Best Contour Pillow for Neck and Back Pain [Reviews & Buying Guide]

Sleeping with your neck problem is most frustrating. At most of the times, pain killers and ointments are of no help!

All you need is a good neck support pillow that is specifically designed for muscular problems as well as to cure headaches and stiff shoulders.

Certain people fail to get proper sleep in the absence of proper pillows.

Many others feel hurting and uncomfortable, when they have just changed their old pillows to the new.

It is therefore true that a good relaxing pillow, that fits your body type, holds much importance in your life.

In fact a good pillow is such a thing that we cannot do without. Day in day out, it is an everyday essential thing.

Among various types of pillows available presently on the market, orthopedic contour pillow is one most popular model which can deliver better stability to the spine while relaxing and sleeping.

Here in this guide, we will be talking about this type of pillow in detail, what it is, how to use it, how it benefits along with few best options to buy.

So check more below and we hope that you will find this guide useful.

What Is A Contour Pillow?

A contour pillow, as the name suggests, is a particular type of curved model orthopedic pillow which is mainly designed to contour the spinal curvature of the body. It thereby helps the cervical and lumbar region by keeping it in a neutral position ergonomically.

Contour pillow, also called as cervical pillow are made up of soft and highly supportive dense material (like memory foam), that is most comfortable for maintaining good body posture.

As these are made firmer, than as compared to the standard pillow, these provide best support to the targeted body parts (such as head, neck, back and legs) while sleeping.

The best thing about these pillows is it conforms to your body part when the heat from your body is absorbed by the material, as soon as you lie on it.

You may feel the pillow uncomfortable for first few minutes but within five to ten minutes you will feel it most comfortable and relaxing for your neck and head.

According to the usage, discomfort you experience, type of sleeper you are and your age – there are two types of contour pillows available in the market. These are:

1- Low profile contour pillow: These are recommended for the smaller framed person who use to sleep in the lateral position or in the supine lying position.

It helps to fix the cervical as well as lumbar spine easily, thereby prevents the extra strain on the spinal curvatures.

2- High profile contour pillow: These are recommended mainly for the medium and large framed person who use to sleep on their sides.

Here the head will be in the contour and the neck will be stabilized on the raised roll which provides good support and thus provides an ideal posture while sleeping.

Benefits of Contour Pillow

Due to the great many benefits offered, contour neck pillows are highly recommended by orthopedics to their patients suffering from severe neck and back pain problems.

If you are spending most of your night time fighting with your pillow – trying to find the perfect position for your neck and head – then all you need is a right type of contoured pillow.

Contour pillows are specifically designed for providing best support to your neck and head region while lying down or relaxing.

Unlike standard pillow, these pillows provides a contoured area for the head to rest and thus proves to be much comfortable than others.

Using contour neck pillow you can actually support your head and neck, avoiding it to get extended upward or bent downward without any need.

Few other reasons why you should consider investing in a contoured cervical pillow made up of memory foam are:

  • Retains its shape for long
  • Does not show any harmful side effects
  • Reduce pressure on the joints while sleeping
  • Keep your neck and back aligned while resting
  • Cheaper alternative to other treatment methods for spinal and cervical pain

How to Use a Contour Pillow?

If you are new to using a contour pillow, you definitely need to check for the best ways for how to sleep or lay down with a contoured pillow,  so that you can get the most out of it without hurting your neck.

The flat side of your pillow should be placed downwards on the bed, while placing the larger of the two curves towards your foot side.

This is an ideal orientation of placing or using your contoured pillow which will provide maximum support to the head and neck region – no matter whether you are a side sleeper or back sleeper.

While laying down on the bed make sure that your head finds it place comfortably between the curves of the pillow. The pillow when absorb the heat from your neck and head, automatically contours to provide you the maximum comfort.

However when you change your position it may take few minutes to get the foam adjust again. Also it should be noted that as soon as you leave your pillow in the morning the foam material gets cool down and become stiffer again.

Check the below video that can help you know more…

10 Best Contour Pillow for Neck and Back Pain

Studies reveal that if you match up – the right density to the right shape – you will automatically find yourself healed as it encourages the natural spine alignment all through the night.

Your pillow, if chosen wisely, can actually help you wake up refreshed with whole lot of energy and enthusiasm for the hectic day ahead.

If you are planning to buy a good contour pillow for your neck pain, here are 10 best options you can check for.

These are among the top listed which have highest consumer reviews and positive ratings. Do check the features in detail before making your final buying decision.

1- Sleep Innovations Pillow

The Sleep Innovations contour pillow with cotton cover lets you take a good sleep so that you can wake up every morning feeling refreshed and recharged.

It provides the best therapeutic support to your spinal region so that your body gets prepared for the day’s hectic work once again without feeling any pain.

The therapeutic design of this contour pillow comes with a simple curve design that will hold your neck, shoulders and back to provide complete support for your body while sleeping.

Even if you turn your sides while sleeping you need not worry as this contour fiber pillow provides you with best therapeutic support all through the night.

The foam used inside this USA made Sleep Innovations contour pillow is soft and dense. You can choose between the two – higher and lower contours, to get the optimum support suiting your requirement.

Above all you are offered with a limited warranty of about 5 years on the pillow so that you can get in touch with the manufacturer help desk to avail any kind of help regarding the replacement options.

Sleep Innovations Novaform Contour Pillow is also a good option to check, if you want to buy a unique pillow with Cool Gel HD Technology.

2- Z Memory Foam Pillow

Z Memory Foam Contour Pillow offers one of the best king size contour pillow in the market. It comes with washable cover and features soft and dense built to help ease your tension in neck and body.

This curvy designed contour pillow not only helps in relieving neck ache but also the back and shoulder pain thereby working best in reducing the overall body stress.

With its effective molded construction this Z Memory Foam Pillow offers you better and increased sleep cycle by hugging your pressure points on neck and shoulders much comfortably than normal cut memory foam.

Furthermore, this Z Memory Foam Contour Pillow is resistant to dust mites and does not cause any kind of allergies to user. Its removable super soft velour cover (for laundering) is an added feature which adds to the comfort factor for users.

The pillow is available in three sizes i.e. king size, queen size and travel size. The pillow is also available in gel infused option that helps in cooling down your body and adapting to your body temperature.

Although it comes at an extra price you can choose it for added comfort if your body wish to.

3- AERIS Contour Pillow

The high quality Queen Size AERIS Memory Foam Contour Pillow lets you get into peaceful and restful sleep by helping your neck, back and shoulders relax completely without experiencing any stress.

The memory foam base is placed within an internal cover which can be removed as and when you require. This is again placed in a luxurious, removable and machine washable white plush velour cover which also adds comfort to your sleep.

This AERIS Contour Pillow comes with ventilation holes which won’t let the pillow get warm after the use. The ventilation holes also helps in airflow inducing better sleep cycle.

This queen size contour pillow is aerated for more than 7 days making the foam used inside the pillow to get soften and odor free. Ideal for both- back and side sleepers this memory foam contour pillow comes with a life time warranty and replacement option from manufacturer.

You can choose to buy it risk free either for your personal use or for gifting it at occasions such as birthdays, valentine’s day, mother’s day, father’s day, weddings, graduations, etc.

4- Bamboo Pillow by Comfylife

This Bamboo Memory Foam Contour Pillow by Comfylife comes with flexible memory foam and scientifically-proven wave design that cradles and supports your targeted body parts like neck, head and shoulders so that you can enjoy most comfortable and pain free sleep all night.

Not only it helps in recovering back and spinal pain by promoting proper alignment, but also it helps in releasing airways to get rid of snoring problem and relieve tension.

Furthermore this Comfylife hypoallergenic memory foam pillow is naturally antimicrobial and anti-allergic such that you need not worry about the breeding moth, dust, mites, and other bacteria or allergens inside.

Additionally the outer eco clean bamboo cover of this hypoallergenic bamboo memory foam contour pillow can be easily removed and cleaned in machine when you require them. This ensures that you are using the pillow that is completely safe, hygienic and healthy.

This bamboo contour pillow also offers Kool-flow bamboo-covered contour pillow design that allows easy air circulation inside the pillow letting your body cool down when you are sleeping.

5- Tempur Pedic Neck Pillow

The Tempur Contour Pillow is flexible and curvy designed to suit people with neck and shoulder troubles.

The Ergonomic shape developed by doctors in this Tempur neck pillow promotes proper spinal alignment relaxing your body completely.

Made up of high quality pressure relieving material this Tempur Pedic Contour Pillow retains its shape throughout the night and thereby helping you sleep comfortably.

This best pillow for combination sleepers (good for back as well as side sleepers) also comes with 100% polyester knit outer cover that can be removed for washing.

Backed by 5 year limited warranty this Tempur Neck Support Pillow is a good option to look out for, if you are seeking most comfortable and pain free sleep.

Available in various sizes like i.e. travel, small, medium, large; you can choose the best you need.

6- Organic Textiles Latex Pillow

OrganicTextiles Latex Contour Neck Pillow is one of the best options to buy if you are searching for a natural latex pillow that is made up of 100% organic material.

Made up of eco-harvested rubber tree with Dunlop process this low loft pillow offers medium firmness. You can choose from medium to soft firmness as the pillow is available in various options.

This contour latex pillow comes with ergonomic design that correctly aligns your spine while sleeping, by supporting the natural curves of your head, neck and shoulders.

This contour pillow is antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and resistant to dust, sweat and other bacterial infection.

The outer cover which comes with the pillow is removable and can be washed easily to stay clean and hygienic always.

7- SensorPEDIC Contour Pillow

SensorPEDIC Contour Pillow is an extraordinary luxurious memory foam pillow that comes with ventilated iCOOL™ technology.

This enhances breathability and eliminate hot spots while regulating the temperature of sleeping surface, keeping you drier cooler and comfortable.

The unique contoured and ergonomic design of this SensorPEDIC pillow helps in naturally supporting your head while aligning your neck and shoulders for pain free sleeping experience.

Made with specialized odor-free sensor-foam memory foam is firm enough to provide all-around support by dispersing the weight evenly than as compared to other traditional pillows.

Above all a 300 gram weight triple layer luxury circular knit fabric cover is also provided with this pillow for enhanced ventilation and easy clean-up.

8- Dream Science Contour Pillow

Dream Science Contour Pillow is another most appealing and comfortable pillow that you can use for getting rid of your spinal and cervical problems.

Made up of high quality polyurathane material this is an ideal piece for back sleepers.

The pillow is made of Certi-PUR® US certified memory foam that helps in soothing pressure points and reducing the pressure by redistributing body weight to cushion.

Unlike non-ventilated foam pillows, this Dream Science Memory Foam Contour Pillow by Martha Stewart comes with VentTech technology to delivers greater air flow.

This simply means that your head remains cooler and much relaxed while you are sleeping deeply on this pillow.

Above all, the pillow comes with removable circular-knit cover that features skid-resistant backing for additional comfort and convenience.

You can shop for this pillow with all the confidence as it comes with 15-year limited warranty.

9- PharMeDoc Cooling Foam Pillow

Made from top-quality open-cell viscoelastic memory foam and embedded with thermoregulating gel pad this PharMeDoc memory foam pillow keeps your head cool by dispersing the body heat while you are resting.

The curve in this PharMeDoc contour pillow is designed to provide you with a proper body alignment which helps in upholding your neck to relieve the pain.

The pillow is also customizable wherein you can choose from the dual height of the pillow (or pillow loft) thereby ensuring perfect posture support.

This will also help in distributing your weight evenly and also relieve pressure from your body parts thereby increasing supply of oxygen into your body.

Above all, this PharMeDoc contour memory foam pillow is Hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant and BPA-free.

It also includes a cotton cover which is machine washable so that you can relax completely while using this pillow safely and hygienically.

10- Tempur-Contour Side-To-Back Pillow

Tempur-Contour Side-To-Back Pillow is an ideal and easy solution for your neck and body ache troubles.

Its unique patent design (with firm edges and soft center) lets you relax your body completely while going to sleep easily.

This TempurPedic contour pillow is curved designed that can help side and back sleepers alike.

Infused with special NASA formulated Tempur material which is pressure relieving, it can help you relax your neck and shoulder muscles effectively.

It has an outer premium quilted cotton cover that is removable and can be put to wash whenever required.

As mentioned earlier memory foam pillow like these may feel more firm than expected, so you need to give some time to it so that your body gets adjusted with it.

How Often You Should Change Your Pillow?

There are people who possess the habit to change their sleeping pillows very often.

When speaking medically, the habit of changing pillows on and off should be strictly avoided as this can be one of the major reasons for the occurrence of back and neck pain.

Usually a good quality pillow lasts for 2-3 years and should not be changed very often unless needed.

Doctors usually recommended changing your pillow after you have used it rigorously for 1 or 2 years OR in case when it is damaged or torn.

It is therefore good to choose the right one and use it for at least a year or two so that you do not hurt your spine and cervical region frequently.

As a special note for new users – contoured pillow may take you few days to getting used to.

Thus if you are planning to buy and use a contour pillow for the very first time, you should be prepared to use them for several nights, before you can actually experience the noticeable benefits.

Are Contour Pillows Good for Side Sleepers?

Although contour pillows works very well for back sleepers, all of them may not prove to be comfortable for side sleepers.

Hence buying out any contour pillow (you see in the market) is not a good idea, when we are specifically talking about for side sleepers.

As there is special range of contour pillows available for people who are side sleepers, you should research a bit to choose best contour pillow for side sleepers so that you can enjoy sound sleep every night without any problem.

We recommend using a pillow for combination sleepers that can help you enjoy the benefits of side as well as back sleeping positions while using your contour pillow.

In addition to contour neck pillow using a contour leg pillow can prove to be most helpful, especially for those who prefer sleeping on their side.

This provides extra support to the knees and lower body, by aligning the spine, lower back and legs in a better way.

Are Contoured Pillows Good for Tummy Sleepers?

Studies show that sleeping on your stomach is not a good idea as it can cause stiffness to your neck and shoulders.

You can also experience symptoms such as upper back pain, ear pain and jaw pain when you sleep in this position.

These types of pillows are not recommended for those who usually sleep on their stomach. As it can end up putting your head and neck at an unusual angle while sleeping, all it can do is increase your neck and head pain.

However in some cases it has been seen that, using contoured pillow helped the users by preventing them to sleep on their tummy, due to the discomfort they feel in their neck and head region.

Also Check: Best Neck Support Pillow for Travel

Important Things to Check When Choosing Best Pillow for Neck Pain

It has been seen that people while buying a good pillow for them, choose the most expensive option available in the market. They think that it will prove to be a most suitable piece for their neck, shoulders and back problems.

However the truth is something different! A most expensive pillow in the market does not necessarily means that it will be the best one for your body needs.

In fact, what is good for someone else may prove to be a bad for you!

Thus, while making a purchase it is important that you look into some of the important factors that can help you buy the best fit, specifically suiting to your body needs.

Some of these important considerations to be made include:

1- Size, Shape and Material: Few years back, pillows are only available in standard size and shape. Most of these come with natural coconut fiber or cotton material.

But presently various different types of pillows are available in multiple shapes, designs, colors and sizes.

Contoured pillow for neck and shoulder pain are no exception. These come in variety of materials such as: visco elastic foam (memory foam), natural latex rubber, polyfill, sponge, artificial fiber, etc.

The price of these curved pillows vary according to the material you choose to have. The fact being, the better you pay the better quality you get.

2- Included Hygienic Cover: While buying a pillow for getting best neck support it is important to check whether it comes with a removable and washable cover or not.

An included cover does not directly help you in providing the neck support; but opting for this will ensure better hygiene and long lasting pillow.

Additionally, a quality pillowcase (like made up of cotton material) ensures that you are provided with the best comfort you are seeking. A pillowcase with a nice smooth-feeling is all that we want and it adds to the comfort factor for many of us.

3- The Price: Few individuals choose to get cheap priced pillow with a cheap quality, thinking that they will change them often when needed. While there are others who always insist on choosing the highest quality which also cost higher.

Although low price does not necessarily means that the quality is low, most of the cheaper versions may collapse within few weeks of usage and can cause great damage to your spine in long run.

Generally the usage of high quality contour pillow for neck pain is recommended by doctors that hold good quality material. These may come at an extra price but are worth checking.

As it provides the greatest support and comfort to the spine, neck, shoulders and back, it helps in preventing all types of spinal problems.

4- Available Brands: According to the contour neck pillow reviews available online, the best contour pillows for neck pain and side sleepers are manufactured by brands like Sleep Innovations, Tempur-Pedic, AERIS, PharMeDoc, ViscoSoft, Therapedic®, and few others.

While these are most popular on the online market and are best-selling among all, you can check the detailed reviews and consumer ratings on few other items before making your final buying decision.

5- Doctor’s Advice and Recommendation: If you are already suffering from various sleeping disorders and are confused about finding the right body pillow, the best person to ask is your doctor.

He/she will be able to recommend you the best neck or body pillow (as per your need) that provides you with good comfort during your sleeping hours.

Keep in mind, it may take a while for your body to adjust to the new pillow you buy. But as it will be for your own good health, it is important for you to make your wise decision.

DO NOT just opt for an expensive most pillow, but choose the one that is right suited for your body and needs.

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About the Author

Eliana have been practicing as a professional nurse after completing M.Sc. in 2012. She seriously loves her job to look after the seniors leading a painful life. When she is not spending time with her patients, she loves writing about neck and back pain on her site MyNeckSprain.
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