12 Best Cervical Support Pillows for Neck & Shoulder Pain (2024)

12 Best Cervical Support Pillows for Neck & Shoulder Pain (2021)

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RankCervical Support PillowNameOur Rating
1Best for Neck Pain - Memory Foam PillowMemory Foam
*best overall*
Check price
2Sleep YogaSleep Yoga Check price
3Desk JockeyDesk Jockey Check price
4Tri CoreTri-Core Check price
5Chiroflow Premium Water PillowChiroflow Water Check price
6Adjustable HypoallergenicCoop Home Goods Check price
7Mediflow WaterbaseMediflow Water Check price
8Conforma Cushion Classic Brands Check price
9Cervical Traction SupportArc4life Check price
10Micro-Vented HypoallergenicKool-Flow Check price
11My PillowMy Pillow Check price
12Best travel pillow for neck pain - J Pillow J-Pillow Check price

When I herniated 3 discs in my neck I spent many many hours researching the best neck pillow to relieve my excruciating pain and support my cervical vertebrae.

Not only did my neck hurt like hell – my right shoulder did too.

Luckily, the right sleeping equipment (yes, I call it equipment) can help tremendously. I found that once I was using a suitable pillow for a few nights, my pain eased considerably.

And if you’re like I was, and like the millions of people around the world that wake up in the morning cringing, rubbing, and holding their painful necks then this guide is for you.

Why Use An Ergonomic Pillow For Your Neck?

A proper ergonomic pillow is a crucial part of your sleep system.

Along with finding the best mattress for back pain, that also suits your body type and sleeping habits, an appropriate cervical pillow should also be at the top of your priority list to optimise your sleep comfort and reduce neck pain.

Best Neck Pillow for Cervical Pain

Here I will break down the best cervical support pillows that are both comfortable and actually alleviate neck & shoulder pain through proper alignment.

1. Sleep Innovations Memory Foam Cervical Support Pillow Review

Sleep Innovations Memory Foam Cervical Pillow Review

Space-age meets your neck with this Memory Foam Cervical Pillow by Sleep Innovations.

Using memory foam, originally developed for NASA astronauts, this pillow contorts to the shape of your spine.

Never again will you have to guess at whether or not a certain neck pillow will meet your needs, this one has it all.

Besides the fact that this pillow ensures that your spine is in a natural alignment every single time your head hits the pillow, it also has a host of unbeatable features.  This orthopaedic pillow is soft to the touch, anti-mite and breathable.  It easily fits in pillowcases and is machine washable.

This pillow will last you for years to come as when it is not in use the pillow will re-bound to its original size and shape.

You can check the price and more reviews here.

2. Sleep Yoga Cervical Pillow Review

Sleep Yoga Cervical Pillow Review

The Sleep Yoga dual position neck pillow was designed from the ground-up by a chiropractor to provide back and side sleepers with the best neck support possible.

The ergonomic design conforms to the user’s neck without the need to adjust or fold the pillow, allowing for a seamless sleep. The pillow is designed to not only maintain the cervical curve of your neck but to also promote proper alignment.

The name “Sleep Yoga” may seem fashionable but its creator insists that the benefits to your neck would be like that akin to doing yoga, as it promotes increased flexibility, improved posture and restfulness.

Namaste indeed.

You can check the price and more reviews here.

3. Desk Jockey Pillow Review

Desk Jockey Orthopedic Cushion

Coming with a pain free guarantee, the Desk Jockey Pillow provides its user with premium therapeutic grade cushion that is extra firm.

Its small size means that you can take it from your bed and on the road without hassle. Yes, you can use it for travel, but it is equally effective at home.

Some people may baulk at the notion of extra firm, but its firmness means that it will withstand many sleeps. It’s nearly orthodox shape means that you have the option to put it in a pillow case or enjoy its plush nakedness.

You can check the price and more reviews here.

4. Tri-Core Cervical Pillow Review

Tri-Core Cervical Pillow Review

With three different sizes to accommodate adults, children and young teens, the Tri-Core Cervical Pillow’s claim is that it is the “1 support pillow recommended by medical professionals”.

The pillow itself has three zones that sustain the neck for individuals with larger necks, smaller necks as well as side sleepers.  Its ingeniously shaped trapezoid design cradles the head while providing a great deal of support to the user from all angles.

The material is soft and breathable but its conventional shape means that you can throw a pillowcase on it to match your beddings.

Besides its great design, the Tri-Core still holds up to its initial purpose, and that is to maintain and support your cervical curve throughout your entire night’s sleep.

You can check the price and more reviews here.

5. Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow

Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow

The Chiroflow Premium Water Pillow is an ideal option for anyone suffering from chronic neck pain. This is because a layer of hypoallergenic polyester fiber rests on top of the main water layer. The combination of these two results in maximum support and comfort for your neck.

Surrounding the layer of water is a thermal insulating layer that helps to prevent heat loss. The pouch where the water is stored is incredibly easy to fill, which means you can adjust the height of the pillow to suit your needs.
This pillow is known for helping to reduce head and neck discomfort while you sleep. This is because the water layer is designed to respond to any motions you may make with your head while you’re asleep, allowing for adjustments that will keep you comfortable and cool all night.

The hypoallergenic fiber is made out of Dacron, which is exclusive to Chiroflow. If you’re someone who has been through a lot of pillows recently and can’t find one that can help ease your neck discomfort, you need to try this Premium Water Pillow from Chiroflow.

6. Coop Home Goods Adjustable Hypoallergenic Pillow

Coop Home Goods Adjustable Hypoallergenic Pillow

Cool Home Goods have made an Adjustable Hypoallergenic pillow that has the alignment of your spine in mind. With shredded elastic Visco memory foam, you can adjust the thickness of the pillow by adding or removing this material to make it a perfect fit.

This means that it’s a perfect choice no matter what position you prefer to sleep in. The visco memory foam is such high quality that it has been tested to make sure it complies with durability and emissions standards.
Because the Coop Home Goods adjustable pillow is hypoallergenic, you don’t have to worry about your allergies through the night. Additionally, this pillow comes with a five-year warranty, so if something happens to it further down the line, you can just send it back, and they’ll replace it free of charge.

This adjustable pillow comes with a removable cover that is made out of polyester and rayon, making it easy to care for. It’s machine washable and guaranteed not to go flat, no matter how many times you wash it. With a queen and king size, you know that you’ll be able to find your perfect fit.

7. Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow

Mediflow Original Waterbase Pillow

When it comes to sleeping on a pillow, water has been proven to be more comfortable. Mediflow made sure of this by sending their waterbase pillow to Johns Hopkins school of medicine to be tested – and it passed with flying colors.

At the school of medicine, it was proven that a pillow like this is great at improving your quality of sleep and helping to reduce any neck pain you might be experiencing while in bed. This is an excellent piece of evidence to back up a product like this, and one of the only guarantees on the pillow market – making it a safe choice for your neck.

Mediflow’s waterbase pillow is made with two layers. The water layer sits at the bottom, while the upper layer is incredibly soft. When you combine these two layers, you get an incredibly comfortable pillow that will stay comfortable all night.

The beauty of using water in your pillow is that it will continue to support your neck throughout the night, even when you change sleeping positions. This means that you’re guaranteed support and don’t have to worry about misalignment of your neck and spine.

8. Classic Brands Conforma Cushion Memory Pillow

Classic Brands Conforma Cushion Memory Pillow

Ideally, you want a pillow that’s going to be responsive to factors like pressure and temperature. The last thing you want is a pillow that doesn’t breathe and keeps you hot all night. You also don’t want to sink so far into your pillow that you put your neck out of alignment.

Classic Brands ventilated memory foam pillow solves both of these potential issues. Because it easily molds to your shape, it has the ability to create the perfect form to support your neck, head, and shoulders adequately. Additionally, because the memory foam in this pillow is ventilated, it helps to regulate your temperature throughout the night, ultimately keeping you relaxed and cool while you sleep.

Because it’s so supportive, it’s a great pillow for every sleeping position. It’s particularly useful for people who like to sleep on their back and side. With 5 inches of memory foam, you know that your body is supported throughout the night.

The knit cover of the Classic Brands pillow is made out of a velour cotton blend. It’s also removable, which means you can easily machine wash it as many times as you need. It is also naturally hypoallergenic, which means you don’t have to worry about allergies.

9. Arc4Life Cervical Traction Support Pillow

Arc4Life Cervical Traction Support Sleepers Pillow

Arc4Life knows all about how important it is that you have premium neck and shoulder support while you sleep, which is why they created their Traction Support Sleepers Pillow. Because you want the highest level of support when you’re in bed, this pillow comes with two levels of support.

One side of the pillow is called the neck roll side. This end puts a particular focus on supporting your neck. The V side or traction end of this pillow focuses on stretching your neck out, giving it some traction and encouraging your muscles to stay relaxed, preventing stiffness while you sleep.

In fact, this pillow is recommended by chiropractors – and not just for sleeping. When you first get this pillow, doctors recommend that you use the traction side during the day, just for a few minutes to get used to it.

The more you practice this, the sooner you’ll get used to it. In the beginning, you may end up feeling more pain than you had before. However, once your neck is used to the pillow, and you have learned to stretch it correctly, it will help with discomfort, pain, and misalignment.

It’s a great option for those who have serious issues with neck pain and sleeping and are looking for a medically recommended approach.

10. Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Hypoallergenic Pillow

Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Hypoallergenic Pillow

Kool-Flow’s micro-vented hypoallergenic pillow has your comfort in mind when you sleep at night. Their premium quality memory foam is shredded so that you can easily adjust their pillow for the perfect thickness. This guarantees that your neck and spine will stay in alignment throughout the night, no matter what position you prefer to sleep in.

Because this pillow promotes proper back alignment, it can help with a number of different sleep issues. These include snoring, migraines, insomnia, and even orthopedic problems.

The bamboo cover of the Kool-Flow pillow makes it incredibly breathable, allowing cool air to pass through easily which means you won’t overheat while you sleep. It’s also great for regulating your temperature, too.

Because this pillow is hypoallergenic, you don’t have to worry about dust mites or any existing allergies being triggered by the materials it’s made of. As we mentioned, the cover is made from bamboo and is easily removable which means you can wash it in your washing machine without having to worry about it ever going flat.

If you’re someone who has issues with spine alignment, insomnia or neck pain, the Kool-Flow Micro-Vented pillow is one to try.

11. My Pillow

My Pillow Premium Pillow

My Pillow is a pillow that, like Mediflow’s waterbase pillow, has been backed up by real studies to prove that it’s going to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Made with My Pillow’s patented interlocking fill, this pillow has been proven in studies to help 100% of people get more deep sleep throughout the night. Because it’s a filled pillow, this means that you can remove or add as much material as you like, which means that it’s fully adjustable to your personal needs.

The easily removable cover can be washed in your washing machine, making it easy to keep clean. It also comes with a ten-year warranty, and six-day money back guarantees to help you feel confident about it being a great choice. No matter how many times you put it through the wash, this warranty ensures that it will not go flat – or your money back.

Along with helping you to sleep better during the night, it can also help reduce snoring, fatigue felt during the day and general sleep interruptions at night. 100% made in the USA, My Pillow’s premium pillow is an excellent choice if you are looking for better sleep overall.

12. J-Pillow Travel Pillow Review

J-Pillow Travel Pillow Review

We end with a new take on the classic travel pillow.

The J-Pillow, which won the British Invention of the Year in 2013, gives the user the neck support usually associated with travel pillows.

But then things get interesting.

By altering the shape and design of the pillow, the creators have extended the comfort to the head and chin as well.  Sure this may not be a big deal, but if you’ve ever looked around an aeroplane or train or bus and seen passenger’s heads bobbing side to side with a pillow attached to it then you know what we mean.

The J-shape allows the pillow to be oriented in a number of ways, providing support and comfort in a number of positions.

You can check the price and more reviews here.

The Final Verdict

There are many pillows on the market designed to reduce tension and treat pain in your neck. Ergonomic, orthopaedic, chiropractic, yoga, travel… there’s a lot of adjectives to go with these pillows – but what it really comes down to is finding one that suits you.

If you have a healthcare professional looking after you, you should ask for their recommendations first. Other than that, it’s a good idea to educate yourself with a book about back & neck pain and look after your neck with a decent pillow.

If not, then the memory foam pillow is a great place to start – it’s my personal choice and will fit most people comfortably.

A Guide for Choosing the Best Cervical Pillow for Your Neck Pain

Neck Pillow

Getting a restful night’s sleep is vital to your health and wellbeing. The lack of sleep comes with side effects that affect your whole life. It affects your productivity at work, harmony in your home life, and it adversely affects all your relationships.

Neck pain is one of the primary causes of sleep problems, and neck problems are commonly caused by stress and tension. It’s all connected to proper spinal alignment, which creates discomfort and pain, especially noticeable at night. How can you fix that problem?

Would you believe that changing the pillow you sleep on can help you sleep so much better? When was the last time you thought about getting a new pillow? The right cervical neck pillow with an ergonomic design may solve your sleep issues. That’s because proper body alignment, including neck alignment, is crucial to comfort, health, and sleep patterns.

Your Mattress

People tend to focus solely on their mattress and forget about their pillow; thinking it doesn’t matter much when it really does.

People focus on the mattress because it’s such a major investment and it is one of the most important ones you will make for your sleep.

Your Pillow Matters

You can have the best mattress in the world, but without the best cervical pillow to support your neck, you are not properly aligned for restful sleep. Pillows are just as important, so you shouldn’t be sleeping on your old, scrunchy, worn out pillow any more.

If you toss and turn trying to get comfortable by folding, pushing, and manipulating your pillow, it’s time for a better solution. Even if you have a new pillow and find yourself waking up during sleep to change its shape or position, it’s time to get a quality cervical pillow.

When you have good sleeping posture, you are apt to sleep soundly at night. You will awaken without stiffness, pain, discomfort, and a tense neck. The best cervical pillow supports healthy sleep posture. Good sleep posture makes you feel comfortable when you’re sleeping, which means less risk of awakening before you get your full night’s sleep.

When to Replace Your Pillow

There is a way to know when it’s time to replace your pillow. A good rule of thumb is to replace conventional pillows within 18 months of purchase.  If your pillow is five years old or older, you are not getting the neck support needed for good sleep posture and restful sleep.

Memory foam pillows should be viable for around three years. Natural pillows are known to last longer than their synthetic counterparts. High-quality cervical pillows make a better value, since they last longer than cheap ones.

You may be thinking that pillows have a short lifespan, but you do use them for 7-8 hours per night, which is equal to 2,500 hours annually. The best cervical pillow is an investment in restful sleep, just like your mattress.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Pillows

Neck Pillow

Here are some signs that it’s time to replace your pillow:

  • Does it smell bad?
  • Is it torn?
  • Does it have sweat stains?
  • Is it too pliable?
  • Does it stay in its folded position?

These are some questions to ask when you’re determining when to get a new pillow. Pillows are prone to collecting mildew, mold, dead skin cells, dust mites and their feces, and fungus. This can also trigger allergies that disrupt your sleep.

If you currently use conventional pillows, you should consider switching to a quality cervical one. Cervical pillows are considered orthopedic in nature and have a purpose. That purpose is to correct and/or maintain your body posture during sleep.

The Benefits of Cervical Pillows

  • They provide support for your head and neck.
  • They correct and maintain good cervical curvature.
  • They reduce neck pain.
  • They promote good posture.
  • They reduce insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, sleep disturbances, and breathing problems during sleep.
  • They help reduce or eliminate acid reflux, acid peptic ulcer, joint pains, neck sprains, and lumbar and cervical spondylosis.

How to Choose the Best Neck Pillow

Neck Pillow

You should know that getting a good value and a quality neck pillow is the goal to reduce neck pain, resulting in a good night’s sleep. The most expensive cervical pillows are not necessarily the best ones you can buy.

Likewise, this is not a time to be cheap, since you are investing in your health and sleep habits. Here are the important factors to consider when choosing a cervical neck pillow.

  • Type – The type of cervical pillow is important because each one has a special purpose. For instance, a travel pillow should support the neck, head, and chin, like the J-Pillow. Travel pillows are also good for people who must sleep in an upright position. Neck support pillows also come in those designed for sitting at a desk and for sleeping in bed.
  • Size – Pillows used to come in only one standard size, but today, they come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs. An example of a proper bed-sized pillow is the ergonomic design of the Sleep Yoga pillow. Some neck pillows are small for upright sitting or resting, or they may have a horseshoe shape for head and jaw support.
  • Material – Natural cotton, coconut, and bamboo are rising in popularity for pillows. Contoured cervical pillows are commonly filled with memory foam (visco elastic foam), sponge, polyfill, latex rubber, and other synthetic materials. Each type of material used inside and outside of a neck support pillow offers a different benefit, so do your research and choose carefully.
  • Hygiene – It’s wise to choose a neck pillow that features a removable and washable cover. While it doesn’t affect how the pillow performs, it will keep it cleaner and is more hygienic.
  • Comfort – The pillow should contain filling fibers that are comfortable to you. Additionally, consider the cover. A smooth, soft cover helps you feel comfortable when you sleep. Comfort is a matter of personal preference, so whatever helps you sleep better is your goal.
  • Price – Price should never be the only or the first factor to consider. The value for your money is the most important factor. The best cervical pillow is a quality item and an investment in your sleep, which is also an investment in your health.
  • Brand – While the brand isn’t the most important aspect of choosing a neck support pillow, it is a consideration. Some of the top-selling brands are best sellers for a reason. That reason is that they are effective and get good user reviews.
  • PositionStomach, side, and back sleepers are the most common ways people lie down to sleep. Neck pillows can be chosen according to the position in which you sleep. Back sleepers should choose a thinner than the typical pillow with extra neck support as you find in a curved pillow. Stomach sleepers don’t require a neck pillow, but it should be thinner and fit under your stomach to support your low back and neck alignment. Side sleeper pillows are higher, larger pillows, with neck support. Combination sleepers will require a versatile pillow.

Final Thoughts on Neck Pillows

Remember that the goal is to choose a cervical neck support pillow that is comfortable for you, so you can sleep through the night. You can wake up without stiffness, pain, and feeling like you hardly slept at all.

Cervical pillows are categorized as specialty, orthopedic pillows, so they are specifically designed to support your neck and body alignment. They are ideal for correcting and maintaining your sleep posture, but also your overall posture.

If you have problems with sleeping for any reason, make the switch to the best cervical pillow for your needs. Use this guide to help you with your quest to find the neck support pillow that will allow you to enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

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Thank you for your interest in Geek Health Journal. My name is Anne. Feel free to comment on any article and I will help if I can.

3 Replies to “12 Best Cervical Support Pillows for Neck & Shoulder Pain (2024)

  1. This post is a lifesaver! I get the worst neck pain and have been trying to find a good pillow, but with no luck. These all look great and give me a nice selection to choose from. Very excited to finally have my long awaited neck pillow!

  2. I have never heard of the “J pillow” before or ever seen anything like it! I have neck problems so finding a good pillow for travel, napping, or bedtime is so important for me. I am going to look into this pillow more as well as the Yoga one. Thanks for all this information :)

  3. I was wondering if these ergonomic pillows are only beneficial to back sleepers? I mostly sleep on my side… Would these pillows benefit me and my neck pain?

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