The Best Pillows For Neck Pain

Ad failed to load

Neck pain is a real — pun 100 percent intended — pain in the neck. It can also seem pretty random. One morning you're fine, the next you can barely turn your head without howling in agony. The best pillows for neck pain can help, because the cause of your pain could be the way you're sleeping (especially if that's on your stomach with your neck twisted in a knot). But it can also have a lot to do with the quality of pillow you're choosing.

"All those hours spent staring down at our smartphones is causing trouble for spinal alignment and we’re feeling the painful effects of it in the neck and in the back, especially when we sleep," says Dr. Neel Anand, professor of orthopaedic surgery and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. "If you sleep on your back with your head bent forward or on your side with your head significantly bent to the side, you may exacerbate your current neck pain."

And, when it comes to comfortable pillows for back, side, and stomach sleepers, Anand says it’s not a decision to make lightly, because your neck and back may live with it for years to come (no pressure or anything).

Ad failed to load

"Many people set out to buy a new pillow or mattress because they have a problem to fix: Their current pillow is causing a neck ache, they find themselves tossing and turning at night, or they feel aches and pains when they wake up," Anand says. "But no matter what has spurred your new expedition, keep the proper alignment of your neck and back as a priority in your decision-making and you’ll have a much better chance of a good night’s sleep and happier mornings."

Anand suggests looking for a pillow that keeps your neck parallel to the mattress and adapts to your specific sleep position. He is partial to memory foam, foam contour, and cervical contour pillows, which he calls “extremely effective for most because your neck rests on a less elevated side when laying on your back or on a more elevated side when sleeping on your side.” If you have a firmer mattress, get a thicker pillow so that there’s less cushion for your shoulder to sink into. If your mattress is made from memory foam, the opposite rule applies: A thinner pillow is needed to compensate for your shoulder sinking into the bed.

No matter how amazing your pillow is, it's important to know when neck pain requires more than retail therapy to cure. If your pain becomes chronic or you experience other symptoms like tingling, numbness, or weakness in the shoulders or arms, visit a doctor to rule out Degenerative Disc Disease.

Ad failed to load

Assuming your neck pain is nothing more than run-of-the-mill annoying, check out these six great pillows for neck pain.

Ad failed to load

1A Contoured Memory Foam Pillow That's Made Out Of Hypoallergenic Bamboo

If you suffer from allergies and neck pain, you're going to need the very best (and very specific) bedding — and this hypoallergenic memory foam pillow is a great place to start. This super firm but lightweight pillow is a good fit for all sleeping styles and boasts a wave design that supports your neck and shoulders and encourages proper spinal alignment. Thanks to an eco-friendly, naturally anti-bacterial bamboo cover, dust mites, mold, and other allergens won't come within an inch of your sinuses. And, if you happen to be a sweaty sleeper or just prefer not waking up with your face sticking to a pillow, you're in luck: the pillow cover is infused with Kool-flow technology that encourages air to circulate through the pillow.

2A Molded Memory Foam Pillow With Cooling Gel For Back And Side Sleepers Who Get Hot During The Night

Provide therapeutic support to your head and neck and keep the temperature regulated all night long with this memory foam pillow, which comes in standard and queen sizes. Medium-firm memory foam molds around your neck and head to prop it up just enough so that your spine is aligned. The pillow itself is made with two pounds of cooling gel that actually reacts with your body to provide a continuous cooling surface. Adding to the cooling experience, its moisture-wicking pillowcase is made with a special fabric that provides incredible, constant ventilation.

3A Thinner Memory Foam Pillow With A Low Profile And Bamboo Cover

If you have a smaller neck or need (or just prefer) a softer pillow with a lower profile, this contoured memory foam option is thinner than most and was designed by a chiropractor. The pillow varies in size from one end to the other — from 2.25 inches to 3.5 inches — and works best for back sleepers. If you sleep on your side, no worries: it can be turned upside down and used while side sleeping so that your shoulder tucks under the pillow slightly for better alignment. Countless reviewers say this is the memory foam pillow that finally got rid of their neck pain. It also includes a hypoallergenic bamboo cover that is resistant to allergens and stays cool.

Ad failed to load

4A Cervical Contour Latex Memory Foam Pillow That's Softer Than Most

Put less pressure on your neck and head with this cervical neck support pillow, which comes in small, medium, and large sizes. Designed by a celebrity chiropractor and featured on The Doctors TV show, this latex memory foam pillow has a valley that supports the head for back sleeping. The pillow is slanted to provide a cushion for the neck and shoulders while side sleeping and is described as "much softer" than other memory foam pillows, which is good to keep in mind if you don't love firm pillows.

5A Firm Memory Foam Pillow With Built-In Features For Side And Back Sleepers

A tried-and-true contour pillow that boasts built-in features for both back and side sleepers, this non-toxic foam pillow is available in five sizes and boasts four unique components that help support your back and neck no matter how you love to sleep. A valley center cavity and wedge extension provide support for your head and thoracic spine when you're on your back. The raised side panel was designed specifically for side sleepers to cushion the shoulders and prevent pain. A fitter cover comes with each order and you should expect a pillow that's on the firmer side.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

11 Ways To Stay Positive When Dating Feels Like The Worst, According To Matchmakers

With every first date that leads to nowhere or every non-relationship that ends up being a waste of your time, finding love can seem far from possible. It can also be pretty rough on your self-esteem if you continually put a lot of effort into dating…
By Kristine Fellizar

I Tried Venus' New Facial Hair Removal Device & Will Never Get My Upper Lip Area Waxed Again

I remember the first time I realized I was growing hair above my upper lip. It was when a very rude seventh grader decided to point it out in front of my friends and me during our lunch break. He wasn't wrong — just mean — and ever since then, I've b…
By Sara Tan

Here Are The Exact Steps To Take If You Want To Travel All The Time & Work Remotely

When I first decided I wanted to become a digital nomad — someone who travels non-stop while working remotely — I was terrified and unsure if I would actually go through with it. I worried my work would suffer from all the travel and time zone change…
By Suzannah Weiss

7 Ways To Celebrate Your 30th Birthday That Are Feminist AF

Turning 30 is a pretty major milestone; it's one of those birthdays where large parties, floods of presents and many bouquets from besotted admirers seem to be in order. And as a woman and a feminist, I'm here to offer some additional 30th birthday i…
By JR Thorpe

Here’s Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In April

As the virtual shelf life for non-original Netflix programs grows shorter and shorter, fans of the streaming service are bidding woeful goodbyes to their favorite titles left and right. So, for those who need some time to prepare, here's everything l…
By Angelica Florio

Is Amazon's Alexa Making Our Relationships Weird?

Earlier this year, I started dating a guy who was in a very codependent relationship with Alexa. Alexa helped this guy (I'll call him "Paul") decide where to eat dinner and reminded him to work out. Alexa handled his to-do lists, restocked his toile…
By Sophie Saint Thomas

You Can Get Too Faced Mascara & Tarte Lipstick For HALF OFF At Ulta This Month

It's finally here! Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty Sale runs from now through Saturday, April 7 and is the retailer's epic "event" of the year. The promotion features "Beauty Steals," which means 50 percent off specific products for a single day. It also in…
By Amy Sciarretto

7 Things My 20s Taught Me About Toxic Relationships

I'll be turning 30 in less than a week, and while I'm trying to get all the habits of my twenties out of the way ASAP, I'm also reflecting on the what I learned over the past decade. And top of the list is the lessons I learned about toxic relationsh…
By JR Thorpe

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Meghan Markle's First Appearance With The Queen Included An Homage To Princess Diana

Fashion pundits love keeping a close eye on what the women of the monarchy are wearing, especially when there's an overlap with Princess Diana's sense of style. We're nothing but nostalgic when it comes to Princess Di and her on-point aesthetic. Find…
By Marlen Komar

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

The 21 New Books That Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring

Despite the fact the Northeast is being pummeled by yet another storm that threatens to trap the region in snow and ice for eternity, winter is finally almost over, and you know what that means. No, I'm not talking about April showers or May flowers …
By Sadie Trombetta

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck