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The pillow buying guide

Last updated: February 2024


How many pillows should you sleep with?

Firstly, knowing how many pillows you need to be comfortable is important so you can easily assess how your pillow performs. Although there is an element of personal preference, most experts recommend only using one pillow as stacking them can lead to alignment issues and discomfort during the night if they move around. Whether you choose a super soft pillow or extra firm, you should only need one for proper support.

The best pillow type for your sleeping position

Your sleeping position affects what type of pillow is best for you, because the way you sleep affects how to keep your spine aligned. Incorrect alignment can cause you to wake with a bad neck, so it's important to get the correct pillow for your sleeping position.

The best type of pillow for your needs

While it’s important to choose a pillow based on your sleeping position, it’s also advisable to consider your specific conditions. For example, if you suffer from neck pain, asthma or even overheating during the night, there are specially designed pillows that can help combat any kind of sleep hindrance you have.

The best pillows for neck pain

If you suffer from back or neck pain, it’s important you choose the right support pillows to help improve your condition. Memory foam pillows are a popular option for those with neck pain as they will cushion your head while ensuring your neck isn’t arched uncomfortably.

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The best pillows for overheaters

Rising temperatures are a common disturbance for most people and can leave you tossing, turning or flipping to the cool side of the pillow. Cooling pillows are the best choice if you’re prone to overheating, as they can help combat this by absorbing heat and ensuring the sleeper can get a restful night.

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Best pillows for shoulder and back pain

Another pillow option if you suffer from shoulder or back pain is Posturepedic pillows. These pillows are recommended for neck pain sufferers as they are specially designed to combat neck pain and relieve any pressure with the springy, hollow-fibre filling.

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The best pillows for asthma

Similar to those who suffer from sensitive skin, the best pillows for asthma sufferers are ones that deter dust mites or any other irritant that could affect the respiratory system. For this reason, anti-allergy pillows are best for those with asthma as they are specially designed to protect against bacteria and dust, as well as offering breathability and comfort.

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The best pillows for sensitive skin

If sensitive skin is keeping you up at night, it’s important to avoid any pillows that could trigger a breakout or itching. Certain synthetic materials can lead to a build‐up of dust mites which irritate the skin. To avoid this, opt for specially designed anti‐allergy pillows which are filled with special microfibres that ensure an irritation‐free sleep.

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The best pillows for pregnancy

Pregnancy pillows are designed to offer comfort to the full body to support your legs, back and bump so you can find a comfortable and safe sleeping position. However, these can often take up a lot of room in bed. A helpful alternative is a comfortable pillow that can help regulate temperature. Specially designed cooling pillows can ensure you drift off easily without overheating.

Choosing your pillow fillings

Pillow fillings are mainly split into two categories: synthetic or natural. Natural pillow fillings are good for avoiding irritation, while synthetic materials include innovative technology that is designed for maximum comfort.

Caring for your pillows

Looking after your pillows appropriately for their use and material means that you'll get more out of them for longer.

How often should you replace pillows?

To get the most out of your pillows, it’s advised to replace them at least every 2 years. Over time, your pillows will lose their shape and elasticity, meaning that they won't support you as well as they did when they were new.

Regardless of how long you’ve had your pillow, it is time to replace it if you wake up with a sore neck often or if your pillow shows signs of discolouration. Any discolouration or stains on your pillow are due to moisture and sweat getting through the surface and should be replaced to ensure optimum hygiene. A pillow protector is a great way to shield your pillow against staining, dust, and any substances, helping to prolong its life.

How to wash pillows

Most pillows should be washed regularly along with the rest of your bedding – at least once a week, if possible. However, there are some exceptions to this. If you have memory foam or latex pillows, these generally cannot be machine washed, so you'll have to check the manufacturer's instructions to learn how to look after them properly. Find out more about caring for memory foam.

How to dispose of pillows and duvets

At the end of your pillow’s lifespan, it’s important to not just throw it away. Any bedding thrown into the general waste can often end up in landfill, Instead, there are a few ways to dispose of your bedding that are environmentally friendly, including: Take your bedding to recycling banks; check if your local council will collect them for recycling; and donate them to charity shops.

How to break in new pillows

If you’ve recently purchased a new pillow, you may find it feels stiffer than you expected. This is often the case for memory foam pillows and is just due to the fibres not having softened yet. These pillows can be broken in by simply lying on them. After a few days, your pillow will have softened from the heat and be as comfortable as possible. We also recommend washing your pillows before you first use them to help soften them and get rid of any outside germs and dust they may have picked up.