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The Importance Of Pillow Height For Optimal Sleep

Memory foam pillow

Have you ever wondered how to choose the right pillow for your needs? With all the luxury pillows on the market today, it can be a challenge to find the right fit. On average, a pillow loft of 10 to 15 centimetres works best for most individuals, but your sleeping position can influence your preferred pillow loft. From deciphering the concept of pillow loft to understanding the significance of maintaining the right spinal alignment, let's ensure you're getting the sleep you deserve.

What is pillow loft?

Pillow loft refers to the thickness or height of a pillow. It can typically be categorised into one of three groups:

  • Low loft — These are pillows that are around 7.5 centimetres thick or less.
  • Mid loft — If your pillow is between 7.5 to 12.5 centimetres in thickness, it falls into the mid-loft category.
  • High loft — High loft pillows are those that are 12.5 centimetres thick or even thicker.

You can find premium pillows in each of these loft categories. The best choice for you depends on your personal preferences and how you like to sleep.

Now that we've established how pillow height is categorised, we can help you decide whether high, mid or low loft pillows are the best fit for you. 

How does sleep position impact your ideal pillow height? 

The decision regarding the perfect pillow loft is deeply personal, as it directly impacts the alignment of your spine. An ill-suited pillow height can lead to discomfort, sleep disturbances and potentially more serious issues such as sleep apnoea or back problems.

Proper spinal alignment is crucial for waking up refreshed and ready to conquer the day. Maintaining a neutral spine alignment while you sleep is essential to avoid discomfort.

Different sleep positions present unique challenges:

  • Back sleepers may notice their heads dropping down with a low pillow or being elevated at an uncomfortable angle with a high pillow.
  • Side sleepers face similar issues, including shoulder pressure with a high pillow.
  • Stomach sleepers risk arching their heads upwards, causing stress on the neck and spine.

For side sleepers, broader shoulders mean more distance between the spine and the mattress, requiring a higher pillow. On the other hand, heavier individuals may require lower-loft pillows due to sinking further into the mattress.

Another factor that impacts your ideal pillow loft is your mattress. The firmness of your mattress affects how much your body sinks into it. A softer mattress allows for deeper sinking, reducing the required loft of your pillow.

Given these considerations, it's crucial to assess how your pillow interacts with your overall sleep environment.

Choosing the right pillow loft for your needs

Now that you’ve considered these factors, a good way to begin your research is by estimating the appropriate pillow height based on your primary sleep position:

  • Those who prefer sleeping on their sides often get the best sleep from medium-density pillows that are about 13 to 18 centimetres in height, which are considered mid or high loft. However, a pillow with less loft may be suitable if it's made from a denser material, such as a memory foam pillow or a latex pillow. 
  • If you like sleeping on your back, opt for pillows that are approximately 10 to 13 centimetres in height, which are considered as mid loft. This will help ensure that your head remains aligned with your spine throughout the night.
  • To minimise the risk of straining your back while sleeping on your stomach, select pillows that are about 10 to 13 centimetres in height, categorised as mid or high loft.

For those who can't pinpoint a single primary position or who shift between positions during the night, a mid-loft pillow may be the best fit for your needs. 

Tips to help you shop for pillows 

Now that you're well-informed about the factors that influence pillow height, you're almost ready to start shopping for pillows. Here are some final tips to consider as you explore your options: 

  • Once you've selected your material, opt for the height that aligns with maintaining ideal spinal alignment. Take into account the firmness of your mattress and pillow when making this decision.
  • Your pillow should be flexible, adapting to the shape of your body. Above all, it should feel comfortable to you. Trust your instincts; if a pillow doesn't feel right, you'll know based on how well you sleep.
  • Consider opting for premium pillows over budget alternatives. While they may be a bit more expensive, premium pillows are often crafted with superior materials and workmanship. They tend to last longer, maintaining their shape and support for an extended period.
  • Pillows need care and maintenance to prolong their lifespan. Look for pillows with removable, machine-washable covers. Regularly fluff and rotate your pillows to prevent uneven wear and maintain their shape. Using pillow protectors can also help shield your pillows from dust mites, allergens and spills.
  • Many shops that sell luxury pillows offer trial periods or satisfaction guarantees. Take advantage of these offers, as they allow you to test a pillow's comfort and support over a longer period. This can come in handy if you're unsure about your ideal pillow type or height.

Find greater comfort with a memory foam pillow or a therapeutic pillow

In the quest for the ultimate pillow for a restful night's sleep, the loft isn't the sole factor to consider. The material plays a crucial role as well. Memory foam pillows, for instance, offer an unmatched level of comfort and support by conforming to the contours of your head and neck, delivering a snug, personalised fit. Conversely, therapeutic pillows are engineered with specific features tailored to address various sleep-related concerns, such as neck pain and back pain, guaranteeing you wake up feeling revitalised and free from discomfort.

Explore our range of luxury pillows at Dentons 

Ready to experience the ultimate comfort and support for a restful night's sleep? Dentons offers a wide range of premium pillows and sleep accessories to cater to every type of sleeper, from combination sleepers to side and back sleepers. You can visit one of our stockists to try out our pillows in person or place an order online. Contact us if you need help choosing a memory foam pillow or a therapeutic pillow in Australia today, and let us transform the way you sleep.

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