All pillows are not created equal. Almost 1/3 of our life is spent sleeping; choosing the right pillow is important to ensure you always get a good night's rest.
The following are the most important factors to look for:
1. FILL/PILLOW TYPE
- Natural Fill Pillow: Natural fill is feather, down, or a combination of both. Down is not a feather. It's the fluffy insulation under the feathers that keep ducks and geese warm and protected from outdoor elements. These natural fills are best for conforming to your head and neck. Fill power will be listed on better down pillows. The higher the fill power, the more loft the pillow will have, and the more durable the pillow will be. Note: Natural fill pillows labeled "allergy free" have been sanitized of all impurities that typically affect allergy sufferers.
- Synthetic Fill Pillow: This is a man-made fill, usually polyester. Synthetic pillows typically have a shorter life span and will not conform to the head and neck as well as a natural fill pillow. They are hypo-allergenic and, overall, the most affordable type of bed pillows.
- Poly Cluster Fill Pillow: This is a type of synthetic fill in which polyester clusters are coated with silicone to feel and move like down. It gives the softness and appeal of a true down pillow without the cost. Great for allergy sufferers who prefer synthetic fill but want down-like comfort.
- Memory Foam Pillow: These are dense, sponge-like pillows that mold around the head and neck for extra support. Best for sleepers who prefer a firm pillow. Memory foam contour pillows are also good for people with neck and spine issues.
- Back Sleeper: Back sleepers need a medium support pillow that will support the natural curvature of the upper spine, providing support under the head, neck and shoulders.
- Side Sleeper: Side sleepers need something that contours and cradles the neck, providing an even sleeping surface. Typically identified by a gusset, the side sleeper pillow helps keep the body in a horizontal line.
- Stomach Sleeper: Stomach sleepers need a soft pillow so that the head and neck aren't turned unnaturally to either side.
Better pillows will have a quality fabric cover with a high thread count. Thread count represents the number of threads per square inch of fabric. Higher thread count covers will be softer, but more importantly, will keep the fill from getting out and impurities from getting in. Some pillow covers are additionally treated with fabric protection that makes them stain and water repellent as well as anti-microbial.
- Standard Pillow: 20" x 26". Uses a standard size pillowcase. Use one pillow on a Twin bed, two across a Full or Queen bed, and three across a King or California King bed.
- Queen Pillow: 20" x 30". Uses a standard size pillowcase and fills it up more completely than a standard pillow. A perfect fit paired across the top of a Full or Queen size bed.
- King Pillow: 20" x 36". These extra long pillows are perfectly paired across the top of both King and California King beds, and use a King size pillowcase.
- European Pillow: 26" x 26". These large, square pillows add a decorative accent to a bed when covered with a decorative pillow sham, also called a European Sham.
- Body Pillow: 20" x 54". A full-length pillow that follows the natural contour and shape of your body. Perfect for sleeping or relaxing. Also great for side sleepers and expectant mothers. Uses a body pillowcase.
- Travel Pillow: 12" x 16". Small and easy to travel with, and especially good to have for long trips. Uses a travel size pillowcase.