Compared to 9% of items bought at brick and mortar stores, data suggests that consumers return 20% of their online purchases.
When buying pillows online, it’s easy to get swayed by fancy product descriptions that cause you to buy the wrong pillow.
Instead of going through the hassle of returning your pillow and buying a new one (all while your sleep continues to suffer), why not get the right pillow from the start?
If you know exactly what to look for, you can reduce the likelihood that you’ll have to return your pillow purchase. Plus, online stores often have more pillow options, so you’re more likely to find a pillow that suits your needs.
Ready to get your perfect pillow online? Read on for our top 8 tips to help you decide.
1. Know How You Like to Sleep
Ideally, your pillow should keep your neck and spine aligned to prevent pain. To pick the right pillow shape and thickness, you need to know which position you sleep in.
People tend to fall into one of four “sleeper” categories:
- Side sleepers
- Stomach sleepers
- Back sleepers
- Switching between positions
If you don’t know what position you sleep in, spend a couple of nights observing before you look at pillows online. Notice how you naturally want to fall asleep, and observe whether you move around during the night.
2. Figure Out How Much Support You Need
Depending on what kind of sleeper you are, you may need a different amount of support.
For example, side sleepers need a firm pillow that keeps their neck straight rather than overextended. Stomach sleepers need soft and thin pillows that keep the neck neutral.
Meanwhile, back sleepers need a medium thickness pillow that doesn’t force their head to arch upwards out of alignment with the spine.
If you tend to switch positions during the night, you’ll want a pillow with lots of filling that can move around while you sleep.
You also need to consider how much support you need if you have any muscle or joint injuries. Make sure to consult with a health care professional so they can advise you on how much support your pillow needs to have.
3. Consider Allergies
When comparing pillow prices, it’s well worth it to spend more and get a pillow that doesn’t irritate your allergies.
For example, a lot of people are allergic to down (which often has bird allergens), so it’s a good idea to get a good-quality down alternative or other non-allergenic material.
Always double-check all the materials a pillow is made of to make sure it won’t exacerbate your allergies.
If you have severe allergies, check if the pillow is hypo-allergenic. You can also get special pillow covers that prevent dust mites from getting into your pillow.
4. Read Customer Reviews
Some of the most popular pillow brands may be overhyped on social media and not actually have the best reviews. This is why you need to read online customer reviews.
For example, a pillow may be great for one group of people because they move around while they sleep. But what if you’re a side sleeper and you need a very firm pillow?
In this case, you’ll want to look for customer reviews from people with similar sleeping habits as you.
Customer reviews are especially important if you’re getting a specialty pillow, like a pillow that prevents snoring. You need to make sure it actually works for people without spending over a hundred dollars on a pillow like this.
5. Decide if You Need a Specialty Pillow
These days, there are more shapes and types of pillows on the market than your standard rectangular pillow.
For example, anti-snore pillows keep your head up and away from your chest so that your airway stays open while you’re sleeping.
Cervical pillows are a great option if you have neck pain or an injury as they have a firmer lower part to give you more neck support.
Some other specialty pillows include pregnancy pillows and cooling pillows.
6. Learn About Pillow Fillings
Two reasons you should learn about the different types of pillow fillings are cost and medical issues.
Remember that medical issues such as allergies or injury will determine what kind of pillow filling is appropriate for you. Some pillow fillings are more expensive than others, so you want to factor this into your budget.
Some common pillow fillings include down, down alternative, wool, cotton, latex, and memory foam.
7. Don’t Forget the Pillow Shell
While most people overlook the pillow shell, it’s still a permanent part of the pillow that can affect your experience of your new pillow.
For example, a high thread count shell means that your head will sink comfortably into the pillow. You’ll also avoid the “crunching” effect that you can hear with some pillows.
Make sure that the pillow shell is as high quality as the filling of the pillow and that it doesn’t irritate any of your allergies.
8. Make Sure It’s Easy To Clean
Most of us don’t have the time (nor the space) to hand wash all our pillows.
This is why you need to make sure that the pillow you buy online is easy to clean and wash. This means that not only is the case machine washable, but the pillow itself is washable.
For example, the Easy Breather Pillow is machine washable on the delicates cycle. To save even more time, you can put the pillow in the dryer on low heat until the inside of the pillow is dry.
Follow These Tips for Buying Pillows Online
Buying pillows online doesn’t have to be confusing or overwhelming.
By following these tips, you can make sure you’re informed about the types of pillows, their fillings, and what type of pillow you need. Plus, you’ll have much more choice online than you would in a brick-and-mortar store.