Your choice of bedding can have a significant impact on your quality of sleep, and a big part of that is choosing the best pillow for you. It's not all about down vs memory foam vs feather pillows, either; your choice needs to be the right height for your build. Getting the right height of pillow will help keep your spine happy, can help you stop snoring, and is important if you want to optimise your sleep for better posture and fast recovery, too.
"Pillows should be comfortable, but not too plumped up. Your pillow should also fit earlobe to shoulder to lift your head off the bed and keep your airways nice and open," say the experts at MattressNextDay (opens in new tab). "If your pillow isn’t giving you the support you need, you could be blocking off your airways and causing that soft tissue to vibrate [causing snoring]."
So how exactly do you know if your pillow is sitting at the right height for you? The company has an ultra quick hack you can use to check: simply take a selfie of your face and torso while lying in your sleeping position, then draw a straight line down the middle of your face and down your torso. The centre of your face should line up with the middle of your torso. If your face is sitting higher, your pillow is too deep, and if it's sitting lower, then your pillow is too flat.
You might find it easier to use a photo of your back in a side sleeping position, so you can use your spine as a guideline. But for that, you need to rope someone else in to act as photographer.
It's increasingly common for pillow brands to take this into account when designing their products. The Emma Premium Microfibre pillow has inserts you can add or remove to make your pillow sit higher or lower, while the Simba Hybrid pillow contains cubes of foam to let you adjust the fill to your exact preferences. The biggest brand to champion the importance of having the right height pillow, though, is Levitex. The Levitex pillow comes in a range of heights and is designed specifically with a perfect body fit in mind. (Learn more about different sleeping positions and what they do to your body.)
Is there anything else that might be to blame?
If your pillow is the right height, and you're still waking up to a grumpy, sleep-deprived partner due to your nocturnal noises, it could be down to dust triggering an allergic reaction. Nowadays, most good quality pillows will be No-Mite certified, which means they're suitable for dust mite allergy sufferers, but do check before making a purchase. Don't want to buy a new pillow? Here's how to get rid of dust mites in the home.