For sleeping, the proper pillow is a must to give your neck and spine the support they require. As a general rule, tummy sleepers need a flat pillow, back sleepers should choose medium sup- port, and side sleepers need firm support under the neck giving way to medium support for the head. Pillows are stuffed with a variety of materials: foam and foam chips, polyester and poly- cotton blends, feathers, down and wool, and even buckwheat. A combination may also be used, such as wool clusters along with down to build up support where necessary. Down is softer, loftier, and more expensive than feathers. It's usual to find down mixed with feathers, but go for the most down you can afford for pure luxury. (See Allergy Control,for allergy concerns.)
For reading, writing, or watching TV in bed, you will want more substantial pillows to prop yourself up. These will also double as decorative accents, perhaps leaning against the headboard (or wall) when the bed is made. A large square pillow called a Euro-sham or Continental pillow measures about 26 inches by 26 inches. Complete the look with the size pillow that matches your mattress (standard, queen, or king).
Smaller pillow forms, 12-inch squares, round or oblong shape, bolsters, and neck supporters are left to personal choice and style. These are essential if you are building a "big bed" look, want to display an eye- catching combination of patterns and textures, or are opting for an old- fashioned more is more, feathered nest.