The 10 Best Cervical Pillows

Updated November 28, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Cervical Pillows
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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Sometimes, the reason you wake up feeling rough and uncomfortable is because of the angle of your neck when you sleep -- and neck pain can ruin your whole day. Get some much-needed relief with one of these cervical pillows, which are designed to promote proper neck and spine alignment for improving the way you sit, stand, sleep and feel. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best cervical pillow on Amazon.

10. Pettibon System Cervical Dorsal Fulcrum

Unlike many other cervical pillows, the Pettibon System Cervical Dorsal Fulcrum isn't designed to be slept on. Instead, you can use it throughout the day for a variety of relaxation and stretching techniques to aid in restoring a correct spinal curve.
  • comes with practice instructions
  • maintains its shape well
  • doesn't come with a cover
Brand The Pettibon System
Model pending
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Custom Craftworks Omni

The Custom Craftworks Omni encourages correct cervical curvature by gently cradling the head with its ergonomically-contoured shape. It may look a little unusual at first, but after just one night, you'll be sold, and wonder how you ever made do without it.
  • promotes relaxation of the neck
  • ideal for home physical therapy
  • cannot use standard pillowcases
Brand Custom Craftworks
Model OCRP
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Core products Tri-Core 200

The Core products Tri-Core 200 is designed with a trapezoid shaped center to support the spine in its natural position. It also offers support for smaller necks on one side and larger necks on the other, so you and your partner can take turns using it.
  • comes in three size options
  • high resiliency inner fiber
  • takes some time to get used to
Brand Core Products
Model FIB-200
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Dr. J's Sleep Solution

The Dr. J's Sleep Solution can perfectly align your head and neck no matter whether you sleep on your side or back. It also comes with a luxurious 233-thread count, 100 percent cotton cover that can quickly and easily be removed for machine washing.
  • crafted in the usa
  • facilitates easier falling asleep
  • some find it too firm
Brand Pegasus Home Fashions
Model 10DJSS-10J
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Arc4life CLTraction

The Arc4life CLTraction gives you the most from your sleep by helping to restore your neck's normal C curve, which results in less aches and pains when you wake up. It also helps to enhance your circulation by relaxing the muscles and relieving pressure.
  • will help reduce snoring
  • completely latex free
  • loses its shape after a year or two
Brand arc4life
Model CLTraction
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Bedsure Memory Foam

The Bedsure Memory Foam is made from 100 percent microfiber polyester that is not only comfortable, but dust mite resistant, too, making it great for people with allergies. It does an excellent job of retaining its shape, even after years of use.
  • ideal for side sleepers
  • can be used on either side
  • initially needs some time to air out
Brand Bedsure
Model 5951777
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Sleep Yoga

The Sleep Yoga is a dual-position neck pillow that is comfortable for both back and side sleepers. It gives you extra support when you rest and promotes proper cervical alignment to improve your body's posture, day in and day out.
  • designed by a chiropractor
  • made from biodegradable materials
  • available in soft and firm
Brand Sleep Yoga
Model BP-SY04_MS
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. HengJia Premium

The HengJia Premium is a compact option that is ideal for travel by plane or car. It has a convenient strap that holds it in place against the back of your seat and a deep contoured channel for your neck, which helps reduce stiffness and pain.
  • never loses its shape
  • machine washable velour cover
  • comes in beige or grey
Brand HengJia
Model 5935946
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Essence of Bamboo Pillow

The Essence of Bamboo Pillow is a super soft, low-profile option that is comfortable for adults and kids alike. It's great for sleepers with sensitive faces and scalps who find that other cervical pillows put too much pressure on their ears.
  • hypoallergenic material
  • vented memory foam keeps you cool
  • cover is removable
Brand Deluxe
Model EssenceCountour1
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Core Innovative Therapeutica

The Core Innovative Therapeutica is designed for maximum comfort and support in all sleeping positions. It features a wedge extension for upper back support, a cervical contour to maintain the curve of your neck, and a center cavity to support your head.
  • includes a free fitted zippered case
  • made with non-allergenic foam
  • surface channels for air circulation
Brand Core Products
Model FOM-130-PET
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Why Spine Health Is So Important

The spine is a series of vertebrae which extends from the lower back to the neck. It gives structure to the entire body and houses the spinal cord; a long bundle of nerve fibers that connect every part of the body. This connection makes up the basis of the central nervous system; which is responsible for responding to nearly all information the body receives.

Promoting a healthy spine keeps the entire body healthy. Supporting the head while sleeping is just one way to ensure the spine remains relaxed and healthy. Proper spinal support is crucial in all aspects of the body's normal functions. Any alterations, such as improper sleeping posture, can have negative effects in the central nervous system; causing distress throughout the body.

Subluxations in the spine are caused by fatigue over time, and lead to many of the common issues faced today. Lower back pain, tension headaches, and hip dysfunction are just a few common issues influenced by subluxations. Long term fatigue can lead to degenerating connective tissues, arthritic conditions, sleep disorders, poor circulation, posture problems, even foot and knee issues.

Reducing fatigue on the muscles of the spine can reduce the chances of these subluxations. When used properly, sleep provides a long period of time in which the spine can relax and heal itself from the stress of the day. This is why sleeping posture may be the most important aspect of spinal health.

Can A Cervical Pillow Make A Real Difference?

The right cervical pillow can mean the difference between being well rested and living with pain every day. It may sound drastic, but for many it is a reality. As humans spend a large portion of their lives asleep, sleeping incorrectly can spell disaster over time.

Cervical pillows are designed to ergonomically support the neck while sleeping. There are four main styles of cervical pillow, each suited to a different style of sleeper. Cradle pillows help to evenly distribute the weight of the head, effectively reducing pressure on the spine and neck. The cradle style pillow can also help to prevent snoring in back sleepers by keeping the airways aligned.

Neck pillows are generally smaller than the average pillow, and tuck behind the neck to allow for a proper spinal curve while sleeping. Neck pillows come in a wide range of sizes to fit every body type and are generally best for side sleepers or back sleepers.

Side pillows are designed with a curved edge which is higher on the side and lower in the middle. This pocket in the middle of the pillow helps to cradle the head while relaxing the upper vertebrae. The curve provides room to rest the shoulders and keeps the neck properly aligned.

The cervical roll style pillow acts as a multi-functioning device. Placed under the neck and head, it allows for proper spinal alignment. Used under the knees, cervical rolls provide support for lower back problems like sciatica. Cervical rolls can also be used behind the back while sitting for added lumbar support.

Which Sleeping Position Is Best?

Humans can fall asleep in nearly any position, but that doesn't mean they should fall asleep in these positions. In fact, sleeping posture impacts quality of sleep and can even cause back and neck problems. Stiffness, neck pains, sleep apnea, headaches, heartburn, and even premature wrinkles can be caused by poor sleeping postures.

Some sleeping postures are inherently bad for the body. For example, sleeping on the stomach may be good to relieve snoring, but it is actually a bad choice for sleeping. When lying on the stomach, it is hard to keep the spine in a neutral position. Stomach sleepers also risk putting unnecessary stress on their joints, ligaments, and muscles. This can lead to nerve damage, numbness, and various aches and pains. Having the head turned to the side while sleeping can also constrict the airways. This can mean less oxygen circulating in the blood which can cause headaches and fatigue come morning. It is best to simply choose another way to sleep.

The fetal position is the most popular way to sleep. Lying on the side with the torso hunched and knees bent is great in certain circumstances. For pregnant women, the fetal position improves circulation to the fetus, and relieves pressure on the vital organs. On the other hand, too tight of a fetal position can actually restrict breathing and airflow, and may cause stiffness of the joints in the morning. It is better to stretch out the torso and legs as much as possible.

Side sleeping is great for people with sleep apnea, as sleeping on the side keeps the airways open. Sleeping on the left side of the body may also reduce acid reflux by relieving pressure on the digestive system.

Though it is not the most popular position for sleep, sleeping on the back is by far the best option. Sleeping on the back allows for the spine, neck and head to rest in a neutral position. This can reduce soreness and pain, as pressure on these areas is reduced. The only downside is that sleeping on the back may influence sleep apnea.

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Last updated on November 28, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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