How to Sleep on a Contour Pillow - What You Need To Know for Better Sleep

A contour pillow tends to be made from memory foam and is designed to help align your spine and neck correctly. Memory foam is a visco-elastic material. This means that it is resistant to pressure and molds to the shape of your body. It can revert to its original shape once the pressure has been removed.

Contour pillows have a unique shape. They have a shallower ridge on the lower area of the pillow, and a higher one on the upper long edge. This leaves a small dip running along the center of the pillow, in which you can rest your head. This allows your neck to be supported and ensures your spinal vertebrae are in alignment.

What are the benefits of using a contour pillow?

There are many different health benefits to using a contour pillow. They have been shown to reduce pain after a night of sleep. A large percentage of the population sleeps on their side, which creates a lot of tension in your upper back when using a traditional pillow. Contour pillows offer a superior level of support and comfort, meaning that pain levels upon waking up are greatly reduced.

Contour pillows help with spinal alignment and avoid back pain after sleep, man holding his back when waking up

As we have already mentioned, contour pillows help to maintain proper spinal alignment. When sleeping on regular pillows your neck is pushed upwards. This knocks your vertebrae out of line and can lead to injuries and discomfort over time. Contour pillows mold to the shape of your body, allowing your neck to lay in a much more natural and neutral position. A contour pillow is a much cheaper alternative to chiropractors and physical therapy.

Memory foam is a hypoallergenic material, meaning that it is very suitable for people with allergies. Feather and synthetic pillows tend to trap a lot of dust. This can be very irritating for people with respiratory allergies and problems. Using a memory foam pillow can help to make your night’s sleep a lot more comfortable. The memory foam is also heat resistant and will stay cool to the touch throughout the night.

There are many different types of contour pillows available. There are a large range of firmness options to choose from. This means that you can choose the perfect pillow for your sleeping requirements. They are a relatively firm pillow, to provide optimal support, but we suggest trying a few out to see which suits you best.

Having a pillow that adequately supports your neck and spine means that you will find it easier to fall asleep. They do not lose their support, become deformed, or compress through use, like traditional pillows.

Memory foam is a lot more hygienic than traditional pillows. The interior of contour pillows is washable, unlike standard pillows. Through use, sweat, skin cells, and other contaminants can build up inside the pillow making them dirty. Traditional pillows cannot be washed and so you are forced to sleep on the buildup every night. This can lead to respiratory issues and skin problems.

Contour pillows can be used as a way to reduce snoring. This is commonly worse when your airways are obstructed. Contour pillows keep your head and neck in such a way that the obstructions are removed, meaning that you will snore less.

How do you sleep on a contour pillow?

This will vary according to your sleeping position. If you sleep on your stomach, it is not recommended that you use a contour pillow. This is because you may not be able to breathe correctly through the night. If you do decide to use a contour pillow, you should sleep with the lower ridge towards your chest. This helps to keep your head close to the mattress and keep your spine in alignment. This also helps to reduce the pressure that is put onto your lower back.

If you sleep on your back then a contour pillow is good to provide neck support. You are aiming to fill the gap between your neck and the mattress. This will support your upper back and neck. The higher ridge should be as close to your shoulder as possible, and you should try to keep your back relatively straight.

If you sleep on your side, this is the ideal pillow for you. Rest your neck on the lower ridge of the pillow, ensuring the side touches your shoulder. This helps to keep your neck in a natural position and reduces the spinal stress you encounter while sleeping.

You can also purchase contour pillows for your legs. These are placed in between your calves and knees. They have been shown to reduce lower back pain and muscular tension, reduce stress on your hips, and also provide cushioning for your joints. They force your pelvis and spine into alignment and are ideal for people who sleep on their side.

There are full-body contour pillows too. These are commonly used by women in the later stages of pregnancy. They reduce back pain and provide good levels of support for the bump. These pillows have been shown to promote an improved blood flow around the body. They come in many different shapes to suit a range of sleeping positions.

How often do you need to replace a memory foam pillow?

Your pillows should be replaced at least once every 3 years. This will ensure that you get the best night’s sleep possible and are not consistently inhaling sweat and dead skin cells.

If you notice your pillow becoming lumpy or stained, these are good indications that it needs replacing. Another good indication is the fold test. If it takes a long time to spring back when folded in half, the pillow has reached the end of its life.

If your allergy symptoms are getting worse again, this suggests the pillow is becoming old. If you are experiencing neck, back, or shoulder pain when you wake up this indicates the pillow is no longer serving its purpose. The same applies if you wake up feeling uncomfortable and tired.