When you have neck arthritis, using the right pillow can help ease neck pain and improve the quality of your sleep at night. Getting yourself one the best pillows for neck arthritis will help you main proper alignment in your neck and spine thus alleviating some of your discomfort. However, when shopping for pillows, keep in mind what works for someone else may not work for you— the firmness of a pillow is a personal preference and people who have neck pain may have different needs.
To better understand what those needs are and gather a few useful tips on sleeping with neck arthritis, I connected with Dr. Alex Tauberg, a Pittsburgh-based chiropractor. He recommends looking pillow that allows you to adjust it to attain the perfect height for your neck. From there, it comes down to what your preferred sleeping position is:
- Side sleepers: The best type of pillow will be one that is about the same height as the space between the middle line of your neck and your shoulder. "This allows for your head to sink slightly into the pillow but should keep your neck in a fairly straight position," Dr. Tauberg explains. "When your neck is laterally flexed too much one way, you are most likely to experience neck pain.
- Back sleepers: The best pillow for this position are slimmer or flatter but still thick enough to support the neck so it's not overly extended. "Ideally, you want a pillow that will keep your neck in a neutral position where your head is likely to be just a few inches off of the mattress," he advises.
While there are many great pillows on Amazon, I've scrolled through thousands of options to find the best pillows for neck arthritis. Whether you're a side sleeper or a back sleeper, these picks will help get you in the proper position so you — and your neck— can rest peacefully.
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1. The Best Pillow For Side Sleepers With Neck Arthritis: UTTU Cervical Pillow
Side sleepers, you might not find a better quality pillow to help with your neck arthritis than this UTTU cervical pillow, which is optimally contoured to support your head and neck. The pillow is made of moldable memory foam material and contains an adjustable center foam piece that can be removed to alter the height. It also boasts a soft bamboo-polyester blend pillowcase that's easy to remove when you want to wash it. Plus, fans love it: nearly 900 Amazon reviewers have given it a perfect five-star rating.
Helpful review: "I suffer from arthritis in my neck. Have had pillow about three weeks and I have definitely noticed a difference in the severity of my neck pain. I was using a memory foam pillow previously, but this one is much softer and fits the contour of my neck much better. Highly recommend, especially with the warranty they offer."
2. The Best For Back Sleepers: EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
This Amazon best-selling EPABO contour pillow is also popular among people with neck arthritis. Although it's a bit more expensive than the first pick, it's available in three different sizes (standard, queen, and king) and comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee to ensure that it's the right pillow for you. Like the UTTU pillow, this pick is made of memory foam with a contoured design to support your neck and an adjustable foam center, however the low profile dip in the middle makes it optimal for back sleepers (side sleepers who like the option to roll over through the night will also enjoy this pick). The included pillowcase is a rayon-polyester blend with a zipper to make it easy to remove and wash.
Helpful review:: “I have neck arthritis, and when it flares up, I can't turn my neck from side to side and I'm constantly in pain. I have tried everything from daily massages to prednisone with no major improvements. This pillow has helped me more than any other remedy and helped me heal from a neck flare I couldn't get out of.”
3. The Most Affordable: Wonwo Adjustable Orthopedic Contour Cervical Sleeping Pillow
For the low price, this Wonwo pillow is a steal and is made of memory foam with an ergonomic, contoured design. While this pillow does have an adjustable center similar to the other two picks on this list, it doesn't come with the backing of quite as many fans. That said, hundreds of reviewers on Amazon love it, giving it a 4.2-star rating overall. Thanks to the different heights in the front and back and the dip in the middle, this pick is also great for back sleepers, however side sleepers may also like the flexibility to rotate their position as well.
According to one reviewer: "My neck gets stiff from some arthritis. I had two discs replaced in my neck. This pillow helps keep me comfortable and able to rest well. I like it!"