The sad reality is that most people are guilty of not thinking about the perfect pillow for their head. And as a result, many patients visit medical centres complaining of neck pains, headaches, and back pains.
According to doctors, the primary reason for such pains is that the patients never put the emphasis required in getting the right sleeping equipment - especially the mattress and the pillow.
While a mattress is the most important investment when it comes to sleep, the pillow also determines the quality of sleep.
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If to get comfortable at night you have to fold or scrunch your pillow, then most probably it is worn out. Take it as a red flag that you need to buy a new pillow.
Sometimes, the pillow is not old and deflated but may need to be replaced to enhance sleep comfort. So that your lodging guest lays her head on the pillow she deserves.
Why is a Pillow Important?
If you want to maintain a good sleeping posture every night and wake up without any pain or stiffness, then you need a good quality pillow.
A pillow helps you to support your head and maintain a healthy posture. It helps align your knees, hips, spine, chest, shoulders, head and neck in such a position as to help you get well rested.
When your shoulders and neck are not sufficiently supported, they acquire an angle that causes crunching, straining, or twisting and this might put your spine and body out of alignment. This will eventually lead to discomfort and strain on your shoulders, neck, and back. You might also fall into sleeplessness.
According to doctors, the best pillow is the one that supports your head by resting your head on it and one that aligns your neck, shoulders and legs. It should also match your mattress.
When to Replace Your Pillow?
As a best practice, all bed pillows need to be replaced after 18 months. Although some pillows last longer, perhaps up to 3 years. The pillows also need to be checked regularly to establish whether they still serve the purpose.
Pillows made of natural material last longer than those made from synthetic material. Obviously, higher quality pillows will last longer than cheap ones.
If the pillows that your visitors are using are more than five years old, they are not sleeping as comfortably as they should. Also, they are not getting the head support that they need.
Remember that a pillow is used for about 7 to 8 hours every day. This translates to 2,555 hours per year. Therefore, investing in a good pillow is an investment in high-quality sleep which has dividends in waking hours.
The pillow talk continues...watch this video for further insights on when to replace your hotel pillows.
How to Test if the Pillow is Serving the Purpose
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the pillow have sweat stains?
- Is the pillow torn?
- Does the pillow have a weird smell?
If your answer to the above questions is in the affirmative, then your pillow definitely needs replacing.
Remember that pillows will collect mould, sweat, mildew, dead skin cells, and dust. The lifespan of your pillow will be determined by these foreign organisms.
These foreign organisms can trigger allergies, interfere with your breathing system, and the bad smell might make it hard for you to sleep.
Sometimes you might have a well-maintained pillow such that it will pass the sight and smell tests listed above. If that is the case, you can do the following pillow examinations:
- Fold your pillow into two and see if it springs back to its original form or it stays folded. If it stays folded, then you need to replace it.
- If your filler down is made of natural material, you can do the above test using your arm. If the pillow drapes on your hand instead of springing back to its original form, then this pillow needs to be replaced.
- If the pillow is made of synthetic material, you can fold it in half and add some weight on top of it. You can then take away the weight and if it does not spring back to its original form, you need to replace it.
- If you have extra-long pillows that are made of either natural or synthetic materials, you can fold them into three halves instead of two halves.
Can a Sleeping Position Influence the Choice of a Pillow?
There are some general guidelines that you should follow regarding your sleeping position and your pillow choice. This is because almost everybody will switch positions at least once during the night.
For example, you might be a side sleeper but sometime during the night you will switch positions and sleep on your back. In that case, you’d want to use a pillow that is suitable for both positions.
Below are some guidelines to help you buy the right pillow for the intended sleeping position.
People who sleep on their side will need a firm pillow that is thicker on one side. Look for a pillow that is as thick as the distance between your ears and the outside of your shoulder.
People who sleep on their stomach will either need a very soft pillow or no pillow at all below their head. They can put a pillow under their stomach or pelvis to prevent getting some back pain.
If you are mostly a back sleeper, you will need a flat pillow that aligns your head with your neck.
Back sleepers require the use of a soft pillow. But if they start experiencing some neck pain, they might consider getting a pillow with additional support while at the same time maintain the softness that allows them to be comfortable.
Can a Mattress Influence Your Choice of a Pillow?
If you use a firm mattress, then you need to use a soft pillow. Since the pillow will be lying on a firm surface, it will need to take in the pressure applied by the weight of your head in your sleeping position. On the other hand, if you have a soft mattress, you need a firm pillow that will keep your head and shoulders properly aligned.
A pillow is a very important element for the sleep environment. Always aim to get the right pillow. One that makes the guests you are accommodating enjoy their sleep comfortably. You’ll even notice a positive impact on your output during the day!
Can’t wait to get rid of your old and tired pillow? Shop for the best hotel-quality pillows from ALS bed linen collection here.
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