I want to know how you and your current pillow met. No, not your decorative pillow collection, not your oversized teddy bear, but your main squeeze pillow. The one you cuddle up to every night when you crawl into bed. The one with your drool stains permanently imbedded into the fabric. How did you find that pillow?
Was it a casual meet-cute at your local bedding store? Maybe you walked down an aisle, tripped, and their plush filling cushioned your head, stopping you from splitting your skull on the floor. You both laughed it off at first, but you knew it was fate. Or maybe you singled them out from a long list of potential suitors online; they had the best picture, the wittiest profile. So you decided to give them a chance, and their hypoallergenic filling won your heart.
But are they everything you thought they would be? After the honeymoon phase ended, did their true, unsupportive nature start to show? If your assumed knight in shining armor turned out to be more frog than fairytale, it’s time to move on and find some pillow new. A pillow that understands your uniqueness, a pillow that supports your neck AND your head full of those crazy, wonderful ideas; a pillow that just ‘gets’ you.
The Perfect Pillow is Out There
Your one true pillow is out there, waiting for you to come and find them. You’ve been courted by some other pillows along the way, but they weren’t right for you, you weren’t right for them, and that’s okay. But now you’re older, wiser, and ready to find the perfect pillow.
But how do you find such a pillow, you may ask? The journey begins internally. You need to get to know yourself first, your needs and desires when it comes to a perfect pillow. Once you know what you need and what you won’t put up with, you’ll be able to shop with no distractions.
To start, what position do you sleep in? Are you a side sleeper, stomach sleeper, or do you predominantly sleep on your back? Most people don’t realize this, but your normal sleeping position affects how firm and thick your pillow needs to be. Why? Because your head and neck are at varying distances from the mattress depending on your sleep position, and your pillow needs to compensate for this distance in order to provide adequate support.
I sleep on my side most nights, meaning that my neck and head are several inches above the mattress. So my pillow needs to be thick enough that it can easily cradle my head and neck, and firm enough to support their weight. If not, my neck will experience excess strain from trying to support my head while I sleep. This can lead to discomfort, injury, and/or restless sleep.
If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, you’ll want to look for a pillow of medium or soft firmness that’s flatter, thinner. That’s because your head and neck are much closer to your mattress in these two sleep positions, so you don’t need a super lofty pillow! In fact, a pillow that’s too firm and/or too thick can be potentially harmful.
If you’re not sure what your preferred sleeping position is, pay attention for the next few nights. Is there a position your body naturally moves into before falling asleep? And what position are you normally in when you wake up in the morning?
Allergies & Sensitivities
Do you know if you have any allergies and/or sensitivities towards certain materials? This is the first thing to consider when purchasing a new pillow. You two will be getting up close and personal for a good eight hours every night, so you want to make sure what your pillow’s made of is up to the challenge of keeping you comfortable.
If have known allergies/sensitivities, make sure you read ingredient labels carefully before making your purchase.
If you’re unsure whether or not you have an allergy/sensitivity towards a material, the best thing to do is to make an appointment to see your doctor. They’ll be able to get you started in the process of figuring out what allergies you have. Otherwise, it can be helpful to consider if any materials have given you issues in the past, and make a point to avoid them.
You’ve narrowed down the search based on what you can and cannot tolerate in a pillow’s filling, now it’s time to further hone in on what you want by considering your own personal preferences.
What exactly am I talking about? Well, what are your priorities? What do you focus on in your own life that you want to feel is reflected in your perfect pillow? Are you environmentally conscious? Maybe you’re looking for ecologically sustainable materials, certified organic, or vegan-friendly products. Maybe you’re looking for staying power; something that has value and will last a long time. Whatever your personal preferences, take note of them and make sure you’re in the market for a product that fits these preferences. Otherwise, you’re not going to be comfortable with your pillow choice, even if it is oh-so very comfortable.
Now let’s learn about the different materials available and the benefits each one offers. Whether you’re interested in a material that’s classic, hard-working, good-looking, or cares about the environment, you’re sure to find what you’re after in the list below:
Microfiber/Microdenier – Microfiber is a fabric created from synthetic poly. Inexpensive, hypoallergenic, vegan-friendly, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial, microfiber/microdenier can be a great choice for a pillow. However, it is not naturally made, and does have a tendency to deteriorate faster than naturally-derived materials. Be aware of this when shopping.
Cotton – Most pillows won’t be filled with cotton, but many come with a cotton cover. Cotton is usually a good choice for allergy-sufferers. It absorbs moisture, is easy to clean, and is often easily found in organic options. Bonus? A cotton pillow will often cost less than other materials; great for people who are on a budget!
Washable Wool – Want a pillow you can throw into the wash without worry? Then washable wool is what you want. If you have sensitivities, make sure the wool is treated with hydrogen peroxide, not bleach, to make it washable. We
Latex – Latex might not sound like a comfortable pillow fill at first, but hear me out; it’s freaking awesome. You want to make sure you’re purchasing a pillow made from 100% natural rubber latex from a tree, not from synthetic polymers. This is especially true if you have sensitivities. Tree rubber latex will last well over a decade if properly cared for, is antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and customizable! We sell several types of latex pillows at our store. My favorite is the shredded latex pillow. I sleep on one every night! Why? Because you can add or remove shred fill to customize the pillow to your needs. How great is that?
Bamboo – Bamboo fill is a great choice for many reasons: Bamboo is a very sustainable material, it’s hypoallergenic, it’s vegan-friendly, and it’s moisture-wicking. If you’re looking for a pillow made from a very eco-friendly material, you definitely want to consider bamboo. It’s also great for allergy sufferers.
Silk – Silk is antimicrobial, resistant to dust mites, and hypoallergenic. Add all of this to silk’s natural luxury and silky smooth feel, and you have a high quality pillow fill that will make you feel spoiled every time to lay your head down at night. Just be aware that silk comes with a higher price tag than other materials.
Down – Not to get down on down, but we’re not huge fans of the material here at Bedrooms & More. You can read in-depth about our reasons why in this blog, but basically it’s because down sleeps hot. That said, we do stock some items that contain down because we have customers who swear by it; and who knows? It might be the right material for you!
Another good practice to consider is using protective covers for your pillows. These covers can help protect you from dust mites and other allergens that may be lurking in your pillow, especially if the filling is not naturally antimicrobial and/or dust mite resistant.
You can shop our selection of pillow protectors here.
Still not sure how to find the perfect pillow for you? Come and see us at our store in Wallingford. You can test out all of the different pillows we offer and see what works best for you, then skip off into the sunset with your new happily-ever-after pillow purchase. Whether you buy from us or from someone else, we’re here to help.