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How to choose a pillow that’s right for you

23rd April 2024 • 5 min read

Time for a little pillow talk...

We can all agree that a bed without pillows would just look… wrong. But pillows are about so much more than aesthetics. Like your mattress and doona, they are an essential part of your sleep space – and choosing the right one can help you achieve better-quality sleep. 

But with all the options available, how do you know which is the best pillow for you? 

Here, we explain what to look for in your ideal pillow match.

Is it better to sleep with or without a pillow?

Some people say they prefer sleeping without a pillow, claiming it improves things like wrinkles, acne and hair texture. However, sleeping without a pillow can put unwanted pressure on your neck and may contribute to neck pain, back pain and headaches.

Pillows encourage good sleep posture, helping to maintain the natural curvature of your spine and support your head, neck and shoulders while you sleep. One US study found that sleeping with the right pillow could improve sleep quality and spinal alignment while reducing the occurrence of sleep-related neck pain.

How to choose a pillow

Not all pillows are made equal. So how do you go about finding the best one for you?

This will depend on a number of factors, including personal preference. While there is a wide selection of pillows to choose from at Forty Winks, our exclusive bedMATCH® system can give you a personalised recommendation and take the guesswork out of finding the right mattress and pillow.

Here are some important things to consider when shopping for a new pillow. 

Neck support

It’s important that your pillow provides adequate neck support. If you find yourself waking up with neck pain, this is a good indication that your pillow isn’t doing its job properly.

When it comes to getting sufficient neck support, the Forty Winks MySide pillow range is a great place to start. Available in three height profiles to suit sleepers of different shapes and sizes, these pillows are designed to promote good sleep posture. 

For example, the Forty Winks My Side Pillow B, Memory Foam contours in response to heat and pressure, providing a supportive and pressure-relieving cradle for your head and neck. Not only does this promote natural body alignment, it can also reduce tossing and turning during the night.


My Side pillows available in memory foam and talalay latex

Sleeping position

The way you sleep will affect how much support your neck needs. For example, back sleepers typically require a different level of neck support compared to side sleepers. For this reason, the best pillow for back sleeping is one with a lower profile, while side-sleepers should opt for a medium-profile pillow. 

We have a range of supportive memory foam pillows tailored to different sleeping positions, including the Forty Winks Moonshadow THERMOCOOL Back Sleeper Pillow and the Forty Winks Moonshadow THERMOCOOL Side Sleeper Pillow.

If you move around a lot in the night and find yourself sleeping in multiple positions, the Forty Winks Moonshadow THERMOCOOL Adjustable Pillow is the perfect all-rounder. Constructed from soft foam cubes and fibre, it’s suitable for side, back or stomach sleepers and can be customised to achieve the ideal height for you.


In places like Australia, breathable bedding materials are a must-have – especially during the warmer months. After all, there’s nothing worse than waking up in the night feeling hot and stuffy or lying in a pool of your own sweat.

Yet another reason to try out the Forty Winks Moonshadow THERMOCOOL range. Built with patent-pending technology that controls energy and heat flow, these cool-to-touch pillows help reduce the body’s surface temperature and keep it at a consistent level all night. 


Of course, one of the first things we tend to look for in a pillow is comfort. We all know how difficult it can be to drift off when lying on something that just doesn’t feel right. 

Some people like a firmer-feeling pillow, while others prefer to sink into something soft and plush. The best way to figure out what’s most comfortable for you is to visit us in-store and test out a few different options.

Caring for your pillows

Pillows are an investment in your sleep health, and there are a few simple things you should do to keep them in the best condition for as long as possible.

The first (and perhaps most obvious) one is to use a pillow protector to shield your pillow from dust mites, allergens, bacteria and stains. Opt for high-quality pillow protectors like the Protect-A-Bed Equilibrium Mattress & Pillow Protector Set, Tencel W/Graphene Infused Dynatex, which have enhanced thermoregulating properties, protect from spills and stains, and act as a barrier against bacteria and viruses.

Second, it’s important that you wash your pillow protector and cases regularly to keep them clean and fresh. As for the pillow itself, there’s no hard and fast rule – however, we generally recommend aiming for every six months, and more often if you sweat a lot, eat in bed, or sleep with your pets.

How often should you replace your pillows?

Experts say you should replace your pillows every one to two years or when they start to lose their shape. If you can’t get comfortable or you are regularly waking up with a stiff or sore neck, it’s usually a sign that it’s time to update your pillow.

Ready to find your perfect pillow match? Explore our pillow range or visit us in-store.

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