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Finding Your Perfect Pillow

It’s 2023, and sleep is a hot topic. Most of us don’t get enough of it, and that can really do a number on our daily lives. Some of us have trouble getting to sleep, while others have trouble staying asleep through the night. And a whole bunch of us wake up everyday with aches and pains we wish we didn’t have.

Finding Perfect Pillow

As we explored in a previous post, sleep posture and position are crucial for understanding how to find the right sleep implements for your body. Back sleepers will have different needs than side sleepers, and then what do we do with the multi-position “flipper”? 

Selecting the right pillow can make all the difference. Here are four things to consider when seeking the pillow of your dreams.

Set the Optimal Foundation

First things first…We’re big fans of the right mattress around here, especially when it’s made with the magic of wool. Our All Wool Mattress helps keep the spine aligned, giving for softness, holding for support, and allowing your body to relax properly. Many happy Shepherd’s Dream customers have reported relief from painful pressure points, aches, and arthritis pains. 

Speaking of that perfect combo of soft-yet-firm, we also offer our Cascade Latex Mattress which is specially engineered with different zones of support, especially effective for side sleepers.

Maybe you’re already happy with your mattress or not in the market for one right now? Totally cool, the right pillow is a great start or addition for making your neck and back happy.

Consider Your Body Type

This is where the pillow’s fill weight comes in. The laws of gravity make this one pretty simple—petite folks need less, larger bodied folks need more. This is especially important to consider with our wool pillows, as they will naturally compress 30-40% in the first six months of use. Luckily both the Ashland Organic Pillow and the EcoWool Pillow come in three different fill weights to meet you where you are.

In our experience with customers over the years, people seem happy to choose the thinnest, softest version for their needs.

What’s Your Preferred Sleep Position?

While most of us aren’t always aware of what we’re doing while we’re asleep, how we position ourselves overnight can mean a lot about how we feel the next day. Knowing your main sleeping position will go a long way toward helping you find the right pillow.

  • Back Sleepers. Back sleeping can be great for alignment purposes and for helping ease aches and pains. One potential drawback is snoring, as soft tissues give in to gravity and interfere with our airway. Our EcoWool® Contour Pillow has built-in neck support which can help with proper head positioning—and hopefully quieter nights! If you go with a regular pillow, be sure to choose a thinner, softer one.
  • Stomach Sleepers. While potentially better for snoring and sleep apnea, stomach sleeping presents some serious pillow challenges. Too much fill and your neck is cranked at a bad angle. There’s also the issue of having your face against a soft and fluffy surface—things can get a little clammy. Here’s where wool excels! Wool can absorb water vapor while keeping the surface dry, so any moisture build-up (we won’t tell anyone if you drool…) won’t be as much of an issue thanks to superior breathability and moisture management. Be sure to go with as thin of a pillow as feels comfortable.
  • Side Sleepers. The most common sleeping position, side sleeping is also quite possibly the healthiest. But it can come with some side effects because the bones are stacked on top of each other, and a painful neck angle is all too easy to achieve. Be sure to find a pillow with plenty of support, which will also help take pressure off your shoulder as well. Give our Customizable Wooly Down Pillow a try so you can adjust the fill to meet your needs. Our EcoWool Neck Pillow is at the ready when you need some extra support. If knees and hips are complaining, hug our EcoWool Body Pillow.
  • The Flippers. When one position just isn’t enough…this can make choosing a pillow a really tough task. If back + stomach are your faves, go for a low-profile pillow with less fill. If side sleeping is part of your routine, here’s where our Neck Pillow can shine, because you can move it when it’s not needed and snuggle up with it when it is. Our customers rave about the Oxygen Pillow for back + side sleeping, be sure to reference the buying guide to determine which size is right for you.

4. Special Considerations

Sometimes our bodies need some extra special attention. Chronic aches, pains, arthritis, or other physical ailments can interrupt sleep and have us reaching for relief during the day. Whatever and wherever your pain point, giving it some support can really help. For those with back discomfort while sitting, our Lumbar Pillow has got your back. And we’ve never met a pregnant woman who couldn’t use a Body Pillow!

Buying the perfect pillow may not fix your entire life, but you may be surprised at what you’ve been missing. A quality pillow that respects your body, your health, and the planet is a wise investment, so be sure to think about what your body is asking of you before buying. If you need further assistance or just aren’t sure, please contact us so we can help!