The position that you sleep plays a large part in the type of pillow that you should purchase. Certain sheets and pillow sets are designed for different sleep positions to enhance the quality of your sleep based on what type of support your body needs. For instance, side sleepers (the most common sleep style) require a soft pillow and mattress style that will conform to their body, but stomach sleepers require a hard mattress and pillow that won’t cause strain on their lower back.
If you are a back sleeper, it can be a little bit trickier as the best pillow for back sleepers is something in-between the ideal side sleepers pillow and the ideal front sleepers pillow. To help you make the right purchasing decision, here is what you should look for and the types of pillows that are right for you.
What To Look For In A Pillow If You Sleep On Your Back
Back sleepers need pillows that are relatively thin with medium-low fluff. The purpose of a pillow is to provide support for your neck, and if you are a back sleeper, dosing off on a pillow that is stuffed thick with filling will arch your head too far forward and cause strain on the neck. This type of strain may cause neck and shoulder pain in the morning and might cause you to begin snoring.
If possible, you should look for a pillow whose extra-bulked stuffing is located in the lower 1/3rd of the pillow. This style of pillow will provide support for your arched neck but won’t tilt your head any farther than it needs to be. As a result, your spine will line up comfortably and you will wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
As for the makeup of the pillow such as thread count or whether it is hypoallergenic or not, that comes down to personal preferences. Pillows with lower thread counts are lighter options, but won’t last as long and aren’t as good at repelling dirt and sweat from the stuffing.
Pillow stuffing will determine the weight of the pillow you are sleeping on and how hot that it gets. If you hate sleeping on hot pillows and find yourself flipping your pillow every night to try and find the cold relief, buy something with synthetic fillers. Synthetic fillers are lightweight, air-penetrable and are usually filled with an organic material such as grass, buckwheat husks, or hops; the only problem with this style of pillow is that it will most likely need to be replaced every two years. On the flip side, goose down pillows or wool filled pillows are soft and comfortable, but they retain heat and can get very warm during the night.
What Types Of Pillows Suit Back Sleepers
So you now have a general idea of what to look for when shopping for a back sleeper pillow, but what types of pillows are really best for you? Here are the three main pillow options available and how they are designed to get you the best nights sleep.
Memory Foam Pillows (Best)
Memory foam pillows are one of the top choices because they come in all different thicknesses to suit any different style of sleep. Even the thinnest memory foam pillows made for back or stomach sleepers will give you enough support to sleep comfortably without your head sinking to the mattress as it would with a cotton filled pillow. These pillows are a little bit more expensive than some alternative options, but they can last for several years, which can easily make up for the cost.
Latex Foam Pillows (Great)
Latex foam pillows are the most expensive option but they have been known to last up to 20-years and are eco-friendly options. Talalay latex comes from a rubber tree and is manufactured through a pressurization that can shape and design the pillow to the specifications of the manufacturer. One of the best qualities of latex foam pillows is that they don’t collect mold, fungus, or bacteria like other pillows; they also do not use chemicals in their production like memory foam so you won’t get the odor or perfume-type smell that other pillows can give off. Latex is also firmer that cotton pillows so that you can get the comfortable yet thin pillow option you are looking for.
Medium-Soft Down Pillows (Okay)
Medium-soft down pillows are still a viable choice if you are looking for something affordable or you want to stick with a brand that you are familiar with; however you will have to wash and replace these pillows more often so that they do not collect mold or dust mites. As stated in the previous section, look for something that is thin and won’t force your neck upward. Just because a pillow doesn’t look thick and cushiony doesn’t mean that it is not going to be comfortable; in fact, you may find that the well-cushioned pillows you have had in the past might have been causing your poor sleep habits in the first place.