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Best Pillows for Neck Pain 2021

Friday, 2 April 2021  |  Eugene

If you're feeling pain in your neck when you wake up in the morning, there's a good chance you're using the wrong pillow. Most of us will suffer from neck pain at one point or another, and this isn't surprising when you consider the overly soft, rigid or misshapen pillows many of us lay our heads on every night. How then are you to know which kind of pillow will be right for your neck?

When it comes to choosing the right pillow to get rid of your neck pain, the main thing to consider is the position it will place your neck in relative to your head, shoulders and back. Correctly aligning the head with the spine is key, so it's important to consider your usual sleeping position (back sleeping, side sleeping or stomach sleeping) before selecting your pillow. To help you on your way, we've had our product experts go over our vast range to select their very Best Pillows for Neck Pain for a range of uses.

Our Favourite Pillows

Our product experts couldn't decide on one pillow, so they've divided their best picks into categories, including:


Best Soft Pillow for Neck Pain

Harley Contour Neck Support Pillow for Neck Pain

Harley Contour Neck Support Pillow for Neck Pain

Why We Love It...

 Contoured to fill the neck-shoulder gap to prevent strain on the neck
 Ideal for all sleep positions (back, side and stomach)
 Great for neck pain as well as arthritis
 Breathable foam makes it an ideal option for hot nights

Not the Best For...

Those needed an especially firm and supportive pillow
 Anyone looking for a pillow that retains heat

Editor's Verdict: We're always quick to recommend the Harley Original Contour Neck Support Pillow, and we rarely come across a customer that doesn't love it. A great option for back, shoulder and neck pain as well as arthritis sufferers, the shape of this pillow is great for supporting the vertebrae and keeping you aligned while you sleep. The liquid-moulded foam is also nice and breathable, which is great for anyone who often feels hot during the night.


Best Firm Memory Foam Pillow for Neck Pain

Harley Designer Memory Foam Orthopaedic Neck Support Pillow

Harley Designer Neck Support Pillow for Neck Pain

Why We Love It...

 Same contoured shape as the Harley Original to support the neck
 Ideal for all sleep positions (back, side and stomach)
 Great for neck pain as well as arthritis
 Memory foam is soft the touch yet firm enough for great support

Not the Best For...

Side sleepers with ear pain as a result of an overly-firm cushion
 Anyone who frequently overheats while sleeping

Editor's Verdict: In terms of neck support and alignment of the vertebrae, you can't do better than the Harley Designer Memory Foam Neck Support Pillow. This is a great alternative to the Harley Original above for those who like a firm pillow with great support, as the memory foam is soft to the touch without quite as much give to ensure your head and neck stays in the correct position to relieve pain. As an added bonus, this version is supplied with a luxurious velour pillow case.


Best Ergonomic Neck Pain Pillow

Therapeutica Spine Alignment Pillow for Neck Pain

Therapeutica Spinal Alignment Orthopedic Pillow for Neck Pain

Why We Love It...

 Uniquely designed with three zones for back or side sleeping
 Helps to align the spine to reduce strain on the neck
 Ideal for turning between side and back positions during the night
 Can reduce back pain, neck pain and arthritis symptoms

Not the Best For...

 Anyone looking for an especially soft pillow to sink into
 Those who sleep on their stomach (either Harley pillow above is a better option)

Editor's Verdict: Anything but a traditional pillow, the Therapeutica Spine Alignment Pillow for Neck Pain is uniquely designed to perfectly align the spine and neck whether you sleep on your back or side. A wedge extension and cervical contour support your neck and head perfectly when on your back, while each side section is designed to provide the perfect height for neck positioning, and reduce contact surface pressure on the side of our face to lessen things like ear or cheek pain.


Best Water Pillow for Neck Pain

Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic Pillow

Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic Pillow

Why We Love It...

 Ranked best for cervical pain reduction and sleep quality in Johns Hopkins study
 Ideal for all sleep positions (back, side and stomach)
 Allows you to adjust firmness based on water level
 Suitable for back sleepers, side sleepers and stomach sleepers alike

Not the Best For...

 Those requiring an especially firm pillow
 Those who constantly toss and turn at night

Editor's Verdict: While we have yet to see the waterbed perfect, we believe Mediflow have found the perfect balance between a water base and top cushioning with the Mediflow Water Based Orthopaedic Pillow. A top-reviewed option from our customers, this pillow was found to provide exceptional pain relief and overall sleep quality in a comprehensive study from John Hopkins University, and was found to relieve back pain, neck pain and migraines among other issues.


Browse Our Full Range of Pillows for Neck Pain

Best Travel Pillow for Neck Pain 

Drive Medical U-Shaped Travel Pillow

Drive Medical U-Shaped Travel Pillow for Neck Pain

Why We Love It...

 Contours to your neck to maintain an ideal position
 Made with viscoelastic foam that stays comfortable for hours of use
 Helps to maintain posture when seated upright or reclined
 Foam reacts to bodyweight and temperature for contoured support

Not the Best For...

 Sleeping while lying down flat
 Use while driving, or when turning your head is required

Editor's Verdict: We see a lot of travel pillows at Health and Care, and while many claim to stay soft and comfortable for hours of contact with skin, few do it better than the Drive Medical U-Shaped Travel Pillow. The viscoelastic foam is just the right density to provide support without being too rigid, and the shape is ideal to contour around the perfect areas to help you avoid pain after hours on a train or plane.


Best Heat Therapy for Neck Pain

Beurer Grey Shoulder and Neck Heat Pad HK54

Beurer Grey Shoulder and Neck Heat Pad HK54

Why We Love It...

 Comfortably fits over the neck and shoulder to provide soothing warmth
 Helps to loosen tension in the muscles while relieving pain
 Ideal for use after waking up with neck pain or post-exercise
 Three temperature settings allow you to select the ideal level for relaxation

Not the Best For...

 Anyone with reduced sensitivity to heat such as diabetics
 Those with pacemakers

Editor's Verdict: While the best solution to neck pain is prevention, once it occurs some soothing applied to the area can be great for reducing pain and allowing the muscles to relax. The Beurer Grey Shoulder and Neck Heat Pad HK54 fits comfortably over the neck and shoulder to provide warmth to the area. It's covered with a breathable and skin-friendly micro-fleece, making it soft and comfortable enough to wear until your pain subsides.


Why Do I Have Neck Pain?

Neck pain can be caused by a range of factors from improper form while exercising to sustained postural issues. As the role of the neck is to support your head and allow for motion, it is prone to inflammation and abnormalities that can lead to prolonged pain. As sleeping involves keeping your neck in a single position for a prolonged period, the wrong sleeping posture will obviously be a significant trigger.

Usually neck pain isn't serious, but if you have severe, ongoing neck pain that has lasted for over a week, we would recommend seeing a doctor. For more minor cases and as a first resort, choosing the right neck pain pillow is a great place to start.

Protect Your Neck

More often than not, the cause of a bad night's sleep is a stiff neck that's been held out of position for a prolonged period, causing strain on your vertebrae. Our pillows for neck pain will help to keep your neck and spine aligned with your shoulders, helping to prevent the uncomfortable positions that can leave you waking up with a stiff and achy neck.

If you'd like to take a look at all of the pillows we offer that are designed to correct your sleeping position and reduce pain, feel free to browse our Orthopaedic Pillows section.

Do you have any questions about neck pain, or do you have experience with a neck pain pillow? Let us know in the comments, or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Aids for Daily LivingHealth and Care Expert Series, Neck Pain, Pillows, Therapeutica Spinal Alignment Sleeping PillowTop 5 Guides

Shop Neck Pain Pillows

Harley Original Contour Neck Support Pillow for Neck Pain
  • Orthopaedic pillow recommended for neck pain and support
  • Supports the neck to reduce shoulder, upper back and neck pain
  • Comfortable pillow for back, side and stomach sleepers
  • Available in five different sizes to suit your precise requirements

Therapeutica Spinal Alignment Orthopedic Pillow for Neck Pain
  • Orthopedic pillow for neck and shoulder pain
  • Designed as a spinal alignment and sleep comfort pillow
  • Can be used as a pillow for side sleeping
  • Non allergenic and non toxic materials for safe sleep

Drive Medical U-Shaped Travel Pillow
  • Ergonomically shaped to support the head and neck
  • Corrects body posture and prevents slumping
  • Helps to ease sore muscles and relieve tension
  • Ideal for providing support while travelling

Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic Pillow
  • Water-based pillow that reduces neck pain and improves sleep quality
  • Designed for those who suffer from neck pain, back pain, poor sleep and migraines
  • Outperformed all water-based pillows during a clinical test that measured sleep quality
  • Helps to rejuvenate, freshen and soothe daily stresses

Beurer Luxury Heat Pad for Neck and Back Pain
  • Beurer heat pad for neck pain
  • Can be used as an electric neck and shoulder warmer
  • Beurer luxury heat pad features turbo heating
  • Has three illuminated temperature settings