Say goodbye to insomnia, snoring and neck aches just by choosing the best pillow for you. By Sylvia Ong
Photo: tomwang / 123rf.com
Osteopaths say a correctly fitting pillow can assist with more restful sleep, which is important as it’s the time our body repairs itself, allowing for a better immune and respiratory function and reducing a lot of everyday aches and pains. A pillow that’s too high, or too flat, can cause sleepers to be holding their neck in a position where their head is bent to one side, causing a sore neck, back pain and headaches. The right pillow can help alleviate this problems.
Finding The Perfect Pillow
This depends on your individual needs and body shape. Ideally, a pillow should support your shoulders, upper back and neck, so that you can fully relax while asleep, rather than holding muscles in a contracted position overnight. A suitable pillow allow for good breathing, reducing the likelihood of snoring and sleep apnoea.
Test It Out
A pillow should properly support your neck and spine, creating a straight line from your neck to the base of your spine (similar to a correct standing position).
Consider Your Body Type
Not all pillows are one-size-fits-all. In general, slight people need flatter, smaller pillows while taller people with broad shoulders and heavy heads are better suited to higher and more supportive pillows.
What’s Your Sleeping Style?
Back-, tummy-, or side-sleeping positions may influence the type of pillow height or density you require. Many manufacturers offer pillows specifically designed for each position, but it can come down to personal preference.
Best for: Most body types Foam is versatile, non-allergenic, durable and offers lots of different shapes. Memory foam pillows, made of visco-elastic polyurethane material, mould to the head and neck and will keep returning to their original shape once pressure is released.
Try: Wellpur Contour pillow, $129, from JYSK (in Courts Bukit Timah).
FEATHER AND DOWN
Best for: Smaller frames and tummy sleepers This pillow type uses goose or duck down and feathers. The material is warm, soft and moulds well to the head, but keep in mind feathers can stir up allergies.
Try: Nature Guard Luxury Pillow, $269, from Robinsons.
Best for: Larger, heavier people Latex pillows are durable, resilient and naturally anti-microbial. They offer good support for the neck and head.
Try: Snowdown Tencel latex pillow, $109, from Robinsons.
Best for: Allergy sufferers and warm sleepers The natural fibres of wool are soft, durable and good at wicking away moisture. Cotton pillows are non-allergenic, washable and made from a breathable material which also minimises stains.
Try: HAMPDÅN pillow, $19.90, from IKEA.
Best for: People with neck and back pain and side sleepers Posture pillows are contoured with a gutter or depression in the middle of the pillow, which cradles the head and supports the neck.
Try: Dentons Pillow, The Caress, $139, from Robinsons.
This article was first published in Singapore Women’s Weekly, January 2016.