The best pillows for neck pain: reduce aches for front, back and side sleepers

Designed for cervical spine support, the best pillows for neck pain should guarantee a restful night for every sleeping style

The best pillows for neck pain
(Image credit: Future)

Quick list
1. Best overall: Simba Hybrid Pillow
2. Best eco-friendly: Panda Hybrid Bamboo Pillow
3. Best firm: Tempur Original Support Pillow
4. Best for all sleep styles: Levitex Comfort Pillow
5. Best value: Sealy Sanctuary Pillow
6. Best orthopaedic: Sissel Classic Neck Pillow
7. Best soft: Aeyla Dual Pillow

Whether you're experiencing neck pain at night or are strictly a side sleeper, having a supportive pillow is important. How your head rests is synonymous to a great night's sleep and waking up feeling fresh - no one wants to start their day with a stiff neck. If your pillow is too flat, or too soft for example, you're likely in need of something more supportive. 

But sleeping comfortably isn't as simple as replacing your old pillow with a brand-new one. Finding the best pillow for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. From how tall you are, to which side you sleep on, it's worth doing your research before you buy a pillow that may not be the best fit. 

To help you find the best pillow for neck pain, we've put some of the best pillows to the test. Including some of the best thin pillows from popular brands as well as smaller well-being brands looking to make their mark on the sleep industry, we've assessed pillows based on how well they support spinal alignment and compared them for material, cost, and how well they wash. 

Best pillows for neck pain: the quick list

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best pillows for neck pain, reviewed by a sleep expert

Best pillow for neck pain overall

Simba Hybrid pillow, one of w&h's best pillows for neck pain

(Image credit: Simba)
Best pillow for neck pain


RRP: £99
Size: 50cm x 75cm
Filling: Memory foam cubes, microfibre casing
Cover: Cotton

Reasons to buy

Loose filling allows for a bespoke fit
Cooling effect
Removable cover for washing
Bag to store spare Nanocubes

Reasons to avoid

Needs occasional plumping
More expensive 

Simba do some of the best mattresses around, and their pillows are equally good. From high quality materials to specialist sleep tech, the Simba Hybrid pillow is designed with you in mind. Filled with hundreds of foam Nanocubes that cushion your head while supporting your neck and spine in the right places. You can add and remove the loose cubes as you please too, creating the ultimate sleep surface. 

To help you keep cool at night, especially if you suffer from hot flushes, the cubes are sandwiched between a hypoallergenic fiber, enriched with minerals, called Aerelle Cool Night that dissipates heat, and a microfibre padding for softness. More than one of our sleep experts have tested this best-selling pillow, it's loved by all. It's no surprise we rate this as one of the best pillows for neck pain. 

See our full Simba Hybrid pillow review

Best affordable pillow for neck pain

Panda London hybrid pillow

(Image credit: Panda London)

2. Panda Hybrid bamboo pillow

Best eco-friendly pillow for neck pain


RRP: £89.95
Size: 70cm x 40cm x 13cm
Filling: Orthopaedic grade, adaptive CharcoCell Foam™
Cover: 100% bamboo

Reasons to buy

Great value-for-money
Impressive eco-credentials 
Sleeps cool 

Reasons to avoid

Isn't very plush 
Not suitable for front sleepers 

The Panda Hybrid bamboo pillow is one of the most eco-friendly pillows on the market. Traditional foam pillows are typically recommended to those who suffer from neck pain as they cushion the joint whilst offering firm support. The Panda Hybrid pillow does exactly that, but better when it comes to environmental factors. It's filled with an orthopaedic foam that's infused with charcoal and cased in a 100% bamboo cover for extra coolness. 

On test we did find it to feel firm and supportive, however it was not as plush as other foam pillows we've tried. Plushness preference aside it did alleviate neck pain. We wouldn't recommend this for front sleepers as it would prop the neck up too high. 

Best firm pillow for neck pain

Tempur Original support pillow, best pillows for neck pain

(Image credit: Tempur)

3. Tempur Original Support Pillow

Best firm pillow for neck pain


RRP: £105
Size: 50cm x 31cm (medium); 61cm x 31cm (large)
Filling: Visco-elastic memory foam and polyester
Cover: Polyester

Reasons to buy

Great support for side sleepers
Three-year guarantee

Reasons to avoid

More expensive 
Too firm for front sleepers

Made with the same space-age material that fills its mattresses, the Tempur Original Support pillow has been specifically designed to cradle the neck and shoulders to provide pain-free slumber. Through the night, the firm memory foam filling gently molds to the shape of your head and neck and then springs back to its original shape afterwards, ensuring that each sleep is as comfortable as the last. Some may find it a little too firm, especially if you sleep on your front. 

It’s available in three height sizes, so you can pick the one that suits your style of sleeping - Tempur recommends the medium or large for women and the large or XL for men.  It's best for back sleepers who need a harder surface that sits at the right height. 

Best for all sleep styles

Levitex sleep posture pillow best pillow for neck pain

(Image credit: Levitext)

4. Levitex sleep posture pillow

Best pillow for all sleep styles


RRP: £75
Size: Small (8cm), Medium (10cm), Large (12cm), Extra large (14cm)
Filling: Specially designed levitex foam
Cover: 100% Nylon

Reasons to buy

Multiple size options for all sleep styles 
More supportive than traditional memory foam 
Reasonable price 

Reasons to avoid

Slight off-gassing smell 
Nylon cover 

The Levitex sleep posture pillow is designed with size in mind. Forget filling, firmness and all the extra fluff for a moment, this pillow comes in four different sizes to ensure all sleepers are supported. We tested the medium size after having a sleep consultation with the founder who suggested it based on our testers height and sleep position. It was higher than other pillows we tried, which meant there was no need to stack two pillows. It kept our spine aligned all night long. 

It's made from specially designed Levitex foam which did come with a slight off-gassing smell. It's also quite firm compared to others, so we wouldn't recommend it to those who would prefer a feather or down type feeling. 

Best value pillow for neck pain

Sealy sanctury pillow

(Image credit: Sealy sleep)
Best value for money pillow for neck pain


RRP: £80
Size: 71cm x 45cm
Filling: Geltex core
Cover: 100% cotton

Reasons to buy

Hotel feel for a reasonable price 
Gel feel for pressure relief 
Soft to the touch cover 

Reasons to avoid

Needs re-plumping 
Subtle support 

If you're someone who loves the feel of hotel bedding, but find feather pillows don't do you any favours when it comes to neck pain, then the Sealy pillow offers the best of both worlds. It offers comfort and support but without the 'not-so-aesthetic' looking, or feeling foam block. The cooling-gel inside and crisp cotton cover adds extra elements of luxury you'll appreciate especially in the hot summer months.  

This also means it is suitable for all sleep styles. It's not as flat as most which works to align back sleepers perfectly and the two firmness options work for both those who need a harder surface and those that prefer a marsh-mellow plushness. We did find it needed re-plumping throughout the night, but for the price, it's the best value for money neck pillow we've tested. 

Best orthopaedic pillow for neck pain

Sissel pillow, one of the best pillows for neck pain

(Image credit: Sissel/Amazon)

6. Sissel Classic Orthopaedic Pillow

Best orthopaedic pillow for neck pain


RRP: £49.95
Size: 47cm x 33cm (medium); 47cm x 33cm (large)
Filling: Polyurethane (PU) foam
Cover: 75% cotton, 25% polyester

Reasons to buy

Good price for a specialist pillow
Soft, washable outer cover

Reasons to avoid

Might not suit front sleepers
Not the most decorative looking 

Aside from slight stiffness in the morning, if your neck isn’t supported properly when you sleep, it can lead to tension headaches. If you're experiencing severe neck pain an orthopaedic pillow could help (of course we'd always recommend to see a GP too). 

Having created cervical spine support pillows for more than 30 years, expert brand Sissel know what they're. doing when it comes to specialist pillows. While it may not look the comfiest, this orthopaedic foam pillow is designed to sit snugly in the space between the neck and shoulders, working to effectively reduce any aches and pains at the nape of the neck. It keeps your muscles relaxed while keeping your shoulders aligned with the rest of the body. 

Given its shape, it's not suitable for font sleepers nor does it look very luxurious on the bed. In fact we suggest you swap it out for a cheaper decorative pillow when you're not sleeping. 

Best soft pillow for neck pain

Aeyla Dual Pillow

(Image credit: Aeyla)

7. Aeyla Dual Pillow

Best soft pillow for neck pain


RRP: £89
Size : 50 x 75 x 20cm
Filling: OEKO-TEX certified polyester
Cover : 100% cotton

Reasons to buy

Unique pillow-in-a-pillow design
100% cotton cover is cooling 

Reasons to avoid

May be too soft for some 
Needs two for height 
Only available in one size 

The most unique aspect of The Aeyla Dual pillow is its pillow-in-pillow design, providing a comfy blend of squish and support. This pillow comes recommended by osteopath Anisha Joshi, of OsteoAllies, who praises its support for the neck. "The best pillows for neck pain are the Mela Dual Pillows (the brand has since been re-named to Aeyla), which support your neck whilst also allowing movement," she told w&h. "It's important to look for a pillow that allows you change sleep positions during the night and still be supported, because whilst we all have a certain sleep style, we all toss and turn. 

That being said, it is relatively soft compared to most pillows for neck pain. The dual design allows for extra plushness. Upon test, we found two pillows were needed to gain enough height, and it did flatten throughout the night. 

How to choose the best pillow for neck pain

Levitex sleep posture pillow sizes best pillow for neck pain

(Image credit: Levitex)

The best pillows for neck pain are not a one-size-fits-all solution. While it may seem as simple as picking up a new pillow from Amazon, there are a few key things to consider if you really want your best sleep yet. As sleep posture expert and founder of Levitex James Leinhardt explains, 'the best pillow for neck pain is one that is capable of of keeping your head in a neutral position as you sleep. He suggests size and sleeping position are the most important things to think about when picking out the perfect pillow: 

  • Sleeping position: Neck pain could be caused by the way you sleep and what you're sleeping on.  If you're a side sleeper and your pillow is too flat, or to plump, then the weight of your head is likely to drive pressure to the neck. Therefore for side sleepers, James recommends a firmer pillow that will stay at the right height throughout the night. Back sleepers will need a relatively flat pillow that keeps your spine aligned and front sleepers should select a plush pillow that they are able to sink into as they sleep.
  • Pillow size: 'Since we're all different heights and shapes, a pillow shouldn't be a one-size fits all. If your pillow is too big your head will be propped up, too small and you won't have enough support. A pillow at the right height will keep your neck, spine and shoulders aligned as you lie.
  • Mattress type: Some mattresses are firmer than others, so it's important you choose a pillow that matches and offers the right support, advises osteopath Caroline Baker. "A softer mattress could benefit from being paired with a firmer pillow. However, if you use this same pillow in conjunction with a super firm mattress, you could be met with a loftier combination that will do your neck and spine alignment no favors."
  • Material: A 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health shows pillows made from latex or memory foam offer the best neck and shoulder support. Caroline also advises taking note of the label on pillows you've loved at family and friends' houses, or hotels, for inspiration on the type of material and firmness you like best.

What pillow material is best for neck pain?

There are lots of pillow material options on the market - most of which will advertise to rid you of neck pain. A 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health shows pillows made from latex or memory foam offer the best neck and shoulder support. 

The best material for neck pain is said to be memory foam, this is because it sinks and moulds to the shape of you (or your head in this case). However, some memory foam pillows can be too soft, causing you to lose natural spinal alignment  throughout the night. 

Instead latex offers a denser alternative to traditional memory foam that doesn't lose its shape over time. This can provide pressure relief and comfort to keep you supported as you sleep. 

Is a high or a low pillow better for neck pain?

According to chiropractor Dr Xandra Middleton, both can present a problem for neck pain, as we're striving for a neutral alignment. "Both high and low pillows can be an issue. Both push the neck into an unnatural position, which can create tension in the neck," she told w&h. "The ideal is neutral, which means you preserve the natural curve of the neck when sleeping on your back and a straight spine if lying on your side."

Chiropractor Dr Stefaan Vossen Chiropractor at Core Clinics reiterates this point, explaining, "If you sleep on your side a pillow that's too high or low can again cause your head and neck to come out of line with your spine which can cause neck as well as shoulder pain."

What's the best filling for pillows for neck pain?

The most popular pillows for neck pain are usually filled with memory foam (standard and memory), latex, buckwheat, or feathers. These materials offer the best balance of support and pressure relief. However, Dr Middleton comments that one of the most popular fillings, memory foam, won't be right for everybody. 

"I find that some of my patients dislike the hard feeling of memory foam and, if you get warm at night, memory foam in a pillow can make this worse. I like a supportive-but-light foam for my patients to give them both support and comfort," she told us. 

However, Dr Vossen urges memory foam still a good choice when it comes to combating neck pain. "Memory foam can be too firm and 'unforgiving' for some people, but it comes in different densities so don't be afraid to 'try' pillows just as you would a mattress. 

"Non-memory foam which still has enough density to offer support is probably best for most neck pain sufferers because it moulds to your face, head and neck but still offers good support." 

How can you prevent neck pain in future?

While investing in one of the best pillows for neck pain is a great start, there are other measures you can take to prevent neck pain in the future. "In terms of preventing neck pain, your best bet is to actually strengthen your neck - lots of people who have neck pain typically think they have to stretch, but really you need to strengthen," Joshi told us.  

"You can do this through isolated neck strengthening exercises, for example by putting your hand on the side of your head and gently pushing against your hand, holding for 10-20 seconds on either side."

If you're suffering from lower back pain instead, our expert guide to the best pillows for back pain is key to getting a great night's sleep. 

Louise Oliphant
contributing writer

Louise is a contributing writer at Woman and Home. With experience in homes ecommerce, Louise worked in PR and communications before joining Future in April 2022. She now writes across Real Homes, Ideal Homes, Livingetc, and Homes and Gardens. 

Bringing bags of bedding expertise from her time working for luxury bedding and homeware brands, Louise specializes in sleep content, so you can wind down well. But aside from helping readers get essential shut-eye, she also writes various content across home decor and shopping trends, from buying guides and reviews to features and news.