What Is The Best Pillow Positioning For Back Pain
Sleep posture can exacerbate or alleviate back pain. Sleeping on your back is often considered the best positioning for back pain. This position is most likely to encourage sleepers to maintain a neutral posture, which keeps the spine aligned and reduces pressure on the lumbar region. Sleepers can use pillows strategically to relieve back pain.
Stomach sleeping is one of the worst sleeping positions for back pain, as it puts pressure on the lower back and often leads to spinal misalignment.
The following sleeping positions, along with their potential benefits and drawbacks, should be considered:
Frequently Asked Questions About Pillows For Back Pain
Can the wrong pillow make back pain worse?
The wrong pillow can worsen back pain, making it essential for sleepers with back pain to choose their pillows wisely. The wrong pillow will provide inadequate support, placing the head and neck at an uncomfortable angle. This can be the result of a loft that is too high or too low, or a pillow that is not the right firmness for the sleeper. Shoppers need to choose a pillow that supports their sleeping position and body type, including their head size and shoulder width.
What is the most important consideration when choosing a pillow for back pain?
One of the most important considerations when choosing a pillow for back pain is its loft. Size and shape are also essential factors, as each impacts how much pressure relief and support the pillow provides. Pillow loft is the height of the pillow, which determines the angle of the head and neck. The pillow should also be large enough to evenly distribute weight and ensure support as sleepers change positions throughout the night.
What is the worst pillow type for back pain?
The worst pillow type for back pain is one that flattens easily and does not support the head and neck. Some materials, like low-quality polyester fibers, are less likely to retain shape throughout the night, causing strain on the neck and shoulders. The pillow should maintain its loft and keep the upper body supported.
Can a body pillow help with back pain?
The Best Pillows For Neck Pain In Australia
Thanks to our modern lifestyles, our necks are already strained when we work at computers with poor posture or constantly check our phones. Unfortunately, poor mattresses and unsuitable pillows can contribute to the problem when we sleep, and the cycle continues.
Luckily, a specially designed pillow for neck problems can help to relieve neck pain and soreness and help you get a better nights sleep.
What are neck pillows?
Neck pillows help you sleep in a neutral spine position, which means your spine is parallel to the floor. In other words, they prop the base of the neck up. By doing this, they ease the tension and pressure that commonly causes neck pain, and support the spine, hips and shoulders at the same time.
The best pillows for sore necks
At Pillow Science, our goal is to help our customers get healthier, more restful sleep. We consult physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and other back care professionals to make sure our pillows have the most ergonomic designs.
Based on scientific research, contour pillows are the best pillows for neck problems.
These pillows are designed to accommodate the natural curves of the head, neck and, in certain cases, the shoulders. Theyre generally higher on the sides and drop down in the centre, which is where the head rests.
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Best Pillows For Neck Pain 2022
Keep reading to learn more about each of these pillows unique qualities and specific build thats aligned with our idea of the best pillow for neck pain! The type of pillow you might need will vary differently depending on your body shape, size, weight, and individual preferences. Because a pillow can play such an important role in neck pain, we have tested each of our pillow picks to make your search easier.
Therapeutic Travel Pillow Side Sleeping
For side sleeping, just turn the pillow over and have the upper back support facing towards the top, towards the head board. You shoulder will fit nicely in the contour for support and comfort. Just like the back sleeping position, your shoulder and upper back are supported in the proper positioning, as well as the head and neck. This allows a comfortable side position.
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Best Height Adjustable Pillow: The Pancake Pillow By Gravity Sleep
The Pancake Pillow is height adjustable. The product comes with six thin pillows that can all fit in a single pillowcase.
The company claims that the Pancake Pillow is suitable for those with neck pain and those who sleep on their side, back, or stomach.
This cervical pillow also comes with the following features:
- queen and king sizes
- a weight of 4.81 pounds
Price: The Pancake Pillow by Gravity Sleep has a list price of around $80.
When It Comes To Therapeutic Pillows To Promote Correct Neck Alignment Sleeping On Your Back Or Side
These are therapeutic pillows which are designed to properly support the head and neck when back sleeping and side sleeping. Most people sleep in the center of their pillow when they sleep on their backs, the center of these therapeutic pillows are designed specifically for back sleeping with a special wedge for upper back support. When side sleeping, the outside edges of the pillow are designed to support the neck and shoulder with increased height.
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What To Consider When Purchasing A Pillow For Back Pain
The following considerations affect the performance and quality of a pillow, and should be kept in mind by all shoppers. There are plenty of choices on the market, and it is not uncommon for companies to overstate certain features to entice shoppers. This can be distracting.
Focusing on what is most important, namely the amount of support and comfort a pillow provides, will help shoppers narrow down their options. These factors can help shoppers filter out unnecessary marketing jargon and exaggerations and find the best pillow for them.
When evaluating the following elements, back pain sufferers should also consider their sleeping position, head and shoulder size, and type of back pain.
Loft: Loft refers to the height of the pillow, which is one of the most important considerations when choosing a pillow for back pain. It determines the angle of the head and neck and how well the spine is kept in alignment. Loft can range from low to high. Some pillows have an adjustable loft, allowing sleepers to customize the height of the pillow by adding or removing fill. Stomach sleepers often need a low loft pillow to keep the head and neck at a comfortable angle. Back sleepers tend to choose a medium loft pillow that cradles the head and neck, while side sleepers may opt for a medium to high loft to fill the gap between the neck and shoulders.
Why Use This Pillow
Because most people sleep both on their sides and their backs, these positions require different support to maintain proper neck alignment and head posture. The head needs to be supported approximately two inches higher in the side position than in the back position. Trying to make this correction, you may find yourself putting your hand under a pillow when sleeping on your side. This indicates you need more support in this position and therapeutic pillows will provide this support.
Because of the distinct sleeping areas, you need to be aware of how you change positions. You do not want to sleep on your back in the areas for side sleeping. So, a conscious effort is needed to change positions. This is usually not a problem with acute, painful conditions like neck sprain & strain, whiplash injuries or flare-ups of degenerative spinal conditions.
In the back sleeping position, the head not only needs to be supported at the right height, but prevented from tilting forward and restricting air passages, or from rolling from side to side which can put rotational stress on the neck resulting in muscle soreness and joint pain. Upper back support is also desirable to prevent the weight of the body from pulling the neck out of alignment.
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Cervical Pillow Buyer’s Guide
If you decide to search for a cervical pillow to alleviate your neck pain by merely heading to Amazon or another site and searching pillow for neck pain, you are going to receive an overwhelming number of results. It is incredible to see just how many different neck and shoulder support pillows are on the market today.
Going into this shopping process without a general idea of what you are looking for might not be the best approach. Our buyer’s guide aims to answer any questions you may have about the best neck pain pillows and where to find them, taking into consideration your sleeping positions and preferences.
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Wondering which PILLO1 size is right for you?
- Small Perfect for Child/Teen 40-110 lbs.
- Medium Perfect for people 110-220 lbs
- Large – Perfect for people over 201 lbs
What is the difference between the Latex and Gel Infused foams?
Generally speaking, the Talalay Latex is the more supportive, therapeutic and durable foam of our selections of Latex and Gel Infused Memory Foams. It is truly the gold standard in foam engineering. It is the better designed for the person with neck pain, stiffness or one who likes more support and height of the pillow. The Gel Infused Memory Foam is without question softer and generally speaking, more comfortable at first glance. With its gel infused beads, it still has much more support and pushback than the typical old memory foam but does not express as much resiliency and support as the Latex.
So one could say, get the Latex for support and ultimate therapeutic effect of the head and neck and get the Gel Infused Memory foam for pressure relief.
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What Else We Tested
We tested 16 pillows for this guide. These are the ones that didn’t make the cut.
What else we recommend and why:
Sleep Number PlushComfort Curved Pillow: This down-alternative pillow is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and made in the US. The curved design is similar to the Eli & Elm pillow, appealing to side and back sleepers. I found it was comfortable and liked that you could machine wash the entire pillow. However, it isn’t adjustable. Though it comes with a 100-night trial, the customer is responsible for return shipping.
Bear Pillow: Insider Reviews junior reporter Lily Alig and I had dramatically different experiences with the Bear Pillow. Alig, a petite side and back sleeper, experienced neck pain at first, but as she got used to the pillow, she grew to love it. I slept poorly while testing it, had neck aches, and never got used to it. It also lost points because it’s spot clean only, non-adjustable, and comes with a short 30-night trial.
Leesa Hybrid Pillow: The only reason we didn’t include the Leesa Hybrid in our guide is because it was out of stock. This dual-sided pillow has a soft polyester microfiber side and a gel side that helped me stay cool through the night. It has an insert that you can remove for a lower loft feel. The biggest negative is that the trial period is only 30 days, and you must return the pillow clean and undamaged.
What we don’t recommend and why:
How To Choose A Pillow If You Have Neck Pain
If neck pain keeps you up at night, you might want to consider swapping your pillow for one thats the right height. In the pillow world, height is usually described as loft.
The right amount of loft depends a lot on your preferred sleeping position. Stomach sleepers, for example, should opt for a pillow with a lower loft. Essentially, you want a pillow that will keep your spine in alignment without putting too much pressure on your neck.
You might also want to look for a pillow made of supportive foam or latex rather than down or down alternative.
Shape may also be a consideration. Cervical or ergonomic pillows are designed to provide support specifically for the neck and head, for instance.
Pillows can be made from a range of materials, including latex, polyester, cotton, and more. A
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Best Pillows For Neck Pain Top 10 Picks
- Best Pillow for Combo Sleepers with Neck Pain Saatva Pillow
- Best Cooling Pillow for Neck Pain DreamCloud Best Rest Memory Foam Pillow
- Best Firm Pillow for Neck Pain Casper Pillow
- Best Soft Pillow for Neck Pain Purple Harmony Pillow
- Best Memory Foam Pillow for Neck Pain TEMPUR Cloud
- Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers with Neck Pain Nolah AirFiber Pillow
- Best Organic Pillow for Neck Pain Avocado Pillow
- Best Down Pillow for Neck Pain Brooklinen Pillow
- Best Pillow for Side Sleepers with Neck Pain Layla Pillow
- Best Pillow for Pressure Relief and Neck Pain Bear Pillow
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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What Pillow Materials Are Best For Neck Pain
The best pillow for neck and shoulder pain is firm enough to hold your head at a healthy angle, but soft enough to alleviate pressure points. Most sleepers find success with either a memory foam, latex, buckwheat, or feather pillow, as these materials offer the best balance of support and pressure relief.
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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Sizing The Therapeutic Travel Pillow
Take a measurement using a ruler from the neck to the shoulder this allows room for compression when side sleeping, so just measure to the end of the bone, this take into account any muscles or fatty tissue, which will compress on the side.
While smaller children and larger individuals will have to use the standard version, those within the small to large sizes can take advantage of this travel version.
Between Sizes? Pick smaller sized travel pillow
Hotel pillows may be good for the average person, however, if you suffer from neck pain, headaches or load snoring, you need a therapeutic travel pillow that is compact and can provide the proper support you need.
Based on the same design as our popular Therapeutic Pillow, using precise measurement for fit as well as a pillow that will accommodate either back or side sleeping in the correct posture to avoid strain on the neck. The Therapeutic Pillow is rather heavy and large. Although it is perfect for home use as well, this version accomplishes the same therapeutic benefits in a lightweight, more compact version for easier traveling. So, you do not have to loose the great neck pain relief benefits when away from home.
Why Choose A Contoured Therapeutic Pillow
The most important thing your pillow needs to do for you is support the cervical region of your spine throughout the night, so that no stress is place on any of the muscles or joints. Sadly many pillows fail to do this, either they lose their shape throughout the night or they are not shaped to provide proper support for your head and neck. Often sleeping on an unsupportive pillow can result in headaches, neck pain, back pain and restless sleep.
Choosing a contoured pillow will ensure your spine remains in a neutral alignment while you rest and it will give you the peace of mind to know that your head and neck are receiving optimum support and your muscles are able to relax, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed.
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Why Is The Therapeutica Pillow Special
By using a unique orthopedic design, the pillow offers many benefits including correct positioning for both back and side sleeping. This helps to keep stiff muscles relaxed as you change positions during the night. By keeping muscles in their proper tension, the neck can relax. As the neck relaxes, the benefits of the design take effect by allowing the neck to conform with the contour of the pillow, which helps to restore normal curve and alignment. This helps ease nerve tension, reducing pain and providing a better sleeping experience.
When you switch from back sleeping to side sleeping, the pillow needs to provide additional support due to the shoulders. This means you will require additional height. This pillow delivers this with its raised side portions. The indentations in the top of the raised side portions help to minimize ear and jaw pressure as well as providing air circulation.
You will further note the side panels have a slight indentation in the middle. This helps to provide a mild amount of instability to help maintain correct muscle tone and blood flow to the muscles.
Not many pillows support the upper back, however, this provides a unique extension piece that helps support the upper back in the back sleeping posture. This also assists in maintaining correct spinal alignment, easing nerve tension and sore neck muscles. This one of the best cervical pillows and provides a vital part in home management of neck pain.