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.
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.
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.
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.
Why Does My Neck Hurt After Waking Up
If you wake up with neck pain, headache, migraine, and shoulder strain but do not go to sleep with them, then you likely have a bed pillow. Neck pain has several causes, as with many other things. In some cases, the causes of neck pain, such as age-related diseases or accidents, are not under your control. However, the best way to start reducing neck pain is to look at how your pillow affects your sleep and its effect on your neck pain.
If you wake up in the morning with neck pain, your pillow is most likely to blame. Research has proven to have the wrong pillow for you to cause neck pain. A sore neck in the morning can also result from your sleeping position or other sleep issues. Pillows play a vital role in helping ensure a healthy, pain-free neck by supporting your head and neck while you sleep. Having a pillow that doesnt support your head and neck properly can cause neck pain and tension in your neck muscles.
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How Long Does A Pillow Last
An excellent place to start when determining how long any product will last is to look at the warranty. The median warranty length of the 16 pillows we tested was 2.5 years. This is a reasonable amount of time to expect your pillow to last, especially considering your comfort preferences will change over time, often necessitating a new pillow.
Remember warranties typically only cover flaws in the pillow’s construction or extreme degradation while used normally. The warranty may not cover replacement if the pillow is destroyed due to an accident, such as a spill. To protect against spills, we recommend buying a pillow protector.
Once you’re done with your pillow, you have several options for repurposing, donating, or recycling it. If you have a pet, they may enjoy using it as a bed. Or, if your pillow is still in great shape, you might donate it to an animal shelter, homeless shelter, daycare facility, or charity in your area. If you go this route, check with the facility before dropping it off since many organizations do not accept used pillows.
If you can’t repurpose or donate your pillow, look for a textile recycling facility in your area.
Other Remedies You Can Try
There may be more to your neck pain than your pillow and sleep position. Here are some other things you can do besides finding the perfect pillow to treat your neck pain :
- Massage – massage in the area of pain can be especially effective at providing relief when done by a professional
- Go to a Chiropractor – Chiropractors are a great resource for pain sufferers. They can help you identify issues with your sleeping position and perform an in-depth evaluation of your pain areas and offer ideas to treat them
- Over-the-counter pain relief – for times when your pain is at its worst, over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be a great help
- Try adding more movement to your day-to-day routine – many neck exercises will reduce inflammation in your neck. Working these exercises into your daily routine may reduce neck pain over time
- Try Inversion – inversion tables can offer great relief for your entire spine by taking up to 250% of the strain off your vertebrae depending on the angle of inversion. While some dispute its claimed benefits, most agree it can help with back and neck pain.
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Find The Right Pillow Shape
If you sleep on your back, look for a pillow with a cervical spine curve, meaning thereâs a bit of a roll or bump under your neck and a flatter spot for your head.
If you sleep on your side, you need a slightly higher pillow to keep your head in line with your spine, and you may also want a pillow with a bump under your neck to support it.
If you sleep on your stomach, consider forgoing the pillow completely and lying directly on the mattress.
Donât forget about travel. If you have the perfect pillow at home, what happens when youâre on the road or in the air? A U-shaped travel pillow can keep your head upright instead of angled to the side when youâre trying to sleep sitting up.
Best Pillow For Neck Pain In The Uk
Neck pain is a very serious problem that, in addition to discomfort, can have long-term consequences for our health. This problem can be solved or significantly alleviated with the help of the best pillow for neck pain UK has to offer!
As many as two-thirds of people complain of neck pain. And most often they feel pain in the neck after waking up. Also, improper sitting position during the working day causes this problem to occur. For some, neck aches occurs for a short time and passes in less than a few days. But for many it becomes a chronic problem which can cause even more serious symptoms like dizziness because of the bad circulation. One of the best pillows for neck pain UK is going to sort this problem out! But..
The position in which you sleep plays a big role. If you sleep on your stomach, you are much more likely to experience neck issues than if you sleep on your back. However, if you have some of the best pillows for back and neck pain, even sleeping on your stomach will not be a problem. You just have to find the right one for you.
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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
Types Of Pillows To Avoid When Suffering From Neck Pain
- Neck Pillows: These work well in a pinch, like when youre napping on public transportation. Generally, though, we dont recommend them for everyday use. Despite their name, these portable U-shape pillows dont help alleviate neck pain. You might be wondering, Can your pillow cause neck pain? And the answer is: yes, sometimes they can.
- Feather: Feather pillows do not have great loft and need frequent fluffing. They are not very supportive for sleepers with neck pain.
- Down: Down pillows are very soft and have similar problems to feather pillows. They are not a great fit for people with neck pain.
- Down alternative: Down alternative pillows are very similar to down pillows, except they use a polyester microfiber material instead of all-natural duck and geese feathers. These pillows are also very soft and do not hold their shape well, so they are not a good fit for people with neck pain.
Sleepers with neck pain dont necessarily have to avoid feather, down, and down alternative pillows all together. You may just need to double up with two pillows under your head for the loft and support you need since these pillows are more thin and soft.
Although, we would probably recommend just choosing one of the many other types of pillows that are designed to help alleviate pain in the neck instead.
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Best Cooling: Sealy Posturepedic Coolsense Pillow
If you want a perfect sleep experience and the price doesnt matter to you, our recommendation is Sealy Posturepedic CoolSense Pillow.
If you only use Sealy Posturepedic CoolSense Pillow for one night, it will be clear to you why it is the winner of the luxury category. It contains ventilated memory foam so you will never be hot when you sleep on it. It also has a cooling fabric to keep you cool if needed. It is a medium-firm and provides support so that your neck does not hurt. It also has contouring properties so you will feel pressure relief. Maintenance is very simple.
It is 20 cm deep which is ideal for side sleepers, and many back sleepers also prefer thick pillows.
The majority of stomach sleepers did not find it that comfortable.
Best For Natural Fill Material: Hullo Buckwheat Pillow
Buckwheat pillows are a suitable option for people who want a product made with natural materials.
These pillows contain thousands of buckwheat hulls instead of foam or fibers. The company describes buckwheat hulls as firm but malleable and breathable.
According to Hullo, the cotton case is certified organic. However, the company does not state which certification this product holds.
People can adjust this buckwheat pillow to suit their sleeping style and comfort preferences by adding or removing hulls from the pillow.
This may suit people who believe their needs will change over time or who want to be able to adapt their pillow if the severity of their neck pain changes.
Pros and cons of the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow may include:
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Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
This Hypoallergenic Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow has a contour shape for proper placement of shoulder and neck. Bamboo pillow provides optimum support to align the shoulders and neck curvature to build a proper shape and comfortable sleeping positions.
A bamboo memory foam pillow made up of bamboo-based viscose outer shell and filled with shredded memory foam to offer absolute comfort and support. It is also Eco-friendly and hypoallergenic which makes it perfect for asthma, allergy, snoring, neck pain, shoulder pain, and breathing problems.
Bamboo pillow for neck pain is perfect for all side, stomach, and back sleepers and can be customized according to the need and height requirement.
Best Pillow For Back Sleepers With Neck Pain
Neck pain sufferers who sleep on their back will appreciate the balance of softness and support afforded by the adjustable Brooklinen Marlow Pillow.
- Best for: Back and side sleepers
- Available sizes: Standard and king
- Fill: Memory foam and polyester fiber
- Firmness : 5
- Hypoallergenic: Yes
Pros: Comfortable for back and side sleepers, adjustable firmness/loft
Cons: Not ideal for stomach sleepers, not machine washable
When the Insider Reviews team is chatting about our favorite bedding, Brooklinen always comes up. The brand makes the top picks in our weighted blanket and down pillow guides. The shredded memory foam/polyester blend is another impressive product from Brooklinen.
I slept incredibly well on the pillow. It cradled my head, keeping it aligned with my spine, whether I was on my back or side. During the 10 nights I slept on it, I didn’t experience neck pain.
Though you can’t add or remove fill, it features a zipper system for making it more or less firm. If you want a softer feel with a higher loft, you simply unzip the zippers along the lengths of the pillow. Zip it up for a firm feel.
Unzipping the pillow reveals a mesh gusset that lends a level of breathability to the Marlow. I preferred the softer, cooler feel and added loft of the unzipped pillow.
The Marlow comes with the longest risk-free trial of any pillows we tested.
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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.
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.
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