Looking for the best pillow that will suit your needs requires time and wise-decision making since it can be tricky and, at the same time, expensive to find the perfect pillow for you. You might be asking yourself, how can I assure that I've got the right pillow? Well, you need to test your pillows in order to find out if it is really the best pillow for you.
Before you buy a pillow, some pillow critics require testing the pillow so that you will be assured that it will fit your standard for the level of comfort and firmness. Hence, you can do pillow testing on the store where you will buy your pillow or on a sleep store to try your newly-bought pillow.
Your pillows play a vital role in your everyday sleep because, for instance, you are sleeping on a bad pillow; this may give you neck, back, and shoulder pain that results in uncomfortable sleep each night.
Therefore, to avoid this situation from happening, you may consider doing pillow testing so that you will get the right pillow that will suit your sleeping position, your desired level of firmness and loft, and most of all, the comfort level. You may read below some ways on how to do pillow testing.
Ways To Test Pillows
We always say that we want to buy the best pillow that will suit our needs, but we may not know how we can assure that the pillow we are going to buy is the right pillow, IF we do not subject these pillows to some test. Well, here are some ways on how to test pillow:
Testing pillows in the store
When testing pillows in the store, the test covered an assessment of the pillows' support, its resilience, its breathability, and its ability to hold its shape for a longer period of time.
To determine the support level of the pillow, they use human subjects and some graphs to check the angle at which the pillow supports the head, the neck of different body sizes such as petite, average, and tall.
They also consider sleeping positions, whether they side sleepers, back sleepers, or stomach sleepers.
Here is the step-by-step process, how the test works:
- The subject will lie down on the pressure mat that was placed above the pillow on a medium-firm mattress. In this way, the store can analyze a rough estimate of 1600 pressure points, noting the areas on the pillow that is too soft or maybe too firm that fails to support the head of the sleeper.
- To test the resilience of the pillow, the pillow is subjected to carry a load of 225 lbs. That is evenly distributed on the pillow at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature set to mimic the temperature of the body, and then leave it for four days.
By doing this test it allows the user to give an idea of whether the pillow can hold its shape for a long period of time. Moreover, this test allows measuring each pillow on how well they can go back to their original shape and firmness.
- For the subjective test, they use a panel of subjects to rate the pillows based on different criteria. This means that they rate the pillow based on personal preferences, such as whether the pillows conform well in the head and whether the pillow cover is comfortable.
In conducting the permeability test, the store utilizes a humidity sensor to gauge the breathability of the pillow since some pillows trap moisture in between the sleeper and the pillow, which can cause the pillow to become uncomfortable for sleepers.
A quick test in a mattress store
This is just a quick test you can do in a sleep store so that you can try your newly bought pillow to check if the pillow supports properly and contours to your body shape and sleeping position:
Here are some steps on how to do it:
- Stand next to a wall as if you are lying down on a mattress. For instance, you are a back sleeper, you need to stand with your back against the wall, or if you are a side sleeper, your side against the wall, and lastly, your stomach facing the wall if you are a stomach sleeper.
- Now, you may rest your head against the wall, and see how your neck and head are not aligned with your spine. Therefore, this is where the job of the pillow will take place; the pillow will fill the gap.
- The next step you will do is to place the pillow in between your head and the wall. Check the alignment of your spine, starting from your neck down to your back. Then, see if it is bent or straight if you feel comfortable or not, and lastly, consider if you can last to sleep in this pillow for eight hours.
Note: You are using the right pillow if you are looking straight ahead with a straight neck. This means that your head down to your spine is aligned properly and supported by the pillow. Well, if it does not, sad to say, you and the pillow are not meant for each other.
Pillows are considered as personal care items; that is why you cannot just simply buy and then return your pillows if it does not fit your sleeping position and your level of comfort.
This is also due to the safety and hygiene reasons why you cannot simply return a pillow. You may check my blog post about some stores that offer and do not offer a return/exchange policy for pillows.
One very good example of an online store that offers a 50-night trial is the Nectar Pillow, wherein it ships free and comes with a risk-free trial so that you can assure that the pillow got the right loft and support that will suit your sleeping position.
How to choose the right pillow for you
There are different types of pillows available in the market; this means that you have a wide array of options to look for the perfect pillow that will provide you the right support and long-lasting comfort.
In choosing the right pillow, you must consider these three factors: (1) sleeping position (2) level of support, and lastly (3) filling materials.
Once you have considered these three important points, I bet you will get the right pillow!
This must be the first thing to consider when choosing a pillow since we all have different sleeping styles where we are most comfortable with.
Back sleepers should go for pillows with a medium-sized so that it can provide enough support for your head and neck. The loft of the pillow should be neither too high nor too low so that you will not strain your head, and your head is in a good sleeping position. For back sleepers, the level of firmness must be medium.
Pillows must be firm, and it should be thick so that it can bridge your mattress and neck, keeping it aligned with your spine.
You must look for a pillow that is relatively soft and flat to lift your head off the pillow and is enough to make your neck and spine aligned.
Level of support
|Sleeping position||Level of support|
|Back sleeper||Higher loft Medium firmness|
|Side sleeper||Medium to a high loft Medium to high firmness|
|Stomach sleeper||Low loft Soft and flat|
Pillow filling materials
Pillows are stuffed with different materials, either natural or synthetic. Each filling materials have their own properties that will suit your preferences.
- Buckwheat hulls: it may create noise when you move around at night. It is heavy and firm that provides good support.
- Cotton: they come in medium to soft in firmness, and they are cheaper than most filling materials
- Down: they are naturally soft that provides medium firmness. They are more expensive than a feather filling.
- Feathers: they are good and adjustable that creates a firm pillow
- Memory foam: it is moldable and can conform to the shape of your head and neck. They are firm, yet can adjust to pressure points
- Wool: it has a good insulating property that can maintain an equilibrium of temperature of neither too hot nor too cold. Just perfect for your body temperature.
In a nutshell:
Pillows come in different sizes and level of firmness; therefore, it is very important to consider these three factors in choosing the right pillow, most especially knowing your sleeping position, as this will depend on what kind of filling material is the best and the level of support you will look for a pillow.
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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