Pillow Talk: A Guide to Choosing the Right Pillow for You

by Mia Campbell
March 14, 2023

When it comes to orchestrating a deep night’s sleep, there are a lot of different environmental elements at play.

There’s the quality of your mattress, the brightness and colour of your lights, and the temperature of your room. And then there’s your pillow: an often overlooked sleep accessory that has a surprisingly big impact on the quality of your sleep.

A comfy, supportive pillow cradles your head as you drift off to sleep, keeping your spine properly aligned with your neck. The right pillow helps you achieve and remain in restful REM sleep by relieving pressure and preventing neck aches. In other words, the pillow is the cherry on top of the sundae that is a restful sleep—a sometimes afterthought of, but no less critical ingredient.

In this article, we’ll explain how to choose the most cuddleable pillow type based on your sleep position .

Finding the Right Pillow For Your Sleep Position

Nearly (if not equally) as important as finding the right mattress, finding a pillow that fits your sleep style is key to catching Zs. Let’s go over the best pillow styles for each of the three primary sleep positions:

Back sleeping
Considered the most healthy sleep position, back sleeping can help keep your spine aligned and promote healthy circulation. If you sleep on your back, it’s important to use a pillow that is high enough to support your head and neck and is medium-firm to ensure spinal alignment. Consider a memory foam pillow, which moulds around your head and neck while providing ample support. Alternatively, you can try a latex pillow, which is similar in structure but more breathable than memory foam—making latex pillows a good choice for back sleepers who sleep hot.

Side sleeping
The second most healthy sleep position, side sleeping is also the most common. Because sleeping on your side can put pressure on your joints, you’ll need a pillow that keeps the curve of your head and neck in proper alignment if you sleep on your side. The best pillows for side sleepers include shredded memory foam or bamboo pillows, both of which let you adjust the filling to create the optimal firmness and height. (If you’re a side sleeper, optimal height is typically firm and high, but play around with different levels to find what works best for you).

Stomach sleeping
Stomach sleeping can make your neck and spine curve unnaturally, but with the right pillow, you can better align your spine while easing pressure on your neck, jaw, and shoulders. The best pillows for stomach sleepers include down feather pillows or alternative down pillows (made from synthetic materials designed to imitate the fill and properties of natural down), which are soft and easily flattened. Because stomach sleepers should keep their head as close to the mattress as possible, the soft, moldable quality of down pillows make them ideal.

The Modern Age of Pillows

These days, pillows come not only in different heights, firmnesses, and materials but in a huge array of shapes and functions. Here are 3 types of pillows to keep on your radar:

Travel pillows. Long gone are the days of trying to make do with the clunky overpriced U-shaped neck pillow you bought at the airport. Here to stay are the days of sleek, innovative travel pillows like the scarflike, compact Trtl Pillow or the chin-supporting J-Pillow.

Body pillows. Body pillows are massive, comfy, and snuggle-worthy. Consider the Australian-made Snug Hugs pillow, with its U-shaped design that contours and cuddles your body in an endless array of sleep positions.

Knee pillows. These guys are particularly helpful if you sleep on your side, alleviating pressure on your back, hips, and—of course—your knees. If you’re looking for a knee pillow, behold this futuristic adjustable memory foam knee pillow from Coop Home Goods.

Once you’ve found the perfect pillow for your sleep position and personal sleep needs, make your comfy bed complete with luxury, tailored sheets from bedsmade.