What are the best orthopedic pillows?

Opting for the neck bone pillow should be a priority whether you suffer from it regularly or not. The orthopedic pillow can help prevent or relieve pain. Cervical pain is caused by a poor sleeping position or unsuitable bedding, which implies a strong pressure on the neck. When the neck is misaligned with the spine, tension is created and so is pain. This is the beginning of the problems. It is then completely normal to want to move towards an orthopedic pillow and mattress.

However, not all pillows sold as such will necessarily be of good quality or adapted to your needs. Depending on your morphology and sleeping position, you will need a pillow specifically adapted to position the curves of your spine as naturally as possible and to sleep well.

What is an orthopedic pillow?

The main objective of the orthopedic pillow is to comfort you during your naps and nights with a good alignment of the spine, from the base of the head to the pelvis, including the cervical vertebrae. It has a specific shape for much more restorative nights. Indeed, it is made up of two lobes on the sides which have different heights to ensure the best support for your cervical vertebrae. On the other hand, the central part is hollow. The latter is essential and is used to rest your head

Advantages and disadvantages

Having a good pillow as well as a good mattress helps to reduce or eliminate the discomforts of a night’s sleep. Some studies suggest that ergonomic pillows may reduce stiffness due to neck and shoulder pain, and people find that they have a more pleasant and restful sleep.

The good position provided by these pillows allows better irrigation of the brain and thus relieves migraines and headaches. As we have seen previously, the ergonomic pillows also offer a good alignment of the spine, thus reducing the various pathologies that are associated with malposition during the night.

However, there are some disadvantages to this type of pillow. First of all, its price can sometimes be high. But also, the difficulty of adapting to this pillow for some people. Indeed, you may have difficulties at the beginning, it will take some time to become familiar with it. Some people are not used to having their cervical spine aligned and have difficulty finding a comfortable position. In this case, take your time, it can take several days to a month.

Why buy a medical pillow?

Several studies have shown that insufficient and poor quality sleep leads to a wide range of medical problems, from obesity and diabetes to increased sensitivity to colds.

They confirm the effectiveness of an ergonomic pillow, not only in improving the quality of sleep but also in relieving common pain points such as neck and back pain, heartburn, sinus drainage, snoring, and even sleep apnea.

The most common use of ergonomic pillows is for chronic neck pain and headaches. Cervical spondylosis, or the natural degeneration of discs in the neck area of the spine due to age, is a common cause of chronic neck pain. A study has shown that an ergonomic latex pillow can reduce discomfort and improve neck mobility in as little as four weeks.

Similarly, another study corroborates these results and concludes that ergonomic pillows can reduce neck pain due to cervical hyperlordosis, the excessive inward curvature of the neck, which indicates poor posture.

A much larger study also showed that ergonomic pillows not only radically improve the quality and length of sleep compared to memory foam pillows and ordinary feather pillows but also relieve pain due to chronic neck conditions such as those mentioned above.

The benefit of purchasing a medical pillow is to provide a comfortable night’s sleep for both you and your spine. Indeed, it allows for better support of the head, as well as its proper alignment, including the cervical spine, with the rest of the body. It maintains an adapted posture for sleep, whether it is of the head like the rest of your body. This medical pillow will provide you with a real sense of well-being.

What is the price of an orthopedic pillow?

Cervical pillows can be purchased in many online stores, you will find them at a convenient price. However, if you are looking for a high-end orthopedic pillow, prices start at around €90.

We can notice that most orthopedic pillows ranging from 10 to 50 € are not necessarily of very high quality and are not durable, it all depends on the pillow and its use.

This is why we advise you to choose a high-quality pillow that improves your quality of sleep. Even if a high price is not necessarily a guarantee of quality, we have made a selection of top-of-the-range pillows with very good characteristics.

Which shape of an orthopedic pillow should I choose?

In France, many people sleep on square pillows, generally measuring 60 centimeters by 60 centimeters. In other countries, sleepers prefer rectangular pillows. Products with a rectangular shape generally reduce neck problems, while keeping the spine aligned. This shape prevents your shoulders from resting on it. The natural curve of the nape of the neck is thus better respected. Without this curvature, your head cannot relax, and pain will occur, becoming more and more pronounced. It is strongly advised to choose the best possible pillow to avoid neck pain. The first signs of torticollis should alert you. The shape is not the only criterion, but it is important.

How thick do you need to sleep well without hurting yourself?

The second essential criterion to take into account for your orthopedic pillow is thickness since it will allow your head to rest. And your sleeping position will greatly influence this choice.

If you sleep on your side, you will have to choose a product with a large volume. This will elevate your head enough to keep your spine and cervicals straight. Ideally, the pillow should be 9 centimeters thick.

If you sleep on your back, the pillow should be thinner than on your side, otherwise, your head may be too high. On the other hand, if you are imposing, opt for a pillow more than 10 centimeters thick. This way, your neck will relax well during the night.

If you sleep on your stomach, the least healthy position for pain, the best pillow for your position should be flat, no more than 5 centimeters. This will avoid arching your neck even more and feeling the pressure.

How to choose the best orthopedic pillow?

Before jumping into the first orthopedic pillows in the supermarket, it is necessary to choose the one that will be the most adapted to your morphology. Even though many people complain of neck pain after a night’s sleep, each person is different and the same pillow is not suitable for everyone. Whether it is firm or soft, you must choose well.

The pillow does not necessarily have to be as large as possible to ensure good support for your head. Health professionals such as physiotherapists and osteopaths recommend a maximum height of 11 cm for the highest lobe.

Weight is an important indication of the quality of the pillow the pillow should be a little more than one kilogram. A pillow that is too heavy will be denser and therefore potentially too firm, while a light pillow will be just the opposite, too soft, and will be useless.

If you can choose one with thermal contours, don’t hesitate. This new technology allows you to keep an imprint of your anatomy for extra support and better moisture and heat regulation for those who tend to sweat a lot at night.

Beware, the most expensive pillow is not necessarily the most effective, but still expect to take out your wallet! The mattress is not necessarily the only culprit in our neck and back colors, the pillow often has something to do with it.

6 criteria for choosing an orthopedic pillow

It is necessary to take into account several criteria before buying your first orthopedic pillow:

The size: this is the first criterion to take into account because it is the one that will determine your comfort and the way you sleep. Depending on the position in which you sleep, you must choose the right size pillow to keep your neck and spine aligned during sleep. The more the pillow format is adapted to your sleeping position, the more positive effects it will have on quality sleep. There are also different formats for snoring problems.

Comfort: the pillow’s objective is to offer its user better nights, so it is important to be comfortable with it.

The price: it should not be the first criterion in your choice to have better nights. A good pillow is certainly an investment, but it is also an investment for your health, especially since you won’t be changing it every month.

The brand: It’s not essential, but if certain brands have good sales with many satisfied users, then they are the ones you should turn to. The advantage is that you will be sure of the quality of the product.

Hygiene: This is not a criterion in itself, but it is better if the pillow has a removable, hand or machine washable cover. If this is not possible, it is advisable to buy a protective cover also. The more you can wash it at a high temperature, the more you will be protected from possible allergies. If this is not possible, for people with allergies, it is better to take a pillow with anti-mite treatment.

The position: The position is very important because it will determine the quality of your sleep and at the same time of your awakening. Orthopedic pillows are ideal for people who sleep on their back or side. It is in these positions that the pillow is most effective. For those who sleep on their stomach, choose a rather soft pillow, while for those who sleep on their side, a medium pillow will be preferable. For those who sleep on their back, it is best to go for natural pillows that adapt to each person’s anatomy. It will be better to choose a firm pillow. These pillows are ideal for people with allergies

Emma’s Shape Memory Pillow

Particularly breathable, the Emma pillow measures 70×40 cm and is made of 3 layers: a Hypergel foam but also viscoelastic foam. The slanted edges of this rectangular pillow perfectly follow the curvature of your neck on the side as well as on the back.

Our testers of different ages and weights found the pillow particularly comfortable on the back.

Also, this pillow is thermo-regulated, i.e. it regulates humidity and temperature. The Emma pillow costs 79 € and measures 70 x 40 cm and is certified OEKO-TEX Standard 100.

Emma’s Shape Memory Pillow

Emma's Shape Memory Pillow

  • The pillow adapts perfectly to your preferences and preferred sleeping positions. Indeed, the three thicknesses of foam can be combined at your convenience.
  • After being delivered free of charge, the Emma pillow can be tried for 100 nights, after which you will receive a free return and a full refund if you wish.

The ergonomic bamboo pillow by Hypnia



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The advantage of an ergonomic pillow is that it respects your body. Thanks to its two different thicknesses (5 and 7 cm), the Hypnia Ergonomic pillow allows you to maintain your cervicals optimally. The pillow is made of high-density memory foam so that it adapts perfectly to your morphology and offers you better support. Its fabric made of bamboo fibers provides this pillow with good air circulation while protecting you from heat and humidity. Indeed, its soft bamboo fabric will give you a pleasant feeling of freshness. The cover has a zipper and can be machine washed at 30°C: ideal for sleepers suffering from allergies! If you wish to be delivered at home, you will receive an SMS to choose your delivery day and time slot.

The Kipli natural latex pillow

Their Kipli pillow is handmade in Italy from the same 100% natural latex as their Kipli mattress. It is combined with its organic cotton cover with hyper-breathable properties to guarantee you an ideal temperature during the night.

Top Pick
The Kipli natural latex pillow

Specifications

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Also, this combination significantly improves the pillow’s breathability. Its lining is in a cotton jersey. The pillow is 100% natural. Indeed, the Kipling brand promises a pillow produced exclusively in natural latex certified EUROLATEX and the absence of toxic materials or chemical origin.

The important point for sleepers regularly suffering from allergies, the hypoallergenic and antifungal properties of the pillow make it insensitive to dust mites. Delivered free of charge to your home, it is guaranteed for 2 years.

The Wopilo Plus Pillow

Elected product of the year 2020, the Wopilo + pillow has very good characteristics. You can choose the comfort and height of the pillow, the filling is divided into two pockets that are adjustable thanks to the zips on the side of the Wopilo Plus pillow.

Two hearts are provided, you just have to choose between the soft heart that is already inside the pillow and the firm heart to personalize your support.

If you want a firmer or softer heart, 2 important steps :

pillow wopilo composition

Top Pick
The Wopilo Plus Pillow

Specifications

  • Step 1: Modulate its comfort and height. Two adaptable comfort pockets are present on the pillow to provide maximum comfort for the sleeper.
  • Step 2: Choose your support for your cervical vertebrae. Two memory foam cores to provide cervical support. The soft one is already present in the pillow, the firm one is slipped into your package if you wish to readjust it.

Wopilo Pillow
Its soft filling is 100% vegan, the Wopilo + pillow is made of qualitative microfiber. Positive point, patented Global Security Dream, the pillow is treated anti-dust mite and anti-allergenic.

adaptable will firmness pillow

Overall, we have found the Wopilo Plus pillow to be very comfortable and has many advantages through its customization. However, it will take a few nights to get used to it. The comforter may make a few little creaking noises. Afterward, the cotton percale will soften, offering optimal comfort. You have 30 nights to try it on and it is also easy to reach the customer service department, which gives you a lot of advice. Available at the price of 99 €, the Wopilo + pillow convinced us by its comfort, the quality of its materials as well as personalization!

The ergonomic UTTU shape memory pillow

The Uttu pillow is a pillow with excellent value for money.

The Uttu brand uses its technology, the Uttu Dynamic for a memory foam that adapts perfectly to the curve of your body.

Top Pick
The ergonomic UTTU shape memory pillow

Specifications

  • A very comfortable pillow and quality foam, dense yet soft!
  • This memory foam pillow provides excellent support for your head and neck to reduce neck pain. We recommend it if you suffer from neck pain.
  • Its only genial point is the smell released by the pillow when it comes out of the box, but it will disappear in a few hours. We advise you to let it air out in a room before covering it with a pillowcase.
  • Its composition is flexible and pleasant. It never becomes hard, so when you get up, the pillow quickly returns to its original shape. Finally, its height is adjustable.

The NOFFA ergonomic shape memory pillow

The Nova pillow is made of memory foam and has excellent breathability.

The NOFFA ergonomic shape memory pillow

The NOFFA ergonomic shape memory pillow

  • Its design is ideal for your body because it perfectly follows the curves and contours of your head and neck. It perfectly follows the cervical vertebrae if you sleep on your side.
  • Also, its 2 sides are designed for different heights because there is always a side adapted to the sleeping habits that will suit you better.

The special Bultex cervical pillow

The special Bultex Cervical Pillow is ideal for sensitive necks. It is filled with springs and memory foam to guarantee perfect support of the neck and cervicals. It will accompany all your movements during the night.

Its envelope is padded, which gives a soft, smooth, and silky cover.

Its heat-sensitive foam hugs and keeps the imprint on your head and cervicals. It relieves pressure and allows you to rest without tension or pain.

Which is pillow filling?

The filling of your medical pillow is also one of the criteria for choosing an ergonomic pillow. Natural materials are used more and more nowadays, such as coconut, cotton, bamboo, and natural latex.

Pillows suitable for neck pain can be designed with different fillings. These include synthetic materials such as memory foam, which is one of the most popular. Human warmth softens the foam and it then adapts to your position. As soon as you change position, the foam adapts to your curves. Muscles relax more easily. The microfiber pillow offers a nice volume. The product is very soft.

If you sleep on your stomach, you might want to switch to a down and feather pillow: the pillow is comfortable, but not very voluminous. Finally, other fillings can be offered such as polyester, latex, or wool for winter. To sleep on your back or your side, the best pillow is often made of memory foam.

Most pillows are still filled with memory foam or synthetic material. Each material used offers advantages for the support of your neck.

Organic pillows are among those with a future. Products made of buckwheat or spelled bales are becoming more and more popular. Indeed, they have the advantage of regulating heat and humidity. It is an ideal filling for allergy sufferers. If, on the other hand, you choose duck or goose down, it will be more cozy, puffy and supple.

It is therefore important to choose the right filling to avoid harmful elements or those that would cause allergies.

To each his own body and sleeping position

There is no better pillow for neck pain, for the simple reason that everyone is different. Your sleeping position is not the same as your spouse’s, or your children’s, sleeping position. Although ideally, you should sleep on your back or your side, it is difficult for some people to resist a sleeping position on your stomach, especially for people who sleep with their fists closed. Your body is also different from other people, the length of bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments varies from person to person. That’s why you need to analyze your sleeping patterns to find the right pillow for you.

Conclusion

The perfect orthopedic pillow certainly exists for many sleepers, but will not be the same for everyone. A good sleep requires quality bedding elements. Several criteria must be taken into account to find the best pillow: the way you sleep; your morphology; the thickness of the pillow; the filling. If you would like to know what we think about IKEA pillows, we have an article dedicated to this subject.