What types of pillows are there on the market?
Wondering how to choose a pillow? It seems like an easy task at first, until you see how many types of pillows are offered.
While all of the options may seem overwhelming at first, we’re going to walk you through all of the different types of pillows available so you can find one that’s just right for you and your needs.
You can categorize pillows in many different ways, but we’ll start with the type of material used.
Feather pillows are considered “nature’s natural spring,” offering comfort, softness, and support through very small and highly curled feathers. According to The Better Sleep Council, feathers can be as strong as carbon fiber!
Down pillows are even fluffier than their feather friends. They are described as “soft, puffy, and supple,” but aren’t meant to provide sufficient support for your neck. Goose Down pillows are considered the most luxurious down pillow option.
Memory foam pillows often feel like they are custom made for you. When you lay your head on a memory foam pillow, you can feel yourself slowly sinking into it. When you get up, you can often still see the shape of your head, hence the name memory foam! They adjust to your shape to allow your head, neck, and shoulders to rest in the most natural and comfortable position for you. There are plenty of different types of memory foam pillows on the market in different shapes and sizes based on the type of support you need.
Latex pillows provide firm yet cushiony support that molds to you without fully sinking in, as tends to happen with memory foam. The Spruce describes latex pillows as bouncy, and unlike memory foam, it doesn’t hold in body heat, so you may stay cooler throughout the night. Latex pillows are either made with synthetic latex or naturally sourced latex.
While feather, down, memory foam, and latex pillows are some of the most common types, there are even more based on your specific uses and needs. Microbead pillows are filled with tiny beads and often found in those travel neck pillows that you can pick up last minute at the airport. Buckwheat pillows are plant-based and are literally filled with the hulls of buckwheat, offering a much harder support compared to other materials. Some say buckwheat pillows feel like a beanbag!
If you sleep with a CPAP machine due to sleep apnea, there are pillows designed to accommodate the machine’s equipment so you can still get a good night’s rest.
Body pillows are typically 54 inches and can provide full body support while sleeping, especially for those who are pregnant. Lumbar pillows are meant to provide support for the lower back, which is great if you have lower back pain.
Some pillow types aren’t defined by the material. For example, hypoallergenic pillows help to reduce allergy symptoms and eliminate exposure to dust mites. Contour pillows are defined by their signature shape and typically have contours to support people suffering from neck or back pain.
Pillows can also be classified by the way you sleep. If you sleep on your back, your head needs a different level of support compared to those who sleep on their side. It’s commonly recommended that back sleepers use a medium firm pillow, while side sleepers need a pillow that supports the neck and keeps it in a neutral position while remaining on your site. Stomach sleepers need a much flatter and softer pillow. If you sleep in multiple positions, don’t worry — you don’t have to buy three different pillows. Many pillows are designed to accommodate multiple positions!
Why is choosing the right pillow important?
Choosing the right pillow is important for two main reasons: your sleep quality and your health.
You’ll sleep better if your body feels comfortable and supported, but also, if your body feels comfortable and supported, that means your spine is in proper alignment and posture, ensuring your head, neck, shoulders, back, and hips get the support they need while you rest so you can wake up without any nagging aches or pains.
If you always sleep on your side but get a pillow designed for stomach sleepers, you likely aren’t giving your body the support it needs to fully rest and to prevent pain.
Benefits of the perfect pillow
The benefits of a perfect pillow may be subtle at first. You may not notice that your sleep is better, or that you don’t wake up to a stiff or achey neck, but your body will notice these benefits right away!
Since the human spine is naturally curved, the perfect pillow is important to maintain that natural curvature while resting.
How to choose a pillow for side sleepers
Side sleepers need a much thicker pillow compared to other sleeping positions in order to keep the head and neck aligned with the rest of the spine so that your spine remains in a horizontal line.
When shopping for pillows as a side sleeper, make sure to find one that is thick with medium to firm support for your neck. Some people find it comfortable to place an additional firm pillow between the knees to keep the pelvis aligned.
While the studies are limited, some have found that latex pillows are the most helpful pillow for side sleepers compared to all other material types.
How to choose a pillow for back sleepers
If you sleep primarily on your back, you don’t need as thick of a pillow compared to side sleepers. Ideally, you would get a medium-firm pillow that feels supportive on your head, neck and shoulders. If you feel any pressure on your lower back, place a pillow or two under your knees for added comfort.
How to choose one for neck pain
Sometimes, with neck pain, it can feel like sleeping with no pillow at all is better than any pillow you find, but it’s not recommended, as that gets your neck even further out of alignment. Your neck pain is probably not the fault of all pillows, just the pillow you’re currently sleeping on, and maybe even your sleeping position.
It is best to sleep on your side or back and avoid sleeping on the stomach as much as possible. Of course, you should always consult your doctor to get their recommendation prior to investing in a new pillow.
The perfect pillow for you should feel supportive for your neck without feeling like your head is tilted forward while lying on your back. While on your side, it should feel like your head is in a horizontal line with your neck, and your head should not feel tilted up or down. Some pillows will specifically advertise themselves as neck pillows to help relieve neck pain, but your doctor will likely know what’s best for you.
How to choose a Pregnancy Pillow
You need all of the sleep you can get during your pregnancy, and a pregnancy pillow can definitely help you feel safely supported and well rested so that you have the energy you need throughout the day. As you move further along in your pregnancy, it can get harder to find a comfortable and safe sleeping position.
Choosing the best pregnancy pillow for you involves a couple of factors.
Pregnancy pillows can range in size, from small to bigger than a fully grown human! Think about what size based on how much room you’re willing to give up in your bed. Your partner may want to weigh in here, but expecting mothers know best.
Pregnancy pillows also vary in shape. Some can cradle your bump while others fit under your head and are meant to be hugged between your knees. Depending on where you’re experiencing discomfort will impact the right shape for you. U-shaped pregnancy pillows are popular if you often switch from one side to another during the night.
The last aspect is material. If you run hot, you’ll want a breathable cover, and memory foam may hold in heat too much for you.
Latex Pillow vs. Regular Pillows
Latex pillows are definitely different compared to pillows made with other materials. We’re going to walk through how they differ based on the pillow type.
Natural pillows are made with — you guessed it — materials sourced from nature. This can include buckwheat pillows, Goose down pillows, and feather pillows. Latex can come from the sap of a rubber tree, but some latex pillows are made with synthetic latex.
Organic Cotton Pillows
If a pillow claims to be organic, that means both the cover and the filling is organic. An organic cotton pillow tends to provide firmer support compared to latex pillows, which means it’s often best for back sleepers. Cotton is also very breathable, so it can be good for those who run hot but want support that is less bouncy than a latex pillow.
Latex Foam Pillow
A latex foam pillow uses a synthetic form of latex, which means it can never be considered organic and is 100% manmade. Unlike a natural latex pillow, latex foam pillows can be slightly less sturdy and durable, but latex foam pillows typically last longer than those made with memory foam or feathers. Latex foam pillows are often better at regulating your body temperature, and can often feel softer than a memory foam pillow. One drawback of a latex foam pillow is that they often have a distinct smell that won’t necessarily lull you to sleep.
100% natural latex pillow
A natural latex pillow is often considered a more eco-friendly alternative to memory foam since it is made without any manmade chemicals. A 100% natural latex pillow will be soft, bouncy, durable, and long lasting. Although it’s often more expensive than synthetic latex pillows, and memory foam pillows, it’s well worth the investment.
Latex Pillow Benefits
Latex pillows have a ton of benefits:
The cushiony support helps to keep your spine aligned while you sleep.
Latex is naturally antimicrobial and resistant to mildew, dust, and other household allergens, but if you’re sensitive to strong smells, an organic latex pillow is key as synthetic latex pillows can have a distinct scent.
Ever have a feather pillow that leaves little feathery gifts all over your bed? This isn’t the case with a latex pillow, which is far more durable.
Truly organic latex pillows are free of manmade chemicals, which means no smelly chemicals while trying to fall asleep!
If you love the soft and cushy support of a memory foam pillow but run hot, you’ll appreciate how latex pillows are far more breathable.
Best Latex Pillow
Investing in a good night’s sleep is a smart choice, and starting with a latex pillow is a great first step – but which one?
The Una Pillow is the best latex pillow. This pillow uses only organic certified materials, including a soft organic wool and cotton cover. The filling is made with thousands of soft and organic latex flakes. The latex flakes are sourced from groves of Hevea trees, with no smelly chemicals added.
Sleep in multiple positions? The Una Pillow is made for you because you can adjust both the height and the firmness! This pillow contains two inner pillows so you can adjust it to have just the right level of support based on how you sleep.
The Una Pillow will keep you cool, unlike synthetic foams that hold in heat. The carefully selected organic materials are naturally cooling, breathable, and moisture-wicking.
Comfort aside, you’ll sleep well knowing that this pillow is handmade to the highest social and environmental standards. This pillow is not only certified organic, it actually has a negative carbon footprint. Since the latex is tapped from groves of organic certified Havea trees, your purchase helps fight climate change since the trees themselves absorb carbon dioxide from the air. It also lasts up to 20 years, reducing the impact on your wallet, too!
The Una Pillow comes in three sizes: a travel size, a standard size, and super king. Shipping is fast and free, and you even get a trial period for 100 nights. You won’t need that long to realize this pillow is worth the investment.
Get your Una Pillow today and get ready for the best sleep of your life!