How to pick the perfect pillow

One of the most common questions I get asked by my patients is “What kind of pillow would you recommend?”

Most of us don’t think too much about our choice of pillow unless we sleep badly or wake up with a stiff neck or back pain. Having the right pillow can make a big impact on your quality of sleep, your health and wellbeing. A good pillow should provide the correct amount of support for your head and neck in a neutral position, without applying any extra pressure on your spine. The wrong pillow may worsen your headaches, neck pain, and increase snoring.

Choosing the right pillow is a very important decision in achieving a good night's sleep. There is no single pillow that’s a perfect fit for everyone. We are all different shapes and sizes and have very different sleeping positions. And there are so many different pillow types, so where do you begin?

What is your sleeping position?

A good starting point and probably the most important factor in choosing the right pillow is to determine the position that you sleep in. Given that we spend at least one-third of our lives sleeping, the correct sleeping posture is vital. Here are our tips on the best pillows for different positions:

  • If you sleep on your back - Back sleepers generally need a thinner pillow, so their head is not flexed too far forward. Also, look for a pillow with extra loft in the bottom third of the pillow to cradle your neck.
  • If you sleep on your side - Side sleepers need a firmer pillow or a pillow that has a contoured higher side to fill in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder. If you are a side sleeper, you should try putting a soft, low-density pillow between your knees. You might find this unusual, but it helps to reduce and unnecessary lower back and hip rotation, taking the pressure off and making you very comfortable.
  • If you sleep on your tummy - You'll be needing a thinner pillow that is almost flat. Place a pillow under your stomach to avoid lower back pain. In some cases, patients may not even need a pillow for their head.

Here at  Good Hands Chiropractic, we are always happy to provide you with advice about choosing the pillow to fit your needs.
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