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6 Popular Types of Pillows

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Pillows are some of those things that people generally take for granted. We use them daily, but we rarely give them a second thought. However, pillows are extremely important and play a huge role in getting a good night’s rest. But there are many different types to choose from, and knowing which is the best for you can be challenging. In fact, according to research, many people make poor pillow choices that result in poor sleep quality, low pillow comfort and waking up throughout the night. But that doesn’t have to be you. Together, we’ll explore six popular types of bedding pillows and discuss the purpose and benefits of each one. So whether you’re in the market for a new pillow or suspect your current one isn’t giving you the support you need, this guide will help you find the perfect one.

1) Back Sleeper Pillows

Sleeping on your back is considered great for your spine because it uses gravity to keep your head, neck and spine straight. This alignment is essential for preventing pain and maintaining proper posture. Back-sleeping pillows are specifically designed to support your head and neck in this position. They’re usually medium-loft, which means they’re between three and five inches thick. This thickness provides the perfect amount of support without pushing your head too far forward. Contour pillows are an excellent option for back sleepers because they conform to the shape of your head and neck. Gel contour pillows are even better because they provide additional support and pressure relief.

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2) Stomach Sleeper Pillows

Sleeping on your stomach can strain your neck and spine, leading to pain and discomfort. To ensure a good night’s sleep, it’s important to choose a pillow that is both thin and supportive. This will help keep your head and spine aligned, preventing pain and stiffness. 

Pillows made of memory foam or latex are generally a good choice for stomach sleepers, as they provide the necessary support without being too thick or bulky. In addition, pillows with an adjustable loft, like down feather pillows, are also worth considering. They allow you to customize the amount of support to better suit your needs.

girl sleeping on her stomach

Source: Maridav/Shutterstock.com

3) Side Sleeper Pillows

Side sleeper pillows are designed to provide optimal support for people who sleep on their side. This kind of pillow is generally thicker than a typical pillow, which helps to keep the head and neck properly aligned with the spine. This design alleviates pressure on the shoulders and hips and helps to prevent pain in the neck, shoulders and back. 

Side sleeper pillows are available in various materials, including memory foam, latex and down. Some even combine multiple materials for optimal loft and support. Additionally, you’ll be able to find special, unconventional shapes in side-sleeper pillows, leaving room for your shoulder, so it doesn’t get cramped during the night.

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4) Travel Pillows

Travel pillows are supportive neck pillows, useful when in transit or at your final destination. They can be extremely helpful in preventing neck pain and discomfort when traveling. These pillows support your head and neck and help keep your spine in alignment. If you suffer from neck pain, a travel pillow may be just what you need to make your trip more comfortable.

They are generally available in memory foam and gel and come in various shapes. Some travel pillows are shaped like conventional pillows. In contrast, others are U-shaped, allowing support while sitting upright in a plane, bus or car.

woman with a travel pillow resting

Source: New Africa/Shutterstock.com

You may also be wondering can you wash your pillows after traveling? All pillows will have a tag that details care instructions, but with memory foam, it’s best to spot-treat spills or stains and not toss them in a washer. Or, better yet, use a pillow protector to keep your pillow clean.

5) Specialty Pillows

Over the years, pillows have evolved from simple bedding accessories to playing an essential role in our lives. Specialty pillows provide support and comfort in various situations, from sleeping and watching TV to dealing with pain and recovery. 

For example, wedge pillows can help alleviate acid reflux; roll pillows help support your back, neck, knees and arms; and saddle-shaped pillows can ease sciatic pain. In addition, body pillows offer full-body support, making them ideal for pregnant women or anyone who needs extra comfort and support. With so many options available, it’s easy to find the perfect pillow for your needs.

6) Cooling Pillows

Cooling pillows are designed to lower the temperature around your head and neck, providing a more comfortable sleeping environment. They may also help relieve hot flashes, night sweats and headaches. They’re usually filled with gel or memory foam, but there are down and down alternative options available as well. The good news for side, back and stomach sleepers alike is that cooling pillows come in all shapes, sizes and lofts. This means that, regardless of your sleep style or pillow preferences, there’s a cooling pillow out there that’s perfect for you. 

Final Pillow Talk

While there are a variety of pillows available on the market, it’s essential to find one that suits your specific needs. Different materials and shapes provide different levels of support and comfort, so it’s important to take the time to find the perfect pillow for you. With so many options available, there’s no excuse not to get a good night’s sleep. Pillow shopping may seem daunting, but once you find the perfect pillow, you’ll be glad you took the time to do it right.

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