In the comfy universe of bedding, there are several types of pillows. Choosing one that is right for you can help you avoid a nightly battle with your pillow, allowing you to sleep better and wake up without stiffness in your back or neck.
The fundamental difference between down and down alternative is the filling. Down is sourced from the soft undercoat of waterfowl like geese and ducks, while down alternative is made from a synthetic material such as polyester microfiber that mimics down’s natural softness. Although down pillows are traditionally seen as the plushest, fluffiest and most luxurious, down alternative pillows have some notable advantages, starting with their anti-allergy aspect.
The fabric is hypoallergenic and can also be easily washed and dried in a normal home dryer. Furthermore, down alternative is also a non-animal product, and some down alternatives feature eco-friendly recycled polyester.
Those looking for a lightweight, lofty feeling from their pillow might prefer traditional down. It is worth noting that the different pillow fills affect fluffiness, durability and care needs, along with the price tag.
It all comes down — no pun intended — to preference and budget.
There are the three basic options when choosing the density of a pillow — soft, medium and firm. The correct pillow firmness level is also dictated by the individual’s sleeping patterns. For instance, a soft pillow is ideal for stomach sleepers. This type of pillow helps keep their head at near-mattress level. This will guarantee that their necks stay aligned with the spinal cord and help maintain comfort throughout the night.
A pillow with medium support is best for people who sleep on their backs. A back sleeper’s shoulders rest on the mattress while their heads rest on a pillow. This can cause the neck and spine to lose alignment if a pillow is too lofty and dense.
A firm pillow will support a side-sleeping habit. Side sleepers need extra support or they risk their head sinking to the level of their shoulder. This puts tension on the neck and aggravates pressure points.
For those who change positions often when they sleep, a medium density option that isn’t too firm or soft offers more versatility.
No matter what type of pillow is chosen, the experts say that caring for down or down alternative pillows by putting them in the washing machine or sending them to the dry cleaner a few times a year as recommended by the manufacturer can help with their longevity.
About the author
J.V. Russell is a co-owner of Bedside Manor, a Camana Bay shop that showcases a collection of high-quality bedding, bath products and baby brands and unique jewellery, stationery and gifts.