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Looking to Pick the Right Pillow? These Tips Will Help

Pillows play an important role in our sleep. Your pillow doesn’t just elevate your head; it is supposed to support your neck and upper back while you sleep, relieving pressure in the body. Sleeping with the right pillow can help you get a good night's sleep and feel refreshed.
At the same time, a bad pillow can cause many health problems. According to Spine Health, pillows are helpful for “alleviating or preventing many common forms of back and neck pain, as well as shoulder, hip, and other forms of joint pain.”
Here, we share some useful tips to help you choose the right pillow based on your sleeping habits and personal needs.

1. Find a pillow according to your sleeping position

Before you buy a new pillow, it’s important to consider your sleeping position because different postures require different levels of support. You can be a side, stomach, or even a back sleeper.

Pillow, stomach sleeper
If you are a stomach sleeper: Experts say that stomach sleepers should choose thin, almost flat pillows. You may not need to use a pillow for your head, but having one tucked under your stomach will help you avoid lower back pain.
Keep in mind, however, that stomach sleeping isn’t ideal, as it puts a lot of stress on your lower back. The National Sleep Foundation suggests sleeping on your side instead.
Pillow, side sleeper
If you are a side sleeper: Side sleepers should choose firmer, thicker pillows to help support the neck. The firmer pillow will help fill the distance between the ear and outside shoulder, adding much-needed support for your head and neck.
You can even try adding a pillow between your knees for better spine alignment.
If you are a back sleeper: People who sleep on their backs are best off with thinner pillows. Using pillows that are too thick will push your head too far forward. If the pillow is too soft, your head may sink to the mattress. A medium-thick pillow with extra loft in the bottom third will allow your head to rest in a normal alignment. 
Pillow, memory foam pillow
A memory foam pillow can be a good option for back sleepers, as it will mold to the shape of your neck and head. If you choose a memory foam pillow, look for one with a cooling gel. The gel will absorb the heat from the back of your neck and head and disperse it across the pillow.

2. Feather and down pillows are long-lasting

Pillow, down pillows
Many sleep experts recommend feather or down pillows for a good night's rest. Feather pillows are usually filled with wing and back feathers of geese or ducks. Down pillows, on the other hand, contain fiber taken from the underside of a duck or goose. Down pillows are soft and allow you to move the filling around to get the most support. Furthermore, they are soft but firm enough to give you the support you need. With proper care, down pillows will last for a long time.
Experts suggest a combination of 50% feather and 50% down for best results.

3. If you have allergies, go for cotton or wool pillows

Pillow, cotton pillows
While down pillows are very durable, some people have allergies to feathers. In that case, opt for cotton or wool pillows, which are hypoallergenic and can resist mold and dust mites. Both of these pillows are also quite firm. So, if you're not comfortable sleeping on your squishy pillow, these cotton or wool pillows will be ideal for you.

4. Latex pillows are also a good option

Pillow, Latex pillows
Latex pillows are firm and can resist mold and dust mites, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers. These pillows are elastic and resilient, as they are made of the sap of rubber trees. Another benefit of these pillows is that they come in various shapes, sizes, and consistencies.
Latex pillows mold to the shapes of the neck and head but not in a rigid way like most memory foam pillows. They are also softer than memory foam pillows and cooler because latex foam generally has less heat retention.

5. Signs that it’s time to replace your pillow

old Pillow,
The life of most pillows is 18 to 24 months, says the Sleep Foundation. Changing your pillow every two years will ensure that they are clean and free of allergens, mold, dead skin cells, and dust mites.
Some clear signs will tell you that it’s time to replace your pillow: 
* If you regularly wake up with a sore neck, it might mean that your pillow is unable to provide your neck with the support it needs.
* If you notice lumps on your pillow, don't ignore them. Whether you have a foam pillow or a traditional one, a pillow with lumps won’t provide the support you need and is likely to be uncomfortable.
* When your pillow becomes so flat that it can be folded in two, it's not a good sign. A pillow should bounce back to its original shape when you fold it, but if it stays folded on its own, that’s a clear indication that the pillow needs to be changed.
* Are you frequently waking up sneezing? That might be because of a pillow laden with dust mites. You shouldn’t continue using such a pillow.
* If your pillow has developed a noticeable odor, it’s likely due to the skin, hair, and body oil build-up. If that smell persists after a wash, it’s time to find a replacement.
* Are you frequently adjusting your pillow in the middle of the night to try and get comfortable? It might mean your pillow isn’t giving you the support you need.
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