Are you wondering what is the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain for side sleepers?
Side sleepers sometimes experience neck and shoulder pain, which can affect their sleep quality and overall health. Some of the potential causes may include poor spinal alignment, mattress quality, and underlying health conditions like bursitis or herniated discs.
Selecting the right pillow can provide support to your neck and shoulders, and this may help to promote proper spinal alignment.
In this review of the best pillow for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain, we have done comprehensive research and provided an analysis of our top five picks to ease your selection process.
Best pillow for neck and shoulder pain for side sleepers: a shortlist
Based on our research, the top five brands of side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder pain are as follows:
- Zamat — overall best pillow for side sleepers with shoulder and neck pain
- Eli & Elm — best contour pillow for side sleeper with neck and shoulder pain
- PlushBeds — best wool side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder pain
- Turmerry — best latex pillow for neck and shoulder pain
- Puffy — best adjustable pillow for neck and shoulder pain
How we chose the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain for side sleepers?
In our selection of the best side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder pain, we considered the following criteria:
|Memory foam, latex
|Neck and shoulder support
|Relieves pressure points and promotes good posture
|CertiPUR-US® and others
|Positive customer feedback
- Material. We looked for pillows made from materials known for their supportive properties, such as memory foam and latex.
- Neck and shoulder support. We prioritized pillows that provide good support for the neck and shoulders, potentially helping to relieve pressure points and promoting a comfortable sleeping posture.
- Certifications. We looked for pillows with certifications like CertiPUR-US® (for foam pillows), which guarantees that the foam is free from harmful chemicals, or the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for materials that ensure the components of a textile product have been tested for harmful substances.
- User reviews. We considered the experiences of people who have used these pillows, particularly side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain.
- Price. We aimed to include pillows with various price points, all of which offer good value for money in terms of comfort and durability.
Best pillow for neck and shoulder pain for side sleepers: overview
Before we introduce our top recommendations for the best pillow for side sleepers with shoulder and neck pain, we want to assure you that our selection is backed by extensive research. We have meticulously examined various options, considering factors such as materials, price, and user feedback.
Our aim is to provide recommendations that help reduce your discomfort and promote a restful sleep.
Now, let's explore the details of our top selections.
Zamat — overall best pillow for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain
The Zamat Butterfly Pillow is made from dense memory foam, a material known for its ability to mold to the body’s shape, providing comfort and support. It has an adjustable design, which makes it a suitable choice for side sleepers.
What makes this arguably the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain side sleepers is its butterfly-shaped design. The design incorporates separate support areas for your head, neck, shoulder, and arms. This may help relieve pressure on your cervical spine, neck, and shoulders when you position your upper body to rest on each specified area, thereby potentially reducing pain.
The pillow is made from CertiPUR-US® certified foam, ensuring that the foam is free from harmful chemicals such as ozone depleters, Tris flame retardants, formaldehyde, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals.
While the pillow is not washable, the 100% polyester pillow cover can be removed and laundered in the washing machine, making it easy to maintain.
Priced at $65.99, the Zamat Butterfly Pillow comes with a 100-night trial and a 10-year warranty.
Eli & Elm — best contour pillow for side sleeper with neck and shoulder pain
The Eli & Elm Side Sleeper Pillow is the best pillow for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain because of its specific design for side sleepers. Its cover is crafted from a cotton, polyester, and spandex blend, providing a smooth and comfortable surface. Inside, you will find a filling of 75% latex and 25% polyester fiber, offering support and comfort.
The pillow features a U-shape design that may promote proper spinal alignment and may reduce neck pain. It conforms to the head and neck contours, providing good support. The U-shape design gives enough room for your shoulder, thus potentially preventing pressure from building up in this area.
The Eli & Elm Side Sleeper Pillow is OEKO-TEX® certified, meaning it has been tested for harmful substances. Maintenance is a breeze with its machine-washable outer cover. The pillow offers customizable comfort, allowing you to easily adjust the foam filling to achieve your preferred soft or firm feel.
Priced at $109.99 or $122.99 with a custom pillowcase, the pillow comes with a 45-night trial and a five-year warranty.
PlushBeds — best wool side sleeper pillow for shoulder and neck pain
The PlushBeds Wool Side Sleeper Pillow is made with Shropshire wool, known for its softness and comfort. The pillowcase is made of natural cotton sateen, adding to the overall comfort of the pillow.
It is designed for side sleepers and features a contoured U-shape that promotes proper spinal alignment and decreases shoulder pressure, potentially reducing neck and shoulder pain.
The PlushBeds Wool Side Sleeper Pillow holds both OEKO-TEX® and WOOLMARK certifications. These certifications ensure that the pillow has been tested for harmful substances and meets high-quality standards.
Priced at $164, the side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder pain offers a balance of quality and value. A five-year warranty is included, providing peace of mind with your purchase.
Turmerry — best latex pillow for shoulder and neck pain
The Turmerry Organics Solid Latex Pillow is made in Sri Lanka and crafted with side sleepers in mind. It is made with eco-friendly, durable, and organic latex and offers support.
The pillow features a solid, molded structure that provides good ventilation, contributing to a comfortable and calm sleep. It is designed to provide long-lasting support and comfort, making it a good pillow for people with neck and shoulder pain.
The Turmerry Organics Solid Latex Pillow is OEKO-TEX® certified. It is available in standard, queen, and king sizes and has three firmness options: soft, medium, and firm.
The pillow has a custom removable organic cotton cover that is machine-washable. However, the pillow itself should not be machine-washed. Instead, the provider recommends spot-cleaning the pillow with warm, soapy water and letting it thoroughly air-dry.
Priced at $89, the pillow has a two-year warranty and a 120-day return policy. It's no wonder this is recommended as the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain sider sleepers.
Puffy — best adjustable pillow for side sleepers with shoulder and neck pain
The Puffy Pillow is made with memory foam and a bamboo rayon cover that offers softness and cooling properties.
This side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder pain has an adjustable thickness, allowing users to unzip the inner sleeve to add or remove foam to find their perfect comfort level. This feature makes it suitable for side sleepers who require a higher thickness to maintain proper spinal alignment.
The Puffy Pillow aligns with the height of your neck and shoulders, making it beneficial for side sleepers who often struggle with neck and shoulder pain due to improper support. It is available in standard and king sizes and is CertiPUR-US® certified.
Priced at $102, the Puffy Pillow offers a 101-night sleep trial, ensuring you can test the pillow to ensure it’s your perfect comfort match.
Comparison of the best pillow for neck and shoulder pain for side sleepers
This table compares the top pillows for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain, highlighting their key features.
|Dimensions of the sizes
|Our pick for
|Memory foam, polyester cover
|25" x 14.5" x 5"
|Overall best pillow for side sleepers with shoulder and neck pain
|Eli & Elm
|Latex, polyester fiber
|17″ x 29″
|Best contour pillow for side sleepers with shoulder and neck pain
|Shropshire wool, natural cotton sateen cover
|20" x 30"
|Best wool side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder pain
|Organic latex, organic cotton cover
|Standard, queen, king
|Best latex pillow for neck and shoulder pain
|Memory foam, bamboo rayon cover
|26" x 18", 34" x 18"
|Best adjustable pillow for neck and shoulder pain
* Prices vary depending on the pillow size or custom accessory.
What is neck and shoulder pain?
Neck and shoulder pain, a common concern for side sleepers, can significantly impact overall well-being. As we explore the best pillow options for side sleepers dealing with neck and shoulder pain, it is essential to understand the nature and significance of these discomforts, which can help in their management.
Neck pain is one of the most common symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions, with an age-standardized rate of 27 cases per 1000 individuals in 2019. It may result from strains due to poor posture, like hunching over your computer or smartphone. Other possible causes include osteoarthritis, nerve compression, injuries, and diseases like fibromyalgia. Chronic neck pain can lead to headaches and difficulty in movement.
Lifestyle changes like correcting your posture, avoiding activities that may strain your neck, and using a supportive pillow designed for neck pain that aligns the neck properly during sleep can help manage the pain.
Shoulder pain can originate from the joint or surrounding muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Causes can range from simple overuse strains to more complex conditions like dislocations, fractures, or arthritis. Persistent shoulder pain can limit arm mobility, making tasks like driving or reaching overhead challenging.
To manage shoulder pain, lifestyle modifications such as correcting your posture, avoiding lifting objects overhead until the pain improves, and applying a cold compress to relieve inflammation and pain can be helpful. Resting the affected shoulder, avoiding strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy weights, and a well-chosen pillow can also aid in pain management.
Why choose the right pillow for sleeping comfort?
Choosing the right pillow is crucial for sleeping comfort. Here’s why:
- Supports the cervical spine. A pillow supports the cervical spine in a neutral position during sleep. A neutral spine position prevents loss of cervical spine curvature and waking symptoms by minimizing the end-range positioning of spinal segments.
- Improves sleep quality. Poor cervical posture during sleep can produce cervical pain and stiffness, headache, and arm pain, resulting in low-quality sleep. Therefore, an appropriate selection of pillows can promote good posture and quality sleep.
- Reduces neck pain. Research studies suggest that the use of spring and rubber pillows may show positive effects on reducing neck pain.
- Promotes better sleeping posture. A pillow can provide head and neck support to help people maintain normal neck and mid-back curvature, promoting a better sleeping posture.
- Aids temperature regulation. Pillows made from certain materials like latex and wool can help in temperature regulation by providing a cooler sleep surface, promoting comfort and sleep quality.
The connection between sleep posture and neck and shoulder pain relief
Sleep posture is a key factor in managing neck and shoulder pain. When we sleep, the goal is to keep the spine in a neutral alignment. This means that the natural curves of the spine are maintained, and the neck, shoulders, and back are supported, which can help prevent discomfort and pain.
Poor sleep quality is often associated with severe neck and shoulder pain. By improving our sleep posture, we can promote the quality of our sleep and potentially reduce the pain intensity.
Here are some tips for side sleepers to help maintain a good sleep posture:
- Choose the right mattress. A comfortable mattress that provides adequate support is essential. A great comfortable option is firm mattresses.
- Use pillows strategically. If you are sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your legs to support spinal alignment. Also, consider using a contoured pillow for neck support.
- Switch sides. Try switching which side you sleep on every other night if you’re comfortable doing so.
Best pillow for neck and shoulder pain for side sleepers: conclusion
Side sleepers sometimes deal with neck and shoulder pain, impacting both sleep quality and overall health.
We have carefully examined the top five brands of the best side sleeper pillow for neck and shoulder pain in this review and shown you what is the best pillow for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain.
Make an informed choice based on your preferences, needs, and budget. Consider consulting with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized insights and recommendations aligned with your specific health conditions.
Further reading: products for improved sleep quality
If you’re a side sleeper, you might want to explore the best pillow for side sleepers.
Consider exploring the best mattress for back pain.
Discover the best pillows for shoulder pain to help you sleep better.
Check these top memory foam pillows that can help support your body while you sleep.
Choose from a selection of the best cervical pillows that might support optimal neck position.
Can I use a neck support pillow for reading in bed?
Yes. You can use a neck support pillow for reading in bed. Its design may provide comfort and prevent strain on your back, shoulders, and neck during prolonged reading sessions. This may help maintain proper posture and enhance your reading experience.
What's the ideal firmness for a neck pillow for sleeping?
It depends. The ideal firmness for a neck pillow for sleeping can depend on your primary sleep position. Side sleepers should look for a pillow on the firmer side. Stomach sleepers might prefer a softer option that compresses easily. A medium-firm pillow may be a good choice for most sleepers.
Are neck pillows suitable for children?
Yes. Neck pillows are generally safe for children to use. However, choosing a neck pillow that provides appropriate support for your child’s head and neck according to their size is important. You should avoid pillows that are too tall or thick for toddlers, as they could cause neck strain.
- BMC. Neck pain: global epidemiology, trends and risk factors.
- SpringerLink. Shoulder Pain — Where Are We Now?
- NIH. Shoulder pain: What helps?
- The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. Improving the Quality of Sleep with an Optimal Pillow: A Randomized, Comparative Study.
- SLEEP Advances. P108 Effects of different pillow designs on promoting sleep quality and spinal alignment by reducing neck pain, waking symptoms, neck disability in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.