September 16


Which type of pillow is the best to use? Memory foam pillow, foam pillow, feather pillow, water chamber or latex pillow?

By campuschiropractic

September 16, 2019

Have you ever woken up with a stiff or sore neck? Worse still, have you woken up and had a wry neck or torticollis that meant you couldn't move your neck at all without pain?

Video to understand more about contour pillows

As you will notice in the video above there are several aspects of a pillow that make it good, bad or neutral.

Type of Material

"There is a lot more importance to the planet, not just you, in getting the right sort of material in your pillow"

The research easily shows that latex is the best material for a pillow. It outperforms foam and feather versions which seem to be due to the rebound characteristic in latex which isn't felt in other materials. One of the issues with memory foam is that it conforms to your body after your body heat interacts with it but then it won't lose that shape instantly once you move like latex does. This means your memory foam can have the wrong shape when you turn over during sleep.

Latex comes from the rubber tree if it is labelled 100% natural. To see the difference between 100% natural and synthetic latex materials look at our blog post to learn more. 

Another issue is the off gassing that happens with foam and synthetic latex. Foam comes from petrochemicals and can have flame retardant and formaldehyde in it which are obviously toxic and not a sensible idea to sleep on.

With feather and down pillows there can be allergy issues however, the benefit of 100% natural latex pillows is the material is antibacterial and mould doesn't grow so it's not a suitable environment for dust mites.

Shape of Pillow

"You neck never rests, even when lying down so having a contour shape can make a pillow that much better for your neck"

It is usually the case that a contoured pillow that supports your neck helps with neck comfort during sleep even if you have spondylosis. Spondylosis is the degeneration of the vertebra that can include disc damage, disc loss of height, joint arthritis and bony spurs. It has been shown a contoured shape that supports the neck can help reduce pain and increase neck movement for neck spondylosis even when there is shoulder and arm referral from stenosis of the intervertebral foramen or disc bulging / disc protrusion.

Height of Pillow

"You wouldn't buy the wrong size shoes so make sure you buy the right size pillow"

First you must work out if you usually sleep on your back, side or front. Chiropractors advise against sleeping on your stomach as that causes excessive strain on your neck during the night. It can be difficult to get the right height of pillow if you move from side to back sleeping during the night, possibly having 2 heights can be better and switch pillows as you change position. At least with our pillows they have a higher and lower side so you can turn it around to get a more appropriate height. If you mainly sleep on your back you should use a low pillow and if you sleep on your side you should use a pillow that is high enough  to keep your spine level and not push it higher or let is drop down.

Please visit our clinic if you want the right height of pillow prescribed for you when you purchase our pillows. 


About the author

Campus Chiropractic & Wellness is as natural health clinic on the campus of the University of Sydney. The main services are chiropractic & remedial massage. Its current location was established in 2011 after Dr Jeremy Hammond, chiropractor, had already provided chiropractic on campus for 11 years.

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