When you consider the fact that we spend a third of our lives in bed and the quality of sleep we get certainly affects the other two-thirds, so the humble cheap pillow is actually quite the important purchase. Having a pillow that keeps your neck aligned with your spine is massively important. However, over long periods wear-and-tear can cause muscle stiffness, tendonitis, nerve pain, herniated discs, and more. Here's how to make the best choice when shopping the pillow aisle, and also help to save you money too.
Make sure you know when it's time to replace your pillow. Pillows simply don't last forever, so keep an eye out for lumps and sagging. A good tip to know when to change your pillows is if you have a traditional fibrefill pillow, fold it in half and place a book on top of it, if it springs back to shape, it's still good. But if it stays folded in half, it's time for a new one. Memory foam pillows that are crumbly or no longer hold their shape also need to go. But don't worry, the benefit you'll get from a new pillow is massive, plus by shopping around you should get some cheap deals on pillows.
It also pays to know the materials that are commonly used in polio's and which ones are best suited for you. Down pillows tend to be the fluffiest, but a combination of down with feather will be less expensive. A pillow made out of a synthetic fill or down alternative will also probably be a cheaper pillow, and still feel soft while offering supportive resistance. And memory foam pillows tend to be thicker and firmer, but pricey too.
You also want to make sure that the outer fabric is tightly woven to keep the fill in and allergens out. The stitching should be very tight, and no feathers or fibres should poke out. This will stop any irritants during the night, and feathers tickling your face.
Also worth considering is how you sleep. A pillow's material can tend to determine how supportive it is, but its thickness makes a significant difference, too. For instance, you can find thick down pillows in the market, and even memory foam's texture can vary. In general, side sleepers need a thicker pillow, stomach sleepers need a thinner pillow, and a back sleeper will fall somewhere in between. This is a huge generalisation, but it is backed up by some data so it's worth taking note of.
Basically, it's all about the position of your neck. It should align with your spine in a neutral position as you sleep. So we like to recommend a hybrid pillow that has a memory foam core surrounded with a softer down or synthetic layer. This version offers support and comfort, and can adapt as you change position throughout the night. It's the jack of all trades in the pillow department and found at all the UK retailers that we have the prices of cheap pillows for on this page.
Taking care of your pillow will not only make it last longer, but will ensure you're getting great value for money from it. Before purchasing a pillow, check the care label to make sure you're willing to wash it as recommended. Most are machine washable, but some are dry clean only. We think you should stick to machine washable pillows. These are cheaper and far easier to keep clean. Your pillow will last longer if you wash it two to four times a year, and always use a pillow case to make it a lot easier to wash this weekly, and keep you pillow free from wear and tear.
One good tip is to test your pillow when you get home, but make sure you leave the plastic wrapping on so you can return it if its not right for you. All the stores we feature offer great returns policy so you won't be stuck with a pillow that isn't right for you.
It also pays to make sure you still like the same style pillow every time you come to buy new ones. Just because you like a firm thick pillow now, doesn't mean that in 4 years time, you'll want the same. Our bodies change over time and so does our sleeping positions.
Types of Fillings in Pillows
We said earlier that it's worth knowing what types of filling you get in pillows and heres a quick guide to help you know the fillings types and which ones will suit you the most.
Natural Feather Pillows, Down and feathers are considered best for conforming to your head and neck. Fill power describes the fill’s "loft" or fluffiness. The higher the number, the loftier and more durable the pillow. Some down pillows are treated to make them even more hypoallergenic. Well cared for, a natural fill pillow can last for a decade. This makes it great value for money.
Synthetic/Man-Made Pillows These are usually polyester and generally the most affordable type pillow, synthetics-filled pillows are hypoallergenic, but aren't as long lasting as pillows with other fills. Synthetic pillows last only two to three years. So over time not great value for money, but if you need one now and are on a tight budget, these are the ones to go for.
Poly-cluster Pillows A type of synthetic fill in which polyester clusters are coated with silicone to feel and move like down. Another hypoallergenic option, poly-cluster fill offers most of the softness and comfort of a down pillow at a lower cost. Poly-cluster pillows will not last as long as a down pillow, but should be useful for several years.
Memory Foam Pillows Dense, sponge-like pillows that mould around the head and neck for extra support. Memory-foam pillows offer firm support. These are sometimes a good fit for people who may have had head or neck pain in the past. This type of pillow lasts about two years, and can be quite expensive.
Where to Buy Cheap Pillows
Getting hold of cheap pillows isn't all that difficult really, but getting cheap pillows that are worth having does take a bit more time. We think that the big UK retailers that we have pillows listed for on this page offer the best choice and the lowest prices too.
Argos are great for the convenience and ease of use in getting pillows. They also have the cheapest pillows that you'll find. They are not the best in quality, but if you're on a tight budget, they'll more than do a good job.
Dreams have an absolute massive range of pillows of all types and qualities. They have the cheap synthetic pillows, all the way up to low priced natural fibre pillows too. It's well worth heading to your local Dreams store to see what deals they have on pillows.
Mattress Man also has a huge range and loads to choose from. The prices can also be a little lower than one of the other stores too. Their website is easy to get around and we feel the there are some good deals to find at Mattress Man for pillows.
Bensons For Beds are a good pick for some quality down pillows for a low price. They have some good sales on so it's worth keeping an eye out for them.
Very have some of the best quality pillows that you can find. They are a little more expensive, but they'll last for ages so it's really good value for money in the long run.
All the prices of pillows from these stores are some on this page in order of cheapest first. This makes it easy for you to see who is selling the pillows that are right for you for the lowest price.