There isn't just one pillow which can suit all for those suffer from neck pain. Selecting the right pillow is unqiue to every person and it is as equally important as choosing the right duvet and mattress to ensure a good night sleep. Sleeping with the wrong pillow can give you a headache and can effect the pain in your neck and shoulders.
It's important to select a pillow that fits your sleeping position while providing the right amount of support to your neck during your sleep
Your pillow has to provide the right amount of support to your neck
If you experience headaches, neck pain or neck tension, it's important that yoy choose a pillow to support your neck correctly. With the right pillow it's possible for your muscles to relax and your breathing will get back on track.
The best sleeping position is the one where your neck lays in a neutral position and your head has to lay in a straight extension of the spine. The easiest way to find a pillow supporting your neck in the right way is to bring your partner or friend with you into a store. Lay on your back with the chosen pillow placed under your neck. Get this person to imagine a line drawn from the side of your ear to the middle of your shoulder and down to your hip and knee. A straight line means it is the right pillow. If the pillow is too thick, the head will be placed above the shoulders and if the pillow is too thin, the head will be positioned under the shoulder. In both cases, the line will be curved.
If you experience any doubt, we highly recommend you to seek professional help from a member of the store team.
Your sleeping position determines the choice of pillow
The primary purpose is to support your neck and head while lying in bed and your sleeping position determines which pillow will provide the right support. When you choose pillows for neck pain, you need to think about how you are lying in bed whilst you're asleep.
- If your favourite sleeping position is on your side, you have to choose a tall pillow. The pillow has to support your neck in a way where your cervical vertebras lay horizontally. A good rule of thumb is to use the width of your shoulders as measurement. If you have wide shoulders, the pillow has to be taller compared to narrow shoulders. Often men need a taller pillow than women do
- A pillow not too tall is a good choice if you prefer to sleep on your back. A tall pillow puts stress on the neck and that can lead to muscle tension. The pillow has to be tall enough to support the natural curve in the neck. Sleeping on your back is a good anatomical position since it places the head, neck and spine in a neutral position. Thereby, you can avoid pain.
- Sleeping on your stomach requires a flat pillow. This sleeping position is not ideal since both your neck and spine are put on a lot of strain. This can cause headache, a crick in the neck and ultimately, back pain. In the longer term, it is a good idea to choose a pillow, which helps you change your sleeping position.
Read our pillow guide to get an overview of the different types of pillow stuffing.
Sleeping with multiple pillows at once
Sleeping with multiple pillows under your head can lead to an increased strain on your neck and it can effect your breathing. Therefore, it's a good idea to sleep with only one pillow. If you wake up at night and still experience the need to sleep with multiple pillows, you should probably change your pillow.
An ergonomic pillow is a good pillow for neck pain
An ergonomic pillow can be a good choice when experiencing neck pain. A regular pillow will change its shape during the night. This means that the resting position of the head changes. The neck does not get the correct support, which it needs while you are sleeping. An ergonomic pillow will keep its shape more or less through the night and the small neck bend will support the neck in its natural position.