There’s an easy way to tell if it’s time for a new pillow. Fold it in half and watch what happens when you let go of it. If it doesn’t snap back into shape, it’s time to go shopping.
Don’t put off buying new bedding. How well you sleep affects your life every day. And the right pillow is essential when you’re a side sleeper. The wrong kind leads to neck and shoulder pain in the morning. But if you have a pillow that’s firm enough with plenty of loft, you’ll sleep better.
The best pillows for side sleepers fit in the curve between your shoulder and ear so that your spine is relaxed in a straight line. You may find that those with a gusseted edge are more supportive because they don’t crush as easily.
Latex and memory foam pillows are very popular among side sleepers because they offer good support and don’t need fluffing during the night. But if you have allergies, it’s smart to research your options first. Not every material is safe for sensitive skin.
Pillows that host allergens and cause skin reactions
The number one reason behind your stuffed-up nose is in the morning is dust. Many of us neglect our pillows. We wash them only rarely, if at all, and don’t change the pillowcases often enough. Then they become hosts for things that irritate our skin.
Microscopic dust mites live off our shed skin cells. They dwell in our pillows, bedding, and furniture. And their waste causes severe allergic reactions. But they are only one part of the problem.
Next, oil and grime from our skin build up on pillowcases. That accumulation can clog pores and cause acne. But washing the fabric can lead to other difficulties because of the chemicals in fabric softener.
Finally, some kinds of pillow fillings and shells are treated with chemicals to reduce their odor, to keep them from wrinkling, and protect against fires. These components adversely affect your skin and overall well-being.
So how can you find a pillow that’s safe for sensitive skin? Fortunately, it’s not hard to do once you know where to look.
Pillows that are safe for side sleepers with sensitive skin
We mentioned that side sleepers need medium-firm to firm support and enough loft, or height, to keep their head and neck aligned with the rest of their spine. And latex foam and memory foam pillows are usually a good choice to meet those needs.
If you’re concerned about chemical irritants in foam pillows, you can protect yourself by looking for brands tested by independent third parties. If you see that bedding has a CertiPUR-US or OEKO-Tex certification, you’ll know that it’s free from pollutants.
Memory foam and latex are resistant to dust mites and mildew, too. And that’s a plus for any sleeper with allergies.
If you’re not a fan of foam because it feels hot or too firm, try pillows stuffed with synthetic Hollowfibre, DuPont Contrano+, Amicor, or Sensifil fibers. While you can also find down pillows treated to be hypoallergenic, they might be too soft to support a side sleeper.
In conclusion, to further protect yourself from problems with your pillow, purchase pillowcases made from 100% natural materials like silk, linen, and cotton. Then be sure to change them once or even twice a week. Wash the dirty bedding in hot water and dry it in the dryer to kill off unwanted pests and microbes.
To ensure that you sleep as comfortable as possible, invest in a new pillow that supports your spine and protects your sensitive skin. It’s worth it to wake up feeling better in the morning.