How to Pick The Right Pillow

Sleep is something we all do differently. But regardless of your preferred position, your pillow is most important job is to support healthy posture by keeping your head, neck and spine in neutral alignment.

“Neutral spine alignment” is a phrase you’ll see a lot in this review, and it basically means that the natural C-curve of your spine is being supported rather than craned into an unsafe position. If you want to know if your spine is in neutral alignment, simply check to see if your ears are in line with your shoulders and your chin is in line with your sternum.

How do you choose the pillow that’s best for your go-to sleeping position? I’m going to briefly break down the main factors to consider when shopping for the pillow that’s perfect for your preferred sleep style.

Side Sleeping – Side sleepers are typically most compatible with pillows that offer a firmer feel and a lofty profile. A pillow with a tall loft of 4” or higher serves to hold your head in alignment with your spine, while relieving pressure at the shoulder and hips. Meanwhile, a firmer level of support will prevent your head from gradually sinking down throughout the course of the night.

Back Sleeping – When it comes to firmness and feel, back sleepers should stick to what I call a “happy medium” build. Essentially, this means that the loft and firmness should both have a medium rating in order to promote healthy posture. But back sleepers have a little more room to experiment with loft and firmness, keeping in mind that neutral spine alignment is the name of the game.Of course, if you’re a back sleeper who alternates between different positions, you’ll need a pillow for combination sleepers!

Stomach Sleeping – Unlike back sleepers, stomach sleepers have to stick to a hard and fast rule in order to keep neutral spine alignment. If you’re a stomach sleeper, a soft pillow with a low loft is going to support the natural curvature of your spine, and prevent your head/neck from being craned upwards. Because it can be easy to strain your neck in this position, finding a stomach sleeper pillow can be kind of tricky.

Once you’ve found the pillow that supports healthy sleeping posture, you’re ready to dive into the exciting details! For example, take some time to decide if you want a pillow that feels silky or fuzzy. Warming or cooling. Traditionally shaped or ergonomic. The world of pillows is vast, and it’s worth it to find that one that’s just right.