How To Chose A Sleep Pillow

Are you confused about which sleep pillow to buy? There are so many pillows on the market today that choosing is not easy. Today pillows come in so many sizes, shapes, and materials that we are not sure which one to buy.

The newest material for pillows is memory foam also called visco elastic foam. It is superior for support and pressure relief. This foam was originally invented for the space program to relieve pressure. However, the remarkable properties benefited everyone and today mattresses and pillows made with memory foam relieve pressure, increasing circulation, and mold to the curves of the body and neck for support and alignment of posture. Science tells us this gives a better nights sleep.

A regular feather or urethane foam pillow will not do this as the special material of memory foam molds to your body from body heat creating no space between your body and the foam.

Choose a memory foam pillow by:

1) Your body type, and

2) The position you sleep in (most of the time).

Memory foam pillow sizes come in childs, small, medium, large and extra large (or tall) and this refers to the height of the curve of the pillow. If you are a small, short or petite person, your neck curve is more shallow and so your pillow height will be lower and you will use a child or small pillow.

If you are a very tall person, your pillow height should be higher and this person may require the extra large or tall size. Most people fall into the average range which is referred to as medium. Manufacturers sometimes put a size chart on their boxes but use this just as a guide as it is necessary to try the pillow in the store to make sure the pillow fits your neck curve which is often related to your body size. It fits when your head is not pushed too far forward or sinks too far backward as you lie on the pillow.

Pillows are not returnable but most stores have sample pillows to try. Have someone observe to see that your head is not too far forward or backward while you try the pillow. You want a nice straight posture.

The next thing to do is consider the position you sleep in most of the time--back, side or stomach. The neck curve is shallower when you sleep on your back and requires a flatter pillow or a pillow designated for back sleepers.

A side sleeper can use the contour memory foam pillow. The curve of the pillow fits into the neck and the head will rest backwards onto the flat part of the pillow.

Someone who is a stomach sleeper can sleep with a flat memory foam pillow or no pillow.

Other types of materials with similar benefits of memory foam are buckwheat hulls, a natural alternative, latex, and air. These also are better choices than feather or poly pillows. A very petite person may still be able to use a feather pillow since these pillows have low height.

If you have any neck pain, you should consult with a medical professional as to what is the best pillow for you. They are usually familiar with the various types and can help you decide which one to choose.

Sometimes a good nights sleep is just a pillow away.

Carol Fena, is webmaster for - a site for finding retirement communities, and has received pillow selection training.