3 Critical Factors in Choosing a Pillow for Neck Pain
When did choosing a pillow for neck pain become such a difficult task?
With so many types of neck pain pillows out there (water pillows, foam pillows, traction pillows, side-sleepers pillows), just thinking about it can make your neck pain worse.
Which pillow will help YOU most?
Since pillows for neck pain don’t exactly come cheap, a little research is well worth it.
On the other hand, a bad neck pillow may definitely exacerbate many of the underlying causes of your neck pain and will keep you from a good night’s rest.
Table of Contents
How to Choose a Pillow for Neck Pain
The goal of using a cervical pillow is to help keep your head in neutral alignment, when your head rests “squarely” on your shoulders.
Answer these 3 questions to determine the right type of neck pillow for you:
1. Sleeping Position
If you sleep in all different positions, you’ll need a neck pillow with comfortable surfaces for side and back sleeping, such as this One.
For example, with the Tri-Core cervical pillow you can sleep on the rolls for back sleeping and on the wings for side sleeping.
Back sleepers need thinner pillows, so their head is not thrown too far forward. Also look for a pillow with extra loft in the bottom third of the pillow to cradle your neck.
Side sleepers need a firmer pillow to fill in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder, such as this one.
Check out our 2017 Complete Guide to Side Sleeping Pillows + Reviews!
Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended, but generally, stomach sleepers need a very thin, almost flat pillow.
They may not even need a pillow for the head, and should consider tucking one under the stomach to avoid lower back pain.
By the way, this pillow will help turn you from a stomach sleeper to a side-sleeper.
2. Neck Pillow Size
You have to choose the size of your neck support pillow by considering your height and weight. The bigger you are the bigger pillow you will need.
This pillow, for example, comes in 3 different sizes – small, medium and large.
3. Neck Pillow Filling
There is no shortage of pillow fillings: down-feather combinations, water, memory foam and fiber.
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, the feather based pillows may not be for you. But generally, having a few types of pillows, with different fillings, is a wise idea. This way you can choose the one that suits you most on a given day.
We highly recommend the popular Z by Malouf 100% Natural Talalay Latex Zoned Pillow
Memory Foam Pillows – these are popular because they reduce pressure points by continuously molding and adjusting to the shape of your body as you move throughout the night.
For example, this pillow is very popular.
Fiber Pillows – these are an alternative to the down pillows because they are less pricy, but be warned that polyester fiber pillows, such as the Iso Cool Pillow, may not last as long.
Down/Feather pillows – many sleep experts recommend these as one of the best pillows for a good night’s rest, because with down pillows you can move the stuffing around so that you have the most support where you need it.
Travel Neck Pillows
Travel pillows are great for supporting your neck while you wait in the airport or snooze on the plane. Choose a U or V-shaped pillow, such as this one.The V shape helps keep your head straight.
Neck Pillows for Herniated/Bulging Disc
If you suffer from a herniated disc, a neck traction pillow may be the best option for you. For example, the Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Pillow.
You can use the traction side of the pillow (side with the V) for a gentle stretch or the opposite side for support of the cervical spine.
This pillow is good for both back and side sleepers.
Here’s more about how to use this great pillow:
Please check out our post about the Top 3 Cervical Traction Pillows for Neck Pain – right HERE.
We hope it just got much easier for you to choose a pillow for neck pain.
To your health and happiness,
The Back Pain Relief Products Team