|Buying Neck Pillows|
Long LifespanIf you can fold your pillow in half and it doesn't rebound within 10 seconds, it's time to say farewell and throw that old thing out. Dead skin flakes, dust and sweat fill pillows with extra weight and bacteria. Aim to replace your pillow every 12 to 18 months to best maintain firmness and support for a restful sleep. See this Interesting Pillow Choice Article for some thought provoking suggestions. I often recommend the Nimblepedic Pillow brand (contoured version) as one of the best all-around support pillows for the neck.
What's the Use?If sleep quality is the only benefit you are receiving from your current pillow, you may be missing out on other benefits and therapeutic value over that eight hour period. Specialty pillows keep your face from wrinkling, acids from refluxing and snores from waking up the whole house. If you have sinus congestion, make sure your pillow is hypo-allergenic. Make sure your head is propped up so your nose is higher than your heart. If you fear wrinkles, find a memory foam pillow like Nimblepedic, so wrinkling pressure on your skin is reduced.
Neck Pillows Should Be VersatileIf you have a conventional, fairly thick, non-contoured pillow for side-sleeping; yet you spend a portion of time on your stomach or back, you may be doing yourself a disservice. To not cause neck or back pain you need a contoured pillow that adapts to all your positions, or you will need to change pillows for each sleeping position. Michael Breus, PhD, told WebMD that sleepers must find the right pillow to fit their specific needs.
Side sleepers should use a pillow that is firm enough to sufficiently accommodate the distance from the ear to the shoulder, so that your head rests parallel to the mattress. Back sleepers need neck-contour-orthopedic pillows. This ensures that their heads aren't pushed up too high or sunk down too low in relation to their shoulders and that they have support for the natural neck curvature (lordosis).
Sleeping prone (aka: face down) is for the most part not recommended. Such stomach sleeping notoriously wrecks havoc with the ligaments and spinal disks of the neck, leading to loss of normal curvature and arthritis over time. If you still choose to sleep on your stomach, use a thin pillow, and try to place a portion of it under your shoulder and chest on the pillow portion opposite the way you turn your chin. Ultimately, the proper pillow aligns the neck and spine, according to the Los Angeles Times.