As different as our sleeping habits are, so different is which pillow to use and how to use it. There are two types of “cushion users”: There are the “pillow cuddlers” who prefer to push a large pillow, filled with feathers or flakes cuddled together under their head and there are the people who simply lie “well” on their shaped pillow – transitions between the two groups are fluid.
However, the cushion should fulfil an important function for everyone: It should support the head, relieve the cervical spine and prevent the head from bending and overstretching the neck and neck muscles. The importance of the pillow in bed is often underestimated, because choosing the right pillow contributes significantly to a good and restful sleep. Incorrect positioning of the head often leads to tension in the cervical area, as well as neck and headaches. If you wake up in the morning with tension and pain in the neck and shoulder area, you should check your head position. False sleeping habits can cause the spine to either overstretch or sag. There is no patent recipe for which pillow is the right one for which suffering.
With the right pillow to the optimal sleeping position
The optimal best flat pillow
As different as the personal requirements for a pillow may be, some tasks should be fulfilled by every pillow:
The most important function of the pillow is the positioning of the cervical spine in its natural S-shape. A good pillow is characterised by great flexibility, because the sleeping person changes his lying position several times during the night.
Especially the particularly critical and pain-sensitive part of the cervical spine, the neck, needs an anatomically shaped and orthopaedically structured support. He bears the burden of the head. Muscles and tendons keep him upright and allow him to move.
Too hard pillows cannot adapt to the individual head shape of the sleeper and hinder the function of the nerves and blood vessels. The air-conditioning properties of a cushion should not be underestimated either. When lying for a longer period of time, a cushion must not impede perspiration in the head and neck area.
The right cushion size
You should generally ensure that the size of the pillow does not cause your shoulder to lie on the pillow, but only your head and neck to lie on it. Only in this way can your shoulder sink optimally into the mattress. Orthopaedists also advise against using large cushions for the reasons mentioned above. We therefore recommend a pillow size 40 x 80cm for sleeping.
This practical pillow size has nowadays – quite rightly – almost completely displaced the old standard pillow size 80 x 80cm from the German bedrooms. The traditional square pillow format is quite unwieldy in everyday life. Usually half of the upper body lies uncomfortably on the pillow. If you bend it in the middle to make it smaller, it is often much too high.
However, the format is ideally suited as a back support for reading or as a large sofa cuddly cushion. Therefore we offer this size for some filling materials. Enjoy the additional comfort of a “second cushion”.
The “ideal cushion for everyone” does not exist
Most people turn at night into different sleeping positions. This is why it is important that a cushion adapts to the movements. The sleeping position, which predominates in your case, should be decisive for the selection of the cushion:
More than half of all people sleep predominantly on the side. It is important that the pillow fills the shoulder-neck triangle and holds the head up to avoid bending or overstretching the cervical spine. Therefore, side sleepers like to cuddle their pillow so that it supports the head well or use a neck support pillow, which should also be suitable for side sleepers due to its anatomical shape.
Please note that too soft cushions do not have the necessary load-bearing capacity to ensure sufficient support for the head in the lateral position.
In the supine position, the cushion should fill the neck cavity, i.e. the area between the back of the head and shoulder, in order to ensure a pleasant relief. At the same time, however, the pillow should not be too high, many back sleepers prefer somewhat flatter pillows. A comfortable support in the neck provides them with a neck support pillow.
Abdominal sleepers need flat pillows, often they even do without the pillow altogether. This is because the cervical vertebrae are heavily loaded by the lateral position of the head anyway and a high cushion would bend the spine additionally. This is why we particularly recommend natural hair pillows with variable filling quantity for abdominal sleepers: These can be “flattened” in the abdominal position. When the sleeper turns to one side, the pillow can be creased into a firmer position.
It remains to be seen whether it makes sense to “force” a belly sleeper onto the back using a neck support cushion. Ultimately, it is crucial that people feel comfortable in their sleeping position and can sleep well.