It feels like mattresses get all the hubbub when it comes to getting that perfect nights sleep. To be fair, you do spend—or should be spending—7-9 hours a night, every night, sleeping on them after all (check out our blog post on 'Why Your Mattress Matters'!). But there’s another very important component to a good night’s rest that often gets overlooked. The humble pillow. Using the wrong one for your needs could affect your overall sleep quality by up to 30%, contributing to everything from neck and back pain to breathing and digestive problems to acne, headaches, general stiffness, and even insomnia! At the end of the day, these often neglected little sleep rectangles ARE supporting the most important part of your body after all.
So, much like the rest of your bedroom setup, you want to do your research and figure out what’s right for you. Luckily, we’ve done a lot of the research already and compiled it into this helpful little guide!
Identify Your Needs
First things first. Identify what kind of sleeper are you. Are you a hot sleeper, a sweaty sleeper, a cool sleeper, are you sensitive to certain allergens? do you sleep primarily on your back, your side, your stomach, or do you toss and turn and wake up in the shape of a pretzel? Ultimately the goal is to find a pillow that feels comfortable and gives your neck and head the support they need. To do this you want to make sure that your head, neck, and spine are in neutral alignment, and that your spines natural curvature is supported. As a guideline, your chin should line up with your sternum and your ears should be in line with your shoulders. With all this in mind, let’s break it all down.
While there are no hard and fast rules, generally speaking if you sleep on your back you want a great all-rounder—a goldilocks pillow. Something of medium firmness, medium thickness and that conforms to pressure. We here at Zeek have just the recommendation, as it so happens. Our amazingly comfy Fancy Pillows fit the bill perfectly. For those back sleepers among you that get all hot and bothered during the night, we’d recommend the Cool Pillow with its gel pad lining to help keep you… well, cool.
For the side sleepers in your life, which is most of you at an estimated 74%, we’d recommend a pillow on the firmer and thicker end to ensure your head, neck, and spine remain in alignment without putting too much extra stress on your shoulders. You do NOT want a soft or flat pillow if you’re primarily a side sleeper. Ideally the best pillow for you will fill the space between the ear and the shoulder. Our Space Pillow is perfect for the job! Complete with gel-infused memory foam and a temperature regulating bamboo cover, you’ll always get a great night’s sleep even in the middle of our harsh Aussie summer.
Stomach sleepers, like back sleepers, are a rare breed at around 16% and 10% respectively, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the best! Stomach sleepers are well suited to soft pillows without much thickness, such as our excellent Cloud and Ice Pillows. Much the polar opposite of a side sleeper, a stomach sleeper will generally suffer trying to use thick and firm pillows.
Do you seemingly end up covered in sweat all year round no matter the temperature? No sweat! Sweaty sleepers should aim to have pillows with cover fabrics that are naturally moisture wicking such as bamboo, polyester, and tensile. We here at Zeek would recommend our Cool and Space Pillows with their heavy use of all natural bamboo fabrics!
Despair no more allergy sufferers! Those of you with sensitive skin or allergies should aim for natural materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, and Kapok. Again, not to brag but our Cool and Space Pillows with their natural bamboo fabrics could be your new best friend. To top it all off, all our pillows are hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant!
Stuff To Watch Out For
Finally, I'll end this post with some parting tips, tricks, and tidbits to watch out for to make that perfect pillow purchasing that little bit easier!
- Experts recommend using just ONE pillow under the head for that perfect nights rest. However, having smaller additional pillows under or between the knees, or under the lower back, can greatly improve your spinal alignment and result in a better quality sleep.
- Those of a larger build should generally aim for larger and firmer pillows than those of a smaller frame. Likewise for mattresses. Bigger build, firmer mattress.
- Side Sleeping can significantly reduce snoring and breathing related problems!
- Left-Side Sleeping can help with any gut or digestive problems!
- Back Sleeping can help ease any back or muscle related aches and pains!
- It's possible to change your sleeping style at any age and reap the benefits! though it's admittedly not easy to do as your body will instinctively change back during the night to the posture that feels more natural to you.
- Generally speaking, sleeping on your back or side is considered healthier than sleeping on your stomach as it's easier to keep your spine supported and better enables your muscles to relax throughout the night.
That about sums it up. Hopefully this little guide can help you get the quality sleep you deserve, or at the very least puts you on the right track!