Proper neck support is critical to getting a good night’s sleep and waking pain-free in the morning.
That’s why using the right type of pillow is important. What type is best? That depends on the type of sleeper you are. Your pillow should keep your head parallel with your mattress, not bent up or down, advises the Cleveland Clinic. To achieve this, a pillow that adapts to your sleep position, whether you’re a stomach, back, or side sleeper, works best.
A back sleeper should use a thinner pillow that doesn’t push the head forward. A side sleeper needs a firmer, fuller pillow to fill in the space left between the ear and the outside of the shoulder. If you sleep on your stomach, an almost flat pillow is all that’s required. In some cases stomach sleepers need no pillow at all.
A cervical contour pillow can accommodate all three. It lets your head rest in a depression in the center while your neck rests on a higher side of the pillow when you’re on your side, or on a lower side of the pillow when you’re on your back, according to the clinic.
Sleeping cooler has been proven to provide a better sleep experience. Today, there are many gel foam options that are actually cool to the touch, and remain cool throughout the night.
Feather pillows are super soft and squishy, as is down, which is even softer. Popular pillows contain half feathers and half down because they provide support that you can actually move around to provide your most comfortable neck position. For those allergic to feathers or down, try a down alternative pillow for the same feel.
Buckwheat hull pillows have lots of air circulation so sleep cooler and are a good support for your neck, although they can shift somewhat during the night.