Anyone who has slept poorly with or without a pillow knows how important a perfect pillow is. For sleep and for relaxed, pain-free neck muscles. It is not unusual to see holidaymakers traveling with “their” pillow. Even with backpackers, on the way in the wide world, one often sees neck croissants and pillows dangling on the backpacks. They will all have their reasons.
Of course, there is not the ultimate pillow. It pillows in all possible sizes and shapes, with different fillings and for special situations. Reason enough to take a close look at this topic. Especially if you often suffer from neck pain and tension in the neck and shoulder area.
My recommendation for a pillow
First of all for all who are in a hurry, my recommendation for a pillow: The Aloe Vera pillow is my absolute favourite and could not be beaten by any other tested pillow. There are great cushions from sofi or Tempur, but the Aloe Vera cushion is both attractively priced and perfectly suited for neck pain sufferers like me. You are extremely comfortable and those who choose the right height (available in 9cm, 12cm and 15cm height) have chosen the perfect pillow. Here you can find my review of the Aloe Vera pillow (and other very good pillows).
As so often, however, pillows are also a matter of taste. This means that other cushions may be more suitable for other people. What pillows they could be, how big they are and what filling they can come with, I show in the following.
Health cushion – which is the right one?
The term health cushion does not specifically describe what form a cushion should have in order to be described as such. Usually this means the classic, ergonomically shaped neck cushions, which are slightly higher on one side (neck side) than on the other side. Basically, however, health pillows are a collective term that includes all pillows that have a beneficial effect on health. Cushions designed to eliminate the negative properties of classic 80×80 down cushions and provide additional support and orthopaedic support.
On the one hand these can be the mentioned orthopedic and ergonomically shaped neck support pillows, on the other hand also the nowadays very modern rectangular neck pillows with 40x80cm (mostly filled with memory foam or also with down). These are also suitable as health cushions. Which of these pillows is right for you depends on the purpose of the pillow:
Solve serious health problems
The slightly less comfortable but more ergonomic orthopaedic health cushions make sense and are therefore increasingly recommended by doctors and therapists. Examples are: Slipped discs, chronic neck and back pain, headaches
Preventing health problems
For mild health problems (such as temporary neck and back pain, shoulder pain, tension of all kinds), rectangular health pillows with foam filling are recommended. These adapt ideally to the spine, support the head and reduce the load on the spine when sleeping. Further tension and pain is prevented.
Typical dimensions for pillows
The most common pillow sizes with the largest market share are 80×80 cm and 80×40 cm formats. All other sizes share a market share of less than 10 percent in Germany. But the trend in German bedrooms is towards two and more pillows of different sizes, including bolsters.
These pillow collections are clearly due to the fact that nowadays people not only sleep in their beds but also watch TV, read, eat and work on their laptops. But even for a good sleeping position, additional cushions, for example in the lateral position clamped between the knees, can be quite comfortable.
Pillow 80×80 cm
The classic, and still used today with a share of over 70 percent, is the square 80×80 standard pillow. The main reason why this level has remained so persistent to this day is in fact bed linen. Normally, every bed linen set still contains a pillowcase measuring 80×80. In the meantime, there are enough health reasons to choose other cushion sizes.
This 80×80 format is unfavourable for almost sleeping positions. With this large cushion, the spine is raised slightly from the chest area, including the shoulders. This causes the cervical spine to bend unnaturally. The muscles and tendons in the neck are tensing or overstretching. Some have therefore instinctively become accustomed to folding the 80×80 pillow in the middle. Even if the approach is correct, the height is in most cases not well coordinated and rather too high.
There are therefore not many arguments in favour of this cushion format. Clearly, however, there is one point for the look and the cuddle factor.
Otherwise it is rather unsuitable for almost all sleeping positions. Exception: With a flat 80×80 format, abdominal sleepers can cope quite well. Nevertheless, our best firm pillow is also more suitable for abdominal sleepers than an 80x80cm pillow.
I will not recommend pillows with 80x80cm, even if there are many people who do not want to do without the classic size out of habit. Since my website is very much about ergonomics and the fight against pain in the neck and back, I cannot recommend pillows that are counterproductive here. In my pillow guide you will find many pillows that are both very comfortable and provide a healthy sleep.