Which pillows should I buy?

Dear SFN readers I need your input please....

Mr H is quite a restless sleeper and his pillows always take a bit of a bashing. We are in dire need of new pillows but I'm baffled and this is where I need your help!

I'm a great believer in having the 'right' pillow. I know this is a question of personal taste in terms of hard v. soft etc. but I'm really unsure as to whether we should be going for manmade or natural fibres. I grew up with feather pillows like this one - which I think looks like great value for money - but I'm wondering if we shouldn't go for something a bit more technically advanced like these?

Or is there a better option? And if so, what should I be looking for? All advice gratefully received and I promise to report back when I've found the pillow of my dreams!

When I blitzed our pillows during the last mini heatwave recently I shoved a couple of the dogs' rubber play balls in the machine with them (yes, I rinsed them first). It helped to bump out the lumps during the wash, followed by a rather therapeutic, I must say, plumping and reshaping before putting them out to dry. Worked quite well.

I've got enormous square German pillows which look far too big but are wonderful as you can squidge them around any way you like - they wash & dry well, they have feathers & down inside. You have to bash them & shake them like mad when you dry them, that's all. However, I'm also one of those awful people who like 3 quilts on top & one underneath & lots of pillows & make their bed look like a giant dormouse nest, so poss not for you if you like to be cooler.

That is absolutely it Suz - we need something that can go through the wash and SURVIVE. Esp. now we have 4, yes 4 cats....(don't even ask!)

Catharine - did you just come to my house and see the state of my pillows? I washed them the other day and they came out all lumpy and bumpy. I was just thinking we desperately need new pillows!

Some really good info here - thank you people. Keep it coming and come the weekend I shall sit down and have a good read through. x

The new Super Comfort one she got as a treat for me, last time she was in the UK, to replace the sack of broken bricks I'd been putting up with for yonks. I have to say that it's made a massive difference to my sleeping. Hope this all helps in the quest for the ideal one for James.

And it's Elinor's birthday today - HAPPY BIRTHDAY m'deario.

I find any form of synthetic filling heats up and can't stand not having a cool pillow (to the extend that I only sleep on one, but have two, so I can swap them over on hot nights) so it's feathers for me every time.

I've always had a tendency to waking up with a stiff neck so have a bit of an obsession with pillows and have done a fair bit of trial and error research over the years. As Kent says, the Dunlopillo Comfort or Super Comfort are tops for me. They're made from moulded latex (not the memory type) and are heavier than average but offer great support while still feeling soft and comfortable. They hold their shape perfectly - you never need to 'plump' them - and last forever (my first one is now 17 years old and still as good as the day I bought it). Whether to buy Comfort or Super Comfort depends on whether you're a back-sleeper or a side-sleeper and, if the latter, how wide in the shoulder you are. Back-sleepers and narrower-shouldered side-sleepers are best with the Comfort while broad-shouldered side-sleepers would be better off with the Super Comfort which is quite bit deeper.

The downside is that they're expensive (just bought a new Super Comfort one from John Lewis and it was £60!! although I'm sure you could find better deals on t'internet). I'd also recommend putting a good pillow protector on them under your pillowcase as otherwise they can be a little bit sweaty in hotter weather.

If you do go for one you might find it has a latex-y smell at first but don't worry, this goes away within a few days of being out of it's packaging.

Herself says Dunlopillow Comfort or Super Comfort - depending how deep you want them. Last for donkey's years, never lose their shape. And we're a bit "Princess and the pea" about pillows.

i love feather pillows from linvoges.fr I have just bought two and they are divine.

We buy all our bedding from the UK having UK size beds http://www.soakandsleep.com/ try these they have a good selection and advice delivery is superb from our delivery's have taken as little as 2 days max of 4

I don't use pillows, never have. So you are right about personal preferences. But I have had some experience with them, because we we were operating a holiday business at one time. Feather pillows are generally unsuited for asthma sufferers and people with breathing problems. They make an ideal environment for dust mites and are extremely difficult to launder.
Man-made fillings are generally either foam or wadding. Sometimes, foam pillows are shaped in order to give support to the head and neck, but as we tend to move around in our sleep, so by the time morning comes, you are unlikely to be still in the ideal position. Foam is easy to wash, but takes a long time to dry.
Wadding is cheap, but less supportive, so you may choose to use two. They are easy to wash and quick to dry. There is a problem that the filling tends to move inside the cover during washing and you may end up having to un-sew the cover to rearrange the filling. You can prevent this happening by putting a couple of stitches through the corners of the pillows before washing, to hold everything in place.
Dust mites are invisible to the human eye but, in temperate climates, almost every home has them. The problem has been made worse since we have been heating bedrooms. If you wake in the morning, with a head full of cotton-wool and difficulty breathing, chances are that dust mites (or more exactly their excrement) are to blame. So we may laugh when we see bedding hanging out of bedroom windows, but it can help to reduce the problem if it gets a good airing as well as exposure to natural ultraviolet light. Giving your mattress a regular going over with a vacuum cleaner is just as important as washing your bedding.

Hi, I find feathers are the best for me? they are soft and come up lovely when they are shaken???

I use microfibre pillows and duvets, they are a good alternative for those who like feather, I won’t use feather anyway because I’m vegan. The duvets are lovely and soft and the pillows I have give good support.

Jane, not implying you implied go to Amazon or whatever, just bearing in mind how easy it is for everybody to do it that way.

I use the anti-allergy bedding as I have asthma and the Coolmax is also anti-allergy, so for me it does very well.

I wasn't advocating clicking on Amazon and finding the first thing that looks good and if you have a problem then it is always better to know the root cause.

My daughter and her husband also have single duvets on their bed because they like to sleep at different tempoeratures.

Good point Jane. I have a raised inclination too. Despite that I end up sleeping on my face and knocking my respirator mask askew. However, if I sleep flat with a soft pillow I am umpteen times worse. Anyway, there is also the need to get some advice and different types of pillow rather than pot luck and following any of us here or simply ordering from X, plus the same on inclining the end of the bed. My sister who has a sleep problem too has her foot end raised, so not always obvious. Apart from that, my pillow is made of 'memory foam' that adjusts to one's shape and 'remembers' it. There are also mattresses made of the same material that are very costly but people say they are brilliant. With respect to synthetic against natural fibres. I raise my pillow with another which is anti-allergen treated kapok filled. It came with a 'spare' bag of kapok so that it could be filled (or taken from) in order to get it right. When I have knocked the ortho one off the bed occasionally I have slept on that no problem. It does not accumulate dust and buying refill once the stuff I have is exhausted is no problem.

Anyway, if you have an ortho or kinesi who can advise, then get that first rather than clicking on Amazon and buying the first thing that looks good.

I too have a problem with my neck and shoulder. I have used an orthopaedic pillow and sometimes that works, but I have an adjustable bed and for me finding just the right amount of inclination is the answer.

It is difficult when you need to travel from home as you never seem to find exactly the right amount of 'lift'.

I would always recommend synthetic pillows as they do not gather as much dust.

I also use Coolmax bedding, which helps me to sleep better. It is available via the Duvet Store on line and they deliver to France.

As a good night's sleep is so important, maybe the answer would be for you to each have the right type of bedding and you can customise your bedding so that you each have the right tog value on your half of the bed. This can also be found at the Duvet Store.

I have no commercial connection with the Duvet Store, but we use the Coolmax products on our beds and have had wonderful comments and clients who have asked me where I bought my bedding.

There are lots of othopaedic pillows on offer. Since I have had apnoea and the broken shoulder they have helped a lot. I have a Sleep EZE Orthopaedic Contour Pillow but there are plenty more on offer. They are also better made than the run of the mill Carrefour type 'top quality' natural fibre ones. The investment is well worth it. Once you sleep with one then it is for all time. When we were in a hotel two weeks ago I missed it immediately although I am one of those lucky souls who sleeps as though somebody has a switch to put me on and off. It is the quality of sleep. It is also not necessary to think in terms of orthopaedic problems since these contribute to preventing them. My OH also got herself one and after a family visit got back here with her neck aching a bit and saw that off in a couple of nights. My kinesi also recommends using them.