Finding the right pillow for yourself largely depends on your sleeping position which determines the amount of support your body requires from your pillow.
The ideal pillow fit for you should help maintain your spine alignment while sleeping. It should support a healthy posture and keep your neck, shoulders, back, and hips all in neutral alignment so you can wake up pain-free. By supporting the natural curvature of your spine, your pillow should help to alleviate pain and pressure throughout your entire body.
Back sleepers require a medium loft pillow to maintain a healthy posture while sleeping, as it helps to relieve the pressure felt on their neck and shoulders by providing a cushioned buffer between you and your mattress.
If your pillow has a high loft instead, your head would be too elevated, and your neck and shoulders would feel pressure and pain while craning upwards. On the other hand, sleeping on a low loft pillow is also uncomfortable for back sleepers as it would nearly be the same as directly sleeping on the mattress without a pillow.
When it comes to firmness, most back sleepers require medium firmness as it provides enough support to ensure the proper alignment of their head and spine and ensure the pillow stays in shape without flattening up. If the pillow is too soft, it will likely lose shape and flatten up under the weight of your head eventually sinking your head resulting in a sore neck.
Moreover, pillows designed with materials that conform to pressure like memory foam are particularly beneficial to back sleepers as it helps to keep their head cradled in neutral alignment with the neck.
Side sleepers need a pillow that can support their lateral position and help maintain a healthy posture by keeping the spine in proper alignment. A high loft pillow is the best choice for most side sleepers. Its tall profile allows you to prop your head up in an elevated position so that your head remains in neutral alignment with your spine.
It will also help to relieve pressure off of your shoulders and ensure they don’t carry the brunt of your weight. Pillows having a medium-firm level of support will serve to keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine as you sleep on your side. If your pillow is too soft, then your head will gradually sink into it while sleeping and disturb your neck and spinal alignment.
Pillows filled with soft fluffy materials like down, Kapok, or down-alternatives are also a good choice for side sleepers. These pillows also allow you to place one arm beneath the pillow in a comfortable embrace, which is what many side sleepers do while sleeping.
According to sleep experts, stomach sleepers are under great risk of straining their necks and putting pressure on their lower backs or abdomen. To avoid the risks associated with stomach sleeping, including articular pain in the shoulder or spine, the best option for you is to utilize a low loft pillow.
Stomach sleepers require a thin pillow as it helps to maintain their neutral spine alignment. If it is too high, your head would be too elevated, and your whole posture is thrown out of alignment.
Soft pillows act as a cushy buffer between you and your mattress as you sleep on your stomach. They also ensure that your head is not propped up too high to cause pain. If you are a stomach sleeper and use a firmer pillow, it will result in poor alignment of your neck with spine and resulting in pressure and soreness.
Pillows containing feathers or down alternative fillings are perfect for stomach sleepers. These materials are easily compressible and can give a super low loft. Having a pillow with an adjustable fill is also ideal, as you can lower the loft as per your requirement.