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Pillow firmness is important because it will directly impact your comfort level and sleep quality. There are a few factors to consider when trying to decide if a pillow is the right firmness for you:. Sleep position: You want a pillow that will provide just the right amount of comfort and support depending on your preferred sleep position. For example, a stomach sleeper will prefer a soft pillow with little loft because it helps their neck remain in a neutral position.
Alternately, a side sleeper will need a firm pillow with a good amount of loft to achieve proper head and neck alignment. Weight: Body weight can impact the amount of firmness you need to get the best possible support. In general, the term refers to how much the pillow sinks whenever you apply weight to it. The most common terms for measuring pillow firmness are below. Soft: These ultra plush pillows are great for sleepers who need very little support, such as stomach sleepers.
They offer very little resistance and easily conform to your head and neck. Because these pillows lack firmness, they can lead to neck pain when used with the wrong sleep position. Medium Soft: These pillows offer a little more support than the softest pillows, while still feeling plush. However, larger bodied sleepers who might require more loft and firmness than what these pillows offer. Medium Firm: These pillows are very firm, but not so much that they lack give. They offer a great deal of support for the head and neck, while also providing conformity and some extra cushioning.
Firm: These pillows are often very heavy with practically no give. Larger bodied sleepers might prefer these pillows as they offer adequate support to the head, neck, and back. Firm pillows most commonly feature a buckwheat fill. No pillow is inherently bad for sleeping or outright contributes Looking for firm but neck and back pain. Each type of pillow is suitable for sleepers according to their sleep position and specific preferences. Side Sleepers: These sleepers typically want firm pillows that are also highly conforming, allowing the neck to more easily align with the spine. For the best possibleside sleepers are encouraged to use memory foam or latex pillows.
Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers generally need the least amount of loft out of all sleepers. A flatter pillow is best for keeping their necks in a neutral position Looking for firm but avoiding the strain that more firm pillows cause. Back Sleepers: Back sleepers will avoid too soft a pillow because they need a pillow that will keep their neck and back aligned. Combination Sleepers: These sleepers tend to move around during the night, switching from their back to their sides.
Loft refers to the height and thickness of a pillow. There are typically three of pillow loft: low loft, medium loft, and high loft. The higher the loft, the thicker and taller the pillow will be. For example, a side sleeper will prefer a higher-loft to allow their neck to experience the optimal amount of alignment.
The best way to remember the difference is to associate loft with height and firmness with support. The material used in creating a pillow will often decide its firmness level. Adjustable firmness pillows are a great help to sleepers who often find themselves stuck with pillows that are too soft or firm. With a customizable pillow, you have control over the amount of head and neck support it provides you. There are multiple ways in which a pillow might be adjustable.
For instance, a pillow stuffed with shredded foam could contain a zipper, allowing you to open it and remove as much foam stuffing as you need to get to the preferred amount of loft. Sometimes zippers are used to expand or collapse the pillow, allowing you to manually change the firmness. Depending on the pillow, you might have a single removable core or multiple removable inserts. Removing inserts not only affects the loft, but depending on the material, it also affects pillow firmness. An adjustable firmness pillow is a smart purchase for sleepers who tend to switch positions during the night.
While a firm pillow will suit you on your side, if you switch to your stomach, the same pillow will be less comfortable and force your neck upward at an odd angle. With an adjustable firmness pillow, you can make changes to your pillow without feeling the need to buy another pillow to suit a different sleep position.
The bottom line: we recommend trying out pillows with different firmness settings in order to determine your preferred feel. Testing out pillows with different compositions and loft measurements is also recommended.
For more information about different pillow types, please visit Looking for firm but following guides on Tuck Sleep. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn More. March 3, Written by Keith Cushner. Why is Pillow Firmness Important? There are a few factors to consider when trying to decide if a pillow is the right firmness for you: Sleep position: You want a pillow that will provide just the right amount of comfort and support depending on your preferred sleep position.
How Is Pillow Firmness Measured? Pillow Firmness and Sleeper Type No pillow is inherently bad for sleeping or outright contributes to neck and back pain. Pillow Firmness vs. Pillow Firmness and Material The material used in creating a pillow will often decide its firmness level.
Pillow Type Description Typical Firmness Range Memory foam Memory foam, also known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam, is deed to conform to the body. Newer foam will easily retain its original shape. These pillows are either made up of a solid section of foam or filled with shredded foam fibers. Latex pillows offer a similar level of head and neck support to memory foam. The difference is that latex pillows tend to be more uniform and require very little fluffing or shaking.
Soft to Firm Buckwheat Pillows filled using the husk-like outer shell of buckwheat kernels. Buckwheat pillows tend to be very heavy and offer above-average support. Firm to Extra Firm Down Down pillows are stuffed with the plumage from geese or ducks, but not their feathers. Soft to Medium Down alternative Down alternative pillows are usually made with polyester fibers in an effort to mimic the soft and lightweight qualities of authentic down. Soft to Medium Firm Polyester Polyester pillows are entirely filled with polyester fibers.
Soft to Firm Water pillow A pillow that features a thin waterbase. You can add water to the pillow through the water pouch. Might also be filled with materials such as fiber, down, or memory foam. Soft to Medium Firm. Adjustable Firmness Pillows Adjustable firmness pillows are a great help to sleepers who often find themselves stuck with pillows that are too soft or firm. Conclusion The bottom line: we recommend trying out pillows with different firmness settings in order to determine your preferred feel. Additional Resources. Memory foam. Memory foam, also known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam, is deed to conform to the body.
Latex is a natural substance made rubber tree sap. Pillows filled using the husk-like outer shell of buckwheat kernels. Down pillows are stuffed with the plumage from geese or ducks, but not their feathers.
Down alternative. Down alternative pillows are usually made with polyester fibers in an effort to mimic the soft and lightweight qualities of authentic down. Water pillow. A pillow that features a thin waterbase.Looking for firm but
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