If you deal with chronic headaches and/or neck pain, then it’s likely someone has suggested getting a cervical pillow. These pillows are designed to reduce neck strain and maintain healthy cervical alignment. They do this by providing a shallower area for the head to rest in the middle of the pillow and plenty of support at the neck.
How do you find the best cervical pillow for your needs? Start by thinking about your sleep style — for instance, if you’re a strict back or side sleeper, you might want to look for a pillow that’s designed with that sleep position in mind. Also consider your budget, whether you need a pillow that helps defend against trapped heat, and whether you want an adjustable option. Then check out our roundup to get started on your search.
Royal Therapy Memory Foam Contour Pillow
- The pillow is adjustable — you can unzip the cover and remove the middle layer of foam. This gives you multiple options when it comes to comfort.
- The cover is made from 100% rayon from bamboo, which is known for being fairly breathable and eco-friendly. It’s also machine-washable.
- The pillow is filled with memory foam, which offers head and neck contouring.
- The memory foam in the pillow is CertiPUR-US certified, which means it’s free of harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, lead, and phthalates.
One possible con? Some users have reported that the pillow starts to go flat after extended use.
The adjustable Royal Therapy Memory Foam Contour Pillow features a bamboo cover and a removable middle layer. The pillow’s memory foam is CertiPUR-US certified.
Mugetu Gel Infused Cervical Pillow
- The pillow’s height can be adjusted by removing the middle layer. This lets you alter the height by approximately one inch, so you can tailor the pillow to your sleep style.
- The memory foam in the pillow is infused with gel to help it sleep a little cooler.
- The cover is removable and machine-washable for easy at-home care.
- The pillow starts out pretty firm and softens over time. This could be an issue if you want a firm pillow over the long term.
- The pillow has a tendency to go flat, which could be an issue if you’re looking for a lot of support.
The gel infusion in the Mugetu Gel Infused Cervical Pillow helps the pillow sleep cooler than conventional memory foam. The pillow is adjustable and has a removable, machine-washable cover.
Best for Side Sleepers
Mkicesky Ergonomic Cervical Pillow
- The pillow is designed specifically for side sleepers. It has cutouts around the shoulder and is designed to keep the head and neck properly aligned in this position.
- The memory foam in the pillow is CertiPUR-US certified, so you can sleep easy knowing that it’s free of certain harmful chemicals.
- The cover is machine-washable, so it’s easy to keep clean.
- It’s pricier than many options on this list, and it won’t fit into all budgets.
- The pillow is firm, which won’t appeal to everyone.
Designed with side sleepers in mind, the Mkicesky Ergonomic Cervical Pillow features CertiPUR-US certified memory foam. The cover is machine-washable for easy at-home care.
Best for Back or Stomach Sleepers
EPABO Ergonomic Cervical Pillow
- The pillow is designed for back and stomach sleepers. It has a fairly low profile to help keep your spine in proper alignment in these positions.
- The bottom of the pillow includes a removable layer of memory foam that’s just under an inch thick, so you can add or remove this depending on your comfort preferences.
- The cover is removable and machine-washable.
- Some users have reported that the pillow starts to flatten after continuous use.
- The pillow is on the firmer side, which won’t appeal to everyone.
Designed for back and stomach sleepers, the EPABO Ergonomic Cervical Pillow features a low profile and adjustable height. The cover is removable and machine-washable.
Lunvon Adjustable Cervical Pillow
- The pillow has several features to help with cooling: The memory foam is open-cell and infused with gel, and the mesh cover also helps with airflow.
- The pillow’s core is made up of three layers of memory foam, and the middle layer can be removed to customize the pillow’s feel and height to your sleep style. You can adjust the height by nearly an inch.
- The memory foam in the pillow is CertiPUR-US certified, meaning it’s free of certain harmful chemicals.
- The pillow’s cover is removable and machine-washable.
- The pillow arrives vacuum-packed and might take a day or two to fully expand and finish off-gassing.
- This pillow doesn’t dip as much in the middle as some cervical pillows, so if you’re looking for a big variance between the sides and the middle of the pillow you might be disappointed.
If you’re prone to sleeping hot, consider the CertiPUR-US certified Lunvon Adjustable Cervical Pillow. It has several features to help with cooling, including open-cell foam, a gel infusion, and a mesh cover.
Wonwo Memory Foam Cervical Pillow
- The pillow offers decent value for a much lower price than many cervical pillows.
- The memory foam rebounds slowly, so it does a decent job of retaining its shape and firmness.
- The outer cover is ventilated to help with airflow and breathability.
- The memory foam in the pillow is CertiPUR-US certified, so the material should be free of certain harmful chemicals.
- The pillow is on the firm side, so it won’t appeal to folks who are looking for a soft option.
- The pillow is fairly tall and isn’t adjustable, so it might not be suitable for stomach sleepers.
The budget-friendly Wonwo Memory Foam Cervical Pillow features CertiPUR-US certified memory foam and a ventilated cover. It rebounds slowly and holds its shape well.
How We Picked
To zero in on our top picks for this roundup, we emphasized the following factors.
You can find decent cervical pillows for around $25 to over $60. We included pillows from all across that spectrum so you can choose according to your budget.
While most cervical pillows are made from memory foam and offer some contouring and pressure relief, there’s still a lot of variety when it comes to feel. Some pillows are very slow to respond to pressure, while others are a little quicker. Some are very firm, some are softer, and some are in between. We included pillows with a variety of feels so you can choose according to your preference and sleep style.
We’re using “functionality” as an umbrella term that includes several factors such as adjustability, breathability, and so on. For instance, some pillows let you adjust the height and feel; some pillows are made with cooling gels or breathable covers; some pillows are meant for back or stomach sleepers; some are intended for side sleepers; and so on.
Depending on your sleep style and comfort preferences, you might need some functions and not others. This list includes a variety of options so you can customize your choice to your specific sleep needs.
Most of the options on this list are CertiPUR-US certified, which means they’re free of certain harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, lead, phthalates, and more.
Sleepopolis Buying Tips
Trying to settle on the best cervical pillow for your needs? Narrow down your list of options by considering the following:
- What’s your sleep style? Do you tend to sleep on your back, stomach, or side? If you stick to one of those positions, then it’s a good idea to look for a pillow that’s designed with that sleep style in mind.
- Do you sleep hot? Most cervical pillows are made from memory foam, which is known for trapping heat. So if you’re prone to sleeping hot, it’s a good idea to look for options that are designed to help dissipate heat and keep you sleeping cool.
- Do you want an adjustable pillow? Some pillows let you add or remove an insert to customize the height and feel to your preferences, while others don’t. Deciding whether or not you want an adjustable pillow is a quick way to narrow down your options.
With any luck, the right cervical pillow will help keep your neck comfortable all night long, which can lead to better sleep quality and better quality of life overall. Given the benefits at stake, it’s worth taking the time to do your homework. These tips and our roundup should get you well on your way to finding the best pillow for your needs.