Is something that should bring you comfort while you sleep actually causing you pain?
Turns out it could be.
Your pillow could be hurting your neck as well as your sleep.
Check out our related article: Neck Pain and Its Main Causes.
Constantly looking down at your smartphone will most definitely lead to neck aches. The action has been dubbed "tech neck."
But, sleeping on your back with a pillow too thick that bends your head forward is just as bad as staring down at your smartphone all day.
Sleeping on your side with your head bent drastically to one side, as well as sleeping on your stomach with your head twisted and turned at all sorts of angles while you sleep.
Staring at your screen gets a bad rep, as it should, but sleeping with a bad pillow is just as bad for you, and perhaps even worse.
In the article below, we will discuss 7 tips that will help you pick your perfect pillow, and help prevent you from getting "tech neck" while you sleep.
Table of Contents
- Consider Your Mattress
- Adaptable Pillows
- Body Pillows and Side Pillows
- Latex Foam
- Use Caution With Mixed Fillers
- Avoid Feather Pillows
- Buckwheat Pillows
- Sleep Soundly on A Good Pillow
1. Consider Your Mattress
Your mattress will have an impact on what type of pillow you're going to need.
A firm mattress will need a thick pillow, so your shoulder doesn't sink into the bed.
The pillow for a firm mattress will need to fill a larger gap between your head and your mattress.
Memory foam mattresses and pillow-top mattresses will need thinner pillows.
This is because your shoulder is going to sink into the bed.
These pillows need to fill a smaller space between your shoulder and your head.
2. Adaptable Pillows
Cervical contour pillows are the best option for most people.
With a cervical contour pillow, your head will rest in a depression in the middle of the pillow.
Your neck will rest on either side.
If you lay on your back, your neck will lay on a less elevated side, and if you lay on your side, you will lay on a higher side.
Next to cervical contour pillows, foam contour pillows are the next best at supporting your neck.
3. Body Pillows and Side Pillows
If you can't break the habit of sleeping on your stomach, body and side pillows can improve your sleep posture until you're able to sleep on your back or side.
Back and side pillows provide the pressure on the stomach you're used to when you sleep on your stomach while keeping you on your side.
Back and side pillows are especially useful during pregnancy. They will help keep your spine aligned and support your growing belly.
4. Latex Foam
Latex foam is widely considered the best material to use for pillows.
Natural latex offers support without heating you up like memory foam will.
Most of the time, people who use memory foam pillows don't even realize they're getting hot at night.
Even still, this can lead to restless sleep. Sleeping cooler allows you to sleep deeper.
Latex foam is usually your best option, but if you have a latex allergy, you will want to use memory foam.
5. Use Caution With Mixed Fillers
The benefits of mixed fillers in pillows is still unclear.
There isn't much research on pillows with mixed fillers, like a memory foam or latex pillow with shredded foam and a gel insert.
Pillows with too much material jammed in them or pillows that remain too fluffy can hold your neck in an awkward position.
Shredded foam can definitely cool you, but it loses its stability over time, especially if you sleep on your side.
6. Avoid Feather Pillows
Feather pillows cause the most neck pain.
They are usually the most affordable option, but feather pillows don't provide much neck stability.
They are usually very comfortable when you first use them, but the feathers move whenever you do, so you will eventually wind up with no support, and a lot of neck pain.
Down pillows will provide a little more support, but you will still need to fluff them.
If you're allergic to animal dander, neither of these options will be suitable for you.
7. Buckwheat Pillows
The great thing about buckwheat pillows is that they let you sleep very cool.
A lot of air circulates between the hulls, keeping you fresh all night.
They are also very cost-effective, have renewable filler, and support your neck when you sleep on your side.
Buckwheat pillows have a lot going for them.
But the hulls in the pillow make noise as they move during the night.
And the support they give your neck can slip away during the night, the same way it would in a beanbag.
Sleep Soundly On A Good Pillow
Each pillow you come across will have its pros and cons.
Every neck is different, so unfortunately there isn't one type of pillow that will satisfy everyone's needs.
But if you use these guidelines, and experiment to see what works for you, you will find a pillow that will soothe you to sleep, and allow you to rest peacefully.
If you'd like to learn more about how to prevent neck pain, check out this article below.