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How to choose the right pillow?
Ultimate Guide 2022

Stop wasting money on pillows that are just not right for you

Have you spent hundreds of pounds trying to find the most comfortable pillow, but still wake up with neck pains in the morning and have dozen pillows in the closet, that you don't use? If you’ve spent more than ten minutes browsing the Internet looking for the most comfortable pillow, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot to choose from. So… how are you supposed to know which pillow is the right one for you? Well, allow us to take you through our process of picking the perfect pillow that’s going to keep your posture healthy, but will keep you comfortable.

We will use Brightr Adjustable pillows as the example of how to find pillow that will be most suitable for your sleep position, your comfort preference and your body type. 

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FIRST THINGS FIRST - RIGHT NECK SUPPORT
Let's be very honest, pillow's main function is to support your neck in your go-to sleeping position and support you there all night long. And by support we mean, not just that pillow feels soft and cozy, but that it helps support your neck in neutral position during the night, so your muscles can relax and you can get a great night's sleep. Maintaining neutral neck position not just reduces neck pain, but it also relieves pressure from other parts of the body.

Top tip: If you are not sure, if you your spine is in neutral position, lay down on your current pillow, and ask someone to take picture of you from the side. If your head is not aligned with your spine (and your head is tilting upwards or downwards) you are most probably putting unnecessary pressure on your neck and it's time to find a new pillow.

Now, here’s the tricky part: each sleeping position requires a different type of support in order to maintain healthy posture. But before we tell you exactly what each style of sleeper should look for, don’t forget that you need to also consider your personal preferences.  Like, memory foam fans, eco-friendly folks, and firm pillow lovers are all likely to want specific types of pillows in order to accommodate their personal preferences. Remember: your pillow should always support a healthy posture, but it should also be comfortable and suitable for your wants.  This way, you can find out exactly how to keep a neutral spine in each sleeping position, and then pick and choose which special features you’d like your pillow to have!

best pillow for back sleepers

What will you need:

In order to maintain healthy posture, back sleepers need what we refer to as a “happy medium pillow,” meaning that your pillow is not too high or not too low, and it offer medium firm support. 

Why?

Medium Loft:
A medium loft is going to provide neutral spine position and help relieve pressure in your neck and shoulders by providing a nice, cushy buffer between you and your mattress. If your pillow is too high, your head will be tilted upwards, which will create tension and eventually pains. If it’s not high enough, you’re pretty much lying flat on your mattress which isn't really comfortable, and you might snore a lot. Adjustable pillows, like Brightr Sleep Luna pillow, will help you create perfect medium loft for your sleep position.

Medium Firmness:
A medium firmness will keep your head supported enough to be aligned with the spine, and ensure that the pillow won’t flatten over the course of the night. If your pillow is too soft, it’s likely to lose its shape under the weight of your head. Therefore, pillows like Brightr Stella pillow made from Hybrid blend of memory foam and soft fibres can offer medium soft firmness, if you like softer type of pillows or Brightr Luna pillow made from cooling graphene memory foam can offer a medium firm support.

What else you should consider:

Customisable Support:
Bedding brands are increasingly designing pillows that sleepers can customise to meet their specific needs. For example, the Brightr Sleep Pillows features 3 removable inserts, which allows you to experiment with loft and firmness. This is particularly helpful for combination sleepers, or folks who are still figuring out what their perfect sleep style is.

if you are not sure, what type of pillow you would need, take specially designed pillow quiz:

best pillow for back sleepers

Medium Soft

best pillow for back sleepers

Medium Firm

best pillow for back sleepers

Firm

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best pillow for side sleepers

What will you need:

To keep a neutral spine and healthy posture, side sleepers need a pillow with a high loft, and slightly firmer support. It is essential that your head is aligned with your spine, and the gap between your shoulders and head is filled with sufficient amount of support.

Why?
High Loft:
Most importantly, a pillow with a higher profile is going to help align your head so that it’s in neutral alignment with your spine. Plus, bigger pillow will help relieve pressure in your shoulder, and make sure that it’s not bearing the weight of the body. If you ever feel like your shoulder is deeply digging into your mattress, your pillow might not be high enough.

Firm to Medium Firm Support:
Pillows with a medium firm or firm level of support will serve to keep your head and neck in line with your spine throughout the night. If your pillow is too soft, your head will gradually sink down over the course of the night, throwing your spine out of 

Comfy & Shapeable:
Firmer pillows can take some getting used to, or some people find them so uncomfortable, that it can be a reason of a neck stiffness - so unless you love very firm pillows, we suggest to look for either shredded memory foam pillows, like Brightr Sleep Luna pillow, which are supportive but very mouldable. Or Hybrid pillows, like Brightr Stella Pillow which combine memory foam comfort, with the softness of the down alternative filling, can be very beneficial for side sleepers. If you have broader shoulders, adjustable pillows, can be beneficial for creating high enough pillow for your needs, some sleep brands offer free extra comfort layers - to create perfect pillow height for you, without a need of buying several pillows or not being able to find pillow which is really suitable for your body type.

if you are not sure, what type of pillow you would need, take specially designed pillow quiz:

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best pillow for side sleepers

Medium Soft

best pillow for side sleepers

Medium Firm

best pillow for side sleepers

Firm

best pillow for front sleepers

What will you need:

Finding perfect pillow for front sleepers, can be quite tricky. In fact, health experts recommend avoiding sleeping on your stomach all together as it tends to position the upper cervical spine at end-range rotation or extension. Essentially, this means you’re at greater risk of straining your neck, and putting pressure on your lower back or abdomen. However, with proper pillow support, optimal spine position can still be achieved. So what support level is required for front sleepers? Certainly a lower and softer support.

Why?
Low Loft:
In order to maintain neutral spine alignment, front sleepers need a pillow with low loft. If your pillow’s loft is even slightly too high, your head will be tilted upwards, and your whole posture will be thrown out of balance. Adjustable pillow height, like Brightr Sleep Nox pillow down alternative pillow, could be beneficial in finding just the right loft amount for your sleep position.

Soft Support:
Pillows with soft filling materials, like down alternative or fibre filling will  provide a soft cushioning buffer between you and your mattress, but also ensure that your head is in optimal position. The firmer the pillow, the more likely it is for your neck to be lifted out of alignment with your spine (and that’s when the soreness sets in). Pillows filled with feathers or down alternatives are ideal for stomach sleepers. Why? Well, those materials are easily compressed into a super low loft. They are also very shapeable, which lends itself well to stomach sleepers who like to embrace the underside of the pillow rather than lie with their arms at their side. Finding a pillow with an adjustable fill is also a bonus, as you can decrease the loft as much as you need.

if you are not sure, what type of pillow you would need, take specially designed pillow quiz:

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best pillow for front sleepers

Soft

best pillow for side sleepers

Medium Soft

best pillow for side sleepers

Medium Firm

FEATHER OR FIBRE

 Feathers or down pillows are soft and fluffy, but they’re not as supportive as memory foam and some people might be allergic to them. Down alternative pillows, like our Nox adjustable pillow can be a great alternative to conventional feather and down pillow. Soft & squishy, this pillow hold the form much better and bounce back straight away, plus they are hypo-allergenic and cruelty-free.

SHOP FIBRE PILLOWS

MEMORY FOAM

Memory foam has an excellent support, as it remembers your body shape and adapts to your body contours. It comes in a range of firmness levels, contoured memory foam pillows are generally firmer, while shredded foam pillows have become very popular recently as they are much softer, more mouldable and have better instant adaptation to your neck.  

SHOP MEMORY PILLOWS

HYBRID FILLING

There are also Hybrid pillows, which are great solution if you like softness of classic feather/fibre pillows, but need support of memory foam. Our Brightr® Stella pillow is made from blend of cooling graphene memory foam and soft down alternative fibres, offering great neck support with soft cushioning feel.


SHOP HYBRID PILLOWS

30 NIGHT COMFORT TRIAL

And most importantly, give yourself a chance to actually sleep on the pillow, to make sure it is absolutely right for you. We at Brightr Sleep offer 30-day comfort trial, when you can test the pillow in the comfort of your home and simply return or exchange it if it's not right.

FIND YOUR PERFECT PILLOW
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