Choosing the right pillow for your neck

If your idea of a good night’s sleep requires a plump pillow that cushions your head and neck in a cloud of soft foam or feathers, count yourself lucky that you were born in modern-day America.

Pillows weren’t always the plush, comfy affairs that they are today. Pillows used to serve the far more basic purpose of keeping your head off the ground and away from insects.

Like a good mattress, the right pillow should support your head without feeling too hard or creating uncomfortable pressure points. In general, stomach-sleepers should choose a soft pillow, while back-sleepers will enjoy a firmer pillow.

If you’re a side-sleeper or change positions often during the night, you may have to test-drive several pillows before you find the one that works best for you.

According to the Sleep Foundation, neck pain plagues a significant amount of Americans, and the causes aren’t always entirely clear. If you often find yourself waking up with a sore neck, chances are your pillow could be partly to blame. Your pillow’s job is to hold your neck and head at the right height to prevent unnecessary strain. A pillow that’s too high or too low can cause pressure to build up as the neck tries to compensate for the lack of support.

There’s no one-size-fits-all figure when it comes to pillow height. It can be a matter of preference, usually determined by factors such as your favorite sleeping position and body size. To determine the correct pillow, you can either go down the trial and error route while looking for the perfect pillows or follow expert guidance to find a suitable one.

Sleeperholic.com recommends a 5 to 7-inch pillow height for side sleepers. Typically, pillows within this range should be able to fill the space between the neck and shoulders for easy sleep. Thus, the majority of average-build folks report getting amazing sleep from 6-inch models.

Stomach sleepers and back sleepers require 4 to 5-inch pillow height. Too much elevation can strain the neck and cause stiffness in the morning.

The perfect pillow can make your life easier in so many ways!

Verlo Mattress Factory: 5150 Northwest Hwy., Crystal Lake, IL 60014, 815.455.2570, www.verlo.com