How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
What is neck pain?
Neck pain can have a variety of causes, including stress and sitting or sleeping positions.
As our lives have become more stagnant with office jobs and technology use, neck pain is on the rise. 💻
More and more young people are being affected by these aches and pains.
It is important to note that a new neck support pillow won’t cure neck pain or headaches if there are other causes.
You should seek medical advice from a doctor or chiropractor if you are suffering from recurring neck problems.
While a good pillow can’t necessarily cure chronic neck pain, a bad pillow or mattress can aggravate it. 💢
Studies show that pillows can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep.
When you get less sleep, your body has less time to heal.
If your neck isn’t supported, you will strain the area and put your spine and muscles under additional pressure. 😖
Just think about how many hours you sleep every day.
When your mattress is too firm or too soft, it causes poor posture.
Similarly, pillows that are of the wrong height or firmness lead to your head and spine not being aligned. 😨
Neck pain usually radiates from the cervical spine (the spinal area just below your head).
With the amount of time we spend sleeping every day, it’s no surprise that the wrong pillow can majorly impact our necks.
If you often wake up with neck pain, it’s likely that your neck pillow isn’t giving you the support you need. 👎
How can the best pillows for neck pain help?
Just as the right pillow materials and qualities can make neck pain practically disappear, the wrong ones can worsen everything just as easily. 👎
If you have been suffering from neck soreness, you cannot underestimate the importance of finding a neck pillow that works for you.
Bear in mind that side sleepers will need a different pillow to back or front sleepers. 😴
Side sleepers with firmer mattresses tend to sleep best with higher loft and firm pillows.
A taller pillow compensates for the minimal sinkage of a firm mattress and prevents the shoulders from being squashed.
People with broader shoulders also often need higher loft pillows to align their spine. 💪
Those with softer mattresses that allow their shoulders to sink in should go for lower loft pillows.
Side sleeping creates a bigger space between the head and shoulders, so you should make sure the pillow fills this empty space. 💞
The average person sleeps on their side 50% of the time.
The Emma Original Pillow is an ideal side sleeper pillow for those that need extra elevation to stay aligned.
Back sleepers are fairly lucky and can get away with pretty much any pillow, although a medium-loft pillow is usually preferred.
You just need to make sure your head is in the same position as it would be if you were standing upright.
A pillow that follows the natural curve of the neck whilst providing support can improve spinal alignment and reduce shoulder pain. 🎉
Back sleepers can also look at secure neck support pillows such as a cervical pillow or a contour memory foam pillow.
The Tempur Original Queen pillow is a great option as it's shaped to follow the back of the neck with pressure-relieving memory foam.
A lower loft and soft pillow are usually best for stomach sleeping.
This type of pillow will prevent your head from being lifted out of alignment with your spine. 😲
A thin pillow that keeps the neck straight can provide pain relief and improve sleep quality.
For instance, the Tempur Ombracio pillow is designed specifically for the stomach sleep style.
Alternatively, an adjustable pillow works well for people who rest on their front or frequently change sleeping positions. 🌟
Our favourite adjustable pillows:
How to choose a pillow for neck pain and headaches
The right pillow should keep you in the same position as if you were standing upright with excellent posture. 💂
Here's a short checklist to help you find the best pillow for your neck pain and headaches:
- Pillow height
- Pillow firmness
- Sleeping position
- Mattress firmness
- Your size and build
- Pillow feel and preference
- Breathability (especially for warm sleepers)
You can use this list to quickly check if a pillow will help alleviate your neck pain or headaches. 💆
The ideal pillow for total support will change dramatically depending on your preferences, mattress, and sleeping position.
If you don’t know how you sleep or what loft and firmness you need, you can always try out an adjustable pillow.
These allow you to play with different pillow heights so you can find one you love.😻
The Simba Hybrid Pillow is a super comfortable and adjustable option with removable nanocubes.
Many of our best pillows for neck pain offer trial periods where you can test them out.
The Kally Adjustable pillow comes with a 14-night trial and 4 adjustable layers to provide the support and comfort you desire. 👏
We highly recommend choosing a suitable pillowcase for your neck pillow.
A pillowcase with a bamboo or cotton cover is an excellent choice, particularly for a pillow made with polyurethane foam.
An additional pillow protector can also improve pillow durability for long-lasting sleep wellness. 😁
You should also make sure the pillowcase is suitable for your neck pillow.
Whilst a regular pillowcase will fit most standard pillows, a cervical support or contour pillow may require a specific size of pillowcase.
Take a look at our favourites pillowcases and protectors below: