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Best Pillow For Headaches And Neck Pain

Cooling Weekender Gel Memory Foam Headache Pillow

Best Pillow for Neck Pain and Headaches | 3 Recommendations from a Mississauga Chiropractor


  • The pillow is easy to maintain by cleaning the cover
  • The pillow ensures to keep you fresh at night by eliminating heat


  • This pillow produces some smell when new

Apart from providing the right head support so you can have an interrupted sleep night, this pillow is also easy to maintain in cleaning for convenience and comfort when using it.

  • Soft material

This pillow is perfect for people with a head injury since it contours to the head for a good sleep and support of the neck and head.

  • Temperature regulating gels

This pillow has superior and reliable temperature-regulating cells that help to eliminate heat accumulation, especially if you sleep for too long on one side.

  • Long term warranty

Head And Neck Allignment

Migraines often can be caused or worsen by poor blood flow or a restriction of oxygen while you sleep. Both of these causes can derive from poor spinal alignment, creating unwanted stress in your body that can cause a migraine. Without proper head and neck alignment coming from your pillow, this issue can frequently negatively impact the quality your slumber.

When you sleep, its crucial that your head and neck are properly aligned, as the relationship between them supports the gateway between your brain and cervical spine. When your head and neck are held in a proper, supportive position, it allows your brain to properly run through the sleep stages, in turn promoting blood flow and healing. A properly restful night of sleep also permits the body and brain to respond to pain in a more forbearing way.

Medical Disclaimer

This article is for reference purposes only. It should not replace the advice of a licensed professional. Do not use this article to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Any and all health concerns should be directed to a doctor or other healthcare professional.

Best Pillow For Neck Pain

Pillows serve a very important purpose to support the head and neck which promotes a healthy spine and good quality of sleep. If you suffer from neck pain there is a good chance that your pillow lacks that much needed support and your quality of sleep is being affected. So how do you find the best pillow for neck pain?

Preference on types of pillows can vary greatly from person to person. Some prefer a feathered pillow, while others prefer a memory foam pillow or latex pillow. Some like a thick pillow, and others prefer a contoured design. Are you a side sleeper, back sleeper, or stomach sleeper? These are variables you must take into account when choosing the right pillow.

I am particularly picky with the types of pillows I sleep on. I have ordered and tried almost a dozen pillows to find the one that works best for my neck and body. Here are 3 pillows that I like that vary in material makeup and design, but are high quality and reputable. Check them out!

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Tempur Original Large Pillow: Best Memory Foam Pillow For Neck Pain

Price: £105 | Buy now from Tempur

Contoured memory foam is the pillow type of choice for people seeking relief from neck pain, and Tempur is the king of memory foam pillows. This classic robust pillow is pricey, but it’s a superb investment if you want to sleep better and wake in comfort.

The raised section supports your neck and helps your head, neck and shoulder muscles to fully relax in their natural posture while you sleep. The Large size is 11.5cm at its highest, which is not actually that high, so while it’s perfect for back sleepers you may need a bit of extra height to accommodate your shoulder if you’re a side sleeper. Luckily the Tempur Original also comes in X Large with 13cm of support, which is ideal for side sleepers. However it’s also worth noting that the pillow will compress and firm up over your first few nights of sleep.

Key specs Filling: Memory foam Cover: 100% cotton cover Sizes: Large is 61cm x 31cm also available in Medium and X Large

Price: £39 |

Memory foam is great for providing neck support, but it can feel rather clammy in warm weather. So pillow specialist BedStory has found a solution: infuse memory foam with cooling gel to regulate temperature, disperse heat and allow the air to move around. The result is a wonderfully supportive pillow that responds to your body’s temperature to help you drift off and wake up in comfort.

Key specs Filling: Memory foam Cover: Microfibre and tencel Sizes: 1

Price: £65 | Buy now from Rested

Pay Attention To Pillow Height

Best Pillow For Shoulder And Neck Pain

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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Best Shredded Memory Foam Pillow: Coop Home Goods Eden Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

Shredded memory foam offers more breathability than its solid core memory foam counterpart. And since it’s shredded, they are ideal for sleepers that love to scrunch, smush, and really smoosh into their pillow. Earning an impressive 4.5-star rating from Amazon shoppers in addition to more than 2,800 perfect reviews, the Coop Home Goods Eden Pillow combines gel-infused and microfiber memory foam to deliver an all-around comfortable feel that is also incredibly cooling. Suitable for every sleep style, it’s built with a supportive gusset to give it structure and promote alignment. “I usually have to use more than one pillow, but last night using the Eden pillow, I only needed that pillow,” explained one reviewer, who noted that they were suffering from “extreme neck and back pain” due to a car accident. It’s even won over “picky pillow” people. “I will tell you that we do not take pillow purchasing lightly,” another wrote, adding that they’d been experiencing “some slight neck stiffness” upon waking. “This pillow eliminated all issues!”

Other Tips For Sleepers With Neck Pain

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 experience 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 people with neck pain 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.

Also Check: How Often Should A Bed Mattress Be Replaced

Choosing The Right Materials To Guard Against Neck Pain

Once youve settled on the right loft and firmness, its time to focus on the material details. From foam to feathers, pillows can be filled with all kinds of materials So lets explore some of the most popular ones below:

If youre still not totally sure which material sounds right for you, dont worry were about to get up close and personal with each one. But before we do, theres one last thing to consider: when to replace your pillow.

How Does My Pillow Affect My Headaches

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Many headaches are treated . The spine can decompress, and light is kept to a minimum to reduce irritation to that optic nerve.

Nerves in the upper part of the neck can cause severe pain when irritated. This may feel like a headache, but its actually in your neck. It can trigger migraines in the worst case scenario or pain behind the eyes, face, or temples in the best case.

Poor positioning can put a lot of stress on those nerves. If you havent upgraded your mattress yet, you may want to consider doing it. If you have, your pillow can be the last piece of relieving stress on those nerves.

If your pillow is too large, it can force your head forward, putting stress on the neck and shoulder while cramping your spine. If your pillow isnt supportive enough, it can compress the neck and cause strain as your body tries to keep the spine aligned. Neither option is going to do your headache any favors.

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Types Of Pillows Available

Many types of pillows are available. Some that may suit those with neck pain include:

  • Contoured pillows: With these pillows, a persons head will rest in a specially designed contour, with elevated areas supporting the neck to keep the neck and back in good alignment.
  • V-shaped pillows: A V-shaped pillow elevates the head and keeps the spine straight. This may help alleviate neck and back pain by improving sleep posture.
  • Memory foam pillows: Memory foam molds precisely to a persons shape to provide support in the appropriate areas.
  • Latex pillows: Latex is a responsive material that can provide good support to the body, including the head and neck. It is sometimes more expensive than other materials, but it is also durable.
  • Water pillows: Water can adapt to a persons movements and provide support to the head and neck. However, a water pillow may not be the most convenient type of pillow to use.
  • Buckwheat pillows: An environmentally friendly option, a pillow that contains buckwheat can be comfortable while providing appropriate support.

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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Finding The Right Loft & Firmness For Neck Pain

When it comes to relieving neck pain, neutral spine alignment is the name of the game. Youll hear me mention this a few times, but promoting neutral spine alignment is your pillows most important job .

Now, you might be wondering, How am I supposed to know if my spine is in neutral alignment? Well, heres a trick I like to use: If your spine is in neutral alignment, your ears should be in line with your shoulders, and your chin should be in line with your sternum. So when youre lying in bed, take some time to see if your chin is being craned upward, or if your ear is pressed into either shoulder. If so, its time to readjust and regain a healthy posture.

That said, its important to match your pillow to your preferred sleeping position in order to keep a healthy posture. To find the right fit, youll need to keep a close eye on the pillows loft and firmness rating. So lets take a closer look at the best loft and firmness for each position:

Before we move on to the next factor, remember that you can find a more in-depth explanation of how to keep a healthy sleeping posture in my complete guide to picking the right pillow!

Top Rated Epabo Orthopedic Pillow For Neck And Head Pain

Best Pillows for Neck 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

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How We Evaluated These Pillows

During the testing process, our team members lie on each pillow for a period of time to evaluate firmness, support, pressure relief, and other performance features that are relevant to sleepers with neck pain. Testers shift around to evaluate the pillow in different positions. The picks above reflect the pillows that out-performed all other models.

How Can You Prevent Neck Pain In Future

While investing in one of the best pillows for neck pain is a great start, there are other measures you can take to prevent neck pain in the future. “In terms of preventing neck pain, your best bet is to actually strengthen your neck – lots of people who have neck pain typically think they have to stretch, but really you need to strengthen,” Joshi told us.

“You can do this through isolated neck strengthening exercises, for example by putting your hand on the side of your head and gently pushing against your hand, holding for 10-20 seconds on either side.”

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Add Other Pillows As Needed

If you sleep on your stomach, for instance, a flat pillow under your stomach might help keep your spine in line with your head and neck.

If you sleep on your side or back with a flat pillow, a second roll or rolled up towel under your neck could provide additional support. For side sleepers, putting a thin pillow between your knees also helps keep your spine in line with your head and neck.

How To Buy The Best Pillow For You

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What type of pillow is best for solving neck pain?

Moulded support pillows are supremely comfortable for your neck because they support its natural curve, says Gary Jones. “Your neck naturally curves slightly inwards, and contoured pillows help maintain that,” says Gary. “Over the years, that inward curve tends to flatten, especially if you spend too long stooped over your desk. So a moulded pillow with a high bit for your neck lets your body rest in a more natural and healthy position.”

Memory foam is especially well suited to providing the support your neck needs, so we’ve included several memory foam pillows in our rundown. Foam tends to feel quite soft at first, but it firms up as it moulds to fit the natural posture of your body, creating a cradle that supports your unique pressure points while you’re in the land of nod. On the downside, memory foam can feel a little too warm in summer, so some pillows include special cooling layers to offset clamminess.

If youre considering a memory foam pillow, then be sure to check out our dedicated memory foam roundup next.

Feather and down pillows are soft but versatile, giving you the freedom to make them more and less puffy in different areas to lend exactly the support you want. However they quickly lose their “loft” , and feathers can easily become displaced while you sleep, failing to give your head and neck consistent support through the night.

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What Were Looking For:

Firmness and fill: Supportive pillows, which the experts we spoke to agree are the best option for people with neck pain, tend to be on the firmer side of the pillow spectrum. According to Dr. Schuler, Those with neck or back pain will find that both medium-firm mattresses and pillows provide the best support at night. Medium-firm pillows cradle your head and help your body stay in a neutral position and alignment while you snooze. While our experts clearly favor firmer pillows for neck support, Foley explains that people should also consider their mattress type and head weight. The right pillow firmness for you will depend on how heavy your head is, how high the pillow is, what position you tend to sleep in, and the firmness of your mattress, she says. The type of fill your pillow has will also affect the firmness level. Memory foam, latex, and wool tend to create a firmer sleeping surface while down, feather-fill, polyfill, kapok, and cotton materials are softer and more plush.


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