Choosing the correct pillow

I must be asked every day by our clients what is the best pillow to be sleeping on and its a question that I don’t have a simple one size fits all answer.

The number one factor you are trying to achieve when choosing a pillow is what will keep your neck and spine as close to neutral as possible during the night.  Neutral spine is the position your neck is in when in a good upright posture, with a small curve inwards and the head neither poked forward or down.

So how do you pick a pillow that keeps you in neutral?  There is a couple of factors I’ll list below:

What position do you sleep in?

– are you a side sleeper, on you back or on your stomach.

– on your stomach is not great due to the large rotation of the neck required over prolonged periods but if you can’t help sleeping on your stomach you will need a smaller sized pillow so as not to crank the neck into full rotation for too long.

How big are you, particularly your shoulders?

– If you have particularly large shoulders you will need a larger pillow to fill the space between your shoulders and neck to prevent you falling into too much side flexion when sleeping on your side or too much neck extension when sleeping on your back.

– if you are only slightly built you will need a smaller size so as not to force your neck into too much side flexion when on your side or too much forward flexion when sleeping on your back.

What should my pillow be made of?

– whatever the pillow is made of it needs to hold its shape and not deform over time with the weight of your head on the pillow as the night progresses.  Believe it or not your head weighs anywhere between 8 and 10 kg with all that brain inside so over the length of the night that weight can really deform the pillow and it will lose its height and your neck will be stuck in the wrong position for the night through.   

– We recommend either a memory foam pillow or latex as they don’t lose their shape over time and will bounce back to the original shape after use.  The choice between these 2 really comes down to personal choice.  The memory foam are a bit softer to feel whereas the latex are pretty firm and heavier which some people may not like. 

If you have any questions regarding pillow type and style for your neck, give us a call, send us a message or drop in and try some of our testers.