You’re up … again. You can’t sleep because your neck is hurting and you can’t get comfortable. I just bought a new mattress, you’re thinking, so that can’t be it.
Did you know choosing the right pillow for you is just as important as picking out the right mattress?
Most people spend a lot of time picking out just the right mattress, but never take the time to do research on pillows. Most just pick up a cheap two-pack at a local retail store.
Here are five things you need to know about pillows:
1. Know when to buy a new pillow – Some people might actually have their pillows for the entire time they own a mattress, if not longer. Over time, your pillow absorbs a lot of sweat and other bodily fluids. It also will pick up dust mites and pet dander. A good rule of thumb for checking to see if you need to replace your pillow is to fold it in half. If it springs back to its original shape, it’s still good. If not, it’s time for a replacement. By the same token, if memory foam pillows become crumbly and out of shape, it’s good to replace those as well.
2. Think about how you sleep – The way you sleep plays an important role in selecting your next pillow. Do you sleep on your back? Your stomach? How often do you wake up on your side? Did you know there are pillows specifically made for each way you sleep, such as BedGear’s Balance 2.0 Performance Pillow, which is ideal for back sleepers? TEMPUR-Pedic’s Tempur-Contour Side to Side Pillow allows those who sleep on their sides to do so on either side. Again, it’s important to look for a pillow that suits your way of sleeping.
3. It’s what’s on the inside that counts – OK, you’ve figured out you need a new pillow and you now know about position-specific pillows, but have you thought about what’s inside it? We’ve come a long way from using feathers to stuff pillows. Nowadays, pillows are filled with everything from foam to gel – sometimes both. There are pillows, such as the Sealy Memory Foam and Hydraluxe Gel Pillow, that are actually cool to the touch and relieve heat buildup, so either side of the pillow will always be cool. Always check to see what’s inside the pillow if you are allergic to certain materials.
4. You might need a different type of pillow over time – When we get older, or if our body weight changes, sometimes the aches and pains will come back. Our bodies change, and so must our pillows if we want a good night’s sleep. If you’ve used a certain type of pillow for a while – such as a side sleeper or a memory foam – your body might be ready for a different type.
5. Be sure to clean your pillows – Unfortunately, putting pillow sheets in the wash just isn’t enough. You should clean your pillows at least once every six months, if not sooner. Be sure to read the tag on your pillow, or look it up online, to see how to best care for your pillow. You can also look into covering it with a pillow protector that would protect against dust mites, bed bugs, and any of the other nasty stuff your pillow collects over time.