Pillow Talk: What Matters Most
Height: Comfort and neck support are less about firmness than about height, says Michael Breus, Ph.D., a sleep specialist in Virginia. “Side sleepers need a high pillow to fill the space between shoulder and ear,” he says. Back sleepers should use a low one so as not to kink the neck and restrict airflow, and stomach sleepers need a flat pillow (or no pillow). Since body weight influences a pillow’s functional height, sticklers should shop in person.
Fill: What’s the difference between down and feathers? Down is the soft stuff closest to the skin of the bird. It holds more air than feathers do, so it’s loftier and more luxurious. If you’re prone to allergies, you should avoid both materials, because they can attract and hold dust. Instead, opt for synthetic down.