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The Best Pillows for Neck Pain

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🕚 Updated April 2022

If you suffer from neck pain, your current pillow may be the culprit. Try out a pillow designed to support and cushion your neck and align your spine. We've gathered some of the best pillows for neck pain just for you.

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  Top Choice Best with Cooling Premium Choice Best Value Also Great
 
  Elviros
Cervical Memory Foam Pillow for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Osteo
Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain Relief
TEMPUR
Ergo Neck Pillow
LUCID
Premium Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
ZAMAT
Contour Memory Foam Pillow
 
Our SummaryA contoured, high-density slow rebound memory foam pillow for better sleep and less neck pain.A cervical pillow made with high-quality fabric and a pillowcase that breathes.This ergonomic neck pillow features the singular TEMPUR memory foam.This neck pillow utilizes shredded memory foam for a cool sleep. This height-adjustable neck pain relief pillow can be flipped for yet another fit.
ProsButterfly-shaped design, reduces snoring, high-density, slow-rebound memory foam, CertiPUR-US and OEKO-EX standard 100 certified fabrics, comes with pillowcase.Supports head, neck, and shoulders, great for changing positions, polyurethane memory foam, removable 3D mesh pillowcase, cool.Made of open cellular memory foam, adapts to the body, comes with hypoallergenic and washable cover.Shredded memory foam, ideal breathability, hypoallergenic, bamboo derived viscose rayon and polyester blend fabric, soft, firm, and durable.Insert to adjust pillow height, rotates 360 degrees, contoured supportive sides, double pillowcases, breathable hypoallergenic cotton/polyester blend.
ConsThe contoured butterfly shape may feel awkward at first. Some found the standard size too small.Not cooling, more expensive.Not contoured.It won't work for everyone.
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The Best Pillows for Neck Pain

A woman lying on a bed with a contoured pillow.
puhhha/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for the Best Pillows for Neck Pain

Young man sleeping on bed with orthopedic pillow at home.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a neck pain pillow?

If you experience neck pain due to an injury, poor posture, teeth clenching, or emotional stress, a commonplace pillow may exacerbate your pain. Pillows for neck pain come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re all made to support the neck, shoulders, head, back, and even arms. Most versions are reasonably priced, so why not try one out?

What should you look for in a neck pain pillow?

  • Shape: Many cervical pillows resemble the form of a butterfly. The middle portion is concaved to hold your head when lying on your back, and the “wings” support your head and neck if you roll to one side or your arms if you prefer to sleep on your stomach. Variations may include inserts to adjust the height of the pillow, for example. Some neck pain pillows have a distinct contoured shape to cradle the head without wings.
  • Material: When it comes to neck pain pillows, material type and quality are a big deal. Many pillows feature memory foam of some kind. Some brands use materials that have been certified by industry associations to testify to quality standards. For example, you’ll find material free of toxins and allergens. Among these brands, you’ll encounter different types of memory foam like high-density slow rebound foam and shredded memory foam. The outer material should ideally be breathable and washable.
  • Adjustability: It’s nice to have options in a neck pain pillow as pain fluctuates and your needs change. Some pillows are inherently adjustable, with angles and curves you can use one night and not the next. Other models are designed with one contoured side and a flat side, so you choose between the two. It’s also nice when you find a pillow you like that comes with a pillowcase!

How do you avoid buying the wrong neck pain pillow?

It’s tricky. Contoured neck pain pillows can feel weird, even uncomfortable at first. Maybe it’s the mix of firmness and softness, even the edged wings, that are hard to get used to. What can you do to avoid the wrong neck pain pillow for you? If you have an injury, talk with your doctor for their recommendation. Otherwise, think about the positions you like to sleep in most, what degree of firmness you like in a mattress, and any allergies you may have. The final step is to give your pillow a chance. It may feel uncomfortable for a few weeks for you to get used to it and for the pillow to adapt to your body before you feel pain-free.

Our Picks for the Best Pillows for Neck Pain

Top Choice

Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow for Neck and Shoulder Pain

A contoured, high-density, slow-rebound memory foam pillow for better sleep and less neck pain.

Pros: This cervical pillow has a butterfly shape to comfortably support the head, neck, arms, and wrists. The concave center supports the curve of the neck and uninhibited breathing. If you sleep on your side or stomach, you’ll naturally hug the pillow with one or both arms. The contoured wings support your arms in that position and reduce snoring. Made of high-density, slow-rebound memory foam, the pillow delivers an ideal balance between firm and soft. The 38% ice silk viscose with 62% polyester materials are both CertiPUR-US and OEKO-EX standard 100 certified to ensure the pillow is free of harmful substances such as formaldehyde, phthalates, and certain flame retardants. Finally, the pillow comes with a pillowcase with a breathable surface.

Cons: The contoured butterfly shape of the pillow takes some getting used to. You may find it awkward at first.

Bottom Line: Just the thought of the high-density, slow-rebound memory foam appeals to the sleepyhead ready for a nap. Also, it’s comforting to know you won’t be inhaling toxins from the pillow’s fabrics as you snooze.

 

Best with Cooling

Osteo Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain Relief

A cervical pillow made with high-quality fabric with a pillowcase that breathes.

Pros: Finally, a pillow for back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers all in one. It’s designed with five important areas of support: a center cavity, an arc-shaped cervical area, a bilateral side sleep, arm support areas, and bilateral shoulder contour supports. Made of polyurethane memory foam that’s both soft and firm, the pillow comes with a removable 3D mesh fiber polyester pillowcase. The pillowcase’s fabric design breathes to keep you cool as you sleep soundlessly and pain-free.

Cons: Several users report that the pillow size they chose was too small.

Bottom Line: If you wake up tired and have head and neck pain, the Osteo cervical pillow may be helpful. Plus, the included pillowcase reduces the possibility of sweaty sleep.

 

Premium Choice

TEMPUR-Pedic Ergo Neck Pillow, Large Profile

This ergonomic neck pillow features the singular TEMPUR memory foam.

Pros: The main selling point of this ergonomic pillow for neck pain is the TEMPUR material and how it supports you while you sleep. The open cellular structure of this memory foam adapts to your weight, shape, and temperature, so your body heat and body position soften and reshape the material. TEMPUR absorbs pressure and the design of the neck pillow. In a way, you could say that you make it your own as you sleep, and yet it never loses its supportive and aligning shape. It comes with a 100% polyester knit hypoallergenic and machine washable cover.

Cons: It’s more expensive than the other options, and it isn’t cooling.

Bottom Line: Just the brand name TEMPUR attracts shoppers because of the company’s special memory foam engineering. Choose the right size for you and enjoy getting some Zs.

 

Best Value

LUCID Premium Hypoallergenic Shredded Memory Foam Pillow

This neck pillow utilizes shredded memory foam for a cool sleep.

Pros: The LUCID neck pain relief pillow features superior materials and uniquely designed memory foam. Unlike other pillows we review here, this version contains shredded memory foam, which is thought to have superior breathability, giving its sleepers a sweat-free night. The CertiPUR-US certified shredded memory foam fill is hypoallergenic, and the bamboo-derived viscose rayon and polyester blend fabric team up to make a firm, soft, and durable pillow. It comes in standard, queen, and king sizes and provides proper spine alignment.

Cons: If you’re looking for a contoured pillow, you may want to consider a different product.

Bottom Line: You can’t argue against a two-pack of quality neck-pain-relieving pillows made of enduring and hypoallergenic materials. The shredded memory foam sets them apart from the rest.

 

Also Great

ZAMAT Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Washable Cover

This height-adjustable neck pain relief pillow can be flipped for yet another fit.

Pros: Wow, a truly adjustable memory foam pillow for neck pain relief! This is an uncommon product, to be sure. The cervical pillow comes with a removable insert, which is about 0.8 inches thick. You can also rotate the pillow or switch it from the side with orthopedic support to a regular pillow. The contoured side features a neck support cradle and soft facial areas. The pillow comes with double pillowcases for truly sound sleep, each made with a breathable, hypoallergenic cotton/polyester blend and a polyester liner.

Cons: As with all the neck pillow products we reviewed, it won’t work for everyone. Some found the ZAMAT too soft, too small, too firm, and oddly shaped.

Bottom Line: This is an excellent pillow for sleepers who appreciate versatility. Sometimes, you need to readjust in the middle of the night to get fully comfortable, and this pillow is up to the task.

Final Thoughts

Many people suffer from neck pain, and if you fall into that category, you can alleviate it with one of these pillows designed to help.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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