The type of pillow we use to sleep on at night doesn’t necessarily seem like the most important thing in the world, does it?
But consider this: The vast majority of us spend a full one-third of our lives in bed, with our heads placed firmly on a pillow. And if you’re using a pillow that’s too hard, too soft, too firm, or too weak, both your neck and your spine will suffer as a result.
In the short term, a low-quality pillow will also lead to a less-than-ideal night’s sleep. That’s why choosing the right pillow—the best pillow—has always been such a difficult and even agonizing decision for innkeepers.
Naturally, the comfort of an innkeeper’s guests is always a top-of-mind concern. But whether you’re running a luxury hotel or your own small household, there are a few other pillow-specific considerations to bear in mind.
There’s the issue of allergens, for instance. Neck support and proper spine alignment are both crucially important. And then there’s the issue of long-term durability. After all, no one wants to spend good money on a pillow that will lose its shape and need to be replaced in just a few months’ time.
Nearly everyone has a different need when it comes to pillows. Some people have a strong preference for soft pillows, while many others prefer a medium or a firm pillow. Today, there are so many different pillow choices available that it can be difficult to choose without actually trying them out.
The bottom line, though, is that having a comfortable sleeping pillow is absolutely essential to getting a good night’s rest. And while the pillow you or your guests prefer really is a matter of personal preference, there still are some general guidelines.
The way you sleep is one of the most important factors to consider in selecting the correct pillow that will work best for you—or for a guest. The key is to ensure that your neck and spine are properly aligned and supported.
Your head and neck, in other words, should stay in a neutral position while you sleep, which means that your spine should be in the same position it would be in if you were standing.
» If you sleep on your stomach: You don’t want a pillow that will put pressure on your neck. You most likely would want a soft pillow. Some might even prefer to sleep with no pillow at all.
» If you sleep on your back: You do not want a pillow that will tilt your head too far forward, therefore creating a strain on your neck. A medium pillow would be the best choice.
» If you sleep on your side: You want to be sure to support your head and keep your spine aligned. You probably need a firm pillow.
Most pillows are washable, and should be washed often. Many manufacturers of pillows suggest changing your pillows every six months.
If you don’t fall into any of the above categories—if you tend to change positions frequently during the night, for instance—a medium pillow might be your best bet. Or you might want to try multiple pillows of different weights. If you like to scrunch or fold your pillows to get settled in bed, err on the side of a softer pillow.