Best pillows for back and neck pain

Best pillows for back and neck pain

If you suffer from back or neck pain, it’s important to look at your pillows. Depending on the position you sleep in and the type of pillow you are currently using, a change of pillow might make the difference when it comes to alleviating your back or neck pain.

Firstly, ask yourself how old is my pillow? If a pillow is more than six months old, you might need to change it, as it could be the cause of your neck or back pain. Have a read of How to choose the right pillow to discover how you can test your pillow to see whether it needs changing.

What are the best pillows for back pain?

If you suffer from back pain, one option you may want to consider is an orthopaedic pillow. Orthopaedic pillows exist in several different shapes and materials. Some promise to keep their shape or mould and adjust to your head and shoulders, always keeping spine alignment as the number one focus. Bear in mind, though, that just because a pillow is orthopaedic, doesn’t mean it will be good or right for you. If you’re in any doubt about buying an orthopaedic pillow, it could be a good idea to consult a physiotherapist for further advice on which orthopaedic pillow is perfect for you. Click here to discover our range of orthopaedic pillows.

Another option to consider is a full body pillow. A long, curved pillow for total body support that cradles head, neck, shoulders, back, lower back, legs and knees. It replaces other pillows and gives full comfort to the side sleeper.

What are the best pillows for neck pain?

If you suffer from neck pain, you might want to consider a contour pillow. A pillow with a curved design that adapts to head, neck and shoulder contour for back sleepers and side sleepers, and can help relieve neck pain and stiffness, frozen shoulder and headaches. Try to buy one that has a flat bit at the back so it doesn’t force your neck too far forwards. Click here to view our range of contour pillows.

What to do about neck pain while travelling

If you spend a lot of time travelling, it might be worth investing in a travel pillow. These pillows are horseshoe shaped, designed for the neck contour. They are called travel pillows since they are mostly used by travellers to keep their neck straight while they take a comfortable nap on board or train or plane. Click here to view our range of travel pillows.

Another approach you can take to alleviate neck pain is to make a ‘butterfly’ pillow. This is very simple and easy and something you can do yourself.

How to make a butterfly pillow

Tie a soft scarf, hair band, string, elastic or bandage around the middle of the pillow to make it form a butterfly shape. Put your head on the narrowed part of the pillow and tuck the edges around you.

View our full selection of pillows here

What makes the perfect pillow?

What makes the perfect pillow?

The right pillow for you depends on your budget and your individual needs. Whether you’re a habitual snorer, struggle with neck and back pains, suffer from allergies, or just looking to achieve a good night’s sleep, we’ve compiled a guide to help you find the perfect pillow.

Supporting your head and keeping your spine aligned

The human neck curves slightly forwards (to sustain the weight of the head when upright), and it’s important to maintain this curve when you’re lying down. If the pillow is too high when sleeping on your side or on your back, the neck is bent abnormally forwards or to the side, causing muscle strain on the back of the neck and shoulders. This type of position may also cause narrowing of the air pipe, resulting in obstructed breathing, and sometimes snoring, which can hinder sleep. Conversely, if the height of the pillow is too low, the neck muscles can also be strained.

The amount and type of support you need from your pillow (whether it be one, one and a half or two pillows) depends on your sleep position as well as your weight and the density of your mattress, but always try to consider the depth of your shoulder in comparison to the distance from your head to the bed. You need to fill that large area with a pillow, thus providing an equal surface to position your head so that it is even with your spine. In short, the pillow should maintain an approximate height of 110-15cm (4-6 inches), to properly support the head and neck.

Comfortable

A large part of what makes a good pillow is personal preference. If the pillow feels comfortable, it’s likely to help you relax, get a good night’s sleep and feel well-rested in the morning. The pillow’s surface can be a source of comfort – some people prefer a pillowcase with a cool smooth feeling (such as cotton), while others prefer warmth (such as flannel). The pillow filling is also a matter of personal preference.

For more information on how to choose the perfect pillow click here.

Adjustable

To help the pillow conform to various sleep positions, it is best if the pillow can be adjusted to fit your unique shape, curves and sleeping position. A pillow should mould to your individual shape and alleviate any pressure points.

 

View our full selection of pillows here

Best pillows for different sleeping positions

Best pillows for different sleeping positions

You might not realise it, but depending on the position you sleep in certain pillows might be better for you than others. Different areas of your body, particularly your back and neck, will require different support depending on whether you’re a side sleeper, a back sleeper or a front sleeper.

What pillow do I need if I sleep on my side?

When lying on your side, the pillow should support your head and neck so that your spine maintains the midline position. Weight should be evenly distributed so as not to create unnatural bending or pressure. Some people may like to place a small pillow or rolled-up towel under their waist for additional support while lying on their side, especially if they have an hourglass figure.

dunlopillo

If you sleep on your side, you might want to consider a Dunlopillo Super Comfort Latex Pillow. For more side sleeper pillow options click here.

What pillow do I need if I sleep on my back?

Your posture should support the natural curvature of your spine; there should also be adequate support under your head, neck and shoulders. Placing a pillow or two beneath the knees further alleviates any back strain. This is the gentlest position for the back and can help you drift off to sleep, but bear in mind that during the night the pillows may move as you move, and if you wake up you will need to reposition them.

contour

The SlumberSlumber Australian Wool Blend Pillow is ideal for someone who sleeps on their back.
Other back sleeper pillow options available here.

What pillow do I need if I sleep on my front?

When sleeping or resting on your stomach, your pillow should be relatively flat or removed. This will help keep your spine in line and enable you to sleep better. In this position, it is often best to place another relatively flat pillow under your stomach. They will help minimise the amount of strain on your lower back as well as the amount of twisting for your neck.

pillowagain

A Dunlopillo Serenity Deluxe Latex Pillow is perfect for front sleepers.
If you’re a front sleeper, find you perfect pillow here.

For a good night’s sleep the pillow that is best for you is one that you can squish and fluff to meet your contours and sleeping position. Your pillow should fit you like a glove. Your goal when buying a new pillow is to know what pillow firmness is going to allow your neck and spine to be aligned properly, so there is no gap between your neck and your mattress.

Another thing to consider when you buy your pillow is that it is a good idea to buy more than one to give other areas of your body further support to bring you a sound night’s sleep.

View our full selection of pillows here

When do I need to buy new pillows?

When do I need to buy new pillows?

It’s easy to get into a routine and to ‘put up’ with your pillows once they have lost their original fluffiness. However, bad pillows can lead to health problems such as back and neck pain, as well as exacerbate allergies. Can you remember buying them? If not – it might be time to invest in some new ones for a better night’s sleep!

In addition to aggravating and even causing neck and back pain, incorrect pillows can also trigger allergic reactions. Within two years of use, one-third of a pillow’s weight comprises of dirt, oil, dead skin, dust mites and their droppings.

How long should I keep my pillows?

Despite what you might think, if your pillow is six months old or more it could need replacing. Assuming normal use and wear and tear, a polyester pillow lasts for six months to two years, a down pillow five years and a feather pillow eight years.

How do I know if I need new pillows?

If your pillow is clearly showing signs of wear, such as loss of shape and flatness, it is time to replace your pillow.

Is it time to give your pillow a MOT?

You can test your pillow by laying it down on a flat, hard surface. Fold the pillow in half and press it down to squeeze out the air. Place a weight of around 300g (such as a trainer) on the pillow. If the pillow needs replacing, the trainer will stay in place and the pillow will not unfold itself. If the pillow does not need replacing, the trainer or weight will unfold itself, throwing off the trainer/weight.

If you’re struggling to sleep, look at your pillow before making a trip to see your GP. A good pillow is just as important as a comfortable bed for getting a restful night’s sleep. Even though we rarely give a lot of thought to the pillows we use, buying the right pillow and positioning it correctly could be essential to a peaceful sleep.

View our full selection of pillows here

How to choose the right pillow

How to choose the right pillow

A good pillow is just as important as a comfortable bed for getting a restful night’s sleep. Buying the right pillow and positioning it correctly could be one of the most important parts of achieving a good night’s sleep. In addition to providing comfort, the right pillows can also give the necessary support for the neck and spine, alleviating or preventing back and neck pain.

In addition to aggravating and even causing neck and back pain, incorrect pillows can also trigger allergic reactions. After two years of use, one-third of a pillow’s weight comprises of dirt, dead skin, dust mites and their droppings.

Pillows for Different Sleeping Positions

For correct sleeping posture, only your head and neck should be placed over your pillow. Do not place your shoulders on the pillow because this will elevate your upper body much higher than your lower body. Depending on your sleeping position, certain pillows might be better for you than others. Whether you’re a side sleeper, a back sleeper or a front sleeper, discover how to find your perfect pillow here.

How often should you replace a pillow?

There is often confusion about when you should buy new pillows. The life expectancy of a pillow varies depending on the type of material it is made from.

If you are unsure whether it’s time to replace your pillow, find out how to test your pillow here.

What pillow filling is best for me?

Feather and down pillows, such as down or feather pillows, give you comfort and adjustability. They can support your head, eliminate pressure points and increase facial circulation to decrease face squashing. Down is also not an option if you suffer from asthma or have allergies.

Wool pillows provide outstanding neck and head support whilst retaining a soft wool feel that resists flattening and bounces back easily after use. Wool is a great sleep aid, it draws moisture away from the skin and helps the body to maintain a steady temperature, meaning it’s never too hot or cold; and it’s also antibacterial and hypoallergenic as well as being naturally dust mite free.

Memory foam pillows are made of a dense, temperature-sensitive sponge-like material that can easily support your back and neck by conforming to your individual body shape. The memory foam moulds to your neck and head, creating a comfortable cradle for your head while you sleep. This can help relieve pain in your neck while you are sleeping.

Latex pillows are made from a rubber polymer that returns to shape time after time and offers you unrivalled comfort and support. The latex sponge is very reactive to pressure, but unlike memory foam it has instant bounce-back. Latex pillows also have the added benefit of being hypoallergenic.

Synthetic pillows are man-made, usually polyester. They are hypoallergenic making them ideal for allergy sufferers. However, they have a shorter life span and do not conform to the head and neck as well as most other pillows.

Orthopaedic pillows exist in several different shapes and materials and are most commonly used to relieve neck and back pain. Some promise to keep their shape or mould and adjust to your head and shoulders. They should always keep spine alignment as the number one focus.

Cover Fabric

  • Natural cover fabrics, such as cotton will have far better breathability than polyester and other man-made fibres.

Pillows for different sleep issues

Choosing the right pillow can help alleviate common sleep problems such as allergies, snoring and neck and back pains.

Snoring

When your head and neck are not properly supported your airways can be restricted, which can cause snoring. If your nasal passages are being obstructed, then your snoring may also be caused by an allergy.

The SlumberSlumber Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Silver is ideal for helping keep your airways open and offering superb comfort.

Allergies

Anti-allergy bedding, such as Allersafe is blended with Amicor Pure Acrylic Fibre, an intelligent fibre with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal additives inside, creating an environment that is unsuitable for dust mites to survive. The Allersafe range of bedding can prevent the allergic reaction and reduce snoring.

Neck and back pain

If you suffer from back or neck pain, it’s important to look at your pillows. A change of pillow could help alleviate your back or neck pain.

Support pillows such as the Mediflow Pillow is designed to fit you perfectly. Simply fill with water, adjusting the amount of water to the degree of support you prefer. This flexibility allows you to choose from soft, medium or firm support. This will offer the correct firmness and cervical spine and head support while responding to changing sleep positions.

View our full selection of pillows here

Pin It on Pinterest