Ultimate Pillow Guide
How do you determine what pillow is right for you?
Pillows are one of the most crucial components to gaining not just a good night sleep, but a great night sleep! See below to see what kind of “filling” will go perfectly for you! In addition, “ticking” is very common amongst pillow varieties.
There are several studies and data which support the use of a specific type of pillow depending on what type of sleeper you are in order to absorb the maximum benefits of a restful, healthful night’s sleep. Are you a stomach, back or side sleeper?
How Do You Sleep?
For extra information, we turned to an educated and well-researched article posted by the Huffington Post in which they interviewed and reviewed several items in detail with Dr. Paul Salinas, of Park Avenue Spine in New York, and Gerry Borreggine, President and CEO of Therapeutic International and Chairman of the International Sleep Products Association. One thing Dr. Salinas suggested was that pillows are not one-size-fits-all, and it really comes down to preference and comfort. He went on and suggested, “Ideally, you want to sleep on your side. Sleeping on your stomach can cause a lot of discomfort. If you’re a back sleeper, avoid thick pillows because it can cause your head to push forward, making you a little stiff in the morning.” He went even further in suggesting that it’s a good idea to place a pillow between your knees while sleeping on your side for proper hip and spine alignment.
Stomach Sleepers – Does your lower back ever hurt upon waking and you’re unsure of the cause? It could likely be the position in which you sleep. Dr. Daniel Zagst, an experienced chiropractic physician, wrote in his blog regarding sleep positions that, “Even when telling someone that sleeping on your stomach is bad for your spine, it doesn’t change much (they still do). Proper pillow placement in the stomach sleeping position can reduce your chances of waking up with back and neck pain.” He went on to suggest placing a firm pillow underneath your hips/stomach area to reduce the stress on your lower back. Doing this should eliminate the need for a head pillow, but if you still need one, use it to support your head at a downward angle. We like the extra soft down pillow by ExceptionalSheets.
Back Sleepers – Medium support pillows are your best friend. And many articles align with this one by Dr. Zagst who says, “The pillow under your head should not be propping you up, but providing some support to the natural curve of your neck.” We have found that the 100% natural latex pillow supports back sleeping very well and continues this support as you transition positions throughout the night. It is also suggested that true back sleepers place a firm pillow underneath their knees for proper lower back support. See our down alternative hypoallergenic pillow for back sleepers!
Side Sleepers – The side sleeping position is the most common position individuals are found to be sleeping in throughout the night. A firm pillow should be used in order to keep your head and neck in straight alignment with the rest of your body. Placing another firm pillow between your knees helps alleviate pressure from your hips and lower back. The high-loft memory foam pillow with ventilated construction is a great firm pillow to use in both the positions discussed for side sleeping. Our Memory foam is excellent for those who love sleeping on their side!
Our fill materials are where things start to get more complicated for the average consumer. Not as difficult as shopping for your mother-in-law, but complicated enough that you’re reading this.
Here are the six common fillings:
Wool – This is an older option as a pad. Think lots and lots of warmth. For some the heat is too much, for others, it’s standard. Wool is quite heavy yet feels soft while in use, but it may need to be shaken or ‘fluffed’ regularly. From initial purchase, several consumers report that wool tends to give off a ‘barn’ like odor. This typically subsides after a wash or two.
Feather/Down – It softens the feel of any firm mattress. It is also not known to cause too much heat retention and feels relatively light weight. Down/feather bedding contains allergens that may be bothersome if you are or prone to allergen sensitivity or have regular allergies. It may need shaken and ‘fluffed’ often to maintain its lofty feel upon resting. Try one of our Down Pillows now!
Fiber/Down Alternative – The solution to pesky allergens from standard down bedding is here! In fact, professionals suggest one of the best type of fiber currently available is referred to as cluster fiber. Cluster fiber fill is 100% hypoallergenic and 100% washable. The clustering engineered technique prevents the fiber from lumping and doesn’t often need ‘fluffed’, yet projects the signature comfort most anticipate from only genuine goose/feather blend down—just without all the poking and feathers. This fiber is known as Revoloft™, a special type of cluster fiber that is 100% polyester for ultimate comfort. Revoloft™ is a highly innovative polyester material that is engineered to create a network of fiber that “trap” air which allows the pad to keep its shape and breathability much longer. This allows for that excellent feel of cool and comfort when you sleep at night.
Latex – Plush or firm? In addition, latex pillows have self-ventilating holes that allow heat release and constant air flow during sleep. When shopping for latex, it is important to select and support companies that guarantee the use of high-quality natural latex from plantations selected, controlled, and carefully tested for use in the production process. This not only contributes to superior elasticity and flexibility of the product but is also a sustainable and ecologically sound production. Interested? Here it is!
Memory Foam – Comfort is guaranteed. It conforms to and contours your body’s specific shape ensuring a relaxing night’s sleep. It properly aligns your spine and relieves pressure points. Studies show that it is also ranked as the most effective for improving your bed’s current level of comfort. For a while, memory foam’s biggest con was that it retained heat and gave an unpleasant feeling of being hot during slumber. However, recent technology has allowed for the engineering of a new type of memory foam and mattress topper with Gel Bead Infusion. This infusion and open technology increase air flow for a cool night’s sleep. Not just any foam meets these standards. Researching retailers of this product will help you make the right choice. For example, all of the foam used at eLuxury.com (the 2016 Inc. 5000 4th Fastest-Growing Company in the Retail Industry) is CertiPUR-US certified, which means it has no prohibited phthalates, no ozone depleters, no CFCs, no mercury, no lead or heavy metals, no formaldehyde, no PBDEs, and low emission (VOCs).
Buckwheat Hulls – A fill that is just a wee bit rougher and firmer than most. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds, and also used as a cover crop. Why choose buckwheat hulls? Its hulls are considered desirable pillow stuffing material because there is less risk of exposure to allergens than pillows that contain down (feathers) or synthetic fibers. Pillows stuffed with buckwheat hulls tend to stay cooler longer than most other fillings due to their low conductivity and heat reflectivity. This filling is great for neck pillows do to its capability to ease fatigue and tense muscles. Note that buckwheat hulls are hypoallergenic as well. It is becoming quite popular. Dr. Zagst, a side-sleeper, admits he uses a buckwheat pillow beneath his head and a foam pillow between his knees. Our favorite buckwheat pillow is 100% organic and made in the USA.
Unique Pillows / Specialty Pillows
The ExceptionalSheets Reading Wedge Pillow is the perfect support pillow for lounging, watching TV, or reading. The shape of the reading wedge keeps you upright while supporting your lower lumbar spine to minimize rounding in the back. Measures at 18 x 12 x 36.
Our incredibly comfortable, oversized Exceptional Sheets Body Pillow offers optimal support while you sleep. Ideal for side sleepers, it is the answer to hip and back pain. Comes in a down alternative or a 50/50 blend!
Encasements and Protectors
WATERPROOF: Many mattress pads and liners are available in a waterproof option. This is possible because of polyurethane†. It is often used on the underside of a covering to protect you and your product. Waterproofing options are available in many products, like this mattress pad.
BUGPROOF: Most commonly seen in encasements and liners, high temperature polyurethane can be used in conjunction with other materials, like a soft 100% terry-cloth mattress protector, to give you an impenetrable barrier of protection from dust mites, bed bugs, mildew, and many other allergy triggers. These products can be easily found for mattresses, pads, toppers, and pillows.