How To Pick The Perfect Pillow

How long has it been since you’ve thought about your bed pillow?

If your answer is “It’s been a while” or “not at all” you’re not alone. Usually when people think about their sleep equipment, they focus greatly on their mattresses. Mattresses get more attention, which is understandable. Your mattress is the biggest and most important financial investment you’ll ever have to make in relation to your sleep. However, when it boils down to sleep quality, pillows nearly as important as your mattress.

If you’re currently sleeping on an old worn-out pillow, adjusting and folding it every night in an attempt to get comfortable, that’s a big red flag and it’s time to update! Even if your pillow is not ancient and deflated, it still may not be the best option for your comfort and support.

Why Your Pillow Matters

A good sleeping posture is vital to sleeping soundly, every night, and to waking with no pain and stiffness.

Your pillow assists to provide a healthy sleep posture. That is why we’ve developed the Spinal Design Pillow!

You may ask what this posture looks like? Your body in alignment, from the knees and hips, through the spine to the chest and shoulders, head and neck.

If your neck and shoulders don’t get adequate support, or are resting at an angle that results in twisting, craning, or crunching, this puts your spine and body out of alignment, therefore leading to strain and discomfort areas like your neck, shoulders, and back, and also causes sleeplessness.

Like your mattress, comfort and support are both vital in choosing the correct pillow. When choosing the best pillow for you, choose one that feels comfortable to rest your head on, supports your head, neck, and shoulders and pairs with your mattress. The great thing about the Spinal Design Pillow is that it is totally adjustable and therefore can be tailored to your preferred sleeping position.

There are a variety of factors that go into choosing a pillow — so let’s do some pillow talk.

When Is The Right Time To Replace Your Pillow?

The general rule is that bed pillows have to be replaced after 18 months.

Memory foam pillows usually last up to three years. Natural pillows generally last longer than synthetic pillows. And higher quality pillows will last longer than inexpensive ones. If you’re currently using a pillow that is five or six years old, you’re will not be getting the support you need and you also won’t be sleeping as comfortably and soundly as you could.

18 months seems like a short life, however, if you think about it: your pillow is used for around 7-8 hours a night — this adds up to more than 2,500 hours a year! Like your mattress, your pillow is an investment in good-quality sleep, which pays dividends across your waking life.

If you are not sure whether your pillow has any life left in it or not, you can do some simple tests:

First and foremost, take off the pillowcase and carefully examine your pillow. Does your pillow have sweat stains? Is it torn? Does it smell? These are red flags that your pillow needs replacing. Pillows accumulate dead skin cells, mildew, mould, fungus, and dust mites (as well as their faeces). With time, almost as much as half the weight of a pillow can be accredited to these unwanted organisms. These organisms can trigger allergies, impede on breathing during sleep, as well as create odours that make it more difficult to sleep well.

If your pillow passes the sight and smell test, it’s time to do the fold test:

Fold your pillow in half. If your pillow stays folded rather than jumping back to its original shape, that means you have a dead pillow. With natural fill pillows, you can do the fold test over your arm. Does the pillow drape and hang down over your extended arm? If so, it means the pillow has exhausted its useful life.

With synthetic pillows, fold in half and add some weight to the top — a shoe or book will work well. Remove the weight, and if your pillow doesn’t jump back to its original shape, it means it is time for a replacement.

With large, king-size pillows, no matter natural or synthetic, you’ll want to fold into thirds, rather than in half.

Your Pick-A-Pillow Guide

Best Pillow Sydney Spinal Design


Choosing a pillow can be a very individual and unique process for all. When the times comes to picking the right pillow, we recommend trying the Spinal Design Pillow, however the size, shape and material are all factors that are determined by individual preference and comfort. The best way to find a pillow that’s right for you is to determine your individual criteria. With the use of the six elements below as a guide, you can then use your instinct to tell what feels most comfortable and appropriate for you.

1. Fill/fiber
These days there are a wide variety of fill options available for pillows. There is not one that is the best and all have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your personal needs and preferences. Here are some of the most common types of pillow fills:

Down. Pillows with down fill are very light and soft — if you prefer a soft place to rest your head at night, you may prefer a down pillow. Down pillows are usually made using either goose or duck fibers. Goose down typically is softer than duck down — and there can be more expensive — however, there is also variance in softness within goose down. Down pillows are made of a variety of combinations of down, feathers, and other fillings. Make sure you are aware that pillow fills labelled as “pure down” and “all down” may still contain feathers and other fill.

A lot of people worry about having an allergic reaction or sensitivity to down. Some people have allergies to down and feathers. However, it is often that the allergic reaction results from a lower-quality down filling that has not been thoroughly cleaned. The dirt that is still on the down, rather than the actual animal fiber itself, can result in allergy and discomfort. It is possible to look for hypo-allergenic down, which is usually called “hypodown,”. It is a rigorously cleaned combination of pure down and a natural substance called syriaca, which helps support the allergy-free properties of the down, and it also serves to increase the life of the pillow. Good quality down pillows are usually quite pricey, however, if this is the type of pillow you prefer it is a good investment to a healthy sleep.

Synthetic down and polyester fill. Synthetic down pillows are not as expensive as natural and hypo-allergenic natural down and will need to be replaced more frequently. Polyester fill pillows are a relatively inexpensive pillow choice, compared to other pillow types. They are typically medium to soft, though they are less soft than down. With time they will flatten and usually need replacing more frequently than other types of pillows.

What about fill power?
Here’s an important piece of information you need to know: the higher the number, the better the quality of the pillow and therefore the longer it will last. A fill-power of 600 and higher means it is a higher-quality synthetic or natural down pillow. However, there are limits to the power of fill power. An 800-plus fill power does not mean your pillow will last for a decade, no matter what the sales representative says.

Wool. Wool pillows are naturally hypo-allergenic as they are resistant to mould and dust mites. Wool pillows wick away moisture from your head and neck and can be an effective solution in regulating your temperature during sleep, which helps you keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wool pillows are typically quite firm. They also have longevity. If you want the benefits of wool without all the firmness, look for alpaca wool, rather than cashmere fibers.

Cotton. Cotton is similar to wool in many ways, they are also naturally hypo-allergenic and resistant to dust mites and mould. Cotton pillows are typically somewhat flat and firm. Cotton pillows are frequently a great and effective choice for people with allergies and chemical sensitivities.

Latex. These pillows tend to be firmer than down, but are still very comfortable. They also hold their shape and this isn’t the type of pillow you squish into the exact position you like. Latex is resistant to mould and dust mites. Quite often, contoured pillows that are designed to provide extra support to the head and neck, or to restrict movement during sleep, are made of latex.

Memory foam. Memory pillows have become quite popular in recent years. Memory foam accommodates to your individual shape. The memory foam responds to your weight and body heat, which softens and contours to the lines of your head, neck, and shoulders. It also evenly distributes weight across its surface. These great qualities make it an extremely exciting choice for people with head and neck pain, or pressure points that cause pain or uncomfort during sleep. Memory foam withholds heat, therefore they can discomfort and sweating. High-quality memory foam pillows are usually made with ventilation built into the pillow — however, keep in mind, this remains a heat-retaining material. Another factor to think about is that these pillows can also smell like chemicals particularly when they are brand new and may be bothersome to some people..

Best Pillow Sydney Spinal Design

2. Fill weight
Down and synthetic pillows are lightweight options and memory foam and latex are heavier. The weight of your pillow comes down to personal preference. If you are constantly re-shaping and moving your pillow with you as you sleep, a lighter pillow could be a more suitable option.

3. Quality of fill
No matter the type of pillow, quality matters to provide comfort, support, and longevity, and these factors will all be reflected in the price. Once you have decided on the type of pillow fill that’s suits your needs, select the highest quality pillow your budget will allow. Keep in mind, you’ll be spending thousands of hours sleeping on this pillow over the duration of its life.

4. Size
Generally, a standard-size pillow is sufficiently large for most people. However, if you prefer a larger pillow, it is fine provided you can keep your sleep posture in alignment. The thickness or thinness of your pillow should allow you to rest with your head, neck, and shoulders aligned with your spine, all while providing comfort. It is also important to make sure the pillow cover and pillowcase fit properly. You shouldn’t stuff a big pillow into an undersized cover, or let a standard-size pillow be loose in an extra-large pillowcase.

Pillows are also made in a variety of specialty shapes, to provide extra support and stability for your head and neck. Some of these can be useful: cervical and contour pillows can help with neck and back pain, and contoured body pillows can provide support, stability, and relief for pressure points along the body. Be aware, though, there’s is almost always a marketing element involved in many specialty-shaped pillows.

5. Fabric
Always ensure that you use a natural, breathable fabric for your pillow case. Pillow protectors or covers under pillowcases help to extend the longevity of the pillow, protecting it against stains and sweat. Decorative pillows look great on the bed, but should be taken off before sleeping.

6. Chemistry
Synthetic materials like memory foam and polyester are made with chemical processes, and quite a few pillows are put through antimicrobial treatments. When knowing the chemistry that went into making your pillow, be willing to make an investment in a well-made product, and think about any allergies or chemical sensitivities you have when selecting a pillow type.

Does Sleeping Position Matter To Pillow Choice?

Simply put, yes it does. There are general guidelines that complement sleeping position with pillow type, but they are not absolute. The Spinal Design Pillow has been carefully designed to account for all sleeping positions and offer a premium sleeping experience to you no matter how you prefer to sleep!

Why? Because most of us switch sleeping positions throughout the night. You may be a side sleeper who also spends some time during the night on your back. Same goes for the stomach sleeper who shifts occasionally to one side. Therefore you want a pillow that is suitable for you in all your sleeping positions.

That said, here are some broad guidelines:

Side sleepers could need a firmer pillow that is on the thicker side. Look for one that’s as thick as the distance between your ear and outside shoulder.

Stomach sleepers could need a soft pillow — or even no pillow at all — underneath their head. A pillow that can be put under your stomach and pelvis may help prevent back pain.

Back sleepers could need a flatter pillow, to help keep your head and neck in alignment. Back sleepers may want a softer pillow — however, if you have neck pain and sleep on your back, look for a pillow that provides extra support, while keeping the softness that’s comfortable for you.

Does Your Mattress Matter To Your Pillow Choice?

Yes it does! If you have a firm mattress, then a softer pillow could work better, because the pillow is lying on a firm surface and needs to adjust to the pressure of the weight of your head in your starting sleep position. If you use a softer mattress, then a firmer pillow may be needed to keep your head and neck aligned.

All in all, never ignore your pillow! It is a vital element of your sleep environment, and using the right pillow under your head can make for more comfortable, restful nights!


Spinal Design is dedicated to bringing you the best nights sleep possible. After 20 years of refined customer-based research combined with scientific Ergovent testing we have produced the BEST pillow that is proudly made and owned in Australia. The Spinal Design pillow provides individual support and hypoallergenic comfort especially for those with allergies and ventilation to suit the humidity of the Australian climate.

If you have any questions regarding our state of the art pillow please do not hesitate to Contact Us and we will be happy to answer any query you may have!