Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Pillow fight    

                                     February 2011

Pillow fight

pillow fightPeople spend vast amounts of time on choosing the right bed, the best mattress and even the best bedding. But when it comes to pillows, it is usually a quick choice between hard or soft, padded or thin.

But in fact your choice of pillow can have as much effect on a good night’s sleep as the mattress, bed covers or heat of the room. For a start, heads are surprisingly heavy (they average 15 to 20 lbs or 7-9 kilos) and this means you need to ensure you give your head good support. The type of pillow will affect your spinal cord depending on the positioning of your head above your back. We all sleep in different positions and you need a pillow that will give enough firmness and comfort to keep your spine aligned. If you ever wake up with a stiff neck, you know you have the wrong pillow!

Thickness is a key aspect when choosing a pillow. Two thin pillows can equate to one thick pillow and it is very much a matter of personal choice whether you prefer just one or the flexibility and indeed the look of two pillows on the bed.

The firmness of a pillow is a crucial aspect. Soft pillows are perfect if you sleep on your back or front because they do not prop the neck up too far. If you sleep on your side, then you will probably do better with a firmer pillow which will give more support for the head and neck. It is sometimes worth experimenting to find out what works best for you.

The filling obviously determines the softness of a pillow but can also create very different feels; some fillings adapt quickly to your head shape and pressure whilst others offer more resistant. Today there is a very large choice of different fillings. Feather and down pillows can be wonderfully soft, but some people have allergic problems from using natural feathers. Hypoallergenic and foam pillows can work well and there are pillows made from one single piece of specially manufactured “memory” foam which shapes itself to your head and neck to give you exactly the support you want. You can buy pillows filled with polyester hollow fibre which can offer a variety of soft to firm support, British or merino wool – you can even find pillows filled with buckwheat or jasmine tea and pillows that you fill with water to make them as firm as you require.

So how do you choose? There is no exact science here, it really is a question of feel and try but it is important to bear in mind that making a good choice really is very important in your life. Instead of simply buying a new pillow from the supermarket or nearest bedding shop, do visit several stores, touch and feel the pillows and ask questions. The good news is that after you have tried it at home, if you realize you have made a dreadful mistake, it won’t be as costly to replace it as it would have been if you had purchased the wrong mattress!

You can buy washable pillows, but the large majority of fillings won’t survive the vigorous action of a washing machine without becoming greatly distorted. Once a filling has become lumpy, it is near impossible to regain its original comfort.

Pillows don’t last forever and some can deteriorate after just two or three year’s wear.

Investing in the very best type of pillow to suit your individual requirements can make an enormous difference to the quality of your sleep and therefore have a real affect on your life as well.



Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.




Advertise on