by Amber Cook
You never realize how many muscles it takes to turn your head until you have a stiff neck, and the wrong pillow can leave your neck stiff for days. A good pillow, however, provides the neck and back support you need, and this depends on how you sleep and what you're looking for in a pillow. Compare the qualities of down pillows and memory foam pillows to see which will provide you with the comfort level you need.
Softness: Down-filled pillows are known for their luxurious softness. Sleeping on a down-filled pillow is often compared to "sleeping on a cloud." Memory foam pillows are also soft, but they tend to provide firm support since the material is designed to contour to your body.
Support: Memory foam pillows are designed in various shapes to encourage proper neck and back support. These shapes are all designed to help with everything from snoring to lower back pain. Because these pillows form to each person differently, they tend to provide just the support your neck needs. Down pillows provide the support ideal for stomach sleepers. Their flexibility allows the heads of stomach sleepers to hang lower than a firmer pillow would allow, which puts less tension on the spine and neck.
Allergens: Many people believe that down-filled pillows are more prone to aggravate allergies than other types of pillows, but this is a misconception. When cleaned regularly and dried thoroughly, both down and memory foam are naturally allergen-resistant.
Warmth: Both memory foam and down pillows are well known for their warmth. Memory foam pillows are made to hold in heat. Down-filled pillows also hold in heat by providing insulation without added weight. If warmth is a concern and you would like more airflow, consider trying memory foam combined with latex.
Durability: Down pillows are a great investment because they last for years and don't require much upkeep. The only upkeep they need is an occasional fluff and cleaning. Memory foam pillows are also quite resilient, and when combined with latex, they hold their shape longer than almost any other pillow on the market.