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How To Choose the Right Pillow

You spend an average of eight hours each night resting on it, which is why picking the right pillow is so important for a better night’s sleep. So how do you choose the right pillow?

We’ve put together a pillow buying guide to help you with picking the right pillow, and take you through the types of pillow materials and what to look for:
  • Types of pillow filling
  • Types of pillow material
  • Firmness/tension
  • Size/shape
Read our pillow buying guide to learn more about picking the right pillow and which factors may affect your choice.

Types of pillow material

Your starting point for picking the right pillow? Choosing the best pillow material. You’ll want to consider both the outer casing and the filling.

Types of pillow filling

There are three main types of pillow filling you’ll have to consider when picking the right pillows:
  • Wool: Are wool pillows good for you? This natural fiber is both temperature-regulating and naturally hypoallergenic, making it ideal for keeping you cool and comfortable and for helping to keep night-time allergy symptoms at bay. As a result, you’re most likely to find wool fillings in premium or luxury pillows.
  • Feather/down: One of the other types of pillow filling made with natural material, the most common choices for feather/down are goose and duck. While it is a natural material, feather/down doesn’t provide the same temperature-regulating benefits as wool, as well as not being hypoallergenic.
  • Synthetic: Common synthetic fillings include polyester and memory foam, although there are different variants. Synthetic fillings are a popular choice for producing budget pillows; however, because they aren’t breathable, synthetic fibers hold in the heat which can cause you to wake in the night feeling hot and uncomfortable.

If you suffer with night sweats or get very hot while you sleep, spending a bit more on a wool pillow for night sweats could be a smart investment.

Types of pillow material – outer

Once you’ve chosen your pillow filling, you’ll want to choose an outer that enhances its benefits. There are two main materials for your pillow case:

Cotton: A popular choice for premium pillows, cotton is naturally breathable, helping to keep you cool and comfortable at night. When paired with a wool filling, it helps to maximise the heat-regulating and hypoallergenic qualities of your best wool pillows.

Synthetic: Polyester and polyester-cotton mix are the most common choices for synthetic pillow outers. While a popular choice for cheaper pillows, synthetic outers don’t offer the same breathable, temperature-regulating properties as natural alternatives.

Picking the right pillow: pillow firmness

When it comes to sleep comfort, we tend to put a lot of thought into making sure our mattress is supportive – but did you know that picking the right pillow is just as important? Your pillow provides support to your head, neck and shoulders, keeping your spine aligned for a more comfortable night’s sleep. We’re not missing anything out in this pillow buying guide.

So how do you know if your pillow has the right firmness? While preference certainly plays a part, here are a few other things to look out for:
  • Sleeping posture: Do you sleep on your side, back or front? Your sleeping position can affect how to choose the right pillow. Side-sleepers will usually find that a medium or firm tension pillow will provide the right level of support, making sure your spine remains aligned while you sleep. Back-sleepers generally need a little less firmness from their pillow, while front sleepers tend to need the softest pillows of all.
  • Neck or shoulder pain: If you often experience neck or shoulder pain during the night or when waking, this can be a sign that your pillow doesn’t offer the right level of firmness. Consider your sleeping posture and adjust your pillow to be softer or firmer.
  • Pillows moved during the night: If you often wake to find you’ve removed one or both of your pillows during the night, this can be a sign that your pillows are too firm.

Top tip: When choosing a pillow, look for ones with adjustable tension – this can be the perfect way to get the exact level of firmness and support you need. Here at Woolroom, our British wool pillows can easily be adjusted by removing some of the wool filling to make them softer. Or you could add more wool filling to make them plumper and firmer. You can even buy extra wool filling to fully customise your pillow to suit your sleeping style.

How to choose the right pillow size and shape

Once you know which type of pillow filling and firmness to look for, your final choice is the size and shape of your pillow. Different pillow shapes to consider are:
  • Standard pillow: Perfect for most sleepers, a rectangular pillow is the traditional and most popular choice. For added luxury and larger size beds, consider a king size pillow.
  • V-shaped pillow: Designed to provide extra support, v-shaped pillows are ideal for side sleepers, to support your bump during pregnancy, and also as a night-time knee and leg support for arthritis sufferers.

After reading our pillow buying guide, you should now know how to choose the right pillow for you. Browse natural, wool-filled pillows that are all designed to help you get a better night’s slumber.