Pillows are an important part of your bedding spaces, considering the fact that these are the elements that support your head and the upper body parts, as you lie down to sleep. Another important function of bed pillows is to ensure a perfect alignment of your spinal column with the head, neck and shoulders, while keeping all of them in the correct posture. In the light of the above, there is an evergreen debate in the home décor market over the suitability of soft bed pillows and firm pillows for bed or hard pillows for bed.
When it comes to favoringa choice, there may be a series of biased as well as mixed responses. While a lot depends on the diverse and specific sleeping preferences of users worldwide, the dimension of health is something that should never be ignored. Picking up soft or hard bed pillows should hence, be centered on a balance of the aforementioned aspects. Of course, there are some other requites like, décor style, material preferences, etc., that have an impact on choice, but a comfortable sleep is one that deserves utmost priority.
Stressing a bit further on the health oriented dimension, whether soft or firm, a good pillow is one that extends enough support and comfort to cater to a relaxed and tranquilized sleeping experience. Understanding the impacts and necessity of a peaceful and recovering sleep on your physical and mental fitness take care to bring home a pair of headrests that affordably promise you of a healthy sleeping experience.
1. What is Pillow Firmness?
When out to choose a pillow for your bedding spaces, it is important to take note of the health benefits that the latter is going to bring to your disposal. Speaking along the line, it is important to keep the comfort and support factors ahead of style and taste. As is evidently known that all of us have different sleeping preferences, the requirement of pillow firmness is obviously bound to vary. Throwing some light on the exact explanation, the firmness of a pillow refers to the latter’s ability to retain its shape on the application of weight.
In other words, pillow firmness is defined as the degree to which your pillow can bounce back and remain fluffy when exposed to a considerable amount of weight. Talking of the specific firmness requirements, a lot depends on the health requisites and specific postures anyone would prefer resting in. Moving ahead with our discussion, let us talk about the different categories of pillow firmness in what follows next:
The soft bed pillows are your best alternatives in case you need minimum support in your sleeping position. The latter facilitates a convenient alignment of your neck and head with the spinal column, while offering no pressure resistance at all. However, you should take care not to sleep on super soft bed pillows, in case you prefer sleeping in a rather uncomfortable posture. There are ultra soft bed pillows as well that can be used in certain cases.
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Medium Soft Pillows
Medium soft pillows are a feasible option in case you need extra sleeping support, well ahead of the best soft bed pillows. The alignment of your neck and head is perfectly ensured with the least possible resistance. However, these are not a viable option for thick body sleepers, who need a greater firmness to balance the body weight pressure.
This pillow alternative lies at the midpoint of the pillow firmness scale. Considering the fact that these pillows render convenient support in almost all sleeping positions, they are put to the best use by combination sleepers. Having a tendency to switch between varieties of positions, such sleepers enjoy the variable degree of firmness in these pillows.
Medium Firm Pillows
Counted more as the limitedly hard pillow, medium firm bed pillows are quite resistant to extending the maximum support to the neck and head. The additional cushioning and resistance abilities aid these pillows to handle the body pressure in a much better way.
Firm bed pillows are the heaviest class of pillows with the most specific usage constraints. Offering a large resistance to the physical pressure, they are best suited for sleepers with large bodies. Resting on these pillows assures you of the maximum possible support for the neck, head and upper back areas.
2. Soft or Firm Pillow: Which One to Choose?
As you must have understood by far, choosing the right pillow goes a long way to ensure everlasting sleeping comfort, along with constructively benefiting your health. When selecting a pillow on the firmness parameter, taking your specific sleeping position into account becomes quite important. Discussing along the line, here’s an explanatory guide to help you make the right choice of a bed pillow in accord with your sleeping posture:
Side sleepers : Choose Firmer Bed Pillows
If you are a side sleeper, choose firm pillows for bed that preferably have a medium loft. In the light of the fact that side sleepers need extra support on their cervical areas, the firm pillow works to maintain the latter in the correct position, without leaving you hanging in your sleep. The adequate firmness further works to keep the head, neck and shoulders in a straight horizontal line with the spinal column, thus extending enough support and comfort.
When sleeping on your side, you can try putting in flat firm bedpillow between the knees to stop the upper leg from rotating downwards. Using an overly thin or extra firm bed pillows in a side sleeping position can lead to the disruption of the natural curvature of the neck. This may eventually bring in the discomfort of cervical pain and cramps with consistent usage.
Stomach Sleepers : Choose Soft Bed Pillows
As for the ones who prefer to rest in the weird, stomach sleeping position, extra soft bed pillows with a low loft work the best to cater to maximum comfort. Considering the fact that sleeping on the stomach puts your neck and back under the maximum stress, using a firm pillow can rather be discomforting. A soft pillow, on the other hand, offers the minimum resistance, thus making the neck and spinal column to line across the smallest possible angle.
For an extra bit if comfort, you can try placing small soft bed pillows under the pelvis or abdomen to further reduce the stress encountered by your head and neck. Such an arrangement additionally helps to maintain the natural alignment of your lower back.
Back Sleepers : Choose Medium-Firm Bed Pillows
Sleeping on the back is regarded as the most favorable for your upper body parts as the latter face the minimum stress under this resting position. It should further be noted that the back sleepers fall into 2 different categories. The first one is that of the ‘Soldier Sleepers’, who prefer to keep their arms to the side, and the second one is the ‘Starfish Sleepers’, who like to stretch their arms overhead.
As for the support requirements, a back sleeper in any of the aforesaid positions needs enough support for marinating the natural curvature of the cervical spine. In addition to this, the head, neck and shoulders also require adequate comfort. In the light of these requirements, a medium-firm pillow works best to cater to the much needed comfort in the back sleeping position. It should be kept in mind that the loft and pillow height for back sleepers has to be less than that for side sleepers.
Combination Sleepers : Choose Soft Bed Pillows
Moving to the last category of sleeping positions, come the combination sleepers, who love to experiment with different sleeping postures all through the night. From the most natural to the weirdest, such sleepers can rest in any position in their sleep. The all-in-one, ultra-soft, bed pillows are the best head support alternatives for these unconsciously active sleepers.
It is an obvious fact that the angle of elevation between the head, neck and shoulders and their alignment with the spine tend to change multiple times for combination sleepers. Owing to the same, medium-firm or very firm bed pillows may not fit in well for one or the other positions. Choosing a soft pillow that comes with a combination of lower elevations for back sleepers and higher elevation for side sleepers can be the perfect match for sleepers of this category.
Sleeping accessories play an important role in making sure that you are facilitated with a good night’s rest, when you crawl into bed after a long and tiring day. Choosing them with wisdom is therefore something that assumes great significance. When the talk is about picking a pair of pillows for your bedding spaces, there are a few essential aspects that demand considerable attention. It is important to make sure that the pillow you are choosing meets the specific firmness requirements in line with your sleeping posture.
All said and done, you should look forward to developing a habit of sleeping in the back or side positions. In line with the health considerations, these postures extend the maximum support to your spinal column. Also, these positions are dedicated to maintaining a perfect horizontal alignment of the spine with the upper body parts.