How to Choose a Pillow and Pillow Case: Ultimate Guide

How to Choose a Pillow and Pillow Case: Ultimate Guide

Published on 02/08/2023


  • Understanding Your Sleeping Position
  • Pillow Filling Materials
  • Pillow Loft and Firmness
  • Pillow Sizes and Shapes
  • Pillow Support for Specific Conditions
  • Pillow Covers and Pillow Cases
  • Choosing the Right Pillow Case Material
  • Pillow Care and Maintenance
  • Testing and Trying Out Pillows
  • Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pillow
  • Making the Final Decision
  • Conclusion
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

linen standard pillow cases in marl dove colour

A good night’s sleep is essential for your overall well-being, and one of the key factors that can significantly impact the quality of your sleep is your choice of pillow. The right pillow provides crucial support to your head, neck, and spine, ensuring proper alignment and relieving pressure points. It can make the difference between waking up refreshed and energised or feeling sore and fatigued.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the art of selecting the perfect pillow and pillowcases for your needs. Whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper, we’ll explore the factors to consider when choosing the ideal pillow type, loft, firmness, and materials. Additionally, selecting the right pillow case can enhance your sleep experience by providing a soft and comfortable surface for your face.

So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to choosing a pillow and pillowcases that will provide the comfort and support you need for restful nights and rejuvenated mornings.

Understanding Your Sleeping Position

Before diving into the world of pillows, it’s essential to understand your sleeping position. Whether you sleep on your back, stomach, or side, each position has unique requirements for pillow support and alignment. Let’s explore the recommended pillow types for different sleeping positions:

  • Back Sleepers: Opt for a medium-firm pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck and keeps your head aligned with your spine.
  • Stomach Sleepers: Choose a flat and soft pillow to prevent excessive strain on your neck.
  • Side Sleepers: Look for a firm and supportive pillow that keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine.

Pillow Filling Materials

Pillows come in various filling materials, each offering different levels of support and comfort. Here are some common pillow filling materials:

  • Memory foam pillow: Provides excellent contouring and support by moulding to the shape of your head and neck.
  • Down: Offers a soft and luxurious feel, ideal for those who prefer a plush pillow.
  • Latex: Known for its durability and breathability, latex pillows offer firm support and resist dust mites and allergens.
  • Polyester: A budget-friendly option that provides medium support and is suitable for individuals with allergies.
  • Buckwheat: Filled with buckwheat hulls, these pillows conform to the shape of your head and provide excellent airflow.

Pillow Loft and Firmness

Pillow loft refers to its height and thickness. The loft you choose should correspond to your sleeping position and personal preference. Additionally, pillow firmness plays a crucial role in providing the right support. Here’s a general guideline for choosing the right pillow loft and firmness:

  • Low Loft: Suitable for stomach sleepers or individuals who prefer a softer pillow.
  • Medium Loft: Ideal for back sleepers and those who prefer a balanced level of support.
  • High Loft: Recommended for side sleepers and individuals who need extra support for their neck and shoulders.

Pillow Sizes and Shapes

Pillows come in different sizes and shapes to accommodate varying sleep preferences. The most common sizes include standard, queen, and king. Additionally, specialty pillows such as cervical pillows or body pillows cater to specific needs. Consider your bed size and personal comfort when selecting the appropriate pillow size and shape.

Pillow Support for Specific Conditions

If you have specific health conditions, such as allergies, snoring, or acid reflux, certain pillows can provide targeted support. For example:

  • Allergy-Resistant Pillows: Opt for hypoallergenic pillows made of materials that repel allergens, such as dust mites and mould.
  • Anti-Snoring Pillows: Designed to promote proper head and neck alignment, these pillows can reduce snoring and improve sleep quality.
  • Acid Reflux Pillows: Inclined pillows help elevate the upper body, preventing acid reflux symptoms during sleep.

Pillow Covers and Pillow Cases

Once you’ve selected the perfect pillow, it’s time to choose a suitable pillow cover or pillow case. Pillow covers and cases protect your pillow from stains, allergens, and dust mites. Consider the following factors when selecting pillow covers:

  • Material: Opt for breathable materials like cotton or bamboo that are soft and hypoallergenic.
  • Closure: Choose pillow covers with a secure closure, such as a zipper or envelope-style opening, to keep your pillow in place.
  • Easy Maintenance: Look for pillow covers that are machine washable and easy to care for.

Choosing the Right Pillow Case Material

When it comes to pillow cases, material choice is crucial for comfort and durability. Here are some popular pillow case materials:

  • Linen pillow cases: Made from flax fibres, linen is highly breathable, allowing air to circulate and keeping you cool during hot summer nights. Linen fabric is known for its moisture-wicking properties, absorbing sweat and ensuring a dry and comfortable sleep surface. Linen pillowcases become softer and more supple with each use, making them a long-lasting investment.Bemboka linen pillow cases are made with the finest Belgian linen yarns, providing superior softness and durability. The linen is expertly woven and dyed in Portugal, weighing 185gsm for a luxurious feel. They are also machine washable and tumble dry-friendly, ensuring easy maintenance while maintaining their extra softness.

linen standard pillow cases in marl grey

Belgian Linen pillow cases

  • Cotton pillow cases: Soft & breathable. One type of cotton fabric that stands out is cotton percale. Percale is a closely woven fabric made from combed cotton yarns, resulting in a crisp and cool texture. It offers a smooth and matte finish, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a classic and hotel-like sleeping experience. Cotton percale pillowcases are highly breathable and durable, ensuring a comfortable and long-lasting sleep surface.If you’re looking for exceptional quality cotton pillowcases, browse our collections of cotton ripple pillow cases, a perfect choice for those who appreciate a minimalist and modern aesthetic, and cotton percale pillowcases which feature a 300 thread count weave for ultimate softness and durability.

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Cotton ripple pillow cases

cotton percale tailored pillow cases in dove

Cotton percale pillow cases

  • Satin pillow cases: Smooth and luxurious, satin pillow cases minimise friction and can help prevent hair tangles and facial wrinkles.
  • Silk pillow cases: Known for its smoothness and hypoallergenic properties, silk pillow cases are gentle on the skin and hair.
  • Bamboo pillow cases: Bamboo fabric is soft, hypoallergenic, and moisture-wicking, making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin or hot sleepers. It naturally resists odours and bacteria, ensuring a clean and fresh sleeping environment.

Pillow Care and Maintenance

To prolong the lifespan of your pillows, regular care and maintenance are essential. Follow these tips for pillow care:

  • Fluff and reshape your pillow regularly to maintain its loft and support.
  • Wash your pillows according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually every 6-12 months.
  • Use a pillow protector to shield your pillows from spills, stains, and allergens.
  • Avoid exposing your pillows to direct sunlight, which can cause discoloration and damage.

Testing and Trying Out Pillows

Choosing the right pillow is a personal process, and it’s important to try out different options before making a decision. Consider the following when testing pillows:

  • Visit a local store to test various pillows and assess their comfort and support.
  • Check the return policy or trial period offered by the manufacturer or retailer.
  • Take note of how your body feels after sleeping on a particular pillow for a few nights.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pillow

When buying a pillow and pillow case, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Personal Comfort: Choose a pillow and pillow case that align with your preferred sleep position and comfort level.
  • Allergies: If you have allergies, opt for hypoallergenic pillows and pillow cases to minimise allergic reactions.
  • Budget: Determine your budget range and explore options within that range.
  • Durability: Consider the longevity and quality of the pillow and pillow case materials.
  • Personal Style: Select pillow cases that complement your bedroom decor and personal style.

Making the Final Decision

After considering all the factors and testing different options, it’s time to make your final decision. Choose a pillow and pillow case that fulfil your requirements for comfort, support, durability, and style. Remember, investing in a high-quality pillow and pillow case is an investment in your sleep and overall well-being.


Selecting the right pillow and pillow case is essential for achieving a comfortable and restful sleep. By understanding your sleeping position, considering pillow filling materials, loft, and firmness, and choosing suitable pillow cases, you can create an ideal sleep environment tailored to your needs. Remember to prioritise comfort, support, and durability when making your final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I replace my pillow?

It is recommended to replace your pillow every 1-2 years, as pillows tend to accumulate dust, allergens, and lose their shape over time.

Can the wrong pillow cause neck pain?

Yes, an improper pillow can lead to neck pain and stiffness. Choosing a pillow that provides adequate support and aligns with your sleeping position can help alleviate such issues.

Can pillow cases affect my skin and hair?

Yes, pillow cases made of rough materials can cause friction and lead to hair breakage and skin irritation. Opting for smooth and breathable pillow cases like silk or satin can help prevent these problems.

How can I clean my pillow?

The cleaning method for pillows varies depending on the material. Most pillows can be machine washed or spot cleaned. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines.

Are memory foam pillows suitable for all sleep positions?

Yes, memory foam pillows are versatile and suitable for all sleep positions. They conform to the shape of your head and neck, providing personalised support and alignment.

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