If you find yourself daydreaming of falling back into the plush comforts of your bed before you’ve even left for work in the morning, chances are you’re not getting a restful night’s sleep.
Before you go rushing to buy the latest sleeping ‘hack’ like melatonin supplements, take a step back and consider something much more simple - your existing bedding.
Good, quality sleep is vital for your brain. When we sleep, the brain carries out lots of biological processes like filing away new information and ensuring it keeps working as it should during your waking hours.
So, it makes sense that a good night's sleep starts with the perfect pillow.
But what makes a pillow perfect for you?
In the past, choosing your pillow would have been as simple as choosing your desired firmness and preferred filling. And whilst it was simple, it wasn’t always the best fit for your individual needs.
Thankfully, as the world around us has evolved, so has our choice in pillows!
Now, we can consider multiple factors about how we sleep to inform our pillow purchase:
What position do I sleep in?
What filling do I prefer?
What allergies do I have to consider?
Do I have any sleeping conditions?
Are there any factors to consider, e.g. pregnancy or chronic back pain?
What is my budget?
Front Sleeper: As a front sleeper, you’ll see the most benefit from a soft and low pillow. Look for a low loft that will avoid raising your head too high and keep your spine aligned just right.
We recommend: S8 Adjustable Embrace Pillow
Side Sleeper: A medium to firm pillow is a better choice for you, with a high loft that aligns with your spine and supports both your head and neck.
Back Sleeper: For the back sleepers out there, you’ll want a pillow that is somewhere between the height of the high loft of a side sleeper pillow and the low loft of a front sleeper. This will keep your spine in a neutral position.
We recommend: S8 Ecogel Pillow Ergonomic Pink
Combination Sleeper: Not everyone fits into a neat category. Maybe you fall asleep on your side but wake up every morning on your back. Perhaps it’s a lucky dip on which position you get comfortable in each night. Luckily, multi-sleeper options are available!
If you: suffer from neck pain and muscle strains, opt for a memory foam pillow. This type of pillow will support your spine and the weight of your head throughout the night, reducing aches and pains and ensuring you get a good night’s sleep.
If you: have skin sensitivities & allergies, avoid artificial fillings and covers that could make them flare up. Look for certified anti-allergy pillows with special microfibres to avoid breakouts and itchiness.
If you: are pregnant, getting a good night’s sleep can seem impossible. In this case, choose a full body pillow that will give you complete support from your legs to your belly to your head.
If you: are planet-conscious, look closely at pillow fillings. There are sustainable alternatives to the traditional polyester fillings and vegan options instead of down-filled pillows. Look for fillings like bamboo, buckwheat, and vegan down.
If you: practice sports, a sports recovery pillow is your best bet. Try the Sleep.8 Vortex Fitness Pillow, specifically designed for those who lead an active lifestyle and engage in sports, regulating blood circulation and relieving muscle tension, stress, and fatigue.
There are so many pillow fillings to choose from, and which one you choose depends on your personal preference and needs:
Gel – cooling effect
Memory foam – adjusts to you
Down – naturally breathable
Spring – keeps its shape whilst giving good support
Polyester - affordable
Latex – durable and hypoallergenic
Buckwheat/bamboo - sustainable
Maintaining your pillow is important to ensure you get the same support, comfort, and benefits throughout its lifespan.
1. How often should you replace your pillow?
It's generally advised that your pillow should be replaced every one to two years. This ensures continued comfort, support, and, most importantly, cleanliness. Some tell-tale signs include discolouration or waking up with aches and pains.
2. How do I wash my pillow?
The answer to this question changes from pillow to pillow. Your best option is to check the manufacturer's instructions and ensure you follow them to keep your pillow in tip top condition. You should clean your pillow three to four times a year – a good rule of thumb is to do it with the change of the seasons.
3. How do I prolong the lifespan of my pillow?
You can prolong the life of your pillow by using a zippered pillow protector or cover, and regularly check it for any damage or discolouration. This will also help you know when to replace it.
4. How do I dispose of my pillow?
In the UK, pillows are generally not recyclable. It’s recommended they are disposed of in the waste bin or at a Recycling Centre. However, some animal charities welcome donations of old bedding for animals in their care. It’s worth checking locally to see if any in your area accept them to give your pillow a second lease of life.
You should now be equipped with all the tips, tricks, and knowledge you need to go out and choose your perfect pillow! There’s plenty to consider and lots to choose from, so make sure you select a pillow that works for your individual needs.
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