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What to Look for in A Pillow to Get the Best Sleep Possible - POSTED

Updated on February 25, 2016
Even when on Vacation, consider taking your pillow -  you know the one you need so that you can sleep at night
Even when on Vacation, consider taking your pillow - you know the one you need so that you can sleep at night

Having the Right Pillow at Night is So Important

Recently at Arc4life we got a call from Italy from a customer who had previously purchased our Arc4life traction pillow (large size). He has degeneration in his cervical spine and also a pinched nerve. He was visiting for 4 weeks and realized quickly that he would not be sleeping well without his pillow. So he called us and we shipped it. It cost around $80 to ship but he got in about 3 business days. Not bad.

I think this story shows you that if you have a pillow that works for you- then you need that to sleep well. Particularly if you suffer from neck pain, numbness and tingling or shoulder pain. Finding a pillow that works can be a miracle because it actually helps to you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

What Makes a Pillow Great and Makes you Want to Sleep on it Night After Night

Is the Pillow the right size?

  • Too big flexes your head forward if your on your back; when on your side it can crank your head sideways. The opposite goes if it's too small, not enough support when on your back and the head bends down toward the mattress when on your side.

Some pillows are even designed for a certain size person. For this reason they may come in a small, medium, and large. One big misconception is that if you have a king size bed then you need a king size pillow. That's not true; have your throw pillow or shams be the large ones but have a pillow that works with your neck.

The Arc4life traction neck pillow (see image below) is one example of this. It comes in 3 sizes:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

This Neck Pillows Comes in Three Sizes

Here's an example.  This is the standard size traction pillow, but you want this one, large size, or small one based on your height.
Here's an example. This is the standard size traction pillow, but you want this one, large size, or small one based on your height. | Source

What is it made of?

Is it fiber, is it foam, feather, water...
It is important to know foam is usually more on the firm side. Fiber pillows can be made more firm or not by the amount of fiber you add.

Foam tends to be more firm. Always be sure to ask however; I know of a pillow that comes in a "soft" selection, but it's actually more firm than another regular pillow I have?

By the way foam can be foam but it can also be a memory foam. Foam is more firm but memory does conform to you somewhat.

Water and air pillows can be fairly firm too but you can take some out allowing for more give.

What is the First thing you are looking for when Buying a Pillow?

What is on your list for pillow choice?

See results

Does it have an odor or a particular smell to it?

I just got off the phone with someone who was extremely concerned about this. She had just bought a new pillow that she spent a good deal of money on. The problem was that she couldn't sleep on it. The smell it gave off really irritated her. Your pillow should not have an odor. At arc4life I deal with hundreds of pillows, none of our pillows have an odor; and if they did I wouldn't sell them!

Which Pillow is Our Readers Using?

What Pillow do you Sleep with Right Now?

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Does it give you adequate support?

Does it feel good to start but then you awake in pain. This can be an example of some feather pillows. It seems good to start but completely collapses given time.

Typically neck pillows may lose their support over time, this is normal. Do you use it every night? Do others it the family use it sometimes? This is one way you know you might be ready for another one. Also, if you saw your headache symptoms disappear when you started using the neck pillow, but now those symptoms are returning? Your pillow may be losing support - Time For A New One!

Are There Other Bonuses?

  • Does it last longer than most?
  • Is it 2 pillows in one?
  • Can you return it?
  • Do others have good things to say about it?
  • Can you sleep on your side and on you back with this pillow?
  • Can this pillow be washed?

The Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

-Lin Yutang

Does it have a neck roll?

A neck roll helps to maintain and improve the neck's natural curve. When on your side it can help to fill in the gap between your neck and shoulder. The neck has a natural "C" curve to it. One of the most common postural misalignments is forward head carriage; the neck loses its natural curve and tends to straighten. That can be referred to a military neck also but it will tend to allow your head position to be much more forward than it should be.

Do You Feel Like you Have the Best Sleeping Pillow Possible?

Do you Get Good Sleep with your current Pillow?

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Does it get hot?

Some pillows seem to retain a lot of heat; you don't want that. This is one thing you don't want waking you up at night. Now, if it's really hot in your house your neck may sweat and you may get hot. I'm not referring to that - with all conditions seemingly normal your neck shouldn't be sweating because your pillow gets too hot.

I knew someone who always wound sit up against her pillow to read; so of course it got warmer. If you know you are doing something like that than there's your problem. That's an example of a time where a pillow is going to get warmer no matter what. From just sleeping on it your pillow should not get really hot however. Your skin is on it versus the previous example where you may have a heavier shirt, a blanket over your laap, etc...

I sit right up against something called the "Bed Wedge" when I read. This way there's no chance of my pillow starting out any warmer than it should.

Does it more easily carry mites and allergens?

You pillow should be either hypoallergenic or non allergenic. Why? What good is it if you are sleeping 1/3 of your life on something that's triggering your allergies. You're waking up with blood shot eyes, congestion, and maybe a sore throat...

What Makes a Great Sleeping Pillow in Your Opinion?

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