Pillow Talk - finding the best pillow for you

Bed Buyers' Guide

If you suffer with neck and shoulder pain, you may find your pillow’s the culprit.

Pillows come in a range of different shapes and sizes, including pre-shaped ones that support your head and neck, as well as a choice of fillings – goosedown, duckdown, feather, fibre filled, and visco-elastic, latex or polyurethane foam – and any number of combinations of these.

Bed Advice UK Pillow Talk

Here’s what to look for when buying a pillow:

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A good one should hold your head in the correct alignment – that is, in the same relation to your shoulders and spine as if you were standing upright with the correct posture – and be tucked well into the neck and shoulder to support your head fully.
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The thickness and number you need depends on your body shape and your preferred sleeping position. You will need a thicker pillow (or two thinner ones) if you sleep on your side rather than if you sleep on your back.
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It is a good idea to invest in quality pillows and replace them at least every two or three years. When they have lost their ‘loft’ (height) and become lumpy, discoloured or misshapen they should be replaced.

Change Your Pillow

Bed Advice UK Pillow Talk  An old, unwashed pillow could also contain as much as 10% of its weight in skin scale, mould, dead and living dust mites and their allergen laden droppings! If your pillow is natural (such as feathers) or polyester-filled, wash it two-three times a year. If it is a foam pillow, clean it every two-three months. Read more about keeping your pillows clean.

To top it off

Overlays and toppers are mostly used to soften the feel of a mattress, by adding extra layers of cushioning. Generally non-sprung, they may be made of a variety of materials – polyester fibre, latex, visco-elastic or other foams or even feathers. The choice is entirely subjective. Toppers are not a substitute for correct support – you’ll need a mattress of the right tension. Nor are they a substitute for replacing an old, worn-out bed – any impression of improved comfort will probably be short-lived.

Some modern mattresses styles include a fixed topper – often on styles that have been designed to eliminate the need for turning.

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7. Caring for your bed/mattress

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