Rip Van Winkle slumbered for twenty years while the world passed him by. The part of the story you missed is that it was all due to the perfect pillow! If you're one of the many adults struggling to get a good night's sleep, you might wonder where you can procure such a magical product. In truth, you needn't long for a fairy tale solution to your sleep deficit. It is possible to pick your perfect pillow when you know what to look for. Like any consumer purchase, you need to take the time to compare your options and find the ones that will best suit your needs. Here are a few tips to help you pinpoint the pillow (or pillows) that will provide you with the perfect nightly slumber.
You might think that pillow size is arbitrary - something designed for decorative purposes alone. While it's certainly nice to have an assortment to add visual appeal to your bedding ensemble, both standard and king size pillows serve a function, as well. If, for example, you sleep on your back, a standard size will almost certainly suffice. But if you sleep on your side or stomach, king size pillows will help you situate your arms more comfortably.
Don't forget about the bulk of your pillow, either. In order to maintain spinal health and proper body alignment, it is important to fill the space between your head and shoulders, no matter what position you sleep in. As a result, a back or stomach sleeper should opt for a thinner pillow, whereas a side sleeper will need at least one bulky pillow, or perhaps two or more thinner ones. Your comfort level is also important, but spinal health and comfort tend to go hand in hand.
The position you prefer to sleep in will also play a role in the shape of pillow you choose. Long pillows (such as king size or body pillows) are generally better for side sleepers, for example. But you should also know that there are a variety of shapes to choose from, including not only your standard rectangle, but also cylinders, wedges, and even bendable forms and C-shaped or U-shaped options. Each pillow shape is designed to meet different needs. And the best way to figure out which one is best for you is to give them all a squeeze. Hug each pillow like you would while sleeping to see how they fit your body. If you feel uncomfortable doing this in the store, you might want to try out several options at home and relegate the "wrong" pillows to your guest bedroom. They could end up being perfect for overnight guests.
Everyone has a preference when it comes to fill. If you like to imagine cuddling up to Ryan Gosling's chiseled abs, perhaps the firmness and resistance of a tightly-packed goose down pillow is about your speed. Or maybe you prefer the thought of drifting off to dreamland as you rest your head on the softness of Scarlett Johansson's décolletage, in which case a springy sponge, a fluffy down, or a squishy memory foam pillow could be more your speed. Whether you like your pillows squishy, springy, or firm, you'll find that the filling you choose will make a difference in your comfort level, as well as the relative quality of your slumber. This is another instance where giving prospective pillows a nice big hug can help you find the one you'll gaze at lovingly and say "Goodnight, Mr. Gosling" to before you slip off to sleep.
Who ever said you only need one pillow? There's nothing to stop you from using several to ensure the most comfortable sleeping position. If you sleep on your side, you could stack two under your head. You might use a firm one and a soft one interchangeably, or use two soft ones for added lift. You could put a pillow between your legs for spinal alignment, or you might hug one to elevate your arm. If you sleep on your back or your stomach, you could place pillows under your torso or legs. And you could even use a variety of shapes and sizes. Don't limit yourself to one perfect pillow when you might need several for maximum comfort.
Even the perfect pillow has a limited lifespan, and you'll probably want to replace yours annually, not only for comfort, but also due to the allergens and oils that can accumulate over time and lead to acne, allergy symptoms, and disrupted slumber. Regular replacement is an important part of ensuring that you always get your forty winks. Even Rip Van Winkle woke up after twenty years - probably because it was time to get a new pillow.
Updated Links August 2, 2022