Looking for the best pillow for neck pain? You have come to the right place.
- The Link Between Neck Pain and Sleep
- What Do I Look for When Choosing a Pillow for Neck Pain?
- What are the Best Pillow Materials for Relieving Neck Pain?
- Best Pillow for Neck Pain FAQ
- What Is the Best Pillow for Neck Pain Available Online?
When was the last time you woke up pain-free? Dealing with acute or chronic neck pain from something as severe as trauma or as mild as a sprain is never easy.
We don’t realize the head and neck movement dynamics until something goes wrong in that structure. Whether it’s a muscle imbalance, pinched nerve, or cervical spondylosis causing the problem, you need a way to find relief and improve your quality of life.
Replacing your pillow is one of the best changes you can make to reduce neck pain. When you have the right pillow to suit your sleeping position and condition, you’ll notice an immediate difference in your sleep quality and lifestyle.
This post unpacks the best pillow for neck pain. We’ll look at therapeutic pillow design and the best options for all sleeping positions. We’ll also recommend the best orthopedic pillow for neck pain and how to choose the right pillow for a restful night.
The Link Between Neck Pain and Sleep
The time we get between the sheets at night makes an enormous impact on our physical and mental state. If you’re not getting good quality sleep, it will take a toll on every aspect of your life. Couple poor sleep quality with neck pain, and you’re going to end up living a miserable life, day-in and day-out.
No one deserves that, and seeing someone dealing with chronic neck pain is always a tragedy. However, many people with neck pain don’t realize the difference changing their pillow can make to the outcome of their condition.
Some people find that changing their pillow results in pain disappearing overnight. Sure, that’s not the case for everyone, but it’s illustrative of how much of a difference the right pillow can make to your sleep.
The right pillow distributes the weight of your head and neck evenly across the pillow surface. As a result, you get pressure relief in critical points in the cervical spine and the base of the skull. A purpose-built pillow for neck and shoulder pain relief will reduce pressure triggers and relieve tension in the muscular system around the trapezius muscles, upper back, and shoulder muscle complex.
The result? There is a noticeable reduction in back and neck pain, a better range of motion in your neck, and a huge improvement in your quality of life.
What Do I Look for When Choosing a Pillow for Neck Pain?
There are dozens of premium pillow manufacturing brands and thousands of specialist pillow models available from online retailers. So, what do you need to look for in the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain relief?
Neck and Head Support
We recommend looking for the best pillow for neck tension relief. Tension accumulates muscular and joint distress caused by injury, imbalance, or poor posture. With the right head and neck support in your pillow, you get relief from pain and a good night’s rest.
The best pillow for sore neck relief will offer your neck the right support to maintain a neutral spinal position while you sleep. In most cases, the issue with neck pain created by using the wrong pillow comes from the pillow creating a gap between the neck and the mattress.
The gap offers the spine no support in this area, and it begins to sag. As a result, the neck muscles must compensate for this lack of support, keeping them working overnight while they should be resting.
As a result, you wake up in the morning with a stiff neck. A pillow with a specific design that supports the neck eliminates that gap and lets the neck rest. Let’s unpack this concept by looking at how pillow loft affects your sleep experience.
When choosing the best pillow for neck alignment, it’s critical that you assess the loft of the pillow or the pillow’s height from the mattress. The loft makes an enormous difference to the sleep experience.
If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll need a higher loft. When you’re sleeping, the extra loft compensates for the added height of your neck, giving you optimal spinal alignment. Back sleepers will prefer a mid-loft with a sloped side. This design supports the neck to remove the gap between the neck and the mattress.
Stomach sleepers need a low loft. This position is terrible for people that suffer from neck pain. It might take days or months to train yourself out of this sleep position and many restless nights. In the long run, changing to a side or back sleeping position will benefit you more than anything a pillow can offer you.
Change your sleeping position to your back. Back sleepers have the best spinal alignment for dealing with neck pain. Choosing a pillow with a mid-height loft and a sloping design supporting the neck on the sides of the pillow is the best choice for dealing with neck pain.
People with neck pain need a firm pillow supporting the cervical spine. A firm neck pillow gives you the best posture pillow for neck pain, while a soft neck support pillow results in falling levels of support that increase back pain.
We recommend avoiding options like down and PE foam fillings. Look for solid memory foam models that offer the best support for your neck in any sleeping position.
A memory foam model is the best pillow to prevent neck pain. Whether you’re looking for a pillow for chronic neck pain or acute injury recovery, memory foam offers you unparalleled support, firmness, and comfort. The foam distributes the weight of your head evenly across the surface, removing pressure points.
Ergonomic Design and Contouring
The best contour pillows for neck pain feature an ergonomic design. They shape around your neck, head, and shoulders, providing targeted pressure relief in trigger points. These pillows may feature design elements like scoops or cradles in pillows for back sleepers and side cutouts for side sleepers to reduce pressure on the face while improving airflow around the nose.
What are the Best Pillow Materials for Relieving Neck Pain?
So, what type of pillow is best for neck pain? Here are the common choices and how we rate them for neck pain relief and a good night’s sleep.
The Best Pillows for Neck Pain
Memory Foam Pillows
Top of the heap, we have the memory foam pillow. We have already discussed the benefits of this material. However, it’s important to look for new generation memory foams infused with charcoal and gel beads. These models wick moisture away from your head while optimizing airflow around the neck and scalp.
The result is a cool sleep the best memory foam pillow for neck pain might cost you the most out of all models. Still, it’s the ideal choice for the best pillow for cervical radiculopathy and other degenerative cervical spine diseases.
Dealing with degenerative cervical spine disease means that there is no way to reverse the condition. Typically, this disease occurs in seniors, and it can deteriorate rapidly if not treated properly. Getting the right pillow can dramatically improve the patient’s state, slowing the degeneration. As a result, the patient can have a better quality of life for longer.
Latex pillows are the next best choice for the best pillow for neck injury recovery and neck pain relief. These models are buoyant and firm, with excellent weight distribution and many of the same properties of memory foam, at a more affordable price point.
The only issue with latex pillows is they tend to sleep warmer than memory foam models. The latex doesn’t breathe as well. However, some manufacturing brands perforate the latex and combine it with other materials, like bamboo and charcoal, to improve breathability and airflow through the pillow.
The Worst Pillows for Neck Pain
Avoid the following pillow fillings if you have neck pain. They provide a cool, airy sleep experience, and you can mold the pillow if you’re a combination sleeper. However, they can hold a candle to the support and benefit your receive from latex and memory foam.
What are the Best Pillowcase options?
We recommend looking for pillows with a Rayon bamboo material cover. These covers offer exceptional airflow through the material, allowing you to enjoy the cooling effect of the memory foam.
Best Pillow for Neck Pain FAQ
What are the best pillows for neck pain?
If you’re dealing with chronic or acute neck pain, you need the right pillow to suit your sleeping position. There are purpose-built pillows for back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers. The loft and the materials matter most in pillow design for people dealing with neck pain. We review all of them in our guide and recommend the best models to suit your conditions and sleeping position.
What is the right pillow loft for people with neck pain?
The correct loft for your pillow depends on your sleeping position. Side sleepers need the highest loft, and stomach sleepers the lowest loft. Back sleepers do well with a mid-loft, and combination sleepers may need a pillow that offers dual high and mid lofts.
How firm does my pillow need to alleviate my neck pain?
We recommend going with a firm to a mid-firm pillow. Memory foam and latex are the best material choice for your pillow as they give the best neck support.
Pillows should be firm enough to support the neck without creating pressure points, but the precise firmness depends on your usual sleeping position. Back sleepers require the firmest pillow options, while side sleepers and combination sleepers may need a slightly softer pillow for more comfort.
What Is the Best Pillow for Neck Pain Available Online?
We curated this list of recommendations for the best-rated pillow for neck pain. We realize it’s challenging to choose the best pillow to buy for neck pain, so we helped you with your decision. All of the models on this list are great choices for quality and performance.
This model is the best pillow for neck pain and headaches; it’s also the best choice for the best pillow for neck pain side sleep positioning and the top-rated memory foam pillow for neck pain. You get a dual-sided design for back or side sleepers, offering the perfect loft for combination sleepers.
You get excellent pressure relief, weight distribution, and a firm feel ideal for back sleeping, with a softer firmness on the side sleeping setup. The back sleeping side has a gentle arching slope for neck support, while the side sleeping setup has straight support for optimal spine alignment when sleeping on your side.
SUTERA Dream Pillow
This pillow is one of our top choices for contour pillows for neck pain, and it’s a great option for the best pillow for back sleepers with neck pain. You get an ergonomic design promoting optimal head, neck, back, shoulder, and spine alignment, with excellent weight distribution across the pillow surface. The SUTERA Dream pillow guarantees you a restful night, offering therapeutic relief for neck pain.
Elviros Cervical Pillow
This model is one of the best pillows for back sleepers with neck pain. It’s more of a traditional design, suiting back sleepers. You get memory foam construction for firm support and a butterfly-shaped contour supporting and aligning the cervical spine. The Elviros also feature cutouts on the sides to accommodate side sleepers and CPAP users.
This model is the best neck pillow for neck pain relief and our choice as a top-rated neck support pillow recommended by chiropractors. This pillow features a fully adjustable loft and contour fit. Add or remove filling to get the right setup for stomach or side sleeping. A breathable cover offers excellent airflow and a cool, refreshing, and pain-free sleep experience.
GOBRUREEY Orthopedic Pillow
The GOBRUREEY Orthopedic pillow is the best choice for side sleepers with neck pain. This pillow features a cervical design for optimal support and spinal alignment during sleep. You get a medium-firm pillow that distributes the weight of your head while offering the cervical spine plenty of support.