Tired of waking up like you slept on the wrong side of the bed? Stubborn neck pain and a stabbing soreness that moves down to the arms and back is no way to wake up, and the worst part is that for some people, morning neck pain can go on for an entire day. It can even lead to other symptoms like migraines, as well as soreness on the arms, back, and legs.
What Causes Nightly Neck Pain?
Most people tend to assume that neck pain is caused by sleeping in the wrong position or by having the wrong mattress. However, the truth is that neck pain is most commonly caused by using the wrong pillow and switching to the right pillow can make a world of difference in terms of sleep quality.
Thing is, the human neck has different parts such as the cartilage, tendons, muscles and tiny bones that connect to spine’s cervical portion. And although small, these bones aren’t directly linked to each other but float on a special type of fluid that enables them to protect the central nervous system. Now, that’s quite a feat for such a small collection of dainty bones, and it boggles the mind to think that they’re partly responsible for movements like craning the neck, head support and being able to freely move these parts of our body as we wish.
The cervical column works like a pathway for nerves to travel from the brain to other body parts. While other parts of the spine can get easily strained or compressed, you’d be surprised at just how vulnerable the neck is during sleep. The best way to avoid injury or strain on the neck when you wake up in the morning is to keep it even with your back by supporting it with a solid and purpose-built neck pain support pillow.
This lavish and comfy pillow from Mediflow contains a unique water chamber inner that adjusts to your neck and back as you sleep so that you get the support you need to wake up feeling refreshed and stress-free. It doesn’t matter what sleeping position you’re in, this pillow will give you a good night of restful sleep.
The best part about this pillow is that it’s backed by scientific research from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, where it was the subject of a lengthy study. The results of this study show that the Mediflow Waterbase pillow shattered all reviewer and industry expectations and came out top in each and every testing category. In fact, the Mediflow Waterbase pillow is currently ranked as the best in its category on the market and is well-known for its ability to reduce neck pain.
The exterior of the pillow is made from hypoallergenic polyester that is remarkably soft, durable and easy to clean. The inside is filled with water so that it becomes the relaxing waterbed that you need to rest your head comfortably during sleep. To clean the pillow, just remove the cover, wash and dry it with a machine, and then use a damp cloth to wipe down the water chamber. Within minutes your pillow will feel and look refreshed.
- Comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- Quick and easy to clean
- Relieves neck pain
- The workmanship could use some improvement, as some reviewers complained of leaking seams
What sets this pillow apart is its memory foam composition and flexible design, which enables it to literally cradle your neck during sleep. The design is fully adaptable and adjusts to your preferred sleeping position. The foam allows for ample airflow to pass through as you sleep so that the pillow stays cool throughout, and the unique combination of bamboo with polyester fabric ensures that the pillow repels moisture so that it’s even cooler and more comfortable. The best part is that the Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is completely hypoallergenic.
The solid inner foam conforms to your body as you move during the night so that you’re fully supported no matter what position you sleep in. This is crucial to preventing neck and back pain, which can lead to feeling groggy and unfocused the following day.
The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow features an ingenious design that really allows for a peaceful and comfortable sleep. Plus, the Coop Home Goods Company is known for its high standard of production quality, focusing on providing the best in bedding quality and comfort. Plus, their products are backed by outstanding warranties which show their confidence in the quality of the products that they offer.
- Great lift
- Adjusts to different sleeping positions during sleep to provide exceptional support
- You can add and remove filling as needed
- Backed by a 100-day satisfaction guarantee
- Some reviewers found it to be a bit hard for their preference
- It’s not as noticeably cooler as some expected
The Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is made from high-quality bamboo combined with shredded memory foam from the USA. Its design incorporates an excellent double airflow double airflow system which is responsible for keeping the pillow and you cool throughout the night. Unlike other solid memory foam pillows in its category, this pillow is very flexible and you can feel it bend to the contours of your neck as you change position so that it stays comfortable throughout the night.
Xtreme Comforts has so much confidence in the quality and performance of this pillow that they’ve backed it with a 30-day money back guarantee, which gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re buying a high-quality product.
The cover is not only hypoallergenic, but extremely resistant to mold as well, and the upkeep of this pillow is fairly simple and easy. The internal part of the pillow consists of 1005 Certipur-US foam, which is vacuum-sealed inside and allows for eco-friendly and completely safe shipping.
You’ll enjoy the benefits of the Shredded Memory Foam pillow regardless of your preferred sleeping position, as it seamlessly adjusts to your needs throughout the night. This means that you can even sleep with your arm under the pillow and it’ll still feel incredibly comfortable, and this is all thanks to the maneuverability of the inner foam, which supports your neck while you sleep, and this keeps the pillow flexible enough to stay comfortable.
- Helps to keep the neck and spine in alignment
- Firm but malleable
- Provides comfortable and restful sleep
- Tested for durability, emissions, and content
- No complaints here!
The Memory Foam Pillow is customized for sleepers who’re prone to morning neck pain, keeping in mind that this problem can happen to anyone, and no matter what sleeping position they prefer. Morning neck pain is usually the result of sleeping in a position that causes the neck to bend down, sideways or up in a way that’s misaligned with the spine. As this happens, the delicate nerves within the spinal column end up getting tense and compressed.
As the sensitive nerves squeeze together, surrounding ancillary muscles squeeze together as well, trying to keep the neck fully supported. The resulting pain you feel in the morning happens because of the swelling that occurs in the affected muscle tissue, which is in turn caused by poor support of the neck bones. Thereafter, you’ll feel the pain move down through the shoulder girdle, to your arms and finally through to your hands. The pain can also travel to the back and even your legs, causing uncomfortable numbness and sciatica, while sleeping in the wrong position can also lead to searing headaches that accompany the pain.
Smarter Rest’s Memory Foam Pillow is specially contoured to relieve and prevent neck pain, thanks to the German-engineered memory foam, which is also toxin free. It’s specifically designed to perfectly align the spine and avoid stiffness of the neck and back while preventing things like snoring during the night and other similar problems that arise from uncomfortable sleeping. The lenient fabric is made up of many tiny granules that give it a soft and lavish feel, and the best part is that this pillow is washable so you can keep it clean and fresh at all times.
- Supports the neck comfortably
- Relieves neck pain
- Contours the neck
- It’s very small
What sets the MyPillow apart is the fact that it’s constructed to provide customized neck support according to your specific body size, which is great because individual body size is one of the main challenges when it comes to sourcing the perfect neck support pillow. That’s because men and women have different body sizes, and that goes for adults and children as well.
Using shirt size, the MyPillow team determines the right pillow size for your individual needs so that you can get the perfect fit. The MyPillow product is truly one of a kind, as it also offers four different loft levels and it stays fluffy and solid no matter how many times you sleep on it, or whether or not you machine wash it.
The MyPillow Premium Series pillow is manufactured in the USA and made to alleviate neck pain using a patented combination of poly filling. This pillow’s super cool, thanks to the free flow of air through which happens as a result of the open cell construction. So you can rest assured that this pillow won’t bunch up during sleep like down filled or cotton pillows do, and it stays comfortably cool no matter how warm it gets during the night.
The benefit of the poly-fill is that it adjusts to your unique body shape to provide solid support and soft comfort, which means that you can sleep in any position and still benefit from the neck supporting qualities of this pillow. The MyPillow also works well for people who prefer to sleep with their arms underneath their pillow during sleep, because it offers incredible back and shoulder support.
- Gets better with each wash and holds up really well
- Relieves headaches associated with neck pain
- Provides four different levels of customized support
- It’s expensive
- Some reviewers found it to be quite flat and uncomfortable
One of the top innovators when it comes to designing industry-leading support pillows, Sleep Innovations presents a brilliant memory foam pillow that works really well at preventing and relieving neck pain. This is all thanks to its unusual shape, which is designed to cradle the neck and head perfectly for a comfortable sleep, regardless of whether you’re a back, front or side sleeper.
The dipped center of the Contour Memory Foam Pillow makes for perfect spine alignment for side sleepers. And if you’re a stomach sleeper that’s been struggling to find the right pillow, then you’ll be glad to know that this pillow’s dipped center relieves pressure from the airways, to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
On the other hand, back sleepers can rest assured that they won’t wake up with neck pain either, thanks to the curved design of the Contour Memory Foam, which prevents the chin and neck from going out of whack while you’re sleeping, as is the case with most back sleepers on normal pillows.
This Contour Pillow also features unique Sure Temp memory foam construction which ensures that it won’t break up, flatten or go out of shape. Plus, it’s backed by a lengthy and generous warranty which means that it’s durable and well-made enough to maintain shape and quality for a long time.
That said, this pillow is not without its flaws, as some reviewers have complained about it having a weird odor due to the packaging, which means that you need to air it out before you use it- preferably right after you take it out of the package. Febreeze is also very effective at eliminating the packaging odor.
The sturdy foam center of this pillow provides ample flexibility for you to move around during the night without worrying about loss of comfort and support or neck pain the following morning, while the exterior is constructed from terry cloth velour fabric, which has a remarkably soft and luxurious feel. The best part is that it’s straightforward and easy to remove, and it’s machine washable too.
Many who’ve experienced sleeping on this pillow state that it’s very comforting and restful to sleep on, and it’s hypoallergenic and suitable for those who’re prone to allergies as well. Some have even noted that using this pillow reduces insomnia and snoring problems as well.
- Great for back sleepers
- Light and very comfortable to sleep on
- Supportive, firm and consistent
- Makes it easy to fall-and stay-asleep
- Some side and tummy sleepers complained that this pillow was uncomfortable to sleep on and did not provide the expected level of support
The Tri-Core Cervical Pillow is specifically designed to provide customized neck support no matter what position you sleep in. Side and stomach sleepers benefit from the pillow’s thickness on the edges, which cradles the neck to provide flawless neck support, and you can rest assured that you won’t end up with a bunched up pillow on your face either. The thick exterior rim is complimented by the customized dip in the middle, which offers solid neck support that keeps the head straight and aligned with the back, which is ideal for back sleepers. The Tri-Core pillow is available in three different sizes, and each is designed to provide customized support for different body sizes, from the kids to the adults.
Sure, this pillow does have an unconventional shape, but it’s part of the special design, and that’s what makes the pillow so fantastic when it comes to providing optimal neck support. The undulating design adjusts to your specific body shape and sleeping position to offer consistent support throughout the night.
Gentle and Standard are the two softness levels available on this pillow, and they range from extreme fill to a lush and softer fill. Tri-Core Cervical Pillows is committed to designing durable pillows that are not only long-lasting but comfortable enough to help relieve neck pain while promoting a peaceful and cool night’s sleep.
- Offers firm support
- It’s large
- Adjusts to different sleeping positions and body sizes
- Eliminates neck pain
- It comes with an off-putting smell and needs to be aired out in the beginning
- Quite a few reviewers complained that the stitching came apart after only a few uses
With the understanding that neck pain can affect different facets of daily life, Arc4Life has designed a perfectly contoured pillow that works great for alleviating neck pain. For example, the center is slightly dipped, while the sides of the pillow are puffed up and uniquely sculpted to provide you with customized support according to your preferred sleeping position. As a result, the Arc4Life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow is perfect for back sleepers as it is for stomach and side sleepers, and it’s able to conform to different body sizes, to cater for the youngest to the oldest member of the family.
Users of this pillow have reported that it’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when using it, as it relaxes the muscles and the mind immediately. Some have even lauded it for solving their snoring problems by making it easier to breathe. The fiber filling is hand-stuffed so that the air flows freely, and this translates to a cool and comfortable sleep. The best part about the Arc4Life Cervical Neck Pillow is that it’s completely foldable to bolster up the thickness levels and the side shapes are changeable as well to make for a customized sleep, and it’s hypoallergenic to boot.
- Great at relieving morning neck and back pain
- Promotes a comfortable and restful sleep
- High-quality construction and long-lasting
- There is nothing bad to say about this pillow
The Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow features a water center that adapts to your movements during sleep, while still remaining perfectly smooth and pleasantly comfortable. This pillow works well for any sleeping position so you don’t have to shift it when you change positions during the night, and this is what makes it ideal for pregnant women as well.
Not only does this pillow offer 5-star sleeping comfort, but it comes highly recommended by most chiropractors. Clinical studies have also been performed to establish this pillow’s effectiveness when it comes to relieving neck pain. The base is firm and solidly supportive, and you can fill it up to your preferred comfort level, and it’s great at keeping the neck and head perfectly supported all night.
The Chiroflow Pillow requires minimal upkeep that is inexpensive, and all you have to do is fill it with normal tap water and it doesn’t need any special chemical additives either. It works just as well for side sleepers as it does for stomach and back sleepers, plus it’s filled with a cool, smooth and durable Dacron StaLoft Hollfil fiber fabric that is also low-maintenance. On the other hand, the cover consists of a 300 thread count case that’s thermally insulated to keep you cool, no matter how much your body heats up in the night. And the whole pillow is machine washable for easy maintenance.
- Good quality construction
- Recommended by most chiropractors
- Adjusts to your body size and temperature
- It is not for everyone
- Some customers have complained about the low-quality stitching that causes leaks
True to its name the ‘Classic Brands’ company is a leader in the bedding industry and they’ve built a strong reputation for their ability to make high-quality pillows that offer solid neck and back support during sleep. Plus, their products are backed by an amazing customer support department that ensures post-purchase satisfaction.
It is no surprise that Classic Brands has created the incredible Conforma Memory Foam Pillow, which is made up of a solid foam pad that is 5 inches thick and doesn’t flatten or warp. So, you can be sure that it won’t break down or lose shape while you’re asleep, and it’s ideal for pregnant women and side sleepers because it offers amazing back support. This pillow is also guaranteed to stay cool and comfortable throughout the night because it consists of perforated tunnels that allow for air to flow freely while you sleep.
The material that this pillow is constructed from is naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mites, mold, and mildew. Plus, it helps to maintain neck alignment during the night for a pain-free morning and a truly restful night’s sleep. In fact, the Classic Brands Conformal Memory Foam Pillow is so soft and lush, that it immediately conforms to the shape of your head without sacrificing that solid firmness which keeps you comfortable.
- Firm yet soft and comfy
- Provides excellent neck support
- Comes with a 3-year worry-free warranty
- It has a weird smell out of the bag
How to Choose the Best Pillow
One of the most important considerations to make when you’re shopping for a pillow is your preferred sleeping position. Sure, most people tend to move around while sleeping, but each individual has a unique sleeping position that they continue to revert to. For example, people who predominantly sleep on their side require a thicker pillow than back and tummy sleepers.
Most of the pillows that we’ve featured above are actually suitable for different sleeping positions and provide a comfortable night’s sleep that is kind to your neck, no matter what sleeping position you prefer. That said, you should still steer clear from thick pillows if you’re back or tummy sleeper because the neck tends to go out of whack when you sleep in these positions.
Ideally, you want to go with something like a water-filled or memory foam pillow if you want to rid yourself of persistent neck pain. Both options are able to maintain shape throughout the night, no matter how many times you toss and turn.
First Thing to Look for in a Pillow for Neck Pain
The Harvard Health Department at Harvard University recently did a study which concluded that a memory foam or water-based pillow is the best option for sufferers of morning neck pain, as they both contain an adjustable core that adapts seamlessly to your neck to maintain correct spine alignment. Orthopedic and cervical pillows are specifically customized to meet those needs.
Once again, Johns Hopkins also performed a study on neck pain relieving pillows and found that both water-based and memory foam pillows have the ability to redistribute your body weight in response to your sleeping position so that the shock doesn’t go to your vertebra. Plus, you can adjust water-based pillows to be as firm as you like during sleep.
Second Thing to Consider for Neck Pain Pillow
While ease of maintenance is not the first thing that comes to mind when one is searching for the perfect neck support pillow, it is an equally important consideration to make, when you really think about it. A pillow that’s easy to clean is most likely to stay clean, healthy and thus more pleasant to sleep on, plus they’ll most likely last for a long time as well. Also, a lot of machine washable pillows tend to get better the more you wash them. So, make sure to purchase a pillow that has an easy to remove cover because they’re typically low maintenance and durable.
Best Types of Neck Pain Pillows
There’s a reason why we’ve featured pillows that are either constructed from memory foam or a water base. They’re both fantastic at relieving neck pain and provide luxurious support, as well as neck-and-back alignment. They’re also low-maintenance and they don’t separate or flatten during sleep.
Full-sized water core or memory foam pillows are perfect for pregnant women because they’re able to provide the additional support that the body needs during this time, as well as ample airflow to keep the body cool throughout the night.
Another great option is roll-shaped pillows, which although unusual, are actually good for relieving neck pain. You can use them whenever you have to sleep in unusual positions or travel for long distances, and apart from that, they’re not the best option for everyday use. Unlike a normal full-sized pillow, they only provide support for the neck to the exclusion of the upper back, shoulders, and head.
Morning neck pain is just the worst thing to wake up with, and it can literally ruin your entire day because it affects your ability to perform normal daily task immensely. Not only that, but the pain can easily spread to other parts of the body such your back, shoulders, all the way to your legs, which is extremely inconvenient for anyone.
Thankfully, there are specialized sleeping pillows that are designed to relieve neck pain by making sure that you get a good night’s sleep, every day. The best neck support pillows are usually made from memory foam or feature a water base that adjusts to your body’s unique contours so that it stays solid and supportive no matter what sleeping position you prefer. The Mediflow Waterbase Pillow is a good example of such a pillow, as it contains a water chamber inner that promotes a peaceful and comfortable night’s sleep.
It’s scientifically proven to reduce neck pain, and it’s hypoallergenic, soft and durable as well. It’s also easy to maintain and machine washable for maximum longevity, which means that if you treat it well, then it can easily last for up to a decade! Now, if that’s not a good deal for a good night’s sleep, we don’t know what is.