, to ensure a healthy night’s sleep. A protector also minimizes wear and tear on your pillow, so you can enjoy that favorite pillow for many years.
While pillowcases can help keep your pillow and your face clean while you sleep, they don’t offer the same level of protection as pillow protectors. We recommend using both. A pillow protector will only need to be washed around once a month, while pillowcases should be changed each week, or more frequently if you're prone to allergies or have skin concerns.
Choosing the perfect pillow is a personal process, because we all want and need different combinations in our bedding. By considering concerns about allergen, sleeping positions, and personal preferences, you can find a pillow that will give you a healthy night's sleep, every night.
For more ways to improve your sleep, see our guide to using our five senses in the bedroom.
Updated Links August 2, 2022