Best Pillow for Neck Pain

Glen scheduled a doctor’s appointment for early next week because he was experiencing excruciating neck pain. He had been living with neck pain for as long as he could remember, and he is usually able to ignore it until it fades into the background. However this past week, the pain has not faded. He even took a painkiller the other night before bed, but he always wakes up feeling the same or worse. He sits in front of a computer all day, so he figures that must have something to do with it. The other day, his coworker told him to find the best pillow for neck pain, but Glen doesn’t believe a pillow can have any effect on the pain he is feeling. 

Young man in bed , trying to sleep

Your pillow can be an extremely important factor in determining your level of neck pain. If you are getting eight hours of sleep a night, then that is eight straight hours where your neck muscles and joints will be holding a specific position. The right pillow is supposed to provide support for the muscles while also maintaining the neutral shape of the spine. There are many factors that can dictate neck pain, so it is important not to overlook your sleep habits. If you are suffering from chronic neck pain, the RxWellness Spine & Health Arlington team can help reduce that discomfort through various holistic treatments and an examination of your posture and daily habits.  

Why I Need the Right Pillow 

Why is the right pillow so important? Consider this, if you get the recommended daily sleep each night, you spend about 56 hours a week with your head and neck on that pillow. That’s 56 hours a week where your neck is either receiving optimal muscle and joint support, or 56 hours a week where your neck muscles are strained and your joint muscles are compressed. The right pillow will either preserve long-term neck health or destroy it. 

People often attribute chronic neck pain to their jobs or hobbies. For example, they might say their neck hurts because they work in data entry and sit in front of a laptop for eight hours a day; or they enjoy sewing, so that must be why they have neck pain. While these are all relevant contributors, other factors may be equally as important. This means, your preferred sleeping position, your mattress and how well it fits your body type, and most importantly your pillow. 

Electro stimulation in physical therapy to a young woman


Your pillow is not just for decoration, so having a hundred fluffy pillows that provide no support will do little to alleviate neck pain. The pillow’s primary function is to provide “support for your neck and upper back.” The “spine is naturally curved,” and the right pillow helps “maintain…proper alignment.” Finding the right pillow can be a daunting task because you cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach. You must take factors like body size, preferred sleeping position, medical conditions, and comfort preferences into consideration while on the search for the best pillow for neck pain. 

How Do I Choose The Right Pillow 

Selecting the right pillow will largely depend on your sleeping position. The goal of the right pillow is to support the natural curve of the neck, so you are going to select a pillow that easily fits and best supports that curve based on how you are positioned throughout the night. 

I Sleep on my Back 

Back sleepers need a medium-loft pillow that measures between 3-5 inches in thickness, and provides support by holding the head and neck in place, while also preventing them from sinking into the mattress.  

I Sleep on My Side 

Side sleepers need a firm pillow with a medium loft to keep the neck straight, while also allowing the neck and shoulders to easily fall into the pillow. 

I Sleep on My Stomach

Stomach sleepers need a thin low-loft pillow that offers little resistance while creating a very little angle between the neck and the rest of the spine. 

What Pillow Is Best For Neck Pain 

The right pillow will largely depend on your body shape, preferred sleeping position, medical requirements, and comfort preferences. If you need more help determining the best pillow for you, set up a consultation, and the RxWellness Arlington care team can give you some advice on how to find the best pillow based on the information they gather during your consultation. 

RxWellness Spine & Health 

Selecting the right pillow will have a large impact on your level of neck pain, but working with the right chiropractic team will have long-lasting results for your muscle wellness and joint health. When you work with the RxWellness Spine & Health care team in Arlington, we will create a long-term maintenance plan that addresses, protects, and corrects any joint problems or abnormalities. You will have the opportunity to regularly check in with a joint professional who will examine the alignment of your neck and make appropriate recommendations and corrections as problems arise.

The best way to preserve neck and joint health is to be proactive about your wellness, and regularly receive maintenance care that aims to keep your neck at its optimal position, and prevent it from ever getting to the point of excruciating pain. If you have never worked with a chiropractor before or want to learn more about how spinal adjustments can promote long-term neck health, contact the RxWellness Arlington team and set up your consultation today.  

Contact Us 

The 56 hours you spend sleeping each week will have a significant impact on your overall wellness and level of neck pain, which is why it is so important to practice comfortable sleeping habits. Simple changes like finding the best pillow for neck pain are a great way to protect your muscles and joints from holding painful or unnatural positions for hours at a time. Even when you take all the appropriate precautions, it is still good practice to schedule regular maintenance care with the RxWellness Arlington chiropractic team. The doctors will regularly check your alignment and muscle tension, and recommend appropriate care. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, give us a call at (571) 348-1541 or book an appointment online. We are located at 932 N Highland St Suite A, Arlington, VA 22201.