How to get a good night’s sleep? Pick the perfect pillow!

When we opened the doors to 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast, Chef Simon and I couldn’t agree on the type of pillows to use. I like a fairly firm pillow, he swears pillowsby cervical pillows, and neither of us like feathers due to allergies. So, like everything else, we started to research the topic.

People are very particular about their pillows and I would guess that at least a third of our guests arrive with their own pillows. For those that don’t, we offer a “Pillow Library” where you can choose from a variety of pillow types.

Pillow fills can be polyester, foam, memory foam, gel, goose down or a combination of feathers and down. Down is usually more expensive. It's very soft and is easy to shape or mold to your head and body. Polyester, which is less expensive, is comfortable too, depending on the quality, but it won't fluff up the way down does.

So, how to find the perfect pillow for you?

It primarily depends on your sleep position according to the experts.

If you sleep on your back, you need a pillow that’s not too firm or too high. Your neck should not be raised, but supported so that it and your head remain level with your upper back and spine. Our feather or foam pillows will provide that.


A side-sleeper needs a pillow that conforms to the shape of the neck, provides proper support and keeps the head high enough to ensure that the spine is aligned. Try a firm pillow for maximum support if you sleep on your side. The standard polyester pillow that is on the bed should work well for you.

A stomach-sleeper needs the slimmest of pillows or none at all under her head. Select a soft pillow as this will prevent you from straining your neck. Our gel pillow works perfectly in this situation.

To be able to judge which pillow is best, check the amount of fill in the pillow (how full it is). The more fill, the firmer the pillow.

New pillows are available on the market – buckwheat or other organic matter if you like a cool pillow, water-filled, oxygen –promoting, anti-snore and of course, body pillows.

Since we wash our pillows frequently, we also test them to make sure they are still OK to use. To test them, we place them on a hard, flat surface, and fold it in half, and squeeze all the air out of it. Then we place a book on the top – if the book stays in place, then the pillow is replaced. If it unfolds itself, then the pillow is put back in use until the next time.

To find out more about the many special touches we offer our bed and breakfast guests, check out our Special Touches page.


ny special touches we offer our guests, see the list here.

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