How to buy a better pillow
Help I have a kink in my neck every morning! Or: How to choose the correct pillow for your best sleep ever!
When I was a kid, I use to go to camp every summer, and sure enough at the end of every summer I would come home and my favourite ripped jeans would be gone, my room would be rearranged (and cleaned!), with some favourite item or other missing. One summer I came home, my favourite feather pillow was gone, and a stiff new foam thing put in it's place!! Ack!
Ok, so I know it was a long time ago, and I really should be over it, but I still miss that pillow, (or maybe it was just the innocent sleep of childhood - who's to say?).
I have had several pillows since then, a few good, one great and the other ones, well, they were the 'in-betweeners'.
I was recently on a pillow search once again, as I started getting 'the signs', which for me is being woken up with a sore neck and a face poked with the ends of broken feathers.
(Photo which I like to call: 'Somebody stole my pillow.' Courtesy of my mom D. Good.)
The choices, the choices!
Not just foam or feathers any more!
Gone are the days when I use to plan my dream bedroom, you know, the one where you have 10 fluffy pillows on top of your bed, just because it's so dang romantic? As if you will just either fall back on them to be ravaged by Sean Connery, or just lay in ultimate billowy comfort and read your favourite book. Well, that just isn't reality and the one thing I have found is that no matter how many pillows I had on my bed I could never find just the right one for my neck and head. (Well, and honestly neither of those things happened anyway. Sean, is already spoken for, and I prefer to sit and read lest I get a huge kink in my neck!).
Wow, ok so I needed a new pillow, but I had no idea what was happening out there in pillow land! I thought the choice was basically foam or feathers!? Oooh noooo, not so obi wan!
You've got all types of choices now! You've got your foam, memory foam, regular foam, specially shaped foam, you've got feathers, down, wool, husk, cotton, gel, water and mixtures of all of the above!! Not to mention your allergy specials and something called Iso-cool, which stays cool!!
I had no idea where to even begin, but I did have three starting points of experience:
1) The old feather pillow I loved when I was a kid....
2) I loved my massage therapist purchase way back in the 80s(double core foam with the raised edges for neck placement), but it is long gone...
3) My pillow now, which is a king sized feather pillow. It has lasted years, but now I have to cram it into a smaller pillow case just to give it some volume! I have to sadly admit, there's really not much left to it, it's basically a bag of feather ends.
So my first thought is to go to feathers again, at least you can shape it and it's all natural - but is it the best for my head and neck?
It's going to be hard to beat my old favourites!
I am sure that I have had many of these over the years, but that one I had as a kid was sooo great!
I had a pillow like this that I got from my massage therapist years ago, it lasted a good long while, and it was to date, the best pillow I have ever had.
I had one of these for years too, I used it on and off, mostly in unison with my other pillow for reading etc. PS - it smelled really good!
Take this quiz and get your ZZZ score! - See which pillow may be best for you!
I scored a 7.2: high for length of sleep, but lower for quality. Could be my tossing and turning trying to keep punching my broken down pillow into shape!
Some great tips on how to choose your new pillow!
I learned here that I keep my pillows far too long!
The pillow lady!
Some great tips in here around washing and how long pillows last. (Don't forget the money here is in Australian dollars!)
A few of the pillows I was looking at
I like this one, because it stays cool and supports my neck as a 'side sleeper'. They come in memory foam too.
No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap.
Information that can effect your pillow purchase
- Who should and who shouldn't worry about dust mites
Even though my allergy tests came back positive for dust, I have never had any issues.
- Allergic reactions
- What to look for when buying anti-allergy bedding
OK, so I took the quiz and my ZZZ score was 7.2. Pretty good, above average but my sleep is of a lower quality. So a new pillow is a must, as well as maybe not watching movies right before bed!
And after reading and watching some videos I got curious about a few of the new pillows out there, particularly the one that stays cool and a few of the foam type hybrids which have neck support and are soft as well.
From what I gather there are a few things to check for, and a few ways to check.
1) You want a pillow that keeps your head level. So if you are a back sleeper, you don't want your chin way up in the air from your head being too low, and you don't want it touching your chest because your pillow is too high. Same if you are a side sleeper, which I am; you don't want your head tipped in either direction to make strain on your neck, rather you want it just perfectly horizontal, without having to punch your pillow into a ball!
2) You want to go with a pillow made out of something that will hold it's shape a long while, and is allergy free if that's what you need.
3) Cost is always a factor and as is usual in most cases, the fancier the pillow the higher the cost. It was difficult looking through videos for information, because most of them seemed to be selling something, so I took certain information, and disregarded the sales pitch of costly pillows. I gathered lots of information and will make my purchase based on what I found, and what's best for my situation.
As with all my purchases, I pretty much know what I want and how much I want to spend before I start my search.
Is there a correct way to sleep to avoid pain? - Yes!
But you need to think about correct posture all the time, in everything you do. One pillow won't solve your problem! Look deeper if you need to - I know I did.
New PJs always help
I know I don't NEED more flannel PJs, but I always get a new pair every year.
Yoga for a better sleep
I am a HUGE proponent of yoga for so many reasons, but a big one is sleep!
*Note please check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime - it may not seem like it, but yoga is a lot of exercise even at the beginner level!
The purchase - How to test and what I bought
So I learned how you are suppose to check for the right pillow height. If you are a back sleeper, you stand against the wall with the pillow behind your head. Your eyes should be looking straight ahead and your head and neck vertical, with no pushing back or tipping forward.
For a side sleeper (me), do similar, stand sideways beside the wall with your pillow beside your head. As mentioned above, you want to be looking straight ahead, with no tipping or pushing of your head in any direction.
Any pushing or tipping of your head means the pillow is too large or too small. You can try this laying down in the store too, if there is a place to lie down! otherwise the wall test should work.
I also learned that we need new pillows once every year or two, and now that I am aware what broken down pillows feel and look like, I'll hopefully be able to tell well before it is the neck pain that informs me that it's time!
At the end of the day this is what I came home with, on sale and washable too! #Score
Happy pain free sleeping? Check. Problem solved.
I bought the 'medium' good for all sleepers (and flippers!).
The Bedside Table
And well, we need some storytelling too!
And for a laugh with Adam Sandler...
And well - speaks for itself.
New Pillow Update!
Just a quickie update - On day two I awoke with NO neck pain! I feel like a new person! Chris is still unsure, but we have a 30 day money back on these, I think he'll get use to it though; I am over the moon!
Something I wanted to add that he suggested, is that your pillow cover can make a huge difference too! We have flannel in the winter, and cotton in the summer. The first night he noticed how warm his pillow was, but the temperature went up really quickly in the past few days and I realized I still have flannel on the bed! So a change to cotton will help, and if it's still too warm, he said his mom always used a silk pillow case! Apparently your pillow will always feel cool!
So - an interesting tidbit for you!
(Click on the picture for a great little tutorial on making your own pillowcases!)
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