Before You Buy a Bed Pillow

Close-Up Of Empty Bed At Home
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Be sure you have a comfortable bed pillow to rest your head on as you hopefully spend about one third of your day and night in bed sleeping. With so many choices on the market, you might be stumped about what type of bed pillow will give you the best night's rest. With our tips, we'll take some of the mystery about buying a bed pillow.

Decide on the Right Size of Bed Pillow

The size of the bed pillow you pick will depend on the size of your bed and how you sleep. For a twin, you'd probably choose a standard pillow. For a queen bed, you'd get two queens, and for a king bed, you'd get two king pillows. If you prefer a large pillow to snuggle with on a smaller bed, use a king on a twin bed. Or if you want a stack of large pillows to lean on, you'll get more. And you could choose 4 or 6 standard pillows for a king-size bed. Luxury hotels use 4 king pillows on a queen bed. The choice is yours and depends on what you like.

Set Your Bed Pillow Budget

Like everything, you can pay a lot or a little for a bed pillow. And you usually get what you pay (or don't pay) for. A cheap foam pillow might cost as little as $5 but a top quality down or feather pillow can be over $100, depending on the size. If you have a limited budget, select one or two good quality pillows to actually sleep on and use an inexpensive one for leaning up against for reading or for decoration with a sham on your bed. 

Do You Sleep on Your Back, Your Side, or Your Stomach?

If you sleep on your back, you might want a flatbed pillow. If you sleep on your side or your stomach, you'll want good support for your neck. Most quality pillows give information about the best use for the type of pillow you're considering. Try out several types for greatest comfort.

Choose the Fill You Prefer for Your Bed Pillow

After size, the next most important thing to decide is what type of fill you want. A foam pillow will feel firm and hold its shape throughout the night, even when you shift on the bed. A down pillow will squish with your head and give it a soft cushion. You can crumple it up for snuggling. Something right in the middle would be a pillow made with polyester filling. And a good quality compromise might be a pillow with a core of foam or feathers, surrounded or wrapped with an outer coat of soft down. Most top-quality feather and down pillows are hypo-allergenic and can be used by people with allergies. 

Do You Like a Soft or Firm Bed Pillow?

The "loft" of a bed pillow is determined by the volume of fill it contains. For a firm pillow, the fill will be tighter. For a soft pillow, the fill will be lighter. Regardless of the firmness, be prepared to renovate the feather or down fill every 10 years or so. And of course, foam disintegrates or breaks down.

Bed Pillow Cover or Ticking

The cover on a foam bed pillow is not too important. But for a feather or down pillow, be sure that the ticking or cover is tightly woven cotton so that the feathers don't leak out. Buy a pillow cover for every pillow you own. This will keep the ticking clean and protect the pillow cover.

Care for Years of Comfort

It's important to clean a bed pillow regularly. The pillow should come with care instructions. Some feather and down pillows can be washed in a home washer. Others recommend dry cleaning. Save the cleaning instructions in your linen closet and follow them for longest life.