Together with the mattress and frame, the pillow plays a key role in determining the conditions of our rest. In addition to supporting the head and neck, it helps to keep the spine in the correct position and promotes muscle relaxation and correct breathing.
Choosing the right model for your needs is not always easy. The market offers us different solutions, each with different characteristics, materials, and properties. Here, then, is a short guide and some advice to find the most suitable pillow for our style of rest.
Cushion hardness and thickness
It may seem superfluous, but it is good to remember that, beyond specific needs and habits, a pillow should never be too soft or too stiff. This is to avoid, in the first case, the excessive sinking of the head and, in the second, the creation of tension zones at the cervical level. The right pillow must adapt in a balanced way to our shapes, welcoming and supporting them even during night movements.
The same can be said of the thickness: it is good to avoid a pillow too low, because it can not follow and support the curve between the head and neck, is a model too high that risks pushing the chin down, exerting negative pressure on the neck.
Materials and shape of the cushion
As far as the shape is concerned, in addition to the classic models, we can also evaluate anatomical pillows capable of supporting our conformation and relieving cervical muscle tension and postural problems in general.
There are also several materials to choose from: in addition to the classic feather pillows, there are now models available in natural latex foam, with excellent antibacterial and hypoallergenic properties, but also products in Memory Foam, able to adapt to our specific conformation, offering excellent support.
That said, one of the primary factors that must guide the choice of our pillow is the position we take to sleep. In fact, the different welcome, angle, and support that the pillow must offer also depend on it. Here is a shortlist of the different positions and needs useful to understand what pillow we need.
The pillow for those who sleep in a supine position
In this case, the pillow must support the curvature of the cervical spine, welcoming and adequately supporting the neck and shoulders. The ideal pillow will have a lower height than that of those who sleep on their hips. Generally, the most suitable solution is a feather or Memory Foam pillow in the classic soap or anatomical shape. Special models are also available with gel inserts specially designed for targeted action. It is important that our pillow is used up to the shoulders so as not to flex the neck.
The pillow for those sleeping on the side
The pillow must support the head and neck in such a way that the spine maintains a natural, horizontal straight line. The ideal pillow will have higher height and a stronger lift to support the weight of the head without sinking it. It is essential to take into account the distance between shoulders and head, as the cushion will have to fill this space, optimizing the alignment between the cervical and lumbar spine. In this sense, an anatomical shape can be ideal. Latex represents the right compromise between rigidity and ergonomics, but also a model in Memory Foam or with gel inserts can be a correct solution.
The pillow for those who sleep on their stomachs
In this case, the right pillow should have very limited height, in order not to raise the head too much, which should rest as close as possible to the level of the mattress, to avoid unnatural positions. For those who sleep prone are therefore recommended limited thicknesses and sweet and soft textures.
The pillow for those who suffer from cervical pains
In addition to the position, a decisive factor in the choice of pillow is the fact that you suffer from particular cervical inflammation. If you do not have cushions specifically made for this problem and the inflammation is not serious, the most suitable shape is obviously the anatomical one that offers perfect ergonomics and allows the right alignment between the head and spine, letting the muscles relax and arranging the entire spine correctly.
Among the most used materials, there is latex: elastic, non-deformable and suitable to properly support neck and garment. The Memory Foam models, however, are the most suitable solution, because they are able to adapt to personal conformations, promoting muscle decontraction.
The pillow for those who are allergic to dust mites
Allergy or a particular sensitivity to dust mites are also important factors in the choice of pillow. In this case, in fact, it is advisable to choose solutions in natural latex material that allows good transpiration, without being permeable to dust, unlike classic materials that are an excellent breeding ground for these parasites.
Position and sleeping habits, physical characteristics, allergies, and any postural or muscular problems are all important factors in choosing the right pillow. In addition to these tips, however, remember that the in-store test and the direct comparison with a specialist will be very useful to guide you in your choice and to ensure a truly effective and comfortable bed system.