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A Guide on How to Select the Best Pillow!

“Is my pillow causing my neck pain?”

If you are waking up in the morning with a stiff and sore neck, your pillow could be contributing to this tension!

This guide will cover the essential components to selecting the best pillow to help get rid of neck pain and improve posture! 

It boils down to 3 MAJOR FACTORS  when choosing a new pillow.

1. THE SHAPE

2. THE MATERIAL

3. VALUE FOR MONEY

1 - The Shape

WHY? To support your neck & upper back!


This is the single most important factor when selecting your pillow, and does not get enough attention. 


A lot of focus  is on whether the pillow is Bamboo, Memory foam or the latest high tech foam. 


But the shape is far more important!


The shape should be CONTOURED. What this means is that is it has a CURVE or DIP in the centre of the pillow. 


Why this shape is so important is:

– It supports the neck & pushes into the natural curve in your neck while you sleep (remember this is a lot of hours – most people sleep 5-8 hrs per night).

– Your neck is relaxed while you are sleeping, instead of pulling up or down.

– Your torso (upper body) is in line with your neck while you are on your side – this takes pressure of both your neck & upper back joints & muscles.

2 - The Material

There are always new developments in pillow materials. Some good and some not-so-good. It’s easy to fall into sales traps and hard to get a un-bias opinion.

The main types available currently include:

  • Memory Foam
  • Polyester
  • Feather (down)
  • Latex
  • Bamboo
  • Water/Gel

Memory Foam:

  • Higher density, that moulds to the shape of your neck quickly, hypoallergenic
  • Advantage: Gets to neutral/natural spine position quickly
  • Disadvantage: Some people find it too firm or it makes their body temperature increase

Polyester:

  • Artificial fabric
  • Advantage: Cheaper
  • Disadvantage: Heats up quickly, hard to shape, forms lumps quickly & needs to be replaced often

Feather (down):

  • Advantage: Fluffy, soft, comfortable and warm
  • Disadvantage: Poor neck support, expensive, potential allergen

Latex:

  • Extracted from rubber trees (resin)
  • Advantage: Cheaper, more resilient that polyester, renewable & biodegradable, hypoallergenic
  • Disadvantage: Chemicals are used to mould it, decreased chemicals give it a ‘Natural latex title’

Bamboo:

  • Advantages: Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, more natural than other fibres
  • Disadvantages: Usually not contoured, may not support neck for side sleepers, firm

Gel or Water: 

  • Gel is made from silicone, and neither a solid or liquid
  • Advantage: Body temperature regulation, cooling properties
  • Disadvantage: Hard to mould into contoured shape

So what is the right material for me?

Unless you have specific allergies, then I will always recommend either Memory Foam or Latex for simplicity. They generally appeal to a wider range of people, are affordable and durable – and most importantly – come in a contoured shape! 

Then it comes down to if you have tried either of those and have a preference for one over the other? Also do you sleep quite warm already? Then I would choose Latex over Memory Foam.

If you have any other specific questions related to yourself and what pillow might be best, then do not hesitate to email us on: info@chiroandco.com.au.

3 - Value for Money

So what is a Chiropractor’s recommendation on the best pillow for neck pain?

Generally both Memory Foam and Latex Pillows can range from $60 to $150 for a good quality one. 


The benefit of buying it in person is that you may be able to try the pillow for size. If you are an average height and weight, then you should be ok with a standard medium size pillow.


If you are a larger framed person, or have broad shoulders then I would aim for a higher profile pillow. 


Pillow Recommendations:

After practicing as a Chiropractor, I have developed some top pillows that I recommend to patients that come into my office. 


The reason I recommend these pillows are for the reasons given above: Contoured shape, good quality material and value for money. 



Both pillows are also recommended by a range of allied health professionals.

  1. Denton’s Medi-Rest

Features: 

  • Contoured & waved surface
  • Posture support for side & back sleepers 
  • Medium height
  • Material: Foam, feeling: firm

2. Complete Sleeprrr Memory Foam

Features:

  • Contoured, adjustable height
  • Good for side & back sleepers
  • Material: Memory Foam

Bonus Information!

Q: When do I replace my pillow?  

A: Generally it ranges from every 2-3 years!

 

Signs that it is time to replace your pillow:

  • You will start to notice it losing its shape or how it ‘bounces back’
  • This is for support reasons, but also for hygiene purposes!

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Or alternatively, call us on 0435 500 733 or email at info@chiroandco.com.au

We are your local Chiropractor in Hilton. We service the greater Fremantle area in Perth, Western Australia.

We are happy to answer any specific questions related to your own case or condition.