What do you complain about when you wake in the morning? Are you just tired after a long week or is your lethargy paired with pain? If you fall into the latter category, going to sleep can almost become dreaded if you don’t own a top rated rated cervical pillow. Who wants to lie down if you know you’ll only get up with pain?
And no, your pain is not merely because you’re getting old. If you happened to injure your joints at some stage, a healthy body should be able to recover. So why are so many people left with aching joints, stiff necks, and back pain these days if neck pain relief is possible?
The answer could lie in your sleeping gear. When you spend four to eight hours on a particular surface, it’s bound to influence your body. And not enough people realize that small adjustments can result in neck pain relief.
And that’s why orthopedic pillows are the favorite among those who experienced their magic. We put together comprehensive information to make it easy for you to decide on one. Below, you’ll find our top 3 favorite picks (of course, we review even more options).
Why Do We Get Neck & Shoulder Pain At Night?
If you are faced with substantial pain, it could be the result of injuries. Alternatively, your joints may have deteriorated over time.
It’s not necessarily your bones that are the problem even though I know it feels as if the pain will slice through your skeleton at times. What you’re experiencing is most probably injured or stiff soft tissues:
This could be inflammation or stiffness because of age or just because joints are forced into unnatural positions. Of course, there are some serious problems some of you face.
Your shoulder pain can stem from rotator cuff tendinosis. The rotator cuff may be frayed or torn. As this problem progresses the bursa—a small pocket on the cuff—can become inflamed.
Don’t assume your rotator cuff has been torn. It may only be damaged, and you won’t need an operation.
When it comes to neck pain, you may be facing pain brought on by medical conditions that are quite difficult to treat. The spine can undergo degenerative arthritis. This issue causes nerves to get pinched, resulting in extreme neck problems.
Obviously, medical assistance is needed to treat these conditions. The good news is some of the symptoms can be relieved through a simple device such as an orthopedic pillow for neck pain.
Treating your joints and spine well will also help keep them in good shape for longer as any unnecessary tension or pressure will only worsen the situation. Let’s look at products that can help you with this.
|Mediflow Original||Hypo-allergenic polyester fiber with a thin water pouch||Adjustable thickness||$||9.7/10|
|Xtreme Comforts||Shredded memory foam||Adjustable thickness||$||9.5/10|
|Therapeutica||Non-allergenic/non-toxic foam||Ergonomic design for different sleeping positions||$$||9.0/10|
|Core Products||Poly-fiber||Orthopedic design||$||8.9/10|
|Sleep Innovations||Memory foam||Contouring / Therapeutic design||$||8.6/10|
|Classic Brands ||Memory foam||Ergonomic design||$||8.5/10|
|Chiroflow ||Hypo-allergenic polyester fiber and a water pouch||Adjustable thickness||$||8.3/10|
|Arc4Life||Non allergenic polyester fiber||Ergonomic design||$$||8.1/10|
|PharMeDoc||Memory foam and cooling gel||Orthopedic Support||$$$||8.0/10|
|Noffa||Shredded Visco-Elastic Memory foam||Adjustable thickness||$||7.8/10|
|Malouf||100% pure natural Talalay Latex||Breathable and Comfortable design||$$$||7.6/10|
Our 11 Cervical Pillow Reviews
Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow
First off we have a pillow that impresses because it’s adjustable. And what do you use to do this? Water!
Instead of thinking one firmness rating will solve everyone’s neck problems the manufacturers allow you to customize this neck support pillow yourself. And these features don’t work for one sleeping position only. Four different areas can quickly become more comfortable with this product under your head.
Don’t fear you’ll wake up in the wrong position either. The ergonomic pillow is designed to offer the support you need all through the night. The supportive water pouch will respond if you move during the night.
There is a possibility of the sound of moving water disturbing some users, but this only happens if you have excellent hearing.
- Adjustable firmness level makes it practical for anyone
- Responsive water pouch prevents waking during the night
- Affordable when compared to similar products
- Tends to be too big for small individuals
- Pillow tends to leak
Shredded Memory Foam from Xtreme Comforts
A massive problem for many people these days is an allergic reaction to products. Luckily some pillow manufacturers cater for this issue too.
The Shredded Memory Foam pillow has a bamboo cover which is less irritating than most synthetic materials. It even offers resistance to dust mites that can cause allergies.
You can get this contoured neck pillow in a range of sizes:
These are excellent options to find health and comfort.
So how does it help your stiff neck? You can adjust the firmness and thickness of the pillow by adding or taking out stuffing according to your preferences. And because the stuffing is made from memory foam your pillow won’t lose its shape quickly.
Some consumers complain the stuffing separates eventually, but you may be able to counter this with changing the stuffing from time to time.
- Micro Vented Cool Flow Technology keeps you cool while you sleep
- It’s machine washable
- Memory foam will follow contours of your neck while offering support
- Slightly expensive
- Memory foam tends to give way too much if your neck requires a lot of support
This pillow shows how medical facts can be applied to create common solutions.
This pillow has four areas all aimed at preventing you waking with pain in your shoulders:
- Your head can rest in the central cavity.
- There’s a cervical contour to offer ample support.
- The side panels offer support to your shoulders.
- The wedge extension will cradle your thoracic spine.
The right sleeping gear will always afford enough support to your joints, so they stay in their correct, natural positions. And this is what this pillow does for your neck area.
This pillow won’t work if you don’t pair it with a firm mattress too. Yes, this requires more expenses, but the result is worth it.
- Non allergenic
- Nontoxic materials used
- Five-year warranty to not lose shape
- Elevated price
- It’s tricky to match the exact right size to a person’s head and build
Tri-Core Cervical Pillow
This is a soft and luxurious pillow designed to give your neck area everything it requires at night.
Your head will be cradled in the trapezoid shaped center. The outside of the pillow gets higher which offers your neck enough support throughout the night.
The manufacturers thought of everything, and one pillow even has two different sides. One is for small necks and the other for more considerable neck support.
It seems to work better for back sleepers than side sleepers, but this depends on what your firmness preferences are.
- Keeps its shape for long
- Decently priced
- Sides offer support, so head doesn’t roll around during the night
- Starts out too firm causing headaches
- Neck support deteriorates over time
Contour Memory Foam from Sleep Innovations
Sometimes your body needs merely a guide, and this Contour pillow guides your spine to keep the correct shape all through the night. This isn’t only about preventing pain but this position allows your entire body to relax, so you feel more refreshed in the morning.
The contoured neck pillow’s two sides differ in height so you can use the that suits you best.
You should think of the firmness as well. You can’t adjust this pillow’s firmness, but it’s designed to offer support. However, we know each person has preferences. It may be wise to feel the pillow in a store before committing to purchase.
You’ll smell an odor upon first unwrapping the pillow. Take note that this is a sign of its freshness and it will disappear within days.
- Five-year warranty
- Keeps posture, so you don’t develop headaches and tension
- Pillow’s design changed over the years, and previous customers prefer the previous version
Classic Brands Conforma
Memory foam is all the rage for a reason. This substance offers immense support while still adjusting to your body’s contours. And this is what you need for a comfortable night’s sleep.
This cervical spine support pillow looks ordinary as it has no unique shape but it holds its shape, and that’s what’s important!
Because it conforms to your body, this pillow works for back and side sleepers.
Because it’s firmer than your soft pillows at home, it may feel too high and stiff at first. But it needs getting used to before it will help you combat the aches and pains with its excellent support features.
- Stays cool thanks to ventilation holes in memory foam
- Reasonably priced
- Three-year warranty
- Too high for some back sleepers
- Bulky and heavy compared to normal cervical spine support pillows
Chiroflow Premium Water
Here’s another company that uses natural solutions to help us with medical challenges. The Chiroflow pillow only needs tap water so you can adjust its firmness.
If you prefer a firm pillow the water will eventually make the pillow rather heavy. This is only problematic if you’re used to moving your pillow around at night. It will be too heavy to do this, but at least your neck support will stay in place. It’s all about getting used to your new solution.
- Hypoallergenic materials are used
- Affordable price range
- Sound of water in the pouch can be bothersome
- Fluffiness deteriorates over time
- Too thick for people with smaller necks
Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction
This pillow is designed to combat significant sleeping problems apart from pain. If you know your partner battles to sleep while you snore, this may be your solution.
The shape of the pillow supports you in all the right ways:
- Your body relaxes, and this enhances blood flow. You can become healthier sleeping on this.
- Your airwaves will be open when your body follows the shape of the pillow. This will limit snoring.
- Your spine will be in the correct position which results in less pain.
Realize that this pillow has quite a unique design. Some users don’t find it comfortable when first trying it out, but it may require getting used to.
- Two sides allow you to find the perfect fit for you
- Continued use results in less tension over time
- Expensive price range
PharMeDoc Memory Foam
Feeling hot at night is an additional reason many people can’t sleep. But with the PharMeDoc pillow, you can solve your pain problem and heat challenges in one.
Your stiff neck will benefit from the memory foam interior. This gives ample support to sore muscles.
Whatever the temperature the pillow will be beneficial. It has cooling gel on one side, so if it’s chilly, you can simply flip it over.
It’s important you keep this pillow clean as the gel can smell of mildew. You also have to get used to the chemical smell when you start using it.
- Hypoallergenic pillow case included
- Dust mite resistant
- The brand also offers contoured pillows
- Very expensive
- Gel loses cooling effects after a while
NOFFA Memory Foam
This pillow exudes luxury when you see it thanks to the high-quality cover materials used. So yes you will want to sleep on it. But only if it helps for neck pain, right?
And it will.
It offers relief thanks to the memory foam used inside. The manufacturers use shredded memory foam to prevent the pillow going flat fast.
Don’t judge this pillow the first day you receive it. It’s packaged compactly, so you need to give it time to air out and become fluffy before you use it.
Many users report on its excessive firmness, but this is exactly what many people’s spines need. It may require time to get used to it.
- Affordable price range
- Combats snoring
- Soft exterior means you may not even need pillowcases
- Memory foam smell when you first open the wrapping
- Shredded memory foam causes bumps instead of a smooth surface
Z 100% Natural Talalay Latex
This pillow’s claim to fame is that it’s 100% natural. Manufacturers use Talalay Latex with no synthetic ingredients.
Even the cover is impressive because it offers a luxurious feel thanks to a polyester and bamboo blend. This cover is removable so you can wash it whenever necessary.
You can opt for different levels of firmness. This means you can get a more supportive pillow for your neck but still match it with what feels comfortable to you.
The pillow will give a strong smell when first unwrapped, but this disappears within days.
- Dust mite resistant
- Natural product that’s hypoallergenic
- Breathable feature keeps the pillow cool throughout the night
- Too buoyant for some sleepers
- Too thick for some consumers’ preferences
How To Choose The Right Neck Support Pillow
Now you have all these options to pick from. Which one is worth your investment?
You must realize it’s about context. Your body has unique features, and your spine requires specific attention. What works for you may not work for someone else.
When you go shopping for your pillow, you must think of these features. What are your requirements in these areas? Find a pillow that matches your preferences.
If you’re struggling with pain, your answer is usually in giving your body more support.
When do your joints hurt? When they’re forced out of their normal positions for extended periods of time. A firmer pillow that guides them to rest in their natural positions—without muscles or ligaments stretched—allows your body to relax and rest.
These supported positions also prevent more strain if your pain results from problems in your rotator cuffs.
You may want to opt for more firmness and support than you’re used to. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s only because you’re unfamiliar with the feeling. Your body may be in need of this support and over time you’ll see the positive effect it has.
Where does your current problem lie? Are you in need of open airways or is it your spine that requires support.
Almost every pillow you see has a different shape, and you must think of what the shape does to your body. When the shape gives your neck ample support, it’s all about spine alignment.
But perhaps your personal preferences find that bothersome. A normally shaped pillow that simply offers more support, so your head doesn’t sink to the bottom may be your answer.
You live in a technologically advanced age, and you should benefit from it by getting the best pillow for back pain in your unique circumstances. Pillow manufacturers can meet all your requirements for sleeping, and many important features relate to the material used:
Hypoallergenic materials: You’re lucky that manufacturers these days think holistically about bedding. That’s why you see many hypoallergenic products in the reviews above. And it’s worth trying these out. Your restless nights may be because of allergies as well as wrong sleeping habits.
Foam and stuffing type: Memory foam is all the rage but not necessarily the answer to your problems. Some people find it’s too firm. That’s why you must experiment with different types. You may consider the water pouch pillows as it makes sense to create your own ideal firmness level. But before you commit to this type you must ensure the sound of moving water won’t bother you.
Covering: The exterior of your sleeping gear is as important as what’s inside. Cotton covers will be cooler and more comfortable than synthetic versions.
You can see how many factors play a role and that’s why it’s smart to try out all types in a store before buying one.
When you plan on getting an ergonomic pillow, you may want to forget what you’ve been used to. After all, this decision is about changing your life, so you don’t have to face the same problems as before.
This may require you to get used to unique sized products because not all of these pillows are available in different sizes. Some consumers find it bothersome that a medical pillow doesn’t fit into a normal pillowcase. But if it gives you better results is this a worthwhile reason not to have one?
The size you do have to be concerned about is how high the pillow is. Your neck size must match the pillow especially if it’s made from a very firm material. Sleeping on a pillow too large (or sleeping with too many pillows) for your physical build will cause your neck to be forced into an unnatural position.
This is why most of these products offer more than one height option. If you can find one that matches your build, you’re well on your way to find an effective solution.
Neck Pain Can Impact Your Life
(Not Just Sleeping)
Headaches & Migraines
Where does your headache originate?
No, it’s not necessarily flu or even loud music. What kind of rest do you usually get at night?
The challenge in modern society is that some problems become common. We think it’s normal to have headaches instead of looking for an answer.
Stress is so common that you may think your headache is brought on by too much work. But you may be the culprit if you’re not looking after yourself.
Tension headaches originate when muscles in your back, shoulders and neck contract or are forced out of their natural positions. This can result in headaches or migraines.
As you’ve seen this is exactly what a cervical pillow can help with. Are you going to try and solve your challenge? Your solution may be very easy.
Anxiety & Depression
One role player in anxiety is a lack of sleep. When you’re not rested, you’re less able to deal with life’s challenges.
And your neck pain can have a direct impact on your quality of sleep.
Add daytime neck pain to your situation, and this problem escalates. If you’re tense because you expect to feel pain constantly you can become quite depressed because you don’t enjoy the quality of life.
Unfortunately, the problems discussed here are not only limited to what happens in your bedroom.
Chronic neck pain can have a direct influence on how you breathe. As you experience pain and stiffness in your body, it may affect your rib cage, the functioning of your lungs and more.
There are also psychological reasons for this. Because you expect pain, you will try to move as little as possible. This can go as far as influencing your breathing.
Tips To Relieve Nightly Neck Pain
Consider your Sleep Position
I think you’ve seen the importance of your sleeping habits when it comes to neck pain. But are you ready to challenge yourself? If neck pain results from your favorite sleeping position, you have to force yourself to sleep differently. You can incorporate the following:
- A new pillow which may require you sleeping on one that feels uncomfortable at first
- A new bed which will help your entire body align correctly
- Arranging bedding to force your body into a healthy, natural shape at night
- Even sleeping can have bad habits you need to break, and the results are worth the effort of changing.
Exercise and Stretch your Neck
Above you saw how many pain problems are brought on—or elevated—by stiffness and misuse of the muscles. You may think you’re protecting your body by not moving your painful muscles while you’re actually causing more harm.
The more you stretch your neck, the longer it will be able to function well. Combining these exercises with the right pillow may bring complete relief over time.
Check your Workplace Ergonomics
Stretching exercises also allow muscles to relax after being tense due to sitting or working at your desk.
But you can combat some problems by adjusting your setup. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your computer monitor at the right level?
- Does your chair allow for a healthy sitting position?
Small adjustments can allow your body to be in a more natural position, so your neck and other joints aren’t affected negatively.
You know water is healthy. But did you know it can save you from neck pain too?
Your spine’s vertebrae need water. It affects the disc height as well as alignment. You also need water to fight existing pain as your body must be able to wash areas clean of infection.
Once again a simple solution such as drinking more water will have a huge effect on your quality of life.
So here’s your good news for the day. The pain you’ve been facing up until now can literally disappear overnight. Many cervical pillow users report how simply one night’s use transformed their lives.
Imagine getting up without any pain tomorrow!
And overnight transformations show what a huge role your sleeping habits play in your body’s health. You may think you suffer from injuries when your joints simply require some support. Are you going to start looking after your body better?
But this is not only an option for those suffering from pain. Cervical pillows have health benefits for anyone. You can’t do your body a bigger service than allowing it to relax from time to time. It can lower your stress levels and help your body stay healthy for longer. And the benefits of quality sleep can’t be overstated.
You will be able to function better in life simply because your body isn’t tense at night. These effects usually relate to your spine, and that’s what most of these pillows focus on: to realign your back.
Yes, all of this is wrapped up in the next pillow you purchase. So which one will it be?
And based on years of proof we believe the Contour Memory Foam Pillow is one of the best options to consider. Its simple design means there aren’t a lot of angles that you’ll find bothersome. And we all know the benefits of supportive memory foam.
Even though it’s simple, you can still pick between the two sides which afford you varying heights to fit the size of your neck. Many people fell in love with this pillow when it first came out, and now they keep on gifting it to friends. Will you be the next one drawing from its benefits?
- Is It Better To Sleep With Or Without Pillow At Night?
- An Honest Casper Pillow Review for 2018
- The 9 Best Cooling Pillows To Stay Cool At Night – A Review Guide
Studies & References
- Global Perceived Effect in Chronic Neck Pain – Northwestern Health Sciences University
- Say Goodbye To Neck Pain – Harvard Health Publishing
- When a pain in the neck is serious – Harvard Health Publishing
- Association Between Neck Pain and Quality of Sleep – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00907049
- Prevalence of sleep deprivation in patients with chronic neck and back pain: a retrospective evaluation of 1016 patients – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3536352/
Our Top Pick
Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow
Fully customizable ergonomic water based product that is designed to offer the support you need.