Have you heard of the shoe test for determining the quality of your pillow? You fold your (usually polyester) pillow in half, put a shoe on top, and if the pillow kicks off the shoe, it can stick around. If the pillow stays down - time to ditch it.
And having a pillow that stands up to the test is pretty important.
It’s where you lay your ten pound head at the end of the day, so it should of course be where you want to lay your head.
Your pillow can also be a determining factor in quality of sleep and health.
Let’s assume your shoe test failed, and you’re now in the market for a new pillow. Where do you start?
In bed. Figure out how your go-to sleep position. If you sleep next to a partner, ask them if you stay in one position or switch after falling to sleep. Then use what you know!
All pillows should create alignment between your neck and spine, but a stomach sleeper needs a softer pillow to minimize strain on the neck.
A back sleeper needs a medium-firm pillow (because of that heavy head) to keep the neck in line.
And a side sleeper should use a firmer pillow that provides enough cushion to do the same.
Once you’ve determined your perfect pillow firmness, consider which materials you’re comfortable with using. Are you interested in only down? That tends to be a softer pillow, but you can find some made for side sleepers, too.
No matter your sleep style, if you have neck or back pain, you should talk to your doctor about choosing an orthopedic pillow that’s right for you. Some insurance companies will even cover the cost.
Do you have any tips for getting the best sleep you can? We’d love to hear them on our Facebook page.