Neck Pillows: What You Need to Know

Do you have neck pain after sleeping? You’re not alone. Two-thirds of the population suffers from neck pain.

The proper pillow is critical for maintaining the neck in a supported posture with neutral alignment during sleep. Without the proper pillow support, the complex structures in the neck will be strained, worsening any underlying neck problem and resulting in neck pain or stiffness. The goal is to select a pillow with the appropriate height and hardness for the individual’s size, sleeping posture, and personal preferences.

  • A cushion that is too high or too hard prevents the neck from fully relaxing while sleeping and can cause neck tissue wear and tear.
  • An excessively flat cushion strains the neck.

While it most commonly affects people in their forties and fifties, neck pain from sleeping can affect anyone. Pain from an injury may go away in a few days or weeks, but up to 10% of people may be left with chronic problems.

Your sleeping posture and pillow may be contributing to your neck pain after sleeping. Those who sleep on their stomachs, for example, may have the greatest neck discomfort. Your neck is rotated to either side, and your spine is arched in this posture. Experts suggest sleeping on your back or side for comfort, as well as using a pillow that supports the neck and its natural curvature.

The most important issue here is which pillow for neck pain works best for all of your needs and requirements, which we have addressed in detail below.


No matter how you like to sleep and deciding on which pillow for neck pain to choose may help ensure you don’t have neck pain after sleeping.  Sleeping postures have a significant role in choosing the appropriate kind of pillow. Those suffering from neck pain should try to sleep on their backs or sides as often as possible to prevent neck pain front and other sides.  

Understanding different pillow designs and fillings could mean the difference between a restful night’s sleep and a night of sheep counting due to neck pain from sleeping. Whether you’re searching for nice bedding or something to help with back discomfort, you may discover a variety of neck pain relief pillows to meet your requirements. Can neck pain be a sign of something serious? Yes, but it’s not the best idea to jump to conclusions, more than often, it’s just neck pain.

Sleeping On The Back

A lower cushion is preferable in this posture. A wrapped towel or rolled pillow in the neck area provides additional support. Rolled towels or pillows may be placed in pillowcases. Some pillows include both a roll-shaped region for the neck and a deeper, lower portion for the head.

It’s sometimes advantageous to experiment with pillow positions in order to become more comfortable. Some individuals find that sleeping with the pillow tucked in between the shoulders more comfortable. to place the head higher up on the cushion, the neck is not bent (bent forward). People with neck problems may find this posture more pleasant than the other one. To avoid pressure on the lower back, put a cushion beneath the knees while sleeping on the back.

Sleeping On The Side

A cushion should support the head and neck while resting on one’s side so that the spine maintains a straight and natural horizontal line. Resting on one’s side need a thicker pillow than sleeping on one’s back, causing neck pain right side.

Bending the knees and putting another cushion between the knees maintains a neutral spine posture. When there is no support between the legs, the upper leg moves downward, pushing the pelvis and causing the normal line of the spine to be distorted. A hard cushion between the knees is more likely to prevent this downward movement than a softer pillow.

Adding support between the knees may help to avoid back discomfort while also allowing the back to recover and relax better while sleeping.

Sleeping On The Stomach

This posture is not advised since it causes the back to arch and the head to turn, putting strain on the neck and can cause neck pain front sides and sometimes even on the back sides. Changing sleep habits may be difficult, but attempting to fall asleep in a different posture is advised.

If sleeping or resting on the stomach is preferable, the pillow should be reasonably flat, or the head should rest directly on the mattress, to avoid straining the head and neck. It is generally preferable to put another somewhat flat cushion beneath the abdomen or pelvis in this posture to assist the lower back maintain its natural alignment.

Sitting Up

Horseshoe-shaped body pillows may assist prevent neck pain while sleeping in a sitting posture, such as on an aircraft, in a vehicle, or a chair. These tiny cushions support the neck and prevent the head from falling too far to one side. The cushion should be small enough that the head is not forced forward but is positioned properly over the shoulders.

It is recommended considering this kind of cushion to support the head and neck for anybody who prefers sleeping on an inclination in an adjustable bed or propped up on pillows to prevent neck pain right sides and in other areas of the back.


Choosing the appropriate neck pain relief pillow for neck pain from sleeping may be a critical step toward a pain-free life. Your specific requirements will determine the best cushion for you. We’ll take you through the essential factors, including how to choose the ideal material, shape, and thickness for your specific sleeping style. Focusing on these aspects and having a basic knowledge of how pillows function may help you discover the ideal cushion for you.

Loft: The angle of your head concerning your spine is determined by the loft. A pillow that is too high or too low may force your neck to bend at an unnatural angle, which can cause strain and pain over time. As a result, sleep specialists advise selecting a pillow loft that maintains your head and neck aligned with your spine. When selecting a pillow, keep in mind the breadth of your shoulders and the size of your head. If you are unsure of your optimum loft, you may want to consider purchasing a pillow with an adjustable loft.

Support: A pillow should not only be the correct height beneath your head, but it should also sufficiently support your neck. This is particularly common with cervical pillows, which curve to the neck rather than leaving an unsupported gap.

Hardness Level: The firmness of the pillow will decide where your head will rest. Therefore it is important to give this element considerable thought. The hardness of your pillow should be determined by how heavy your head is, how high the pillow is, what position you like to sleep in, and the stiffness of your mattress. Excessively firm pillows may create pressure points, such as in the ears while resting on your side. On the other hand, excessively soft pillows may droop beneath your head and fail to offer enough support.

Relieving Pressure: A good cushion relieves pressure on the neck by relieving tension and shaping to minimise pressure points. Choose a pillow that is the right form and size for your sleeping posture, as well as the right hardness to relieve pressure at contact points for the greatest pressure relief.

Contour: Today’s manufacturers produce a diverse range of ergonomic pillows that give better support by conforming to the shape of your head and neck. Some individuals prefer to add additional cushion to their arrangement, with a tiny roll beneath the neck being a common choice in addition to the main pillow. Pillow form is a matter of personal choice, but a cervical pillow may be an option if you cannot find relief from your neck discomfort.

Price: Investing in a decent pillow is critical to your general health and, in particular, your neck health. Pillow costs vary greatly based on the materials used and the design. When looking for a pillow, bear in mind that some may endure for years, while others may need to be changed after a year or two as their materials wear out and lose their loft or conforming properties.

Quality Of The Material Used: Within broad categories such as memory foam or feather pillows, the quality of the particular cushion is critical to its lifespan and comfort. Some pillows may be cleaned and dried regularly to fluff them up and extend their life.

Understanding the basics of choosing which pillow for neck pain, including pillow forms and fillings, may make be the difference between a restful night’s sleep and a night of sheep counting. Whether you’re searching for nice bedding or something to help with back discomfort, you may discover a variety of pillows to meet your requirements.

What Causes Post-Sleep Neck Pain?

You may not give much thought to the kind of pillow you use or which pillow for neck pain and sleeping position. However, your sleeping posture and pillow may both cause a stiff, painful neck, as well as back discomfort and other kinds of pain.

According to research, sleeping difficulties may cause up to 5% of new instances of chronic pain. Many of these variables are within your control, which means that you may be able to relieve your neck pain from sleeping and other kinds of pain by making certain adjustments.

Your Sleeping Arrangement
Everyone has a favourite sleeping position. However, if you wear it on your stomach, you are doing your neck no favours. When sleeping on your stomach, your neck may be twisted to one side for many hours at a time. This may put pressure on your neck muscles, making them painful and stiff in the morning. Tummy sleeping may also be hard on your back, particularly if you sleep on a mattress that isn’t very supportive may eventually lead to neck pain from sleeping. This may cause your tummy to sink into the bed, putting tension and strain on your spine and back muscles.

The Pillow
Because your head and neck spend several hours each night on your pillow, selecting the correct neck pain relief pillow is critical to maintaining a healthy, pain-free neck. A pillow that does not adequately support your head and neck may generate stress in your neck muscles and cause neck discomfort. Using feather or memory foam pillows at night may enable your head to be “cradled,” allowing for a neutral spine and neck.

Unexpected Movement
Sudden movements, such as jerking up or throwing your limbs about in a dream, may strain your neck muscles. Tossing and tossing while sleeping or attempting to sleep may also cause neck strain and stress.

Injury In The Past
Some injuries, such as whiplash or sports injuries, may not be painful at first. The full physical consequences may not be felt for many days. If you were wounded in a manner that may have damaged your neck, you might go to bed feeling OK but wake up with an excruciating, stiff neck the following morning.

Other Reasons
Many additional factors may contribute to you waking up with neck discomfort. In rare instances, you may also have soreness in your neck throughout the day. The following are some of the most frequent causes of neck pain:

Working at a computer for too long or watching television for too long without changing positions causes bad posture throughout the day.
osteoarthritis in one of the higher spinal joints nerve compression in your neck caused by a herniated disc or bone spur

What Else Should Neck Pain Sufferers Consider?

Neck Pillows to Prevent Wear and Tear

Your neck pain after sleeping not the right way grows more susceptible to degenerative disc disease as you age. Aging may cause the fibrous disc between your backbones to weaken, fracture, or dry up due to wear and strain. This condition and the symptoms it produces are known as degenerative disc disease. Most individuals, if they live long enough, will suffer some degree of spinal disc degeneration. As a result, the issue of which pillow for neck pain works best arises. Memory foam, also known as Viscoelastic polyurethane foam, is a popular substance used in mattresses and pillows. It aids in the prevention of degenerative disc disease. When in touch with your body heat, memory foam takes the shape of your body and returns to its original form when it cools. Neck pain relief pillow is an excellent investment since they have shown to be very helpful for wear and tear caused by prolonged degenerative disc disease over time.

Headaches Caused By Pillows

It may be difficult to identify the precise source of headaches. However, headaches are often linked with neck discomfort and stress. A set of muscles termed suboccipital muscles are located at the base of the neck and directly refer nerves to the skull, including the front of the head and the eyes. When these muscles tighten as a consequence of improper alignment, they send pain to the brain, resulting in tension headaches. Too-high pillows may force the head and neck to curve forward, putting strain on the suboccipital neck muscles. Too much stress in these muscles may cause you to wake up with a headache or develop a headache after you've gotten out of bed.