What pillow do I have beneath me? That is the question


There are so many pillows on the market today, so which is the best pillow to choose? Everyone has their own style of sleeping, whether it be on your back, side or tummy. With my chiropractic background, I often treat patients with neck pain and headaches and many times I can trace that back to bad sleeping habits or mattrasses that have lost all support or pillows that are not ergonomically designed to maintain the neutral position of the spine whilst sleeping.

First, consider how much time you spend in bed asleep? On average, people spend between six to eight hours each night sleeping, in other words, one quarter to one third of our lives are spent in bed sleeping! With that much time in use, you need your pillow to offer durability, while also providing the support your head and neck needs to stay properly aligned throughout the night.

Cheap conventional pillows tend not to last long and its unlikely they provide the support you need either. They do not last as long and hence you will have to replace them sooner and you will not benefit from the comfort and support. An uncomfortable night’s sleep can translate to lost work hours, due to neck pain and headaches, as well as your trip to your local chiropractor. The old pillows need to be disposed of which also creates an environmental hazard. The costs quickly escalate, and soon you will realize that buying a superior pillow is cheaper in the long run.

There are many superior pillows on the market but only one brand is endorsed by NASA, and that is TEMPUR. On the one hand, TEMPUR pillows offer superior design with options to suit your various sleeping styles and preferences. TEMPUR pillows provide durability, quality and support from day one, allowing you to invest in your health and wellness as well as offering you the comfort over the long term. The pillows also come with a three-year warranty so you can bet that they were built to last.

TEMPUR are designed and manufactured in Denmark, to offer pressure-relieving support within a huggable, ergonomically shaped design. Three pillows within this range, the Comfort, Traditional and Ombracio pillows are made of shredded TEMPUR material enclosed in a TEMPUR membrane. The TEMPUR Ergonomic pillow collection consists of the Original, Symphony and Millennium pillows are made from TEMPUR material poured into molds which provides consistent, all-night support, without the need for shifting and reshaping.

At this point you probably wondering, “which is the best TEMPUR pillow for me?” With a wide range of pillows on offer, you need to choose the pillow which is designed to suite your sleeping styles and preferences. So, before you rush off and buy a TEMPUR pillow, you need to think of how you sleep? Do you prefer sleeping on your back or side or tummy? If you have a spouse or partner, they are usually the best to ask as they have probably watched you sleep at some point, especially for those who snore. Ask them to take pictures of you in bed and your preferred style of sleeping and then you can do the same for them. With the pictures you can see how ergonomically designed your current pillow is and you can then compare that to your new TEMPUR pillow.

As a chiropractor I always suggest to my patients to choose an ergonomic pillow that is contoured to your head and neck. Too many pillows often result in a condition called Anterior Head Carriage which is exacerbated by sitting in front of computer all day, or staring at our mobile phones for long periods of time. This leads to loss of cervical lordosis or straightening up of the necessary curvature of the neck, which leads to degeneration over time.

The TEMPUR Ergonomic pillow collection feature design shaping to offer contouring and support for the sleeping position you favor most. Alternatively, if you prefer the more traditional shape pillows, the TEMPUR Traditional pillow collection allows you to choose your pillow according to your sleep style and your preferred level of firmness.

Next, we will look at which pillow suites your sleeping style best? For those side sleepers, in my opinion, the TEMPUR Traditional Pillow collection will offer the ergonomic support which you desire. The TEMPUR Original Pillow comes in a variety of sizes so be sure to ask questions, before you buy, to avoid any disappointment. Generally, we measure the width of the shoulder, from the outside of the shoulder to your neck, to assume the correct height to order. All the pillows have similar length and breadth, but the size comes from the height measurement.

For those restless sleepers who toss and turn at night, and switch between back and side positions, the TEMPUR Symphony Pillow is your answer. This pillow is designed as two pillows in one, with one side supporting side sleepers and the other supporting back sleepers.

However, if your preferred position is on your back, the TEMPUR Traditional Collection offer pillows with a soft, medium or firm feel. The TEMPUR Millennium Pillow is designed specifically for back sleepers, with a curved edge and contoured top to cradle your neck and support your head while you sleep.

As a chiropractor, I totally discourage stomach sleeping as it requires your head to be turned to one side in order to breathe. Any prolonged position of your head is most likely to cause muscle imbalances and lead to trigger point activation, which results in neck pain and headaches amongst many other problems. However, there are those who are not willing to change their bad habits and TEMPUR Ombracio Pillow is designed to support stomach sleepers, with indentations at the side allowing for easier breathing.

After purchasing your TEMPUR Pillow according to your preferred style of sleeping, it does take some time to adapt to your new pillow, much like new shoes are always more comfortable after they are worn in after a period of time. The TEMPUR traditional pillows are more like conventional pillows and hence the adjustment period should not be too long and they will soften up slightly over time. However, the TEMPUR Ergonomic collection may take some extra time to adapt to as you allow for the cells within the TEMPUR material to open fully. Over time, the cells will open naturally, to allow for a softer feel. To speed up this process it may be helpful to sit on your pillow as your body weight and heat assists the cells to open and they will become more responsive to offer a softer and more comfortable feel.

As your TEMPUR becomes softer and more comfortable over time it still provides the support you need. The open cell structure is now fully open, promoting better ventilation and continued support.

Another great advantage of TEMPUR pillows is that every pillow comes with a washable cover, designed to meet very high standards set by OEKO-TEX CLASS1. These hypoallergic covers can be removed and washed as needed at temperatures up to 60 degrees Celsius to kill dust and mites, and can be air dried or tumble dried. It is up to you to decide whether you put a pillowcase over this cover so that your bedroom looks the part, no matter your choice of décor.

The TEMPUR Pillow you choose should not be washed or dry cleaned as the material within them will no longer function as they should. Instead remove the cover and allow the pillow to ventilate occasionally. You may carefully wash the pillow with a well wrung cloth to remove surface stains or dirt.

Ron Van As
Author: Ron Van As

The journey to health is a way of life. Changing lives one drop at a time.