Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is just as important to our overall health and wellbeing as a well-balanced diet and a regular fitness routine. We all know that a lack of quality shut-eye on a regular basis spells trouble for our quality of life, affecting things such as our memory and attention span, stress levels, and simply our ability to lead a happy and healthy life.
Most of us also know that having the support of a comfortable mattress is vital for transformative sleep. However, we might not necessarily give the humble pillow the equal attention it deserves when it comes to striving for the best quality sleep. In tandem with procuring a supportive mattress, finding a pillow that is tailored to your body stats and sleep patterns is also an essential component of any quality sleep system. When you think about it, they are essentially a bed for your head and play a critical role in supporting healthy sleep posture and helping to keep your body in proper alignment so that it gets to relax and rest comfortably through the night.
Much like the search for that perfect mattress, finding the ultimate pillow for your needs is not a one-size-fits-all exercise. While hotel stays of the upscale sort will often offer an inkling into the wide range of specialty shapes, sizes, lofts, premium fills and levels of support on the quality pillow front, without question, the best and most direct route to finding your pillow bliss is to rest-test a selection in the company of sleep experts who are fluent in the language of sleep-inducing pillows – namely, the team at Parnell’s Sleep Gallery. In fact, if you thought the pillow options at some upscale hotels were extensive, they pale in comparison to the nearly 20 different choices you will find at Sleep Gallery.
The convenience of having so many different brands, shapes, sizes and materials at your fingertips at a pillow specialist such as Sleep Gallery – all of which are specially designed to suit individual sleep and posture requirements – begs the question: how do you know which pillow to plump for? The short answer is to take advantage of the expertise of Narae and her Sleep Gallery team, who are as knowledgeable about pillows as they are about beds and mattresses. Your best bet is to make a b-line for a consultation with them in-store where they will guide you through the best pillow options for improving your sleep quality. As part of the process, they will find out a little bit about your lifestyle, health and comfort requirements, as well as your budget and personal preferences amongst other things, and from there, suggest a pillow to suit. Ultimately, it’s worth remembering a pillow is as individual as a mattress, and so it is far easier to be there in person than purchasing online, let alone buying a pillow for someone else or relying on someone else to guess your preferences.
When should you change your pillows?
The thing with pillows is that unlike mattresses, which can last for several years, your pillows require replacing approximately every two years, depending on the quality, material type and how well they have been looked after. Here are some key signs that you might need to invest in a new pillow:
- When you buy a new bed and/or mattress: As well as being tailored to your body shape, pillows will often work well with a specific mattress or bed, so if you are investing in a new sleep system, it is highly recommended that you complement this with a new pillow. For example, a softer mattress means you will sink into it deeper and therefore, most likely need a lower-profile pillow.
- When there are obvious signs of wear and tear: Over time, the natural oils from your head and hair will inevitably seep into your pillow and affect the performance of the material it is made from and filled with. While pillow protectors can help to limit this damage, it pays to be aware that different materials – such as memory foam or feather and down – have varying lifespans. Take off your pillowcase and cover, and inspect your pillow. If clear signs of wear and tear are evident, such as stains and rips, or the smell of mildew, it is time to invest in a new bed for your head.
- When you are tossing and turning more: The lifespan of a pillow, not being as long as that of a mattress is one thing, but its effectiveness in terms of your health and quality of sleep can be just as vital. Even if your pillow doesn’t have obvious signs of wear and tear, you will soon know if your pillow isn’t performing as well if you’re tossing and turning more, you are waking with a sore or stiff neck, or you recognise its filling is bunching up and becoming less supportive and firm. One useful test is to fold your pillow in half – if it fails to spring back, it is most likely a sign that your pillow has reached the end of its life.
Why are there so many variations?
Given the right pillow for one person may not necessarily be the perfect answer for someone else, the perfect pillow option depends on a number of factors, including your height and body shape, your preferred sleep position, your personal preferences, and also the quality and firmness of your mattress and bed base. The Sleep Gallery team – such is their dedication to helping customers choose the right pillow – will also have a whole slew of more in-depth questions at the ready such as:
- Do you have any injuries or a sore neck or pressure points that require a level of firmness or a contoured shape? If this is the case for you, it might well be that temperature-sensitive memory foam, which “remembers” your body and naturally contours to the curves of your neck, head, shoulders and spine to offer ideal support, is the answer for you.
- Do you have a personal preference for feel? For example, do you prefer feathers or the cushiony loft of down – which are ideal for those who like softness – or memory foam, if support is a top priority?
- Are allergies an issue? If natural fibres or down are a problem for you, there are plenty of synthetic materials to suit. Pillow covers can also have antibacterial or antimicrobial treatments.
- Do you sleep on your front, back or side? Different levels of pillow firmness offer better support according to each style of sleep. Whether you are a back, side or stomach sleeper is vital to take into consideration when picking out the right pillow for you.
- What is your budget? Fortunately, as with any product, there are many styles and ranges to suit every budget.
- How do I know I am making the right choice? The Sleep Gallery team has made it their mission to offer advice based specifically on customers’ requirements, but with so much choice on offer when considering that ultimate “bed for your head”, there is simply nothing better than to try the pillows out for yourself – giving them a thorough rest-test in-store – so that you can narrow down your options to discover better sleep.
Visit Sleep Gallery to check out their full range of pillows.