Choosing the right pillow can make all the difference between a good and a bad night's sleep. These are some of the best pillows for people who suffer from neck pain.
Everyone has a different sleep style, which means the pillows we use shouldn't be one-size-fits-all either. Whether you're a side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper, or tend to run hot, rest assured that there's a perfect pillow out there for you. But in addition to your sleep position, another important factor to consider when choosing a pillow is whether or not you're prone to neck pain.
"I think that overly large and stiff pillows can cause problems for many people," says Christopher Winter, MD, medical director of Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of The Sleep Solution ($26; ). Softer, lower pillows will keep your neck elevated just enough to stay comfortable, but not so much so that you feel achy after a few hours of shut-eye. Another potential problem? If you tend to shift positions during the night, a highly contoured pillow might cause discomfort.
"If you invest the time into finding the right pillow, it can improve sleep and the way your body feels for a lifetime," Dr. Winter says. Here, the best pillows to prevent neck pain while you catch some Zzs.
The Proper Pillow
Dr. Winter is a big fan of this innovative pillow. "It has a very unique design and is orthopedically quite sound," he says. Unlike many other pillows, Proper Pillow is designed a bit like a sandwich with a plush quilted outer layer and soft memory foam insert. The result: a super-comfortable pillow that delivers superior head and neck support for both back and side sleepers.
Bedgear Alpine 1.0 Pillow
Another one of Dr. Winter's go-to brands is Bedgear. "The pillow quality is outstanding, many feature fabrics that dissipate heat and provide a cooler sleep experience, and they don't tend to be heavy," he says. This one has soft support that's particularly ideal for stomach sleepers.
Bedgear Alpine 2.0 Pillow
If you're a back or side sleeper, or tend to run hot, this Bedgear pillow is a great choice. It has medium support and slightly higher elevation (that's still not too high to cause neck pain), while the brand's Ver-Tex heat-deflection fabric will keep you cool on warmer nights. As an added bonus, it repels dust, making it ideal for those with allergies.
Coop Home Goods Premium Memory Foam Pillow
As Dr. Winter points out, if you're someone who tends to toss and turn during the night, a highly contoured pillow might cause you neck pain, since contoured designs aren't ideal for all sleep positions. If this sounds like you, look for a non-contoured pillow that isn't too high or too dense, such as this one from Coop Home Goods. It has a shredded memory foam interior and is hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant. Plus, it boasts an impressive 10,000 five-star Amazon reviews.