When it comes to healthy living habits, there are lots of small things we are told to keep an eye on in our daily lives. We're told to watch our diets, exercise on a regular basis, drink lots of water...
I could go on- we've all heard these same talking points of traditional wisdom over and over throughout the years. With all of that being said, there is one bit of health and well-being advice that often goes overlooked, if it's even mentioned at all.
Sleep is a huge part of the human experience, and so it should be said without question that getting a good night of sleep is important to your overall health and well-being.
While choosing the right mattress is part of what contributes to getting a good night's sleep, today we are going to be focusing on the other huge component of that equation: having a good pillow.
We will be getting into the nitty-gritty of the how's and why's you should invest in a good pillow, but most of it comes down to looking out for your body. A firm pillow, one that is good at doing its job, keeps your head, neck, and shoulders both supported and comfortable while you catch those precious zzz's.
This helps your breathing, allows your body to reset itself, and helps your mind to clear the cobwebs out and ready itself for another day of input. If you've ever had periods of poor sleep, and just going through your day in a haze, you may have been experiencing something as simple as needing a new pillow. So, let's go over the specifics.
You might not think so at first, but there are many sides to the matter of what type of firm pillow you should invest in. A good place to begin may be to look at how just about every company out there makes the claim their pillows are the best and offer superior comfort.
It's true that a lot of this all boils down to marketing, but in certain cases, the claims these companies are making aren't necessarily false or misleading. Often, it just comes down to what type of sleeper are you, and what type of fabric and material works best for you. Pillow manufacturers aren't mind-readers, so when it comes to the research on what's best for you, you're going to have to put in the legwork and do the research.
If you don't research what pillow works best for your body and sleeping patterns, a lot of the marketing these companies invest in may end up misleading you in the long run. If that happens, you'll find yourself still sleeping poorly, but now for completely different reasons; you've made a poor purchase, and that brand-new pillow just isn't doing the job you need it to do.
So, think twice, and read carefully before running out and just spending cash on the first firm pillow you lay eyes on. It's articles like this one that is going to help you choose just the right one for your specific situation, so read on.
While we're all guilty of bad habits in our daily lives, perhaps the easiest to let go on, and unfortunately one of the most damaging to us at the same time, is poor sleep. Continuously not getting a good night's rest can do serious damage to your body in the long term. You might not think so at first, but what starts of as going through your day can quickly grow into not being able to function or handle simple day-to-day tasks.
Drowsiness, light-headedness, concentration problems- all of these issues and more can sometimes be tied to poor sleeping habits. While some healthy habits are harder than others to keep up on, this is one that shouldn't be ignored, nor is it difficult to correct. A bit of research, and one purchase is all it takes.
Sleeping with the correct pillow improves your overall sleeping experience by keeping your spine positioned correctly. This seemingly simple correction helps to line up (no pun intended) several different aspects of your physical well being.
You'll find your comfort increased, your breathing more consistent and smoother, your shoulders will be relaxed, and perhaps most importantly, you will find it easier to calm your brain down and drift to sleep. At the end of the day, that's what we're really talking about here- getting your body to the point where your mind can switch off for the day, and start preparing yourself for the day to come.
Last but not least, before we discuss the best firm pillows worthy of your time and money, we should touch on the different types of sleeping positions, and the pros and cons with each of them. Again, it's not something you might think about too often, but issues like pillows and sleeping positions matter as your body begins to age.
There's lots of debate on the topic, but the general consensus seems to be that the best position for sleeping is on your left side. Doing so keeps your back aligned, allows for steady breathing, and provides cushioning support, and protection for your heart and the surrounding tissue. Past that, things get murky. Sleeping on your back is seen as common and fairly healthy, but can sometimes lead to back pain and apnea. Sleeping on your stomach is the second most common position, but can also lead to breathing issues. See? Complicated. Suffice to say, you may be best off on your left side.
But what about the pillows themselves? Well, that's a far easier matter to resolve. Below, we're going to be talking about several firm make and models. There's a healthy array of diversity to hopefully take into account everyone's own unique preferences. Everything from goose down, foam, hypoallergenic, and more traditional pillows will be discussed and analyzed. This should help you figure out the choice of pillow that is best for you given several different factors, so let's get right into it.
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Here's a pillow that manages to work for several different people, all of whom have different sleeping patterns.
Composed of memory foam that shredded, which makes for a pillow that's firm, but also conforms to each individual head and neck it encounters, regardless of position.
The Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic Bamboo Pillow is often praised for its adaptability, leaving people with a pillow that works for several different people, but all the while maintaining the same level of comfort.
Goose Down can be divisive, but what can't be denied is they're a luxury pillow. If you're in the market to financially splurge on yourself, you can't do much better when it comes to luxury comfort than a genuine goose down pillow.
While firm and comforting, user reviews often cite a need for the occasional fluffing to return it to a full state. When it comes to complex material like goose down, sometimes upkeep is necessary and unavoidable.
The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is all about one thing: support. Why, you ask? That's because memory foam molds itself to all the major support areas that matter most- your back, neck, and head.
This makes it easier for moving your body into different sleep positions. By changing its shape and height based on if you're sleeping on your side, back, or stomach, the pillow helps assure continuous support.
A good sign of a great product is consistently high user reviews, which the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam pillow has plenty of. Most reviewers who prefer a firm pillow give it high marks and sing its praises across multiple review and consumer sites online.
An excellent choice for those shopping on a budget. While some of the pillows on this list will set you back a few dollars, the Beauty Rest Pillow is an affordable alternative that still offers everything you need from a firm pillow.
There are reports from certain users that it does eventually flatten out. If longevity is a concern for you, you might want to think twice, but if fluffing it up or just using it for the guest room is all you need, this one is as close to a sure thing as you're likely to find.
The Langria Down Alternative pillow is built for a very specific end-user, but that doesn't make it any less of a comfortable pillow, or a smart investment. This one is built for those people out there who may happen to be allergic to down. Additionally, for the vegan user who isn't comfortable with the practicality of down as a product, Langria has made a pillow that gives people the feeling of a feather down pillow without the moral conflict or high price.
As it says in the name, the Isotonic Indulgence Side Sleeper pillow is built specifically with side sleepers in mind. This pillow sports an incredibly unique design that includes custom gusseting that's two inches which supports the side of the user's head during sleep.
A higher investment than most of the other pillows on this list, but one that's entirely worth it, given all the features and its unique design and physical build.
With a constant stream of positive user reviews, and reports stating that the pillow remains cool at night, it's a tough offer to pass up. Combine all of this info with the company's 15-year warranty, and your satisfaction is all but guaranteed.
Last but not least, the Isocool Memory Foam Pillow is another great alternative pillow built with side sleepers in mind.
It also comes built with side stitched gusseting that offers a firm platform that has very little give, and lasts throughout the night. Just ask side sleepers who fall asleep comfortable and wake up with their neck at a weird angle what it's like to have terrible support.
Some reviews have made note of its weight since it's heavier than other pillows on the market, but few users can deny that it's a powerhouse of a pillow that's built for the ultimate side sleeper experience.
In conclusion, there are lots of options out there for all types of sleepers, but what matters most is that you pay attention to your health and the needs of your body- even when sleep is concerned. Balancing a budget may mean that spending big on a pillow doesn't make much sense, but when you take into consideration the long-term health benefits that come with a steady diet of positive sleep, it's a hard thing to ignore. In the long run, you may end up helping your body more than you think, and you'll definitely be grateful for the change in your sleeping patterns, leaving you more functional throughout the day.
Peekaboo! Barbara speaking. I'm currently the Chief Editor at Sleep Titan and my job is to make sure that the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed on all of our amazing content! The lovely people here at Sleep Titan often tell me that my Friendly Superpowers come out after a glass of wine, but personally, I prefer a strong IPA. The sort of strength that screams alpha all the way! Maybe that's the reason why everyone wants me to have a drink around here. Right?!