Given that we spend nearly one third of our lives asleep it’s important that we give proper attention to our bedlinen, beds and pillows. We have proclaimed the benefits of natural linen bedlinen here, and will always opt for breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that will last for years. After the bed itself the next big expenditure is the mattress, but it’s important not to overlook your pillows if you want a decent night’s sleep. An uncomfortable night can lead to muscle stiffness and headaches the next day, so making an informed choice about how you settle down to sleep can make a big difference.
If you think your pillows might be in need of replacement, you can test them by holding them over your arm (if down or feather-filled) and if they droop then it’s time to get new ones. To test synthetic pillows fold over and place a weight on top, then remove the weight and if the pillow doesn’t spring back then you need to think about getting replacements.
So, time for some pillow talk. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect pillow.
Select your pillow according to what position you sleep in
If you are a back-sleeper choose a medium height pillow to keep your neck supported and aligned. For those who sleep on their front a thinner, almost flat pillow will be best, whilst if you sleep on your side you should go for a medium pillow. If you move around a lot and switch positions opt for a medium pillow that should work for however you end up.
What’s the best filling?
Feather and down are natural fillings that have great longevity and mould to your body’s contours. These pillows can be more expensive but as they last a long time they can be seen as an investment. Some people find these too firm or find they aggravate their allergies, in which case synthetic or microfibre fillings are a good option. These are hypoallergenic and can also be washed, which ensures dust mites are removed, and they are often cheaper than natural fillings. Memory foam pillows shape themselves to your body and ensure your weight is evenly distributed, which make them good for people suffering aches and pains. Some people find them hot, so you might want to test before you buy.
Other natural options are wool or cotton pillows, which have inherent resistance to mould and dust mites, and can help regulate body temperature whilst also wicking away moisture from your skin.
Size and pillowcases
Pillow sizes are pretty uniform, with the most common being the ‘standard’ size. Make sure you buy pillowcases to match in the correct size. You can choose from ‘housewife’ cases with folds, or ‘Oxford’ pillowcases, which have a trim or border. As ever, natural fabrics will keep you more comfortable throughout the night, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Choose top quality linen pillowcases to ensure you get the best out of your pillows. And with linen you can embrace the charming crumples and not worry about ironing. Bonus!
Wishing you peaceful, deep and restorative sleep, wherever you lay your head.