Given how much of our lives we spend in bed, it's staggering how willing we are to put up with an uncomfortable sleeping situation. How many times have you slept on a pillow that's too flat or too tall or too soft or too hard?
With the rise in sleep technology and a myriad of new bedding and mattress companies launching on the market, there's never been a better time to take stock of how you sleep and what you sleep on.
Experts suggest that pillows should be changed every two years – but the average person keeps using them for 3.2 years. A flattened pillow from too much usage could put strain on your neck (and it doesn't bear thinking about how many dust mites and other nasties are crawling around in there).
This isn't frivolous stuff, either. According to new research, sleep has a stronger association with a person's wellbeing than almost anything else in their lives. The signs are that we're cottoning on. Recently, Matthew Walker's book Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams became a runaway bestseller.
I've worked my way through a constant rotation of new pillows to find the best of the bunch, sampling traditional favourites and hi-tech new products in my quest for the perfect night's sleep.
The first thing I learned is that material is an important factor in the pillow you choose. Broadly speaking, there are four types that you need to know about:
- Cotton: The basic, bog-standard pillow. Cotton pillows are cheap and readily available – but they're prone to absorbing heat, and over time they flatten out to nothingness. Fine for the spare room that is very rarely slept in; not good enough to be considered in my search for the best pillows out there.
- Feather: A more luxurious pillow that tends to be squashy and comfortable. Usually the feathers will be either duck or goose. If you can, buy a down pillow, which uses feathers from the softer, fluffier layer underneath a bird's outer feathers; these tend to be even softer and more luxurious. Feather pillows are light and ultra comfortable but they do tend to clump up requiring a daily plumping, and they're obviously not vegan, if that matters to you. In addition, some people are allergic to duck or goose feather.
- Memory foam: Memory foam pillows were once all the rage but they're on their way out now. Memory foam is designed to mould to the shape of your head, providing solid support all night long. They're also hypo-allergenic and don't require washing. The trouble is that they're very firm, heavy, and absorb heat during the night, making for an uncomfortable combination. My advice is to only pick memory foam if you really want a firm, supportive pillow.
- Microfibre: The new kid on the block, microfibre aims to combine the best of all the other kinds of pillow. They're soft and fluffy like feather, don't clump, don't trap perspiration or moisture, and aim to keep cool through the night. However, microfibre is also the most expensive pillow lining, so you generally tend to find these pillows are bulked out with memory foam or feathers too.
Need more advice on products, materials, as well as advice on bedding, please contact us immediately. Minh Ha Bedding we are proud to be the supplier of high-class 4-5 star hotel standard bedding for all customers.
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