In this article, we will discuss the relationship between your pillow with diabetes. How important to have a good pillow for someone with diabetes? What are the special features of a diabetes-friendly pillow? And, after all, what are the best pillows for diabetes currently available to buy?
Aside from the common symptoms associated with diabetes, such as high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels, weight loss/gain, and fatigue, most people with diabetes have problems falling or staying asleep at night.
Because of this, most diabetics tend to feel fatigued and tired most times. Therefore, to support sleeping, people with diabetes need to find a healthy sleeping surface and area that facilitates better sleep.
And to do that, they don’t just need a good mattress but a good pillow too.
I should stress that choosing the right pillow is as important as choosing the right mattress. Research has shown that using the right pillow can help to improve the quality of your sleep. Getting quality sleep is an important part of healthy living.
If you have diabetes, don’t underestimate the importance of adequate sleeping. This is because lack or inadequate sleep can put your body under a lot of stress-releasing cortisol. Cortisol increases insulin resistance and blood glucose level.
Adequate and quality sleep helps the body to heal itself and develop resistance against diseases like diabetes.
As a person with diabetes, you must choose a comfortable pillow for you to sleep on. That pillow should support your head and neck and align them properly with your spine.
In a search for a good pillow, you need to consider your sleeping position, the pillow filling materials and the cover material, how soft or firm the pillow is and also how breathable the pillow is.
Before digging further, let’s cover some basics.
First thing first… What is a pillow?
Role Of A Pillow
Pillows play an important role in your sleep. They have a great impact on your quality of rest and your overall well-being.
Sleeping with a pillow serves two basic functions.
1. To provide support to the neck and upper back
Naturally, the human spine is curved. Pillows are meant to support the head and neck helps to maintain the proper alignment of the spine.
Sleeping with a pillow that doesn’t give your neck, upper back, and spine the ample support it needs will not only hurt your sleep but can also cause your neck and back to be stiff.
2. It gives a better level of comfort than when sleeping without one
When it comes to choosing a comfortable pillow depends on personal choice.
A pillow that may be comfortable for you may not be that comfortable for another person. The factors that determine the type of pillow that will be more comfortable for you are;
- your body size
- the positions you sleep in
- your health condition
Types of Pillows
Pillow differs in their fillings, size and covering materials. The fillings in pillows differ in their level of support and comfort.
Types of pillows include –
- Memory foam pillows
Memory forms are the most common material for pillows and even mattresses.
They are made from polyurethane mixed with some chemicals. They thick with increased density. They can easily mold to the shape of your neck and head as soon as you lay down on them.
They are also good at relieving pressure points.
Memory foam pillows come in a block or solid form or a shredded form.
- Down pillows
These are the softest type of pillow. They are warm and cozy.
Down pillows are filled with duck and goose underbellies. They are not suitable for those who are allergic to ducks and geese.
Down pillows are pretty expensive and not as supportive as memory form or latex pillows.
- Feather pillows
They are filled with feathers from topcoats of birds. They are not as soft as down pillows but more durable and supportive.
But, the downside to this type of pillow is that the feathers can poke through the fabrics and sometimes emit offensive odor.
- Down Alternative
These are pillows filled with microfiber, a hypoallergenic material made from synthetic fibers like polyfill and polyester.
They are downy but not as plush and warm as down pillows. Also, they are more affordable and easier to maintain than down pillows.
- Buckwheat pillows
These are pillows filled with Buckwheat hulls. They are very comfortable and give good supports to the head and neck, but they are ‘noisy’.
- Latex pillows
Latex pillows are made from latex material. Latex materials are soft, breathable, antimicrobial, and are resistant to mold, mildew and dust mites.
They are also excellent at relieving pressure points. This makes these pillows more suitable for people who suffer from allergies, neck and back pain.
- Wool pillows
These are pillows filled with wool. They are very fluffy, supportive, hypoallergenic, breathable, and can regulate temperature.
They are machine washable too.
- Cotton pillows
They are breathable but do not contour well to the head and neck.
Cotton material easily absorbs sweat and builds up mildew.
- Inner-spring pillows
They are pillows with an outer layer made of memory form or polyester, and an inner layer of steel spring. They provide extra support to the head and the neck. They also stay cool because they have good airflow.
- Gel pillows
These are pillows stuffed with gel-infused material, the most common is memory form.
The gel-infused pillows are cool, firm, and hypoallergenic.
- Water pillows
Although they are uncommon not extinct as yet. They are pillows filled with water.
The loft of the pillow can be adjusted by adding or reducing the quantity of water.
The downside to this type of pillow is that it may leak and soak your bed.
- Microbeads pillows
They are pillows filled with unexpanded polystyrene beads. They are cool and breathable.
Here are the types of pillows based on functionality…
- Wedge pillows
Usually made from memory form, this type of pillows create a reclining position.
It is good for people recovering from back surgery, acid reflux, or sinus complications and those with chronic back pain. They often find this position to be more comfortable.
Wedge pillows can also be placed under the leg to prevent the pooling of blood.
- Contour pillows
Like memory foam pillows, they are very comfortable and conform to the shape of the neck and head.
The middle of these pillows is pre-shaped to slope downward to cradle your head and neck and give support to your neck and spine.
- Body pillows
They are oversized pillows ideally designed for cushioning to the whole length of the body.
- Leg support pillows
They are designed to help ease muscle and joint pain on and around the knee and to take pressure off the lower back.
These pillows are usually wedged shape or cylindrical.
- Travel pillows
These are small U-shaped pillows designed to be used when travelling to keep the head while sitting in a car or airplane from bending too far to one side or another.
- Pregnancy pillow
These U-shaped pillows are designed to support pregnant women who cannot get comfortable while sleeping on their sides. It helps them to enjoy blissful sleep and keep their body aligned.
- Coccyx cushion
This type of pillow is designed with a hole or depression in the back. It is meant for people who have a broken or bruised tailbone to allow them to sit on a chair without putting pressure directly on their tailbone. For e.g., wheelchair cushions.
Effect Of Sleeping With The Wrong Pillow
If not taken seriously, the below is how a pillow can ruin your life, specially adding to your struggle with diabetes.
- It may result in wrong spine alignment, which will affect your posture and cause you body pain.
It can also affect your physical health by elevating your blood sugar level, increasing your risk of diabetes, and making you gain weight.
- Using the wrong pillow may cause your skin to get allergic reactions due to dust mites and non-breathable covers that prevent the circulation of air to the skin.
Uses Of Pillows By Diabetics
● Pillows can help people with diabetes to sleep better. And, adequate sleep helps in maintaining normal blood glucose levels, while inadequate sleep can lead to weight gain and feelings of tiredness, depression, and anxiety.
● It can help to ease shoulder and back pain which is common in people with diabetes.
It will also help their spine rest comfortably by giving the right type of support.
And, adequate and restorative sleep helps the body to heal itself.
● It can help with sleep apnea and snoring.
Factors Diabetics Should Consider When Choosing A Pillow
* Sleep position
Your sleeping position will determine the type of pillow you will need. This will help to prevent or ease neck and back pain.
Naturally, the human neck is curved slightly forward. This helps to carry the weight of the head when on is in an upright position, and it’s important to maintain this curve when resting or sleeping.
- For people who sleep on their back, the best pillow is a pillow that supports the natural curve of the neck. They need a low to medium density pillow or a contour pillow to support their head and neck and align them with their body.
- Those who sleep on their side need a pillow that will keep their neck straight and take the strain off their shoulder without pushing the neck sideways.
- For people who sleep on their stomachs, the best pillow for them will be a thin pillow or no pillow at all.
* Is the pillow-soft, firm or comfortable enough to not aggravating the common pressure points?
* Suppose the pillow is made with materials that are hypoallergenic and easy to keep clean.
People with diabetes have sensitive skin and tend to experience itchy skin more often than non-diabetics. Moreover, their skin can easily bruise ad get infected. So they need pillows that are made of materials that are soft, antimicrobial, and resistant to dust mites.
* Is the pillow is cool or temperature regulating?
People with diabetes tend to sweat a lot at night, so they need a breathable pillow with good airflow. This will help them to enjoy their sleep as the pillow stays cool without overheating.
Now, let’s review the best 7 pillows for people with diabetes…
7 Best Pillows For Diabetics
1. Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Pillow Review
Description and Features
This pillow is suitable for back, side, and stomach sleepers.
It is filled shredded, proprietary blend of memory foam and covered with soft, stretchy, velvet-like material made of bamboo, lycra and polyester.
This pillow is GREENGUARD, and CertiPUR-US certified.
The filling can be adjusted to any desired loft level by removing or adding more filling.
The pillow is soft but gives enough support to the head, neck, and spine. The cover is breathable and micro-vented to prevent overheating. This is an added advantage for people who usually sweat a lot at night. The memory foam is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
This pillow comes in 4 different sizes – standard size, king-size, queen size and as a body pillow.
- Snuggle-Pedic offers a 20-year warranty, which is very impressive
- Comes with a zipper at the edge so one can add or reduce the filling
- It is customizable
- 4 month (120 days) trial period
- Eco- friendly
- Cool and comfy
- Mold perfectly to your body shape
- It is washable
- Pricier than other similar products
- Removing the shredded filling can be messy
2. UTTU Sandwich Pillow Review
Features and Description
This pillow is designed to help with the posture by keeping the spine aligned and easing pressure regardless of one’s sleeping position.
It is made with UTTU Dynamic foam, which molds the natural curve of your body and offers great comfort by supporting the neck and head.
The adjustable loft design makes it perfect for all types of sleeping positions. The high contour side is 4.7in high, and the low contour is 3.9 in.
There are 3 layers of memory foam. You can adjust the pillow’s height by removing the middle layer and realigning the top and the bottom layer to fit together perfectly. This will reduce the loft to 3.5in for the high contour and 2.8 for the low contour.
The removable and washable cover is made of 60% polyester and 40% bamboo.
It is cool, hypoallergenic, and resistant to dust mite.
Also, eco-friendly and certified by CertiPur-US.
- The height is adjustable
- Ergonomic design that cradles the neck
- Offers a 97-night risk-free trial
- Comes with 5-year warranty
- Takes time to expand, and some finds that’s just too long…
3. Sleepsia Bamboo Pillow Review
Description and Features
This pillow is suitable for all sleep positions and for people who change their positions throughout the night.
Made from eco-friendly materials, this pillow is filled with shredded memory form and polyester fiber that molds to the shape of your body.
The silky-soft mesh cover is made of bamboo fabric.
This CertiPur-US certified pillow is cool, breathable and can absorb moisture, making it a good option for people who sweat a lot at night. This pillow is antibacterial and resistant to dust mite.
The cover is removable and washable.
Also, the thickness of the pillow can be adjusted by adding more or removing some of the fillings.
This pillow is available in queen and king sizes. The pillow comes in a set of two. It offers a 1-year warranty.
- The pillow is breathable
- The cover is washable
- It is cool and hypoallergenic
- You get two pillows with each purchase
- Some people find it comes with a pretty strong Initial smell
- Heavy-weight compared to most other pillows
4. SORMAG Bed Pillow Review
Description and Features
This soft ergonomic contoured pillow is designed to keep your head and neck aligned to your spine for a comfortable and blissful night rest.
The material is made of 100% Egyptian cotton. It is soft, breathable, and can absorb moisture.
The SORMAG pillows are filled with super plush gel fiber – Germany’s finest fiber fillers.
It is machine washable and hypoallergenic.
SORMAG bed pillow comes in a set of two. It is available in 3 sizes – standard, King and queen sizes.
Each pillow comes with a 1-year warranty
- High-quality cotton fabric with a quoted extra layer
- It very soft like a down pillow and voluminous
- Ergonomic design for comfort
- 120-night sleep trial
- The loft is not adjustable.
- Too thick
5. Casper Sleep Pillow Review
Description and Features
Casper Mattress Company creates Casper pillows.
This pillow offers great support for all sleeping positions. The original Casper pillow is a down-alternative with a pillow in another pillow design. This basically makes it a two-in-one pillow.
It features a supportive inner pillow zipped and tucked into a soft outer pillow lined with a poly fabric. The pillow is stuffed with polyester microfiber that gives it a down-like quality.
The soft cool cover is 100% cotton with a breathable percale weave. This increases airflow, so the pillow stays cool all night.
Each of the two pillows also features a 2inch gusset to help maintain a consistent loft and for better neck support and spine alignment.
Available in standard and king sizes.
● It offers a balance between supportive and plush
● It is machine washable, with both fabric and fillings.
● It offers a 3 years warranty
● 100-night trial
● The fillings cannot be adjusted
● It requires constant fluffing to maintain its shape.
6. Utopia Bedding Gusseted Pillow Review
Utopia pillow is a soft and comfortable pillow ideal for back, side and stomach sleepers.
The pillow comes in a pack of two. They are white and designed with either blue, grey, or black piping. With a corded edge that is double stitched, it has an elegant look. And, they are stuffed with high-quality polyester fiber.
Utopia gusseted pillows are breathable, and they mold to the shape of the body. It is available in a pack of two.
● Fluffy and comfortable
● Machine washable
● Not for people that love firm pillows
7. Celeep Bed Pillows Review
Description and Features
This is a brand of high-quality bed pillow that is not only comfortable and supportive but ultra-soft and suitable for all sleeping positions.
They are stuffed with 100% hypoallergenic polyester microfiber with a very soft sand-washed cover. This pillow is thick and conforms to the shape of the head and body with a no-shift design to keep the filling evenly distributed and in place.
This pillow is washable and dust-resistant.
● Resistant to mold, mildew, and dust mites
● It comes in a pack of two
● Too fluffy
A good pillow will not only enhance the quality of your sleep, but it will also support the intricate structures of the head, neck, shoulders, hips, and spine and also help to ease or prevent neck and back pains, as well as shoulder, hip, and other forms of joint pain.
Is the pillow you are using suitable and tailored to your individual need? Is it supportive and comfortable enough for you? When choosing the right pillow, you have to note that there is no single pillow that is great for everyone, and it is subjective.
Choose a pillow made of quality material and the right amount of stuffing/fillings to give your head and neck good support and align them with your spine.