The Pillow Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best Pillow - MattressNextDay

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The Pillow Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best Pillow

The Pillow Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best Pillow

How to Choose the Best Pillow

Although mattresses and beds are important for your sleep, pillows also play a crucial role in determining whether or not you’ll wake up without unwanted aches and pains. Choosing the right pillow will guarantee you get the best sleep. As you’ll see, there are a range of factors to consider.

When is the Best Time to Replace Your Pillow?

You should aim to replace your pillow every 2 years. Pillows can become worn, deformed and discoloured from persistent use. In some cases, they can also become ineffective at support your head, neck, and spine during the night.

An old pillow can also become a burden on your nose and breathing airways, especially if there are dust mites present within the material.

If you notice any of the above and you believe you’ve fully exhausted your pillow too, it’s time to start shopping for a new one.

Pillow Types – What Options do you Have?

There are several different pillow types available, all with differing benefits and limitations. However, in general, there are two categories to consider with pillows: natural and synthetic.


Natural pillows contain materials such as wool and feathers. In essence, they contain anything that comes from a natural source – not one that is man-made.

Feathered pillows are usually produced from ducks. The composition is often 85% duck feather and 15% duck down, giving the pillow a light and soft feel. In our collection, we have goose feathers as a suitable substitute, boasting all the same benefits as duck.

Woollen pillows are often thick and a little tougher than feathered pillows. They may not be the best if you’re a side sleeper but they’re hypoallergenic and excellent if you suffer from allergies. They’re also breathable, preventing overheating during the night.


With synthetic options, there’s a lot more choice. As you can probably guess, synthetic pillows are filled with man-made material opposed to natural materials, such as wool and feather. Synthetic options include hollowfibre, memory foam, anti-allergy, and latex.

  • Hollowfibre – hollowfibre is one of the most common forms of synthetic pillow on the market. This pillow includes a collection of hollowfibre materials and polyester, offering a bouncy comfy feel that doesn’t break the bank. This combination also helps to retain the pillow’s plump appearance, preventing it from sagging in the middle.
  • Memory Foam – memory foam features visco-elastic material which offers superior support for your neck and spine during sleep. Memory foam contours naturally with your body, taking unnecessary pressure off certain points. This style of pillow can become particularly popular in recent years because of its pain-relieving features.
  • Anti-Allergy – Anti-allergy pillows are an excellent choice for people who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema and breathing problems, such as asthma. They mimic the feel of natural pillows without the skin and respiratory irritation.
  • Latex – Latex pillows are firm and offer a good level of support for your head and neck during the night. They’re resistant to mould and dust mites but can’t be moulded into a preferred shape because of their rigidness. They good for back sleepers but may provide discomfort for side sleepers.

Pillows and Sleeping Positions

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-pillow-suits-all solution and picking the right one will also be determined by the style in which you sleep. There are three different sleeping styles to consider when choosing the best pillow, all effecting to the pillow you’ll require. Choosing the wrong one can lead to unwanted aches and pains the following morning. These three styles include: side, back, and front.

What is the Best Pillow for Side Sleepers?

Sleeping on your side is incredibly common - approximately 41% of the population sleep in this style. If you happen to sleep in this position, you’ll need to keep your head and neck supported otherwise you’ll suffer for it in the morning.

Make sure the pillow you choose is slightly on the firmer side and is thicker to fill the gap between your shoulder and ear. However, if you’re not a fan of the firm, you do have the option to opt for something softer. Just make sure your neck isn’t drooping down excessively.

What is the Best Pillow for Back Sleepers?

Back sleepers should opt for something thinner to help the neck stay aligned with the spine. Additionally, the pillow should be on the softer side to prevent the head from rising too high. However, you also have the option to go for something firmer if you’re looking to get a different material, such as memory foam. Firmness if particularly important if you have lower back pain, so do take this into consideration also.

What is the Best Pillow for Front Sleeper?

Front sleepers should look to invest in a thinner softer pillow, similar to back sleepers. In fact, sometimes, a front sleeper shouldn’t have any pillow at all. Front sleepers are most prone to back problems and can ache all over if their head is raised too high during the night. It can be beneficial to have a pillow under your stomach or pelvis during the night if you still feel pain the following morning.

Best Pillows for Neck Pain

If you’re looking to rid yourself of neck pain as a result of a poor night’s sleep, maybe you should invest in a memory foam pillow. Memory foam moulds to the shape of your body, giving you unprecedented support and removing any excess pressure on your joints. Memory foam is suitable for all types of sleepers, just make sure it’ the right level of thickness if you’re on your side.

Author: Lucy

Lucy is a copywriter, trend spotter, and our resident sleep expert! Lucie has been with the team since 2018 and her articles cover a sweeping array of subjects from general product care, the latest bedroom design trends, ways to promote healthier sleep and jargon-busting explanations to help you understand what goes into our products. Do you have questions for Lucy & the team? Call one of our sleep experts today!