Reviews
The Best Pillows for Neck Pain in 2022, Ranked: A comprehensive review of top-rated pillows
Colby Maxwell
06.20.22

Final Winner: 1 out of 7 (See Below for In Depth Review and Process)



9.5/10
34 votes



A+
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
10/10

Comfort
`
9/10

Support
`
10/10

Return policy / warranty
`
10/10

Value
`
9/10

PROS
Actually supports neck and head position
Low profile to keep neck parallel to the bed
Supportive but soft
Innovative contour design works for all sleeping positions
CertiPUR-US Certified Memory Foam
Luxuriously soft cooling bamboo cover
3-Year Extended Warranty
60 Night Sleep Trial

CONS
X
Only available online

Why choose an orthopedic pillow?

Anyone who has ever had neck or back pain knows just how debilitating it can be. Whether its a chronic condition or the result of a temporary injury, pain in this sensitive region isn’t something you can mess around with. Generally, I consider sleep to be a “great healer” when it comes to pain, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. In fact, poor sleep can actually harm you even further.

Getting proper and healthy sleep, free of pain and injury, is the real goal of an orthopedic pillow. These specially designed pillows are intended to correct posture and neck positioning while sleeping, allowing your body to heal the way it was intended to. Without proper positioning, pain could come back and sometimes be even worse.

Today, I’ve compiled a list of the best pillows for neck pain and reviewed them to see which ones are the best for you. Each has its own set of proclaimed benefits, but I took the time to make sure that it isn’t just a bunch of fluff (pun intended).

Is It Worth It To Consider Pillows Under $50?

I personally do not think it is best to consider the options under $50. You will likely save money in the long run because the manufacturers of cheaper pillows tend to cut corners – these pillows also generally do not last as long. If you get the right pillow (even if it is more expensive), you’ll likely save money in the long run.

As an example, some memory foam pillows (especially those that are not CertiPUR certified) tend to use lower quality foam foam, which results in worse pillows. Down and down alternative pillows under $50 tend to use more quills than down clusters, which results in a pillow that will poke you. A lot of cheaper pillows also skimp out on the filling, which causes the pillows to provide less support and feel flat.

It is worth it to invest in a higher quality pillow – especially when you consider how much impact a better pillow can have on your sleep quality. The right pillow can help your sleep as much, if not more, than a new mattress (which is way more expensive).

In Depth Review And Process

Any review is subject to the approach it took to rank its items. For this review, I wanted to come up with a set of criteria that was important to neck-pain-oriented pillows specifically. For each of the pillows I reviewed, I ranked them according to these guidelines (on a scale of 1-10):

  • Effectiveness at reducing neck pain
  • Comfort
  • Cover
  • Return policy / warranty
  • Value

Additionally, I will be listing the pros and cons of each pillow, as well as some of the important things I noticed through the review process. Using this criterion, I was able to gauge what made each of the pillows great (and not so great).

An important note, I slept on each of the pillows for at least one full night, although I did sleep on a few of them for a few nights (if I liked them). These aren’t made-up reviews from pictures but actual experiences from my time spent sleeping on them! Additionally, I ended up pulling a muscle in my neck as I began the review. Although it was unfortunate, it gave me some great insight into the pain relief I experienced from each of the pillows in a real-world situation!

Let’s get into the list of the best orthopedic pillows for 2022!

Overall, the best pillow I slept on by far was the Dosaze Contoured Orthopedic Pillow. We enjoyed sleeping on the Dosaze Contoured Orthopedic pillow in all three sleep positions thanks to the innovative shape and design. The contour aligns your neck and back, which reduces pain, snoring, and gives you the best night of sleep ever. We also found it significantly cooler than the other pillows that we tested. I highly recommend this pillow as my top pick, especially for side-sleepers or people who sleep in a combination of positions.



9.6/10
34 votes



A+
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
10/10

Comfort
`
9/10

Support
`
10/10

Return policy / warranty
`
10/10

Value
`
9/10

PROS
Actually supports neck and head position
Low profile to keep neck parallel to the bed
Supportive but soft
Innovative contour design works for all sleeping positions
CertiPUR-US Certified Memory Foam
Luxuriously soft cooling bamboo cover
3-Year Extended Warranty
60 Night Sleep Trial

CONS
X
Only available online

The Bottom Line

This pillow is the top of the top, crème de la crème. I used to think it was normal to toss and turn in the middle of the night, but the innovative shape and the quality of the materials of the Dosaze Contoured Orthopedic pillow stopped that for me. The innovative shape really works wonders to keep my neck and back aligned, and I was so surprised by how much deeper my sleep was with this pillow. When testing this pillow, I woke up so much more well-rested.

I think that an orthopedic should intentionally lead a person towards the optimal neck position and the Dosaze did that perfectly. Unfortunately, many of the competitors had support, but they didn’t necessarily position the neck and head through a contoured design like the Dosaze did.

There were three main things that made us prefer the Dosaze: its size, contoured design, and foam construction. When it comes to size, the Dosaze was pretty spot on. If you share a bed with someone (like I do), finding a pillow that fits on “your side” without being too small isn’t super easy, especially when it comes to specialty pillows. Thankfully, the Dosaze was great for two people on a queen-sized mattress.

Additionally, the contoured design and foam construction allowed my head to stay in the same spot the whole night while at the same time being supported. None of the others kept my head in the same spot AND supported it together, two things that are essential in an orthopedic pillow. If I have neck pain in the future and need to ensure it’s gone, the Dosaze is easily one of my go-to options.

This pillow is seriously a case of you get what you pay for – with high-quality materials, an innovative shape, and incredible customer service and experience, this pillow is the best option if you want to alleviate neck pain.

And don’t take our word for it, other review sites have come to the same conclusion on the Dosaze pillow being the best pillow for neck pain. You can even check out the Dosaze pillow reviews on the site itself, if you don’t believe us.

You can see that this pillow is great for side and back sleepers. For back sleepers, it is perfect to sleep with your head in the contour. For side sleepers, it is great to sleep on the edges of the pillow – it will fill your shoulder gap and ensure that you sleep in perfect alignment all night long. If you are a combination sleeper, you can roll from on side to the middle and to the other side.

UPDATE (6 months later!): I’ve been sleeping on this pillow for a year now, and it is still the best one. I’m super satisfied with the overall quality and durability of this pillow. I usually toss this pillow in the dryer on low heat to give it a bit of a fluff. This has been the best investment for me in terms of improving my overall sleep quality!




7.6/10
13 votes



B
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
6/10

Comfort
`
8/10

Support
`
9/10

Return policy / warranty
`
8/10

Value
`
7/10

PROS
Extremely cooling
Really well-constructed
Unique squishy material

CONS
X
Extremely slippery
X
Didn’t hold head in place

The Bottom Line

The Pillow Cube was a pillow of extremes. On one hand, it was truly incredible how cooling this pillow could be. On the other, it was was incredible how slippery a pillow could be! Still, if someone really prioritizes cooling and wants orthopedic structure as a bonus, the Pillow Cube is for you.

There were two things that I really liked about the Pillow Cube: It’s construction and its cooling. On the flip side, I wasn’t a fan of how slippery it was or how the shape didn’t keep my head on it. As the name suggests, the “cube” portion of it refers to its shape, as well as its “ice cube” temps. When I say this pillow gets cold, it gets frigid. In fact, this was the most cooling pillow I think I’ve ever slept on before. For many, that’s a selling point, but to others, it may not be. My wife, for example, gets too cold simply from using this pillow.

While the cooling was great, the material they covered it in was extremely slippery. It slipped on the bed, my head slipped on it, and it literally slipped out of two sheets I placed on it during the night. Additionally, the cube shape of it was novel, but I don’t think it was the best for keeping my head in the same spot through the night.

If you want a cooling pillow that provides solid support, despite being a bit slick, check out the Pillow Cube.




7.4/10
11 votes



C
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
7/10

Comfort
`
8/10

Support
`
7/10

Return policy / warranty
`
8/10

Value
`
7/10

PROS
Extremely unique design
Great for people with allergies
Solid support if a bit strange

CONS
X
Filling could be strange for some
X
Hard to clean

The Bottom Line

The Beans72 pillow was, without a doubt, the most interesting pillow I reviewed. This pillow is small and filled to the brim with the hulls of buckwheat seeds! It has a distinct “bean bag” feeling, to the point that I was referring to it as the “bean pillow” each night I used it.

While I was suspicious of sleeping on the Beans72 pillow, I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was extremely supportive, although I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as comfortable. Since it was filled with beans, it was really firm and didn’t flatten out during the night. Overall, it was a solid experience, if a novel one. It’s just important to keep in mind that this option leans more towards the “orthopedic” side of things than the “comfort” one. One perk is that the filling doesn’t hold on to allergens. For people with severe allergies (who aren’t allergic to buckwheat), the Beans72 pillow could be a viable alternative to a traditional pillow.

My real drawbacks in regards to this pillow were the size and the care. I don’t know if it was designed this way, but the pillow itself is very small. It’s roughly the size of a small decorative pillow, but it’s made for sleeping. Additionally, caring for this pillow could be tough. There are special cleaning requirements for it that most other pillows don’t have. Also, the pillow cover it came with was a bit rough and warrants an additional cover. The one it comes with is pretty abrasive on the sensitive skin on a face.




6.8/10
8 votes

B
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
5/10

Comfort
`
7/10

Support
`
5/10

Return policy / warranty
`
8/10

Value
`
9/10

PROS
Pretty comfortable and soft
Affordable

CONS
X
Felt almost empty inside
X
Requires time in the dryer before use
X
Not supportive enough to be considered orthopedic

The Bottom Line

The MyPillow is pretty famous nowadays, although its usage as an orthopedic pillow should be marginal. In my experience, the My Pillow was really quite comfortable, but it isn’t designed for neck pain or real orthopedic use.

Once I opened the package, I tried to sleep with it, only to realize that it needed at leat 15 minutes in the dryer before you could use it. After a quick spin, it had fluffed up significantly and was ready for use. MyPillows have a special fill that “interlocks”, supporting you as you press your head into it. As “markety” as that sounds, it’s actually pretty noticeable! The issue is that you can sink really far into the pillow if the fill isn’t in the right place, and since the pillow isn’t filled all the way, the fill can lump in the wrong spots.

While I did enjoy the pillow’s comfort, it doesn’t keep your head in the right place and is much more like a regular pillow than a real orthopedic pillow. If you bought one of these looking for true neck support and to keep your head in one spot, you may have some troubles. Still, it’s a viable option for some, especially if you sleep on your side or stomach and need a bit of flexibility that comes with the lack of defined support.




5.8/10
4 votes

C-
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
5/10

Comfort
`
5/10

Support
`
5/10

Return policy / warranty
`
8/10

Value
`
6/10

PROS
Can be adjusted with fill to suit your firmness needs

CONS
X
Seems to be pointless
X
Water could potentially leak
X
It feels gimmicky

The Bottom Line

The Water Pillow is a strange take on a pillow for neck pain, but not for the reason you are probably thinking. When I first got the pillow, I assumed it would be totally filled with water, similar to a water bed. Strangely, the Water Pillow only has a small compartment for water that sits on the bottom of the pillow. The rest of the pillow is totally normal. You have to prepare the pillow by filling the compartment with a certain amount of water (according to your firmness preference). It isn’t too tricky, but you do have to measure out the water and pour it in through a provided funnel. Additionally, any mistake could result in a rather wet evening.

What is strange about the pillow is that once you fill it, you actually sleep on the regular pillow side, not the water side. The water bladder is flat against the underside of the pillow, with the standard cotton material on top. The result is an experience that simply feels like a regular pillow with something annoying underneath it. The claim is that the pillow provides special support, but it just felt pretty strange to me. I didn’t notice any special cooling from the water either, something I was expecting.

Overall, my experience with the Water Pillow left me a bit non-plussed and feeling like it is more gimmicky than actually useful. Maybe if the pillow did something with the water than simply have it act like an anchor, then it would have felt more supportive. I wouldn’t suggest this pillow to someone unless they needed something to match their new water bed.

7/10
3 votes

C
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
7/10

Comfort
`
7/10

Support
`
7/10

Return policy / warranty
`
7/10

Value
`
7/10

PROS
Relatively inexpensive
Provides some neck pain relief

CONS
X
Not very comfortable
X
Small
X
Poor return policy
X
No warranty
X
Too Firm

The Bottom Line

This pillow is a lower quality version of the Dosaze Contoured Orthopedic one. It is smaller, made of lower quality materials (fill and cover), and not as comfortable. I found that the memory foam in this pillow (which was not CertiPUR US certified), was not as comfortable as the memory foam in other pillows. The cover is also a bit scratchy (as it is 100% polyester).

I found that this pillow is okay for back sleeping, but less good for side sleeping. The contour of the pillow works okay if you sleep on your back (although again it was a bit too shallow for me), but when you sleep on your side the pillow is not thick enough to fill your shoulder gap, which can cause alignment issues. I also found that the foam on this pillow is noticeably firmer than that of other pillows. This does a lot for providing support, but does not do much in terms of providing comfort.

While this pillow is a bit cheaper than other alternatives, it is not the best product in terms of quality and might need to be replaced more quickly. The foam is not CertiPUR-US certified. Add to this the fact that the pillow only has a 3o day trial period (and sometimes it can take that long to really get used to a new pillow) and does not come with a warranty, and this pillow is kind of a gamble. This cheaper version might work for y0u and it might not – and you don’t have that much time to decide.


6.2/10
2 votes

D
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
7/10

Comfort
`
7/10

Support
`
6/10

Return policy / warranty
`
5/10

Value
`
6/10

PROS
Provides some neck pain relief
Medium price
Good for back sleepers

CONS
X
Lower quality memory foam
X
Poor warranty and return policy
X
Uncomfortable cover

The Bottom Line

This pillow is another spin on the ergonomic / contoured shaped pillow – I found in my testing that is has a couple of noticeable benefits/costs. The “supportive” neck nook as they call it, is comfortable, but it lacks some support. Unlike the EPABO pillow, this pillow is a bit too soft and lacks the necessary support to properly align your neck and back.

I also found that the “butterfly” wings were a bit unnecessary and kind of got in the way. In fact, they made it much more difficult to sleep on your side. A huge point about pillows and sleep positions is that different sleep positions require different heights – naturally, a stomach sleeper requires a lower height than a back sleeper who requires a lower height than a side sleeper. In Sutera’s own sleep diagram, they recommend sleeping in the same “nook” whether you are a back, side or stomach sleeper.

This is not the ideal position for all sleepers – in my opinion, the Dream Deep pillow is best for back sleepers. If you sleep on your side, the “nook” is not high enough. Unlike the Dosaze pillow, where as a side sleeper, you can comfortably sleep on the edges of the pillow (which are higher and will fill your shoulder gap), the butterfly wings on the Sutera pillow actually get in the way if you try to sleep on the edges of the pillow. And if you try to “side” sleep in the “nook” of the center of the pillow, it is not high enough.

The Sutera pillow is also one that is a bit of a risk – you can definitely try it out, but be aware that you don’t have that much time to test it. They only provide a 30 day trial period, and they don’t advertise this, but they do have a 15% processing fee to return the pillow – just look at the reviews online.




5.8/10
3 votes

D
Overall Grade

Neck Pain Reduction
`
5/10

Comfort
`
6/10

Support
`
4/10

Return policy / warranty
`
8/10

Value
`
6/10

PROS
Locks your head into a single position
Helps encourage back sleeping

CONS
X
Feels like Amazon build quality
X
Can feel a bit strange to sleep on

The Bottom Line

The Tri-Core Pillow is a pretty cheap-feeling pillow that does one thing really well, and most everything else subpar. It’s build quality feels like something you spontaneously buy off Amazon and end up returning later. The one thing it does well is keep your head in place, but as mentioned earlier, everything else about the pillow is a wash.

The pillow is constructed with a trapezoid-like indentation in the center. The surrounding area is heavily stuffed, creating a pillow with a large hole in the middle, only the hole doesn’t go through the entire thing. When you lay down, you place your head in the indentation and its kept there by the highly stuffed sides around it. If you have a condition where you really need to keep your head from moving at night, the Tri-Core helps do that really well.

Sadly, everything else the Tri-Core does isn’t great. The stuffing is cheap-feeling and feels like synthetic cotton balls were stuffed inside. If you aren’t my size (around 6 feet tall), the edge your neck lays on under the hole in the center is likely too high and would cause unneeded stress when you rested. Additionally, turning your head at night can be a bit strange as you only see the sides of the pillow and your nose will likely press into the sides of the indentation.

Overall, this pillow is only for people with very specific needs.

Conclusions

After spending a few weeks testing out these pillows, there are clearly some that stand above the rest.

For the majority of people, I would recommend the Dosaze Orthopedic Pillow or the Pillow Cube, depending on their needs.

If you have neck pain and need a solid pillow that is going to give you the most stability, go with the Dosaze. Dosaze’s pillow is the most practical in terms of design and is contoured to fit your neck and head perfectly. On top of that, they offer a pretty generous 60 days to return it if you find you aren’t a fan. Still, if you have neck pain, I don’t think you will end up returning it!

As a runner-up, the Pillow Cube is a solid second choice. The main problems I had with it were its slipperiness and its lack of support in regards to structure. It’s just a bit too easy to find yourself off of this pillow, or even moving your neck around, potentially hurting it further. The contoured design of the Dosaze is just better for stability. Still, if cooling is a top priority for you, the Pillow Cube has a lot to offer!

While the others were ok, I didn’t find myself reaching for them when I actually did have a problem with my neck. Many of them sound cool (looking at you, Water Pillow), but did little to make a purchase worth it in my opinion.

My final choice is definitely the Dosaze!

Disclosure: HomeHacks has relationships with some of the products listed in this article. We may earn a varying commission if you purchase any of the products on this list.

By Colby Maxwell
hi@sbly.com
Colby Maxwell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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