We spend one third of our life time sleeping. And everyone of us wants that two third period of our life to be peaceful, comfortable, safe and healthy. This ensures that we spend the remaining two third of our life time in active and stress free mode.
A good relaxing pillow plays a vital role in providing the essentials that you expect for a peaceful sleep!
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Pillow Types and Sizes
Pillows are generally categorized according to the size and usage requirement for specific body parts. Thus when we talk about the types of pillows, these can be as follows:
- Body Pillows: Generally used for providing the comfort to the whole body
- Orthopedic or cervical pillows: Used for relaxing your spine and cervical region
- Wedge pillows: Additional triangular shaped pillows for relaxing body parts such as neck, back, knee, etc.
Here in this article we will be talking specifically about the neck pillow types and their availability according to the sleeper type you are and the material used in the pillows.
The selection of neck pillows for every individual generally depends on the body conditions and three basic types of sleeping positions – back sleeping, sideward sleeping and stomach sleeping. You should therefore try to know about which way you sleep at most of the time, so that you can choose the best pillow for your body.
On the other hand, characteristics of the neck pillow is mostly determined by the filling material and based on this filling material, pillows can be broadly classified into three types:
- Natural and
- Pillows made up of Seeds & Herbs.
There are various different sub-classifications within this. Little below we will try to explore each one of them in detail.
Choose The Best Neck Pillow As Per Your Sleeping Positions
For People Sleeping On The Back: These types of pillows are generally made of high quality firm foam (also known as contour pillows). The material and the structure of these pillows are so designed that it acts as a cradle for your neck that offers you with excellent support and comfort.
These special characteristics are ideal for alleviating the neck and back pain problems. Also it helps the users by preventing the painful conditions getting worse when used on regular basis. Additionally it also help in treating breathing problems (like snoring) while sleeping. It also helps you in maintaining the right position while you sleep. The main problem with this type of pillow is, it’s not suitable for those who are having side sleeping or stomach sleeping habit.
For People Sleeping On The Side: For people who are side sleepers, a bit higher pillow is recommended. This is essential to make the neck and head aligned straight over to the shoulders, just in case these are in a position while standing with good posture. An additional rolled towel or a roll shaped pillow is recommended to place under the neck which makes it aligned with head.
Side sleepers are also advised rest their arm on a pillow and to place an additional pillow between their knees which offer additional support to the lower back and spine. If you are a side sleeper you may consider getting a good body pillow that provides all these comfort in just one pillow.
For People Sleeping On The Stomach: Sleeping on the belly is not recommended due to the possibility of stressing the neck easily. When you sleep on your stomach your head gets turned and an arch in made at the back which often creates a tension in your neck. You may thus experience sore and stiff neck when you wake up early morning.
In addition to this, changing your sleeping positions gets difficult when you sleep on your stomach. If you find it hard to change this sleep habit you may consider using a flat pillow under your head. Alternatively you can also place a pillow under your forehead which makes a distance between your nose and mattress. Your head and neck remains in a neutral position while doing this.
For People Who Sleep or Relax While Sitting: If you travel a lot in a plane or in a car, you may often times strain your neck while sleeping in the sitting position. Using a neck pillow which is designed for this position is a solution for you. These small sized horseshoe shaped pillows are specifically designed for supporting your neck and head while you are sleeping in a sitting position.
The pillow is made small so that your head is aligned securely over the shoulders. This prevents the head from falling down to one side or to get pushed forward.
Many people changes their position while they sleep. If you are one among them try getting a pillow which is a mix of some of these qualities and can give you the best comfort all through the night.
Synthetic Pillows are Most Common
Polyester Pillows: Polyester is a synthetically made material which is available in different variety for making or filling pillows. These are the pillows that are very popular and most commonly used due to the wide range of benefits that a user get from it. These are available at affordable rates, are easily washable and are proved to have good resistance for tearing.
The negative aspects of using these pillows include insufficient air supply, improper support to the neck and prone to get infected by dust mites easily. Also here is a possibility that it might retain the odor of the base material that might cause discomfort to the users.
Synthetic Fibre Pillows: These pillows are made of polymers that are specially synthesized out of polymers made out of petroleum products. These materials are relatively cheaper, water resistant, washable, durable, does not impart allergies and offers resistance for flame.
It of course has its own dis-advantages as well. Like those who sweat heavily may not be able to use this pillow at all as it will not absorb moisture and may thus create various health problems.
Memory Foam Pillows: These pillows are made from foam containing Polyurethane material with a perfect composition of additional chemicals to increase the viscosity and density of the material. It is called as memory foam because it memorize the weight and pressure of your head and neck to alter its shape within seconds. Thus it gives excellent comfort to your neck and head. This is the most preferred pillow for those who have pain problems in their back, neck or shoulders.
There are some negative aspects like high retention of heat which makes the material easily combustible.
Micro-beads Pillows: These pillows are made of filling material made of tiny microbeads – manufactured solid plastic particles. The main advantage of the pillow is that they give sufficient air flow, and takes the shape of the neck and head within seconds.
Its durability is always a question mark. Smell of the artificial beads might be repulsive for some users. A tear in the covering material might pose a problem especially while cleaning.
Best Natural Pillows Made Up of Organic Products
Down Pillows: Pillows made of goose down or feathers are extra soft, cushiony and comfortable. These pillows acts perfectly as a stomach pillow and are well suited for for those who sleep on their stomach. The pure feathers of waterfowl used as a filling gives a long life o the pillows. These pillows can be washed easily and are really comfortable for all.
The main problem with pillows made of real feathers or fluff is that they come at high cost. Additionally, regular fluffing and shaking to maintain the uniformity is needed. Further these pillows can also be highly susceptible for getting mite attacks.
Latex Pillows: It is made out of natural rubber and is best suited for allergies. Those who are suffering from neck pain and back aches find these pillows very useful. It has a long life and offers good resistance for insects, bugs and mites. As it is fully natural it is environment friendly. The main drawback is that these pillows are costly.
Cotton Pillows: These are the conventional pillows that are in use for very long time. You can use them for alleviating your neck and back problems. Apart from cotton, wool and horse hair are also used as filling material for pillows.
Pillows Made of Seeds & Herbs Are Really Comforting
Pillows filled with Buckwheat, Millet and flaxseed comes under this category. These are today getting much popular due to the benefits it offer to the users. You will surely find these pillows effective in case if you are suffering from chronic neck, shoulder or back pain problems.
Many people who are suffering from osteoarthritis of the neck also find these pillows useful.
Overall, with a wide choice of pillows now available in market for purchase, it is often recommended that you should find the best pillow for neck that suits your body type. You can search online at sites such as Amazon to compare and find the best product that suit your requirement.
Choosing the wrong pillow material or shape, can sometimes result into disorders or painful conditions in the body. Making a wrong choice for pillow can also make the conditions worse in case if a person is already suffering from body or neck pain. It is therefore a good idea to get an advice from your physician or doctor before getting the right pillow.
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