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Finding the best pillow 20 Dec 2016 09:55 #1

We have found our perfect mattress, thanks to the info available on this site and to all of you. Now I need to find the perfect pillow. I ordered a shredded latex pillow when I ordered the mattress. You can take out material to make it less full. My husband has found the level of fullness that works for him and loves his pillow, I, however, wake up every day with a sore neck no matter how much material I leave in or take out. I can't tell you how many pillows I've tried over the years. It's ridiculous to have found THE mattress but still wake up in pain because of the pillow. Any recommendations? I'm a side and back sleeper.

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Finding the best pillow 20 Dec 2016 13:21 #2

Hi lynnfrbs1,

Congratulations on finding your new mattress! :)

Regarding selecting a pillow, the situation is the same as selecting a mattress, in that there are far too many variables involved to be able to select a pillow for you. However, I can certainly make some suggestions that may be helpful.

There are even more options in pillows I think than in mattresses, and most of us have been guilty at one time or another of purchasing some “less than stellar” offerings at department stores. There is a pillow thread here , and it links to many good posts about pillows and the different materials commonly used.

The key of course is to maintain a more natural cervical/upper thoracic alignment, but not all of us have what many physicians might describe as “normal” curvature in this region.

For sleeping on your side, it is of course imperative to maintain a pillow of sufficient enough thickness and substantial enough in filling to not collapse and have your head sink too much laterally. When you sleep on your back as well as your side, you generally want the pillow to be a bit thinner so that you’re not sleeping with too much forward flexion. That is why “shapeable” pillows (ones with filling that can be moved into different levels of thickness) are popular for people who sleep on their side and back. Down, shredded foams (latex, polyfoam and memory foam), buckwheat hulls, kapok, wool, silk, synthetic fibers and flax seed are just a few of the offerings in this category. Additionally, many of these styles of pillows are available with an inner casing that allows accessibility to the fill to allow removal of the fill material in order to customize thickness.

One tip for side sleepers is to place a large pillow or body pillow in front of you and rest your free arm on this pillow. This takes some of the stress off of the neck/shoulder complex. Additionally, you may wish to experiment with placing a pillow behind your shoulders when sleeping upon your side. This allows you to lean back slightly against the pillow, effectively abducting your scapula and rolling your shoulder joint forward a bit, and this can also help relieve some stress for you.

In the end, it does come down to quite a bit of experimentation, but you’ll want to be sure that you’re considering a product using more durable materials, and if you’re testing out the product in person, make sure to try it out of the plastic and in an actual pillowcase, as this does impact the overall comfort.

Let me know if you find anything that works for you, or if you have other questions.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Finding the best pillow 22 Dec 2016 03:39 #3

I'd just like to add some things regarding the subject of using pillows as supports.

Placing a large pillow between your knees for support while sleeping on your side can alleviate pressure on your legs, hips, and lower back. If you have a body pillow that's large enough, you can use it to support both your arm and your leg.

In the end, it does come down to quite a bit of experimentation,


Quite right. That's why it might also help if you had a bunch of differently-sized pillows to choose from. This will give you plenty of options in terms of supporting certain parts of your body to make yourself more comfortable in bed.

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Last edit: by Mosqueda.

Finding the best pillow 22 Dec 2016 13:34 #4

Hi Mosqueda,

Placing a large pillow between your knees for support while sleeping on your side can alleviate pressure on your legs, hips, and lower back. If you have a body pillow that's large enough, you can use it to support both your arm and your leg.

Yes, this is especially useful for many people, especially females, who tend to have a larger Q angle. lynnfrbs1 was complaining of issues in her neck, but this is certainly a good point to bring up!

Phoenix
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Finding the best pillow 28 Dec 2016 16:00 #5

I'm a side sleeper and I struggled to find a good pillow that worked for me. Everyone kept suggesting a high loft pillow since I was a side sleeper and I still always woke up with a sore neck.

What wasn't discussed, was that as a side sleeper, I sleep with my head on my arm. Some side sleepers have their arm extended out to their side.

In my case, I have to have an extremely thin pillow that just comforts my head without raising it at all. I've found that a thin egg-crate type piece of foam in a pillow case is best for me. I'm sure a piece of latex would be great, if you can find it thin enough and comfortable.

I think for side sleepers that sleep on their arm, thin is the answer. The side sleepers who extend their arm out to the side, not under their head, really need a thicker pillow to make up for the arm space.

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Finding the best pillow 28 Dec 2016 16:19 #6

Hi apenland01,

I think for side sleepers that sleep on their arm, thin is the answer. The side sleepers who extend their arm out to the side, not under their head, really need a thicker pillow to make up for the arm space.

Yes, this is very true. Your somatotype, musculature, and arm positioning will all play a role in pillow selection. Placing your arm in outward rotation and shoulder joint flexion under your head will take up some of the space that the pillow normally occupies and will provide less of a forgiving surface than what the mattress would normally provide, so you’d certainly need to adjust your pillow selection to reflect this. Some people will also flex their arm at the elbow and place their hand(s) under their cheek, either above or below the pillow, and this will also impact pillow selection. Ultimately, as you discovered, it’s about finding a product that helps you maintain a more neutral alignment and doesn’t put you into too much lateral neck flexion or extension.

I’m glad you found something that works well for yourself.

Phoenix
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Finding the best pillow 28 Dec 2016 17:45 #7

Thank you Phoenix! As always, very useful information.

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