Stress is an ever-present part of modern life. Getting a good night of sleep is more important than ever. If you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night, then you spend roughly 33% of your lifetime slumbering. When we aren’t able to get enough sleep, it affects how our bodies and minds work. Taking the opportunity to get enough rest is one of the best gifts that you can give to yourself.
You can’t underestimate the power of having an excellent pillow. Just like you wouldn’t want to spend your work day walking in shoes that don’t fit properly, you won’t want to spend nap time on a lumpy and uncomfortable pillow.
Just think about the structure of your neck for a moment. Your cervical spine is comprised of the most delicate and most mobile vertebrae along your spinal cord. The structure allows us to turn and tilt our heads, but those tiny bones are also prone to injury and misalignment. If you’ve ever “slept funny” or strained your neck, you know how miserable it can be.
Now imagine the angle of your neck when you sleep. If you’re using a standard pillow, chances are that your neck sits at an awkward angle during sleep–possibly for several hours at a time. A recent study demonstrated that of orthopedic, contoured memory foam pillows, and down pillows, those stuffed with goose-down were the least-supportive.
The perfect pillow will look different for every person depending on their sleeping position. Ultimately, the pillow that supports the natural curves of your spine will serve you best. I know it can seem like a lot to take in, but any old pillow simply won’t do when your spinal health is on the line. Luckily, Lifehack has rounded up our top ten favorite pillows to help you get a good night of sleep.
The 10 best pillows for getting a good night of sleep and waking up refreshed
1.Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Combination With Adjustable Fit and Zipper Removable Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Cover
If the thought of having a pillow stuffed with goose down makes you sneeze, then the Snuggle-Pedic would be a good choice for you. This pillow is made of a mixture of two types of shredded memory foam, which makes its lightweight and soft without all the feathers.
Regardless of your preferred sleeping position, the Snuggle-Pedic is designed to conform to your shape to give you excellent spinal support. The Micro-vented Bamboo keeps your head cool by allowing air to flow through the pillow. The breathability combined with the orthopedic support make this a solid option for everyone.
Best pillow for: side, back, and stomach sleepers, people with allergies, pregnant women, people who tend to overheat while they sleep
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow Combination With Adjustable Fit and Zipper Removable Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Cover, $49.99
2.Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Soft Microfiber Cover
Back and side-sleepers, this one is for you. The contoured shape of this memory foam pillow offers your neck the support it needs. The microfiber cover keeps you cool so that you’ll spend less time chasing the cool side of the pillow and more time in dreamland.
Best pillow for: side and back sleepers, people who overheat while sleeping
Sleep Innovations Cool Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Soft Microfiber Cover, $40.08
3. My Pillow Premium Series Bed Pillow
As its name suggests, the MyPillow is all about you. You choose from one of four loft levels based upon your size and whether you are a stomach, back, or side-sleeper. One of the most frustrating things about standard pillows is that they tend to go flat. The special interlocking fill in the MyPillow maintains its shape throughout the night.
This pillow also holds up to machine washing and drying, which makes it easy to clean. Easy care and a product tailored to fit your needs make the MyPillow experience worthwhile.
Best pillow for: stomach, back, and side sleepers, machine washing, users who need a customized experience
My Pillow Premium Series Bed Pillow, Standard/Queen Size, White Level, $79.95
4. Coop Home Goods – PREMIUM Adjustable Loft – Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow
We don’t need the same pillow every night. Depending on what you do during the day, you may feel that you need to increase or decrease the padding in your pillow. Coop’s Certipur Memory Foam pillow is designed to allow you to add or remove stuffing at your leisure.
If you change your sleep position often, you can make this pillow work for you. The bamboo-derived cover is breathable so that you can stay cool as you rest. Hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant materials make this an excellent pillow for the allergy-prone as well as those who just want an orthopedically-sound experience.
Best pillow for: all sleep positions, allergy sufferers, people who need to adjust their pillows often, people who need tend to overheat while sleeping
Coop Home Goods – PREMIUM Adjustable Loft – Shredded Hypoallergenic Certipur Memory Foam Pillow with washable removable cooling bamboo derived rayon cover, $79.95
5. Buckwheat Pillow – Zen Chi Organic Buckwheat Pillow Queen Size (20″ X 30″)- 100 Percent Cotton Cover with Organic Buckwheat Hulls
For readers who would like to step away from the synthetic memory foam options, the Zen Chi Buckwheat Pillow can provide all the same benefits minus the chemicals. Buckwheat hulls are a natural product that not only conform to the shape of your spine, but also keep you cool.
Using buckwheat hulls for mats and pillows has been a practice for centuries–think of this filler as the original memory foam.
Best pillow for: environmentally conscious consumers, people who overheat during sleep, all sleeping positions
Buckwheat Pillow – Zen Chi Organic Buckwheat Pillow Queen Size (20″ X 30″)- 100 Percent Cotton Cover with Organic Buckwheat Hulls, $39.95
6.Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow
In case you haven’t noticed, staying cool is critical to falling into a relaxing sleep. The Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow is (as you’d expect) made of 60D memory foam with a gel layer to channel heat away from you.
The curved shape of this pillow makes it an excellent choice for side and back sleepers. The foam offers your neck the support it needs so that you can wake up feeling rested and refreshed. The hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant materials keep you from having the allergic response you might have to other materials.
Best pillow for: side and back sleepers, allergy sufferers, people who overheat during sleep, people with chronic neck and back pain
Cooling Gel Memory Foam Pillow, $29.83
7. BioPEDIC Ultra-Fresh Anti-Odor Standard size Pillow
The BioPEDIC Ultra-Fresh is a fresh take on a standard pillow. The exterior is 100% cotton, which wicks moisture away from you. The polyester interior is hypoallergenic and anti-microbial.
If you need to wash your pillow often due to allergies, the BioPEDIC is a great choice.
Best pillow for: allergy sufferers, machine washing
BioPEDIC Ultra-Fresh Anti-Odor Standard size Pillow (pack of 4), $39.99
8. Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow
In a Johns Hopkins University study, this pillow was the top scorer in all five categories tested, including relief of neck pain and perception of sleep quality.
The Mediflow pillow’s design is unique in that it takes your standard polyester-fiber filled pillow and improves on it by adding a water pouch. You can adjust the internal water base to give the pillow more or less firmness depending on your sleeping position and preferences. If you prefer the sleeping experience of a standard pillow over a contoured memory foam pillow, this will give you the familiarity of the old standby with a little extra oomph.
Best pillow for: a customizable experience, neck pain
Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow, $49.97
9. Royal Hotel’s Down Pillow – 500 Thread Count Cotton
Nothing says luxury like these 500 thread count down pillows from Royal Hotel. This pillow is the middle ground between too-soft down and too-firm memory foam. Royal Hotel uses a combination of bacteria-free down and small feathers to achieve that firmer-than-regular-down feel. If you love the pillows you sleep on at fancy hotels, you’ll enjoy these.
Although you can’t toss these into the washing machine, you can throw them in the dryer to fluff them.
Best pillow for: people who need a pillow softer than memory foam but firmer than regular down
Royal Hotel’s Down Pillow – 500 Thread Count Cotton, $159.99
10. Z by MALOUF 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow
I will admit that when I heard that these were made of Latex, I was a bit wary about how comfortable they could be. The latex material in these pillows, which contains no synthetic additives, comes from the sap of sustainable rubber trees which undergoes a process to give it a consistency similar to foam.
The natural latex interior never needs to be fluffed, doesn’t retain moisture, and it’s dust mite resistant. The shape of this pillow is best for back and side sleepers, but it may prove too firm for stomach-sleepers. The bamboo covering is soft and breathable so that you can stay cool throughout the night.
Best pillow for: back and side sleepers, environmentally conscious consumers, people prone to overheating during sleep
Z by MALOUF 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow, $139.99
Featured photo credit: Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures via publicdomainpictures.net
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