Best Pillows for Neck Pain & How to Choose

Last Updated: December, 2022

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Many factors can contribute to neck pain including sleeping wrongly or even a poor sitting position, injury to the neck and surgery. Once you're experiencing neck pain it becomes quite hard to comfortably sleep through the night. To achieve better sleep, ensure that you get the right pillow for your bed.

Since pillows support our heads and necks they are an essential part of our sleep. While others sleep easily without pillows, when in pain, your neck requires support and care to heal faster and better. We've compiled a list of 7 pillows that ae ideal not just for neck pain but generally supporting anyone when sleeping. The best pillow for neck pain is the Saatva pillow, popular for its adjustable design. Below is more on each pillow's benefits.

Our Picks for The 7 Best Pillows for Neck Pain

Saatva Latex Pillow - Best Overall

If you're having a hard time deciding between a plush or a supportive pillow, the Saatva Latex Pillow delivers the best of both worlds, thanks to its double-chambered design. Its adjustable loft makes it feel comfortable for virtually all sleepers.

GhostPillow Faux Down

GhostPillow Faux Down

Craving the feel of a cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and down-like pillow? The Faux Down GhostPillow is uniquely designed with eco-conscious users in mind. It comes with Down's squishy huggable feel with the added advantage of being antimicrobial and hypoallergenic.

Hotel Chamber Down & Feather Pillow

Hotel Chamber Down & Feather Pillow

The Hotel Chamber Down & Feather Pillow is a perfect match for sleepers who love fluffy pillows that minimize pressure build-up around your neck and keep you cool at night.

Dual Comfort Pillow

Amerisleep Dual Comfort Pillow

Featuring a firm and soft side for twice the comfort and support, the Dual Comfort Pillow offers healthy neck support for side, back, and combination sleepers.

Layla Kapok Pillow

Layla Kapok Pillow

If you like to snuggle pillows but also need a reasonable amount of firmness, the Layla Kapok Pillow will suit you best. While its shredded memory foam is moldable, it still provides excellent support.

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

The Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow is ideal for combo sleepers looking for optimal neck support. It perfectly aligns the sleepers' neck and removes pressure from the shoulders.

Puffy Pillow

Puffy Pillow

If you suffer from neck and shoulder pain, you'll benefit from having this cooling and adjustable pillow. It features an inner sleeve that you can easily unzip to remove or add the foam for maximum comfort and pain relief.

What We Like

  • Chambered design allows you to adjust the loft
  • Breathable cotton cover that's certified as organic
  • Comes with a 45-day trial period
  • Best for all types of sleepers
  • It's a hypoallergenic pillow

What We Don't Like

  • You can't wash the entire pillow, only the cover

Overall Thoughts: 

Most neck pain sufferers feel comfortable lying on high-loft pillows, as the added thickness ensures sufficient head and neck support. However, some sleepers who like certain sleeping positions, such as side sleeping prefer low- to medium-loft pillows instead. Saatva Latex Pillows have adjustable designs that serve all sleepers, irrespective of your loft leanings.

Saatva's core is made of shredded Talalay latex and its shell consists of organic cotton. Both the microdenier chamber and the cover are machine-washable for easy care in the comfort of your home. However, you should never wash or expose the latex to moisture. Saatva recommends washing your pillow at least twice a year.

This pillow contours closely without sinking or buckling as you lie on it while the outer chamber features plush microdenier fibers that feel somewhat similar to natural down. It has an 8-inch profile when you use both the core and the outer chamber, though you can also separate these two components to create less loft. Since latex features natural cooling properties, hot sleepers can rest assured that they'll sleep cool all night long.

Given Saatva's high-quality construction and luxurious materials, its price tag is quite reasonable. Plus, shipping is free for all shoppers in the contiguous U.S. Your pillow comes with a 1-year warranty and a 45-night sleep trial.

GhostPillow Faux Down

What We Like

  • Breathable cover made from 100% natural cotton
  • Microfiber Gel Fill delivers a huggable, squeezable feel
  • It's easy to clean
  • Soft fabric for the skin
  • Good for neck and backaches

What We Don't Like

  • Stomach sleepers will likely find the Faux Down Pillow to be too lofty for their comfort needs

Overall Thoughts: 

GhostBed is a well-established mattress brand known for producing innovative sleep products and their Faux Down Pillow is no exception. Although it has a traditional down feel, it's hypoallergenic and comes with a wrinkle-resistant velour-like cover. The pillow is also fully machine-washable and is ideal for side and back sleepers alike.

GhostBed's removable and zippered cover is made of Ghost Ice Fabric that's cool to the touch to minimize heat retention on both sides of your pillow. Underneath this cover is a breathable inner cover, made of 100% natural cotton. Like the Down Pillow, the GhostPillow - Faux Down contains microfiber gel fill that has a huggable and soft feel.

This pillow boasts a very pleasant medium-soft feel. It's soft and squishy and delivers some nice sinkage for sleepers with neck pain. You'll feel it contouring around your head and neck, which offers a moderate amount of neck support. The Faux Down GhostPillow is a perfect alternative for side and back sleepers. However, if you're looking for added neck support, you should opt for a firmer pillow, such as the Memory Foam GhostPillow.

GhostBed offers free shipping for their Faux Down Pillow. The pillow comes with a 101-night sleep trial and a 5-year warranty.


Hotel Chamber Down & Feather Pillow

What We Like

  • Natural, biodegradable materials only
  • Meticulous double-stitched edges with German piping
  • Medium support, perfect for back and side sleepers
  • RDS certified

What We Don't Like

  • Not ideal for stomach sleepers

Overall Thoughts: 

If you've ever spent a night in a luxurious hotel and had a truly blissful sleep experience, you may have chalked the quality sleep up to the dreamy pillow and luxurious linens. And you may be right. If you're looking to replicate that good night's sleep you had at a particular hotel, it's time you try out the Hotel Chamber Down & Feather Pillow.

This pillow uses top-quality materials that are specially designed to enhance comfort and breathability. Made of a high-density feather-down blend inner core, this pillow is suitable for individuals who appreciate a plush feel but need more support during the night.

Double-stitched edges with elegant German piping protect your shell from wear and tears that can cause your pillow's fill to escape. You can clean your pillow by machine washing it on a gentle cycle in cold water before tumble drying it on low heat. You can also arrange for dry cleaning.

The fill is also Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified, meaning your pillow meets strict standards and regulations for ethical and humane animal treatment.

Dual Comfort Pillow

What We Like

  • Soft side supports the back sleepers' head and neck
  • Firm side cradles side sleepers' neck and head
  • Different comfort levels for different sleep styles
  • Breathable cover keeps you cool all night long

What We Don't Like

  • The cover must be air-dried

Overall Thoughts: 

The Dual Comfort Pillow gives you more control over the firmness of your pillow. Boasting two different comfort levels on both sides, you get to choose the firmer, stable side or the softer, plush side. If you're a side sleeper, the firm side will keep your head lifted and neck aligned, preventing spinal misalignment. For back sleepers, the soft side offers more compression and body contouring to the neck and head.

It has a removable and washable top cover made of a lightweight and breathable fabric. Each side of the pillow is embedded with open-air channels that allow body heat to dissipate quickly, keeping your face and neck cool and dry.

When buying the Amerisleep Dual Comfort Pillow, you get to choose between two different lofts, a 6-inch loft, and a 5-inch loft. It comes in two sizes, a king and queen size.

Layla Kapok Pillow

What We Like

  • High-loft design promotes spinal alignment, especially for side sleepers
  • Shredded memory foam gently contours to your head and neck
  • Copper infusion help reduce body heat retention

What We Don't Like

  • If you want a more traditional memory foam feel, you may not like Layla's blended mix of Kapok fibers and shredded foam, which isn't as conforming as memory foam

Overall Thoughts: 

The Layla Kapok Pillow measures 4 inches thick (medium loft), offering excellent cushioning for your head and neck region without feeling too tall or sinking too deeply. For many sleepers, this results in proper spinal alignment. This pillow is highly moldable and snuggly, thus making it a perfect choice for those who like cuddling with their pressure-relieving pillows as they sleep. You can also use the Layla Kapok Pillow between your knees and beneath your legs.

The pillow features a fill made of fibers from the Kapok tree and shredded memory foam. We found the Kapok fibers to be exceptionally soft, giving your pillow a very plush sleep surface as the foam conforms to your head and neck for pressure relief. This foam is infused with copper to prevent your pillow from retaining too much heat.

Unlike other shredded memory foam pillows on the market, the Layla Kapok Pillow boasts a mid-range price-point. Shipping is free for consumers living in the contiguous U.S. It's backed by a 5-year warranty and a 120-night sleep trial.

Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow

What We Like

  • It features temperature-neutral, spun, high-resilience fibers for cooling and breathability
  • It has a super supportive feel that will keep your head and neck elevated
  • Machine-washable cover

What We Don't Like

  • If you prefer a slim loft, the Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow might not suit you best

Overall Thoughts: 

If your current pillow is too old such that it doesn't offer the right amount of comfort and support for a good night's sleep, it might be time for you to purchase a new pillow that features everything necessary to help you get the deserved restorative sleep. One such pillow is the Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow.

This pillow is made of temperature-neutral high-resilience proprietary Nolah AirFoam designed to suit combination sleepers and offer them personalized support by conforming to the shapes of their necks and heads. The foam is contoured on the top surface and features airflow channels for improved air circulation.

It's soft enough to conform to your neck and head and offers a gentle sink into the surface while keeping your neck and head region in proper alignment with other parts of your body. Nolah's cover is made of 100% cotton that's infused with phase-changing Outlast cooling material to also help in temperature regulation. With its medium firm feel, you can rest assured that this pillow will help alleviate neck and shoulder pain, irrespective of whether you prefer stomach, back, or side sleeping.

The Nolah Cooling Foam Pillow has a 120-night risk-free trial period and a 2-year warranty. It is shipped for free to all residents within the contiguous U.S.


Puffy Pillow

What We Like

  • Highly moldable thanks to its plush, shredded memory foam fill
  • Extra long dimensions can accommodate pregnant individuals of varying heights
  • Ideal for value seekers
  • Machine-washable cover
  • Shredded memory foam contours to your body to help relieve pressure points

What We Don't Like

  • If you're looking for a more classic down pillow feel, the foam fill used in the Puffy Pillow as a down alternative isn't your best bet

Overall Thoughts: 

The Puffy Pillow uses plush, adaptive memory foam to minimize pressure build-up in your shoulders, lower back, and hips. The memory foam fill is shredded, making your pillow moldable and snuggly. A cover composed of rayon elevates your pillow's breathability, and also boasts moisture-wicking properties to help individuals prone to night sweats.

The Puffy Pillow measures 54 inches long, making it a perfect fit for pregnant women who want to tuck a pillow between their legs without feeling a strain in their hips or lower back. Its 20-inch width also makes it wide enough to alleviate neck pain and pressure in the shoulders if you enjoy cuddling with pillows. You can remove the cover and machine wash it without damaging the inner foam.

The price point of the Puffy Pillow is budget-friendly and it ships free for customers living anywhere in the contiguous United States. Each order comes with a lifetime warranty and a 101-night sleep trial.

Factors to consider when buying a pillow for neck pain

What do you need to consider or inquire about when choosing a pillow? The short answer is spinal alignment. Your head, neck and spine should be aligned for a comfortable sleep. But how can you achieve this?

Sleeping Position

Consider which side you sleep on because some pillows are only good for specific positions and here's why.

When you sleep on your back the back of your head is almost aligned with your neck. Therefore a thin or flat pillow would be ideal to support your head and neck. This case is similar to stomach sleepers, keeping the size of their head constant.

For side sleepers the rules change a bit when you lie down on your side and keep your body symmetrical your head will be suspended in the air. This is because normally your head is placed in between your shoulders and not directly on top of them living space between the head and shoulders. A side sleeper with neck pain will experience escalated pain when they sleep with no pillow or the flat one. In such a case, a pillow with a high loft, high enough to feel the ear to shoulder space is advisable for adequate support. Therefore choose your ideal pillow depending on your sleep position.

Temperature

Sleeping hot will only make you sweaty and uncomfortable. Constantly tossing in the night can only pronounce your neck pain causing you to lack sleep. The remedy is simply getting a pillow with cooling technology. Cooling pillows can be made using gel infused foam fillings, but you can also find a pillow with a cool fabric like bamboo and latex or TENCEL which is a phase change material that also offers great breathability. Such a pillow will keep your nerves relaxed all night. While at it also by other cooling beddings to complement the pillows.

Other Accessories

Accessories will always come in handy when preparing your bed for a good night's sleep. There are many accessories that you can purchase but will only discuss two. The first one being a pillow cover or else called pillowcase that you should buy to cover your pillow.

A pillowcase is good because it will protect your pillow from damage and stains increasing its durability. Additionally it's easy to clean a pillowcase and disinfect it to prevent the occurrence of allergies and skin irritation.

Another accessory would be cervical roll. Even when sleeping on your back you will tend to have some space left between your neck and the pillow. This place, however small, can be the difference between feeling relief and tingling pain. To completely fill up the space between your neck and your pillow you can buy a cervical roll and place it right below your neck for extra support. This especially comes in handy for those suffering from neck pain.

Conclusion

Depending on the cause of your neck pain, it can take you from a day to several weeks to recover. To hasten the recovery process, you'll need to take good care of yourself and take your medication as prescribed. Try out one of the reviewed best pillows for neck pain and see what works.

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