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Pillow Buying Guide: What to Consider When Buying a New Pillow

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A good night’s sleep is essential for daily productivity, work, and an overall healthy life. For sleeping, you not only need a good mattress and bed, but also a good pillow that suits your requirements. An old pillow is most often the reason for countless neck cramps and poor sleep quality, which brings us to this pillow buying guide and things you need to consider before you buy yourself a new pillow.

An essential purchase for your long-term comfort, the right pillow should comfortably provide support for your head and neck resulting in a good night’s sleep. For long-term comfort, you preferably want a pillow that provides a good return on your investment and will stay comfortable for years to come.

When it comes to choosing pillows, it’s important to realize that one size does not fit all. A pillow that is perfect for someone might not be the right fit for you due to a variety of reasons.

Things you need to consider before you buy a new pillow include:

  • Your personal preference for firmer or softer pillows, its size, and type
  • The position you sleep in
  • The size of mattress you sleep on and its type
  • And, any allergies or special health requirements you have

Everything mentioned above plays an important role while choosing the best pillow for yourself.

Let’s break each element down one by one:

The Size and Type of Pillow

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Before you go about finding the perfect pillow you need to decide on the type of pillow you want as well as the size the bed you have or are going to purchase.

There are multiple sizes and types available in the market. Whichever pillow you decide to buy is entirely based on your personal preference and liking as well as the size of the bed you are currently sleeping on.

  • King sized pillows – Suitable for king-sized beds.
  • Queen sized pillows – Suitable for queen-sized beds.
  • Standard pillows – Suitable for standard-sized beds.
  • Body Pillows – As the name suggests, a body pillow is an oversized pillow for cradling the entire body during sleep. Think about buying a body pillow if you need support while sleeping; it does not move or shift around like regular pillows. Soft and comfortable to lie on, body pillows are popular among people who like on their stomach while sleeping. Easily washable and soft, they are a good investment.

There are no hard and fast rules though¾you can put queen size pillows on your king-sized bed if you want and so on.

Preferred Sleeping Position and Firmness of the Pillow

You would want to choose a pillow based on the posture you sleep in because the firmness of the pillow you require differs based on the position you are sleeping in.

On your back – While sleeping on your back, you would need a pillow that provides medium support to your neck and upper body to maintain a natural position and provide necessary support to the body.

On your side – While sleeping on your side, you would need a firmer pillow to provide support to the neck, and shoulders. Look for a pillow that offers you the perfect combination of height and firmness to prevent cramps.

On your stomach – While sleeping on your stomach, you would need a soft pillow that supports the neck and head in a comfortable position. A softer pillow is essential because a firmer pillow won’t allow the head to turn in either direction¾resulting in cramps and stiffness.

Pillow Filling Material

There are different materials that are used as fillings for pillows.

The most commonly used include:

Down Pillows

  • Stuffed with real feathers; usually of geese or ducks
  • A natural insulator, down pillows are warm and preferable for colder regions
  • Most comfortable option available
  • Long-lasting and excellent in terms of comfort
  • Susceptible to mold and dust mites
  • A bit pricey and expensive in general

Foam Pillows

  • Foam pillows retain heat generally
  • Memory foam pillows are cool and do not retain as much heat as other foam pillows
  • Do not produce allergens

Synthetic and Polyester Fibers

  • Cost-friendly
  • Alternative to ‘down’
  • Are easily washable in a machine

Other Things to Consider

Snoring Issues

If you snore while sleeping then your pillow might be the cause. In that case, before buying a pillow, consider consulting your physician and ask them to recommend you a brand or type of pillow that can help your snoring problem. Usually, a wedge-shaped pillow is available in the market that can help reduce snoring.


If you are allergic to a certain material or chemical then you might have to filter your search down and look for products that don’t cause you allergies. Down and feather pillows can cause allergies and they are also prone to mildew.

Sleeping Movements

If you move a lot in your sleep then you may want to have more than one pillow on your bed. Having multiple pillows to provide support to the body in different positions will improve your sleep as well as keep your comfortable as you change positions.

Presented above is a brief yet comprehensive guide to finding the perfect pillow for you that is not only comfortable but also economical. Take some time to choose your new pillow wisely¾and rest assured that you’ll have many nights of peaceful sleep in your future.

Zoe Nielson

Zoe has always had an eye for detail. Currently writing for Sensei Reviews, she doesn’t want any consumer left in the dark about a product or industry. When Zoe isn’t writing meticulous and informational reviews for the people, she enjoys spending time with friends and reading.



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