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The optimal pillow for your sleep


Without a pillow, a bed is not a bed. At least for most people, it belongs to the bedding as the air for breathing. In addition to the “comfort factor”, the most important requirement for a pillow is that it must optimally support the neck area during sleep. The selection of pillows made of different materials with different fillings in various variants is great. In any case, you must make the right choice of the pillow which makes the most comfortable and ergonomically optimal lying position. For more about your sleeping buddies, visit www.bedtimefriends.com.

Learn more about the most important factors to consider when choosing and purchasing a pillow.


Sleeping positions and the appropriate pillow shapes

A pillow’s main function is filling the gap between the mattress and the head and neck so that the cervical spine does not bend and the head is not tilted either upwards or downwards. Depending on the sleeping position, the shape of the pillow must be matched with the mattress and the head area. Also, the height of the pillow must adapt to required support. A head pillow should, therefore, be selected to perfectly support you in the sleeping position in which you spend most of your time sleeping.

Side sleepers:

In the side position, the distance between the mattress and the head is the largest out of three. To prevent the shoulder from sinking into the mattress, the pillow must not reach below the shoulder but merely support the head and neck. A supporting cushion of size 40 × 80 cm or 40 × 60 cm is therefore recommended. Depending on your body contours (wide or narrow shoulders), the required height may vary. You should have the pillow probed and let a second person check whether the spine is in a straight line and the shoulder axis is at right angles with the mattress. If your neck area is much narrower compared to the head width, you are most comfortable with an ergonomically shaped neck support pillow. Otherwise, pillows in soap form are also recommended.

Back sleepers:

If you lie mostly on the back, you should be careful not to choose pillow which is too high. A relatively flat pillow is usually enough to keep the head in a horizontal position – it should never be inclined upwards. In this sleeping position, the task of the pillow is primarily the correct support of the lordosis in the cervical area. So, it is best for you to opt for a flat neck support pillow that supports the cervical vertebrae by an ergonomic elevation in the lower cushion area and does not reach the shoulder area. If you have a broad shoulder, you may need a slightly higher cushion to be comfortable.

Stomach sleeper:

If you sleep in this position, no pillow is actually required, since an increase in the head region inevitably leads to overstretching of the neck and bending the spine swayback. The neck vertebrae are also strongly twisted when using a cushion. If you can not sleep without a head pillow, you should only use a very flat pillow that you can not sink into – it is only possible to breathe without turning the head any further. For this purpose, some manufacturers offer special shaped abdominal pillows, which have a trough in the nose and mouth area.


What pillow filling is the best?

The best known is probably the classic spring cushion, which provides a spring cushion for pleasure. However, the bulky pillows of the size 80 × 80 cm with a filling of feathers and down are no longer recommended.

The following filling materials are preferred by persons who like to sleep on a soft pillow, which they can mould and “cuddle” them. For some cushions, the filling capacity can be individually adjusted. If you prefer firm pillow, bamboo pillows may be just fine.

Feathers / down:

The higher the spring portion of the fill, the firmer the pillow. While downs provide softness, the springs are responsible for the necessary support force. In addition, the load-bearing effect of the pillow can be increased by a 3-chamber construction, which is highly recommended especially for neck support pillows. The pillow is then divided into three distinct chambers or layers: the middle and supporting layer consists predominantly of feathers, while the outer layers with fluffy downs provide for a pleasantly soft surface.

For whom, it is suitable:

Down and feathers have a strong warming effect. Therefore, this filler is suitable for people who feel cold quickly and also want a pillow with high fill power.

Animal hair:

This category includes fillings made of horsehair, pure new wool and camel hair fluff. A pillow filling made of Rosshaar (fleece of tail and mane hair) is very firm and flat, while wool and camel hair have soft and adaptable properties.

For whom, it is suitable:

All natural hair fillings are characterised by very good moisture management and therefore particularly suitable. The sweat is profusely at the top of pillow made of natural materials for people.


The pillow of cotton wool is very light. The weight of genuine microfiber used is hardly noticeable. In order to reduce the risk of clumping, the cotton is usually processed with a nonwoven material. Made of cellulose, Lyocell is the natural variant of the upholstery wool. Wadding made of PU or polyester, on the other hand, is the favourable variant of a light cushion filling, which ensures a very high bulk strength. However, the more favourable the filling, the lower the quality and the shorter the life of the pad.

For whom, it is suitable:

The polyester filling is just right if you prefer a cosy cushion which is very soft and the shapes and compressing very well.

Foam flakes:

The flakes or rods depending on the different material have different properties, but generally are very dimensionally stable and do not lose the form quickly. If the foam itself is very adaptable (e.g., latex or viscose foam), a rather soft cushion is produced. In the case of flakes or sticks made of stronger PU foam or cold foam, the cushion is characterised by a high support effect.

For whom, it is suitable:

The filler material is very suitable for individuals who prefer a high pillow and sweat quickly. Through the interspaces between the foam flakes, a good ventilation of the pad takes place.

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