Comfort and Support Values Provided by Different Pillow Materials for Individuals with Forward Head Posture

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Türkmen C., Esen S. Y., ERDEN Z., DÜGER T.

Applied Sciences (Switzerland), vol.13, no.6, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/app13063865
  • Journal Name: Applied Sciences (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: ergonomic assessment, head-down tilt, household equipment, sleeping habit, sleep quality
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Based on the pressure distributions in the head, neck, and upper body and the spine support values, this study aims to recommend the most suitable pillow for those with forward head posture (FHP) according to different sleeping positions. This descriptive cross-sectional study recruited thirty healthy 18- to 55-year-old men and women with body mass indexes of less than 30 kg/m2. Participants tried five different pillows (viscose, fiber, cotton, goose feather, and wool) on a medium-firm hybrid mattress at room temperature with a humidity of 45–55%. Participants tried the pillows first in the supine position, then side-lying, and finally in the prone position. A pressure-mapping system was utilized to measure the pressure distributions of the head and shoulder areas in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and the amount of support provided by the pillow to these regions in square centimeters (cm2). When the comfort and support parameters of different pillow materials were compared among all participants, for the supine position, Pillow B and Pillow E provided higher head comfort (p < 0.001), while Pillow A and Pillow E provided higher shoulder support (p = 0.044). In the side-lying position, Pillow B provided higher head comfort (p < 0.001) and Pillow C (p = 0.003) higher shoulder comfort. In the prone position, Pillow B and Pillow E provided higher head comfort (p < 0.001), while Pillow E also provided higher shoulder support (p = 0.002). This study showed pillow materials affect the spine comfort and support of the participants, and these values may vary according to different spinal alignments, such as FHP. According to the preferred sleeping position, the pillow material that supports the spine and its comfort and support values may also change.