Pillow Science - Choosing the perfect pillow for your body shape and sleeping prefrences.
Selecting the best pillow to suit your body shape and prefrences is an important decision. You spend 1/3 of your life sleeping so choosing the right pillow is something that should not be taken lightly.
Selecting a pillow can feel like you are trying to find your way out of a maze, but with a little bit of pillow science and guidance you can actually get a good result. It's simply a matter of reading up and making an informed decision to select the perfect pillow for your body.
About Therapeutic Pillow International
Therapeutic Pillow International only produces contoured orthopaedic neck support pillows. These are pillows that provide even support for the neck and head, and which encourage the spine's natural curvature during sleep.
Let's go through the different materials that go into producing pillows, analyse them respectively, and by the end you can hopefully select your ideal pillow that best suits your body shape and preference.
The past 20 years has seen foam go from technological breakthrough to technological breakthrough. You can now source foam that will retain both longevity and comfort integrity, whereas in the 'old days' all there was was foam that didn't really last that long ... so foam quite literally developed a bad image!
Those days are long gone, and now we can create a shape that perfectly supports and comforts in any sleeping position, and we can select a foam density that marries beautifully with that particular design and which will ensure ongoing support and comfort over many years. This was impossible with foam until recently!
Also, an added bonus with foam these days is that all Therapeutic Pillow's foam pillows contain bacteria-resistant properties to make the environment unfriendly to dust mites and other allergies.
There's a foam shape for you
The beauty of foam is that we can create the shape and size to suit a particular sleeping position or body frame. All you have to do is go to our Pillow Selector page and answer a few questions, and a number of pillow options will come up specifically tailored to your comfort and postural needs. Then read up on each.
We also have a very popular adjustable pillow in foam called CompleteSleeprrr which is also available in new-age Memory foam ( CompleteSleeprrr Memory Original and CompleteSleeprrr Memory Plus ) — a visco-elastic foam designed to absorb and diffuse pressure points. Go to the Memory Foam FAQ page to read up more about this special foam.
So what's the difference between traditional foam and Memory foam?
It's all in the feel. Personal preference. A lot of people prefer traditional foam due to its broad diversity/availability in various grades and softness, while others want the sumptuous feel of the more expensive Memory foam. It's a matter of reading up on this site and comparing the differences in shape, density, and softness factors, as well as your own personal comfort and support needs.
We have our Naturelle Latex Pillow made in Asia using our moulds, in 3 sizes High, Medium and Low, and they both feature a mild contour.
Unlike many other latex pillows out there, ours do not contain fillers. Pure latex only is used.
Latex is a sustainable and renewable resource, and is harvested by tapping the milk (sap) of the small tropical tree Heavea Braziliensis. More information on Latex production
Latex rubber provides a comfortable sleep platform, is dense, and will stand the test of time. It is also noted for its anti bacterial properties, and is mould and dust free.
Why latex over other pillows? No particular reason. Once again it comes down to a personal preference. Many like it for its natural properties. High quality foam mimics much of latexes' properties. It's really a toss up between the two. Latex tends to be expensive
Polyester Pillows / Polyfill Pillows
Comprised of thousands of polyester fibres, polyfill is successfully used in one of our pillows, the Sleepezy Adjustable Poly Pillow.
We overfill this pillow to allow the individual to delete filling in either of the chambers, and this enables you to create a pillow to exactly suit your personal comfort and support needs.
As the pillow flattens (compresses) over time, you can simply access the polyester fibre through the zip and tease it out to plump it up again, or add some more fibre.
Polyfill was traditionally the dominant pillow filling for many years, but its' popularity has waned over recent times due to the introduction of premium quality foams and better latex into the marketplace. But it's still out there, and the adjustable Sleepezy has a long-standing niche amongst those seeking an adjustable pillow with the 'feel' of quality polyfill.
Down Pillows & Feather Pillows
Down is the soft and fluffy clusters that grow under the outer layer of Geese and Duck feathers to protect them from the cold. Down is lighter and has better insulation capabilities than normal feathers. The more down content the better the quality.
The Sleepezy Down Pillow is lightweight, fluffable and soft. The Sleepezy Feather Pillow is slightly heavier and not quite as soft.
Both the Sleepezy Down Pillow and the Sleepezy Feather Pillow have two varying width chambers, to provide medium support for the head and neck, unlike conventionally-shaped feather and down pillows which don't provide any support.
Why would you want a regular shaped pillow that quickly loses its support under the neck region, because the feathers and/or down simply slip away.
Many folk, particularly those from Northern Europe who have used feather and down pillow for centuries, shun everything else but the rest of the world has moved on to polyfill, foam, and latex.
We used to use carded (combed) wool in our Sleepezy pillow as an option.
Because it packed down too quickly, it became too hard and resulted in discomfort and crushed ears. Woolen pillows tend to absorb body moisture and became a 'friendly' environment for dust mites.
It's a great idea in theory ... but not in practice.
Same story as wool. We used make a Cotton Sleepezy pillow, but moisture absorption and the fact that it packed down too much saw us withdraw from this natural filling.
The Sleepezy Cotton pillow was just too hard to sleep on.
Kapok is a downy cotton-like material that comes from the Kapok Trees of Asia and southern regions of the USA. When blown into a pillow the kapok becomes dense and firm.
While kapok doesn't compress to quite the same extent as cotton, kapok pillows are very firm with just enough give to conform to the shape of your head and neck.
Buckwheat Hulls are the outer chaff of the buckwheat grain. The hulls are small, dark, and saucer-shaped. They conform quite easily to the shape of the body, but when they are in a pillow they can be quite noisy - this is something to think about if you are sensitive to noise when you are trying to go to sleep. As well buckwheat pillows can feel too hard and unforgiving. And also bing a natural substance, buckwheat hulls can absorb body moisture ... just what may be growing in there is only your guess.
Summary of pillow choices2009-03-15