Best Neck Support (Cervical) Pillows – Buying Guide
Do you know that your sleeping posture is as important as standing or sitting posture? Your sleeping position, bed, and use of a pillow, all determine your sleeping posture.
You might recall with crisp clarity. The last time you had a painful neck because you could not sleep, you probably felt irritable and fatigued for the rest of the day.
It didn’t matter whether you had the day off, either. Even slacking around the home felt like a darn task.
That’s right. Your pillow could have had a major hand in it.
But the right pillow for your neck will practically change your life. The best pillow for neck support will gather the optimal support your head and neck need and will offer you an optimized comfort level depending on your favorite sleeping position.
In a hurry? We’ve got you covered. Check out Shredded Memory Foam by Coop Home Goods: Our top pick, this cervical pillow is made with shredded memory foam to offer optimal comfort for your head, creating an all-rounded comfortable and stylish sleeping experience.
While there are a lot of options in the cervical pillows market right now, which presents an overwhelming choice, choosing the right neck pain pillow for you is more of an art rather than science.
In fact, to get a good feel of a good pillow for your neck support and comfort, evaluate your unique sleeping habits, then “test-lie” on a bunch of them to find the best among the rest before investing in one.
What Causes Neck Pain at Night?
The cervical spine is a coordinated network of bones, nerves, muscles and joints directed by the spinal cord and the brain. Generally, there are a number of problems that cause pain in the neck. However, you probably already know that not just sleep position, but sleep itself, can play a role in pain, including shoulder, and neck pain. You know your body better, so trust your instincts when shopping for a pillow.
When you’re shopping for a good neck pain pillow for sleeping, you should look for a pillow that is going to make it easy for you to sleep comfortably at night. If you sleep on your side, keep you cervical spine straight by using a firm neck and shoulder support pillow under your neck.
Another option is buying a conventionally shaped pillow with memory foam that conforms to the contour of your neck. Avoid using too stiff pillow, which keeps the neck stretched overnight and can result in pain. Whatever the case, always keep your personal choice and preferences in mind when shopping for a cervical pillow.
How to Choose the Best Pillow for Neck Problems
There are a number of considerations to make when buying a cervical pillow for neck pain relief.
Here are the two major considerations to take into account:
- Neck pain pillow material.
- Sleeping patterns/Sleeping position.
Each consideration here stuffs into it a couple of more, vital considerations.
Type of Pillows for Neck Pain
The stuffing material used in the neck pain-relieving pillow will determine both the level of support (firmness) and comfort it will deal you. If it is too firm or too soft for your unique sleep preference, you will lose sleep on it either way.
Most bed pillow companies use a number of different stuffing materials to make products that are not only enduring favorites in styling but also eliminate neck pain (source).
1. Memory foam chiropractic pillows
The hawked-eyed among us may have already noticed our top picks here are all memory foam bed pillows, and for good reasons.
Memory foam neck care pillows have a lot going on.
First, they are uniformly soft, hence eliminate uneven lumps that could get in the way and effectively cause your head and spine to slide out of alignment—the primary cause of neck, shoulder and back pain, as well as after-sleep migraines.
Secondly, they are durable. In addition to offering the best value for your money, you also can avoid the hassle of getting used to a new pillow every time you have to buy one because the one you had is worn out.
But the memory foam-made pillows do “sleep hot”. So you might want one that includes a cooling layer of additional materials. Still, if too firm for your preference, a memory foam pillow can (and will) exaggerate your neck pain struggle.
Still, if your ideal sleeping position involves shifting from stomach to side-sleeping and vice versa, this might not be the best option for you.
2. Latex pillows
A large portion of people go for latex cervical pillows as the next best alternative to memory foam pillows.
Latex-type pillows closely resemble memory foam ones in terms of support (firmness) and comfort (softness). Latex based cervical pillows come in different construct materials, availing all common sleepers to use them for restful nights.
But they can be expensive and somewhat heavy.
3. Cotton cervical pillows
The cotton-filled cervical pillow is ideal if you sleep on your stomach. It is also a stylish bed pillow with a soft feel to it. The softness may feel awesome but it also trumps the pillow’s overall shelf life. But, unlike memory foam pillows, they are cool, odorless and mostly hypoallergenic.
4. Gel/gelatin pillows
Gel-infused pillows are liked for their cooling properties, making them a splendid choice for warm summer nights. Advancing technology makes it possible to make decent synthetic gel neck care pillow, and more companies are offering them.
However, they might be a tad smelly when brand new although the odor disappears after airing (about 72 hours later).
5. Feathers/down pillows
Some people swear by feather/down pillows for eliminating neck pain. Others can’t stand these types.
These kind are super soft and rather stylish in design and use. Stomach sleepers are likely to enjoy them most as opposed to other sleepers. However, we recommend you avoid a feathers/down pillow if you have allergies or just don’t feel like “inviting” one.
6. Water neck pain pillows
Pillows that have a water-filled core are increasingly catching on. People like them for their splendid support and fluid pressure adjustability, hence comfort. Despite being fancy-priced (takes more skill, material and time to make one, undoubtedly), this option is helpful for sleepers who keep switching positions throughout the night, and also provides a cooling effect for warm nights.
Sleeping Patterns/Sleep Positions
The best pillow for your sleeping position eliminates neck pain?
Your sleeping position offers outstanding clues as to what type of pillow to buy for neck pain problems, and that is as unique as your personality gets.
So, is it possible to find a great pillow that is customized for your sleeping habits? Of course. Here are some practical tips on how to find the best cervical pillow for your sleeping style.
Cervical pillows for neck pain by sleeping style
1. Best Side-sleeper cervical pillow
If you sleep on your side, we recommend finding a thicker and firmer pillow. When your head rests on the mattress in this position, a gap is left between your neck and mattress. That gap slants your spine out of alignment with your head and needs filling up to help rest rest your neck in a neutral position.
You can do so by getting a side pillow. This are designed with curved sides (higher and lower sides in the middle) and “pocketed” centers. This mix ensures the head is cradled properly and the upper vertebrae maintained in a relaxing position.
Still, since side sleepers can suffer from neck pain due to their overall sleeping posture, you might need to get a full body pillow. That would help cushion and align your head, neck, lower back, knees, ankles, and spine—which all matter in a side sleeping posture.
2. Best Stomach-sleeper pillow for neck pain
Physicians encourage stomach sleepers to buy pillows that allow them to breathe properly, as well as afford the support and comfort of a good cervical pillow for sleeping. Also, stomach sleepers are likely to need bodily support that closely resembles the best cervical pillow for a side-sleeper.
Neck pillows are suitable for this sleeping posture. Neck pillows are generally soft and flat, usually smaller than other pillow types. They also tuck behind the neck to offer your spine just the right curvature it needs to relax.
If you were to get a high-sided/tall pivotal pillow, it would consistently lift your head out of alignment with the spine and shoulders. That would embellish your neck pain as opposed to offering relief.
3. Best back-sleeper neck pain relief pillow
It is also different for back sleepers. If you snore, it could be a loud sign that your pillow needs a whipping and go. If you have seen a neck injury pillow before (or bulging disk or herniated one), you might already recognize the best back sleeping position pillow.
In this position, it is imperative to keep air passages open as well to avoid whizzing and snoring. Keeping your upper back, head and neck aligned go a long way. We recommend using a firm and flat chiropractic number for this.
If after doing this you still are not as comfortable as you would prefer, you can slide a few bed pillows underneath your knees to lift your lower body to the level of the upper body, completing an alignment position that is ideal for eliminating sleeping disorders and aches.
4. All-Purpose pillows for Neck Pain
A few chiropractic pillow brands are coming into the market to offer a special kind of all-around pillows.
These are the types that are ideal for you if you are not sure what sleeping position suits you best, or you toss and shift sleeping posture throughout the night (if you have a partner they can offer this observation), or when you want a pillow you can use for whatever reason.
These specialist pillows come in multifaceted packages. For example, a trapezoid-shaped center to cradle the head and naturally align the spine, has a smaller side for people with smaller neck and a larger side, firmer side for a larger neck (so both your spouse and yourself can take turns using it), and the other two sides have higher sides for the best side-sleeping posture.
Now that we have an idea of what to pick out, which brands mirror the best combination of these properties?
Top 5 Best Neck & Shoulder Pain Pillows
Here we have reviewed 5 of the tops cervical pillows for neck support. Our choices were informed by our own experience from our in-house testing and reviews from customers.
This US-made memory foam pillow is our top pick pillow for shoulder and neck pain on the market right now.
Not only is it made from a special blend of memory foam for uber support, but it is also shredded to offer optimal comfort. Also, its 40% bamboo material makes it a cool option for summer nights.
Still, it is adjustable. You can plump up or shrink it down to a height you like by adding on or removing some of its stuffing foam.
This feature alone manages to effectively turn the Coop Home Good product into a suitable neck care pillow for all types of sleepers. It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
It is also hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant. It is CertiPUR-US certified, meaning it is free from lead and mercury, is made of only the top-quality material hence safe, and is great for anyone with allergies.
- Comfortably soft and snugly supportive.
- Easy to maintain and comes with machine washable cover.
- Bamboo material making it safe and green.
- Great value for money; useful and durable.
- The foam inside the pillow is not washable so take care of it in the case of stains.
- Odor while new—dissipates with time.
Like Coop Home Good’s option above, CertiPUR-US certified pillow is designed to offer distinct support thanks to the memory foam stuffing, yet also offer soft comfort due to its shredded innards (instead of a single block of memory foam).
It also contains 3% more bamboo material (43%), hence green, safe, ultra-breathable and lightweight. Its cover comes with “micro ventilators”, tiny poles that pronounce its breathability quality. And beyond offering a cooling effect even in the summer nighttimes, you can take it to a camping trip since it is lightweight and durable.
If you prefer a top-quality product that ticks all the boxes for quality build and strict testing, this number is made in the US—so you can sleep assured of your safety and money’s worth.
This neck support surface feels like it can go beyond expectations. Plus Xtreme Comforts offers it in three distinct sizes; standard, queen and king. So you can get your no matter the size of your current of near-future bed or mattress.
- Adjustable to favorite height.
- Ventilated to make it breathable, cool and safe.
- Moneyback guarantee if not satisfied.
- Hypoallergenic material.
- Easy to maintain and comes with machine washable cover.
- Shredded foam inside the pillow is not washable—problematic in the case of stains.
This is a CertiPUR-US certified product, so expect it to perform as advertised and offer safety features as appropriated by US standards. It is antimicrobial, eliminating chances that you might develop an allergy reaction to any type of bacterial stimulant (especially dust mites and mold).
It is also made using 35% tensil and 65% polyester, so it is extra-soft for assured comfort and firm enough to offer proper alignment of your spine and upper body during sleep. The supportive portion of it is given a boost by a gel infused into it, adding to its contour wave shape that supports all common types of sleeping postures.
The good thing about choosing this memory foam classic is that it is resistant to flattening. That is testament to its high-quality and unique build, as well as durability. Not only does that equal good value for money at the moment, in the long run, your CrSleep contour pillow will keep your upper back healthy and painful for longer.
- Removable, machine-washable cover for easy cleaning.
- Breathable to offer cool sleeping.
- Suitable for back, side and stomach sleepers with neck care issues.
- Produces an odor while brand new—need to air it for a few days.
- The memory foam in it is not washable in case of stains.
Mediflow made a practically plush and large pillow that feels comfortable to lie on and firmly supportive. Their pillow uses water at its core to adjust to your natural sleeping movements. So you can shift, turn and toss and it will shift support under your neck and head accordingly.
To top up, it is made of 100% antimicrobial materials that are also breathable, feel smooth to touch, and are soft to lie on. Apparently, it helps you to sleep faster although we can’t quite support that.
Also, it can easily be a multi-sleeper chiropractic pillow since it flows and adapts to the persons sleeping posture, body weight and movements.
They used a polyester fiber top that is hypoallergenic. Underneath that, there’s a thin but high-quality water base layer. The latter holds off the pressure generated by the weight of your head against the pillows surface.
If you are up for some handy work draining and refilling the pillow to achieve that ideal neck resting surface, go ahead and check out the Mediflow Waterbase cervical neck pain pillow. You can use regular tap water, which is plenty available around the home.
- Adjusts to you.
- High-quality and durable.
- Comfortable for back, side and stomach sleepers.
- Hypoallergenic material.
- Comes with machine washable cover.
- 30-day trial.
- Can be expensive.
- Somewhat heavy (if hoping to travel with it).
Here is a standard size, US-made neck care pillow that is affordable yet premium-feeling and performing. Sleep Innovators crafted the contoured sides of the pillow to help cradle your unique head and neck shapes. That helps to align your upper body for a relaxed spine.
One side is higher than the other, so whether you have large shoulders and neck or otherwise you can still use it. In fact, both you and your sleep partner can use it in turns. And while it may not offer the bell and whistles the higher end (and higher-priced) cervical pillows do, it stills nails the most important aspects well.
It comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee offer, so if you want to ascertain this is your kind of classic memory foam shape, size, and usability, you can test it during this time. If you are impressed, the company offers a warranty of 5 years.
- Affordable—good value for the money.
- Well-supportive yet comfortable.
- Comes with machine washable cover.
- Takes time to get used to it if you are coming from flat or soft pillows.
As we mentioned before, the right pillow for you is largely a matter of personal choice. We say that because it is possible to look at all the raving reviews for a certain product in the neck-pain-relief-pillows market and assume it is the right pillow for you too.
Granted reviews are useful, choosing the right chiropractic pillow will depend on your unique sleeping experience needs. Now no one but you can optimally decide for yourself about that.
However, our top pick for best chiropractic pillow for neck pain leaves little else to be desired that it does not already offer.
The Shredded Memory Foam by Coop Home Goods is antimicrobial and clearly well-made. Its high-quality memory foam stuffing is shredded to offer just the right combination of medium-firm support and plush comfort.
Still, its special construct and materials allow it to breath for you. This allows it to ventilate well naturally, making it an ideal cervical pillow for every season—summer or otherwise.
Speaking of seasons, you can comfortably and practically ferry it around on trips whenever you want to. Thanks to its 40% bamboo construct it is lightweight, free of harmful materials such as lead and mercury, and is environmentally-friendly too.
It is undoubtedly an excellent neck pillow for sleeping that offers a splendid mix of quality; health-friendliness, usefulness features, and is durable.