There's nothing worse than waking up after a full nights sleep with either a stiff neck or a shooting pain going from your neck down to your spine. This doesn't start your day well, and it can trigger other body issues such as headaches and migraines.
These pains are often initially ignored, and many assume that it's a common problem that many people live with.
One of the leading causes is the pillow that you sleep on, and there are several specific pillows for neck pain that help to alleviate this pain and tenderness to allow you to have a great nights sleep without the horrible pain in the morning.
We have constructed a complete A-Z guide to make it easy to discover the best orthopaedic pillow for neck pain that will have you sleeping pain-free again.
Memory Foam, Polyester & Pocket Spring
1. MARNUR Memory Foam Orthopedic Pillow
The Marnur memory foam pillow is ideal if you're suffering from back or neck issues. The pillow is made from high-quality memory foam which is skin-friendly but also promotes airflow to keep you cool throughout the night.
The memory foam is slow to rebound so it contours to the shape of your body while supporting your head, neck and shoulders well to give you the most comfortable sleep.
The pillow is designed ergonomically to ensure that it matches the natural curve of the neck to keep it in a natural position which lessens the strain.
The centre cavity of the pillow ensures that your head is cradled comfortably with an optimal level of support. The pillow also has a wedge extension which provides additional support of the back and spine to keep it well-aligned. There are specially designed armrests, so you have a comfortable place to rest your hands while you sleep.
The pillow is suitable for a range of sleeping positions including back sleeping, stomach sleeping and sider sleeping due to it having high and low curved surfaces at each end so you can adjust its position until you feel comfortable.
Also included is a removable machine washable pillowcase which helps to protect the memory foam meaning it will last longer.
2. Be Comfortable Orthopaedic Memory Foam Pillow
Memory foam pillows can often be too firm to soft, which makes it uncomfortable. However, TheComforttZone has gone through a rigorous firmness testing phase to find the best supporting orthopaedic pillow.
The pillow enables you to lie in your natural sleeping position which leads to a more restful sleep without waking up throughout the night, and it also reduces any aches and pains in the neck, head, shoulder and spine areas.
The shape of the pillow also promotes better breathing, so you have a long deep sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed for the day ahead. Due to this better breathing, this can also positively improve your snoring which improves not only your sleep, but also anyone you may share a bed with.
The pillow is made using high-quality memory foam that contours to the shape of your body, but once you have finished sleeping, it returns to its original position.
The pillow is wrapped in a removable Tencel cover which is anti-allergy, so it's suitable for even the most sensitive skin. There's also a 100% money-back guarantee included.
3. UUQ Memory Foam Butterfly Pillow
UUQ have come up with a great solution to your sleeping needs to enable you to wake up in the morning feeling rejuvenated and ready for the day ahead. The 60 density Memory Foam pillow is designed to have a therapeutic butterfly design to contour your head, neck and shoulders to keep you well supported throughout the night.
The pillow has a central cavity that makes breather easier, and it's inbuilt slop keep your head in a sleep-friendly position, and the additional cut-outs located on the side are where you place your shoulders. This means that your shoulders aren't hunched over in a weak position.
It's made from orthopaedic memory foam without the use of any harmful chemicals which makes it safe to use for all people, including pregnant women and children.
The memory foam has an ergonomic design that cradles your neck to maintain spine alignment, so you stay in a natural position to reduce any muscle soreness or stiffness. It's suitable for a range of sleeping positions so whether you sleep on your front, back or side this will give you a great nights sleep.
It comes complete with an anti-bacteria and anti-mite cover that is also machine washable. Its anti-wrinkle properties make it look great and also lowers perspiration while it's also breathable so you won't overheat throughout the night.
4. Vesgantti Orthopaedic Pillow
The Vesgantti is designed for anyone suffering from orthopaedic issues and has a unique filing with a combination of 20% Memory Foam, 30% Polyester and 50% Pocket Spring. The pillow has 50 springs that are individually pocketed which move to the shape of your head to provide all-night support and maintains spine alignment.
The pillow is also reversible, so it has memory foam on one side which provides you with more warmth and support. The other side has a polyester layer and 3D spacer mesh that regulates temperature and increases airflow, so you have a cooler sleep.
The pillow gives you responsive support, so it adjusts its shape based on your movement, making it great for side and back sleepers. The pillow anti-allergy so doesn't use any toxic ingredients during manufacturing while also creating effective protection against bacteria, dust mites and other germs.
Overall the pillow helps to reduce pain issues such as shoulder, neck and back stiffness which will not only give you a more restful sleep but also make it easier to fall asleep, to begin with.
There's also a 100-night sleep trial included so you can test the effectiveness with no obligation to keep it.
5. NOFFA Ergonomic Memory Foam Pillow
The Noffa pillow has a core constructed from memory foam which works to lessen pressure on your head, neck and shoulders and reduce any existing pain. This also creates an environment the provides deeper and more restful sleep. The pillow has an ergonomic design with a curvature that correctly aligns the spine, promoting a natural stretch.
The pillow has two different sides so you can choose between the one that suits you the best. The pillow has a degree of firmness that is not only comfortable but is also supportive, so your head doesn't sink into the surface.
In terms of quality, the pillow has received an Oeko-Tex certification in EU and Certipur-US certification of the USA, so it's met the highest manufacturing and quality standards. You'll also receive a 90-day refund guarantee to cover you if you aren't happy with the pillow.
The Noffa memory foam doesn't have a large hole in its material but still has high breathability, so airflow is maintained while you sleep.
The pillow has a Tencel fibre cover which is not only hypoallergenic but also anti-bacterial to keep you protected from unwanted germs. The pillow is made without using any dangerous or harmful materials and has an invisible zipper so you can remove it and machine wash.
6. PON Contour Orthopaedic Memory Foam Pillow
The Power Of Nature pillow has a wave-like shape that contours to the natural shape and neck curve, which helps to reduce any pain within the neck, back or shoulders. This is suitable regardless of if you're a side, back or front sleeper.
The pillow is constructed using high-quality 50D memory foam which contours and adjusts to mould to the shape of your body while also rebounding slowly, so it reverts to its original position when not in use.
The memory foam is both firm and comfortable, so you remain well supported but also have a lovely nights sleep. The pillow is covered with a breathable case which is removable and washing machine friendly, so you can maintain a fresh and clean sleeping environment.
The pillow cover is separated into an inner and outer cover with the inner cover being dustproof to protect the memory foam and the out layer is removable and breathable to maintain airflow to regulate your body temperature while you sleep.
What Causes Neck Pain
The most significant mistake people make is that when they first get neck pain, they instantly blame it on their mattress. They then go out and spend hundreds of pounds on a new mattress, yet don't change their pillows which is the root of the problem.
It's rarely the mattress that causes neck pain although it does regularly trigger back pain. It's much more cost effective to replace a pillow than it is a bed or mattress. Of course, a strong supportive mattress will help give you a better nights sleep. The position that you sleep in doesn't worsen or cause neck pain, but the pillow is the trigger.
The neck plays a significant role in the functioning of the human body. It's responsible for protecting the central nervous system which is one of the most critical parts of the body and is a complex tissue of nerve cells that controls the actions of the body.
Tendons, muscles, cartilage and seven small bones make up the neck structure to form a column of bones, which creates the cervical section of the spine. This column allows the neck and head to move freely.
Within this column, the nerve cells send signals to and from the brain which are then sent all over the body. If the neck compresses during the night, this causes pain or stiffness, and the result is even worse when this happens throughout the night.
If your neck is not in line with your head and spine, then you will wake up with pain and numbness in the morning. A strong pillow is a great way to provide the necessary support and keep the neck aligned.
Additionally you can also use a neck and back massager to help manage the pain.
Pillow for Neck Pain Buying Guide
There are many different factors you should consider and necessary features you should look for when buying a pillow for neck pain and we have outlined them below:
Always check the dimensions of the pillow that you're about to purchase. The pillow needs to be wide enough so your head and neck can fit comfortably. It's common that many sleepers only have their head resting on the pillow.
It leaves a space between the head and shoulders leaving the neck even more exposed to compressing. Keeping your neck on the pillow ensures it remains warm throughout the night, so you don't wake up numb and stiff.
Use one pillow
A phenomenon has developed where many sleepers have begun to use more than one pillow when they sleep piling them high. Using too many pillows when sleeping causes your head to tilt forward which puts pressure and strain on the neck. If you select the right pillow, one will be enough to give you a great nights sleep.
Know when its time to be replaced
Just like when you have a mattress, you have to accept when its time to replace your pillow. If your pillow is flat and has no shape, then the pillow can't be restored, and you must buy a replacement as it can no longer provide sufficient support to relieve and avoid neck pain. We do not recommend flipping the pillow over, and it should only be used as a short term measure.
Must suit your sleeping position
You should purchase a pillow that matches the usual position that you sleep in. You should buy a slightly thinner pillow if you tend to sleep on your back or stomach. This makes sure that your neck isn't tilted too far when you sleep which applies unnecessary pressure.
If you're naturally a side sleeper, then you need a firmer pillow to maintain a straight spinal position throughout the night.
Our list takes into consideration the range of different sleeping positions people have so there will be a pillow to suit you.
Pillow contents matter
Take note of the material that the pillow is made of. Different materials have different properties and benefits. One example of this is using a pillow made of feather. Although it may be extremely comfortable, it is too soft and doesn't provide you with the support you need, so it will not remedy the problem.
Memory foam and water-based pillows are what you should be sleeping on if you are suffering from or trying to avoid neck pain.
Purchase a neck pain specific pillow
The pillow industry is much more complex than it seems, as the majority of pillows have a specific use for a particular set of people. If you select the wrong type of pillow, it could make your neck pain worse. While it would be easy to buy a different one straight away, it would be a waste of money. You can't use a travel pillow and expect your neck pain to heal.
If you're currently suffering from neck pain, the last thing you're going to be worrying about is how easy a pillow is to clean. Although the method of cleaning does not affect the quality and effectiveness of the support a pillow provides, a cleaner pillow will make the experience significantly more pleasant and healthier.
Pillows for neck pain are constructed using the best materials and are designed to last for several years of nightly use. Simply because of the longevity of these pillows, you'll have to clean them. It shouldn't be the main factor in your purchase decision, but buying a pillow that has a washable removable case and an inner core material that can be wiped will make life a whole lot easier.
Best Types of Neck Pillow Filing
There is a broad range of different pillow fillings in the industry; however only a few can work to reduce neck pain:
Water-based pillows are one of the best-kept secrets within the pillow market. Water pouch pillows work to provide superior comfort and help to relieve neck pain. They have a user filled water pouch which helps to support the microfibre polyester that sits above it. These two layers provide an exceptional level of support and comfort.
By altering the amount of water in the pillow, you can change the height of the pillow. This also allows you to change the firmness and shape which further helps for back and neck pain relief.
It can take a few nights to find the right level of firmness, but once you do you can say goodbye to neck pain.
Memory foam pillow
Viscoelastic foam, or memory foam as it's commonly referred to, is polyurethane material which has additional human safe chemicals added to it to create a lovely firm dense material. NASA first created memory foam, and it has since made its way into the everyday home.
Memory foams key benefits is that it reacts to changes in body heat and then moulds and contours to the shape of your body in just a few minutes. It's perfect for sleeping at night.
The first brand to commercialise memory foam were Tempur, but since then there have been a large number of companies that now specialise in memory foam production and retailing both for pillows and mattresses.
Memory foam pillows are usually shaped like regular pillows but sometimes are slightly thicker and larger. It's to ensure that the head and neck can both fit and be supported to relieve pressure and pain.
Memory foam differs from water-based pillows because the height is non-adjustable. Shredded memory foam and contoured memory foam are two of the main variants. Memory foam is also incredibly smooth and contains no lumps, while also being durable and long lasting.
This type of pillow has been popular around Asia for many years and has recently become popular in the US, and now it's slowly making its way to the UK. Buckwheat pillows are filled with Buckwheat husks which is a fruit.
Buckwheat husks provide support and mould and contour so the pillow will fit the shape of your head and neck. It is also possible to add husks to make the pillow higher. These pillows are extremely useful for people who require extra support to relieve any existing neck or back pain.
We've left no stone unturned in our quest to find the best pillow for neck pain, and to be honest any pillow on the list can be effective for reducing or preventing your neck pain. However, choosing the wrong pillow can make the problem worse.
So please ensure that the pillow you choose matches your sleep position, size and firmness requirements. We have removed all the leg work with this guide to make your journey to a pain-free sleep easy.