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A Guide to Choosing the Right Pillow for Your Sleeping Position

Picture this: you’re at a dinner party, chatting with someone about the new pillow they just bought, they’re raving about how great it is, how much better they’re sleeping and how much more refreshed they feel in the morning. Convinced, you decide to buy the exact same pillow and wait excitedly to try it out. It arrives, you set up your new bed setup and lay down for the night. And… nothing. The pillow isn’t just bad, it’s downright terrible. You have a kink in your neck, and you feel worse than before. What went wrong? 

That friend of yours probably meant well, but what you may not know is that there are different types of pillows for sleep positions. If you fall asleep on your side while your buddy always passes out on their back, you’re going to need completely different pillow sizes, shapes and maybe even materials. Your sleeping position will determine what level of support and firmness you need to support your neck, hold your spine in a good neutral position and give you that deep, refreshing sleep that feels so good. 

If you’re still hunting for the pillow of your dreams, allow us to run you through the best pillow for all sleep positions, so you can pinpoint which features you need to get your best night’s sleep ever.

Let’s talk different sleeping positions

Based on the shape of your body, what feels comfortable for you and your unique physiology, you probably have one or two sleep positions that feel best for you. The most common sleep positions are on the side, flat on your back, and on your stomach, and while none of these is necessarily ‘better’ than the other, they all require different levels of support to hold your neck in a comfortable position and make sure that your head, neck and spine are all straight and comfortable. 

If you don’t always sleep in one position and tend to rotate through a few positions, you’ll need a pillow that adjusts to your different needs and remains comfortable in all of them. That’s a lot to get on with, so let’s dive into pillows for different sleeping positions, and what features to look out for depending on which position you tend to fall asleep in. 

Back Sleepers

So, you’re a back sleeper. Lucky you! Back sleepers are fortunate because this position supports good breathing and doesn’t preference one side over the other, giving you a nice, balanced position for a quality night’s sleep. 

In general, back sleepers need a pillow of medium firmness that will hold their neck comfortably in line with their spine. At the same time, you don’t want the loft (or height) of the pillow to be too high or too low – the former will force your neck up, causing an uncomfortable bend in your spine, while the latter just won’t give you any support. A medium profile pillow is perfect, and having enough firmness to keep you in that comfortable position all night long is key. 

Depending on your height and other unique body factors, you might consider a pillow that’s raised on each edge with a small ‘dip’ in the middle that will keep your neck supported without forcing your head up into an unnatural position. 

Side Sleepers

Side sleepers need a particularly supportive pillow to keep their head and shoulders in alignment and relieve pressure points to avoid joint pain or stiffness. A supportive pillow suits side sleepers because it can help to get your head in line with your lower shoulder, and even out your spinal position as you sleep. Side sleepers may also prefer a contoured foam pillow which allows your shoulder to rest comfortably into the mattress while holding up your head. 

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers need a pillow with a low profile, in order to avoid neck strain that forces your spine into an uncomfortable position. A softer firmness level will also help your body get into a comfy position that doesn’t cause stiffness or strain.

Flat and soft pillows are great choices for stomach sleepers, keeping you supported just enough without creating unnatural curves and awkward placements for your head, neck and shoulders. 

Combination Sleepers

If none of these categories completely describe you, you might be a combination sleeper. Combination sleepers tend to switch between different sleeping positions; you might start in one position going to sleep but wake up in a different one. You can sort of see combination sleepers as getting the best of both worlds, but it does mean you demand more from your pillow than someone with just one sleeping position. 

Your secret weapon is finding the best pillow for all sleeping positions – a versatile option with removable segments or two sides with both a high and low loft, so you can adjust your pillow to make it more or less firm, and to find the right height for all your different sleep styles

Find a pillow that meets all your needs

Of course, the position you sleep in isn’t the only element you need to take into consideration – factors like allergies, health conditions like snoring and chronic pain and a myriad of other special needs all play a part in choosing the right pillow for you. 

If you want to find out our recommendations for different health and wellbeing needs, check out our guide for the best type of pillow to suit you

Discover the best pillows for different sleeping positions from Dentons

Whether you’re a back sleeper looking for a medium firm pillow, a side sleeper in the market for a supportive hypoallergenic premium pillow or a combination sleeper looking for the goldilocks of pillows that’s just right, Dentons has an extensive range to meet your needs. 

From luxurious soft pillows to cutting edge memory foam options and so much more, our collection of pillows is designed to cater to all types of sleepers. Discover the range of trusted stockists of Denton pillows today, or contact us for more details about our range that will give you the best night’s sleep ever.

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