You don’t have to wake up each morning with a stiff neck - choose the right pillow and you’ll find that a night of pain-free rest won’t just exist in your dreams.
- Do I wake up in the morning with a stiff neck?
- Am I feeling as rested as I should after a night of sleep?
- Do I toss and turn all night, or find it difficult to get comfortable, even while falling asleep?
If you can identify with any of these sleep issues, the problem might not require an expensive new mattress, high thread count sheets, or the latest white noise machine. The answer might have been right under your head the entire time. Selecting the right pillow is a wise move if you’re currently suffering from neck pain and you want to find an economical solution to your nightly aches and pains.
Let’s discuss how to choose the best pillow for neck pain. After all, you owe it to yourself to create the healthiest and most restful sleeping environment possible.
What Type of Sleeper Are You?
Before you start excitedly browsing catalogs of new pillows, determine your sleeping style. There are three basic sleeping positions: side sleeper, back sleeper, and stomach sleeper. While you can’t force yourself into one style over another, most sleep experts agree the side and back positions generally provide the best alignment of the head, neck, and spine. These positions also help promote proper breathing while asleep. The least advantageous sleep position is on one’s stomach, as this configuration can force the neck out of alignment, puts strain on the back, neck, head, and shoulders, and can exacerbate respiratory concerns. Regardless of how you sleep, it is important to honestly assess your sleeping position so you can select the right pillow for neck pain.
Which Pillows Help Reduce Neck Pain in Side, Back, or Stomach Sleepers?
Side sleepers generally do best with a thicker and firmer pillow, as the natural ear-to-shoulder gap that is created when sleeping on one’s side creates a large, unsupported void that can quickly lead to neck pain. Plus, it’s uncomfortable to sleep on your side and not have all that weight on your head and neck. Firmer pillows are the way to go for most side sleepers.
If you are a back sleeper, you’ll want to consider a pillow that is on the thinner side. This will keep your head from being thrust forward while laying down. Back sleepers also tend to benefit from a pillow with a soft center section that can act like a cradle for the head. A firmer lower-third can be helpful when looking for the utmost in neck support from a pillow.
Stomach sleeping, though not recommended, is a reality for many sleepers. A thin pillow that won’t impede on your ability to breathe is generally the way to go. That said, some experts say that placing a thin pillow under your stomach and using no pillow under your head and neck can promote a good night of sleep.
What Type of Materials Should I Look for in a Neck Pain Pillow?
There are numerous pillow fill options available today in the market for neck pain pillows. Some of the top choices include memory foam, down, and water pillows. How do you determine which fill option is right for you? Let’s look at the Each type provides benefits that may apply to your unique sleeping situation.
Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam offers support and durability but has limited adjustability in terms of firmness. Most memory foam pillows come with a predetermined amount of elasticity. This is a key drawback, as they need to be configured the right way or they won’t provide the desired comfort level for your preferences.
Though a classic filling material in high-end luxury pillows, down is incredibly expensive, can be an allergen to some people, and only really works well for back sleepers. Down pillows are also difficult to wash and keep clean - an important consideration if you’re concerned about the cleanliness of your pillows and bedding. Down pillows, while very soft and comfortable at first, provide very little support so they require frequent fluffing and stuffing while you sleep.
One of the fastest-growing segments in the pillow world is the water pillow. These supportive pillows are often recommended by chiropractors due to the way they can be adjusted to meet the needs of side, back, and even stomach sleepers. Top-quality waterbase® pillows will offer adjustable comfort, a variety of filling materials, and several sizes to pair with the individual’s preferred sleeping style.
The Mediflow® Water Pillow is the perfect choice for a pillow for neck pain. It includes an adjustable waterbase that provides responsive support for the neck. Plus, it was clinically proven to reduce neck pain and improve overall quality of sleep when asleep, according to a John Hopkins study.
If you’re ready to wake up each morning free from neck pain, start by swapping out your pillow for one that offers the right level of support, a size that fits your sleeping style, and fillings that can be adjusted to provide you with the ultimate night of sleep. For more information on pillows that offer incredible neck support at an affordable price point, contact Mediflow today.