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Best Pillows for Neck Pain

Best Pillows for Neck Pain UK (2023)

Last updated: 31.10.2023 Reading time: 5 Min.

Do you wake up in the morning with a sore or stiff neck? 😭

Many people don't realise that a pillow can worsen or alleviate their neck pain and headaches.

Some pillows are designed to support the neck and provide superior comfort so you can start every day pain-free. 🙌

Below, we’ve listed some of the best pillows for neck support in the UK.

Let's get right to it. 🥳

best pillows for neck pain

Our top pillows for neck pain in the UK

Sleep Hero Favourite

Panda London Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow

The Panda bamboo memory foam pillow combines supportive memory foam with a soft and sustainably sourced bamboo cover.

Third-generation memory foam conforms to the shape of your head, providing improved support and spinal alignment.

All about the Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow

The Panda Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow combines supportive memory foam with a breathable bamboo cover. 🐼

Third-generation memory foam technology provides improved neck, shoulder, and spine support.

panda bamboo pillow
The Panda pillow bamboo cover is soft and comfortable.

Plus, the bamboo cover is eco-friendly and promotes airflow to keep you cool and comfortable even if you are a warm sleeper. ❄️

Bamboo is antimicrobial by nature, which helps to keep dust mites and germs at bay.

A mesh fabric protector is also included and helps extend the life of your pillow. 📆

Panda pillows come with a 10-year warranty and a 30-night trial period, so you have time to make sure it’s the perfect fit for you.

The Panda bamboo memory foam pillow offers amazing value for money!


  Panda Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow
Composition: Memory foam with bamboo pillow case
Firmness level: Medium
Trial period: 30 nights
Guarantee: 10 years
What we love: 3rd generation memory foam and a sustainable, breathable, and antibacterial bamboo cover.
What could be improved: The pillow cannot currently be adjusted.
Best Trial Period

Emma Original Pillow

The Emma Original pillow is a height-adjustable pillow with customisable layers for the best individually-tailored support possible.

The Emma Original pillow contains three high-quality foam layers for exquisite comfort and support.

All about the Emma Original Pillow

The Emma Original pillow consists of three different foam layers, including cold foam, Airgocell foam, and memory foam.

Conveniently, you can add or remove these layers as you wish. 💪

This means you can adjust both the height and the firmness of the pillow.

  • If you need firmer support, sleep on the cold foam layer.
  • If you want orthopaedic pressure relief, sleep on the memory foam layer.

We recommend using one layer for stomach sleepers, two layers for back sleepers and three layers for side sleepers. 

It has a firm feel, ideal for those that like to sleep atop their pillow without too much sinking. 

emma original pillow
The Emma pillow comes with three individual foam layers.

The Emma Original pillow also comes with a removable, machine-washable cover. 🛀

However, the cover only opens partially, which made it difficult to remove the cover for washing or adjusting the layers.

It's also fairly warmer compared to other pillows we've tested. 🔥

In fact, our thermal camera showed it was 5.1.°C warmer than the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow

The Emma pillow is delivered within 3 working days and comes with a 200-night trial period.


  Emma Original Pillow
Composition: Memory foam, Airgocell foam, and cold foam
Firmness level: Adjustable
Trial period: 200 nights 
Guarantee: 2 years
What we love: Highly supportive, suitable for all sleeping positions, washable cover, excellent trial & guarantee
What could be improved: Too firm for some sleepers, difficult to remove the cover and adjust the layers, not the coolest pillow option
Luxury Option

Tempur Comfort Original Pillow

Tempur Comfort Original pillows have a medium-firm feel and are a fantastic choice for individuals who want a mix of support and comfort.

The Tempur Comfort Original pillow has thousands of micro cushions to provide excellent head, neck, and shoulder support.

Tempur Comfort pillow review

The Tempur Comfort Original pillow is one of the best choices in the UK for side sleepers. 

tempur original pillow

It has a few remarkable qualities:

  • Firm yet adaptive Tempur material
  • Deeper loft for side sleepers
  • Machine-washable cover

The Tempur Comfort Original pillow is designed with Tempur material micro cushions that provide superior comfort whilst maintaining complete pressure relief. 💆‍♀️

The medium-feel firmness of these Tempur side sleeper pillows cushions your head and shoulders to alleviate pain and discomfort.

It's slightly firmer than the Cloud pillow, ideal for those who don't want to completely collapse into their pillow. 

The Original is the perfect choice for side sleepers because it helps to keep the head lifted and aligned with the spine while gently cocooning the head and shoulders. 

The Tempur Pillow Comfort Original also includes a washable soft cotton cover that can be cleaned at 60 degrees. 🧼

A 30-day trial period and a 3-year guarantee mean you can purchase without worry. 


  Tempur Comfort Pillow Original
Composition: Tempur material and cotton cover
Firmness level: Medium
Trial period: 30 days
Guarantee: 3 years

Space-engineered technology

Supportive and pressure-relieving

Perfect loft and firmness for side sleepers

High-quality feel

Washable cover included

Excellent trial and guarantee


Very expensive

Too warm for hot sleepers

Unsuitable for stomach and back sleepers

Ergonomic Design

Groove Original Pillow

The Groove memory foam pillow (formerly EasySleeper pillow) has an ergonomic design to combat neck and shoulder pain.

This pillow enables upper spinal alignment and has been designed for back and side sleepers.

The Groove pillow (formerly known as the EasySleeper pillow) features a unique ergonomic design to combat back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Made from soft and comfortable memory foam, this pillow adapts to the shape of your neck, while the unique design gives you the support you need to wake up pain-free. 😁

groove pillow from side
The side mesh increases airflow.

While not suited to stomach sleepers, the Groove pillow is well-designed for back and neck sleepers.

The memory foam used in this pillow is charcoal-infused, which helps to enhance breathability. 💨

The pillow also features a quilted diamond-patterned cover that's soft and luxurious to sleep on.

Conveniently, this cover is machine-washable at 30℃. 🛀

The Groove pillow comes with a 100-night trial period, an unusual - but very welcome - feature for pillows.


  Groove pillow
Composition: Bamboo-charcoal-infused memory foam
Firmness level: Medium-firm
Trial period: 100 nights
Guarantee: /
What we love:  Snuggly and comfortable to sleep on.
What could be improved? A more natural cover would be fantastic.
Customisable Comfort

Simba Pillow

The Simba Hybrid Pillow is an excellent choice for those in need of adjustable support.

You can adjust the height of your Simba Hybrid pillow for superior support.

All about the Simba Hybrid Pillow

The Simba Hybrid pillow offers comfort and support to a wide range of sleepers.

It features unique memory foam "nanocubes" that can be added and removed to best suit your preferences.

The shredded memory foam also gives the pillow more of a traditional feel, which may be a welcome relief to those not comfortable on more rigid memory foam pillows. 😴

Simba hybrid nanocube technology

Conveniently, the Simba Hybrid pillow also features astronaut-inspired temperature-regulating technology that absorbs, stores, and releases heat as needed to keep sleepers comfortable all night long.  🚀

The Simba Hybrid pillow cover is removable and machine-washable.

This makes it a great choice for people prone to allergies. 🤧

The Simba pillow is delivered free of charge but unfortunately doesn't include a trial period.


  Simba Hybrid Pillow
Composition: Shredded memory foam
Firmness level: Medium-firm
Trial period: None
Guarantee: 1 year
What we love: The pillow is super easy to adjust and its temperature regulation technology makes it very comfortable.
What could be improved:  A trial period would make all the difference.

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.

To learn more about our testing process, check out our methodology page.

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.

man sitting at computer
The rise of computer use has led to an increase in bad posture.

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. 😖

Men with back and neck pain
A bad pillow and mattress can lead to chronic neck and back pain.

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. 👎

Is back pain linked to bad pillows or mattresses?

Just as neck pain can be caused by the wrong pillow or mattress, it can also worsen back pain.

Your body needs to be properly supported as you sleep. 🛌

spinal alignment graphic
A suitable pillow and mattress encourage optimal spinal and neck alignment.

Otherwise, your poor posture is reinforced for hours every night.

Incorrect posture can lead to muscle strains and incorrect spinal alignment.

Bad posture will leave you feeling sore and less rested every time you sleep. 😫

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

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 sleeper graphic
Side sleepers need a high and firm pillow.

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

Back sleepers are fairly lucky and can get away with pretty much any pillow, although a medium-loft pillow is usually preferred.

Back sleeper pillow graphic
Back sleepers need a medium pillow.

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.


Stomach sleepers

A lower loft and soft pillow are usually best for stomach sleeping.

Stomach sleeper pillow graphic
Stomach sleepers need a soft and low pillow.

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.


tempur ombracio pillow graphic
The Tempur Ombracio pillow is the perfect height and shape for stomach sleepers.

Alternatively, an adjustable pillow works well for people who rest on their front or frequently change sleeping positions. 🌟

Our favourite adjustable pillows:

Why you need to think about which pillow you choose

Always consider your sleeping position (even if you don’t really stick to one in particular) when choosing a pillow. 🤔

Your mattress firmness will also affect which pillow is best, with higher loft pillows better suiting firmer mattresses.

How to choose a pillow:

Which pillow you need depends on your individual requirements. You can find the perfect pillow for your sleeping position only if you have a suitable mattress.

If the mattress is softer, you should use a lower pillow; if the mattress is firmer, the pillow should be higher.

Walter Braun

Mattress Expert

The best pillows for neck pain (and headaches) keep your head in perfect alignment with your spine and shoulders. 👍

A supportive pillow will stop your head from falling too low or too high.

Pillow alignment graphic
A pillow should be the appropriate height to align your neck and spine.

It helps prevents neck cricks and soreness and this can also reduce headaches. 💆

Ergonomic pillows for neck support tend to offer a firmer feel and are shaped to fit the neck without adding extra pressure to it.

They allow sleepers to get a better night's rest and stop you from being disturbed by pain.

The Groove pillow is an excellent ergonomic option.


Ergonomic neck support pillows also help relieve pressure and prevent neck, shoulder, and spine problems from worsening over time. ⏰

Person laying on ergonomic pillow
Ergonomic pillows support the neck.

Not everyone enjoys ergonomic pillows, though, since they can be pretty deep and may push the upper spine out of alignment.

You might not be able to completely rid yourself of neck pain, depending on what’s causing it.

But the right pillow will make a world of difference to your sleep and your neck pain.🌏

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. 💆

Upper spinal alignment
The correct pillow prevents the neck from bending.

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.


Simba Hybrid pillow nanocubes

Woman sleeping on side on Simba Hybrid pillow

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. 👏

Different pillow materials

Pillows come in a variety of materials that may suit your needs.

But there are pros and cons to each.

We discuss them all below. 👇

Memory foam pillows

Memory foam is one of the most popular choices for those searching for the best pillows for neck pain in the UK.

The material feels soft to the touch.

But memory foam also has a contouring effect and is firmer than traditional pillows.

This allows it to support the head and neck in the right position.

memory foam pillows
Memory foam pillows are designed for support.

It also offers a warmer sleep, great for those who run a little cold but not so good for those who often wake up sweating. 🔥

If you want a pillow that is supportive and soft, try the Panda London Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow. 🐼


Feather & down pillows

It can be hard to beat the plushness of a traditional feather and down pillow. 🦆

These don’t always offer great neck support because they are so soft.

If you want this type of pillow, it’s best to check its firmness level first. There are some on the market specifically designed to offer a firmer feel and greater support.

The Hypnos Feather and Down Pillow has a high loft and firm feel, most suitable for side and back sleepers.


Microfibre pillows

Microfibre pillows tend to be easier to clean and are less likely to cause allergy issues. 🤧

You can find microfibre pillows with a variety of lofts and firmness levels, so it should be simple to find one that works for you.

Plus, microfibre pillows tend to be much more affordable than memory foam or down and feather pillows. 🤑

Woman hugging a pillow
The best pillows are comfortable and suit your budget.

Latex pillows

Environmentally-friendly options, like Tencel or latex pillows, are becoming more popular too.

Tencel offers sleepers great support and comfort.

Plus, it’s 100% biodegradable and doesn’t require high-energy manufacturing. 🌳

All of this makes Tencel an excellent choice for those who are trying to be more eco-friendly.

pros and cons of latex pillows

Latex is one of the most durable and popular pillow materials around. 💪

Latex pillows are ideal for sleepers who like memory foam pillows, but want the initial feeling to be softer.

Additionally, latex is naturally hypoallergenic and anti-fungal.

The Relyon Superior Comfort Latex Pillow helps reduce headaches with great neck support and its anti-allergenic design.


Pillow accessories

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.

Woman with sleep accessories
The bedding you choose can also contribute to your overall sleep wellness.

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:

What is the best pillow for neck pain?

The right neck support pillow can’t magically make your pain disappear.

But it can help. 💗

If you are waking up most mornings with shoulder, neck, or back pain, you may need to change your pillow.

Before you buy yours, make sure you consider your sleeping position and preferred pillow material.

This will help you choose a pillow that’s extra comfy and supportive.

Frequently asked questions

  • Where can I buy a pillow for neck pain?

    You can buy a pillow for neck pain from most bedding retailers.

    This includes:

    And many more!

    You can take a look at our best pillows guide for more advice on our favourite pillows available right now. 
  • What is the best pillow for side sleepers?

    The best pillow for side sleepers has a high loft and firm feel

    This is because sleeping on your side creates a wide gap between your head and shoulders.

    Therefore, it’s vital to choose a pillow that fills that space and provides optimal support.

    The pillow should be deep enough to lift your head and keep your neck aligned with the spine.

  • What is the best way to avoid neck pain?

    If you wake up regularly with back or neck pain, this could be due to an unsuitable pillow or mattress.

    You should first ensure your mattress and pillow are suitable for your sleeping position.

    A mattress that has lost its support and creates dips can also lead to an uncomfortable sleep.

    Our best mattresses article can guide you through our favourite recommendations.

  • References

Katharyn profile pic


Content Writer

My true talent is to fall asleep wherever I am. But the more I do, the more I appreciate my own bed. And now I get to help people find the perfect place to rest their heads.

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