Waking up with a stiff neck in the morning can definitely spoil your mood as well as keep you uncomfortable for the entire day. Having a good quality pillow is as important as having a good quality mattress. However, most people do not acknowledge that and go for any random pillow. Just like different kinds of mattresses, there are different types of pillows made for every sleeper.From the plethora of pillow options, the right pillow is the one that provides a good nights sleep, while relieving stress, supporting the head and neck at right angles, easing sleep conditions and does not cause body pain in the morning. The right pillow is durable, cost-effective and breathable. Among the different shapes of pillows, choose the one that serves the purpose.6 Types of PillowsPillows vary in size, the material filled inside them and comfort levels. Which type of pillow is best for sleeping? While some are super soft or super firm, others can be a little harsh on the neck. Some sleepers prefer mattress and pillow combinations that feel like the body is on a cloud, while others prefer a combination that is more on the hard side.1. Down PillowsA down pillow is a luxurious pillow that is made from the soft fibres and feathers obtained from a duck, a goose or a swan. When choosing a down pillow, look for the fill power to estimate their durability because they need regular fillings to maintain the fluffiness (the ideal fill power is 600 or more).The pros of owning down pillows are:● They provide good head and neck support● With regular fillings, they can last for years● They are lightweight● They can provide warmth in winterThere are some cons to a down pillow:● Down pillows retain the body head, so they can overheat in summer● They can cause allergic reactions● They are difficult to clean2. Memory Foam PillowsMemory foam pillows are trendy because they are a perfect fit for all sleepers. These pillows quickly respond to changed sleeping positions and mould accordingly. One type of memory foam is soft and adjustable and the other type is more on the solid side, which provides extra support to the body.The pros of owning memory foam pillows are:● They provide pain relief support● They do not clump● They do not require regular filling● They contour according to the body movementsFollowing are the cons of a memory foam pillow:● These pillows have a chemical smell that is let off due to off-gassing● It is less breathable● It may retain body heat3. Shredded Foam PillowsA shredded foam pillow is an alternative to a memory foam pillow. These pillows are more on the firm side and can contour to the needs of the sleeper. Also, the fillings in these types of pillows can be added or removed as per requirements. A shredded foam pillow is a perfect fit for any sleeping position.The pros of owning shredded foam pillows are:● They do not clump● They are easily moldable for better support● They can be customised, that is fillings can be added or removed● They are easy to cleanFollowing are the cons of a shredded foam pillow:● It may have a strong chemical smell● It may wear off with time, thus not durable● Overstuffed ones might not be comfortable for the sleeper4. Latex PillowsLatex pillows have a soft and supportive filling. The types of pillow shapes vary in shredded and block latex pillows. Shredded pillows are rectangular in shape and block latex pillows are solid and boxy. Do not forget to check whether the material is 100 per cent pure latex or synthetic latex.The pros of owning latex pillows are:● They are durable and comfortable● They provide a high level of support● They are breathable and do not retain body heat● They are safe for the environmentFollowing are the cons of a latex pillow:● They have a strong odour● They are not cost-effective● They can cause allergic reactions5. Body PillowsA body pillow is a long and narrow cushion that provides better alignment of the head and spine and removes the pressure from sensitive areas of the body. These types of pillows are relaxing and helpful for health conditions like sleep apnea and acid reflux.The pros of owning body pillows are:● They keep the neck and spine aligned, thus preventing a stiff body● They cause the body to release oxytocin - a hormone that relieves stress● They can be customised in different shapes and sizes● They have built-in cooling technologyFollowing are the cons of a body pillow:● Not space-efficient● It is not cost-effective6. Feather PillowsA feather pillow is an alternative to a down pillow. These pillows do not lose their shape and allow the sleeper to get high-quality sleep. They are available on an affordable side because of the mixed feather filling - made of the topcoats of ducks and geese.The pros of owning feather pillows are:● They are lightweight and cozy● They are durable and can retain their shape for years● They are easily mouldableFollowing are the cons of a feather pillow:● It may require regular fluffing● It is difficult to cleans● It may overheat in summer9 Other Types of Pillows1. Down Alternative PillowThis type of pillow has the same qualities as a down pillow, but instead of using feather fillings, it is made of synthetic fibres like polyester or polyfill. They are not durable and warm but an affordable option that is easy to maintain.2. Cotton PillowWith the introduction of memory foam in the market, cotton pillows have gone down on the trend. These pillows are stuffed with cotton, which makes them breathable, odourless and easy to clean. However, cotton pillows can become lumpy and feel uncomfortable.3. Bamboo PillowBamboo pillows are in the trend because of their antimicrobial and moisture-absorbing properties. They are filled with foam and bamboo viscose shells, thus being mouldable as per the sleeping position.4. Gel PillowA gel pillow is made by mixing the gel with other materials like latex and foam. These pillows are firm and maintain their shape for a long time without compromising their mouldability. They have built-in cooling technology.5. Polyester PillowPolyester pillow or poly-fill pillow is a budget-friendly option filled with shredded polyester material. Though they are lightweight and supportive, they are not durable and breathable.6. Buckwheat PillowAmong the different pillow types in Asia, buckwheat is a popular one. These pillows are filled with buckwheat shells that make a lot of noise when the sleeper moves. They are breathable and long-lasting, but heavy.7. Microbead PillowMicrobead pillows are an affordable alternative to buckwheat pillows. They are lightweight and do not make any noise. These are filled with uniform polymer particles that retain heat and a strong odour.8. Standard PillowStandard pillows are the cheapest type of pillow available in the market. They are made of a cotton or polyester filling, which can be a perfect fit for any bed, not for every sleeper though.9. Innerspring PillowAn innerspring pillow is made with a filling of polyester or foam with an inner layer of steel springs. These pillows are made to provide good support to the head and neck. They are a good fit for all sleepers however, they can be a little expensive.The Right Pillow for YouEven after understanding the fillings and different pillow types, many people might be confused as to which pillow is best for sleeping. It does not require a lot of research, just understanding the sleeping conditions and sleeping positions is enough to find the pillow that will provide maximum comfort.1. Best Pillows for Back SleepersFor the back sleepers, a down pillow or a cotton pillow would be the best choice. They keep the head at a perfect level without affecting the neck and spine alignment.2. Best Pillows for Side SleepersFor the side sleepers, a body pillow, a latex pillow or a cotton pillow would be the best choice. They give a cozy feeling while providing excellent support.3. Best Pillows for Stomach SleepersFor stomach sleepers, a down pillow, a memory foam pillow, a gel pillow or a feather pillow would be the best choice. These pillows will contour according to the needs.ConclusionPutting the same focus on choosing pillows and mattresses may create a huge impact on the improved quality of life. A pillow does not only provide comfort to the neck and head but may also prevent constant headaches, and ache in shoulder muscles and improve posture.FAQsCan I sleep without a pillow?A pillow provides support to the spine, neck and shoulders. Thus, it is not advised to sleep without a pillow unless the doctor suggests so.What is the main material of a pillow?The main material of a pillow can be polyester, latex, cotton, foam, feathers or micro-fibres.What are the three popular types of a pillow?The three popular types of pillows are down pillows, memory foam pillows and latex pillows.Which is the softest type of pillow?The softest type of pillow is a down pillow, which is made of feathers and soft fibres obtained from ducks, geese and swans.What thickness of the pillow is best?The ideal thickness of a pillow is 3 to 6 inches to provide adequate support.