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To get the most out of your sleeping experience at night you need a good mattress to support your body and you need the right pillow to provide adequate support for you neck and head. Below is a pillow guide to assist you in choosing a pillow to fit your personal needs.

Pillow Guide Tip #1 – Test Your Pillow

Bend your pillow to see if there is any springiness left in it. When you fold your pillow does it still unfold by itself or does it need your help. Pillows that are still usable will uncoil by themselves. Other signs that your pillow may need replacing are if you constantly wake up the next morning with a stiff neck or pain in your upper back. Have you owned your pillow for more than a couple of years? Do you find yourself constantly repositioning your pillow to try and make it comfortable? Do you constantly stack several pillows on top of each other to provide a better loft for your head?

If you find yourself answering “yes” to the above questions it’s probably time to go pillow shopping. Your pillow is telling you that it is worn out and can no longer provide the support you need for your neck, head and spine. The right pillow can help put your body in the best sleeping posture for a good night sleep.

Pillow Guide Tip #2 – Pillow Firmness

Pillow firmness will vary depending on your natural sleeping position. Side sleepers need firmer pillows sot they can properly support their shoulders and head. Back sleepers should choose a pillow that has a medium firmness because this will help give them more height as they lie on their backs and keep their spine properly aligned. A much softer, flat pillow is most desirable for a stomach sleeper for the best comfort and body alignment.

Pillow Guide Tip #3 – Pillow Filling

Some of the most sought after pillows fillings are down feather fillings because they are very soft and luxurious. Goose down feathers is preferred over duck down feather pillows. It’s wise not to skimp on price when buying down as some pillow makers use inferior methods of cleaning down which may cause you to have allergic reactions. Look for pillows that have hypoallergenic treatments to help reduce allergic reactions.

Synthetic filings are generally pillows made from polyester, memory foam and latex. These fillings tend to be much firmer and great for allergy sufferers. If you suffer from back pain you may want a pillow with synthetic filling simply for the firm support. For example, the memory foam pillow actually adjusts to the pressure and heat from your body, providing your with the most ideal sleeping position.

Pillow Guide # 4 – Pillow Size

The standard size pillow measures 20” wide by 26” long. One of these pillows will comfortably fit on a twin bed, two pillows on a full/queen bed and you’ll need three of the standard size pillows if you have a king size bed.

The queen size pillow measures 20” wide by 30” long. One of these pillows will fit on a twin bed, two on a full/queen bed and three on a king. A standard pillowcase will fit on both the standard and queen size pillow.

The king size pillow measures 20” wide by 36” long. The king size pillow can be used on both the queen and king size beds. Only two pillows are needed on both.

Pillow Guide Tip # 5 – Pillow Care

Different pillows have different life spans. For example, a Sobakawa buckwheat hull pillow can last up to 15 years or more with proper care. Generally speaking you want to fluff your pillow at the least on a weakly basis. Use pillow protectors to ward off dust mites and help protect the pillow’s fillings. Although there are some pillows with natural fillings that don’t allow for machine washing, throwing the pillows in washing machine and drying them on fluff can help rejuvenate a dying pillow.