Sleeping on the wrong pillow can be, quite literally, a pain in the neck.
Lack of proper support means an adult head, which weighs approximately 11lbs, can lay in uncomfortable angles for hours over the night when you’re unconscious. Neck pain can be just the start of your problems: bad pillows can trigger a domino effect and cause headaches, stiffness and even issues lower down your back.
While few sit on the fence when it comes to the perfect sleep environment, it can be tricky to work out which pillows offer the right level of support and comfort for you - it’s such a personal thing.
Generally speaking, a pillow with more dense filling will offer a higher level of support. Things like memory foam can also help keep your head from rolling around as you catch your 40 winks. If you prefer the fluffy, cloud-like luxuriousness of a feather filling, finding a pillow that’s packed with the stuff as well as soft down is ideal.
If you’re a side sleeper with broad shoulders, look for shaped foam pillows that will keep your spine level and head at a comfortable height. The soft yet firm nature of memory foam means it contours to your shape, in this case your head and neck, and keeps it supported rather than sinking under its weight.
When it comes to pillows, the choice is humongous. To that end, we’re here to help the search for your perfect pillow with a list of the best options for neck pain.
Shop our list below
Emma Original Pillow
There are three memory foam layers in Emma’s Original Pillow to ensure you get the rest you deserve: simply add or remove them to get the right combination for you. Each pillow contains a pressure-relieving viscoelastic memory foam; a supportive HRX hyper-soft cold foam (one for the hot sleepers amongst you); and a ultra-breathable Airgocell memory foam. It will keep its shape over time and the cover can be put in the washing machine when it’s time for a clean.
Buy now £49.50, Emma
TEMPUR Original Support Large Queen Pillow
Don’t dismiss the unusual shape of this Tempur pillow - it’s carefully contoured to side under that nook between your head and neck to support the area perfectly. It’s on the hard side, but the soft cover, which can be removed for washing, keeps it feeling comfortable. Made from visco-elastic and comes with a three-year guarantee.
Buy now £95.00, John Lewis
TEMPUR Original Large Medium/ Firm Pillow
Tempur has built its reputation on memory foam sleep products, and many loyal customers won’t sleep on anything else. As well as mattresses, the brand also offers this medium firm pillow specifically designed to conform to the natural curvature of your spine, allowing you to drift into slumber without any distractions.
The unusual shape can take some getting used to, but once you have, you’ll wonder how you managed without it. Ideal for side sleepers, but be warned, as is the case with memory foam, it can feel too warm. Something to note in the summer months. Medium and XL sizes are also available.
Buy now £95.00, Argos
Mela The Dual Pillow
Walking the tightrope between support and squish, Mela's osteo-approved Dual Pillow could say goodbye to neck discomfort for good. It's a bit of a Matryoshka-esque design with a smaller pillow sitting within a larger one for improved support without feeling like you're laying on a rock.
A 100 per cent cotton cover keeps the pillow feeling blissfully cool, and there's built-in support along the edges, which helps the pillow to maintain its height with minimal plumping on your part.
Buy now £65.00, Mela Comfort
Kally Neck Pain Pillow
Keep your head, neck and spine aligned with Kally's pillow, specifically designed to address neck pain.
The ergonomic butterfly shape does, at first, take a little getting used to, but you'll soon reap the benefits when you wake up feeling completely refreshed. It's on the firmer side, scoring 7/10 and is made with memory foam for unrivalled bounceback. Best of all, there's a 14 night trial period, so if it's not for you, simply return it for a full refund.
The only downside is that it’s a tad smaller than standard pillows, so you may need to fold your existing linen around it unless you’re happy to get the matching cover too.
Buy now £29.99, Kally
eve Sleep the wedge microfibre pillow
This wedge-shaped pillow is eve Sleep's arrow to vanquish neck pain. Packed with moisture-wicking hollowfibre and Aerelle cool night filling that draws sweat and heat away, it's shaped for both side and back sleepers with a boxy edge on one end and a plump point on the other.
Buy now £39.00, eve Sleep
Brightr Luna Adjustable Memory Foam Pillow Bundle
Many people shy away from memory foam as it can absorb heat and become too warm.
Brightr uses Graphene memory foam which has cooling properties, ensuring you won't overheat through the night. The heat and sweat-wicking design keeps your head aloft to the right level, allowing you to drift into a peaceful sleep.
You’ll get a pair of pillows in this purchase, helpful if you’re looking for an option for a partner or just one to keep spare to treat guests.
Buy now £89.90, Brightr
Octaspring TrueEvolution Anatomic Pillow
Pillows have a habit of becoming misshapen over time, but this design incorporates a supportive memory foam layer that bounces back, night after night. It also comes with Octaspring’s trademarked technology, a set of pressure-relieving memory foam springs that are eight times more breathable than traditional memory foam, helping you stay cool as a cucumber through the night. The cover is also washable.
Buy now £59.95, Mattress Online
John Lewis & Partners Natural Duck Feather Standard Pillow, Medium/Firm
A great budget buy from the trusted department store. If you’re testing the waters of feather pillow territory, John Lewis’s option won’t break the bank, coming in at a mere £15. In fact, it’s designed for those who like to sleep on two pillows, offering a supportive base for your pillow stack.
It’s naturally hygienic but to add to this, the cover is finished with a Life Natural peppermint treatment to help it stay fresher and cleaner for longer. The treatment is totally odour-free, so no need to worry about having mint-scented dreams.
Buy now £15.00, John Lewis
Eve Sleep the memory foam pillow
Designed for back and side sleepers, eve’s memory foam sleeping pillow relieves your muscles of pressure, creating an ideal drifting asleep environment. The contouring nature of memory foam means it’s wonderfully supportive and cooling air holes keep temperatures as a comfortable level.
Buy now £69.00, eve sleep
BedStory Memory Foam Pillow
Memory foam has a bad rep for overheating, which can be offputting for many shoppers. However, this pillow does everything it can to alter that perception. Each side is different with one covered in Bamboo Charcoal Memory Foam and the other in Gel Memory Foam.
While each offers slightly different experiences, the thing they share is that they’re both cooling. Then there’s ventilation hopes and vented mesh to keep air circulating around the design, leaving you to sleep undisturbed.
Ideal for all style of sleepers, whether you prefer front, back or side, it comes in an anti-mite and hypoallergenic cover that is removable and machine washable too.
Buy now £39.99, Amazon
Simba Hybrid Pillow
If you’re forever searching for the cold side of the pillow, relegate middle-of-the-night flipping to the past thanks to Simba’s astronaut-inspired temperature-regulating design.
Measuring the standard 50 x 70cm, traditional filling has been swapped for lightweight open-cell nanocubes (to stop that tedious bunching) and there’s a mesh strip to encourage airflow too.
Buy now £109.00, Simba
Memory Foam Bamboo Pillow
Get comfortable and ready for a good night’s sleep with Panda’s Memory Foam pillow under your head. The super supportive third-generation memory foam is covered with a soft-touch cover made of bamboo fibres, helping to keep the design breathable as well as antibacterial. Comes with a 10 year guarantee.
Buy now £44.95, My Panda Life