How Your Pillow Helps You Sleep – An Innkeeper’s Guide

Woman sleepingo n pillow

A pillow has a simple, yet critical, job: to keep your neck and head aligned when you sleep.

But finding the right pillow isn’t always as simple, especially when you’re not shopping for yourself, but for hundreds upon hundreds of potential guests.

Not every pillow type is right for your preferred sleep position, and different pillow fills and sizes have various benefits.

The search for pillows by innkeepers can depend on quite a few different factors.

The size of your pillow

Pillows should allow sleepers to sleep comfortably with their head, neck, shoulders, and spine all in alignment. And a good pillow needs the right pillowcase. Stuffing a big pillow into a small case will distort the shape of the pillow and make it harder to sleep.

Pillows for innkeepers: Side sleepers

Woman sleeping on her side

Most people – 70 percent — fall into the category of side sleepers, Consumer Reports says. And these people are best served by a firm or extra-firm pillow.

Look for a pillow with an extra wide gusset to help cover the distance between your ear and shoulder. A pillow with a gusset is one that has rectangular panels along each side to make it thicker. Side sleepers might also find that they sleep better with another pillow between their knees for better spine alignment.

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say about side sleeping:

“The most common sleeping position is on your side, with your legs and hips aligned and flexed. Because this position leaves your upper leg unsupported, the top knee and thigh tend to slide forward and rest on the mattress, rotating the lower spine. This slight rotation may contribute to back or hip pain. To prevent that problem, place a pillow between your knees and thighs…If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower back. You might try a small, rolled towel under the small of your back for additional support. Support your neck with a pillow.”

Pillows for innkeepers: Back sleepers

Man sleeping on his backBack sleepers might do well with a thinner pillow, one that cradles your head without lifting it too high and altering the curve of your neck.

Look for down alternative, latex foam or memory foam pillows that are medium-firm and medium-loft. (Loft refers to the height of the pillow when it’s on the bed.)

Consumer Reports notes that sleeping on your back is often connected to snoring or – in more serious cases – sleep apnea, a condition where people stop breathing. You may need to prop yourself up with a few extra pillows to help prevent this.

Pillows for innkeepers: stomach sleepers

A night spent sleeping on your stomach can put a lot of strain on your lower back. A thin, soft pillow is your best bet, but you might be better off with no pillow at all. If you do choose to sleep with a pillow, look for one that’s breathable. It won’t retain heat and will keep you cool.

But what kind of pillow fill do I need?

Sleep chamber pillowSome of the most common pillow fill materials include:

  • Memory foam – This foam molds itself to your shape, a perfect choice for people with neck pain. Look for memory foam that offers built-in ventilation.
  • Down – Down pillows are soft and light, filled with either duck or goose feathers. Not a good option for people with allergies, although you can find hypoallergenic down or down alternative pillows that offer the same lightness.
  • Latex – Firmer than down, they still provide a great deal of support and comfort.

The right pillow can make all the difference in ensuring your guests get a good night sleep. Let InnStyle help you find the right pillows for your guests.

Our pillow menu was designed to be an ideal source for pillows for innkeepers, letting you choose from a wide variety of different pillows for all sleep positions.

Contact our sales team today to find out more about how we can help you find the perfect pillows for your overnight guests.

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