Snoozing with a supportive pillow is a great way to maintain healthy posture and guard against neck pain. No one wants to start the morning with an ache, or a stiff neck, that can last all day! Of course, with so many options on the market, it can be tough to determine which pillow will bring you sweet dreams… and which will leave you feeling sore and stiff. But don’t worry — our best pillows for neck pain review is here!
In this guide, we’re presenting the top ten pillows designed to alleviate neck pain and unlock your best sleep potential. Plus, we’ll impart some 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. Let’s get started!
Disclaimer: The content on Sleepopolis is meant to be informative, but shouldn’t replace advice or treatment from a medical professional. If you experience chronic pain or discomfort while sleeping, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional.
Best Pillows for Neck Pain – Our Top 10 Picks!
- Most Comfortable Pillow for Neck Pain – Saatva Pillow
- Best Memory Foam Pillow for Neck Pain – TEMPUR-Cloud
- Best Pillow for Combo Sleepers With Neck Pain – Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling
- Best Adjustable Pillow for Neck Pain – Lagoon Fox Pillow
- Best Luxury Pillow for Neck Pain – Cozy Earth Silk
- Best Down Pillow for Neck Pain – Brooklinen Pillow
- Best Organic Pillow for Neck Pain – Avocado Pillow
- Best Pillow for Side Sleepers With Neck Pain – Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper
- Best Pillow for Back Sleepers With Neck Pain – Coop Home Goods Eden
Best Pillow for Neck Pain 2023 – Our Video Roundup
Best Pillows for Neck Pain 2023
Keep reading to learn more about each of these pillows’ unique qualities and specific build that’s aligned with our idea of the best pillow for neck pain! The type of pillow you might need will vary differently depending on your body shape, size, weight, and individual preferences. Because a pillow can play such an important role in neck pain, we have tested each of our pillow picks to make your search easier.
Pillow prices range all over the board, anywhere from $35 to $100 or more. You’ll want to weigh your options carefully when choosing a new pillow that will suit your needs, and fit your budget. As pillow prices vary depending on seasonal sales that the brand may decide on, we have broken down our pricing into categories.
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $50–$99
- $$$ = over $99
Most Comfortable Pillow for Neck Pain – Saatva Pillow
Saatva Latex Pillow
A fluffable mix of down-alternative and Talalay latex makes this pillow cozy, cool, and great for combo sleepers.
4.80 / 5Read Full Review
If sleepers aren’t sure which pillow will be most comfortable, they should definitely dive into the Saatva pillow.
It’s lofty enough for side sleeping, compressible enough for stomach sleeping, and keeps you comfortably cradled when you’re on your back. It’s this incredible versatility, plus its luxe feel, that makes the Saatva pillow one of our favorites.
It features a unique pillow-in-pillow design wherein a fluffy down-alternative cover envelopes a Talalay latex core. This combination strikes a cozy balance between soft and supportive, as the outer pillow offers a plush feel, while the inner core adds a buoyant boost. Plus, you have the option to use the pillow as is, or remove the middle insert!
If you primarily sleep on your back and side, we suggest using this pillow exactly as it comes. However, stomach sleepers looking to reduce the loft and firmness can easily unzip the pillow, and remove the latex core for a softer feel. For all the details on this great combo sleeping accessory, read our full Saatva pillow review!
Price: $$$, with a 45-day trial period.
Perfect For: Sleepers looking for a comfortable, all-position pillow.
Best Memory Foam Pillow for Neck Pain – TEMPUR-Cloud
The TEMPUR-Cloud is a super adaptive memory foam pillow that can work for every sleeping position.
4.50 / 5Read Full Review
If you’re a memory foam fan who struggles with neck pain, this pillow is for you.
Filled with one thick piece of Tempur-Pedic’s memory foam, the TEMPUR-Cloud offers a contouring feel, and a super slow response to pressure. Those who like to sink deeply into their pillow are likely to be most compatible with this one. Since it has a medium loft, we think it’s best for back and side sleepers, but it can also work for occasional stomach sleeping.
The memory foam material is not only wonderful for pressure relief, but it also compresses easily. If you travel frequently, then you should be able to easily roll this pillow up and store it in a bag or suitcase. For added convenience, the cover is removable and machine washable.
For even more memory foam pillow choices, check out our full review of Tempur-Pedic pillows (this brand offers quite a few options!). And don’t forget to read our full review of the TEMPUR-Cloud pillow for more information,
Price: $$, backed by a 5-year warranty, showing this brand proudly stands behind its product.
Perfect For: Memory foam lovers looking for deep contouring and pressure relief.
Best Pillow for Combo Sleepers With Neck Pain – Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow
Hot sleepers that are tired of flipping the pillow looking for the cool side will love the Brooklyn Luxury Cooling Pillow!
4.60 / 5Read Full Review
Calling all combo sleepers! If you alternate sleep positions, Brooklyn Bedding may have the ideal pillow for you. Their Luxury Cooling Pillow cradles the head and keeps it in line with your shoulders while you’re on your side, and comfortably conforms to the neck and head while you’re on your back, providing just the right amount of lift. Sleepers who alternate between their back and side may want to consider a higher loft version of this pillow, while those who alternate between their stomach and back may want to consider a lower loft.
Plus, as the name suggests, this pillow is great for anyone looking for a cool night’s sleep all the way through — no flipping required.
Check out our full review of the Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow here!
Price: $$$, with a 30-day trial period and a 3-year warranty.
Perfect For: Combo sleepers looking for a comfortable and cool night’s sleep.
Best Adjustable Pillow for Neck Pain – Lagoon Fox Pillow
Lagoon Fox Pillow
This adjustable pillow allows you to add or subtract the fill until you find the right height and firmness level.Read Full Review
If you experience neck pain, consider checking out an adjustable pillow. It lets you add and subtract its filling to your needs, making it much easier to find that sweet spot between comfort and support.
One of our favorite adjustable pillows is the Lagoon Fox. Its filling is made from shredded memory foam. While memory foam is a soft material, the foam here isn’t too soft, so if you leave the pillow fully packed, you should experience a good amount of pressure relief without sinking too far into its surface. This helps keep the spine in a proper alignment and prevent neck pain.
We found the Lagoon Fox Pillow to be an especially good fit for side sleepers and back sleepers. And because the memory foam is made from many different shredded pieces, there’s plenty of room for air to flow through the pillow, which should help you sleep cool.
Learn more about the Fox and several other of Lagoon’s pillows in our full review.
Price: $$$, with a 100-night risk-free trial.
Perfect For: Anyone who wants a customizable pillow for their neck pain.
Best Luxury Pillow for Neck Pain – Cozy Earth Silk
Cozy Earth Silk Pillow
Made with 100 percent silk for the filling, this pillow will provide combination sleepers with a soft, luxurious feel.
4.90 / 5Read Full Review
While the luxurious mulberry silk filling of the Cozy Earth Silk pillow isn’t adjustable, it’s plush and moldable, so it easily conforms to your neck and head. This goes a long way toward preventing or addressing neck pain. Not to mention, it just feels oh so soft and cozy.
This pillow comes equipped with several other luxurious touches, too, including a shell made from 100 percent viscose. This material is derived from bamboo, and is environmentally friendly.
Read our full Cozy Earth Silk pillow review to learn more.
Price: $$$, with a 45-day trial period.
Perfect For: Anyone who wants a plush, luxurious sleeping experience.
Best Down Pillow for Neck Pain – Brooklinen Pillow
Brooklinen Down Pillow
The Brooklinen Down pillow is available in three firmness levels, making it versatile for a variety of sleepers.
4.30 / 5Read Full Review
Stuffed full of Canadian down feathers, this Brooklinen Down pillow features a high fill power of 600. When shopping for down products, it’s important to note that fill power determines how fluffy and lofty it’ll be (and 600 means very fluffy). Sleepers in the market for big ol’ feather pillows are sure to enjoy this one.
That said, this pillow’s tall five inch profile is easily compressed into a low loft of two inches, as natural down is a very soft material. In fact, this pillow has a malleable quality that lets you push, press, and fold it to meet your unique needs.
Meanwhile, sleepers with allergies might like to know that this down has been treated with Ultra Fresh Antibacterial Additives, an OEKO-TEX technology used to make it hypoallergenic. So if you tend to avoid real down because of sensitive skin or allergies, just remember that this pillow was crafted to be extra resistant to mold and mildew.
Learn everything there is to know about this pillow in our full Brooklinen Down pillow review.
Price: $$, which is a great value for a natural down pillow. Plus, Brooklinen offers a 365-day return policy and a lifetime warranty.
Perfect For: Sleepers of all styles looking for a soft and lofty pillow filled with 100 percent real down!
Best Organic Pillow for Neck Pain – Avocado Pillow
Avocado Green Pillow
Made with all-natural latex and kapok, the Avocado Green pillow is both eco-conscious and supportive!
4.50 / 5Read Full Review
Eco-friendly sleepers looking to alleviate neck pain with an all-natural pillow are going to be most compatible with the Avocado Green.
From the cotton cover fabric to the internal fill, this entire pillow is made from organic materials. It’s filled with a blend of shredded Dunlop latex and a sustainable tree fiber called kapok, which combine to offer a medium-firm feel. Additionally, it has a quick response to pressure that lets the sleeper rest on top of the pillow rather than sink into the material.
One of our favorite things about this pillow is that it’s adjustable, which allows sleepers of all styles to find their perfect loft. If you find this pillow to be too lofty or firm, simply unzip the pillow and remove the stuffing until you’re satisfied! That said, we suggest stomach sleepers remove some fill to reduce the loft before snoozing with this pillow.
This pillow is traditionally shaped, which means you’re more than welcome to dress it with a pillowcase. But its organic cotton cover fabric is hypoallergenic, soft, and easily machine washable (so feel free to enjoy it without a pillowcase!).
For the full scoop on this pillow, be sure to check out our full Avocado pillow review.
Price: $$, with a generous 100-night trial and a 1-year warranty.
Perfect For: The eco-friendly sleeper looking for a supportive pillow with an adjustable design!
Best Pillow for Side Sleepers With Neck Pain – Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper
Eli & Elm Side-Sleeper Pillow
The Eli & Elm side sleeper pillow is one of the best pillows for side sleepers. It’s constructed in a unique u-shape to support side sleepers’ heads and necks and reduce shoulder pain.
4.30 / 5Read Full Review
The Eli & Elm Side Sleeper Pillow was designed just for side sleepers’ unique needs. Its custom U-shape is built specifically to support side sleepers’ heads and necks while reducing shoulder pain.
And, in addition to a supportive and springy feel the fill is adjustable, so if you aren’t a fan of the thicker center, you can pull out some of the fill and adjust it to your liking.
Check out our full review of the Eli & Elm Side Sleeper Pillow here!
Price: $$$, with a 45-day trial period.
Perfect For: Side sleepers looking for great neck support or sleepers looking for a hypoallergenic pillow — the side sleeper is antimicrobial, mildew-proof, and dust mite-resistant.
Best Pillow for Back Sleepers With Neck Pain – Coop Home Goods Eden
Coop Eden Pillow
With cooling Lulltra fabric and shredded gel-infused memory foam fill, this down alternative pillow from Coop Sleep Goods is great for hot sleepers, side sleepers, and back sleepers.
4.60 / 5Read Full Review
Packed with shredded memory foam, the Coop Home Goods Eden is a medium-firm pillow with an adjustable fill. That means sleepers can add or subtract filling to their liking.
When it comes to addressing neck pain, we found that this pillow was especially good for back sleepers. Its medium firmness creates a balanced feel that should keep their spine and neck properly aligned, which can help prevent soreness. We think side sleepers will be comfortable on the Eden as well. While they tend to need a higher loft than back sleepers, they can easily add as much filling as they want.
Another great feature of this pillow is its cooling capability. It has a cover made of a soft and breathable material called Lulltra. The memory foam filling is also infused with gel to assist with temperature regulation.
Check out our full review of the Coop Home Goods Eden pillow here!
Price: $$$, with a 100-day trial period.
Perfect For: Back sleepers, side sleepers, and hot sleepers.
Methodology: How To Pick The Right Pillow For Neck Pain
Below, we’ll break down the key factors to consider when picking the right pillow for your position, and let you know how to avoid the ones that might strain your neck!
Finding the Right Loft & Firmness for Neck Pain
When it comes to relieving neck pain, neutral spine alignment is the name of the game. You’ll hear me mention this a few times, but promoting neutral spine alignment is your pillow’s most important job (whether you deal with chronic neck pain or not).
Now, you might be wondering, “How am I supposed to know if my spine is in neutral alignment?” Well, here’s a trick we like to use: If your spine is in neutral alignment, your ears should be in line with your shoulders, and your chin should be in line with your sternum. So when you’re lying in bed, take some time to see if your chin is being craned upward, or if your ear is pressed into either shoulder. If so, it’s time to readjust and regain a healthy posture.
That said, it’s important to match your pillow to your preferred sleeping position in order to keep a healthy posture. To find the right fit, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the pillow’s loft (height) and firmness rating. So let’s take a closer look at the best loft and firmness for each position:
- Side Sleeping – Side sleepers need a high-lofted pillow with a profile of at least four inches tall. This serves to hold the head in neutral alignment with the spine, and relieve pressure at the shoulders as well. Additionally, side sleepers should aim for a firm pillow that maintains its shape and loft throughout the night.
- Stomach Sleeping – Stomach sleepers need a low-lofted pillow with a soft feel in order to keep the head in line with the spine, and prevent it from being craned upwards. That said, stomach sleepers can choose a pillow with a lofty profile, as long as the internal fill is soft enough to compress into a loft of two inches or less.
- Back Sleeping – Back sleepers are typically most compatible with a medium level of loft and firmness, but have some room to experiment. Some may prefer a firmer feel, while other back sleepers may enjoy more plush and cushy comfort. Just remember that neutral spine alignment is the most important factor, so if you find that your chin is being pushed toward your chest or your neck muscles are engaged, your pillow is probably too lofty.
Before we move on to the next factor, remember that you can find a more in-depth explanation of how to keep a healthy sleeping posture in my complete guide to picking the right pillow!
Choosing The Right Materials to Guard Against Neck Pain
Once you’ve settled on the right loft and firmness, it’s time to focus on the material details. From foam to feathers, pillows can be filled with all kinds of materials (and each one offers its own unique support!) So let’s explore some of the most popular ones below:
- Memory Foam – Memory foam has a moldable feel and a slow response to pressure, making it a great pick for sleepers who like to sink deeply into their pillow. The memory foam can come in one solid piece, or be shredded for a fluffier, more breathable feel. Back and side sleepers are often most compatible with this material, as it does a great job conforming to the head and neck while maintaining its loft. That said, some memory foam pillows are built either as a contour pillow or as a thin pillow to accommodate stomach sleepers (but make sure it’s two inches tall or less!).
- Latex – Latex pillows are typically lighter in weight with a bouncy-quick response to pressure. Again, the latex can come in one piece, or be shredded for a more fluffable feel. If you don’t like the feel of memory foam, you may prefer the way latex lets you rest on top of the pillow instead of sinking into it. In our experience, latex pillows can be great for all positions, as they offer a springy kind of support that quickly adapts to each sleep style.
- Down & Down-Alternative – Down and down-alternative pillows offer a soft, compressible feel that’s typically best for stomach sleepers. Stomach sleepers looking to alleviate neck pain might want to start here, as these materials can be fluffed or pressed into the loft that works best. That said, back and side sleepers looking for a high-lofted down pillow with a feathery and firm feel should pay close attention to “fill power.” Fill power ranges from about 300-900, and a higher fill generally produces a loftier and firmer pillow.
If you’re still not totally sure which material sounds right for you, don’t worry — we’re about to get up close and personal with each one. But before we do, there’s one last thing to consider: when to replace your pillow.
When To Replace Your Pillow
Once you’ve found the perfect pillow, it can be tempting to check “cure neck pain” off your list and move on. But replacing a pillow that no longer supports you is a key factor in the fight against neck pain!
That’s why we recommend checking in with your pillow every 6-8 months. If you notice that it’s gone flat, feels lumpy, or is no longer maintaining its shape throughout the night, there’s a good chance it needs to be replaced.
Of course, some pillows filled with soft, compressible materials (like down, down-alternative, or polyester, for example) need to be frequently fluffed in order to maintain integrity. So if you see that your brand new down pillow has lost its loft, don’t throw it away just yet! Instead, give it some enlivening fluffs to bring it back to life.
Other Tips for Neck Pain Sufferers
A new pillow can help relieve quite a lot of neck pain, but there are additional ways to help alleviate your sore or stiff neck. Everyday tasks, especially looking down at your electronic device (like you may be right now) can affect your neck muscles, causing neck or back pain. Small lifestyle changes such as stretching, adjusting your posture when you notice yourself slumped over, and maintaining exercise can really make a difference when it comes to neck pain.
Using cold and hot compresses can also provide quick relief to an aching neck. If the pain continues to linger after investing in one of our best pillows for neck pain, you may want to head to your local massage or chiropractic office. An orthopedic pillow, or cervical support pillow, may go hand-in-hand with a chiropractor’s plan for treating your neck pain. Always consult a health professional before starting any kind of treatment.
Finally, it’s important to sleep on the right mattress. The best mattress for neck pain is going to be supportive enough to help promote a neutral spinal alignment. You’ll also want to pair your pillow with your mattress. For example, on a soft mattress with sinkage, you’ll want a low-loft pillow to keep your neck in proper alignment, while a firm mattress necessitates a high-loft pillow to keep your head properly elevated.
Okay, folks, now that we’ve covered the main points to consider, let’s wrap up with a look at some final thoughts!
My Final Thoughts About Best Pillows for Neck Pain
Well sleepers, we’ve reached the end of my guide and you’re well on your way to finding your new pillow that’ll provide pain relief. And as you carefully consider all your options, don’t forget to pay close attention to materials, loft, and firmness in order to find your perfect pillow match for a good night’s sleep. Oh, and be sure to follow Sleepopolis on social media, and subscribe to our YouTube channel! Happy sleeping, everybody.
What is the best pillow for side sleepers with neck pain?
In order to alleviate neck pain, side sleepers need a pillow with a lofty profile and medium to firm level of support. This will serve to hold the head, neck, and spine in healthy neutral alignment.
Can pillows cause neck pain?
Sleeping with a pillow that doesn’t properly support you can definitely cause neck pain! That’s why it’s so important to pick the sleep accessories that fit your body type and support you in your go-to sleeping position.
Is sleeping without a pillow better for your neck?
Back and stomach sleepers may find that sleeping without a pillow helps them maintain neutral spine alignment, but side sleepers need a pillow in order to keep healthy posture and relieve pressure at the shoulders and hips.