Best Pillow Firmness for Neck Pain — Physician Advice
Waking up with neck pain or a stiff neck can be frustrating. The way you wake up determines the trajectory for the rest of your day. If you suffer from chronic neck pain, you’re likely to be grumpy and frustrated in general, which can affect your work and social life.
If you have chronic neck pain, you must consult a physician or doctor. However, you may also need to change your pillow and bedding. People often suffer from chronic neck pain because of the wrong pillow. When choosing a pillow, you must find a pillow that supports your sleeping position, whether you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper, or any other.
Doctors often state that you can avoid or minimize the risk of chronic neck pain by choosing a pillow that ensures your neck remains neutral. But what’s the best pillow firmness for neck pain? That also depends on your sleep position. In this article, we show you how to choose a pillow for chronic neck pain, and we review the best cervical pillows for your sleep position.
Choosing a Pillow for Chronic Neck Pain
Choosing a pillow isn’t as simple as finding the best pillow for neck pain. Different people use different sleeping positions and need different pillows. Choosing a pillow for chronic neck pain entails determining your primary sleeping position.
Do you prefer sleeping on your side? Side sleepers should use thicker pillows that keep their necks and ears aligned with the rest of your spine. When you sleep on your side, your neck should be aligned with your back and hips. As such, you need a high-loft pillow that covers the distance between the mattress and your neck. It should also be firm enough to support your weight without sinking.
Back sleepers have more leeway when choosing a pillow. Your goal is to find a pillow that keeps your neck aligned with the rest of your spine. Back sleeper pillows should use medium-loft pillows that keep their necks stable, i.e., neither craned upwards nor lowered. Back sleepers can also use memory foam pillows or a fairly plush pillow.
Stomach sleeping is one of the worst sleeping positions because it places great pressure on your spine. However, some people can’t help but sleep on their stomachs. If you must sleep on your stomach, please choose a low-loft and firm pillow. If your pillow has a high loft, your neck may crane upwards and sideways, which can lead to chronic neck pain or stiff neck.
Now that you’re aware of the factors to consider when choosing a pillow, please read our review of the best cervical pillows for chronic neck pain.
Best Cervical Pillows for Chronic Neck Pain
Elite Rest Contour Sleeper
Elite Rest Contour Sleeper is the best memory foam pillow for side sleepers. This memory foam pillow supports your neck by covering the distance between the mattress and neck, while also following the contour of your neck. This is a contour memory foam pillow, with a loft height ranging from 4” at the corners to 2.75” at the center. When you rest your neck on the elevated contour, it follows the gentle slope of your neck, ensuring spinal stability. This neck support pillow also comes with a machine-washable cover made of 100% cotton.
Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper is the best memory foam pillow for back sleepers and stomach sleepers. This is one of the slimmest low-loft pillows on the market, with a loft height of only 2.5 inches. Furthermore, this pillow also has ergonomic sides that provide optimal support to your neck. Since the loft height is only 2.5 inches, it doesn’t elevate your neck too much, ensuring spinal stability. This highly-durable memory foam pillow also has a dual sleeping surface with a curved top and flat bottom.
Core Products Cervical Support Pillow
Core Products Cervical Support Pillow is one of the best cervical pillows for people suffering from chronic neck pain. This isn’t the most comfortable pillow, but it’s necessary for people with chronic neck pain because it helps in posture correction. This cervical pillow features three elevated sides and a crater in between. As such, when you rest your head on this pillow, the elevated contours support your neck while preventing significant head movement. As such, this memory foam pillow helps with chronic neck pain.
ViscoSoft Arctic Gel Pillow
ViscoSoft Arctic Gel Pillow is a contoured memory foam pillow with a loft height going as high as 6-inches at the sides. As such, this memory foam pillow is only suitable for side sleepers, and you should avoid it if you’re a back or stomach sleeper. This memory foam pillow is also infused with 2 pounds of ArcticGel cooling gel, which helps regulate your body’s temperature, keeping you cool at night.
UTTU Sandwich Pillow
UTTU Sandwich Pillow is an adjustable memory foam pillow with several layers of memory foam. As such, you can add or remove the memory foam layers to adjust the loft height according to your needs, making it suitable for side sleepers and back sleepers. Furthermore, this is also a contoured memory foam pillow, and it comes with elevated contours that serve as inbuilt neck rolls.
Are you looking for the best pillow for chronic neck pain? If so, you must find pillows designed for your specific sleeping habits. Side sleepers should use high-loft memory foam pillows, like Elite Rest Contour Sleeper. Stomach sleepers should use low-loft and firm memory foam pillows, like Elite Rest Ultra Slim Sleeper. And back sleepers should use medium-loft or adjustable memory foam pillows, such as ViscoSoft Arctic Gel Pillow. You must find the best pillow firmness for neck pain for your specific sleeping position.