Now I lay me down to sleep


Photo by Alan Carey
Photo by Alan Carey

Your perfect pillow should provide a comfy good night’s rest, but what to get? Cuddledown of Maine sells an “heirloom” cream silk pillow filled with eiderdown hand-collected from abandoned nests in Iceland and Scandinavia, for $6199 for a king-size (yes, for one pillow!), or you can just stuff a couple of folded old towels under your head. Or you can choose something in between.

That covers a lot of territory, as there are multitudinous kinds, stuffed with everything from wool to water, from buckwheat hulls to fake down. Which one is right for you?

“It depends on the sleeper,” says Bob, from Sleepy’s at 1140 Ulster Avenue in Kingston, who asked that his last name be left out of this article. Everyone has different needs for that nighttime or naptime head pad. “For example, if they have pains in their shoulders and if they’re a back sleeper,” Bob added, “we ask if it hurts more when they lie flat or if their head is elevated a little bit.”

When you sleep, your head, neck and spine should be in a natural neutral alignment. That back sleeper needs a thinner pillow to make that happen, so a medium-density pillow with neck support is ideal.

The side sleeper needs something a little thicker and firmer. For that good alignment, the space between your neck and the bed should be filled. A plump pillow, on the firmer side, is what you need. And stomach sleepers need a very thin pillow, super soft, barely there.

“People should really come in and test them out. It’s a very personal thing,” says Bob. Sleepy’s has beds to try out, but if you’re in a store without them, you can put your body up against the wall in your sleeping position and test the pillow out. It should feel comfortable, and your head, neck and spine should be straight, with minimal bends.

Now that you’ve got your perfect pillow’s thickness and firmness figured out, what should it be stuffed with?

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