Have you ever experienced general back, neck or body pain, and been sure that it was due to the way you slept? Almost everyone can assert that they have “slept funny” at some point in their lives, and the art of sleeping is something that evades a great majority of the population. The contour pillow is an excellent tool for those that wish to improve their sleeping postures and can provide great neck pain relief. Not only is using a contour pillow a healthy choice; it is also a supremely comfortable one. The following paragraphs will discuss the concept and science behind contour pillows, and will provide some contour pillow reviews to provide insight into some of the options available on today’s market.
What is a contour pillow? Essentially, it is a pillow designed to mirror, and thus support, the contours of the body. There exist contour pillows of many sizes and functions; some specifically designed for the back, some for the legs, and sometimes for the entire body. For the purposes of this article, only head and neck pillows will be discussed in detail.
Contour pillows for the head and neck, which are also referred to as orthopedic pillows, have a distinct appearance. The most basic ones feature a convexly curved center area to accommodate the proper placement of the head. More specifically designed pillows will feature that most obvious indent as well as several additional, more subtle contours. Materials used in the fabrication of these pillows will vary, but will most often be either fibers similar to those used in standard pillows, memory foam, or a combination of the two.
A quick note about memory foam, in order to clarify its function, and examine what distinguishes it from the more standard fiber pillow filling: Also, called visco-elastic polyurethane foam, or low resilience polyurethane foam, memory foam is specially formulated to adapt to the subtle curves of the body. The way it reacts (or indents) is dependent upon its density: Low density will respond to pressure alone, while more high-density foams respond to body heat to make their subtle adjustments.
There are literally hundreds of contour pillows available for purchase on today’s market. It is possible to find diverse brands and pillow specifications both online and in the sleep sections of most department stores. Determining which pillow to buy may initially seem like a daunting task. Understanding what you are buying, and knowing which features to look for will help you to narrow your search. The following contour pillow reviews are not intended to be comprehensive in scope. Rather, they are intended to provide readers with a perspective of the various types of pillows that are currently being produced.
The brand Contour Living produces a wide variety of pillow products for the whole body. Its comprehensive website is easy to navigate, and due to its concentration in this area of sleep products, virtually everyone will be able to find a product that suits their needs. Notably, Contour Living produces the CPAP pillow, which is specifically designed for individuals that suffer from sleep apnea, and who require a breathing mask while lying down. Another brand that produces a pillow recommended for sleep apnea sufferers is the Core Products line, which produces the Tri-Core Pillow. Although not made of memory foam, this pillow is specifically designed to feature a trapezoid center, and is available in three sizes.
The Sleep Better brand also produces a notable contour pillow, called the Iso-Cool Memory Foam Pillow. This pillow can be used by side, back and stomach sleepers, and distinguishes itself for its application of PCM, or Phase Change Material. This material basically consists of microscopic beads that effectively help to regulate the temperature of the body, by absorbing heat and feeling cool to the touch.
Be advised that although contour pillows are generally regarded as the healthiest and most comfortable options for sleeping, some adjustment time is occasionally required in order to feel their positive effects. For some this adjustment may take place within just one or two days. For others, whose previous sleeping postures were significantly different, the adjustment may take up to three weeks. Most contour pillows will sell for between $30.00 and $50.00 USD, however various brands and models will inevitably be priced either higher or lower than this ballpark figure.