Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

10 Proven Sleep Solutions For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

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Do you or your partner suffer from chronic neck pain?

Does it make it hard for you to fall asleep at night? Or does falling asleep make it harder?

You're at the right place.

What's In This Guide?

Regardless of whether your neck pain is due to a health condition or is caused by sleeping on your side with the wrong-loft pillows, it will negatively impact your sleep.

Poor sleep can slow down the healing process by making it harder for your body to repair itself.

This guide covers the most common sleep-associated neck pain conditions and tips for eliminating or relieving your pain.

We will also discuss the best sleep products that can relieve neck pain, including short reviews of my favorites. This includes pillows, which ultimately fixed most of my issues.


Sleep-Related Issues (and Solutions) For People With Neck Pain

Let's start by briefly discussing the common causes of sleep disorders and their effects on people who experience them.

As we progress, I'll talk about my favorite products and solutions that help.

After this section, if any of the products pique your interest, we provide a series of short reviews so you can learn more.

Sleepless Nights

Neck pain, back pain, hip pain — any pain is likely to lead to insomnia.

And the worst part is that insomnia can worsen neck pain, so you are caught in a vicious cycle.

This is especially true if your neck pain is due to an illness or health condition like a herniated disc, arthritis, or a pinched spinal cord.

Sleep deprivation causes inflammation, slows healing, and decreases blood flow, which can worsen your pain and injury.

If you suffer from insomnia due to chronic back pain, the best thing to do is treat the pain.

Check with your doctor to see if anything else is happening besides pain. If something else is happening, get medical attention for the root cause before leaning on treatments.

If you think your neck pain is partly due to muscle strain due to sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, then an obvious solution is to make your bed more comfortable – especially your pillows.

You need a pillow for your head that aligns your neck with the rest of your body.

For side sleepers like me, I recommend the Coop Home Goods original loft pillow because you can easily adjust the loft to keep your head up at the right height, and the materials make it easy to clean.

Stomach sleepers need a flat, pressure-relieving pillow like the Continental Bedding Premium White Goose Down Pillow.

A cervical cushion like the ZAMAT Contour Memory Foam Cervical Pillow provides maximum support for people who suffer from chronic neck pain.

You can also combine neck booster pillows with your regular bedding to improve neck support. I recommend using the AllSet Neck Roll Memory Foam Pillow for this.

If you think a new mattress will help, look for something that supports your body and keeps your spine aligned. The Saatva Classic is an excellent choice. This award-winning innerspring mattress offers great comfort, is shipped to your home in a box, and is available in three different firmness levels.

Pain At Night

Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

Neck pains often get worse at nighttime. I, too, have experienced this phenomenon.

It's probably because we place more stress and strain on our neck muscles when we sleep.

It might be because of the incorrect pillow, an uncomfortable bed, movements during sleeping, or your sleeping position.

Getting comfortable is the first thing you need to do to get rid of neck pain at bedtime. Make sure your pillow supports your head well, and check out our guide for finding the best mattress.

Here are some other things you could do to help relieve neck pains at night.

  • Gently stretch your neck muscles before bedtime. This is called cervical stretching. It helps relieve pressure and reduce pain. The best way is to use a cervical stretching tool like the ZAMAT Cervical Stretcher.
  • Use heating pads and ice packs at least twice daily. Begin with cold treatment for 20 minutes, wait 2 hours, then add hot treatment for 20 minutes. Cold reduces swelling, inflammation, and stiffness, while warmth relieves muscle spasms and tightness. The Carex Bed Buddy provides both hot and cold therapies.
  • Try electrotherapy. Electro­therapy works by applying low electrical currents to the skin to relieve pain. You can use a TENS machine like the health mate Forever YK15AB at your house to help alleviate neck pain.

Massages also help relieve back pain by relaxing muscles, releasing toxins, and promoting blood flow.

A hands-free massager is nice to have on hand when my partner isn't up to a neck massage. The Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager provides deep neck massage and even has a heat function.

Difficulty Moving Your Head When In Bed

Neck pains make previously easy movements in bed harder. Switching between different positions during sleep, sleeping on your back, and rolling from one shoulder to another can worsen your neck pain.

One solution is to sleep with a neck brace. Find a comfortable neck brace like the VELPEAU Neck Brace that you can wear at night.

A neck brace will stabilize your neck and provide extra support. It can help you feel less pain when you get out of bed, roll over to the other side, and move around.


Other Sleeping Tips & Solutions For Neck Pain

  • You can stretch your neck without a cervical traction device. Check out these Mayo Clinic videos for simple neck stretches. You can also practice yoga exercises targeting the neck and shoulders.
  • If you're experiencing neck pain from sleeping on an old sagging mattress, a cheap solution would be to buy a memory foam topper.
  • Using your smartphone too much at night can cause neck pain. If you're going to sleep with your phone, either put your phone away or use a laptop stand.
  • Stomach sleepers should consider changing their sleep position. Sleeping on your stomach puts more stress on your neck and back muscles than any other position. Instead of lying on your stomach, try sleeping on your side or back.  A full-body pillow can help keep you in place.
  • Inspect your daily routine and eliminate bad habits that can worsen your neck pain. For example, the position of your monitor, your sitting posture when working, spending too much time staring at the screen, spending too much time gazing at your smartphone, and so on.

Top 10 Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

This section will provide my honest reviews of the above-mentioned products.  Some I have used myself, and others my team and I spent hours researching to ensure we're giving you the best advice.

  1. Best Pillow For Neck Pain: Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow
  2. Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers With Neck Pain: Continental Bedding
  3. Best Cervical Pillow: ZAMAT Contour Memory Foam Pillow
  4. Best Neck Roll Pillow: AllSet Cervical Neck Roll Memory Foam Pillow
  5. Best Mattress For Neck Pain: Saatva Classic
  6. Best Neck Massager: Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager
  7. Best Neck Brace: VELPEAU Neck Brace
  8. Best Neck Stretcher: ZAMAT Neck and Shoulder Relaxer
  9. Best Heat and Ice Pack: Carex Bed Buddy Heat Pad and Cooling Neck Wrap
  10. Best Electrotherapy Device: HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit

1.  Best Pillow For Neck Pain: Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow

sleep solutions For people who suffer from back pain

A cervical pillow can provide better comfort than a regular pillow if your neck hurts. The Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow is designed for all types of sleepers, but they're the best choice for people like me who sleep on their side or back.

PROS

  • Adjustable height
  • Suitable for most sleepers
  • Pressure-relieving shredded memory foam filling
  • Machine washable

CONS

  • It can be a bit too warm for hot sleepers
  • Requires frequent fluffing

Our Review

The shredded memory foam fill makes the Coop loft pillow easy to adjust. You can remove fill or add more to get it to your desired thickness and head height.

If you want to add more fill to the pillow, an additional bag of fill is included.

The adjustable design also means the Coop is a great flexible choice for most people, regardless of their sleeping style and body size.

Thanks to the plushness of the memory foam, the CooP loft pillow provides comfort for any sleeping position. It conforms to your body’s shape and relieves pressure on your neck.

The polyester and viscosity cover feels soft and breathable (although not as breezy as cotton).

Unlike solid memory foam or latex pillows, the Coop Loft pillow can be machine washed and dried.

Issues & Limitations

A drawback of shredded foam pillows is they sometimes become lumpy. However, if you're willing to spend some time fluffing them up again, you'll quickly restore their loftiness.

One problem with the Coop loft pillow is that it tends to get too warm for some people. It may be slightly cooler than a solid memory foam bed, but you might still find it uncomfortable if you're a hot sleeper.

If the Coop pillow is too warm, you can replace its polyester case with cotton, bamboo, or a nonwoven fabric cover.

If you want something more organic and cooler, choose a shredded organic cotton pillow like the PureTree Organics Shredded Cotton Pillow. It offers the same benefits as the Coop – pressure relief, adjustable, machine washed.


2. Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers With Neck Pain: Continental Bedding Premium White Goose Down Pillow

best products for stomach sleepers

If you have neck pain and sleep on your back, you may need an extra soft pillow to cushion and support your neck while lying flat. For this, I recommend the Continental bedding white goose-down pillow.

PROS

  • Pure down fillers – no feathers sticking out
  • Good for stomach sleepers
  • Soft and plush – helps relieve pressure on the neck.
  • Machine washable

CONS

  • Costs more than other types of pillows

Our Review

The Continental Beddings goose-down pillow squishes and flattens when you lay your head on them. This is exactly what happens if you're a stomach sleeper.

It keeps your neck aligned with your spine.

The soft down filling helps protect your neck from stress.

The Continental Beddings down pillow doesn't contain real feather material, so you won't have to worry about sharp pieces of feather poking into your face.

Note: The Continental Down Pillow is available in soft and firm options. I recommend the soft version for people who suffer from neck pain.

The pillowcase is made from Egyptian cotton, which makes it feel soft and luxuriously comfortable. It has a breathable fabric lining and a natural down filling, which keeps it cool at night.

For cleaning, the Continental Beds down comforter is machine washable.

Issues & Limitations

The Continental Beddings goose-down pillow isn't cheap. A microfiber alternative is less expensive if you're on a budget. But it might be a little warmer and not last as long.


3. Best Cervical Pillow: ZAMAT Contour Memory Foam Pillow

Products For People Who Sleep On Their Back

A cervical pillow can provide better neck support than a regular pillow.

The ZAMAT Contour Memory Foam Pillows are designed for all sleeping positions, but they're best for people who sleep on their sides or backs.

PROS

  • A contoured design provides targeted neck and head alignment.
  • Designed for all sleepers
  • Pressure-relieving memory foam
  • Adjustable height
  • Removable and washable cover

CONS

  • Can get too warm for hot sleepers

Our Review

The ZAMAT Memory Foam Pillow features contoured sides for better support, stability, comfort, and pain reduction.

The center of the pillow has contoured edges designed specifically for back and belly sleeping, while the sides are higher to accommodate people who sleep on their sides.

It provides immediate comfort for your head and shoulders by relieving tension and discomfort instantly.

Furthermore, the soft memory foam relieves pressure on your shoulders, which can also reduce neck pain and soreness.

While not as customizable as the Coop loft pillow, you can lower the height of the ZAMAT pillow by removing the memory foam inserts inside.

To make the pillows thicker than they already are, you'll need to buy additional inserts from ZAMAT – also on Amazon.

For cleaning purposes, the polycotton cover on the ZAMAT pillow is removable and can be washed by hand. Because this is a memory foam pillow, you cannot clean the cover.

Issues & Limitations

One of the most common complaints about these pillows is that they can sometimes be too warm.

If you're a hot sleeper, consider buying a cooling pillows cover for the ZAMAT PILLOW or buy a naturally cool latex cervical cushion like the Organic Textile Organic Latex Contour Cervical Pillows.


4.  Best Neck Roll Pillow: AllSet Cervical Neck Roll Memory Foam Pillow

Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

If you want to quickly relieve neck pain without buying an expensive pillow, try a neck roll instead. AllSets' cervical neck roll is made with pressure-relieving memory foam.

PROS

CONS

  • Some sleepers find it a tad firm

Our Review

The AllSet neck roll pillow is small but makes a real difference in relieving neck pain.

You can also place this neck roll inside your pillow case and position it where your head rests. You may need a bigger pillowcase, however.

The AllSet neck roll is designed to support your head when lying on your side or back and aligns your neck with your spinal column.

NOTE: Sleeping on your back supports your cervical spine and relieves muscle strain.

The AllSet neck roll pillow contains memory foam, which is noticeably more comfortable and pliable than a rolled-up towel.

This roll cushion is 17 inches long, plenty large enough to move around in your sleep without losing support.

The plush cover is removable and machine wash­able.

Issues & Limitations

A quick check of reviews online shows that the AllSet neck roll pillow is a little too firm for some, but overall the vast majority of people love it.


5. Best Mattress For Neck Pain: Saatva Classic Mattress

mattresses that don't sag

 

The Saatva classic mattress uses a dual coil innerspring design to provide excellent support for any type of sleeper.  This is our top-rated innerspring mattress, and it continues to win similar awards.

Pair it with one of the pillows I've recommended above for complete neck and back support.

PROS

  • Excellent support
  • Reduces/prevents neck and back pains
  • Ideal even for heavier sleepers
  • Sleeps cool

CONS

  • May feel too firm for some sleepers

Our Review

The Saatva Classic mattress is one of the most comfortable and supportive mattresses because it uses two coil layers.

The first layer is a zoned pocketed coil system. It is firmer in the middle of the mattress so that it provides better lumbar support for your back and ensures that your spine remains in its natural alignment regardless of which position you sleep in

Below the pocketed coils is another layer of steel coil springs that provide overall support and help keep the mattress lasting for years.

To relieve stress, the Saatva classic has a 3″ plush Euro pillow top that hugs your curves and relieves pressure points.

It also has a memory foam layer that adds extra body contour and lumbar support.

The dual coils and the high-density foam rails on the side offer unmatched edge-to-edge stability, even for heavier people.

The Classic offers three firmness options: plush soft, luxury firm, and firm.

If you decide it’s not for you, you can return it within the first year for a $99 processing charge.

The Classic also comes with a lifetime warranty.

By the way, if you're interested in buying a Saatva mattress, they deliver it to your house and set it up for free.

They'll even remove your old mattress and foundation from your house if you'd like.

Issues & Limitations

Some customers have complained that the plush soft Saavta Classic mattress is not as soft as expected.

If you're a side sleeper who prefers a firmer mattress but needs extra support for your shoulders and hips, you might consider using the Saatva Classic plush soft with a soft topper.

Or, buy a softer mattress like Helix Midnight.


6. Best Neck Massager: Nekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

The Nekteck shiatsu massager provides deep 3D massage combined with heat for quick and long-lasting pain relief.

Try using it for about 15 minutes before bed to improve sleep health.

PROS

  • Easy to use hands-free massage
  • Deep shiatsu massage and heat function
  • You can use it in other areas
  • Two-speed settings
  • Portable

CONS

  • Zipper on the cover breaks easily

Our Review

You don't need to visit a spa to get a relaxing neck massage. The Nektec Shiatsu Massager provides a hands-free massage.

Hold the massaging device around your neck and use your hands to secure the straps. If you're lying on the bed, you can put the massaging device on top of you so that you don't need to touch anything.

Shiatsu massages may feel rough initially, but they become less painful after a few sessions. To get a more natural feeling, the nodes change directions every minute.

You can choose between two speed modes – slow and fast.

There's also an option to turn on the heater, which should be helpful for neck pain. However, you cannot adjust the temperature, but it just heats up nicely.

The Nekteck shiatsu massager has an automatic shut-off feature, so you don't burn yourself out using it for too long. It's best to stop after 15 minutes.

It’s also good for use on other skin parts, including the back, legs, and thighs. So you can treat aches and sorenesses on different parts of your skin.

Issues & Limitations

This massager is just about perfect. It's hard to find complaints online.


7. Best Neck Brace: VELPEAU Neck Brace

Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

Neck braces aren't just useful for neck injuries and back pain. They can also help relieve back pain during sleep and the daytime.

Available in different sizes and styles, the VELPEAU neck brace has features specifically designed to aid in sleeping.

PROS

  • Provides extra support and stability for the back of the neck
  • It helps with back pain and headaches
  • It helps relieve neck pains at night
  • There are multiple sizes and options available
  • Washable sleeve

CONS

  • It can feel a bit hot against your neck

Our Review

A neck brace helps stabilize and support your cervical spine. It reduces pressure on it, which improves its health and greatly reduces pain.

Whether your neck pain is due to an injury, poor sitting/sleeper position, a herniated disc, or some other problem, a VELPEAU neck brace can minimize pain.

VELPEAU offers different sizes and styles of neck braces. Choose the right size and style for the best comfort and support.

On the product page, use the size charts to select between the small, medium, and large options. These charts are based on neck height and waist circumference.

After choosing the type of brace you want, choose the size.

If you're looking for a neck brace to wear at night, go for the regular or special, according to your neck size.

It has a soft foam base that supports your head but allows some flexi­bility so you can sleep comfortably.

The dual-use knee brace has an elastic strap around the leg for added support when walking. It can be removed when lying down at night.

If you plan to wear the brace most of the time, go with the dual-use brace.

All Velpeau® products come with a thick, comfortable sleeve that you can wash easily.

Issues & Limitations

Because the brace is made with foam, it can get warm, which isn't a good thing if you suffer from hot flashes.


8. Best Neck Stretcher: ZAMAT Neck and Shoulder Relaxer

Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

The ZAMAT® Neck and Shoulder Relaxer is the best way for you to try traction at your own house. Try using it for a few minutes before bedtime to help ease pain during sleeping.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Provides short-term pain relief
  • Includes massage granules
  • Removable and washable cover
  • Lightweight and portable

CONS

  • Smelly when new

Our Review

The ZAMAT Neck and Shoulder Relaxer is a simple piece of foam designed to be worn comfortably against your neck.

Put it on the floor or the mattress (on a firm surface like the floor), lay down, and rest your head on the pillow.

The traction cushion helps relieve pressure and discomfort by creating a slight curve in your cervical spine.

Those who've tried the ZAMAT relaxers report significant pain relief for several hours.

Use it twice daily for no longer than 10 minutes at a time.

The manufacturer says the fabric used in the soft and breathable cover provides magnetic therapy (via embedded magnetic particles), but there's no scientific proof that magnetic therapy relieves backache.

One of our favorite things about the ZAMAT Neck and Shoulders Relaxer is its compact and lightweight design. It’s easy to take wherever you go, whether at a hotel or camping.

Some people say they use it when they get a headache. They put it on their head for a few minutes, and the headache goes down.

Issues & Limitations

There are some complaints regarding an unpleasant smell when new. To eliminate the smell, wash the container and air out the foam, and it will go away.


9. Best Heat and Ice Pack For Neck Pain: Carex Bed Buddy Heat Pad and Cooling Neck Wrap

Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

The Carex Bed Buddy provides both heating and cooling relief for your neck. It’s made to fit comfortably around your body, and you can use it for aches in your legs or knees.

PROS

  • 2-in-1 heat and cold therapy pad
  • Organic filling
  • Ideal for use on different areas of the body
  • Doesn't use electricity

CONS

  • Does not get as hot as a neck massager
  • Some people don't like the smell when it’s hot

Our Review

Most sports trainers will tell you that combined cold and heat therapies are more effective at providing pain relief than either alone.

The Carex Bed buddy provides both types of treatments.

To do this, it relies on organic grains sewn into the soft material cover.

To apply cooling relief, place it in the refrigerator for an hour or more. Then wrap it around your neck and shoulders to help reduce pain and inflammation.

After the Bed Buddy warms up, place it in the microwave oven at 600 W for 1 minute 15 seconds, 900 W for 50 seconds, or 1200 W for 37 seconds.

Don't leave it in for too long. Otherwise, you'll start cooking the grain inside. Put it around your neck and let the heat soothe the pain away.

It stays warm for about 30 to 60 minutes.

Issues & Limitations

Microwaving the Carex Bed Buddy emits a mild burned oatmeal/popcorn odor. Some people like this smell, others don't.  If you don't like the smell, get a gel pack instead.


10. Best Electrotherapy Device For Neck Pain Relief: HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit

Sleep Products For People Who Suffer From Neck Pain

Another effective way to relieve pain is electrotherapy. Use the Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENs unit right before bedtime to get better rest.

PROS

  • Effective for short-term pain relief
  • Highly customizable with multiple settings and programs
  • Battery-powered – you can use it anywhere
  • Backlit screen

CONS

  • Some missing features like memory and lock

Our Review

Electrotherapy has helped people who suffer from chronic pain. The HealthmateForever YK15AB TENs unit helps send out low electrical currents that disrupt pain signals to your brain.

It provides temporary pain reduction.

The YK15A unit consists of the main device with a backlight screen, long cables, eight electrodes, and three AA batteries.

To use the TENS unit, you simply stick the pads on the affected area. If you have neck pain, stick the pads where you are feeling the pain.

To use two different devices at once, connect their wires together and then connect one end of each wire to the main device.

The main device has eight pads that allow you to plug in all four wires simultaneously. Because each wire connects to two pads, you can attach them to different body parts.

The YK15 AB TENS unit has many different settings and programs to customize the experience. You can select nine different body part programs, six therapeutic mode options, and twenty different intensity level choices.

With the YK15AB dual-channel TENS unit, you can set different intensity levels for each pad.

Most users report that intensities between 1 and 5 effectively relieve pain, stiffness, and sore muscles.

If you experience severe pain flares, high-intensity settings may be better for you.

The YK15AB unit uses three AA batteries for up to two years. It's highly portable because you don't need to connect it to an outlet.

Issues & Limitations

The YK15AB TENs unit has many useful functions, but some important ones are lacking.

Users often complain that they wish there was a way to prevent their device from accidentally increasing the workout's difficulty level. This feature would also prevent children from changing the settings.

A memory feature would also be handy. It's also not easy to set up the device. You need to configure it each time you use it.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which kind of pillow is best for relieving neck pains?

If you have neck pain, choose a pillow that suits your sleeping posture. If you sleep on your back, you need a medium loft pillow. Stomach sleepers need a low pillow, while side sleepers need a higher pillow.

How do I sleep well when I have neck pains?

If you sleep on a flat surface, place a rolled-up towel or a pillow under your neck for added comfort.

You can also try using a cervical pillow or a neck brace when you sleep.

What causes my head to hurt when I wake up?

Aching necks are a clear indication that your sleep position is wrong. Your mattress or pillow may be causing or worsening your neck pain by not providing the right level of spinal alignment.

Try changing your pillow to one that is more comfortable for your sleep posture and see if the pain disappears. If you still wake with stiff necks and backs, you may need a new mattress or even a mattress topper.

Is a firm pillow good for neck pain?

Most people who suffer from neck pain prefer a firm mattress. It supports your neck when you're sitting down and provides some relief from pain.

If you suffer from severe back or shoulder pains, consider getting a softer mattress or down or down alternative pillows that provide extra cushioning to prevent future pains.

Should I use a pillow when sleeping?

No, it's not. Most people who sleep need a pillow. If you don't use a pillow, your neck muscles will be forced to contract, causing severe neck pains.

Some people can't fall asleep without a pillow.

What can I do to get rid of neck pains quickly?

Cold and heat packs are effective for quickly relieving neck pain. A neck massage also helps, especially when combined with heating pads.

You can also use an electrotherapy device called a TENS unit. It provides immediate relief.

What is the best sleeping posture for neck pain?

Sleeping on your side and back is the best position for relieving neck pains. Make sure the mattress and pillows are suitable for your sleeping position.

Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for neck pain. It also increases the risks of lower-body pain.

What can I do to prevent my neck and shoulders from hurting when sleeping?

Check if you need to replace your pillows and/or mattresses with ones that provide better support.

You can also sleep with a neck roller or a cervical pillow. Cervical pillows are especially helpful for alleviating pain in your neck and shoulder muscles.

Are neck pillows useful?

Neck pillows are good for relieving neck pains. There are different kinds for different uses.

Cervical pillows are designed to support your head and neck when you sleep. It helps provide extra support and relieve pressure.

A neck roll pillow supports your head and neck by keeping them aligned with your spine. You use a rolled-up towel together with your regular pillow.

Traction pillows are designed to stretch the neck muscles. It helps relieve neck pain by reducing stress on the cervical spine. Try using a traction pillow for 10 minutes to ease back pain.


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