Do you feel a kink in the neck when your head hits the pillow? You are probably spending your nights sleepless, tossing and turning in annoyance and agony. You simply can’t seem to find that sweet spot for your neck or leg.
Did you know that one of the top causes of disturbed and sleepless nights is neck pain due to “prolonged abnormal sleeping posture?”
A soft pillow filled with down or feathers provides you comfort at first but quickly loses shape after a few months. Moreover, this pillow is not really designed for head support. Your muscles and ligaments tense up at night if your posture is not right and hence you feel neck and leg pain.
If you are looking for something that will help you improve your spinal health, then you will have great luck with contour pillows. These types of pillows have a special shape that provides support and comfort when you are sleeping.
Table of Contents
- Symptoms Caused By Poor Quality Pillow
- What Is a Contour Pillow?
- Types of Contour Pillows and Filling Material
- Advantages of Contour Pillows
- Are Contour Pillows Good for you?
- Leg Contour Pillow
- Full Body Contour Pillow
- Final Words
Symptoms Caused By Poor Quality Pillow
A poor quality pillow always develops clumps, especially one that has more feathers in it. You will constantly have to fluff it and make sure nothing spills on it. There are plenty of other pillow stuffing options such as foam, polyester, down, etc. Sadly, none of these have any therapeutic benefits.
Following are the common symptoms of sleeping on a poor quality pillow:
- Pins and needles sensation
- Pain in fingers or arm
- Grinding noise every time you move
What Is a Contour Pillow?
Now that you know why you are not getting a good night’s sleep and what you need to do about it, let’s talk what makes a contour pillow so special.
Firstly, a contour pillow fits parts of your body ergonomically. It is designed to target a specific body part, which you dominantly rely on when sleeping. There are various types of pillows such as for the head and neck, for the legs, for the full body etc (as we will see below).
The general shape of the pillow is concave and it supports your body when you are lying down. Talking about the neck pillow, it fills that hollow gap between your ear and shoulder.
If you are a straight sleeper, then this pillow will help your neck and spine during the sleep. There’s not much difference between a side neck and straight neck pillow. The former has a bigger dip as compared to the latter.
You probably also experience discomfort if you are a side sleeper. This is where the leg contour pillow comes in. This pillow has more depth that the neck pillow. It is placed between the calves, just below the knees but it can also be used for the thighs.
A leg contour pillow provides pain-relieving support for restless leg syndrome, sciatica, post-surgery and back, knee and hip problems. It alleviates the pressure and discomfort you feel when your knees knock together while sleeping on your side.
Types of Contour Pillows and Filling Material
Contour pillows can come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials and each serves a different purpose as well.
Most contour pillows are filled with some variation of foam because foam is a soft material that can be shaped with the contour and retain its shape, unlike other popular fillings for regular pillows.
The most popular choice for filling is memory foam because of its softness and ability to retain its shape after use.
Other popular fillings include latex foam and polyurethane foam; these materials also provide a solid foundation for the contour pillow.
The filling is usually kept soft and shallow in the center with thicker and firmer ends on either side to make the “contour”. The filling in the pillow is not always kept solid. Sometimes, the foam is shredded and blended with other materials.
The shapes of these pillows also differ from the traditional contour pillow shape. The shredded material pillows are often adjustable in shape to fit the specific person that is using them.
The shapes of contour pillows also vary depending on the company making them and what they claim to do.
Most often, however, the pillows are thickest around the four corners, with the back of the pillow more raised than the front, and thinner in the center and between the corners.
The shallowest part of the pillow is in the center; this is why it is called a “contour” pillow.
Let’s discuss contour pillow benefits next:
Advantages of Contour Pillows
#1 Inexpensive to Therapeutic Treatments
Massage therapy to relieve neck and back pain can cost anywhere between $60/h and $100/h. You might need to come in for multiple sessions where the chiropractor might suggest you need physical therapy, as well as heat therapy.
You are looking at a weekly bill of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, a contour pillow costs $11 to $70. It’s a onetime purchase that works like a charm.
#2 Greater Comfort
As mentioned earlier, your posture is what allows you to sleep peacefully. Along with relieving neck pain, contour pillows also provide comfort through its fabric. The pillow remains cool to touch at night and prevents you from waking up in the middle of the night due to rising temperature.
#3 No Harmful Side Effects
Perhaps one of the best benefits of contour pillows is that there are no side effects as compared to prescription pills.
#4 They Retain Their Shape
Memory foam is one of the best and highest quality pillow stuffing that retains its shape. Unlike feathers, you won’t feel any clumps even after consistent use.
#5 Aligns the Back and Neck
Sleeping at odd angles can cause your neck muscles to tense. Every time you will turn your neck, you will feel a twinge that can be very annoying. A contour pillow not only provides support for your neck but the entire spinal column when you are lying down on your back.
#6 Reduces Snoring
If you snore, then you know how difficult it can be to sleep when your airway gets partially obstructed. A contour pillow raises your head slightly and prevents your airway from getting obstructed. People with sleep apnea can sleep peacefully with this pillow.
#7 Reduce Pressure on Your Joints
An uncomfortable sleeping position can freeze your muscles and put pressure on the joints when you get out of bed. The leg contour pillow cushions your joints and prevents your muscles from tensing up.
Are Contour Pillows Good for you?
The way you use a contour pillow depends entirely on how you sleep to give you the most benefits. The most common ways to sleep are either on your back, on your tummy or on your side.
Let’s examine each sleep position and see if a contour pillow will be good for you in each case:
Sleeping on Your Back
You need to try to provide the most support for your neck when you are sleeping on your back. You need to try to fill the space between the bed and your neck that is created under your head.
Filling this space will give your neck and upper back support while sleeping. Adjust the pillow under your head so the large part of the lower end is as close to your shoulder as possible and sleep with a straight posture.
Therefore in this sleep position a contour pillow will help a lot.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
This position is not recommended while using a contour pillow because it can cause issues while breathing, which is why it is important to be careful while sleeping like this.
When you are sleeping on your stomach, you want to try to keep your head as close to the bed as possible to straighten your spine and release the pressure on your lower back.
You want the thinnest part of the pillow to be under your neck toward your chest. This will help limit neck movement during your sleep so you can avoid back pain.
Sleeping on Your Side
When you are sleeping on your side, you want your head to be placed firmly between your shoulders while filling in any gaps to ensure that you have the most support for your neck and back.
Put the lower part of the pillow underneath your neck close to your shoulder. You want to try to maintain your neck’s natural position as much as possible to reduce the amount of stress being put on it.
Leg Contour Pillow
Leg contour pillows are used to relieve lower back pain, reduce tension on your muscles and give cushioning to your joints. Leg contour pillows are also used to provide support and align the pelvic bone and also minimize the friction between legs while sleeping.
These pillows are used for people who sleep on their side. Place the pillow between your legs, making sure the thinnest part is what is preventing your legs from touching each other.
The pillow has to be placed either at the center point or lower half of your legs, just making sure that your knees are not touching. This will keep your spine aligned and also prevent too much movement of your legs; this reduces stress on the hips and keeps your pelvic area aligned as well.
Full Body Contour Pillow
Full body pillows come in different shapes and firmnesses for different levels and areas of pain. These sorts of pillows are most seen used by pregnant women to reduce back pain and get some added support while sleeping.
These pillows are great because they provide support for the whole body rather than just the head, which means you will get the best sleep with them!
These pillows not only provide support for every part of your body, they also promote better blood flow at night.
The body pillow comes in a few different shapes that provide different levels of support. Most people who use a body pillow sleep on their side; one part of the pillow needs to be tucked between the legs to act as a leg contour pillow, and the top part needs to be placed between the neck and shoulder to keep your head in a neutral position while sleeping.
Long trips and workday pressure can bring about neck and leg pain. Along with using a contour pillow, change your sleeping patterns and try to figure what’s causing so much stress in your life.
These key things will help you peacefully at night and wake up fresh in the morning. If you are looking for more informational articles such as this, then visit Epic Home Ideas.
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