Natural & Synthetic

Pillow Buyers Guide

Pillow cat

To Sleep or not to Sleep.... that could be down to something as simple as your pillow

First question to ask yourself is; Do I need a new pillow?

Probably! Pillows get crushed every night – so they need replacing more often than your duvet. No matter how good your pillow is, it’ll need replacing after about 2 years.

Some pillows wear out a little quicker than others. Here are some telltale signs that your pillow could do with replacing:

- If your once comfy pillow is no longer your BBF (best bed friend) and you spend half the night pummelling it to get into a comfortable position then your pillow has probably lost its support and needs replacing.

- Has your pillow a dubious yellow stain? If the answer is yes, this is due to sweat lost during sleep. Because of their shorter hair men seem to suffer more from this problem but we all lose sweat during the night. You can wash some pillows and may get a little more time out of them once they’ve been freshened up but the fibres will lock in a certain amount of moisture so their life will be limited.

Which filling to choose

There are many filling options available and the right pillow for you will have less to do with price tag and more to do with the position you sleep in. Of course the better the quality of the filling whether natural or synthetic the better the support and perhaps the longer it will last, however do bear in mind that 2 years is a good life for any pillow although some won’t last over 6 months.

Natural options are Feather and Down pillows. You can get a majority Feather which will provide a firm support, just ensure there is some down in there or the pillow will be too bulky. Down pillows usually contain a little feather as the down is so light and fluffy it would give very little support on its own but there is nothing quite like snuggling into a down pillow after a long day. After much research we have now introduced a down surround pillow which consists of a feather core surrounded by down, this really is the best of both worlds offering medium support with a soft touch. Natural pillows are very good at sculpting to the contours of the head and neck.

Synthetic pillows can be soft or firm depending on the fill and how much filling is put into the pillow.

Hollowfibre pillows offer excellent support and value for money however they can be on the thick side and do not sculpt to the neck and head very well.

Microfibre pillows are more like natural pillows as the filling moves about and provide good neck support. Generally microfibre pillows are softer and not as thick as hollowfibre.

Which pillow you choose depends on you favoured sleep position:

Stomach snoozer You require a soft, flat pillow to ensure your head isn’t raised above your body too much, this would lead to some serious neck strain. Choose a down pillow or a low microfibre one.

Back napper You will need a little more support so that your head and neck are slightly raised. The best options would be a feather and down, down surround or hollowfibre pillow or you could go for 2 pillows a low microfibre for example, topped with a down pillow so you get height as well as comfort.

Side dozer

It is important that you head is in line with the rest of your body and not raised too high or too low, you also need a pillow that will curve to the contours of your neck to provide the most comfortable support. A down surround pillow or a lightly filled feather pillow is likely to suit best.

If at all possible it is best to try out pillows before you purchase. The Linenmill store in Westport is more than happy to assist you, or if this is not an option take note of your previous pillows fillings so that when you are buying your next pillow you know exactly what you are looking for. We often get calls from hotel guests who have slept on our products and have looked in the pillow case to get the details of the pillow construction, so it pays to be nosey!!

Pillow sizes

The most common size pillow in Ireland and the UK is the standard 50x75 and this is used for most beds.

If you have a superking bed however you may find the king 50x90 pillows useful as there will be no gaping hole between the pillows which you would normally have with 2 standard size pillows.

The square 65x65 pillows are mainly for aesthetics but are also very useful if you like to prop up in bed to read or if you’re lucky enough have your breakfast in bed!

- Standard:50cm x 75cm

- Superking: 50cm x 90cm

- Square:65cm x 65cm