My Neck Hurts! What Are the Best Pillows for Neck Pain?

Waking up with a sore or stiff neck? This is very common and is usually related to sleeping with your neck in the wrong positionIf your neck is bent at an unnatural angle and you sleep that way for several hours, it is quite likely you will feel it in the morning.

The best pillows for neck pain can help eliminate discomfort, as well as increase the quality of your sleep by supporting your head and neck consistently at the appropriate height throughout the night.

My head and neck need support? Pillows exist for a reason.

Ancient Egyptian's idea of the best pillows for neck pain

A pillow fit for a king. Tutanhkamun’s (“King Tut”) headrest illustrates the firm origins of the modern pillow – Softer doesn’t always mean better.

For thousands of years, people have used pillows for head support while sleeping. Some of the earliest pillows were made out of completely solid materials like porcelain, wood or stone. Softer materials certainly existed, so why where these pillows so hard? While the thought of a solid pillow may sound uncomfortable, you may be surprised to discover that a rock-hard pillow is more comfortable than no pillow at all.

Have you ever tried to sleep without a pillow? Most people find this incredibly uncomfortable. In fact, sleeping without a pillow on a nice bed can be more uncomfortable than sleeping on a hard floor with the proper pillow. The difference is proper support of your neck and head.

Support your head for a straight spine.

pillows with too little and too much loft

If your pillow doesn’t keep your head at the correct level, you may experience back and neck pain.

There are three primary positions in which people sleep: on one’s side, back, or stomach. Most people sleep on their side or back, while a few sleep on their stomach. Sleep experts agree that sleeping on one’s stomach is not good for your back and is a common cause of back pain and neck pain.

Regardless of which position you sleep in, the key to eliminating neck pain is to ensure that your head is supported in a neutral position. When sleeping on your back or side, you’ll want to support your head above the surface of the bed. If you do not have a pillow or if your pillow is too thin or soft, your neck will bend downward and strain your neck and back muscles along your spine. If your pillow is too thick, it will bend your head unnaturally upward, also causing strain. A pillow designed to help relieve neck pain will properly elevate your head enabling you to achieve the most comfortable and restful sleep.

It is important to note that many soft pillows will collapse over time, and will not support your head consistently throughout the night. In fact, many people find themselves using two pillows or folding their pillow in half in an attempt to support their head at the proper level.

Orthopedic pillow for neck pain

A typical orthopedic pillow has a bulge to support the space beneath your neck.

The best pillows for neck pain support the space beneath your neck.

In addition to supporting your head at the proper level using a firm pillow of the correct thickness, support of your neck is also very important. The natural curve of your neck creates space beneath your neck, which most pillows do not properly support. Many doctors recommend rolling up a towel to fit in this space beneath your neck, while allowing a pillow to support your head. Shaped orthopedic pillows, or contour pillows for neck pain are often made of memory foam or latex. These shaped pillows feature a bulge along one edge designed to support by filling in the space beneath your neck.

Buckwheat pillows offer superior support.

the right pillow allows for a neutral sleeping position

A buckwheat pillow’s adjustable loft provides support that works for everyone.

It’s quite likely that any non-adjustable pillow you buy will be either too thick or thin for you. Fortunately most buckwheat pillows allow you to adjust the thickness, or loft, by adding or removing fill through a zippered opening (don’t get a buckwheat pillow without it). It doesn’t matter what size you are or what sleeping position you prefer, a buckwheat pillow can support your head at the correct elevation. You’ll be able to fine-tune the loft so that your head and neck are positioned just right.

A buckwheat pillow will conform perfectly to the shape of your head and neck, evenly supporting your body’s weight.

Most pillows cannot not support your head as completely as a buckwheat pillow does. A buckwheat pillow’s unique hull filling will accommodate the shape of your head and neck precisely. Its malleable character allows it to evenly distribute your head’s weight eliminating pain-causing pressure points. The individual buckwheat hulls’ irregular shape causes friction between them that enables the pillow to hold its shape. They’re sort of like a bean bag that doesn’t collapse on itself.

A buckwheat pillow won’t collapse in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately most traditional soft pillows like down will slowly flatten out under the weight of your head while you sleep. This will result in an uncomfortable downward bend in your neck. Folding your pillow in half is popular solution, but this often creates the opposite problem: an upward bend in your neck.

A buckwheat pillow will stay cool.

Repeatedly flipping to the cool side of the pillow in the middle of the night isn’t the way to sleep! Down, foam and other pillow types retain body heat and can quickly become hot and uncomfortable.

Buckwheat pillows’ cooling ability is due to the breathable nature of buckwheat hull fill:

  • Moisture collects on your skin and inside your pillow while you sleep. The unique shape of the individual buckwheat hulls inside the pillow allows air to flow more freely through the pillow, aiding the evaporation of that moisture. The evaporation produces a cooling effect similar to a fan’s.
  • Buckwheat hull fill allows warm humid air absorbed from your body to quickly escape the pillow, preventing uncomfortable heat build-up.
An unzipped buckwheat hull pillow

An unzipped Hullo pillow reveals its buckwheat hull filling.

We’re convinced that the best pillows for neck pain relief are buckwheat pillows.

We’ve tried all the popular pillow types that purport to relieve neck pain: water pillows, contour pillows, memory foam pillows… None provide the firm, cool comfortable support that a buckwheat pillow can provide.

Consider trying Hullo™ buckwheat pillow.

If you’d like to give a buckwheat pillow a shot, please consider our product, Hullo™. Try it for 60 days and if it’s not for you, just send it back to us for a refund. We think it’s the best buckwheat pillow available, but don’t take our word for it. Check out some our customers’ reviews.

“This is the first pillow I’ve found that gives nice firm support to my neck. I used to have a sore neck throughout the day from poor position/support the night before, but ever since I started using this pillow, my routine pain has pretty much completely gone away. I’m kind of shocked myself at how big a difference it’s made, and surprised to find myself writing one of those seemingly overenthusiastic reviews, but Hullo deserves it. So worth it—the ability to precisely shape the pillow so that it supports my neck just right is something I’ll never want to give up!” –Matt, verified Hullo customer