Best Pillow For Neck Pain

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Every week, at least one patient asks me, “What is the best pillow for neck pain relief”? Choosing the correct pillow and mattress are of paramount importance in getting a good night’s sleep. Without the proper sleeping tools, the bones are not properly supported which does not allow the muscles to completely relax and heal.

The challenge is to find a pillow that works well while you are actually sleeping and moving around in bed, instead of one that feels great when you are just laying on it.

The problem with most pillows with built-in neck rolls or cervical contours is that most people move while they are asleep. These types of pillows work best on patients that do not toss and turn while they are asleep. Once the pillow or the person moves, the neck roll is no longer parallel to the shoulders or the head is no longer being cradled. This causes the head to pitch to one side or causes the neck to bend. Both motions lead to neck pain and do not allow the spine and muscles to relax.

Next is to determine the firmness of the pillow. If the pillow is too firm, it does not allow the neck to fully relax while asleep. If the pillow is too soft, then there is not enough support to ensure a good night’s sleep. Optimally, the pillow should be firm, but allowing the neck to be cradled. Most people respond best to a pillow that gives about an inch when you lay on it.

Next is to determine if you need a pillow with cooling properties. Some patients tend to become very hot at night while asleep. These people benefit from a pillow that will help keep their heads cool while they sleep. Some of these pillows have an external gel layer and some are composed of natural materials such as bamboo or buckwheat husks.

Finally, you need to determine the correct thickness of the pillow. Most of my patients at my Clear Lake City, TX location benefit from sleeping on their backs. For these people, the pillow should be approximately the width of your hand, or about 4 inches thick. For the patients that require a side posture to sleep, the pillow should be about 1 inch thicker, or 5 inches.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!