The 6 Best Cervical Pillows (Neck Traction Pillows) – 2020 Reviews
Can you imagine finally relieving your neck pain from cervical herniated/bulging discs (and the headaches that accompany it) – just by sleeping on a specific pillow?
It doesn’t have to stay in your imagination.
The best cervical pillow (neck support pillow) – can do the following:
- Help you sleep through the night neck pain-free
- Gently stretch and relieve your shoulder muscles, while supporting your neck
- Align your spine which allows healing from cervical disc injuries and degeneration
- Reduce snoring (by keeping air passages optimal while you sleep)
If you suffer from military neck, herniated cervical disc, neck arthritis, or any neck problem – a cervical (neck) pillow – can change your life.
In a hurry?
But how to choose the best cervical pillow – for the best price?
See pros & cons
|TEMPUR-Neck Pillow||Extra firm|
See pros & cons
|Cradle Me||All sleep positions|
See pros & cons
See pros & cons
|Core 200||Cervical contour -|
Back sleepers with neck pain
See pros & cons
See pros & cons
- 1 What is a Cervical Pillow?
- 2 ✅ The Top 6 Cervical Pillows for Neck Pain (& Headaches)
- 2.1 1. Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow – Best for Neck Arthritis
- 2.2 2. TEMPUR-Neck Pillow – Best Extra Firm Neck Support Pillow
- 2.3 3. Cradle Me Cervical Pillow – Fits All Sleep Positions
- 2.4 4. EPABO Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow – Best for Military Neck/Neck Fusion Surgery
- 2.5 5. Arc4life Cervical Pillow – Best for Side Sleepers
- 2.6 6. Tri-Core Cervical Pillow – Best for Back Sleepers with Neck Pain
- 3 What Do I Look for in a Neck Support Pillow?
- 4 🥇The BEST Pillow for Neck Pain (2020)
What is a Cervical Pillow?
A cervical traction pillow supports your neck in the neutral aligned position and lifts your head to the proper height while you sleep on your back or side.
It helps your neck stay in its optimal C-Curve (lordotic curve), consistent with the rest of your spine.
Both support and comfort are critical for preventing neck pain, healing neck injuries, and healthy sleep.
Cervical pillows can relieve neck muscle and joint strains, neck morning stiffness, neck arthritis, military neck, whiplash injuries, neck spinal stenosis, tension headaches, and more.
📢 Here are our top 6 choices for the best neck support pillows reviewed and compared:
✅ The Top 6 Cervical Pillows for Neck Pain (& Headaches)
Through our research, here are our recommendations for the 5 best neck traction pillows in 2020:
1. Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow – Best for Neck Arthritis
As you can see in the picture, the Therapeutica pillow incorporates 2 pillow shapes into one with different heights for back and side sleeping.
Although it has an odd shape, it correctly positions the head and neck, both when sleeping on the side and back.
The center tongue, which supports the neck towards the area between the shoulder blades, works very well.
A unique feature in this pillow is the wedge extension which supports your upper back as well.
Pillow Weight – 1 lb.
Resilience – the Therapeutica pillow is made of foam, which is dense and won’t crumble easily.
In any case, this pillow has a 5-year warranty for shape and resilience.
Side Sleeping – this is probably the best cervical traction pillow for side sleepers, due to its excellent side wings, which are easy to keep your head on when you’re sleeping on your side, and won’t make your head tilt forward or slide back down to the center.
👉 See more pillows for neck pain side sleepers (including buckwheat pillows, latex pillows, and more!)
✅ Price – The Therapeutica does not come very cheap, but when we check this page we sometimes find great sale prices. If you find it for less than $90 – it’s a great price.
Pillow Cover – the pillow comes with a free fitted polyester/cotton machine washable zippered pillow cover.
Sizes – comes in 5 different sizes!
- This pillow is very comfortable to sleep on while aligning your neck and spine – either on your back or on your side.
- It takes no getting used to, and the side wings are the better than any other pillow we’ve tried.
- This pillow would probably not be comfortable for someone with a reversed cervical curve, or an immobile neck. For most everyone else it can be the perfect cervical pillow.
2. TEMPUR-Neck Pillow – Best Extra Firm Neck Support Pillow
The TEMPURPEDIC neck pillow is designed to follow the natural curve of your body and keeps the neck aligned for back and side sleepers all night – without any more bells and whistles.
The extra firm contoured TEMPUR material keeps your neck from sinking into the pillow, and the 3 sizes you can choose from makes it fit for all body types and sleep positions.
Size and neck height:
Small: 20″ x 12″ x 3″ (perfect for most women)
Medium: 20″ x 12″ x 4″
Large: 20″ x 12″ x 4.5″
Travel: 10″ x 12″ x 4″
Weight – approx 3.3 pounds
TEMPUR-Neck Pillow pros
- Durable and firm – doesn’t lose shape over the years, supports and aligns the neck well
- Good customer service, established brand
- Comfortable – the softcover balances out the firm material
👉 Read: What’s the Best TEMPUR Pillow for back/neck pain?
✅ Price – check today’s sale prices on the official site
- May not be comfortable for stomach sleepers
3. Cradle Me Cervical Pillow – Fits All Sleep Positions
The Cradle Me cervical contour pillow is made with high-quality and odorless memory foam that stays firm no matter how long you use it.
The versatile butterfly design (with the “wings”) cradles your head and supports any sleep position, with multiple heights you can choose from while supporting the natural neck curvature to allow your neck the full rest it needs at night.
We love the fact that this pillow is made in the US, and the company has great customer service.
Pillow cover –
Size: 17 x 15 x 5 inches
Weight: 2.55 pounds
Material: 100% memory foam
- Firm enough to support your neck yet has a soft, comfortable cover
- 100% money-back guarantee from the company
- Made in the US
- Fit for all sleep position
✅ Price – best price is found on Amazon
- Some users feel that the pillow is too soft.
4. EPABO Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow – Best for Military Neck/Neck Fusion Surgery
The Epabo memory foam neck support pillow is Amazon’s best-seller in neck pain pillows (in January 2020) and is made with breathable memory foam, in 3 different sizes.
The queen size is 4″ high and measures 24*15 inches.
The standard size is the same height but measures 21*13 inches
The high queen size if 4.8″ high and measures 24*15 inches.
📢 However: This pillows’ special design allows you to take out a removable piece of memory foam at the bottom of the pillow if it feels too high for you.
This mainly applies to stomach and back sleepers. The height on the sides stays the same. See the image below:
We also find this pillow is the best pillow for military neck, see the image below:
Material: 100% memory foam
Sizes: small, queen, and “high” queen.
Comfort – supportive but not “squishy”.
EPABO neck pillow Pros
- Firm enough to support the neck during the night, yet comfortable
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Fits all sleep positions, even stomach sleepers find this pillow comfortable.
- Good customer service
✅ Price – best price found on Amazon
- You may experience some discomfort during the first two weeks while your body is trying to adjust to the correct position
5. Arc4life Cervical Pillow – Best for Side Sleepers
The arc4life cervical pillow is a V-shaped cavity center pillow, as you can see in the picture above.
The special “V” shape in the neck pillow cradles your head and gently lifts your head away from your shoulders.
At the same time, the neck roll underneath supports your neck. While sleeping on your side, the soft wings keep your head at the right height from the mattress, to relieve strain on your neck and shoulders.
Weight – 1.5 pounds (but may vary, since stuffing is made by hand)
Resilience – through my research, I’ve found that the arc4life starts to lose shape after 12 months. I found no warranty.
Sizes – the different sizes are for the size of your bed. Large would be for King, Medium for a queen or full, and small, twin, or single.
It only has to do with how wide the pillow is. A standard size pillow would look a bit funny on a king-size bed, we think.
Material – the arc4life pillow is a sewn pillowcase stuffed with polyester fiber, which is non-allergenic.
Comfort – the pillow keeps your neck in proper alignment so it’s awkward, but after a couple of nights, it becomes very comfortable.
Pillow Cover – doesn’t come with an extra pillow cover or dust cover.
This pillow costs a bit more than the Therapeutica pillow. We found the best price on Amazon.
- Through our research, the arc4life traction pillow is quite comfortable and is especially well fitted for people sleeping on their backs.
- You can use the traction side for sleeping – thus giving your cervical spine a gentle stretch or the support side for sleeping.
- The V is not prominent, it is subtle, just enough to keep your head and neck in the proper position. However, if you have a short neck you may find this pillow not right for you.
- It takes a couple of nights getting used to but then becomes very comfortable.
- If you are a side sleeper, you should know that the side wings are not firm enough to keep your head in them and you may find your head slide back to the center (and out of alignment) when you’re side sleeping.
6. Tri-Core Cervical Pillow – Best for Back Sleepers with Neck Pain
The Tri-Core Cervical Pillow has a unique trapezoid center that gently cradles your head and supports the next in its natural position.
The most obvious difference between the Tri-core cervical pillow and the other 2 pillows mentioned here – is the price.
The Core 200 costs half of the Therapeutica and Arc4life neck pain pillows. Check today’s price.
Pillow Cover – it doesn’t come with an extra pillow cover, but you can put a regular one on it, or even a silk cover which makes it feel wonderful.
Material – the pillow is made of 100% cotton and stuffed with fortrel fiber.
Sizes – comes in small, medium, and large sizes. The medium size is 15 x 22.
Comfort – the Tri-Core neck support pillow comes in 2 firmness levels. The large one is about 3-4 inches high (lifting your head).
To be exact – on the wider side, it is about 3″ deep and about 5″ across to the indentation. On the narrow side, it is less than an inch deeper and about 6″ across to the indentation.
It may not be comfortable in the first few days, but later it becomes very comfortable.
Tri-Core Pillow Pros & Cons
The Tri-Core 200 is a comfortable pillow, even for side sleepers. The side wings are firm enough to keep your head well supported and in good alignment, but not too firm to be uncomfortable.
This is quite a firm pillow so if this is what you need or your doctor recommends – it delivers. It’s as firm as it can be without being hard.
What Do I Look for in a Neck Support Pillow?
1. Resilience & Durability
Every pillow has a shelf life. With cervical traction pillows, the shelf life depends on the quality of materials, but mostly on how dense it is.
Some pillows have less stuffing in them, which makes them less dense and therefore will break down faster.
Others are denser, but because they are firmer, they could be less comfortable.
The best pillow will be dense enough to last for years, but not too dense to be uncomfortable.
To prevent your investment from disappearing in a year, look for a pillow that offers a warranty for losing shape and resilience.
The Therapeutica sleeping pillow comes with a 5-year warranty for resilience!
Neck traction pillows come in different shapes.
You have the trapeze centered pillows, v-shape pillows, the contour pillows, and ones that have a wedge extension to support your upper back.
It depends on personal preferences, but I can tell you that some pillows are not well fitted for side sleepers.
If you’re a side sleeper, choose a pillow that its side-sleeping portions (“side wings”) do not allow your head to slip back to the center while you’re sleeping, or allow your neck to be tilted either up or down.
👉 See the 2 best back sleeping pillows to train your self to sleep on your back.
Cervical traction neck pillows come in different sizes (usually small, medium, and large).
Sometimes the size depends upon the distance between the side of your head and your shoulder. Other times it depends on the size of your bed.
For most average-sized people the medium should be perfect.
Some cervical pillows are made with foam, some with memory foam, and some with Polyester fiber.
They all have their pros and cons, but some say that memory foam is less than ideal, because as you sleep and the pillow gets warm – your head sinks into the pillow and spinal alignment is reduced.
The foam will feel “harder” than Polyester but will support your neck a bit better.
The popular arc4life cervical linear traction pillow is stuffed with Polyester fabric, while the Therapeutica pillow is made of foam.
🥇The BEST Pillow for Neck Pain (2020)
I hope you’ve found these traction pillow reviews helpful.
Through our research, the Therapeutica cervical pillow is the best cervical pillow for neck pain.
It positions your head and neck perfectly, both when sleeping on the side and your back.
The wedge extension supports your upper back like no other pillow, it’s comfortable and comes with a 5-year warranty for losing shape. It’s the winner!
The next best choice would be the highly popular Tempur-Neck pillow.
Note: If you want to take neck pain relief up a notch, we recommend buying a high-quality neck heating pad to relieve your pain naturally – during the day.
More ways to relieve neck pain
👉Here’s our review for the top 3 neck and shoulder heating pads in 2020.
👉 Here’s how to do neck traction at home.
Cervical Traction Pillow FAQ
Have you ever tried a cervical traction pillow to relieve your neck pain? what’s your experience? Share with all of us in the comments below.
To your health and happiness,
The Back Pain Relief Products Team
Next, check out the best ways to do neck traction (decompression) at home.