pillows on a bed

Things to Consider When Selecting a New Pillow

Although a quality mattress is a critical factor in how well you sleep, having the right pillow can make an even bigger difference in how recuperative your rest is every night. Twenty-five to 30% of your body makes contact with your pillow while you sleep, so it’s important not to overlook the impact it is having on how you sleep.


When it comes time to get a new pillow — which should be about every two years — here are a handful of questions to consider when selecting the best one for you: 

  1. What is your normal sleep position?
  2. If you’re a side-sleeper, for example, your pillow needs to be thick enough to keep your spine straight, but not so thick that it bends your neck out of alignment. Conversely, when you lie on your back, many pillows do not properly support the space beneath your neck, causing muscle strain.

  3. How wide are your shoulders?
  4. A pillow that is too narrow won’t offer the right amount of support for your shoulders, which can lead to muscle tension and headaches.

  5. What level of firmness do you like?
  6. Your sleep position will likely dictate how firm of a pillow you’ll want. If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll likely prefer a thicker, firmer pillow to help support the neck and shoulders. If you catch zzz’s on your back, you should use a thinner pillow so your head is not thrust too far forward.

  7. What kind of filling should you have?
  8. Everyone has a different preference when it comes to what is inside their pillow. Goose down/feather fillings can be soft, but don’t offer as much support as a memory foam core.

    But, new technology is always upping the game, and now there are a wide variety of pillows that combine memory foam, cooling gel, and pocketed coils that adapt and respond independently to weight, shape and movement. This means that no matter how you sleep, the pillow can adjust to you.

  9. What kind of fabric does it have?
  10. While you should always plan on using a high quality pillow protector, it’s also important to consider what type of fabric is being used in your pillow – and how well it breathes. Multiple studies have found that the cooler you sleep, the more restorative it will be.

We hope that by answering these questions for yourself, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your pillow is perfect for you. Sweet dreams!

About The Author

James Bell

James Bell is a successful entrepreneur who spent 33 years building a small retail toy business into a company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. In 2004, he came to America looking for his next opportunity and took over the helm of Protect-A-Bed. As the company’s CEO, James is committed to educating consumers on why every mattress needs protection. At heart, James is a husband, father of two and grandfather of Rowan, age 4, and Isla, age 2, so he understands, and takes personally, the need to uncover healthy sleep zone solutions for people of all ages with different sleep needs. James is hopeful his company’s advice to consumers will help them improve their bedroom hygiene. After all, everyone perspires, says James – and everyone sleeps on a bed. It’s that bed that should be protected from general health concerns. A healthy sleep environment can lead to quality, rejuvenating shuteye. And well-rested individuals are happier and can function better. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to sleep better? James lives in Glencoe, Illinois, with his wife, Lynda.
Best Night’s Sleep: The key to James’s best night sleep? Spending time with his wife, two children, Jared and Warrick, and two grandchildren at their lake house in Wisconsin.

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