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5 Things To Know To Pick The Right Bedroom Pillow

Many people dismiss the importance of a pillow in their lives. Yes, their lives. After all, we can spend up to a third of our lives asleep, and the vast majority of that time will be spent on a pillow. To put that in perspective, we will spend an average of 24 years straight, 24/7 with our heads on some sort of pillow. Tell me that’s not important. And that’s why picking the appropriate pillow for you is so crucial; a pillow that is not suitable for you can not only result in less than restful sleep, which has been shown to increase risk factors for all sorts of health complications such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity, just to name a few, but also in chronic neck pain from lack of neck support. If you’ve ever suffered from chronic neck pain, then you know just how debilitating it can be.

pillowsThat said, with so many pillow options on the market (down, feather, polyester, cotton, wool, memory foam, latex, buckwheat) and even more variations within each type, we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. Such is the benefit of living in a consumerist society, I suppose. Now that you know just how important choosing the right pillow for you is, here are 5 things you need to know in order to make sure you make the right choice.

Know the Market

This means educating yourself as to the different types of pillows out there, as we have previously mentioned above. Each type of pillow has its own pros and cons, for example memory foam pillows are great at providing neck support but can tend to overhead during the night while buckwheat pillows have great ventilation but are noisy. And that’s just the pillow filling, there are also may specialized pillows such as neck pain pillows, side sleeper pillows, body pillows, and orthopedic pillows.

Know Yourself

Don’t worry, we’re not quoting Dwayne Johnson here. What this means is that every person has their own unique needs when it comes to a pillow, because we all have slight but important physical shapes to our necks and spines, not to mention that different muscle and weight distributions, which also affect the type of pillow that’s right for you. People also have different sleeping positions, for example side sleepers usually require a thicker pillow due to the greater distance between the head and the mattress. Further, take into consideration your personal health issues as well; if you have neck or spine issues for example, it is best to consult with your doctor or physical therapist to determine what pillow characteristics you should be looking for. If you suffer from neck aches, try checking out these 5 best pillows for neck pain. They are made specially to cradle the neck and keep your spine aligned when you sleep.

Know the Trends

Just like any popular and essential consumer good, there are always trends, even if they’re not immediately as noticeable as the latest digital sensation. For example, memory foam pillows saw a resurgence in popularity in the late 2000s (after their peak in the 90s) due to the introduction of the third generation gel memory foam pillows, which had all the supportive and conforming benefits of the normal memory foam pillow, except that it didn’t overheat during the night. That doesn’t mean you have to follow the trends however; what’s popular might not be what’s right for you. For example, in the case of gel memory foam pillows, some people might still find them overly firm. And they’re definitely too thick for stomach sleepers too.

Know the Timing

A brand new pillow can be deceptive: you can’t always judge its suitability after one or even a few nights. More often than not, good pillows, especially the natural ones, require a breaking in period. One to two weeks is a good timeframe. Sometimes a pillow might feel initially uncomfortable, but your body will adapt to it and you then find it comfortable. The initial discomfort can often come from your spine and overall sleeping posture getting acclimated to a new posture; even if that posture is more beneficial for you. Of course, the converse also applies.

Know your Budget

walletAs it is with most things, you usually get what you pay for. While pillows are not a major household expense, expensive ones can often be in the three figure range which might simply not be feasible for some people. Nevertheless, think about how much of your life you will be spending on a pillow and consider making room in your budget to shell out for a higher quality and more expensive pillow. Generally speaking, polyester pillows are the cheapest (note however that there are many quality grades within the polyester pillow category) while down pillows (especially pure down pillows, not the feather/down mix) are the most expensive.

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The Best Mattress Types And Suitability Explained

There are plenty of mattress options and sizes for you, so you’ll want to take your time to choose the best one for your needs. Let’s start with the mattress size.

If you’re taller than 6 ft, nothing smaller than a king size mattress would satisfy your needs. We recommend reading this king size mattress guide to help you identify the best king size mattress sold in the market today! Open-sprung mattresses are extremely common because they’re highly affordable and the spring coils in the base will allow you to experience the “bouncy” feeling as you prop your body upon the bed. This type of coils also provides the mattress with a firm feeling to it even when you sit or lie down upon it.

bedNot only do sprung mattresses offer excellent value for money, but they are also much easier to move around. A spring mattress’s durability will depend entirely on its brand. The bigger and better mattress brands such as Sleep Innovations usually offer warranties of up to 20 years. This shows quality and basically allows you to get your mattress replaced anytime during its lifetime. Mattresses usually last approximately 10-15 years anyway, which means you’re essentially guaranteed for its lifetime.

Besides that, even the most expensive spring mattresses will barely cost more than $200, while $300 is the absolute minimum that you can get by with a memory foam mattress (that’s any good anyway). If you have that sort of budget at the ready, you might want to consider investing in the very best foam mattress instead. A foam mattress is unlike a memory foam mattress in the sense that they’re usually not as rigid in nature. While they are still firm, a memory foam mattress has the inherent capability of dispensing with the heat build-up on the surface of the mattress.

An ordinary foam mattress, on the other hand, tends to have body heat problems, as has been complained of by many users. This is only natural because the material used simply isn’t susceptible to body heat. This is why there are many multi-layer mattresses nowadays that use technology like bead-infused memory foam, which further enhances their heat dispersing ability. By allowing heat to seep through the uppermost layer (where you’ll be sleeping on), the heat will move downwards into the second or third layer before being expelled from the sides of the mattress.

By doing this, your body heat will not be stored or be pushed back up towards your back. This is the primary reason why most people wake up with night sweats despite sleeping in a rather cool environment.

Another form of mattress that’s been gaining traction as of late is the latex mattress. Latex mattresses come  in 2 primary forms: natural and synthetic latex. Natural latex has been argued to be much more durable because it hasn’t been tapped with any sort of artificial polymer which increases its tensile strength, thus allowing the components to break or tear more easily upon prolonged use. Its elasticity will be lost over time, much more quickly compared to a natural latex mattress. Nonetheless, both of these types of mattresses are especially useful and preferable to people who have asthma or allergies thanks to their hypoallergenic properties.