Approximately 68 percent of Americans (that’s 164 million people) report having trouble sleeping on a regular basis.
Are you part of this group? If so, your pillow might be to blame.
Investing in a better pillow could help you improve your sleep quantity and quality so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Read on for some tips on how to choose a pillow that will help you get the best sleep of your life.
How Your Pillow Affects Your Sleep
It’s easy to assume that all pillows are created equal. That’s definitely not the case, though.
Listed below are some ways that your pillow could have a negative impact on your sleep:
Neck or Back Pain
The wrong pillow can contribute to neck or back pain.
If it forces your neck into an uncomfortable position, this can throw off your posture and trigger problems all down your spine, from your neck to your lower back.
If you use a CPAP machine at night to help with sleep apnea, you should be very particular about the type of pillow you use.
Some pillows, especially those that are very large or firm, may knock your mask off while you sleep.
Folks who sleep on their sides, in particular, are prone to this problem.
Your pillow could also exacerbate issues like heartburn and acid reflux.
If your pillow is too flat and doesn’t provide adequate support, you might notice that your reflux and heartburn get worse when you lie down at night.
Pillows can worsen sinus problems, too.
If you struggle with a stuffy nose at night or have difficulty breathing, a very flat, unsupportive pillow can cause problems.
The same goes for pillows made with allergy-triggering materials.
Some pillows run hotter than others as well.
As you may know, a hot environment is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.
You’re better off with a pillow that helps you stay cool all night long.
How to Choose a Pillow
Clearly, your pillow plays a big role in how well you sleep at night.
How do you choose the right pillow for your specific needs, though? Here are some key factors to consider:
Start by considering the fill type. The following are some of the most common options:
- Memory foam
Memory foam can be a good option if you need extra support, but wool and cotton are naturally hypoallergenic, so they’re a better fit if you struggle with allergies and congestion when you sleep.
Think about the fill weight, too. The higher the weight, the firmer the pillow will be.
If you prefer a more flexible option, a lighter weight will be a better choice.
There’s often a correlation between fill quality and price.
Once you’ve found the fill type that works best for you, try to find the best quality pillow you can afford.
You’re going to spend a lot of time on this pillow each night, so it’s often worth it to spend a bit more money on it.
Size and Shape
Consider the size of your pillow, too. Look for one that is large enough to provide adequate support for your head and neck.
You may also want to purchase a pillow in a specialty shape.
This can provide you with additional support if you have a particular condition like allergies or reflux that you’re trying to accommodate.
In addition to the fill of the pillow, you should think about the fabric that’s encasing that filling.
Look for pillows encased in natural fabrics like cotton to avoid allergies or skin irritation.
Synthetic pillows, including memory foam pillows, are made via chemical processes.
Do some research to find out where and how a particular pillow was made before you purchase it.
This can help you avoid buying something that has the potential to trigger allergies or other issues.
The manufacturing process can affect the quality and lifespan of the pillow as well.
How to Choose a Pillowcase
Your pillow is important, but your pillowcase matters, too.
Keep the following tips in mind when choosing pillowcases for your room:
There are lots of different material options you might want to consider for your pillowcase.
One of the best choices, though, is silk.
If you worry about wrinkles or fine lines, a silk pillowcase for skin can help to minimize your risk of developing them early.
It can also keep your hair from getting frizzy while you sleep.
Consider the thread count for your pillowcases as well. In general, the higher the thread count, the higher the quality.
Some people prefer a lower thread count, though, so that their pillowcase can be more breathable.
Look for pillowcases that are designed to last.
Do some research to learn about how long the pillowcase you’re considering lasts, on average.
This will help you find a strong, durable option that you won’t have to replace on a regular basis.
Unless you want to do a special load of laundry each week, you may want to avoid pillowcases that come with very specific care options.
Think about buying wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant pillowcases, too, so you don’t have to worry about ironing them.
Finally, don’t forget about the design. Look for a pillowcase that matches the decor in your bedroom and helps to tie the room together.
There’s no reason for you to sacrifice style to get a good night’s sleep.
Start Getting Better Sleep Tonight
There’s a lot to consider when looking for a pillow (and a pillowcase).
If you keep this information on how to choose a pillow and pillowcase in mind, though, you’ll be able to find the right ones for your specific needs.
Do you need more help improving your bedroom so you can start getting quality sleep?
If so, check out some of the other bedroom decor articles on our site today.