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How to Make Sure That Your Pillow is The Right Size For You

When selecting the ideal type of pillow the thickness of the pillow is king…and the right size for you is dependent upon your size and the softness or hardness of your bed. The softer the mattress (or pillow top) the more your shoulders will sink into the mattress so you will need a thinner pillow. For a harder mattress, you will need a thicker pillow because your shoulders won’t sink down as much. That is why you need to get an adjustable pillow that you can adjust to suit your own mattress. I recommend the Posture Form Contour Cure Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow.

We choose to have them available at Be Healthy Chiropractic because they can be adjusted to 4 different thicknesses to cater for most body types and mattresses and they are contoured to hold your neck and head in a balanced alignment while you sleep on your side.

STEP 1) Determine If An Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow For You

Before you try this pillow you need to first decide if you need to have a pillow like this because not everyone needs a pillow like this…

If you sleep on your stomach (which is the ideal sleeping posture) you do not need this type of pillow. Any type of pillow is suitable for you. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to have a pillow if you sleep on your stomach. You just choose whatever you like for comfort.

If you sleep on your back you should stop it straight away as sleeping on your back is the worst for lowering your blood oxygenation and should be avoided. If, despite my warnings, you still choose to sleep on your back, do not use this pillow or any type of contoured pillow.

If you sleep on your side or you sleep in all sorts of positions, then this pillow is for you.

STEP 2) Choose the ideal degree of firmness in the pillow 

If you are of a heavier build and like the pillow to have a sturdier/harder feeling of support then choose the “charcoal firmer feel” pillow

If you are of a slighter build choose the “regular feel” pillow.  Probably 3 out of 4 find the regular feel the most appropriate for them.

3/4 people choose the

3/4 people choose the “normal” feel over the “firmer” feel
















STEP 3) Take Your Adjustable Pillow Home and Discover The Ideal Thickness to Use

a) Take a Selfie in Bed

Take the pillow out of its carry bag, grab your mobile phone and lie on your bed on your side in your typical sleeping posture.

Staying in your normal sleeping posture take a “selfie”.

Your selfie photo will help you determine if the pillow is the right thickness for you.















b) Analysing Your Selfie

You need to look at two different landmarks on your body. The notch just underneath your nose (where Charlie Chaplin’s moustache was) called the philtrum and the notch above the top of your sternum where your collarbones join your sternum called the suprasternal notch.

The notch under the nose is called the philtrum. The notch above the sternum is called the suprasternal notch. These two areas should be level when lying on your side.

The notch under the nose is called the philtrum. The notch above the sternum is called the suprasternal notch. These two areas should be level when lying on your side.

















If the philtrum is lying higher than the suprasternal notch then your pillow is too high.

The pillow is too high

The pillow is too high
















If the philtrum is lying lower than the suprasternal notch then your pillow is too low.

The pillow is too low

The pillow is too low
















If these two landmarks are level in the selfie then your pillow thickness is just right for you in your bed.

Ahhh...Just right.

Ahhh…Just right.
















c) Adjust the Pillow Size Until the Two “Notches” Are Level

The two contours of the pillow are of slightly different thicknesses so use whatever size contour that holds you level.

You also have the option to undo the zip at the bottom of the pillow to take out the 2cm removable layer if you have a slighter frame or a softer bed. Ultimately that gives you 4 different thickness of pillow to try out which caters for most types of beds and body shapes.

If you have any concerns feel free to discuss with the team at Be Healthy Chiropractic





8 Join the Conversation

  1. Brock says
    Jan 26, 2023 at 8:45 PM

    How can you say that it is best to sleep on your stomach when every other source on the internet suggests to sleep on your back or side?

    • says
      Jan 27, 2023 at 11:38 AM

      Like you, for about 25 years of my practice, I used to think that sleeping on your back or side was best. This was based upon a couple of studies showing that there was less pressure on the neck while on the back or side compared to the stomach. Most of the current internet advice is based upon this now outdated research. About 6 years ago at a Neurology conference updated research on sleeping posture was shared that challenged and then changed my thinking on this topic. In this research, they were measuring a lot more than just measuring pressure on the spine. They measured the impact of sleeping posture on a lot of different biomarkers of overall health and well-being, including blood oxygenation, breathing mechanics, and circulation to the brain. (You may have noticed in intensive care Covid wards they were placing patients on their stomachs!) I made another short video on sleeping posture to help explain it because I was frustrated that all of the first 2 pages of internet searches revealed what I believe is outdated and now incorrect information. I was also trying to help those that I had wrongly misinformed throughout the previous 25 years. I hope this helps. And thanks for challenging and seeking clarification on this. It demonstrates that you don't take everything as gospel and you think for yourself which is a valuable trait to have. Check out the video here...

  2. Lilly says
    Feb 26, 2023 at 9:11 AM

    I've always been a stomach sleeper but lately it seems like sleeping on my stomach lifts my neck and upper body, causing my back to arch and I wake up with lower back pain. According to the directions in this article and the selfie, my pillow is the right size for side sleeping. Should i have a second pillow on hand specifically for stomach sleeping? Is there a right or wrong way to stomach sleep?

  3. Michael Agee says
    Apr 09, 2023 at 5:16 AM

    How can you truly rest without allowing yourself to naturally position your body in the way you are most comfortable? I feel as if periodically I must change position for the relief of having too much stress on various parts of my body. A great deal of the studies could be accurate but it could also be true that individual circumstances and conditions are very important for determining which position you sleep in and for how long. It's realistic to think that more than one sleeping position is necessary throughout the night for the most effective rest.

    • says
      Mar 13, 2024 at 6:23 AM

      You will find that you move and change your body position many many times while you sleep. What is most comfortable can also be what your body is most used to so if poor posture is an old habit any change will be uncomfortable initially.Improving your spinal posture and flexibility requires re-training of various lifestyle habits including sleeping. I would suggest that you get checked by a chiropractor who can examine your lifestyle and posture to determine what exact modifications of habits that you personally need to make.

  4. Syras Bharucha says
    Mar 08, 2024 at 2:13 PM

    I am a side and back sleeper, and I have a firm mattress. Recently I wake up with a pain near my shoulder blades.

    • says
      Mar 13, 2024 at 6:15 AM

      I would recommend that you get yourself to a chiropractor who can check your spinal posture and flexibility. A loss of the proper motion of your spinal joints is the most common cause of this kind of pain and chiropractors are the best trained to help this.

  5. Poornima says
    Mar 29, 2024 at 12:15 PM

    Very informative blog good to know the right size of pillow. Thank You for posting this, waiting for the new one.

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