From firmness to fill type, overall size to thread count, we’ll outline the top considerations you’ll want to weigh the next time you shop for a new pillow.
Nothing feels quite as satisfying as sliding into bed after a long, tiring day and plopping your head on a perfectly crafted pillow. But, what makes up the “perfect” pillow? For starters, it has to be supportive, comfortable, affordable, the right size, and designed for your own unique physiology. Choosing the right comfort pillow is more than awkwardly tilting your head on a plastic-wrapped pillow at a big-box store. Instead, realize that it takes a week or more to truly gauge whether a pillow is the right fit. Here’s what to look for when buying a quality pillow.
Determine Sleep Position
According to sleep experts, there are six unique sleep positions adopted by the general public. Each has an interesting name like “the Starfish,” “the Fetus,” and “the Yearner.” You’ll want to self-reflect or rely on the input of your partner to determine your sleep style. Based on your unique sleep position, select the pillow that will support your head and neck and deliver a comfortable night of sleep. Back sleepers tend to feel more comfortable with large, fluffy pillows, while lower-loft, firm pillows tend to work best for side and stomach sleepers. A water pillow is a great choice for all sleep positions, as better units can be customized to create the perfect loft and firmness for virtually anyone - and any sleep position.
Select Fill Type
There is about a dozen pillow fill options available today, but the most common ones are polyester, goose down/feathers, latex, memory foam, water, and microbeads or other loose fill. Polyester is cheap, machine washable, and generally comfortable, but doesn’t last very long. Goose down is well-suited to back sleepers, but it is challenging to clean and can be extremely expensive. Latex is firm yet soft and breathes well, but it can be expensive and may emit an off-putting odor. Memory foam used to be a top choice but isn’t quite as popular today due to its inherent lack of adjustability for those with neck or spinal problems.
Microbeads and loose fill can be quite comfortable, but washing them may be difficult and they might feel too soft for some - especially stomach sleepers. Finally, water pillows are becoming quite popular today, as they offer a unique blend of firmness with a soft, cushiony top layer, an affordable price point, and adjustable support. Start with a water pillow, and see why this fill option is great for your quality of sleep. In the end, the firmness is a big consideration to make, and the type of fill has a huge impact on this factor.
Decide on the Size
While this may not seem like the biggest consideration to make, you may find that a standard pillow is simply too small for your sleep style, or that a king pillow takes up way too much room on the bed. You’ll have to figure this one out by trial and error, but a jumbo or queen pillow size is often a good compromise. These are middle of the road in terms of size, but generally able to fit a standard pillowcase with ease.
Sizes are as follows:
- Standard: 20” x 26”
- Jumbo: 20” x 28”
- Queen: 20” x 30”
- King: 20” x 36”
Don’t Forget about the Extras
A pillow with a high thread count is nice, but you’ll likely put a pillowcase on the pillow. So, pay more attention to the pillowcase than the actual pillow. That said, a high thread count often translates into a smoother feel overall, even with a pillowcase on.
Another consideration to make is the basic “buy-then-try” warranty. Most pillows are non-returnable, meaning you’ll be stuck with it, whether you like it or not. A reputable company will offer a trial period lasting a month or more.
If you’re looking to get a better night’s sleep, then consider selecting a Mediflow Waterbase Pillow. Aside from being an international best seller on Amazon, these pillows provide responsive support for all sleeping positions, improving your overall quality of sleep. Choose from among fiberfill, gel-memory foam or down fill options to match your sleeping preferences. All Mediflow pillows are latex-free, hypoallergenic, and come with a 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee.