Horseshoe shaped body pillows can be useful to prevent neck strain when sleeping while sitting, such as sitting on an airplane or in a car, or while sitting in a recliner. These small pillows support the neck so that the head does not fall too far to the side. For many, the key to relieving neck pain is better support. The Tempur-Neck Pillow from Tempur-Pedic features a contoured shape that lifts the neck.
The back of the pillow is recessed, creating a plush cushion for the head without interfering with the alignment of the spine. This design is particularly useful for side and back sleepers, groups that often experience pain and pressure build-up in the neck due to lack of pillow support. If neck pain is your problem, a flatter pillow may be the best option. In one study, higher pillows created more skull-cervical pressure (i.e., at the point where the head and neck meet) and a larger cervical angle, meaning that the head is not aligned with the spine.
This can cause pain and stiffness if the neck stays at that angle all night. The Layla Kapok pillow was the best pillow we tried by far. It is filled with CertiPUR-US certified shredded memory foam and fibers from the Kapok tree. The fibers are lightweight, buoyant and are commonly used as an alternative to down.
With its contoured shape and supportive memory foam, the Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Neck Pillow promises to keep your neck aligned throughout the night. It comes in three sizes, customizable to your body shape and sleep style, and is completely hypoallergenic. If the pillow is too thick or too thin, it can strain the neck at strange angles that put stress and tension on your body, leading to neck pain. The adjustable height and balanced feel also make this pillow ideal for those who sleep and experience neck pain at night.
Even if you think any new pillow will work, the type of pillow you buy depends on your sleep style. For example, on a soft mattress with sinking, you’ll want a low pillow to keep your neck aligned properly, while a firm mattress needs a high pillow to keep your head properly raised. For example, people who sleep on their side will need higher pillows to better fill the space between their shoulders and head, people who sleep on their stomach need thinner pillows so as not to cause tension from tilting their head backwards, and people who sleep on their backs usually benefit from some point intermediate. Purple’s unique design means a cooler pillow that also offers a perfect adjustable support for people suffering from neck pain, whether they sleep on their side or stomach.
The Original Sweet Night Pillow is an outstanding adjustable model filled with shredded memory foam that can be added or removed to change the thickness of the pillow. While any of the best pillows can work to keep the spine aligned, there are also some special pillows made specifically to support the neck, especially for those who chronically struggle with neck pain. One function of a pillow is to keep the neck in proper alignment with the rest of the spine to ensure that the muscles relax properly and don’t stretch too far. I usually find that people who suffer from neck pain try to sleep on their backs to prevent the pain from increasing, and that is where this pillow really excels.
If standard flat pillows don’t give you enough support, consider the Tempur-Pedic Top Neck Pillow. The Eli %26 Elm Pillow is uniquely shaped with a recessed shoulder center, designed to fit your body while sleeping on your side. Side sleepers will love how well the unique shape of the Eli% 26 Elm Cotton Side Sleep Pillow supports their neck, head and shoulders for optimal spine alignment. Plus, I’ll give you my own tips and tricks for finding the pillows that match each sleeping position, so you’re better equipped to find the one that meets your unique needs.
What Shape of Pillow is Best for Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a common complaint among those who spend long hours in front of a computer, phone, or other devices. When you add in the various other factors that can contribute to neck pain—such as muscle tension, poor ergonomics, and poor mattress support—you have the makings of one serious problem.
While there isn’t an easy solution to eliminate your neck pain completely, you can do some simple things to help relieve it. The first step towards reducing discomfort is choosing the right pillow for your needs. A great place to start is with what kind of neck support you need. There are three main pillows for your neck: traditional, hybrid, and contour. This blog post will explain how these different types work and which is best for you.
What is a Neck Pillow?
A neck pillow is a type of pillow that supports your neck. These different kinds of pillows support different kinds of neck problems. There are three main types: traditional, hybrid, and contour.
Traditional pillows are straight up and down and provide good support for those who sleep on their back or side.
Hybrid pillows are slightly curved to offer better support for those who sleep on their stomach or with their head turned to one side.
Contour pillows curve around the neck to provide superior support in certain situations, such as when you sleep on your stomach.
The curved shape allows the pillow to rest closer to your body without sinking into the soft tissue between your shoulder blades by using a solid piece of foam instead of a softer filling material. This allows it to reduce throat pressure and keeps you more comfortable all night long, with head and shoulder pain eliminated when sleeping on your stomach, side, or back.
A traditional pillow is a rectangular block with a soft filling. It provides the most support out of the three pillows, which is why it’s commonly used for neck pain. This type of pillow’s main downside is that it can be too firm and uncomfortable.
Hybrid pillows are the best pillow for those suffering from neck pain. They combine the support of a traditional pillow with the comfort of a memory foam pillow. This design allows you to avoid sleeping on your uncomfortable, stiff neck while still getting many benefits from having a traditional pillow.
Hybrid pillows are also designed to contour to fit your head and neck position, providing a more customized level of support than other types of pillows. The hybrid design is also advantageous because they often allow you to sleep on your back, side, or stomach without fear of them slipping down or being uncomfortable during sleep. These pillows combine support and comfort levels, making them an excellent option for neck pain patients.
The contour pillow is the best choice for someone who needs more support than a traditional pillow can provide. The shape of this pillow is designed to cradle the neck and head, providing gentle elevation for anyone who suffers from neck pain.
Which Type of Neck Pillow Should you Buy?
Traditional pillows are shaped like a typical foam pillow, with a flat top and bottom surface. These pillows tend to conform to the shape of your neck, providing support and reducing stress on the neck muscles.
Hybrid pillows include both traditional and memory foam. Memory foam consists of millions of gel-filled cells resistant to compression. It is firm yet soft, contouring around your body without hardening and becoming uncomfortable as it warms up. This makes hybrid pillows an excellent choice for people who want the same benefits of memory foam with the firmer support that traditional pillows provide.
Contour pillows are designed specifically for those who suffer from chronic neck pain by reducing pressure on the head and neck during sleep and supporting the natural curve in your cervical spine. Contour pillows promote breathing by removing pressure from your chest and diaphragm while at rest or during movement, which can relieve symptoms associated with dyspnea (discomfort when drawing air into your lungs).
So which type of pillow should you buy?
The key is finding a pillow. It depends on your personal needs. If you’re prone to cracking or sprains in any area of your body, a full-body orthopedic pillow will help reduce joint strain while you sleep. For those with more specific needs—say if you have tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome—selecting the right pillow will be essential in avoiding further discomfort while asleep.
Tips Before You Purchase a Neck Pillow
If you need a new neck pillow, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Between hybrids and traditional, contour, and memory foam, it’s easy to get lost. Some simple steps can help you decide which type is best when shopping for a new pillow.
First thing first:
Determine what kind of support your pillow should provide. As mentioned, there are three main types of pillows—traditional pillows have flat surfaces that support your head, while hybrid or contour pillows have curved surfaces. If you have a nagging pain or neck stiffness, purchase traditional pillows first. However, if your discomfort is more acute, consider a contour or hybrid pillow instead since they provide more targeted support than traditional pillows.
Another helpful tip is determining how often you use your existing pillow. Do you use your regular soft pillow daily? If so, buying a memory foam or other high-end pillow might not be the best option. Instead, opt for something cheaper but still supports your neck well, like the firmness of a traditional pillow with the added benefits of memory foam (such as temperature regulation).
What shape of pillow is best for neck pain? The best pillow for neck pain is the one you are most comfortable with. There are a lot of factors to consider when picking a pillow, so take your time and ensure you get the right one for you.