What Is The Right Pillow For Neck Pain
Get tips on how to pick a comfy pillow.
Question: Can you recommend an appropriate pillow for neck pain? A few months ago I lost my balance while on a ladder. I didn’t fall, but I jerked my neck with a whiplash action. My orthopaedist told me I had arthritis and gave me a rubber neck brace to wear however, I wake up every morning with a painful neck. Is it possible that the right type of pillow would alleviate my pain?
Answer:The right pillow can make a difference in your sleeping position and thus can affect how your neck feels the next day, particularly if you are getting over a sprain or strain, which is what whiplash really is.
In selecting a pillow for neck pain, you will need to carefully choose one that fits you. First, look for a pillow that supports your neck but does not tilt your head forward when you are lying on your back. If you sleep on your side, the pillow you choose should support your head in line with your neck, not tilt your head up or down. The pillow should fill just the space between the mattress and your ear.
There are a variety of pillows for neck pain, but you might want to check out some pillows you already have. Feather pillows are particularly good for punching into the shape you want. Also, many people with neck pain find that using extra pillows to support their arms at night makes sleeping more comfortable.
Matching Your Pillow To Your Sleep Position
Choosing a pillow can seem fairly straightforward, but if you’re suffering from sleep-related neck pain or sleeplessness it becomes very important to choose not only a high-quality pillow but a pillow design that matches your sleeping position, anatomy, and personal preference. While there are dozens of unique sleeping positions, they are mostly variations of the list below. Here are the common sleeping positions and the pillow that pairs best with them:
To further illustrate the points above check out this fun video made by the Spine Health Institute which provides some great guidance on selecting a pillow and finding a neutral spinal position:
What’s The Difference Between Memory Foam And Bamboo Pillows Expand/collapse
Bamboo pillows are pillows with a cover made of a natural fabric from the pulp of bamboo grass. This fabric is extremely soft and breathable, able to absorb three times its weight in water. That makes it a great choice for those who tend to sweat at night. Bamboo pillows can have any type of filling, from memory foam to traditional down filling.
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The Top 7 Cervical Pillows For Neck Pain
Through our research, here are our recommendations for the 7 best neck traction pillows of 2022. Below the table, youll find our full reviews.
- Size 3 sizes (small/queen/high queen.
- Cover hypoallergenic rayon/polyester proprietary blend
- Warranty 30-day trial
The Epabomemory foam neck support pillow is Amazons best-seller in neck pain pillows and is made with breathable memory foam, in 3 different sizes.
This pillows special design allows you to take out a removable piece of memory foam at the bottom of the pillow if it feels too high for you.
This mainly applies to stomach and back sleepers. The height on the sides stays the same. See the image below:
Control the height of the pillow with this special design
We also find this pillow is the best pillow for a military neck, see the image below:
EPABO helps to relieve and heal military neck
- Cover polyester/cotton machine washable zippered pillow cover
- Size 5 sizes
- Warranty 5 years
The Therapeuticaorthopedic cervical pillow incorporates 2 pillow shapes into one with different heights for back and side sleeping. Although it has an odd shape, it correctly positions the head and neck, both when sleeping on the side and back.
The center tongue, which supports the neck towards the area between the shoulder blades, works very well.
A unique feature in this pillow is the wedge extension which supports your upper back as well.
Best For Stomach Sleepers: Belly Sleep Gel Infused Memory Foam Pillow
Most sleep and spine experts recommend against stomach sleeping because it can lead to further neck and back pain, Friedman says.
That being said, the body often does what feels natural for it so if you’re a stomach sleeper, it can be hard to make the change. If you tend to find yourself in the stomach-sleeping position, consider a pillow that’s low-to-medium in height so your neck isn’t too propped up.
This one is flat and thin but also has the addition of curved edges so there’s less pressure on your head and neck. It’s also gel-infused, which gives it a cooling effect to help keep your body temperature balanced while you rest, and is moisture-wicking so it keeps you comfortable and dry.
Buy it: Price: $50
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Why You Can Trust Us
Our team at Sleep Foundation includes experts and testers with years of experience in the sleep product industry. We have tested over 300 pillows in order to determine which ones are best suited to sleepers with different needs. Our team includes back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers, as well as sleepers of different body types. This allows us to represent as wide an array of sleep preferences as possible in our findings.
Wedge Pillow Dmi Support Pillow For Pain Relief
- This is a flexible pillow that supports lower and upper body parts
- The pillow helps to reduce respiratory issues when sleeping
- The pillow reduces snoring by improving breathing process
- This pillow does not conform to the body
If you are experiencing some digestive issues or even acid reflux, this pillow may help relieve the problem. The wedge pillow elevates the body for a comfortable sleeping angle.
- Multifunctional support
This pillow is suitable for both upper and lower body parts for providing excellent and reliable support.
- Reduces snoring
The pillow keeps the body in an elevated mode to improve the breathing process which in return helps to reduce snoring
- High-density foam
The pillow has the quality and high-density foam materials that contours to the body for a comfortable sleeping night
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Top Rated Epabo Orthopedic Pillow For Neck And Head Pain
- The pad is suitable for people with a neck injury since it helps to relieve pain and discomfort
- It has breathable materials.
- This pillow is a bit thin
This orthopedic pillow suits side, back and stomach sleepers for total comfort when sleeping.
- Memory filling
The memory fillings on this neck pillow help align the muscles around the neck and the head for proper sleeping posture.
- Has an ergonomic style
This pillow contours to ones neck and the head so you can get the right cushioning and support for your head.
- Breathable material
The memory foam materials filling on this pillow has vents that allow free flow of air for breathability purpose
- The pillow supports all sleeping positions
- It has memory foam material that ensures comfort when sleeping
- The pillow helps to reduce neck pain when sleeping
- This pillow is quite firm
If you have had a neck injury or experience pain in the neck after sleeping, this pillow may work for you since it helps relieve pain around the neck area.
- Suitable for multiple sleeping postures
This pillow is comfortable for people who sleep in various positions. It suits people who sleep on the back, side, and even stomach since it provides excellent and reliable support.
- Helps to reduce snoring
This pillow features a natural curve design around the neck to ensure you have proper breathing at night, which helps control snoring.
- Washable cover
How Should I Sleep To Avoid Neck Pain
Louw discourages people from sleeping on their stomach. “It puts you in a no-win situation,” she said. “You’re going to have to turn your head to the right or left, closing off one of those sides.” This leads to inflammation, stiffness, and pain of the synovial joints in the neck.
Louw says the key is to keep your spine aligned when you sleep, which is achievable when sleeping on your back or side with the right pillow.
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Cohome Memory Foam Pillow
Pros: Reviewers say they like the cool feel of the gel foam and that the pillow quickly reverts to its original shape. Many say that after sleeping on this pillow, they wake up without neck pain.
Cons: A few people have issues with the zipper not working properly, making it hard to adjust the fill.
The COHOME Memory Foam Pillow comes with additional filling, so you can adjust the height to suit back sleeping.
The filling, made of gel and memory foam, keeps its shape while still feeling soft. The pillow also has a hypoallergenic, washable cover.
Is There Customer Service Support Available For These Products
What happens when a company doesn’t have customer service available for their products? It can be frustrating and feel like being left in the dark.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to contact customer support for your product, even if they’re not listed on their website or social media.
Several online resources are available for finding contact information for any business, including customer service numbers and links to email forms.
It is also possible to contact them by e-mail or via social networks such as Facebook Messenger. If all else fails, give us a call! We will assist you with anything we can over the phone during our normal business hours .
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The Best Pillows For Neck Pain
Read our top picks to learn more about each ones materials and unique qualities. While your sleep setup might not be the original root of your neck pain, it can play an important role in making it better or worse. In the buyers guide section, well break down the reasons you could be experiencing neck pain and how your pillow can help. Well take a deeper look at how body position and pillow construction can enhance comfort, and well teach you what to look for when shopping for a pillow for neck pain.
It Gives Extra Support Even On Your Side
- Material: Bamboo, polyester
- Firmness: Firm
While stomach sleeping isnt recommended when you have neck pain, you can only do so much to adjust your go-to position. The Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel Memory Foam Pillow can help. This pillow is thin and flat, making it perfect for those who like to snooze on their stomach. Its also infused with cooling gel to shuttle away extra heat and keep you comfortable while you sleep. The whole thing is encased in a bamboo-polyester cover that wicks away moisture.
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The 7 Best Cervical Pillows For Neck Pain
If you suffer from acute or chronic neck pain, overlooking your pillow would be a mistake.
A cervical pillow gently stretches and relaxes your neck and shoulder muscles, while supporting your neck and keeping your spine aligned all night.
This results in neck pain relief at night, and speedier recovery from cervical injuries and disc degeneration, while allowing you a better and more restorative sleep.
If you suffer from a military neck, herniated cervical disc, neck arthritis, neck stiffness or any neck problem an orthopedic neck pillow can be very helpful.
But, how to choose the best cervical pillow for the best price?
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Pay Attention To Pillow Height
If neck pain is your problem, a flatter pillow may be the better option. In one study, higher pillows created more cranio-cervical pressure and a greater cervical angle, meaning your head isnât lined up with your spine. This can result in pain and stiffness if your neck stays at that angle all night.
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Can A Pillow Cause Neck Pain
In a word, yes. For instance, Wu pointed out that if a pillow has too much loft, your head will bend forward too much when sleeping on your back, overstretching the back of your neck. If there’s too little loft, your head tilts back and overstretches the front of your neck.
The key is to find a pillow that keeps your head in a neutral position. The best way to know if a pillow will keep your spine aligned and in a neutral position is to sleep on it. That’s why Wu recommends choosing pillows with long trial periods.
Best Adjustable: Coop Home Goods Eden Adjustable Pillow
The worst thing about many pillows is that their fill tends to spread out in the wrong places, leaving your head and neck either too propped up or sloped down into the pillow with the sides covering your face. This memory foam pillow by Coop Home Goods maintains its shape throughout its lifetime to provide you with the support you need to not wake up with a crick in your neck.
It’s made from the company’s proprietary Lulltra fabric, which is polyester- and bamboo-derived, so it’s soft to the touch but also breathable. Perhaps the best part, however, is its adjustability factor. You’ll get a half-pound bonus bag of fill so you can add more for a greater lift, if needed. You can also easily remove any extra memory foam fill for less volume.
Another perk customers appreciate is the five-year warranty that comes with this pillow. And if you try it and aren’t a fan, you get a full refund no questions asked.
Buy it: Price: $83
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Do You Suffer Neck Tension Headaches
The structures of the neck are sensitive and can refer pain to the head. Typically, poor posture when sleeping can result in a morning headache, especially using more than one pillow and having the head pushed forward. Most pillows designed for the cervical spine will help to keep the head and neck in a good posture, thereby helping to prevent these headaches. A pillow for headache relief uses an ice pack in a design that wraps around the neck and back of head to help with relief of a current headache or to apply cold therapy to injured muscles.
Can Replacing Your Pillow Improve Neck Pain
If youre experiencing neck pain, it could be the fault of your pillow. Especially if its old, it might not be supportive enough anymore.
Swapping for a new pillow doesnt mean your neck pain will magically go away, though. Pillow preference is personal, and what works for one person might not work for you. So a bit of experimenting is to be expected.
Additionally, not all neck pain is the fault of a bad pillow. If a new pillow doesnt seem to help, be sure to talk with your doctor.
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Other Tips For Neck Pain Sufferers
In addition to choosing the right pillow, you can reduce neck pain through lifestyle changes like adopting proper posture, taking stretching breaks, and generally being more active. People who suffer from neck pain should avoid shoulder bags, slouching, and long periods of sitting at the computer.
- Choose the Right Mattress: Your bodys overall position is influenced not only by your pillow, but also your mattress. Plusher mattresses allow your body to sink down further, meaning youll need a lower-loft pillow. The opposite holds true for firmer mattresses, which will require a higher pillow to maintain proper alignment of the neck and spine.
- Engage in Physical Therapy: From daily habits to more serious regimens, there are plenty of exercises you can do to relax your neck muscles and relieve strain on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. A certified massage therapist or chiropractor may also be able to help. Always consult a health professional before starting any kind of treatment.
- Use Ice or Heat: Many neck pain sufferers receive instant relief from a hot or cold compress, or from taking a warm shower. This may not cure your neck problems, but it can be a helpful short term solution.
Best Pillows For Sleeping Positions
Sleeping positions are a major factor in determining the best kind of pillow. Sleeping on the back or side, if possible, is advised for those with neck pain.
When sleeping on the back. A fairly low pillow is better in this position. Extra support can be provided by adding a small rolled towel or small roll-shaped pillow positioned under the neck. The rolled towel or pillow can be put in the pillowcase. Some pillows combine both these elements by including a roll-shaped area for the neck and a deeper, lower area for the head.
Some people find it beneficial to try and change the position of the pillow to be more comfortable. For example, many people find that sleeping with the pillow tucked under the shoulders a bit can be more comfortable. Tucking the pillow under the shoulders will position the head further up on the pillow, so the neck is not flexed . This position may feel as though the head is more extended slightly, and may be more comfortable for those with muscle pain in the neck.
When sleeping on the back, it is best to place a pillow under the knees to minimize strain on the lower back as well.
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