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Selecting the Best Pillow for Neck Pain Relief

Selecting the Best Pillow for Neck Pain Relief

Our necks are subjected to enormous stress daily. From the moment we open our eyes, prolonged use of computers and mobile phones can cause excessive strain on the neck. And after going to sleep, if your neck is not yet completely relaxed but instead becomes tenser due to improper sleeping positions or the wrong pillow. Then it will further deepen your neck pain. If you choose the right pillow, you can make a big difference in the quality of your sleep and overall comfort.

In this article, we will discuss the key factors to consider when choosing a pillow to relieve neck pain, including firmness, height, material, and shape. We will also cover different types of pillows, such as contour pillows, memory foam pillows, and water pillows. They may be helpful for neck pain.

Follow these tips to find the best pillow for your neck pain and get the restful sleep you deserve.

What causes neck pain?

Many reasons can cause neck pain. Most pain is due to the neck supporting the weight of the head and is affected by trauma and disease, which can cause pain and restrict movement.

There are other reasons why neck pain can occur.

Reasons include:

  • Muscle strain. Overuse of the neck muscles and prolonged looking down at the computer or mobile phone.
  • Wear and tear of the joints. This problem wears away with age and forms bone spurs. This can affect joint movement and cause pain.
  • Nerve compression. Herniated discs or bone spurs in the cervical vertebrae may compress the nerves that branch from the spinal cord.
  • Injury. An injury to the neck caused by external impact.
  • Diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer, etc. Seek medical attention promptly if you develop these types of symptoms.

How to choose a pillow for neck pain?

You can choose a pillow depending on factors such as your personal sleep experience, preferred options, and sleep positions. You are advised to consider the following main points.

  • The firmness of the pillow: this factor determines how well the pillow keeps its shape when you apply pressure to it. Whether you sink into a super-soft pillow or lean against a super-firm one.
  • Pillow fluffiness: fluffiness includes the height and thickness of the pillow. Choose between high or low fluffiness. The right level of fluffiness will ensure the correct alignment between your spine and neck.
  • What material to use in a pillow: Different types of pillow fillings vary and can affect the feel of sleep. Some common types include down, memory fibre, foam or a mix of fillings. This factor leans towards personal preference.
  • Remember to consider allergies: if you are prone to allergies, consider using pillowcases that are resistant to allergens or dust mites, as well as choosing pillow fillings that do not trigger allergies.

If you can't find a curved pillow that you like, consider trying a memory foam pillow. Memory foam pillows will compress the shape of your head and neck to align with your spine.

Check your sleeping position

You want to avoid neck pain, or if you already suffer from neck pain. Then the best sleeping position for you is on your back or side. Sleeping on your back can aggravate the pain because your neck is turned to one side and your back is arched.

If you wish to find a suitable pillow.

Lie on your back - find a pillow that has a cervical curve to it. This way there will be a bulge under your neck and your head will remain relatively flat.

Sleeping on your side - you need to find a slightly higher pillow to keep your head in line with your spine and possibly a pillow with a bump under your neck for support.

U-shaped pillows are suitable for use during travel.

Additional pillows can be added as required.

If you sleep on your stomach, a flat pillow under your belly may help to keep your spine in line with your head and neck.

Use a flat pillow when lying on your side or back, just put a second roll or rolled-up towel under your neck to provide extra support.

Tips for using a pillow for neck pain

The most suitable pillow for sleeping will depend on the position in which you sleep most often. Lying on your side, prone or on your back.

  • Side sleepers - soft to medium firm pillows with a higher fluffiness, suitable for almost any material type. Except for gel, bamboo and buckwheat, which tend to be too firm.
  • Sleepers - The best feeling for the sleeping experience is when paired with a medium-firm pillow with less fluffiness. The most suitable material for this firmer feel is commonly found in down, cotton, memory foam, gel, polyester and buckwheat pillows.
  • Supine - medium soft or medium firm. This keeps the neck and cervical spine aligned. Most neck pain is associated with poor posture and age-related wear and tear. To prevent neck pain, keep your head directly above the centre of your spine. You can try.
  • Use good posture. When standing or sitting, make sure your shoulders are in a straight line with your hips and your ears are directly above your shoulders. When looking at tablets and other screens, do not bend your neck to look at the device.
  • Take frequent naps. Hold one movement often, or work at the computer for long periods, get up and move around to stretch your neck and shoulders.
  • Adjust the height of the table, seat and computer. The monitor is at eye level. The knees should be slightly below the hips.
  • Avoid carrying a heavy satchel. Excessive pressure can tighten the neck and thus worsen neck pain.
  • Sleep in a healthy position. The head and neck should be flush with the body. Try to sleep on your back with a pillow under your thighs to flatten your spinal muscles.


In one study, people with sleep disorders were more likely to have chronic pain a year later compared to those who slept well.

Perhaps the neck pain is the result of not getting enough sleep, or perhaps the lack of adequate sleep is causing the neck pain. However, if you are having sleep problems, consider changing to a pillow that is more suitable for you.

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