Neck pain can range from an occasional issue to a daily ailment. The pain might evolve from a mere annoyance to a problem that affects your sleep quality and ultimately daily life. The upside is that your frustrations with neck pain should improve with the addition of thoughtfully designed products. One method is to purchase a supportive neck pillow.
These products are intended to help curb neck pain, and in the process, should improve your quality of sleep and your life.
Just as you need the right type of pillow, it’s also necessary to choose the appropriate brand that is aimed to cater to your needs most closely. In this guide, we have compiled a list of 9 best pillows for neck pain on today’s market, including what materials they are made of and the unique features that help them stand above the competition.
Interested in exploring further? Check out our Best Pillows for 2023.
10 Best Pillows for Neck Pain
- Saatva Memory Foam Pillow – Best Overall
- Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Neck Pillow – Best Firm Pillow for Neck Pain
- Coop Home Goods The Eden Pillow – Best Memory Foam Pillow for Neck Pain
- Nolah Squishy Pillow – Best Pillow for Side Sleepers with Neck Pain
- Lagoon Fox Pillow – Best Soft Pillow for Neck Pain
- Cozy Earth Silk Pillow – Best Luxury Pillow for Neck Pain
- Luxome LAYR Pillow – Best Customizable Pillow for Neck Pain
- The Marlow Pillow – Best Cooling Pillow for Neck Pain
- Helix Adjustable Pillow – Best King Size Pillow for Neck Pain
- Wink Beds Adjust-A-Cube Pillow – Best Adjustable Pillow for Neck Pain
Top 10 Neck Pain Pillows
Saatva Memory Foam Pillow
- CertiPUR-US® Certified
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- Memory Foam Core
- Cooling Cover
The Saatva Memory Foam Pillow is a luxury product made from graphite-infused memory foam. The construction and materials allow maximum cooling, comfort, and support for the neck in all sleeping positions.
The construction starts with a cooling organic cotton cover designed to wick away moisture. The material is breathable and comfortable, helping hot sleepers cool even during the hottest nights. Next is the graphite-infused memory foam filling that contours to your neck and head, providing maximum support. The core is made of a memory foam blend and natural latex for increased durability, breathability, and neck support.
What makes it stand out?
- Saatva offers a 45-day trial to test the pillow and decide whether it’s the right match for you. You also get a 1-year limited warranty.
- This memory foam pillow has a breathable organic cover you can wash in the machine. The cover is easy to take off and put back on once it’s clean and dry.
Best Firm Pillow for Neck Pain
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Neck Pillow
- Firm Feel
- Ergonomically contoured
- Three Sizes Available
- Hypoallergenic Cover
The TEMPUR-Neck is a firm pillow available in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The pillow is designed for side and back sleepers, offering maximum support and neck pain relief. The TEMPUR® Material adapts to your head and neck as it’s ergonomically contoured to follow natural shapes.
The contoured design supports your neck and head when you sleep on your side or back. It follows the curve of your body, allowing proper spine alignment at all times. The cover is made of 100 percent polyester that's hypoallergenic to prevent bacteria build-up. You can remove it for easy washing and drying.
What makes it stand out:
- This Tempur-Pedic pillow comes with an industry-leading 5-year warranty. However, the TEMPUR® material is long-lasting and durable, so the pillow should last longer, even with frequent use.
- The cover is safe to wash in a washing machine, but make sure to use a gentle cycle only. It’s best to avoid tumble-drying and instead let the cover air-dry.
Best Memory Foam Pillow for Neck Pain
Coop Home Goods The Eden Pillow
- Memory Foam and Microfiber Fill
- Plush and Luxurious Feel
Sleepers looking for a great memory foam pillow will want to consider The Eden from Coop Home Goods. This pillow features cooling gel-infused memory foam that should minimize pressure on the neck by cradling the sleeper’s head.
Included with your purchase is an extra half-pound of fill, allowing you to adjust the loft and firmness to whatever feels best. Adding to the Eden’s likeability is the machine-washable Lulltra™ cover, which should make maintaining your new pillow a breeze.
Why should you buy it?
- The Eden comes with two impressive certifications: CertiPUR-US® and GREENGUARD Gold. This means that the pillow has met vigorous health and safety testing from third-party organizations.
- The pillow should feel soft but doesn’t sacrifice support, which is helpful for side and back sleepers.
- The Eden’s hypoallergenic design is ideal for people who struggle with allergies. You should expect more restful nights with this product.
Best Pillow for Side Sleepers with Neck Pain
Nolah Squishy Pillow
- Adjustable Cube-Cut Foam Filling
- Machine Washable Cover
- Queen Size
- 2-Year Warranty
Side sleepers with neck pain require versatility in a pillow, as they might need to adjust its height and plushness depending on their symptoms. The Nolah Squishy is up to the task: its dual-chamber design makes it simple to take out (or re-add) the shredded bits of foam inside.
The foam pieces have been cut into rough cube shapes to promote airflow and cooling without sacrificing support. Their breathability means that you shouldn’t have to flip the pillow over and over to achieve a cozy temperature.
What do we love about it?
- This pillow boasts OEKO-TEX® certification for being toxin-free.
- The Squishy’s cover is machine washable for quick and easy cleaning.
Best Soft Pillow for Neck Pain
Lagoon Fox Pillow
- Adjustable Fill
- CertiPUR-US® Certified Foam
- 100-Night Trial
- 5-Year Warranty
The stuffing inside the Lagoon Fox is 80% memory foam and 20% polyester microfibers, which mix to create a plush yet supportive feel for sleepers with neck pain. The fibers are an essential part of the fill’s formula: They help to keep the foam pieces together and evenly distributed, preventing unevenness or lumpiness.
Because the fill amount is adjustable, sleepers with neck pain can remove or put in as much as they want to help with their nighttime aches. They even have 100 nights to decide if the Fox is the right pillow for them.
What stands out?
- The Fox comes in a queen or king size to suit different beds and preferences.
- Lagoon’s pillow covers are hypoallergenic and washable for a reliably fresh surface.
Best Luxury Pillow for Neck Pain
Cozy Earth Silk Pillow
- Long-Strand Mulberry Silk Filling
- Premium Bamboo Viscose Shell
- 100-Night Trial
- 10-Year Warranty
Folks waking up with neck pain should look for a comfortable and pressure-relieving pillow that can alleviate the pain. One such model is the Cozy Earth Silk Pillow, made from luxury materials to help you get rid of neck pain produced by a poor-quality pillow.
The pillow has a premium bamboo viscose shell that’s naturally breathable and has temperature-regulating properties. The filling is made from Mulberry silk, made exclusively for the company, adding even more luxury to this unique pillow. Another thing that stands out is that the filling doesn’t shift, so you’ll get the same comfort level throughout the night regardless of how much you toss and turn.
Why we like it:
- This pillow is warrantied against lumping and piling, so sleepers can be sure they’re getting their money’s worth. The warranty lasts 10 years, and the company also offers a 100-night trial for you to test whether it helps with neck pain.
Best Customizable Pillow for Neck Pain
Luxome LAYR Pillow
- Adjustable Firmness and Height
- Termo-Regulating Viscose Cover
Persistent neck pain can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep for most folks, but having a good pillow can make a difference. This Luxome customizable pillow has two sides: one with ultra-soft down alternative and the other with gel-finished shredded memory foam. The LAYR is customizable, meaning that you can adjust the firmness and height by simply adding or removing the inserts and filling.
The customizability makes it a good choice for a range of sleepers, regardless of their preferred sleeping position. However, the LAYR also stands out with its naturally cooling bamboo cover that allows maximum breathability.
What you should know:
- The Luxome LAYR pillow is easy to maintain as it comes with machine-washable covers. Simply remove the filling from the main shell and from the inner covers, set it aside, and return it once all covers are clean and dry.
This model has the CertiPUR-US® certification, meaning that it’s free of chemicals, toxins, and other harmful substances.
Best Cooling Pillow for Neck Pain
The Marlow Pillow
- Cooling Memory Foam
- Breathable Cover and Gussets
- Unique Zipping Adjustable Design
- 2-Year Warranty
The Marlow’s versatility allows sleepers with neck pain to change the height and feel of their pillow just by unzipping (or zipping) a zipper. If your neck would benefit from a firmer foundation, simply leave both zippers on the Marlow zipped up. But if you’re looking for a softer experience, you can unzip one or both zippers on the pillow’s sides.
Doing so also exposes the pillow’s mesh gussets, which work with its gel-infused memory foam filling to provide cooling benefits.
What else caught our eye?
- The Marlow is 100% vegan, for shoppers who wish to prioritize animal-friendly products.
- The mix of memory foam and microfibers inside the Marlow remains supportive night after night, and its loftiness can be perked up with regular fluffing.
Best King Size Pillow for Neck Pain
Helix Adjustable Pillow
- Removable Support Insert
- Cotton and Gel Microfiber Fill
- 100-Night Trial
- 1-Year Warranty
The Helix Adjustable Pillow is available in two sizes: standard and king. This makes it a perfect choice for single individuals and couples who like sharing a pillow. The adjustable design comes from the removable support insert layer, allowing you to customize the height.
This Helix pillow is meant for all sleeping positions and body types. It adapts to your head and neck shape to relieve pain and stiffness. The filling is made of cotton and gel microfiber to prevent overheating and stay cool throughout the night. You adjust the pillow by removing the support insert, which allows you to find the perfect loft option for your needs.
What makes it stand out:
The cover is washable and safe to tumble dry. You can wash it in a machine using a mild detergent and a cold and gentle cycle. The insert is meant to be spot cleaned only.
Best Adjustable Pillow for Neck Pain
WinkBeds Adjust-A-Cube Pillow
- Made in the USA
- Open Air Circulation
- Washable Cover
- Customizable Filling
This WinkBeds pillow is adjustable, allowing sleepers to customize the feel and firmness level. The filling is made of memory foam that adjusts to your head and neck, offering maximum support and pain relief. In addition, the foam cubes are durable, so the pillow should last years.
The construction starts with a durable circular-knit cover made of textured polyester. It’s a smooth and cool-to-the-touch fabric you can wash in the machine. Next is the inner pillow shell that sits right behind the cover. This is where you’ll find a tiny layer of memory foam as a barrier between you and the individual cubes. Finally, the inside is filled with gel-infused memory foam cubes you can remove to adjust the firmness and support level.
Why do we like it?
The WinkBeds Adjust-A-Cube Pillow has a zippered side gusset where you can remove or add the filling. The pillow comes with an extra bag for the cubes so you don’t lose them.
What Causes Neck Pain at Night?
Generally speaking, neck pain can be caused by an awkward sleeping position. Of course, what is considered ‘awkward’ will vary significantly from person to person, as all of our bodies are unique. When stomach or side sleeping, it's easy to slide into an odd position or turn your head at an angle that could cause your neck muscles to cramp.
However, you probably already know what kind of sleeping position is comfortable for you at night, and what type of pillow may lead to neck pain for you. You know your body better than anyone, so trust your instinct when trying to settle into a comfortable sleep position each night.
When shopping for a good option for sleeping, you should be looking for a pillow material that is going to make it easy for you to find a comfortable sleeping position for your head and neck. If you like to have your head well up off of the mattress, that may mean choosing a firm option such as memory foam pillows. Or, if you prefer to lay mostly flat, you might like a softer choice.
Whatever the case, always keep your personal needs and preferences in mind as you shop. The reviews of other buyers are helpful, but their opinions should never get in the way of making a choice that is right for you, as your sleeping positions and preferences may vary.
Cervical Pillow Buyer's Guide
If you decide to search for a cervical pillow to alleviate your neck pain by merely heading to Amazon or another site and searching ‘pillow for neck pain’, you are going to receive an overwhelming number of results. It is incredible to see just how many different neck and shoulder support pillows are on the market today.
Going into this shopping process without a general idea of what you are looking for might not be the best approach. Our buyer's guide aims to answer any questions you may have about the best neck pain pillows and where to find them, taking into consideration your sleeping positions and preferences.
The first thing to understand is the different pillow materials that are used for pillow fill for neck and shoulder pain. By far, the most popular option is a memory foam pillow. As you know, memory foam is already a commonly used material in mattresses, and it is now one of the leaders in the pillow world as well.
There are therapeutic neck traction pillows made from substantial chunks of memory foam, and also some made from shredded memory foam. Even if you don’t wind up purchasing a memory foam one, it would be wise to at least consider this category as you shop.
Surprisingly, water pillows are another option for those suffering from chronic neck pain and headaches. You may not think about water as being a viable option for pillow fill material, but it works quite well when used correctly.
Water cannot be compressed, so it is almost always going to offer a firm feel when you lay your head down at night (depending on the specific design of the pillow you select). Depending on your sleeping positions, using a water-based pillow may seem a little odd, especially while side sleeping, but don’t write this option off until you take a closer look at how it works.
Other popular options include latex pillows, which are breathable, durable, and often long-lasting. A latex core may not always provide the firm support that you are looking for like memory foam pillows, however.
View Our Full Guide: Best Latex Pillows
Shape is Important
In addition to the material that a pillow uses as fill, another variable you will want to watch is the shape of the pillow itself. Curved pillows are commonly seen in this market as they can contour with the shape of your body.
Due to the shape of your head and neck area, it can be difficult to lie comfortably on a flat surface without developing neck pain (or shoulder pain), so a thin pillow may not be in your best interest, especially if you plan on stomach sleeping. Using a contour shaped pillow, such as a cervical support pillow, can potentially solve this problem. These types of pillows may not work as well for stomach sleepers and can often only be used while back or side sleeping. Additionally, if you're a warm sleeper, they are often not flippable.
Cervical pillows do a nice job of filling the space between your neck and the mattress, providing the support you need throughout the night, reducing neck pain, and are considered to be among the best pillows for neck problems.
Don’t Underestimate Sleep
In the modern world, it has somehow become ‘cool’ to go without much sleep. Many adults see sleep as laziness, and they try to prove how hard-working they are by talking about how little they sleep. This is nonsense. Rest is an essential human function, and it is vital to your overall health. If you would like to be at your best on a daily basis, you need to get your sleep – it is just that simple.
Finding a great ergonomic pillow that can help reduce your chronic neck pain is an efficient way to improve your sleep each night. Not only will you enjoy waking up without a stiff neck, but you will also be likely to sleep better during the night because you won’t be awoken by pain or a throbbing migraine headache.
People who sleep well tend to report lower levels of stress, greater happiness, and an improved sleep quality. It might be hard to believe that something like a head and neck support pillow could have such a profound effect on your life, but it’s true. Pick out an excellent pillow for neck pain, and you may see your life improved in ways you would have never imagined.
Frequently Asked Questions About Neck Pillows
What Is an Orthopedic Pillow?
A lot of different pillows are stamped “orthopedic” but there is no one set definition of what that means. However, you can be safe assuming that some sort of thought process went into designing a construction that can help you maintain proper alignment while sleeping.
Some of these choices incorporated clinical data and input from spine specialists to create a pillow that can support your head, neck and shoulders so that your sleeping posture remains straight, helping to keep your spine aligned and alleviate chronic neck pain.
It's likely a safe bet that the best pillows for neck pain will fall into this category.
Which shape is best for my sleeping position?
The right pillow shape for you will largely depend on personal preference, but you might consider paying attention to your doctor’s medical advice based on your sleeping position. Alleviating neck pain often has much to do with maintaining proper spine alignment, which may be more difficult for stomach sleepers.
Many pillows are made to accommodate a variety of sleep positions, so whether you prefer sleeping on your back or are among the side sleepers, the needed support for your neck is similar. For stomach sleepers, there are still options that may help, though training yourself to sleep on your side may be more helpful for neck pain in the long run.
Learn More: How To Properly Sleep On Your Side
Keep in mind that while some options will include more mobility than others to combat neck stiffness, others will keep you more rigid. Your choice is up to preference and preferably advice from a medical professional.
With the assistance of the list above, you should be well on your way to finding the best pillow for neck pain for your needs. When you do order a new orthopedic pillow, give yourself a bit of time to adjust to it before you expect significant results. At times you may experience more neck pain to start as your body adjusts.
Consulting with a doctor is a great way to make sure your discomfort isn't a sign of a bigger issue. It can be hard to make the transition to a new neck traction pillow, even if that pillow is a quality product which fits your needs nicely. Give the new pillow some time to become comfortable, and you will very likely be pleased in the long run.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by our 2023 neck pain pillow buying guide. We hope you found the information you needed to make a significant buying decision. Happy shopping, and sleep well!