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Picking the perfect pillow isn’t as easy as tossing the first one you find on sale into your cart. Between pillow type, fill material, and shape, there’s a lot to think about—including any potential allergies or ethical issues you may have with the fill. To help you figure out where to start, we asked Wirecutter bed and bath writer Jackie Reeve to share some advice on how to find the best pillow for you.
How to Shop for Pillows
Shop based on your sleeping position. At the most basic level, you have a choice between two types of pillows: down (and down alternative) and memory foam pillows. Your sleeping position determines which pillow will work best to support your head and neck while you snooze. Side- and back-sleepers will benefit from a memory foam pillow: Dense and supportive, memory foam molds to the shape of your neck.
Stomach-sleepers often get the most comfortable night’s sleep with a down pillow, which molds to your head more easily and keeps your head and neck in line with your body. Down-alternative pillows are a good substitute for real down if you avoid using animal products or have allergies. (“Down alternative” is fluffy fill, usually polyester or rayon, that mimics the feel of down but costs much less.)
Consider an adjustable pillow. When it comes to pillows, Jackie says there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option: What works best for one person might be uncomfortable to another. Customizable pillows, like our top picks for side-sleepers and stomach-sleepers, offer a solution to this problem by giving sleepers control over the loft. Adjustable pillows allow you to remove filling (down or foam) to create your best fit. If you save the extra filling from a foam pillow and add it back as the remaining filling condenses, your pillow can be used for years, easily conforming to your sleeping needs as they change.
Keep an eye on the return policy and warranty. No matter how much research you do online ahead of time, you need to sleep with a pillow for a few nights to know whether it really works for you. That makes a great return policy essential: We recommend buying from a retailer that offers a return policy of anywhere from 30 to 100 days. Though you should need only two weeks to know for sure, a longer return window is always better.
Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: How to Shop for Pillow Deals