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How to Buy Pillows

Need new pillows but can't tell down from synthetic? Here's the 411.

Photo: Mark Lund

Know how you sleep. If you’re a stomach sleeper, you want low-profile, soft pillows. Side sleepers should opt for pillows with gusseted sides for neck support and body alignment. Back sleepers should choose medium firmness to support their natural neck curvature.

Next, choose a fill. Here are the different types:

Down: Best for conforming to head and neck. The more fill inside the pillow, the higher loft it’ll have. If you suffer from allergies, consider allergy-free down, which is sanitized to remove impurities that may bother you.

Synthetic: It’s firm and conforms less to the head and neck. It’s also allergy-free.

Polycluster: Synthetic clusters coated with silicone gel to feel and move like down. It’s also allergy-free.

Memory Foam: It’s dense, sponge-like, and molds to your head and neck. This is best if you prefer a firm pillow or if you suffer from neck or spinal issues.

Buy a pillow protector. Extend your pillow’s life by slipping it inside a protector before the pillow case.

Special thanks to Kelly Messman, spokesperson for Bed Bath & Beyond.

-- The Nest Editors

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