A cervical pillow can be used for many reasons. Some people may find that a cervical fits their sleeping style best or that the comfort of a cervical pillows is that of a cloud. Other people might find that they have to use a cervical pillow because they suffer neck or back pain, normally caused by a cervical hypolordosis (a less than normal curvature of the sine).
While it may appear that cervical pillows are a small niche of pillows, there is still a wide variety of these pillow types. There are traction cervical pillows, D-core cervical pillows, and tri-core cervical pillows.
Table of Contents
3 Cervical Pillow Types
The D-Core pillow has a head cradle area in the center of it that is shaped like a D. The neck support below the D is to help restore the natural curvature of the neck and upper spine.
A cervical traction pillow doesn’t feature a head cradle, but instead it provides ergonomic support. One side of the pillow is the support side, the other is traction side.
With the Traction “V” on the top of the pillow it is supposed to help support your head so you don’t have to support all of your head weight while you are sleeping. They are engineered to help improve posture and relieve back and neck pain.
A Tri-Core cervical pillow is like the D-core, but this one features a head cradle in the shape of a trapezoid, dead center of the pillow. On each side there are padded areas built for side sleeping.
Also, there are two different sized neck supports, one side is large the other side is small; to be able to fit your comfort needs.
Deciding what type of pillow you would want depends heavily on how you sleep; whether it is on your back, side, or stomach. Determining your sleeping position will help you figure out what cervical pillow you need.
1. Back Sleepers
People who sleep on their backs need thinner pillows so their heads are not elevated too much. Also, some pillows that are great for back sleepers are ones that have extra padding at the bottom half of the pillow to support the neck.
2. Side Sleepers
People who sleep on their sides are more likely to need a firmer pillow; one that will fill the area between the ear and the outside of the shoulder.
3. Stomach Sleepers
Although it is not suggested that you sleep on your stomach, if you do, you will most likely need a very thin pillow, or perhaps no pillow at all.
Pillows have many different types of fillings. The different types of fillings can provide different comfort levels. They also give the pillow different textures and determine how long the pillows will last.
1. Memory Foam
Known for reducing pressure points because they form to the shape of your body.
2. Fiber Pillows
The cheapest filling that is found in pillows is fiber. Unfortunately fiber can wear down easily.
3. Down/Feather Pillows
Terrible for people with allergies, down pillows are the most popular filling because you can move the stuffing around to provide support wherever you need it.
Cervical Pillow Reviews
Each cervical pillow is made differently, and deciding which cervical pillow is best for you can be a little hard at first. Unsure about whether you need a tri-core, D-core, or traction pillow is determined on where you think you are having the most pain.
If you are a side sleeper there are certain types of pillows you should steer away from. Feather/down pillows are soft but they lack the height support that would help with relieving neck or upper spike pain.
Also, polyester pillows, these tend to shift and wear out easily, creating a hollow spot that can cause more problems than fix. Sticking with latex, buck wheat, or memory foam is the best option for side sleepers.
1.This contour styled, orthopedic cervical pillow for side sleepers provides the support that their neck needs to prevent any pain in the morning. The microbeads in this pillow will not clump up or shift, and they are hypo-allergenic great for people who suffer from allergies.
The Iso-Cool beads that are in this pillow helps absorb any heat keeping you cool throughout the night. And although they are a little pricey, these pillows come with a 15 year warranty, so you can replace the pillow whenever needed.
2.The MyPillow is almost a customizable pillow that will fit your needs specifically. One of the best cervical pillows for neck pain, these pillows are created to suit you based off of your size. It is available in four different loft levels, which is the height of the pillow, and it uses your shirt size to determine which pillow will fit you the best.
Made with a poly-blend filling, this pillow has ventilation that will keep you cool at night. The poly-blend filling allows you to form the pillow to your body, even if you change sleeping positions throughout the night.
3.This Arch4Life Traction neck pillow is the best neck pillow for sleeping. It is engineered to help and support any sleeper who normally has neck pain when they wake up.
Neck pain can cause more problems than discomfort behind your head, overtime it can lead to numbness, headaches, fatigue, or even lower back pain. With a recessed center and plumped up comfortable sides, this pillow will support your neck and have you waking up on the right side of the bed.
If you are a back sleeper you want to find a pillow that is firm, so your head is not resting too far back, and a little high. Normally back sleepers are known for snoring because of the position of their sinuses, so you want your head to be somewhat elevated. But not too elevated that it increases your neck pain.
1. This chiropractic pillow was engineered by Dr. Grunstein, a leading chiropractic physician in the country. The structure of this pillow allows for you neck to be supported and your head to not fall back too far, you don’t want your head lower than your neck or it will put strain on your neck.
Made with a polyester down alternative fiber, it keeps its shape and support, but still provides you with the comfort of a down/feather pillow. Featured with a 233 thread count 100% cotton pillow case, this pillow is soft and cuddly, and perfect for back sleepers.
2. Made by Coop Home Goods, this pillow allows you to have the flexibility, support, and comfort that your neck needs while sleeping on your back. This cervical support pillow is created with a shredded memory foam filling, allowing you to be able to position it anyway you need to for maximum comfort.
Because the memory foam in this pillow is shredded, the airflow between the pieces keeps the pillow cool during the night.
3. Therapeutica Pillows are a little different than most cervical support pillows or really any other pillow you can find. Although these pillows may look uncomfortable at first, because of their design, they are actually the best cervical spine pillow to help provide the support you need to prevent neck and spine pain.
The design of this pillow has a wedge extension to help support your upper back and a cervical contour right at the curve of your neck; the center cavity for your head gives you comfort and support for back sleepers. Also, this pillow has raised side panels to accommodate for shoulder height for side sleepers. This pillow is created as “training wheels” in a way, it is to help stomach sleepers’ transition to sleeping on their back or their side.
Although it is not suggested that you sleep on your stomach, sometimes you can’t control how you sleep. So you need to know what pillow would work best for you.
You want to steer away from tall pillows, these types of pillows will push your head up and create a tension between your neck and upper spine, which will cause all day pain. No stomach sleeper pillows are really “cervical pillows” because they don’t provide support for your neck, but they do provide a flatness so you can avoid neck pain.
1.The thinness of this ultra slim sleeper memory form pillow is perfect for a stomach sleeper because you won’t have the feeling that your head is higher than your neck. Most stomach sleepers sleep with one arm under their head, the slim profile of this pillow makes this possible, without added extra elevation that could push your head out of alignment with your spine. The memory form pillow does not lose its shape and will allow you to have a good night’s rest.
2.This is the best pillow for stomach sleepers who want to have it customizable to their own shape. The inside of this pillow is made up of six microfiber sections that can be removed piece by piece to provide you with the comfort and height level you need.
The microfibers inside of these “pancakes” add support and an airy feeling that will keep you cool throughout the night. Not only is this a great pillow to buy for stomach sleepers, but a nice one to have for guest bedrooms since it is customizable.
Other Cervical Pillows
While it may seem ideal to always have your large pillow with you wherever you go, if you are going on vacation or traveling for business. But sometimes lugging around a huge pillow is not ideal.
If that is the case you will need to have a smaller version of your pillow that will help with neck support and comfort. Luckily, there are a couple of travel friendly pillows created to help relieve pain, even on the go.
1. A smaller cervical pillow, the HengJia preium pillow fits perfectly behind your head to support your upper spine, neck, and head. With the curvature of the pillow it provides a resting area for the curve of your head. The deep contoured channel for your neck is made with high quality remedy memory foam and helps reduce stiffness and pain.
This pillow will never lose its shape and is machine washable. This smaller size is perfect to carry on any plane ride so you don’t have to sleep with your head limp resting on your chest.
2. Another great travel cervical pillow is the Cabeau Evolution pillow. It comes in many different styles and colors so you can travel in luxury. But the memory foam and ergonomic design helps keep your neck supported when catching some sleep eye on the fly.
The flat design on the back of the pillow is designed to keep you head at a natural position and will not push it forward. It also has 360 degree support, to help keep your head from falling over and causing more neck pain.
Overall, deciding what cervical pillow is best for you, it is important to know what your sleeping position is. Getting a pillow that doesn’t support your head and neck correctly because you don’t know how you sleep can cause more damage than fix.
Another thing to consider is buying your pillow in person. Most mattress stores sell pillows and will allow you to “try them on” to make sure that they are the perfect comfort level and support that you need.
The best cervical pillow would be the Arch4Life Cervical Linear Traction pillow. Although listed under cervical pillows for side sleepers, this pillow can help support and reduce neck pain for both side and back sleepers. With the recessed center, this pillow will provide a cradle for your head, but the side and neck support will also keep you well rested and pain free.