The proper pillow is essential for a good night’s sleep. Tricked-out mattresses get all the headlines, but the wrong pillow or an old pillow can make getting comfortable in bed a real chore.
Today, you can choose from dozens of pillows, based on the level of support you want for your head and neck, and your budget. The most basic and least expensive style is a conventional foam pillow, but there are a growing number of variations including synthetic fill, down, feather and memory foam. Specialty pillow shapes and firmness levels address health conditions, whether a stiff neck or shoulder pain. Pregnant? There are large, contoured pillows marketed to reduce strain on backs and baby bumps and increase comfort.
Pillow replacement seems to be a very individual decision. For hygienic reasons, it’s best to consider investing in new pillows every one or two years. Here are some outward signs to look for, according to the Better Sleep Council: Your pillow is lumpy, looks grungy or no longer feels the way you did when you first bought it.