Sleeping with Neck Pain: What You Need to Know ?
Neck pains are some of the worst aches to deal with. There’s never really a permanent solution either since the aches usually return after some days or weeks. What many people don’t realize is that neck pains come from the bedroom, where poor sleeping postures reign supreme. Unfortunately, since many people don’t know how to sleep to avoid neck pains, it is a problem that keeps getting bigger.
The reason for this is simple. Although the spine extends through most of our body and can be lodged between any two vertebrae on the spine, the neck is especially vulnerable to this. It has a much weaker skeletal configuration (there are only seven bones in the neck) surrounded by mostly muscle, cartilage and blood vessels. To make matters even trickier, it houses the body’s central nervous pathway, which is placed precariously close to the jointed column of bones.
As a result of this anatomical configuration, neck pains are almost inevitable if you sleep with a pillow that is doing more harm than good. Nerves routinely get pinched or lodged between the spinal column, resulting in painful kinks, headaches, migraines, and sometimes escalating to severe nerve damage.
Ordinary pillows are not even remotely conducive for proper posture while sleeping. This is because their firm, non-giving design tends to misalign the neck from the spine. Painful kinks, aches in the upper back or base of the neck, migraines, and even nerve failure all stem from this. When used regularly, these pillows can permanently distort the path of the neck, leading to serious health complications. The only reasonable and practical way to deal with neck and shoulder pain is to prevent it, and that is achieved by using a neck pillow.
A neck pillow cradles your spine while you sleep in a position that is natural and comfortable. They exist in several different variations, and if you’re new to this, it’s not hard to get confused about which pillows do what.
For that reason, it is essential to know the key aspects of a good neck pillow. Attributes such as firmness and size might be subjective, but knowing the following things might help you better locate precisely the type of neck support you need.
How to Choose the Best Pillow to Avoid Neck Pain ? What Is The Best Pillow For Neck Pain ?
Whether you get relief from neck pain or not depends on the type of pillow best you buy. Here’s what you need to know.
The type of material used in the construction of the neck pillow matters a lot. Memory foam is an excellent choice, and so is latex foam and some types of fibers and downs. However, keep in mind that some materials will feel better and perform better than others. For instance, open cell memory foam is very breathable, and therefore it remains cool and comfortable all night. The same cannot be said about materials that lack the same amount of porosity. If you get too sweaty while sleeping, you might want to prioritize the breathability of the material. If support is what you’re after, go for firm material with minimum give.
Neck pillows are diverse. Some employ the use of rolls, others use water, and others give you a lump of comfortable memory foam to place your head on. The design of the neck pillow you have can determine a lot of things, for instance, whether you’ll be able to switch sleeping positions without compromising your comfort. Most neck pillows today feature a dual-contoured design that offers two differently-sized support rolls. Such models are versatile and give you much more freedom to move around while sleeping. Others have fillings that adjust to your movements responsively to provide comfort even when you toss and turn all night. Whatever design you settle for, make sure it’s comfortable enough for you.
Supported Sleeping Positions
Most people have a sweet spot when it comes to sleeping positions, but it can be generalized that people either sleep on their backs or their sides (some sleep on their stomachs too, but that isn’t good for the spine at all). Some neck pillows are built exclusively for back sleepers. Others try to encompass everyone, even the stomach sleepers. Your decision should be based on how you sleep. Ideally, you should go for a neck pillow that is designed for both side and back sleeping positions. This way, you’ll have a much easier time if you decide that you need a change of sleeping posture.
As earlier said, firmness is purely objective, and you should go for what feels most comfortable to you. That said, however, pillows with adjustable firmness levels are much more versatile since you can always tweak them over and over again until you reach that perfect level of firmness. Water pillows excel at offering adjustable firmness, so if that’s a priority to you, they are the ones you should be looking at. Water pillows make slightly more therapeutic neck pillows for this reason and also because you can choose whatever material you like to form the layer atop the water base.
The primary function of a neck pillow is to provide support to the spine and keep the neck aligned. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be comfortable. Obviously, this should be among the first things you consider when shopping for one, but remember comfort isn’t just about how plush the foam is. Think about allergens like dust mites. Think about bacteria. Think about odors and pathogens that may be left on a pillow after a night of rest. Many neck pillows offer antibacterial covers and odor-proof fabrics that keep bad odors and harmful bacteria at bay. If this is a big issue for you, be on the lookout for pillows with such attributes.
TOP RATED Pillows for Neck Pain 2020 Reviews
Beautyrest Latex Foam Pillow – Most Luxurious
If you want to feel luxury, comfort, and plushness in a supportive neck pillow, Beautyrest Latex Foam Pillow is the one you should go for. It is made from latex foam, which is just as spongy (if not more than) as memory foam, but is lighter and therefore capable of responsively adjusting itself around your body’s contours. This creates the feeling of sleeping on a bed of cool, comfortable air because the pillow is also very well ventilated. The 300-thread-count ultra-soft cotton cover it comes with may not be the best feature about it, but it’s certainly not something to leave unmentioned. It’s the best seller products on Amazon – #110 in Bed Pillows
User commented on Amazon
“I love this pillow. I had been looking for a latex one for quite some time, but couldn’t find one that had this rubbery feel without being perforated with massive holes or meshed. I decided to buy this one just to try it out since it was relatively inexpensive and I don’t need it for any medical reason. There’s not much to say about it besides that it has the perfect level of resistance for me. While it is memory foam, it’s not the kind that you see on commercials where your hand print stays on for a while. This one returns immediately.
So, if you’re looking for a pillow that doesn’t flatten after so many uses, I think this one could fit your needs. I guess there are people complaining that the latex smell doesn’t go away, but it’s latex so… I don’t know what they expect. It doesn’t particularly bother me, but if you throw a pillow case over it, which you should, it isn’t that bothersome.
As long as you aren’t looking for a pillow for medical reasons, you should definitely give this one a try.”
Arc4Life Cervical Neck Traction Pillow – Most Therapeutic
Cervical Neck Traction Pillow For Sleeping is a best neck pillow that might permanently replace your chiropractor if you’re not careful. Not only is it useful for maintaining chiropractic settings, but it is also very supportive to the neck region and comes highly recommended for people with various spinal distortions in the neck region. Several users have reported incredible results after using this pillow. Several more warn that you may experience real chiropractic side effects like muscle spasms since the pillow re-discovers and re-engages previously unused neck muscles. This pillow is #112 in Bed Pillows on Amazon
Classic Brands Conforma Ventilated Memory Foam Cushion – Most Comfortable
Again, comfort is largely subjective. However, the fashion in which this plush neck pillow conforms to the curve of the spine so naturally makes it one of the most comfortable things ever to exist. Classic Brands Conforma Ventilated Memory Foam Pillow is made from open cell memory foam to maximize breathability, but that’s not all. This neck pillow has antimicrobial properties as well as a resistant to allergens like dust mites. This pillow is #152 in Bed Pillows on Amazon. What more could you ask from a best neck pillow?
User commented on Amazon
“This is the second time I purchased this pillow (queen size). In less than a month I will have owned my original pillow for 3 years. Here is what I can tell you. This is the first firm pillow I ever owned so it’s a bit strange initially. Thankfully I did my research beforehand so I understood that a good pillow isn’t supposed to feel like a cloud. It’s supposed to support your head/neck and keep it aligned with your spine. I was experiencing really bad neck problems right before using this pillow. About a week after first using the pillow I realized the neck pain was gone. When you are not in pain it’s out of your mind. I took this pillow with me anytime I didn’t sleep at home so it was used daily (nightly). The reason I purchased a second pillow is because I started waking up with neck pain/headaches within the past 6 months. I didn’t think it was due to the pillow as I figured memory foam would last forever. I was wrong, it must break down over time. I’m not complaining though. Even if this pillow lasts 30 months it’s well worth the $1 per month cost. This is the only random purchase in my life that turned out to be a blessing. I’ll include a picture to show this is not a fake review. One thing I forgot to mention. The new pillow does have a smell to it. I stared sneezing so I’m allergic to whatever it is. I took the cover off my old pillow to use on my new one and didn’t have a problem. I’m going to keep the cover off during the day to let it air out. I’m not worried about it.”
TOP 10 Best NECK PILLOWS For Neck Pain 2020
Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
When it comes to memory foam neck pillows, Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow offers what are arguably the most popular pillows that provide the best protection from sore, kinky necks. While several users love that this queen size pillow is one of the few fully adjustable pillows out there, others appreciate the exciting blend of polyester, cross-cut memory foam, and ultra-soft bamboo Rayon that combine well to create a soft, plush, and very supportive neck pillow.
What you’ll love about it is the sheer breathability offered by its lightweight construction. The rayon cover is not just soft to the touch, it is also very breathable, and so is the cross-cut memory foam that fills it. This is especially good news if you’re a sweaty sleeper since the continuous flow of air will keep your neck cool and comfortable all night.
The best feature of the original Coop Home Goods neck pillow is its adjustability. Users can request custom-made cushions with more or less foam to suit their specific anatomy and unique needs. As a result, this memory foam pillow can be tweaked to suit anyone’s needs and is therefore highly recommended for particularly unique cases of neck discomfort.
Cleaning the pillow is hassle-free since it is machine-washable, but even without the regular clean, the pillow is entirely safe to use regularly. It’s made from CertiPUR-US certified memory foam that is free from harmful things like formaldehyde, lead, and ozone-harming substances. If you’re prone to allergic reactions, rest assured that this hypoallergenic, dust mite-resistant neck pillow won’t give you any such problems. Coop Home Goods also offers a 100-day no-questions-asked return policy. This pillow is #2 in Bed Pillows on Amazon with almost 15,000 five-star reviews from users
The Water Pillow by Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow
The Mediflow Original Waterbase pillow has a much more focused approach to helping people suffering from neck pain. The polyester-made pillow uses a water base to provide a soft cushion of support to the user. Water pillows have been proven in the past by medical studies to relieve neck pain and promote proper alignment and sleeping posture. The design of the Mediflow waterbase pillow features a soft top layer that comprises of a filling of the user’s choice, lying atop a thin layer of water.
You can choose to have fiber, memory foam, or downs as the filling without significantly altering the overall experience. The pillow is queen size and comes with a soft and comfortable but non-removable cover. Breathability is decent although the overall ventilation will ultimately be determined by the type of fill you choose to go with.
One feature you’ll get used to very quickly is the pillow’s responsive adjustment capability. Unlike non-water-based pillows which tend to remain in one position until you move them, the Mediflow Water pillow responds to the movements you make in your sleep and re-adjusts itself to support your neck in its new position.
You can adjust the pillow’s firmness to your liking by adding or reducing the amount of water in the water base. Regardless of your firmness preferences, the pillow is designed to offer consistent support around your neck to eliminate neck pain and soreness while promoting proper cervical alignment.
If the pillow’s merits are not enough to go by, it is one of the highest rated neck pillows in the market, meaning it’s certainly worth a try. This pillow is #49 in Bed Pillows on Amazon with over 3,000 five-star reviews from users and it was recommended by many doctors
Sleep Innovations Contoured Memory Foam Pillow
The Sleep Innovations Contoured Memory Foam Pillow features a therapeutically contoured design that offers better neck support than most. The double-contoured pillow is moderately sized and features a compact but straightforward build. To provide ample neck support without pushing the neck out of alignment, a pillow has to offer some give without compromising on support. That is precisely what the thick, adaptive memory foam used in this pillow is for.
While the contoured design provides a cradle for the natural shape of the neck region, the adaptive foam ensures that it is supporting all the areas that need support while allowing your neck to settle comfortably into it. The foam provides adequate support to the neck and works just as well for side sleepers as it does for people who favor sleeping on their backs.
The pillow has two contours, one of which is visibly larger than the other. Users can choose between the two as per their individual preferences. The larger contour also makes it possible for side sleepers to find a very comfortable and fully supported sleeping position. This product is #13 in Contoured Support Pillows on Amazon with with over 4,000 five-star reviews from users
If you’re worried about the pillow being too firm for your liking, this therapeutic neck pillow is also available in several variations. Whether you pick something from the fluffy and foldable, or solid and resilient categories, Sleep Innovation guarantees that it will offer optimal neck and head support to rid you of the annoying and potentially dangerous results of sleeping without ample neck support.
Tri-Core Firm Support Cervical Pillow
If you’re having trouble finding a neck pillow that also provides sufficient support for the head while you sleep, this may suit you. The Tri-Core Firm Support Cervical Pillow is a firm support neck pillow that offers therapeutic relief to the usually strained muscles of the neck. This is facilitated by differently-sized support rolls, which provide different comfort levels and support to suit different sleeping postures. On the same side, there are extended side lobes that aren’t just wider, but taller as well, and this is for the sole purpose of making side sleeping extra comfortable.
Therapeutic support is achieved thanks to the pillow’s ability to cradle the cervical curve in its natural state, promoting proper neck alignment and maximizing comfort.
At the center of this pillow is a sizeable indent that is flanked on all sides by support rolls. This cushy hollow provides a nice, stable cradle for the head so that all the pressure on the neck is relieved. The neck is then further cradled by the support rolls on the bottom or top, offering maximum cervical support. For that reason, this neck pillow comes highly recommended for people with past neck injuries that are still preventing them from having a good night’s sleep.
Covering this therapeutic neck pillow is a soft and breathable cover made from blended cotton. The filling of the pillow may not be memory foam, but the ultra-soft fiberfill that makes up its insides is just as comfortable. It molds the pillow around your neck to form a soft and breathable cradle without succumbing to compression. In other terms, you can always rely on the pillow to spring back up to its original position. This product is #12 in Neck & Cervical Pillows and #43 in Bed Pillows on Amazon with over 3,000 five-star reviews from users
There are different sized options available to suit everyone’s tastes. That includes side sleepers and back sleepers alike since the pillow is ideal for use in either sleeping position.
Chiroflow Waterbase Pillow
The Chiroflow Waterbase pillow is a favorite among many troubled sleepers mainly because it is very low-maintenance and surprisingly durable. Based on the user reviews, this pillow comes highly recommended by chiropractors. Its water base uses regular tap water with no extra chemical additives necessary. A layer of insulation surrounds the water base to prevent body heat from making it warm, which in turn will make you not so comfortable. As a result, you really do stay cool and comfortable all night long.
For support, the pillow has a layer of plush Dacron stalest holfill fiber. This lies atop the water base and is responsible for cradling your neck while you sleep. It is very soft, but it is also tough to compress as it naturally springs back to position. This comfortable layer is further aided in its duties by the water base, which gives it unlimited motion when it comes to adjusting itself to suit your neck’s natural curve. The water base allows the pillow to continuously re-adjust itself to suit your neck’s position as you move in your sleep. No manual readjustments whatsoever are necessary.
You can refill the pillow quite easily, and the only reason you should be adding or removing water from it is to adjust its firmness levels. Adjustable firmness levels make this a rather unique pillow as different family members can use it with only some minor adjustments.
The fiber fill is completely hypoallergenic, and this is to prevent red eyes and stuffy noses every morning. It is also resistant to dust mites, which is a bonus. This pillow is #193 in Bed Pillows with over 1,000 five-star reviews from users
Arc4Life Cervical Neck Traction Pillow
This is one of the more uniquely designed neck pillows in the market, and that’s because the Arc4Life Cervical neck traction pillow serves two purposes. It provides excellent neck support on one side thanks to its cushy yet supportive fiber fill. At first glance, the cushion may strike you as something you’d see at a chiropractor’s office, and that’s absolutely right. Even for non-conventional items such as neck pillows, the Arc4Life cervical neck pillow stands out due to its dual-sided design.
Flipping the pillow reveals that the opposite surface has a gentle V-shaped indentation. When laid upon, this V-shaped part performs a simple therapeutic action called neck traction which is, in essence, the gentle stretching of the neck muscles. Lying on the indented side for 10 to 25 minutes gently stretches neck muscles that haven’t been used in years. As a result, some users reported experiencing mild muscle spasms as their unused muscles got an unexpected workout.
The pillow is made from a hypoallergenic blend of polyester and fiber, and so it is safe for sensitive people. Its medium-firm foam density provides ample support while sleeping, which in turn promotes proper neck curve alignment. If you’re familiar with military neck, reverse curve (kyphosis), and forward head posture, then you know that special care is needed especially when sleeping to prevent further aggravation of the abnormal spinal curvature and that a pillow like this can be vital.
Arc4Life cervical support pillows are suitable for both back and side sleepers. It is #126 in Neck & Cervical Pillows on Amazon over 1,000 five-star reviews from users
Classic Brands Conforma Ventilated Memory Foam Cushion
If pillows came with personalities, then this Classic Brands Conforma Ventilated Memory Foam Cushion neck pillow would be considered a hugger. That’s because the pillow’s open cell memory foam is designed to conform quite snugly to the curvature of your neck and spine, forming an almost natural cradle. The responsive memory foam is so light, it readjusts itself to every new sleeping position, just like a water base pillow would.
In addition to being extra plush and comfy, the memory foam carries some antimicrobial properties and is resistant to dust mites and mold. It is also very breathable since the open cell foam design promotes unrestricted air flow through the pillow. As for support, the memory foam creates a firm but gentle cradle around the neck’s natural curvature and provides ample support for the head as well. If you’re a back sleeper, the foam will support your shoulders to ensure that no strain is put on your muscles while you sleep.
Covering this neck pillow is an ultra-soft velour knit cover that fits it like a second skin. This plush cover is just as breathable as the pillow itself. Similarly, it replicates its ability to curve around your neck’s contours to provide a snug cradle. It is removable and quite easy to clean since it is machine-washable.
The highly ventilated Conforma pillow is ideal for sleeping comfortably in all positions. This pillow is #157 in Bed Pillows on Amazon over 2,000 five-star reviews from users
CozyCloud Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Although physicians strongly advise against using traditional pillows as they may disrupt the neck’s alignment over time, the CozyCloud bamboo is an exception. This comfortable shredded foam pillow may look normal, but that’s the farthest thing from the truth. It is made from polyester and viscose bamboo and features a design that conforms to the curvature of the neck.
The pillow can be used in all sleeping positions, which is excellent news for both back and side sleepers. Their specially made Air-Vent™ heat-reducing fabric forms a thin, soft, and very breathable cover that promotes air circulation through the pillow while you sleep. Inside, a layer of plush shredded memory foam provides support and comfort in equal measure. Its ability to bounce back after compression means you’ll have to wait a long time before this pillow goes flat, which is more than can be said about regular down-filled pillows.
The CozyCloud Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillow neck pillow is luxuriously made using human-friendly materials such as CertiPUR-US certified memory foam which contains no heavy metals, no flame retardants, and no ozone depleters. Further, than that, you can always be sure that you’ll enjoy a cool, comfortable night thanks to its very breathable design.
Everything that has been used in the making of this pillow is hypoallergenic. Furthermore, it is resistant to dust mites. If you do manage to get it dirty, the cover fabric is removable and, better yet, is machine-washable. It is #1,480 in Bed Pillows on Amazon
Perform Pillow Double Contour Memory Foam Pillow – Great for Neck Pain
Featuring a delicately balanced blend of bamboo and polyester, Perform Pillow Double Contour Memory Foam Pillow is a delight to touch. That’s mainly because few things are as soft as the Kool-Flow™ micro-vented bamboo cover, which offers fantastic breathability and comfort, is resistant to bacteria, and provides natural deodorization. The special density memory foam that’s been used in this pillow is surprisingly breathable considering how firm the pillow is.
Like a few previous entries, this also features a double contour design, which is very popular since it offers some measure of customizability. It entails two neck support rolls on two edges of the pillow and a slight indentation in the center where the headrests. On the medium-thickness model, the smaller contour is 3 inches thick, while the larger one stands at 4.25 inches. The small and large models have different dimensions.
The memory foam in this pillow is very plush, yet when you lay your head on it, it transforms into a firm but gentle cradle that fits your contours perfectly. It is hypoallergenic and resistant to most of the common allergens found in the house, which is very useful especially for people who get allergic reactions from dust mites. The cover is removable and machine-washable so that means you can take it off and clean it without much hassle. Both side and back sleepers can use this pillow. This pillow is #145 in Neck & Cervical Pillows on Amazon
Beautyrest Latex Foam Pillow
Latex foam has some marked advantages over regular foam, and they have been brilliantly brought out in this curiously thick neck support pillow. The Beautyrest latex foam pillow is even 5-inch thickness appears more luxurious, but also slightly uncomfortable. However, that is far from the case since latex foam is very cushy and soft. Therefore, it creates a gentle but firm cradle around the neck, supporting your spine and leaving you sleeping as comfortably as is humanly possible.
Not much else is thrown into this foam pillow save for natural foam and a very plush 300-thread count cotton cover that you will want to touch forever. Its foam is resistant to pathogens, and crucially, it is also resistant to odors of any kind. You can sleep comfortably knowing that your pillow will not be a mess the following day. The latex foam hugs your body’s curves, holding them up all night in the most favorable supportive position to minimize muscle strain and the unalignment of the neck.
Since the cells in the pillow feature a bounce back cell structure, they are safe from compression. This mechanism ensures that they always bounce back up even after prolonged periods of use. What this also does is it enhances comfort drastically, with some reviews saying that it comes close to imitating the feeling of lying on air. The latex foam is also light enough to re-adjust itself to a better supportive position as you move in your sleep.
The 100 % cotton cover is removable, and just so you have less to worry about, machine-washable to make cleaning quick and easy. This pillow is #94 in Bed Pillows on Amazon
You can’t put out a fire by pouring more gas into it. The same applies to neck pain. You will be in and out of hospitals and wellness clinics, try every miracle remedy out there, and see every specialist, but the solution to getting rid of neck pain will remain the same.
One thing that’s for sure is that you can’t go wrong with the right neck pillow. Your posture will improve and so will the quality of your sleep. Lack of a good night’s sleep can affect your performance and even ruin your entire day. It’s even worse if your neck has a kink that just doesn’t want to go away. The quality of your sleep is very crucial to your day-to-day wellbeing.
You don’t have to spend too much on a pillow but paying too little will leave you with poor quality pillows which end up doing even more damage to your tortured neck. Even if your budget won’t allow you to splurge on the best pillow for neck pain, investing in a decent, affordable neck pillow is undoubtedly something your body will be grateful for.