The 9 Best Pillows for Neck Pain to Buy in 2018

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Neck pain can occur for many reasons, but sleeping in the wrong position is often a contributing factor. Sure, your mattress matters too, but oftentimes all you need is a new pillow to wake up pain-free and ready to tackle whatever the day may bring.

One type of pillow doesn’t fit all, however. Some of us sleep on our backs, while others couldn’t imagine sleeping any other way but on our stomach. Then there are those of us who toss and turn every which way during the night. Fortunately, there are a plethora of great pillow options on the market to help you sleep soundly no matter what your preference.

If you find yourself waking with a kink in your neck far too many mornings, here are the top pillows for eliminating neck pain.

1

Best Overall: Coop Home Goods Memory Foam Pillow

From Coop Home Goods, this adjustable pillow gets high praise all around. It’s filled with a mix of shredded visco elastic memory foam, which means you can adjust the firmness by adding or taking out foam for a feel that’s right for your sleeping preferences. The cover is made of a polyester-rayon blend, which is machine-washable, and the whole thing is hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant, so it’s great for allergy sufferers.

There are thousands of satisfied customers who attest to the power of this pillow. In fact, on Amazon alone, there are more than 15,000 reviews, making it a clear Amazon Choice. Reviews praise this pillow for not getting flat as the night goes on and being able to customize it for your needs.

The company is so certain you’ll like it that they’ll give you 100 days to sleep on it. If it’s not for you, they’ll give you your money back, or they’ll create a pillow with a customized foam blend just for you. It also has a 5-year guarantee that it won't go flat in that amount of time. 

2

Best for Back Sleepers: MARNUR Contour Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Pillows

While this contour memory foam pillow from MARNUR can be used by side and stomach sleepers too, it’s back sleepers who find it particularly comfortable. The ergonomic design has a special groove in the middle that’s designed to provide spine support, help promote blood circulation, and prevent soreness.

It measures 23.5" x 14.5" x 5.5", and it comes with a zippered pillowcase that can be machine washed. Customers say it’s comfortable, supportive, and even “life-changing.” One reviewer wrote on Amazon: “I have bought over 100 pillows, expensive and cheap, to deal with neck pain. This is the best I have found.”

3

Best for Side Sleepers: SleepRight Splintek Side Sleeping Memory Foam Pillow

Attention side sleepers: This pillow from SleepRight is made just for you. Not only does it support your body with its premium memory foam filling, but it’s also designed with a full facial cradle and a 12-degree shoulder cradle to keep your head and neck supported while alleviating pressure from your jaw, ear, and shoulders. It automatically adjusts to your body, and it may even cut down on snoring as it’s designed with air paths in the top surface of the memory foam to improve breathing.

It comes in three sizes so you can choose the thickness you like, and the pillow cover is made of Rayon (from bamboo) and is hypoallergenic. The majority of customers say this pillow is comfortable and works great to alleviate neck and shoulder pain. Some say finding which thickness is right for you is key, but once you do, it’s a fantastic pillow, and they hate to leave home without it.

4

Best for Stomach Sleepers: Xtreme Comforts Hypoallergenic Memory Foam Pillow

From Xtreme Comforts, this pillow is designed with stomach sleepers in mind. It’s thinner than traditional pillows, so it doesn’t force the head and neck to bend backward. It still promises the comfort and support of a traditional shredded memory foam pillow though.

When you sleep on your stomach, you want something that’s not only comfortable and supportive but also something that’s made well and safe, since your face is on the pillow all night. This pillow is free of all the scary stuff like lead, mercury, phthalates, and the like, and its bamboo cover is hypoallergenic and dust-mite resistant. The cover is also designed with Kool-Flow micro-vented technology that promises to keep your pillow cool throughout the night—no more constantly flipping it to the “cool” side.

It comes in three sizes (standard, queen, and king), and satisfied sleepers rave about the comfort it provides. Many say they’ve tried piles of pillows, but finally found “the one” in this pillow.

5

Best for All Sleep Positions: The Casper Pillow

casper-pillow

Courtesy of Target

If you fall asleep on your side but wake up on your stomach, finding the right pillow can be a real challenge since you need different types of support as you move around through the night. Casper, the same brand that makes mattresses, has come up with a pillow that is suitable for all types of sleepers.

The Casper pillow is actually a two-in-one pillow. The inner pillow is supportive to your head, neck, and shoulders while the outer part gives you a soft fluff that many people crave when they sleep. The experience is like lying in a soft cloud, which is a plus for many. Some, however, prefer something firmer.

Reviews range from people saying this pillow has relieved their headaches and neck pain, while others say they just aren't into the softness. The pillow is pricey but it comes with a 100-Night Trial so you can return it if you don't like it. Plus, this pillow is really easy to clean in the washer.

6

Best Water-Based: The Water Pillow by Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow

Mediflow

Courtesy of Walmart 

While you don’t see a lot of waterbeds these days, many people say this water-based pillow is one of the best they’ve ever slept on. From Mediflow, you can fill the pillow’s “bladder” with as much or as little water as you like to adjust the pillow to support your head and neck. Want it a little firmer? Just fill it with more water. Perhaps a bit softer would be more comfortable? Just let a little water out. No special chemicals are needed, just regular tap water.

The water compartment is covered by a thermal insulator and filled with a hypoallergenic hollofil fiber designed for comfort. The pillow comes in one size—20" x 28"—and can fit into a standard or queen-sized pillowcase.

Clinical tests have shown that this pillow can reduce neck pain and improve the overall quality of sleep. Bonus: It’s supposed to be good for your skin, too. Customers say it can’t be beaten for avoiding neck pain, and many said they found it after their chiropractor recommended it.

7

Best Cervical Support: Nature's Guest Cervical Support Pillow

While some pillows are specifically designed for stomach or back sleepers, this one can accommodate you no matter which way (or ways!) you find yourself favoring throughout the night. It’s designed to provide cervical support, which keeps your head, neck, and spine aligned while you snooze, and back sleepers are likely to find the built-in neck roll cushion comfortable.

This pillow measures 24" x 16" x 5", and a zippered cover provides access to the microfiber filling, which you can adjust to make the pillow as firm as you like, from soft to medium. It also comes with a 90-day guarantee, so if you don’t find it comfortable you can request a full refund, no questions asked. Many people with neck pain say that after trying multiple pillows, this is the one that finally worked for them.

Added bonus: 10 percent of the profits from the sale of this pillow are donated to global humanitarian relief.

8

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

This neck roll pillow from Ka Ua doesn’t look like your typical pillow. Instead of a typical rectangle, it’s long and round, which many satisfied customers say is the perfect shape for ultimate neck comfort. It can be used in a variety of ways. Under your neck and head, it's memory foam molds to fit you. You can also position it between your legs, underneath your knees, or anywhere else you need extra support while you sleep. 

It measures 4" x 18" and comes with a removable bamboo pillow cover that’s machine-washable. If you’re not a fan, you have 30 days to request a full refund. Customers say it’s comfortable, versatile, and a great option—especially for back and side sleepers.

9

Best Travel Pillow: J Pillow Travel Pillow

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or as a passenger in a car, it’s a great time to catch up on some Z’s and pass the miles. The problem is that sleeping sitting up can be difficult at best and leave you with a sore neck. This J-shaped pillow, however, provides a solution. Unlike other neck pillows, this one wraps around your neck and then tucks under your chin as well to prevent your head from flopping forward. You’ll wake up refreshed and without a painful crick in your neck and shoulders.

Customers say this Amazon Choice travel pillow prevents your head from flopping to the side when you're sleeping in an upright position. One reviewer said she loves the pillow for staying comfortable during long bus rides.

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