Best Pillows for Neck Pain: Reviews and Buying Guide for 2017

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The wrong pillow can sure be a pain in the neck.  When you toss and turn because your head and neck are uncomfortable, you wake up—if you slept—feeling achy and tired.  We spend a third of our lives sleeping so how we sleep affects our two-thirds awake. What you need is the best pillow for neck pain that we will explain in this evaluation so you get a better night’s sleep. You might additionally find pain relief using the neck, shoulders, and back massagers with heat when driving, at home, or work shown here.

Your neck must be aligned with your spine. After time sleeping incorrectly, over time, damage can occur showing up as stiff muscles, stiff neck, tendonitis, herniated discs, and more. You might need help from a chiropractor, doctor, or physical therapist to determine what’s causing your neck pain.

Causes for neck pain can be sleeping on your stomach that arches your spine, a worn out pillow, a pillow not right for you, a mattress not hard enough, or old. Your muscles do not relax with disturbances in your sleep. Sleep that restores and heals cannot happen when we are not relaxed, calm, and comfy.

Shopping for pillows can be a nightmare with so many types available today. So say good night to neck pain forever with a new pillow just for you.

Neck and back pain Pillows work well together with TENS Units for muscle and nerve pain.

What are the Best Pillows for Neck Pain?

Every pillow manufacturer states that they make the best pillow for you. That still leaves you wondering what the best pillow for your neck pain is. We will throw some light on this “pillow talk” subject to help you have a better understanding for your needs.

Pillows made of—buckwheat, down, gel, feathers, latex, memory foam, synthetic plastic fibers, microbeads, polyester, water, and chiropractic types—what do you choose? Straw was once used as filler, is not comfortable, and not used much today.

The best pillow for your neck pain will be discussed here along with the pros and cons of each and the best sleeping position for getting a good night’s sleep.



Types of Pillows

Differences Between Low- and High-loft Pillows

The loft of a pillow is determined by its height when it lays flat on a bed. A high-loft pillow will be thick and a low-loft one will be thin. That’s an easy concept. The pillow will lose some of its loft with time, use, and wear. This is determined by the material used making the pillow.

Goose down pillows, the softest, is comfy to snuggle and is a low-loft pillow. Buckwheat pillows will hold their shape for a longer period because they are a firm material. Cotton pillows being soft will hold their shape with a plumping up from time to time.

Sleep Method—if you sleep on your stomach or back, a low-loft pillow is best for you. This will do the important aligning of your head and spine to decrease neck and back pain. Select a high-loft pillow if you are a side sleeper to fill in the area between your shoulder and head.

Mattress Type—is a deciding factor when choosing pillows. If you sleep on a soft mattress, your body will sink into the mattress and your head will rise up. For this type of situation, a low-loft pillow is best. Conversely, with a firmer mattress, you will need a high-loft pillow for aligning your head and spine as it should be.

READ MORE: Top 9 types of neck pillow

Specialty Pillows

Specialty pillows are wonderful for when not sleeping in your bed, or using in the bed in conjunction with your regular bed pillow. You decide how it will work best for your pain.

Specialty pillows include inflatable, cervical, therapeutic, orthopedic, and sleeping wedge that take the pain out of you neck. Wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free. Align your neck with your spine that will show up as stiff neck, stiff muscles, tendonitis, herniated discs.

1. Inflatable Neck Pillows

Inflatable neck pillows are ergonomically designed for lateral support for a deeper rest. It supports the neck, upper body, and head. This reduces the risk of neck aches when in the car and bumping into them. They can be used at home in your favorite recliners, on the sofa when napping, and even in bed. They work wonderful for long car trips or any vehicle trips. The inflatables can be pumped up with a compressor or bicycle pump. Some units have snap flaps for adding extra support for kids and heavy sleepers. The inflatable neck pillow is typically made of vinyl usually under a pound in weight.

2. Cervical Neck Pillows

Cervical neck pillows will align your spine relieving you of shoulder, neck, and back pain. This is done by relaxing your shoulder muscles. Most foam types will keep their shape and provide continued support while you sleep. You might experience the new pillow odor when new, but that will go away. Airing it out will help eliminate the odor that should disappear completely in one to two weeks. Febreze will help to rid you of the odor—just a sight misting will do.

3. Therapeutic Pillows for Neck Pain

Therapeutic neck pillows will remove a stiff neck and muscle pain. You will be able to loosen neck muscles so that you can turn your neck and not your body. You can take these pillows with you wherever you go and use in your home too. The pillows never go flat. The pillows are versatile and designed well to support your ears, shoulders, and neck to align perfectly with your spine. They are soft, soothing, and supportive.

4. Orthopedic Pillows for Neck Pain

Orthopedic pillows are recommended by chiropractors and they are made of foam specifically designed for back and side sleepers to hold your neck and spine in alignment to reduce sore stressed muscles. People with small and large necks can use these pillows. Regular pillows cannot do what the orthopedic pillows do—let you wake up without pain in your back, neck, and shoulders. These provide the right contour for aligning your spine and neck supporting you while you sleep. The one-piece does not become lumpy or warp over time.

5. Sleeping Wedge

The sleeping wedge was designed for people with neck and back problems, acid reflux, snoring, poor circulation, sleep apnea, and problems breathing. They are usually made of memory foam that is soft but sturdy. They provide the support you need whatever your problem. You will experience a more restful and peaceful night’s sleep when elevated for your particular issue.

Top 10 Best Pillows for Neck Pain

1. COOP Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow with Bamboo Cover

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Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

COOP Home Goods is sold by Marlow’s Mercantile and available on Amazon. Only these are guaranteed genuine. If you purchase from a seller without COOP Home Goods embroidered on the fabric or Law Label notify Amazon. The original and authentic pillow is made in the USA.

The therapeutic COOP Home Goods pillow is Cetipur-US certified foam with the cover made of 60% polyester and 40% bamboo for ventilation. This will keep you cool while you sleep restfully and sound with the shredded proprietary visco elastic memory foam mix for waking up refreshed and without pain.

This pillow is good for all sleep positions—stomach, back, and sides.

The pillows are unaffected by dust mites, are hypoallergenic, and will not become flat over time. They are machine washable and can be reshaped, as you like.

The pillow covering and memory foam filling does not contain any flame retardant compounds, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), dichloroisopropyl phosphate (TDCPP), or 2-carboxyethyl phosphine (TCEP). All pillows from this company are made without chemicals that deplete the natural ozone layer. There is no lead, mercury, heavy metals, formaldehyde, or phythalates that are regulated by the USA Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and contain no chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs). All foam has been analyzed by accredited and independent testing labs.

The queen-size pillow is 18 x 12 x 3-inches and weighs 3.5 pounds; the king size is 19 x 11.5 x 3-inches and weighs 4.5 pounds.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, the foam is made in the USA, and it carries a 5-year Limited Warranty. If you are not satisfied, return the pillow within 30 days of purchase for a refund.

2. Sleep Innovations® Contour Memory Foam Pillows

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Sleep Innovations® therapeutic support pillow provides a superior foundation for spine alignment you need with the comfort for waking up with reduced stiffness and pain. You can select from a low-loft or high-loft contoured pillow to suit your needs. It will hold its shape indefinitely and is a medium-to-medium-firm feeling to your head and neck. Any new pillow chemical smell will go away in a few days. Try putting in the dryer on the no heat setting for a few minutes or spray lightly with Febreze.

The Sleep Innovations® SureTemp Contour Memory Foam Pillow is made for side and back sleepers for a restful night’s sleep. The orthopedic design is not only good for your spine, it also relieves snoring, stress, and insomnia. By having your body weight evenly distributed, your circulation will be improved. The pillow is hypoallergenic and is covered with a zippered soft white velour terry cloth that can be removed to clean.

This standard-size pillow is 20.8 x 14.2 x 4.8 inches and weighs 2 pounds. The queen size is 24 x 15 x 5 inches and weighs 2.5 pounds.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, the foam is made in the USA, and it carries a 5-year Limited Warranty.

3. CozyCloud Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillows

CozyCloud<sup>™</sup> Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam Pillows width=
Our Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars

The CozyCloud pillow is shaped like a typical down pillow filled with tons of soft USA-made memory foam. The foam is soft with a high compactness for the coziest night of sleep you will ever have. It feels like sleeping on one of those fluffy clouds.

The high-end memory foam is so super soft that you will never need to be concerned about less support. It holds its shape. If you are a back sleeper be sure to place the pillow under your lower cervical neck curve. Simply grab the pillow on each side and pull it forward.

This pillow is good for all sleep positions—stomach, back, and sides.

This queen size pillow is 27-inches wide and will snuggle up to you then return to its original shape. There is no need to fluff up these pillows that has to be done with feathers and down. It contours perfectly to your body or neck and the bamboo fabric stretches. The pillow is machine washable too. Nothing is made overseas that are comparable to USA-made pillows—we know that! The foam is not temperature sensitive, so you will be neither too hot nor too cold. The pillow is not toxic, and dust mites will be resistant to it.

The queen size pillow is 27-inches wide and weighs 3 pounds; the king size is 34-inches wide and weighs 4 pounds.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, the foam is made in the USA, and it carries a 10-year Warranty, a full satisfaction guarantee, and comes with a 30-day risk-free trial.

4. Smarter Rest Memory Foam Pillows

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Smarter Rest pillow is made from German memory foam. The pillow holds its shape and forms itself to your body for a smart night’s rest that is easy to achieve. The foam will not go flat over time and has no odor.

Take it with you when you travel. It aligns your spine, stays cool and is never hot, and can lessen snoring as well. This pillow is good for all sleep positions—stomach, back, and sides.

Many pregnant women use it to relax into when feeling heavy, tired, and stressed. It is a wonderful body pillow for anyone and can be used as a seat cushion wedge in your car or favorite chair. This pillow is not used as a decorative accessory item or used for a pet. With its granulated surface, there will be no perspiring because airflow is promoted by design. Your head will be supported at the right angle lessening back pain with the potential of eliminating snoring.

The filling’s outer covering case is velvet of 80% cotton and 20% polyester. The inside cover is dust mite proof and hypoallergenic made of 100% polyester. The German quality memory foam is made using German technology and standards. The manufacturing facility has certifications from SGS and Bureau Veritas (BV), founded in 1828, a worldwide leader in testing, inspection and certification (TIC). SGS (formerly Société Générale de Surveillance), is a Swiss company providing inspection, verification, testing and certification services.

The memory foam pillow is a convex (outward) shape and the curve is comfy to snuggle up to. The cover case has a hidden zipper and the cover is washable. The pillow and protective covering can be enclosed into a typical pillowcase. The memory foam pillow outlasts gel pillows, shredded foam, and bamboo pillows. It has an additional cushion layer on the top and is toxin-free for allergy sufferers.

The pillow is a standard size 21.5 x 11.8 x 3.5-inches and weighs 2 pounds. Queen and king size are not yet offered.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, a free sleep mask, earplugs, a free sleep eBook, and a 5-year Limited Warranty.

How to use Smarter Rest Memory Foam Pillows (infographic)

5. Core Products 130 Theraputica Cervical Sleeping Pillows

Theraputica Cervical Sleeping Pillows width=
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The unusually shaped but ergonomically designed Core Products pillow was devised consulting with a chiropractor for those with neck, back and shoulder pain. This pillow will help you have better restful sleep with its spinal alignment capabilities. Each sleeping position will be benefited whether you rest on your back, sides, or stomach. With back support and alignment, you will awaken to less stiffness and pain. When you invest in this wonderful pillow, you invest in your current and future health. It is made of hypoallergenic toxin-free foam and made in the USA.

This pillow is offered in 5 sizes for a fit tailored to your body needs. The chart below shows and explains the sizes with the measuring ruler.

Theraputica Cervical Sleeping Pillows - measuring ruler

The pillow is sized for children, and is available in petite and average ranges, fitting into a standard pillowcase having its own zippered pillow covering of cotton and polyester being machine washable. The large and X-large will fit into a king size pillowcase.

Pillow Sizes

  • Child—6 to 10 years old
  • Petite—4-1/4 to 5-1/4-inches
  • Average—5-1/4 to 6-1/4-inches
  • Large—6-1/4 to 7-1/4-inches
  • XL—7-1/4-inches plus

Instructions for Using

The Core Products sleeping pillow will provide a good night’s sleep on your back or side giving you the spinal alignment necessary for health. It has two shapes in one pillow that is only one of its kind. When you sleep on your back, your head is usually centered on the pillow; therefore, this pillow was designed for that in mind. It provides upper back support with its exclusive wedge. Side sleepers usually sleep on the outside edges of their pillow that is designed for this style of sleeping. The foam density provides support while being soft.

A good night’s sleep is important and this pillow lets you get deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep for emotional and physical balance. The therapeutic benefits are many for reducing blood pressure, healing at the cell level, and depression is lessened. Concentration, memory, and your mood are improved with a restful deep sleep.

People are not “one size fits all.” Determine your shoulder size. The side section on this pillow will be higher for supporting your shoulders with the center shaped to hold your neck and head comfortably. The wedge extension will give you upper back support and the cervical curve gives you neck support, with the center area holding your head. It also prevents snoring by preventing your head from going forward when back sleeping allowing your air passages to stay open.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, and a 5-year Limited Warranty to not lose its shape and flexibility satisfaction guaranteed.

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6. Tri-Core® Cervical Pillows

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Our Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

The Tri-Core® cervical pillow made in the USA will give you long lasting softer support than others for aligning your spine and providing reduced pain for a restful sleep. The center shaped like a trapezoid offers orthopedic benefits supporting your neck and cuddling your head.

The lobes will give you a great fit as a different sized sleeper. As a side sleeper, the lobes are taller. The top part provides larger neck support and the bottom lobe gives you the best shoulder and neck support. This pillow is suggested by doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists. It is good for side and back sleepers but not stomach sleepers.

The quick-to-recover fiber will spring back when compressed for comfort and strength. The 50% cotton and 50% polyester white cover is soft and breathes fitting a standard 24 by 16-inch pillowcase. The pillow core is a premium fiber filled.

For your specific needs, select from three different sizes such as the standard or the gentle Tri-Core® pillow with firm support for neck and spine alignment. The three sizes will provide support and comfort to kids and young teens as well as adults and elders. If you are a novice, it might take some time to become accustomed to the workings and adjustment for your spine to realign its curve while you sleep. The standard support is more firm and the gentle support contains less fiber for a lower loft, reducing firmness. The pillow helps with neck pain and migraine headaches.

Pillow Core Sizes

  • Petite—19 x 12-inches
  • Mid-size—22 x 15-inches
  • Full size—24 x 16-inches

Core 200 is firm and Core 220 is soft.

Hand washing and drying by soaking in lukewarm water with detergent is recommended. Squish and press the filling until clean. Rinse and squish and press until the water runs clear. Dry flat on a towel. Do not hang up because the filling will settle into the bottom. Fluff up and punch when totally dry. Do not put in the clothes washer; it will be destroyed. The clothes dryer is not advised.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, and a Limited Warranty, satisfaction guaranteed

7. Z® by MALOUF® 100% Natural Talalay Latex Pillows

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Our Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Sam and Kacie Malouf founded the company wanting upscale bedding at an affordable price. The Z® by MALOUF® 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow comes in standard, queen, and king sizes.

The four styles of high-loft firm and high-loft plush, low-loft firm and low-loft plush, provide firm density for side, and back sleepers. The pillows are made from 100% pure natural Talalay latex with no synthetic additives. The distinctive foam uniformity will give you pressure relief with its zoned support technology. You will maintain your temperature with the larger holes in front and small holes in the back for ventilation and airflow for not being overly hot or cold. The luxury embossed velour cover is 75% polyester and 25% rayon made from bamboo and is soft and removable to launder. You can also cover it with a pillowcase. The latex is mildew proof, resists dust mites, and is antimicrobial, and breathes.

Your head will be gently cradled for spinal column alignment. Your aches and pains will diminish over time for side sleepers.

The pillow comes in a half-fabric half-plastic carrying case with a zipper and handle. Take it with you traveling or visiting spending the night.

In 2014, Malouf was awarded first place in packaging design and received multiple honorable mentions at the 8th International Design Awards, receiving the ‘Gold’ award.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, and a 5-year Limited Warranty for materials and workmanship.

Size of Natural Talalay Latex Pillows

8. Mediflow Waterbase® Pillows

Mediflow Waterbase<strong><sup>®</sup></strong> Pillow width=
Our Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars

The original Mediflow Waterbase® Pillow, made in the USA, is the outcome of 22 years of research, quality improvement, design, and engineering to be top-rated year after year by consumers. Their pillows use best quality materials for your satisfaction and comfort.

Mediflow Waterbase® pillows will give you a dreamy night’s sleep as if on a cloud with its four ways for lessening neck pain. You can adjust it to the firmness you like and any other users can do the same. It will act in response to your movement to support you continually while you sleep. Your head will rest on the polyester fiber that is supported by water in a thin base at the bottom. Simply add or remove water for the level you want to be soft, medium, or firm. You will never wake up to fluff the Mediflow Waterbase® pillow. The pillow never goes flat for back and side sleepers. This is the greatest of pillows for shoulder, neck, and back to align your spine as well.

The pillow protector covering is 100% cotton percale that is quilted and the soft layer is hypoallergenic with polyester inside. The cover can be removed with its zipper and it can be hand washed. It works well for all people small or large with preferences from soft or firm with medium in between. Try the pillow that has been purchased and loved by over 4 million people. If you do not think the pillow reduces neck pain and sore muscles, return it within 30 days of purchase for a refund or exchange.

The pillow is 28 x 20 x 4.5-inches and weighs 1.5 pounds.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, and a 1-year Limited Warranty with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

9. ExceptionalSheets Extra Soft Down Pillows

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The ExceptionalSheets Extra Soft Down Pillow in made in the USA and is wonderful for stomach sleepers. It is good for back and side sleepers too for supporting your neck and head for a fit that is perfect. This pillow has a hypoallergenic 600-filler white goose down and is used by most hotels. The softness is snuggly and soft with a nice density. The ultra plush pillow is created to keep you cool while sleeping, not perspiring in your hair and on your face.

The ticking of 100% cotton keeps the feathers inside so they will not poke you and this fabric helps for the ventilation provided by this pillow. This is the most comfortable down pillow available in the marketplace and you will enjoy a comfy night’s sleep waking refreshed and ready to go.

Down pillows usually are available in soft, for stomach sleepers, medium, for side sleepers, and firm that are just what the back sleepers ordered. This pillow is of extra soft down to see if it’s what you want. It’s a valuable way to start out when you’ve never had a down pillow before. It’s cost effective and provides you with an added layer of cushioning softness to your current feather pillow. At the low price, you can buy two for the price of one of other brands, or get 4 to have a solid run of pillows under your headboard. The pillow is squashy and scrunches up to your head the way you love it.

The standard size is 20 x 26-inches with 12 ounces (5.25 fill power) of white duck down. These are easy to care for going into the washing machine and dryer as stated for care in the instructions. This pillow is also hypoallergenic and made in the USA.

The queen size is 20 x 30-inches. King size is not available now.

ExceptionalSheets is an American, veteran owned company operated out of Evansville, Indiana. Countless hours of time, effort, and a little luck has helped ExceptionalSheets become one of the Internet’s most trusted and successful providers of luxury products.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions, and eLuxurySupply for ExceptionalSheets, offers a cash back guarantee for any customer who is dissatisfied with the quality of their purchase.

10. ComfyComfy ComfySleep Buckwheat Pillows

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

ComfyComfy is a family business expanding from one woman’s hand-sewn gift items to a small company with 10 employees. Their goal is to make pillows of high quality with local materials that are hand selected and made in the USA.

The concealed YKK brand zipper with a tab is on the outer cover so you can remove or add buckwheat for your best needs. These can be shaped to fit the contour of your body. The buckwheat hulls provide for airflow throughout the pillow so that it is never hot, cold, or wet.

The outer cover cotton twill is made from organic cotton grown in Texas then the fibers are spun into yarn and made into cloth in the Carolinas. The buckwheat is grown in North Dakota. The covering is sewn together in New York by the Mennonite rural farm women with excellent tailoring skills then are filled and packaged with buckwheat by a husband and wife, then distributed countrywide. The thread used is Gutermann from Germany prized by tailors and home sewers alike.

The standard hull pillow is the same size as a USA twin- or standard-sized pillow. It is just right for broad shoulders and larger people.

Wake each morning without pain or a stiff neck or sore muscles. You can beat the pillow into shape, hug it, use it as support, and sleep on it well.

Gift-wrapping is available. The pillow comes with instructions and a 30-day return policy. Refunds will be issued if you are not satisfied with the ComfyComfy pillows.

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Final Thoughts

We certainly hope our pillow talk has enlightened you for considering what pillow will be best for you. When you have been suffering without relief when sleeping, your pillow is probably the culprit. Without your neck aligned with your spine, you can wake up with a stiff neck that is impossible to get through the day. Chiropractors and medical professionals recommend the pillows discussed here. The companies listed here will refund your money if you are not totally satisfied, so you have nothing to lose.


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2 Comments

  1. Matt October 13, 2016 Reply
  2. Lynn January 15, 2017 Reply

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