Finding the perfect pillow is so important to your sleep wellness and can be even more difficult than choosing a bed.
The purpose of a pillow is to raise your head slightly, so your neck and spine are aligned, keeping your airways open.
So, how many pillows should you be sleeping with?
One pillow is best
When it comes to pillows, it’s quality over quantity, and one great pillow is much better for you than two or three rubbish ones.
A pillow is designed to encourage the natural shape of your neck and alleviate any pressure on your spine to stop you from waking up with back or neck pain.
You shouldn’t feel like you are laying your head on a mountain during the night, whilst neither should you be using your arm under your pillow for extra support.
What if one pillow doesn’t feel like enough?
If one pillow doesn’t feel like it’s supportive enough—then you have the wrong kind of pillow.
Rather than spending your money on lots of cheap pillows that lose their shape quickly, consider investing into one great pillow that will last.
But knowing what kind of pillow is best depends on your sleeping position.
What kind of pillow is best for a side sleeper?
Sleeping on your side is the most popular sleeping position and nearly half of the UK sleep in this fetal-like posture.
For side sleepers, a medium-firm pillow is ideal, as side sleepers need a slightly more raised pillow than back or front sleepers to support that gap between your neck and shoulders.
Memory foam and latex pillows are great for side sleepers as they contour around your shoulders and are firm enough to support your neck throughout the night.
For even more support on your joints, consider popping a low pillow between your knees during the night too.
What kind of pillow is best for a front sleeper?
Sleeping on your front puts the most pressure on your spine than any other sleeping position, so front sleepers need a pillow that is going to help alleviate some of this pressure without straining your neck.
A low pillow is ideal for stomach sleepers as you want to keep your neck in a natural arch during the night which will help to keep your airways open.
Adding an additional soft pillow under your hips may also help to alleviate some of that pressure on your joints.
The Silentnight Eco Comfort Pillow in soft is a great choice for front sleepers as well as being good for the environment, as it is made from 100% recycled materials.
We also love the Simba Hybrid Pillow which has a customisable height as well as keeping you cool.
What kind of pillow is best for a back sleeper?
Laying on your back is the healthiest position to catch some Z’s and sleeping with a medium-soft pillow that contours around your head, neck and shoulders is ideal.
Experts recommend popping the pillow under your upper back, instead of directly behind your neck to ensure neutral cervical spine alignment.
Pillows with soft fillings that your head and shoulders can sink into are ideal for back sleepers such as this Goose Feather and Down pillow on Amazon.
If you aren’t keen on feathers in your bed, then consider these Silentnight Just Like Down pillows instead.
Put the pillows to the test
When I worked at Benson’s for Beds, customers were very self-conscious about trying pillows and would just give them a quick squeeze with their hands instead of trying them properly.
Unlike mattresses, pillows usually have a no-refund policy because of hygiene reasons, so it’s even more important that you try the pillow properly before you make a purchase.
We recommend testing the pillow out on one of the mattresses in the store which feels most similar to your bed and laying on it in your normal sleeping position for 5-10 minutes.
If you are buying online, see if the pillows come with a trial as many manufacturers now offer this with an online purchase.
Should I ditch the pillow altogether?
Many experts recommend sleeping with no pillows for those that sleep on their front or back, although we recommend easing into this with a soft cloth or towel at first.
Pressing your face into a pillow all night that has built up with bacteria and oil from your hair and skin isn’t good for your pores and ditching the pillow could help prevent breakouts and acne.
Sleeping without a pillow can help to prevent putting extra strain on your neck and shoulders during the night and can make you feel more rested.
So, when it comes to pillows, the relationship should be monogamous and it’s better to have one fantastic pillow which has been designed for your sleeping position than lots of mediocre ones that aren’t doing the job.
If you’d like to pillow talk with us some more, why not check out our Tempur Comfort Pillow review.