Sleeping on a good mattress is of course essential, but a good pillow is also very important. The pillow should offer evenly distributed support for your head, increasing your sleeping comfort.
The choice of pillow
A good pillow ensures that your head will remain in a straight, neutral and well-supported position while you sleep, preventing any neck and back problems. It is important to gear the choice of pillow to your sleeping position; there are pillows designed specifically for every sleeping position. This is why it is important to know which position you normally sleep in: on your side, back, stomach or a combination of these. A pillow also should not have any pressure points, and should feel soft to the touch to ensure optimal circulation.
People who sleep on their sides experience the greatest amount of pressure on their shoulders, and need more support for their neck. A firmer pillow is necessary in order to keep your head parallel to your shoulder to provide better support for your neck, and to bridge the gap between your ear and shoulder.
It is important for your head to lie in the same line as your backbone. If you have a larger-than-average build, you need a very firm pillow.
In general, back sleepers prefer to lie with their neck higher up in bed. This is however dependent on the curvature of your back. The greater the curvature, the higher the pillow should be. A typical back sleeper also often chooses a pillow with neck support.
Thanks to its slight elevation, this type of pillow provides extra support for the neck, and means you lie in a slightly more supported position. It is a matter of personal preference whether you find the pillows with extra neck support comfortable.
Only 5% of people sleep on their stomachs. Stomach sleepers usually take on a difficult posture to avoid sleeping with their face planted in the pillow.
Stomach sleepers turn their heads to facilitate free breathing. This means their necks often end up in the most extreme rotated positions. A relatively soft and flexible pillow that isn’t too high is therefore the best choice.