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Best Pillows for Neck Pain

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Written by

Lauren Fountain

author

Medically Reviewed by

Jenny Iyo

author

Neck pain plagues a significant amount of Americans, and the causes aren’t always entirely clear. If you often find yourself waking up with a sore neck, chances are your pillow could be partly to blame. Your pillow’s job is to hold your neck and head at the right height to prevent unnecessary strain. A pillow that’s too high or too low can cause pressure to build up as the neck tries to compensate for the lack of support.

Our team has reviewed countless pillows. In our testing, we examine how they stand up to wear and tear, decide who will find them comfortable, and determine whether or not they could help reduce neck pain. Since weight and sleeping position both affect how your pillow feels, we make sure to use testers from multiple weight groups and sleeper types. Our top pick pillows for neck pain have been chosen for their performance and given accolades that highlight their strengths.

The Best Pillows for Neck Pain

Read our top picks to learn more about each one’s materials and unique qualities. While your sleep setup might not be the original root of your neck pain, it can play an important role in making it better or worse. In the buyer’s guide section, we’ll break down the reasons you could be experiencing neck pain and how your pillow can help. We’ll take a deeper look at how body position and pillow construction can enhance comfort, and we’ll teach you what to look for when shopping for a pillow for neck pain.

Product Details

Layla Kapok Pillow

Best Overall

Layla Kapok Pillow

Layla Kapok Pillow
Price: $99 - Queen $119 - King
Fill: Shredded memory foam and kapok tree fiber blend
Firmness: Medium Soft
Who it's best for:
  • People whose pillow loft preferences tend to vary on a night-to-night basis
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who enjoy very soft pillows
Highlights:
  • Ultra-plush fill blend contains shredded memory foam and down-like fibers from the kapok tree
  • Adjustable design lets you add or remove as much of the fill as you wish
  • Cover infused with copper to help you stay cool
Layla Kapok Pillow

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The Layla Kapok Pillow accomplishes the twofold task of reducing neck pain and sleeping cool in most environments. We have the pillow’s unique fill blend to thank on both counts. Shredded memory foam is mixed with fibers from the kapok tree, which have the same plushness and consistency as natural down. Since neither of these materials retain too much heat, the Kapok Pillow should maintain a comfortable temperature. The cover is also infused with copper, which has natural cooling properties to help keep the pillow’s surface comfortable.

Adjustable loft is another benefit of the pillow. Owners can unzip the cover and add or remove as much fill as they wish to achieve the ideal loft for their sleep position and level of neck pain. Side sleepers may be content with the initial design because of its higher profile, whereas back and stomach sleepers may need to remove some fill to feel comfortable. You can wash and dry the cover in any household machine, but you should only spot clean the fill as needed.

The Kapok Pillow is available in queen and king sizes. Customers who purchase two pillows will receive a 50% discount on the second model. Layla offers free shipping throughout the contiguous U.S. and backs each order with a 120-night sleep trial and a 5-year warranty.

GhostBed GhostPillow - Faux Down

Best Value

GhostBed GhostPillow - Faux Down

GhostBed GhostPillow - Faux Down
Price: $95
Fill: Microfiber Gel
Firmness: Medium Soft
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who prefer ultra-lofty pillows
  • Animal-conscious shoppers and people with down allergies
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Gel-infused and animal-free down alternative fibers recreate the luxurious feel of real down
  • Phase-change material reduces heat buildup
  • 101-night sleep trial with free returns
GhostBed GhostPillow - Faux Down

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Side and back sleepers with neck pain often benefit from using a high-profile pillow, since both of these positions typically require more loft than stomach sleeping. Measuring 7 inches thick and packed with plush down alternative microfibers, the GhostPillow – Faux Down is well suited to these individuals. The fill cushions the head and neck to create a cloud-like feel and the pillow as a whole is quite soft, but uncomfortable sinkage won’t be an issue for most people.

Temperature control is another key strength. Down alternative pillows already sleep cool compared to other pillow types, but this one takes thermoregulation to the next level with a cover made of Ghost Ice fabric woven with phase-change material. The surface will dissipate body heat and remain cool to the touch regardless of how warm you feel. The down alternative fibers are infused with gel for extra breathability. The entire pillow can be washed and dried in household machines, saving you time and money whenever it needs to be cleaned.

The GhostPillow – Faux Down is reasonably priced compared to other similarly constructed pillows. Ground shipping is also free throughout the contiguous U.S., and you’ll have the option to bundle your purchase with a mulberry silk pillowcase and save roughly 50% on that extra item. The sleep trial for this pillow lasts 101 nights, and those who decide to keep it also qualify for a 5-year warranty.

Saatva Latex Pillow

Best Luxury

Saatva Latex Pillow

Saatva Latex Pillow
Price: $155 - Queen $175 - King
Fill: Shredded 100% American Talalay latex and down alternative
Firmness: Medium Soft
Who it's best for:
  • Sleepers who prefer softer pillows that conform closely
  • Those who want a pillow with adjustable loft
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Microdenier padding softens the latex core for a comfortable, balanced feel
  • Removable components allow you to change the loft and feel
  • Encased in a breathable organic cotton cover
Saatva Latex Pillow

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The Saatva Latex Pillow will check boxes for many sleepers thanks to its adjustable design. The core contains shredded Talalay latex that feels soft and responsive in equal measure, while the inner pillow is cushioned with down alternative microdenier fibers to enhance the plushness without compromising support. The inner pillow can be removed, reducing the loft and giving the surface a firmer feel. This customizable design makes the pillow for back and side sleepers alike.

A thick gusset along the side helps the pillow maintain a full shape, so you shouldn’t need to fluff it very often. The outer cover is made of breathable organic cotton and the internal components won’t retain too much body heat. As a result, the pillow sleeps fairly cool. As a bonus for owners, both the cover and microdenier pillow can be laundered at home, allowing you to avoid inconvenient hand washing or dry cleaning bills. Queen and king sizes are available.

As part of your purchase, you may include two sateen pillowcases for an added charge. Saatva provides free shipping to all customers in the contiguous U.S. The pillow is backed by a 45-night sleep trial and 1-year warranty.

Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow

Best for Side Sleepers

Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow

Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow
Price: $120
Fill: 75% Latex and 25% Polyester Fiber
Firmness: Medium, adjustable
Who it's best for:
  • Side sleepers looking for an ergonomic shape
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who appreciate being able to adjust loft and firmness
Highlights:
  • Filling can be added or removed to adjust loft and firmness
  • Moderately high loft and medium firmness are well-suited to side sleeping
  • Unique design accommodates shoulders to reduce neck and shoulder pain
Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow

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The Eli & Elm Side-Sleeper Pillow has a unique shape with a recessed middle for the shoulder, designed to fit to your body while side-sleeping. This accommodates the shoulders and provides the needed support to reduce neck pain. The filling is a blend of latex and polyester fiber that provides just enough resistance to hold your head aloft.

The pillow’s medium feel and relatively high loft are well-suited to side sleepers. Filling can be added or removed to adjust the loft, which will also have an impact on the firmness.

Eli & Elm has included cooling gels in the pillow’s filling to help maintain temperature neutrality and give the pillow a softer feel. The pillow has a breathable and machine-washable cover, made of an organic cotton and polyester blend.

The Eli & Elm Organic Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow is offered in just one size, suitable for a queen or a king mattress.

Birch Organic Pillow

Most Comfortable

Birch Organic Pillow

Birch Organic Pillow
Price: $99 - Queen $119 - King
Fill: Shredded Talaylay Latex, Organic Wool
Firmness: Medium
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • Those who want a more moldable pillow
  • Side sleepers
Highlights:
  • Breathable organic wool padding
  • Shredded Talalay latex fill supports the head and neck
  • Organic cotton cover wicks away moisture
Birch Organic Pillow

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Birch’s Organic Pillow balances responsiveness and softness to create a comfortable sleep experience. Shredded Talalay latex fill gently cradles the head and provides excellent support for sleepers across different sleeping positions – side sleepers in particular.

The pillow is encased in an organic cotton cover. Cotton is naturally breathable and great for those who run hot at night or tend to sweat. A layer of organic wool wraps around the inner fill to further enhance the pillow’s cooling and moisture-wicking properties.

The inner fill consists of airy Talalay latex that contours the head and neck. Latex is naturally responsive but the material’s softer feel allows sleepers to mold the pillow. Two sizes are available, standard and king. Because of the latex and wool fill, the pillow is not machine washable. Birch recommends spot cleaning with mild detergent and tumble drying on low to re-fluff.

Birch offers free shipping to all 50 states and a 100-night sleep trial. Each Organic Pillow purchase comes with a 1-year warranty.

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow

Best Plush Support

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow

Cozy Earth Silk Pillow
Price: $263 - Standard $311 - King
Fill: 100% long-strand mulberry silk
Firmness: Medium soft
Who it's best for:
  • Hot sleepers
  • People who prefer very soft pillows
  • Those who want a silk pillow that’s easy to clean
Highlights:
  • Fill composed of AAA Grade long-strand Mulberry silk
  • Viscose from bamboo cover provides exceptional breathability
  • Fully machine-washable
Cozy Earth Silk Pillow

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Few raw materials on earth offer the cooling properties of silk. Cozy Earth has harnessed this natural property with the Silk Pillow, which contains pure, long-strand mulberry silk with no foam, latex, or other fillers. A cover made of moisture-wicking viscose from bamboo also provides excellent temperature control, making this pillow a great option for hot sleepers, people who sweat in their sleep, and those who reside in humid places.

The silk has earned an AAA Grade for its ultrafine texture and resistance to clumping. This helps to ensure very little shifting – a constant issue with pillows containing lower-grade silk. Since the shell has a very smooth feel, the pillow is well suited to people with acne and other conditions that cause sensitive skin. To clean the pillow, simply machine-wash in cold water with no fabric softener or bleach, then dry on a medium cycle. You can also hang the pillow to dry, but you’ll never need to pay extra to have it dry-cleaned.

Given the premium materials used to construct the Silk Pillow, its price-point is very reasonable – especially compared to the competition. All orders include a 100-night trial for testing out the pillow and a manufacturer’s warranty that covers structural defects for up to 10 years.

PlushBeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow

Best Pressure Relief

PlushBeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow

PlushBeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow
Price: $99 - Standard $110 - Queen $124 - King
Fill: GOLS-certified shredded organic latex
Firmness: Medium
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who prefer a moldable pillow
  • Hot sleepers
Highlights:
  • Shredded latex fill is responsive yet plush
  • Medium firmness suits a variety of sleepers
  • Breathable organic cotton cover
PlushBeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow

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The PlushBeds Organic Shredded Latex Pillow provides even support and a plush feel to relieve common pressure points. Meanwhile, the responsive latex surface keeps the head aligned with the spine and gently contours to the neck and shoulders.

The Shredded Latex Pillow is encased in an organic cotton cover. Thanks to cotton’s natural breathability, hot sleepers should feel comfortable throughout the night. The shredded latex fill is also breathable and should not trap too much heat. Customers can choose from three sizes for their pillow: standard, queen, and king. PlushBeds recommends spot cleaning the pillow as needed and using a pillowcase for protection.

PlushBeds offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. with no minimum purchase necessary. Purchasing the Shredded Latex Pillow comes with a 3-year warranty.

SleepEasy EasySleeper Pillow

Best Memory Foam

SleepEasy EasySleeper Pillow

SleepEasy EasySleeper Pillow
Price: $70
Mattress Type: Solid memory foam
Mattress Type: Medium
Who it's best for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • People who would like to improve their posture
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Contoured shape designed to support the neck and alleviate pressure
  • Eco-friendly cover made from recycled plastic
  • Suitable for anyone 13 and older
SleepEasy EasySleeper Pillow

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An unconventional shape sets the SleepEasy Easy Sleeper Pillow apart from its competitors. Containing a single piece of memory foam, the pillow elevates the neck to improve alignment while a grooved midsection cradles the head. This design reduces stiffness around the head and neck without creating an uncomfortable dip – a common complaint regarding other cervical pillows.

The Easy Sleeper can also improve your posture, making it a good choice for people who primarily sit while working. The pillow has been approved for children 13 and older. The breathable, machine washable cover is composed of polyester and cotton, and includes a zipper made of recycled plastic.

Compared to other ergonomic neck pillows, the Easy Sleeper carries a very affordable price-point. SleepEasy ships pillows worldwide, and most customers receive their pillow within seven business days. The company issues full refunds on all returns within 30 days of delivery, provided the pillow is in good condition and shipped in its original packaging.

Sweet Night Original Pillow

Best Adjustable

Sweet Night Original Pillow

Sweet Night Original Pillow
Price: $46
Fill: 90% Shredded Gel Memory Foam, 10% Shredded Comfort Foam
Firmness: Medium Soft
Who it's best for:
  • Those who want a pillow with adjustable loft
  • Hot sleepers
  • Value seekers
Highlights:
  • Shredded memory foam fill can be added or removed to change the loft
  • Soft, breathable cover
  • Very approachable price-point
Sweet Night Original Pillow

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For some who live with chronic neck pain, pillow loft and firmness preferences vary from night to night depending on their general discomfort level. These sleepers are prime candidates for adjustable pillows. The Original Pillow by Sweet Night is a standout adjustable model stuffed with shredded memory foam that can be added or removed to change how thick the pillow feels. Adjusting the loft can also affect the firmness level, though this pillow maintains a comfortable balance of contouring and support regardless of its overall volume.

The cover is composed of breathable fabric that helps keep sleepers cool despite the foam’s heat-absorbing properties. And because the foam is shredded, the Bamboo is quite moldable and well suited to people who enjoy clutching or cuddling with a pillow while they sleep.

The cover can be removed and machine washed whenever it needs to be cleaned, though Sweet Night recommends hand washing in order to preserve the fabric’s lifespan. The foam should never be cleaned. Standard, queen, and king sizes are available for the pillow.

The Original Pillow’s sticker price is quite low compared to other adjustable, shredded foam pillows. Sweet Night also offers free ground shipping anywhere in the contiguous U.S. Each purchase includes a 100-night sleep trial and three-year warranty.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our team at Sleep Foundation includes experts and testers with years of experience in the sleep product industry. We have tested over 300 pillows in order to determine which ones are best suited to sleepers with different needs. Our team includes back, side, stomach, and combination sleepers, as well as sleepers of different body types. This allows us to represent as wide an array of sleep preferences as possible in our findings.

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.

What Is Neck Pain?


The neck is responsible for bearing the entire weight of the head, and it’s not surprising that this delicate part of the body is highly susceptible to injury. The 2018 US Burden of Disease study found that neck pain is rising in importance as a leading cause of disability among the American population. Most sources estimate that between 25 and 30 percent of people suffer from neck pain every year. While many episodes of neck pain resolve naturally, for some it can become a chronic condition with adverse consequences for their quality of life.

Neck pain can be caused by a number of factors. It may stem from an injury or a chronic condition such as arthritis, or it may arise from daily habits such as poor posture or too many hours of sitting at a computer. While symptoms vary, neck pain sufferers often experience:

  • Neck pain, especially during repetitive activities or long periods of sitting upright
  • Limited range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Poor sleep quality

If you have severe pain or additional symptoms, or if you’re not sure what’s causing your neck pain, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor to rule out underlying conditions.

Regular exercise and a healthy body weight are thought to have a positive impact on chronic neck pain. The American Chiropractic Association notes that neck pain often goes hand-in-hand with high stress levels and obesity.

Neck Pain and Sleep

The eight hours you spend in bed every night is a critical time for those who suffer from neck pain. The positions you adopt as you sleep can either relax your neck or put it under additional strain. As part of your sleep setup, a supportive pillow should promote proper neck and spine alignment.

Not only can an unsupportive pillow exacerbate your neck pain, but studies show that the wrong pillow can lead to discomfort during the night. This leads to nighttime awakenings, creating a vicious circle that makes it difficult to get the rest you need to recover from neck pain.

Your pillow is unlikely to be the sole source for your neck pain. However, choosing the right pillow and adopting a healthy sleeping position can help ease pressure on the neck. You should replace your pillow when it’s no longer able to provide the proper support.

How to Choose a Pillow for Neck Pain

For neck pain sufferers, choosing the right pillow can be a key step toward living pain-free. The right pillow will depend on your individual needs. We’ll walk you through the most important considerations, including how to choose the best material, shape, and thickness for your individual sleeping style.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Pillow for Neck Pain

Most people don’t give much thought to their pillow, beyond choosing a pillow that’s nice and squishy for immediate comfort. This means that when we do realize our pillow may be contributing to our neck pain, we may not know how to go about choosing a proper one. Shoppers in this position may be susceptible to misleading marketing and end up choosing a pillow that’s ill-suited for their needs.

To help you get started, we’ve made a list of the most important factors. Focusing on these factors and having a basic understanding of how pillows work can help you find the pillow that works best for you.

  • Loft: The loft determines the angle of your head in relation to your spine. A pillow that’s too high or too low can force your neck to bend at an unnatural angle, causing strain and discomfort over time. That’s why sleep experts recommend choosing a pillow loft that keeps your head and neck aligned with your spine. When choosing your pillow, don’t forget to consider the width of your shoulders and size of your head. If you’re not sure of your ideal loft, you may wish to purchase a pillow with an adjustable loft.
  • Support: In addition to being the right height under your head, a pillow should also adequately support your neck. This is most often seen in cervical pillows, which contour to the neck instead of leaving a space where the neck is unsupported.
  • Firmness Level: The pillow firmness will determine where your head comes to rest, so it’s important to give this aspect careful consideration. 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. Pillows that are too firm may cause pressure points, for example in the ears when side sleeping. On the other hand, pillows that are too soft may sag under your head and fail to provide proper support.
  • Pressure Relief: A good pillow provides pressure relief by taking strain off the neck and contouring to reduce pressure points. For the best pressure relief, choose a pillow that’s the appropriate shape and size for your sleeping position, and the appropriate firmness to alleviate pressure at contact points.
  • Shape: Today’s manufacturers offer a varied assortment of ergonomic pillows that provide enhanced support by adapting to the shape of your head and neck. Some people also choose to add another pillow to their setup, one popular choice being a small roll under the neck in addition to the main pillow. Pillow shape is a matter of personal preference, but if you can’t find relief from your neck pain, one solution may be to try a cervical pillow.
  • Price: Investing in a good pillow is crucial to your overall health and your neck health in particular. Pillow prices vary widely depending on their materials and design. When shopping for a pillow, keep in in mind that certain types of pillows will last you for years, while others may need to be replaced after a year or two as their materials wear out and lose their loft or conforming abilities.
  • Quality Materials: Within broad categories such as memory foam or feather pillows, the quality of the individual pillow plays a significant role in determining its longevity and comfort. Some pillows can be washed occasionally and properly dried to fluff them up and increase their lifespan.

What Pillow Materials are Best for Neck Pain?

The best pillow for neck and shoulder pain is firm enough to hold the 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.

  • Memory Foam: Memory foam molds in response to heat and pressure, contouring to form a supportive cradle around the head and neck. Memory foam pillows are hypoallergenic, cheap, and widely available, either in solid or shredded form. However, they have a limited lifespan, and the material’s slow response to pressure may be frustrating for some combination sleepers. The material is also prone to trapping heat.
  • Buckwheat: Buckwheat hulls naturally interlock and hold their shape, making them a great choice for head and neck support. As a natural material, buckwheat is naturally breathable, resistant to allergens, durable, and environmentally friendly. On the downside, buckwheat pillows tend to command a high price-point, and they may take some getting used to as they aren’t as soft as other traditional pillow types and do make some noise as you change positions.
  • Feather: Good quality feather pillows are soft and offer excellent conforming. They’re also often customizable, allowing owners to adjust the loft by taking out feathers or adding more. Unfortunately, feather pillows tend to lose their loft as the feathers get compressed over time. Many people also find that the feathers may become displaced under the weight of their head, affecting the support they provide.
  • Latex: Natural latex has a buoyant feel that holds the neck in place while minimizing pressure points. Many latex pillows feature pincore holes for improved temperature regulation. The major downside to latex is that latex pillows usually come in one solid piece, so users can’t adjust them into a customized shape. While many people turn to latex as a natural and sustainable option, organic and other certifications tend to raise the price tag.
  • Down: Made from the inner feathers of ducks and geese, down is exceedingly soft and lightweight, and pillows made with this fill material can be reshaped to suit the user’s preference. Due to its high price tag and ability to provoke allergies in some people, many sleepers opt for down alternative, made from polyester fibers. Unfortunately, both down and down alternative pillows easily lose their shape and tend to be too soft to adequately support the neck.
  • Polyfoam: Most polyfoam pillows offer some contouring and boast a quicker response to pressure than memory foam, although like memory foam they will trap heat. Polyfoam pillows are lightweight, affordable, and hypoallergenic. However, they develop permanent indentations over time and will need to be replaced more often than other pillow types.

What is the Best Pillow Positioning for Neck Pain?

Sleep experts recommend either back or side sleeping if you suffer from neck pain. Sleeping on your stomach causes your head to bend at a sharp angle and arches your spine, which puts unwanted pressure on your neck. Strict stomach sleepers should choose a pillow with a low loft to minimize pressure.

For best results, back and side sleepers should ensure that their head, neck, and top of the spine form a straight line. Sleeping with a pillow that’s too high or too low can cause aches and pains. Likewise, sleeping with your head rolled to one side or the other is also likely to cause neck pain.

  • Side with Elevated Neck: For side sleepers to avoid neck pain, it’s important to keep the head in line with the spine. The best pillow for side sleepers with neck pain should have a loft that equals the distance between the ears and the edge of the shoulders. This means that people with bigger shoulders usually need a higher loft. Since the neck sits naturally higher than the head, cervical pillows have an elevated area under the neck that helps support the neck and encourage proper alignment.
  • Back with Two Pillows: Usually, pillows for back sleepers should have a medium loft that raises the head just enough to sit in line with the neck. But back sleepers face a similar problem to side sleepers in that most pillows don’t support the higher curve of the neck. Those who have trouble finding a properly supportive pillow may find it more comfortable to use a small rounded pillow under the neck for added support in addition to the main pillow.

Other Tips for Neck Pain Sufferers

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 suffer from neck pain should avoid shoulder bags, slouching, and long periods of sitting at the computer.

  • Choose the Right Mattress: Your body’s overall position is influenced not only by your pillow, but also your mattress. Plusher mattresses allow your body to sink down further, meaning you’ll 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 neck pain sufferers 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What pillow types are best for sleepers with neck pain?

    The best pillow for neck pain is one that has the right loft, firmness, and shape for your preferred sleeping position. Preferences vary among types of pillows, so that some people find that memory foam pillows relieve their neck pain while others are much more comfortable with microfiber filing.

    There are also variations within pillow types — memory foam pillows are available as a solid piece or with shredded foam filling, and each variant works well for some people but not others. Instead of focusing on the type of pillow, it is more important to determine the loft, shape, and filling that will work best with your body type in your preferred sleeping position. Reading independent reviews can help you understand these factors, as can speaking to any health care professionals treating your neck pain.

  • What pillow loft works best for sleepers with neck pain?

    The correct pillow loft for alleviating neck pain is one that will hold your head and neck at a neutral angle in alignment with the natural curve of your spine. The right loft therefore depends on your preferred sleeping position. For example, side sleepers usually need a medium to high-loft pillow, while stomach sleepers require lower pillows so as not to crane their neck upwards. You should also consider how far you sink into your mattress, since one that cradles you deeply may require you to use a lower-loft pillow.

  • How firm should a pillow be to help alleviate neck pain?

    Pillows should be firm enough to support the neck without creating pressure points, but the precise firmness of a pillow depends on your usual sleeping position. Back and side sleepers usually require firmer pillows than stomach sleepers, while combination sleepers and people whose firmness preferences change may want to consider an adjustable pillow.

    If you prefer very soft pillows that do not adequately support your neck, you may enjoy a memory foam pillow with significant pressure relief. While the core of the foam should still provide enough support, its contouring qualities may make it feel subjectively “softer” and therefore more comfortable.

Still have questions?

Our product experts have extensive experience testing just about every sleep product on the market. Send an email to [email protected] with your questions and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.

author
Jenny Iyo

Physical Therapist

DPT

Dr. Iyo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at an orthopedic clinic in Seattle. She specializes in hands-on therapy and tailored exercise programs.

About Our Editorial Team

author
Lauren Fountain

Certified Sleep Coach

Lauren is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with extensive experience researching and testing a wide variety of sleep products.

author
Jenny Iyo

Physical Therapist

DPT

Dr. Iyo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at an orthopedic clinic in Seattle. She specializes in hands-on therapy and tailored exercise programs.