If you’re a regular guest here with us, you’ll know how important we believe sleep is to all aspects of wellbeing. And then of course, there are scientists and medical professionals on the same page. One factor that can greatly impact sleep quality is your pillow. With so many types of pillows available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs.
The best type of pillow for a good night's sleep is one that provides enough support, while also being comfortable and breathable. Pillows play an important role in supporting our neck, head, and spine, and can also affect our breathing. The ideal pillow should keep your spine in a neutral position, which means your head and neck align with your spine, regardless of sleeping position.
Selecting the right pillow type can greatly impact overall comfort, sleep quality and wellbeing. In this article, we’re comparing common pillow types for cost, comfort, longevity, and ease of care – to help you choose smart for a peaceful slumber or a comfy chill out.
Here’s a quick rundown of some popular pillow types and their pros and cons:
Cost: Cotton pillows are relatively affordable, although mixing cotton fibres with wool will push up the price (but may improve longevity).
Comfort: Cotton filled pillows are soft and breathable, and provide a cool, comfortable sleep surface. But they lack the support needed for some sleepers, especially those living with neck or back pain.
Longevity: The lifespan of cotton pillows varies depending on the quality of the materials used. They tend to compress, bunch and get lumpy over time, needing replacement more frequently compared to other materials.
Ease of Care: Cotton pillows are easy to care for as they are machine-washable and can be tumble-dried.
Cost: Pillows filled with polyester fibres are among the most budget-friendly options available, making them highly accessible, and perfect for spare beds and extras.
Comfort: Polyester fill pillows are soft and lightweight. But they offer less support and contouring than memory foam or latex pillows, which can exacerbate neck or back issues.
Longevity: The lifespan of polyester fill may be shorter than other materials, as they tend to flatten and lose their shape over time, particularly with constant use.
Ease of Care: Polyester fill pillows are typically machine-washable, and may need regular washing and fluffing to maintain loft and comfort.
Latex pillows can be made from natural or synthetic latex foam. They’re supportive and durable, providing pressure relief for people with neck and shoulder injuries.
Cost: Latex pillows fall within the mid-to-high range of the price range, with natural latex more expensive than synthetic versions.
Comfort: Latex pillows conform to the shape of your head while still providing adequate support to the neck and shoulders.
Longevity: Latex pillows are highly durable and retain their shape well, although the latex will eventually begin to break down into small fragments with constant use.
Ease of Care: Low maintenance, latex pillows are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. While they aren’t machine-washable, they can handle gentle spot cleaning.
Filled with a mix of down for softness and feathers for structure – from geese or ducks – down pillows are soft and comfortable, particularly for people who sleep on their stomach or back. But down pillows may not suit people with asthma or allergies if these are exacerbated by dust mites.
Cost: Down pillows are luxurious and soft, but comfort comes at a premium price point compared to other pillow materials, especially for those with a high ratio of down to feathers.
Comfort: They conform well to the head and neck, making them popular among those seeking a plush, cosy pillow. But they lack structural support for the neck and shoulders.
Longevity: The lifespan of a down pillow can vary based on the fill quantity and the quality of the down used. You might find that down pillows compress over time, requiring periodic fluffing.
Ease of Care: Down pillows may need regular fluffing to maintain their loft and shape. They are usually not machine-washable and require professional cleaning, adding to the overall cost of ownership.
Memory foam pillows
Memory foam pillows are made of a specially designed foam that conforms to the shape of your head and neck. This material offers excellent support and pressure relief, and are ideal for people who suffer from neck and shoulder pain. Many snorers find that sleeping on a memory foam pillow can also help reduce their snoring and improve breathing.
Cost: Memory foam pillows are typically more expensive than cotton pillows due to the advanced technology and materials used in their construction, particularly if these are made from high quality open cell memory foam.
Comfort: Memory foam pillows conform gently to the curves of your head and neck, providing excellent support and alignment. They relieve pressure points and reduce tossing and turning, resulting in a more restful sleep for many users.
Longevity: High-quality memory foam pillows can last for several years without losing their shape and support, making them a long-term investment in your sleep comfort.
Ease of Care: While you shouldn’t throw your memory foam pillow in the washing machine, you can gently spot clean it if needed.
Our conclusion? This time, it’s personal.
Before you buy your next pillow, consider your comfort preferences, budget, sleep position, and any spinal or muscular concerns. The best pillow offers a balance of support and softness. By choosing wisely, you can find your perfect pillow for restful, healthy sleep. With all these comfy pillows around, we’re nodding off already. See you in the morning.