How sleeping style informs pillow choice, according to experts

By Justin Krajeski, Apr 1, 2021

A pillow “can make a big difference in our ability to sleep well,” says sleep medicine specialist Alex Dimitriu, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist. While you can try to supplement your sleeping situation with blackout curtains or sleep masks or melatonin diffusers, your posture at night is just as important — as is the right pillow to encourage it, among other supports. Dimitriu told us that the right pillow will help ensure you “maintain a relatively straight or neutral head and neck position — neither too high nor too low.” Imagine your neck as a garden hose: Whereas a straight hose represents how you should be sleeping, a twisted hose is more likely to obstruct both your breathing and sleep quality, he explained. In other words, a pillow that’s too high or too low for your neck might cause problems. Since a pillow can change how soundly you sleep, finding the right one matters. We consulted medical experts — Dimitriu among them — to learn what’s worth considering when you’re buying a pillow. We also compiled some of the best pillows available now for all types of sleepers.

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