Best Pillow for Neck Pain [Review] in 2021
Last Updated on November 27, 2020
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall
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The best pillow for neck pain isn’t just for show. If you struggle with neck pain, you are likely already aware of just how frustrating it can be to wake up in the morning with tension, headaches, numbness, and of course, that unwelcome stabbing sensation that often occurs after a long night of sleep. However, having a great pillow can make a huge difference when it comes to getting rid of your neck pain. A good pillow will support your head and keep the top part of your spine aligned as you sleep, which will help to prevent your muscles from cramping up and your nerves from pinching.
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The Research of Best Pillow for Neck Pain
MyPillow Premium Series
This pillow does something unique and different by providing a personalized approach to sleep. One of the biggest reasons that many people experience neck pain is because not all people are the same size, weight, and proportions, which makes their weight distribution different. This means that a pillow that works for some people may be too soft for others. To help solve this problem, the MyPillow Premium Series Bed comes in different sizes. They are based on general shirt sizes and have distinct differences in children’s sizes as well.
This one is very well-constructed, as it is made with polyester fibers that do not stretch or squish over time, even with machine washing. The polyester fibers also mold to the body very well, so they provide great support for the curvatures of your neck and will continue to support you even if you change positions during the night. It has an open cell design, which means that air flows better through the pillow, keeping it clean and free of dust, dirt, and mildew. This design also ensures that it stays cool at night. The polyester fibers of this one feel like memory foam, as they provide great support, work in any sleep position, and mold to the shape of your body. However, unlike memory foam, they do not have a distinctive smell, which can be a big turn-off for many people. This one also feels softer and lighter than a memory foam pillow, which suits the preferences of many shoppers (although it can be a turn-off for others). It comes with a ten-year warranty to protect against manufacturer defects.
Although this is not a cheap pillow by any means, you definitely get what you pay for in terms of durability and comfort, plus the unique personalization option provides you with just the right amount of neck support you’ll need to stay comfortable at night.
Polyester fibers provide support to the neck
Open cell structure encourages air flow and ensures a cooler night’s sleep
Lighter and softer than a memory foam pillow
Not budget friendly
Latest Deal: MyPillow Premium Series
Mediflow Gel-Foam Water Pillow Twin Pack Waterbase Pillow
This one is specifically designed to combat pain, and you will likely notice a huge difference in the amount of pain you have after using it for just a short period of time. It has been cited in many studies and clinical trials regarding good pillows for pain-free sleep and has become a frequent go-to for consumers who are suffering from these problems. This pillow has a unique construction. The center contains a water-filled chamber, which creates a soft feeling that is unlike anything else on the market. It keeps it feeling very flexible, and since you fill the water chamber yourself, you can easily customize the height of your pillow.
Water also reduces the level of pressure inflicted on your joints at night, so you’ll wake up feeling much more comfortable. Around the water chamber, there is a layer of polyester filling. This helps the pillow mold to the contours of your body as you sleep and feels very soft and fluffy. Finally, the pillow is contained in a case of 100 percent cotton, which is gentle on your skin, feels very smooth, and keeps you cool at night.
This pillow is also very large, which gives you more supportive surface space as you sleep at night. This is particularly helpful if you move around in your sleep because even if you toss and turn, you’ll still maintain the comfortable feeling of this pillow under your head. This one feels quite heavy and solid under your head at night as well, and really keeps the bones of your spine and your head in alignment as you sleep through the night.
Additionally, the pillow is quite easy to clean, as you can rinse out the water chamber and wash the cotton covering. Easily one of the best pillow for neck pain on the market.
Designed to reduce pain
Customizable, water chamber to adjust the height of your pillow
Pressure on joints reduced
Easy to clean
Not ideal for those who don’t like the idea of a water pillow
Latest Deal: Mediflow Gel-Foam Water Pillow
Z Zoned Gel Dough Gel-Infused Memory Foam Bed Pillow
Memory foam is known for keeping you supported and cool as you sleep, and this pillow is no exception. Its innovative design will not only keep your head and neck aligned while you sleep, but it will also keep you cool and comfy, so you’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It is a definitively mid-range pillow in terms of pricing but provides many of the features that you would find in a higher end pillow, so it is great value for money.
The memory foam on this one is designed to feel and act like dough, so it provides support while really contouring to the curves of your head and neck. The dough-like design allows you to move around on the pillow much better than on many other types of memory foam pillows. It is divided into zones to provide the right kind of support where you really need it, unlike many other pillows, which claim to be supportive but aren’t able to accommodate the size of your body correctly.
Additionally, this one is gel infused, so it will help keep you feeling cooler as you sleep. This is particularly important for memory foam pillows, which tend to retain their heat longer, resulting in a stuffy feeling. This one is also designed to be very durable, so it will last you for years to come. It has an open cell construction to promote airflow, which not only helps keep the pillow cool and clean but also prevents a build-up of debris which can result in the pillow breaking down over time.
The cover is also made of washable velour, so you can keep it clean and stain-free as well. It has a five-year manufacturer’s warranty. The detailed construction of this pillow is not only comfortable and designed to relieve pain, but it will also last for a long time with minimal wear and tear.
Keeps head and neck well-aligned
Zoning system provides support where needed
Gel-infused design releases heat, ensuring a cooler night’s sleep
Comes with washable velour cover
Not suitable for those who dislike memory foam
Latest Deal: Z Zoned Gel Dough Gel-Infused Memory Foam Bed Pillow
Coop Home Goods - Adjustable Body Pillow - Hypoallergenic Cross-Cut Memory Foam
This wonderful pillow is designed specifically to reduce pain, but it can also make a big difference in your personal comfort levels as well. The key to the comfort of this pillow is its shredded memory foam construction. It provides the typical contouring benefits that you would expect from a pillow made of memory foam, but because the foam is shredded, it moves much more easily and allows you to position your body wherever you like on the pillow and still provide the same cradled feeling.
It also increases airflow throughout the pillow, something that is a big problem with many memory foam products and also helps the pillow to feel softer and fluffier. The unique movement of this pillow really reduces the problem of pinched nerves and tight muscles in your neck as you sleep. This is because the material does not flatten or lose support, but is instead designed to move gently throughout the night. It also works well for any type of sleep position, so it is universally comfortable.
Additionally, this one is hypoallergenic to keep you healthier while you sleep, and is also made with Certi-PUR memory foam, which contains no excess chemicals that can be potentially unhealthy or create an off-putting smell. This one is often cited as one of the best-shredded memory foam pillows. This is because it uses the highest quality materials, which makes it more comfortable than its competitors, and more durable as well.
It is very healthy to sleep on because it has increased airflow and is tested for chemicals and allergens. Whether you have neck pain or not, this is a great pillow for you, but if you are looking to put a stop to chronic pain now, you should definitely give this pillow a try.
Shredded memory foam construction reduces pain
Contours to the body
Hypoallergenic, made with Certi-PUR memory foam
Comfortable and durable
Not budget friendly
Latest deal: Coop Home Goods – Eden Adjustable Pillow
Sleep Innovations Cooling Contour Memory Foam Pillow
This one provides good, firm support for anyone with neck pain. Not only is it made with memory foam, which is excellent for conforming to the contours of the body and providing gentle support, but the shape of the pillow is specifically made for those with neck pain. It has a recessed center zone, which cradles the head as you sleep, even if you move throughout the night. The design is very innovative and works with any sleep position.
If you sleep on your side or back, it will keep your head perfectly in line with your spine, and if you sleep on your stomach, it gives you space for your face to move around without overheating. This pillow is very durable and does not lose its shape over time. In fact, it maintains its medium to firm texture for years and comes with a five-year warranty as well.
It will continue to keep you healthy and happy as you sleep for years to come – in addition to relieving neck pain, you may find that using this one also helps reduce insomnia and snoring. The Sleep Innovations pillows are made with Sure Temp memory foam, which helps to keep you cool as you sleep. Memory foam is traditionally very hot, but this design promotes good air flow throughout the pillow to prevent it from retaining heat.
The pillow may have a slight memory foam odor at first, but this will go away very quickly, especially if you air it out right after receiving the package. This one is also quite healthy because it naturally prevents mold and mildew from accumulating, and it resists moisture as well. Generally, this pillow is a great choice because it is very comfortable, reduces neck pain quickly, and is designed to minimize many of the problems that are usually associated with memory foam.
Made specifically for those with neck pain
Memory foam provides gentle support
Great for back, side and stomach sleepers
Slight odor upon opening
Latest deal: Sleep Innovations Cooling Contour Memory Foam Pillow
ComfyComfy Premium Buckwheat Pillow
This product may seem a bit odd at first, but those who have used it know that it works, and it works well. These pillows are made with natural and locally sourced materials and shipped throughout the United States with the intention of creating eco-friendly products that boost the economy and keep you comfy to boot.These are filled with buckwheat that is grown in North Dakota, and they are covered with organic cotton that is made in Texas.
The fabric is made in the Carolinas and the pillows are assembled in New York – a true American product. They come in a variety of different sizes to support your needs. These pillows work well if you want a natural option for relieving neck and back pain. This is because the buckwheat filling is actually very pliable, so you can adjust it to keep you comfortable throughout the night. It also moves with you for support, so you won’t have to worry about getting stuck in an uncomfortable position that may result in muscle knots or even a pinched nerve.
Another unique thing about these pillows is that they come with additional buckwheat, so you can add or remove it as you need to create a pillow that really supports you. The buckwheat also promotes healthy air flow during the night because of its lightness and ease of movement. Although this may not be the best option if you need heavy-duty support, this is a great choice if you want to reduce muscular pain while also supporting American business and using natural products.
Relieves neck and back pain
Additional buckwheat supplied to create a customizable pillow for your needs
Promotes air flow, ensuring a cool night’s sleep
Reduces muscular pain
Not suitable for those needing lots of support
Latest deal: ComfyComfy Premium Buckwheat Pillow
Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow for Neck Pain
These pillows were designed specifically by a clinical psychologist with expertise in sleep for orthopedic patients, so their first priority is reducing pain in the neck and back. They are medically tested for sleep quality and have been proven to give a great night’s sleep for many different kinds of sleepers. Their design curves to support the head and back as you move throughout the night. It has a trapezoid crater in the center to support the head, which is surrounded by a higher, fluffier section to support your neck and shoulders.
This one also comes in a few different options to accommodate your own personal sleep habits. You can choose between two different firmness options to fit your comfort preferences, and you can also choose between a few different side shapes depending on the positions that you most commonly sleep in.
This pillow is very durable, as it is made with a springy fiber filling that retains shape and doesn’t go flat, even with extended use. This type of fiber filling also doesn’t have many of the problems associated with memory foam, such as overheating or a chemical smell, which are common concerns of many customers. It comes with a cotton cover, and the entire pillow is machine washable to help you keep it clean.
The one disadvantage of this pillow is that it can be difficult to get used to since the shape feels much different than a traditional one . However, once you acclimate to the unique design of the pillow, you will quickly notice a reduction in pain when you wake up in the morning. This is because the pillow will keep your head and neck perfectly aligned by placing the head slightly below the neck and allowing it to curve, making for a more restful and natural sleep.
Specifically designed to reduce neck and back pain
Medically tested for sleep quality
Firmness and size options available
Durable and machine washable
Can be difficult to adjust to the new shape
Latest deal: Core Products Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow
Arc4life Cervical Neck Traction Pillow for Sleeping
This pillow is specifically designed for people suffering from injury, so it is an amazing choice for anyone suffering from neck and back pain. The pillow is very large and has uniquely shaped curves that are designed to keep your spine aligned and reduce muscle tension and pinched nerves. It has a lower section in the center of the pillow that cradles the head for better alignment throughout the body. This one is hand stuffed with polyester fibers, which are great for promoting airflow as you sleep. They also maintain their shape wonderfully, which is incredibly important for pillows with a unique design such as this one.
The case and the pillow itself are both hypoallergenic and machine washable so you can keep them clean. In addition to relieving neck or back pain, this pillow can also help with conditions like snoring or sleep apnea, because it positions the head perfectly to keep the nasal passages clear. It can also reduce headaches, and many doctors recommend it for those suffering from herniated discs, arthritis, and other conditions. This medically supportive pillow provides tough, firm support for your neck and head that will also keep you very comfortable.
Specifically designed for those suffering with injury
Keeps the nasal passages clear, helping to relieve sleep apnea or snoring
Unique shaped curves keep spine aligned and reduce muscle tension
Polyester fibres promote airflow helping to keep you cool
Is larger than the standard pillow
Latest deal: Arc4life Cervical Neck Traction Pillow for Sleeping
Technogel Anatomic King Size Pressure Relieving, Cooling Gel & Memory Foam Bed Pillow
This pillow is designed to solve two problems in one: it reduces pain throughout your neck and back while also keeping you cool during the night. It is very supportive, so it works well for people of all sizes, and it also comes in two different loft heights to fit your preferences. It has an ergonomically designed shape that cradles your head during the night and keeps it in an anatomically healthy position. The Technogel layer over the top not only keeps you cool, but it also has a unique feel that moves with your body and relieves pressure as you move around during the night.
The Technogel brand is non-toxic, so these pillows are very safe to use. The gel layer on top keeps the bottom memory foam layer cool and reduces odor. The brand also uses top-notch materials to keep the pillow from losing its shape over time. This means there is no need to fluff or adjust the pillow throughout the middle of the night. Finally, it comes with a warm winter cover that keeps you feeling cozy during the colder months, but it can also be removed and used without it safely and comfortably.
Reduces neck and back pain
Technogel layer relieves pressure during movement and keeps sleeper cool
Keeps its shape over time
Comes with a winter cover
Not budget friendly
Latest deal: Technogel Anatomic King Size Pillow
Xtreme Comforts - Slim Hypoallergenic Kool-Flow Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Bed Pillow
This highly reviewed pillow is a great option if you are looking for shredded memory foam that will provide great support for your neck and back. This one is designed to be comfortable, healthy, and most of all, to reduce pain and tension as you sleep. This is because shredded memory foam provides all the same benefits as traditional memory foam, such as comfort and support. But it also makes it much easier for you to move around as you sleep, which will allow you to relax and prevent muscle cramping and knots.
This particular pillow is also made from the highest quality materials on the market. The shredded memory foam is very thick and has Certi-PUR certification, which means it is made with no harmful chemicals. It also has a unique Kool Flow cover, which increases the flow of air as you sleep. This not only keeps you cooler but also is hypoallergenic and prevents bacteria and dust mites from settling into the cover. It is also made from natural bamboo, which is naturally very cooling.
The Xtreme Comforts brand also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their pillows. With this pillow, you get plenty of pain relief for years to come because it is so durable. It is designed to be machine washable, so it is very easy to keep clean. However, the shredded foam does not go flat the way some other types of pillows do. It works well for all types of sleeping positions as well because the shredded foam moves to accommodate them as you sleep. Overall, this pillow is a great investment because it is so supportive and is made to be the best quality.
Provides great support for neck and back
Shredded memory foam prevents muscle cramping
Made with Certi-PUR certified memory foam
Cover is hypoallergenic
Not suitable for those who dislike memory foam
Latest deal: Xtreme Comforts – Slim Hypoallergenic Pillow
Chiroflow Waterbase Waterpillow
This soothing pillow is a great option for anyone suffering from the tension of any kind, and specifically neck and back pain. It is also designed to reduce stress and give a much more relaxing night of sleep. In fact, it is recommended by chiropractors and other health professionals as a great product for those who suffer from chronic pain. This one has a unique design, with an inner core filled with water that moves with you to provide gentle support as you sleep. This core is surrounded by a layer of insulation, which keeps the pillow at your desired temperature.
If you struggle with overheating at night, you can fill up this pillow with cool water to solve that problem. Alternatively, this one can almost double as a hot water bottle. You can fill it up with warm water to soothe sore areas of your body. On top of the water, the core is a layer of fiber filling. This is very supportive but also creates that soft, cozy feeling that you desire. Unlike other types of filling, fiber retains its shape over time, and it also promotes good airflow. It does not trap dust or bacteria either, so you can sleep more healthfully. The cover for the pillow is also extremely soft and soothing on your skin, so you’ll fall asleep quickly and easily.
Although this pillow is quite heavy, once you adjust to it, you’ll find that it can work wonders for minimizing pain. This is because the water gives a natural cradling effect for your head and neck, supporting the natural curves of your body while still allowing you to move freely. You can also adjust it to suit your preferences by filling it with the exact level of water that you prefer. This pillow is one of the best water-based options on the market, and you are sure to get plenty of bang for your buck with this product.
Recommended by chiropractors for those who suffer with chronic pain
Reduces stress and promotes a relaxing sleep
Water-filled inner core that provides support during movement
Noticeably heavier than the average pillow
Latest deal: Chiroflow Waterbase Waterpillow
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
This is a very popular shredded memory foam pillow that provides tons of support for your neck and back. It comes in three different size options and is available at a very reasonable price for a high-quality pillow, so it is very popular among consumers. Like other shredded memory foam pillows, it uses a base of foam that is designed to move and conform to all sleeping positions throughout the night. The Snuggle Pedic foam is made in the United States and uses non-toxic, Certi-PUR foam.
It comes with a bamboo Kool Flow cover that promotes good air flow and healthy sleep during the night. It comes vacuum sealed when it is shipped to you to ensure cleanliness, and the entire pillow is machine washable. The product has a 90-day guarantee and can be customized to fit your needs by contacting the manufacturer. This one also comes with an outstanding 20-year warranty.
Reasonably priced for a high-quality pillow
Water-filled inner core that provides support during movement
Non-toxic, Certi-PUR certified
Noticeably heavier than the average pillow
Latest deal: Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Pillow
Classic Brands Ventilated Memory Foam Bed Pillow
If you like a firm, supportive pillow while you sleep, there is no better option than this amazing memory foam option. It is a whopping five inches thick, which makes it a particularly good choice for larger sleepers that need a bit more support than average. It provides great support for your neck and head to reduce pain. The foam is also ventilated to prevent heat retention, which is a common problem with memory foam pillows. The ventilation also prevents build up of dust mites and bacteria, so you’ll sleep more healthily. Finally, it comes with a soft cotton cover for comfort.
Because this pillow is so thick, it is extremely durable. You’ll find that it will provide you with tons of support for years to come. The density of the pillow helps your neck and upper spine retain their natural curves without allowing them to sink into positions that could cause pinching or cramping. The one feels very solid and provides continual support throughout the night even if you move because it is so large. Although this one may have a slight odor when it first arrives, this dissipates very quickly because it is ventilated. This is one of the best memory foam pillows on the market.
Recommended for those who like a firm, supportive pillow
Helps neck and spine to retain natural curves
Greater for larger sleepers who need extra support
Well-ventilated to prevent heat retention
Slight odor upon opening
Latest deal: Classic Brands Ventilated Memory Foam Bed Pillow
Best Pillow for Neck Pain Q&A
How much does your pillow actually affect your pain levels?
Many people believe that if they experience chronic pain when they wake up in the morning, it is as a result of their mattress.
While this may be true in some cases, if you are experiencing pain in your head, neck, and shoulders particularly, it is more likely due to your pillow than your mattress. It is often underestimated how important it is to have a good supportive pillow.
The reason many of us experience cramping or even pinched nerves in our neck when we wake up is that our pillows do not support the natural curvature of our upper spines.
The head sits atop the cervical portion of the spine, and if these curves aren’t kept in line, then cramping, pinching, and general pain may occur.
Are these pillows made for all sleep positions?
Generally, yes, because they are designed to move with you throughout the night as you sleep. Many of us change positions several times throughout the night, so it is ideal to have a pillow that can adjust to your body as this happens.
This is why water and shredded memory foam are often used as base materials for neck support pillows.
However, if you tend to sleep on your stomach more than anything else, it is important to check and see if the pillow is specifically designed for stomach sleepers before buying it. Some of these options are better for back or side sleepers.
How much can I expect to pay for a good neck support pillow?
This varies wildly depending on what brand you decide to purchase and the features included with it, but generally, a good neck support pillow will cost you anywhere between $50 and $200.
However, there are exceptions to this rule if you are on a budget or if you are looking for the most luxurious pillows on the market.
Although these numbers may seem like a bit much to pay for a pillow, keep in mind that these are designed to be very durable and are made with high-quality materials.
They will last you much longer than an average one from a big box store, which will go flat and lose its shape much more quickly.
Most of these pillows also come with warranties or satisfaction guarantees, so you can be assured that if there’s a problem, you can send the pillow back.
There are a few important features that you should consider when shopping for these products. The first thing you’ll want to consider is the design of the pillow. It should be made a material that is specifically designed for support.
Memory foam and water cores are the two most common options for this purpose. They work well because they allow you to maintain a naturally comfortable position as your body moves throughout the night.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not the pillow was designed to relieve pain.
Although there are many great, supportive pillows out there that are not specifically made for this purpose, generally the ones that provide unique features that will help keep your spine aligned. These pillows will be advertised as a cervical or orthopedic
These will be advertised as a cervical or orthopedic pillow and may have recommendations from chiropractors and doctors as well. At the very least, they should mention back and neck support in their product description.
The final thing to consider when buying a pillow for neck and back pain is durability. Since these pillows are more of an investment than a traditional pillow, you’ll want to make sure that you continue to get your money’s worth for years to come.
It should be made of top-notch materials that won’t lose their shape over time and don’t require fluffing or other maintenance on a regular basis.
They should also be easy to clean – many of these pillows are machine washable or come with care instructions. Keeping your pillow clean is a great way to ensure that it lasts longer.
Where can I purchase these pillows?
Although there are many good pillow options available at furniture or department stores, the best place to buy a pillow for neck pain relief is online. Amazon.com and other similar sites stock tons of great options that have been highly reviewed by consumers and experts alike.
Head of Content at Sleepedia
Lauren is Sleepedia's Head of Content and is a certified sleep therapist who loves her sleep. Lauren helps people to get back to those deep, dream-filled nights they once had by helping to identify problems with their routine and sleep setup. Whether it's a mattress or pillow, Lauren researches the best products in the industry to provide you with an in-depth review of everything you need to know to encourage your buying decision.