Feature Archive

Snuggle Up With the Perfect Pillow

Expert advice on how to find the pillow that suits your sleep style.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nothing starts your day off better than getting a good night's sleep. And sleeping with the right pillow can help.

"Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge," says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.

But the wrong pillow may worsen headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm numbness, discomfort, sneezing, and wheezing, notes orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Hecht, MD.

"A bad pillow won't be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can certainly exacerbate many of the underlying problems linked to these symptoms, and it certainly can keep you from getting a good night's rest," says Hecht, the co-chief of spine surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.

And if your pillow is past its prime, it may contain skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites, which make up more than half of an older pillow's weight, Breus notes.