Neck Pain And Pillow Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our answers to some of the common pillow questions we get from our readers.
Firmness impacts the height of your pillow when in use. You may need to experiment with pillows of different levels of firmness to figure out what is best for you.
Neck pain sufferers should pay special attention to the height of their pillow. A pillow that is too thick or too thin can result in improper spine alignment.
Your sleeping position has the most impact on shoulder pain and while your pillow can make a difference, sleeping on your back provides the best relief of shoulder pain. In terms of pillow selection, it is best to make sure your pillow allows neutral spinal alignment which best relieves the muscles extending from your neck to your shoulders.
If you are suffering from back or neck pain or find yourself having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling refreshed, your pillow may be among the causes, especially if it is older, flat, and lacks support. While a good pillow can last for years we recommend evaluating your pillow once a year, to confirm it is still supporting your body properly and not harming your sleep quality.
Headache is a deep topic that has many complexities. While your pillow can be part of the reason you’re having headaches, it is rarely the single cause. We always recommend talking to your doctor if you have troublesome headaches.
Other Tips To Help Neck Pain After Switching Your Pillow
If youve changed your pillow but still arent finding relief, you can also try these tips:
- Modify your overall posture when standing or sitting. Find a neutral spine in these positions, with your shoulders hovering directly over your hips and your ears over your shoulders.
- Stretch your neck every 20 to 30 minutes when doing computer work, driving long distances, or doing other repetitive tasks that tax your neck. It may be helpful to set a reminder on your computer or phone to take breaks.
- Use a backpack or rolling suitcase when carrying heavy loads. Either evenly distribute the weight or wheel it around. Using a shoulder bag puts excess strain on your neck and shoulders.
- Use heat or ice to ease the pain by taking a warm shower or applying a hot or cold compress. This is especially effective in the first 2 to 3 days of an acute injury.
Seek immediate medical attention if your neck pain is severe or has resulted from an injury, like a car accident or fall.
Best Adjustable Support: Emma
Sometimes looking for a pillow is tricky as you are never sure what height or loft to get. Well here is an adjustable pillow made by Emma that has an ergonomic style that is great for sore necks. With its memory foam design that is adjustable for different heights it makes it a pillow to suit most sleepers.
RRP Price: $200
The Emma pillow can be purchased here.
Final Verdict: A premium pillow with a high price tag but many people say it was worth the investment for their neck pain.
The Trapezoid: Core Products Tri
Rectangular pillows are overrated. For a unique shape, consider Core Productss Tri-core Cervical Support pillow. Its trapezoidal cushion is surrounded on all sides by cervical rolls designed to cradle and stabilize your head when sleeping on your back or side.
The Tri-core pillow also stands out for being one of the few contoured pillows that benefits combination sleepers. A conventional cervical pillow requires flipping over when switching positions, which is cumbersome and disruptive. With the Tri-core, you can roll onto your side or your back seamlessly throughout the night, with the proper neck support right where you need it.
Core Products admits their pillow is particularly firm and recommends giving it a fair trial. Break into it gradually, using the pillow for naps or for a few hours each night until you adjust.
Because of this break-in period, many impatient reviewers dislike the pillow. Others complain its too large, taking up too much real estate on the bed. However, for sleepers with neck pain, learning to love this Tri-core pillow pays rich dividends to their comfort and quality of life.
Finally, if youre concerned the fiberfill will be too firm, Core Products offers a Gentle fill option to emulate a medium-firm density. Be sure to purchase from their website to find this option.
- 3 sizes: Full , Mid , and Petite
- Made of cotton and polyester fiber fill
- Very Firm: available in a gentle, less-firm fill
- 90-day money-back guarantee
Buy for $42.
Best For Changing Positions: Tri
The Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow is designed for back sleepers. The center dips down to cradle the head and promotes proper alignment in the spine for different types of sleepers.
For back sleepers, the sturdy cervical roll supports the neck itself, while the head rests in the contour. One side of the pillow has a larger neck roll for more support, while the other side has a smaller neck roll for less support.
The manufacturer advises that the pillow may not suit side sleepers but also states that if a side sleeper decides to use the pillow, they should use the side areas because they are higher, allowing for proper neck alignment.
The versatility of the pillows design makes it a suitable option for people who switch positions throughout the night.
Adjusting to pillows such as this one can take time because it requires changes in sleep posture. Core Products recommends that, while breaking in a new pillow, people alternate between using this pillow and a standard pillow. This will help their body adjust to the new sleeping posture.
The company describes this pillow as very firm. The pillow has a polyester fiber fill and a cotton-polyester blend cover.
The pros and cons a person can consider include:
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Brooklinen Natural Down Plush
Stuffed full of Canadian down feathers, this Brooklinen Natural Down Plush Pillow features a high fill power of 600. When shopping for down products, its important to note that fill power determines how fluffy and lofty itll be . Sleepers in the market for big ol feather pillows are sure to enjoy this one.
That said, this pillows tall 5-inch profile is easily compressed into a low loft of 2-inches, as natural down is a very soft material. In fact, this pillow has a malleable quality that lets you push, press, and fold it to meet your unique needs. As for me, I like to fold one corner under my arm when Im on my side for extra comfort.
Meanwhile, sleepers with allergies might like to know that this down has been treated with Ultra Fresh Antibacterial Additives, an OEKO-Tex technology used to make it hypoallergenic. So if you tend to avoid real down because of sensitive skin or allergies, just remember that this pillow was crafted to be extra resistant to mold and mildew.
Learn everything there is to know about this pillow in my full Brooklinen Natural Down pillow review!
Price: $$, which is a great value for a natural down pillow. Plus, Brooklinen offers a 365-day return policy and a lifetime warranty.
Perfect For: Sleepers of all styles looking for a soft and lofty pillow filled with 100% real down!
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.
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Supportive Core Products Cervical Support Pillow For Pain
- This pillow is made with quality materials design
- The pillow helps to improve ones neck spine muscles
- The pillow is perfect for adults
- This pillow is not soft
This is a medically prove sleeping pillow that helps to re-correct the spine section around the neck. It provides ample comfort to support the neck and head muscles.
- Helto ease neck painps
This sleeping pillow is quite firm which in return help to offer ample support to the neck muscles
- Large fitting size
This pillow is designed in a large size of 24 x 16 inches to ensure one has a proper fitting when sleeping on all sides.
- Quality material construction
The pillow is made of 50 percent polyester and 50 percent cotton to offer optimal support when sleeping.
Can Pillows Cause Neck Pain
Sleeping on the wrong pillow can cause or exacerbate neck pain. If your pillow is too thick or too thin, it can force your neck into weird angles that put stress and tension on your body, resulting in neck pain. Even if your pillow feels comfortable at first, its possible that its not giving you the right amount of support. A proper pillow keeps your head parallel with your mattress, rather than bent up or down.
Also Check: Does Mattress Firm Sell Beds
Adjustable Uttu Support Pillow For Neck Pain And Headaches
- This pillow is adjustable in size
- It has a cooling effect for comfort in hot seasons
- It retains the same firmness for a long time
- This pillow is not soft
The UTTU support pillow is adjustable to get the right comfort and support when sleeping, depending on your body size.
- The pillow helps relieve pressure
The UTTU dynamic memory foam material construction on this pillow offers excellent cushioning to relieve pressure around the neck and head muscles.
- Cooling effect
This pillow is made with polyester and an infusion of bamboo material that adds a cooling effect to the pillow so you can have a comfortable night sleep.
- It is washable
Best Sleeping Positions For Neck Pain
Generally, if youre experiencing neck pain, its best to sleep on your back or side.
Sleeping on your stomach, especially if youre sleeping with a pillow thats too thick, can put excess pressure on your cervical spine and cause neck pain.
Keep your neck aligned with your body. You may want to place a pillow under your knees to keep your spine in proper alignment.
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Other Tips For Neck Pain Sufferers
A new pillow can help relieve quite a lot of neck pain, but there are additional ways to help alleviate your sore or stiff neck. Everyday tasks, especially looking down at your electronic device can affect your neck muscles, causing neck or back pain. Small lifestyle changes such as stretching, adjusting your posture when you notice yourself slumped over, and maintaining exercise can really make a difference when it comes to neck pain.
Using cold and hot compresses can also provide quick relief to an aching neck. If the pain continues to linger after investing in one of our best pillows for neck pain, you may want to head to your local massage or chiropractic office. An orthopedic pillow, or cervical support pillow, may go hand-in-hand with a chiropractors plan for treating your neck pain. Always consult a health professional before starting any kind of treatment.
Finally, its important to sleep on the right mattress. The best mattress for neck pain is going to be supportive enough to help promote a neutral spinal alignment. Youll also want to pair your pillow with your mattress. For example, on a soft mattress with sinkage, youll want a low-loft pillow to keep your neck in proper alignment, while a firm mattress necessitates a high-loft pillow to keep your head properly elevated.
Okay, folks, now that weve covered the main points to consider, lets wrap up with a look at my final thoughts!
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.
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Types Of Pillows To Avoid
If you suffer from neck pain or soreness, avoid pillows that dont support the contours of your neck properly during sleep, especially if you tend to move around a lot overnight.
Although sleeping without a pillow might be comfortable for tummy sleepers, its generally not recommended for those with neck pain. It makes it harder to maintain the natural curve of your spine and stay aligned, putting more pressure on your neck.
Best Affordable Pillow For Neck Pain: #gokindly Signature Pillow
The #GoKindly Signature pillow has +300 reviews and is an affordable and easy care pillow for supporting the neck. With a poly feel it is more helpful with pressure points than other pillow material such as foam.
It is well suited to a side sleeper, and at a good price point.
This website sells #GoKindly pillows so we are biased!
- Donate 50% of profits to women in need
- The pillow Contours to your neck
- Easy to clean and machine washable
- Made in Australia
Shop for the #GoKindly pillow here.
Final Verdict: An affordable all round pillow that gives you comfort and support…and is proudly made in Australia!
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How To Choose A Pillow For Neck Pain Relief
When choosing a cervical pillow, consider the width of your shoulders and the size of your head and if you are not sure of the ideal pillow height, choose an adjustable pillow.
Also consider the pillows durability, shape, size, filling, and materials to make the best decision. Here are the details:
1. Resilience & Durability
Every pillow has a shelf life. With cervical traction pillows, the shelf life depends on the quality of materials, but mostly on how dense it is.
Some pillows have less stuffing in them, which makes them less dense and therefore will break down faster. Others are denser, but because they are firmer, they could be less comfortable.
The best pillow will be dense enough to last for years, but not too dense to be uncomfortable.
To prevent your investment from disappearing in a year, look for a pillow that offers a warranty for losing shape and resilience.
For example, the Therapeutica sleeping pillow comes with a 5-year warranty for resilience.
Neck traction pillows come in different shapes.
You have trapeze-centered pillows, v-shape pillows, contour pillows, and ones that have a wedge extension to support your upper back.
It depends on personal preferences, but I can tell you that some pillows are not well fitted for side sleepers.
If youre a side sleeper, choose a pillow that its side-sleeping portions do not allow your head to slip back to the center while youre sleeping, or allow your neck to be tilted either up or down.
Memory Foam Milemont Orthopedic Contour Pillow
- This pillow provides excellent support including on the shoulders
- It has durable and heavy-duty memory foam materials
- The pillow has a standard size to fit most people
- This pillow disperses some unpleasant odor when new
If you have a problem maintaining a good sleeping posture when sleeping, this pillow from Milemont may work for you since it helps align the spine on the neck area to reduce neck injuries when sleeping.
- Premium memory material construction
This pillow has heavy-duty and quality premium memory foam material that contours to the neck and head to ensure comfort when sleeping on various sides.
- A reliable size
This pillow features the standard size design to fit people of different sizes.
- Ergonomic style design
This pillow has an ergonomic style that contours around the neck and the head to provide ample comfort and support when sleeping.
Also Check: Is Firm Or Soft Mattress Better For Back
Best Luxury Buy: Avocado Organic Luxury Plush Pillow
Although it’s on the pricier side, the Avocado Organic Luxury Plush Pillow provides all the head and neck support you need without the memory foam material. It has a medium-soft feel to it so it’s ideal for all kinds of sleeping positions, and it’s eco-friendly to boot.
The fill of the pillow itself is made from a natural latex called Talalay latex, which comes from rubber trees and is processed using fully biodegradable ingredients and is known to hold up longer than standard synthetic competitors like dunlop. Its outer layer is made from wool silk mohair, which is breathable, wicks away moisture and naturally regulates temperature.
The cover is 100 percent organic cotton, removable and machine-washable.
With your purchase, you get to try out the pillow for 100 nights free of charge â and free return shipping is included. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.
âBuy it:â AvocadoGreenMattress.com âPrice:â $199