The 7 Best Pillows for Neck Pain of 2020

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First Look

Best for Overall: The Casper Pillow at Amazon

"Its soft cotton exterior will not only support your neck and head, but will also keep you cool no matter the season."

Best for Stomach Sleepers: Xtreme Comforts at Amazon

"Thinner than traditional pillows."

Best for Back Sleepers: MARNUR Contour Memory Foam Pillow at Amazon

"Has a special groove designed to provide spine support."

Best for Side Sleepers: SleepRight Splintek Side at Amazon

"Designed with a full facial cradle and a 12-degree shoulder cradle."

Best Water-Based: The Water Pillow by Mediflow at Amazon

"Reduces neck pain and improves the overall quality of sleep."

Best Neck Roll: Ka Ua (Hawaiian Rain) Neck Roll Pillow at Amazon

"The perfect shape for ultimate neck comfort."

Best Travel Pillow: J Pillow Travel Pillow at Amazon

"Prevents your head from flopping forward."

Nothing feels better than waking up refreshed after a sound night’s sleep. Unfortunately, there are many factors that interrupt solid slumber, but neck pain is by far one of the most common disturbances. 

Changing your sleep position could be part of the solution; however, making sure you’re using the right pillow for your neck is another effective way fix that problem. If you’re suffering from restless nights, know that there are many helpful pillows available. Ahead, we’ve compiled a list of pillows that can solve an array of different needs.

Our Top Picks

Best for Overall: The Casper Pillow

The Casper Pillow is the perfect choice for anyone who finds it impossible to stay in one position throughout the night. This pillow’s soft cotton exterior will not only support your neck and head, but will also keep you cool no matter the season. 

Additionally, it features a pillow-in-pillow design proving it’s a strong option for added support. All in all, it’s a safe choice for all kinds of sleepers.

Best for Stomach Sleepers: Xtreme Comforts

If sleeping on your belly is your go-to, you have to check out the Xtreme Comforts pillow. The pillow is made from memory foam, so even through constant use, the product will always return to its original size and shape. 

Stomach sleepers typically end up with their face pressed into the pillow, and because this pillow is free from mercury and ozone depleters, you don't have to worry about inhaling any bad stuff throughout the night. You can purchase the pillow on Amazon and it comes in three sizes—so the entire family can reap the benefits of the bamboo-covered memory foam.

Best for Back Sleepers: MARNUR Contour Memory Foam Pillow

The MARNUR Contour Memory Foam Pillow is unlike any other. It offers a unique butterfly shape that cradles the head in a supportive position and is designed with back sleepers in mind, although it can be used by those who prefer side and stomach positions.

Moreover, customers say it’s never too firm and it comfortably supports the neck all night long. Similar to other memory foam pillows, this option will mold back into its original form and not deflate.

Best for Side Sleepers: SleepRight Splintek Side

This pillow is made for the popular, side sleeping position and will be a reliable fit for most sleepers out there. The SleepRight Splintek Side adjusts to your body as you sleep and as a result, will help your spine align in its side position. 

The specific rounded shape of the product will reduce uncomfortable impact on the shoulder and increase the blood flow to your arms. Plus, there’s nothing better than this premium memory foam that automatically adjusts to body temperature when you’re sleeping leaving you with the most comfortable night’s rest.    

Best Water-Based: The Water Pillow by Mediflow

Do you want to experiment with a completely new pillow style? To use Mediflow’s Water Pillow, you fill the pillow’s insulated bladder with the amount of water you’d like. This amount is based on how firm or soft you want your pillow to be. 

It provides clinically proven support, comfort, and reliability depending on your firmness preference. Overall, the beauty behind it is its customizability. If one night’s sleep didn’t suit you, just change the amount of water and keep trying until you get to the amount that works.

Best Neck Roll: Ka Ua (Hawaiian Rain) Neck Roll Pillow

Versatility is key with the Ka Ua (Hawaiian Rain) Neck Roll Pillow. It’s made from memory foam and comes in a long, round shape that fits right underneath the neck. The pillow’s skinny shape will keep your spine in a neutral position and allow for your head to rest in the same spot as if you were standing upright. 

In addition, its dimensions are 4 x 18 inches making it the perfect travel companion on planes or long car rides. Everyone knows how uncomfortable those trips can be, so don’t take any chances and get this pillow beforehand.

Best Travel Pillow: J Pillow Travel Pillow

The award-winning J Pillow is a new take on the perpetual discomfort of traveling. This item comes in a unique J-shape to provide support to your head, neck, and chin throughout your journey. 

It will ensure that your head doesn’t fall forward, which often results in awkward neck pain when you wake up. Finally, the brand has a return policy of six months, so if you’re not satisfied with it, you may return it for free—no questions asked.

Final Verdict

Purchasing the right pillow to eliminate neck pain is an essential step to improving one’s sleep. The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and if you think about it, that’s a large chunk of time for your neck to be in a cramped position. Whether it’s for day-to-day or travel use, don’t hesitate to invest in yourself by replacing your tired, old pillow with a new one that’s actually able to give you support and instantly provide you with sounder, less painful rest. The Casper Pillow is our favorite pick because regardless of your preferred sleeping position, this pillow will support your neck and have you waking up refreshed every time.

What to Look for in a Pillow for Neck Pain

Support: If you’ve ever woken up with pain, this is a sign that it’s time for a new, more supportive pillow. This support can help reduce back, joint, and shoulder tension. On top of that, the spine is naturally curved and a pillow offering extra support for the head and neck will help in aligning this part of your body every night. 

Firmness: It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has their own firmness preference. Some like softer pillows, while others are more comfortable in something harder with added support. The good thing is, pillows vary in firmness and some are even customizable. Keep this in mind when making your decision and know that the perfect pillow for you is out there.

Price: Price is another key factor when deciding on what to buy. As with most things, pillows vary in price and while the choice is ultimately up to your budget, it’s best to think of it as an investment. Apart from a travel pillow, you’ll be using this item on a daily basis, so why not go all out and grab exactly what suits your needs? If you nail it, being able to get rid of any pain or tension around your neck, it will definitely be worth the extra cash.

What the Experts Say

“Posture is a huge part of controlling neck pain. Since most people sleep six to eight hours per night, this constitutes a substantial portion of our daily neck posture. Choosing a pillow that optimizes the position of your neck through this long period of sustained posture is key in preventing symptoms the next day.”—Brent Rader, DPT, physical therapist at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a seasoned health writer, Isis Briones knows the importance of finding products that work best for you and your conditions. You can count on her to always provide a variety of recommendations from licensed medical professionals because she has tested and reviewed tons of products over the years to know everyone is different.

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