What kind of pillow should you use? The answer depends on your sleeping position and health concerns.
Back sleepers with good posture and excellent health can get away with a traditional, moderately fluffy pillow. Back sleepers with neck or back problems need a neck pillow combined with a modest fluffy pillow or a contoured head pillow with neck support to sleep comfortable. You could use a high fill down pillow or medium thickness synthetic fill pillow. Back sleepers don’t want piles of pillows behind them, since this puts the head at an awkward angle and strains the neck.
Side sleepers need a foam pillow that supports their head and neck at a healthy angle. It doesn’t have to be a contoured memory foam pillow, but the traditional fluffy pillow typically won’t offer enough neck and shoulder support. You need support between the neck and the ear. You may be able to get away with a memory foam neck pillow and a thin traditional pillow. If you want a traditional pillow, go for a “high fill” down pillow or high density synthetic fill pillow.
Stomach sleepers generally need the least out of a pillow. A soft, thin pillow is enough to avoid putting heavy weight on your arms. You could use a thin down pillow or low fill synthetic pillow. You want to use a pillow instead of your arms because it collects hair, oil and dust so that you can wash the pillow cover instead of your sheets.
Wedge pillows help someone sleep at an upright angle, though it literally varies by degrees. Wedge pillows may be recommended for those with respiratory problems that would choke and gasp if sleeping on their backs.
Down and Feathers
Down and feathers are a popular, though costly, fill for pillows. Some people are allergic to them, and if you’re in this category, avoid these pillows. They need to be fluffed regularly, but they are quite soft. They are also cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Latex and Memory Foam Pillows
If you need exact levels of support for your back and neck, you need a latex memory foam pillow that fits the contours of your body. One common problem with latex and memory foam pillows is their heat retention. Some pillows offset it by having a cooling gel layer right under your face. Others correct for it with a good pillow case.Latex pillows should be avoided by those with a latex allergy, though not all memory foam pillows are made from latex.
Artificial Fiber Fill
The benefit of artificial fibers like polyester is their cheap cost. This is literally the cheapest option on the market. They tend to last a few years, and you can machine wash them. The downside is the relative lack of support that makes them a bad choice for those who sleep on their side.