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When it comes to our mental and physical health, few things are more crucial than regularly getting a good night’s rest. In June, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine even published a statement by sleep medicine physicians and clinical psychologists noting that insufficient sleep is “detrimental for health, well-being and public safety.” Endorsed by more than 25 organizations, it highlighted that insufficient sleep has been linked to health risks like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and more.
Here at Select, we take sleep hygiene seriously. We regularly speak to experts about what can make or break your sleep cycle, ranging from alarm clocks and silk pajamas to pillows and bedding. Below, we compiled all of our expert sleep guidance about achieving the best sleep — and which products can help you do so.
How to pick the best sleep products for you
Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to sleeping. Some people are hot sleepers and want to invest in moisture-wicking bedding. Others have back problems and prioritize support and firmness in their mattress. Once you identify your preferences, you can better filter your options against relevant properties and how they align with your needs. Much of our coverage — like our guides to cooling pillows and the best bedding for your skin — is reported specifically in line with specific features.
Though each individual differs when it comes to their mattress and bedding preferences, there are some sleep accessories that virtually everyone can benefit from. For instance, in our guide to sleep masks, experts told us that wearing a mask while you sleep can create a pitch black sleep environment, which encourages the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Similarly, blackout curtains can help keep your bedroom quiet, insulated and free of light, so you have full control of your sleeping conditions.
Best sleep product aids
From mattresses to pillows, sheets and curtains, here are some of the best sleep aid products we’ve reported on, and where to learn more about each product and topic.
Sleep upgrades for everyone
Beth Halpern Brown, an interior designer and home decor expert in Atlanta, previously recommended these blackout curtains, noting that they are an effective and reasonably priced option. “This dense drape blocks light, absorbs noise and insulates against heat and cold,” she explained. “By blocking sunlight, it also protects curtains, rugs and furniture from fading.”
This sleep assistant serves as a sound machine, alarm, smart light and meditation app all in one, making it great for anyone who wants to completely overhaul their bad sleep habits. “It allows you to be aware of your sleep environment: You can set a routine such as dimming the lights in the evening/night, playing quiet music and reminding you to turn off your devices and indulge in a relaxation routine,” Seema Khosla, MD, medical director at the North Dakota Center for Sleep, explained in our guide to alarm clocks.
In our guide to shopping for bed sheets, experts explained that percale sheets — which are constructed with a basic criss cross weave — are cool to the touch, making them a good option for hot sleepers especially. Georgina Borneman-Street, the CEO and principal designer at Cobalt Blue 1802, recommended this bamboo viscose set, which is moisture-wicking, wrinkle-free and hypoallergenic, according to the brand. The set comes with one fitted sheet, one flat sheet and four pillowcases.
Sleep upgrades for hot sleepers
This 1,500-thread-count sheet set from PeachSkinSheets is designed to be moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating and breathable. Lindsay France, a stylist and former Textile Technologist for Ralph Lauren and Victoria's Secret, previously recommended these sheets, noting that they’re “hands down the best all-around sheets for hot sleepers.”
Good cooling pillows are typically made with cooling gel, which absorbs body heat and releases it into the air. This one from Tuft & Needle is no exception: It’s designed with open-cell foam that air can pass through and is infused with graphite and cooling gel to stay cool throughout the night. The cover is also made from a breathable micro polyamide and polyester fabric.
Sleep upgrades for back sleepers and side sleepers
This is a good mattress to consider if you are a back sleeper with a partner who prefers sleeping on something softer. The dual-sided modular mattress gives you the option to choose two different firmness levels, one for each side of the bed. The entire mattress comes with Air-X breathable mesh panels to promote airflow and an instant cooling Ver-Tex top cover designed to keep you cool through the night. Chris Winter, MD, a neurologist and sleep specialist, previously recommended the Bedgear M3 in our guide to firm mattresses.
Experts previously told us that back sleepers need a firmer pillow that provides more support for the back of the neck. This one from Casper is designed with a 2-inch gusset, an extra piece of material that gives the pillow more structure. Both the breathable cotton cover and the pillow are machine-washable, to boot.
Side sleepers need help keeping their spine and neck aligned while they sleep, and experts said that fluffier pillows with higher loft can provide this support. This pillow from Brooklyn Bedding is filled with a blend of deconstructed latex and memory foam that molds to your body for proper support. It’s also infused with cooling gel foam to draw heat away from your body while you sleep.
Sleep upgrades for stomach sleepers
Sleeping on your stomach makes it difficult to keep your head and neck aligned with your spine. Experts said the best way to try and align everything in this position is with a softer, flatter pillow — this one from Brooklinen is filled with soft Down clusters, and the brand specifically recommends it for stomach sleepers.