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Are New Pillows Worth the Money?
By Pluto Graham Published: 10/27/2009
Squeezing a pillow in the store will teach you just as much as kicking tires on a car. If you're going to make a good purchase, you need to know what's best for you.
The truth is that most of us don't know a thing about choosing the best pillow for us. We just look at the product description and think "Soft is nice. I must be a soft pillow person." Realistically, there are far more qualities to look for in a pillow than how fluffy it feels.
Pillows help us sleep because they support our body's natural spinal alignment. No matter the design, all pillows should hold your head four to six inches above the mattress to reduce pressure points and relax muscles.
Your sleeping position is the most important factor when choosing the design, support and material of your new pillows.
Back sleepers need the most support around the neck, head and shoulders. Experts say back sleepers can use a wide range of memory foam, down or pillows with artificial stuffing as long as it's of medium firmness. To reduce lower back pain, back sleepers should place the pillow so it rests between the head and the bottom of the shoulder line, while placing a pillow underneath the knees for added support.
Side sleepers need pillows with medium to firm support to cradle the head and neck without displacing the shoulders. Posturepedic pillows decrease the fiber concentration in the center of the pillow to offer broad support and even weight distribution for most side sleeping positions.
Stomach sleepers should avoid resting their head in an unnecessary upward angle. Soft, flat pillows maintain spinal alignment without adding unnecessary stress on the shoulders. Stomach sleepers should try memory foam pillows because they mold to the shape of the head and neck.
You can make you pillows last up to three to five years if you use a pillow protector. You can wash a pillow, but many people prefer to replace it when it turns yellow from years of collecting dirt and sweat. Always replace lumpy or misshapen pillows.
Finding the right pillow for your sleeping position is important. When you keep your spinal alignment, you can reduce stress, retain energy and improve your overall health. Throw out that old lumpy pillow and start your day on the right side of the bed.