Using a good contour pillow for neck and back pain is one of the easiest, fastest and most effective ways by which you can get rid of all the sleeping problems – without emptying your pocket.
Most of you won’t deny the fact that sleeping with your neck problem is most frustrating. And worse – most of the time, 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 ones.
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 the few best options to buy.
So check more below and we hope that you will find this guide useful.
Page Contents (Quick View)
- What Is A Contour Pillow?
- Benefits of Contour Pillow
- 10 Best Contour Pillow for Neck and Back Pain
- How to Use a Contour Pillow?
- Important Things to Check When Buying
- How Often You Should Change Your Pillow?
- Are Contour Pillows Good for Side Sleepers?
- Are Contoured Pillows Good for Tummy Sleepers?
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 a 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 the 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 the 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, the 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 a 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 the right type of contoured pillow.
Contour pillows are specifically designed for providing the best support to your neck and head region while lying down or relaxing.
Unlike standard pillow, these pillows provide a contoured area for the head to rest and thus proves to be much comfortable than others.
Using a 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
- A cheaper alternative to other treatment methods for spinal and cervical pain
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 a 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 the 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 the 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 a limited warranty of about 5 years on the pillow so that you can get in touch with the manufacturer’s help desk to avail of 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 pillows in the market. It comes with a washable cover and features soft and densely built to help ease your tension in the 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 that 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 wishes to.
3- AERIS Contour Pillow
The high-quality Queen Size AERIS Memory Foam Contour Pillow lets you get into a 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 help in airflow inducing a 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 lifetime warranty and replacement option from manufacturer.
You can choose to buy it risk-free either for your personal use or for gifting it on 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 problems 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 the 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 the 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 a medium firmness. You can choose from medium to soft firmness as the pillow is available in various options.
This contour latex pillow comes with an 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 eliminates hot spots while regulating the temperature of the 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 the 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 polyurethane 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 a 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 a 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 the 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 that 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 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.
Knowing proper steps can help you get the most out of your orthopedic pillows without the fear of hurting your neck or shoulders.
✓ To start with, carefully remove all the packaging of your newly bought pillow.
Keep aside and do not use it for about 24 hours, this will remove any packaging odors off the pillow.
✓ After you see that the pillow has attained its shape, you may now cover it with a premium quality pillowcase made up of cotton.
Although there are tons of options available online for a contoured pillow, you can also consider using a general pillowcase with quality material.
✓ While laying down on the bed make sure that your head finds its place comfortably between the curves of the pillow.
Try to hold your head in a straight position so that your eyes are looking up at the ceiling when lying. Avoid your head getting slumped and your chin being pressed against your neck.
If the right posture is not maintained it may constrict your airways, making problems like snoring getting worse.
✓ The flat side of your pillow should be placed downwards on the bed while placing the contoured side up. Place the larger of the two curves towards your foot side.
No matter whether you are a side sleeper or a back sleeper this is an ideal orientation of placing a contoured pillow to provide maximum support to the head and neck region.
✓ The pillow when absorbing the heat from your neck and head, automatically contours to provide you the maximum comfort.
However, when you change your position it may take a few minutes to get the foam to 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…
Important Things to Check When Buying
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 the 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 mean that it will be the best one for your body needs.
In fact, what is good for someone else may prove to be 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:
A 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 is no exception. These come in a variety of materials such as viscoelastic foam (memory foam), natural latex rubber, polyfill, sponge, artificial fiber, etc.
The price of these curved pillows varies 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 the 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 a cheap priced pillow with 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 costs higher.
Although low price does not necessarily mean that the quality is low, most of the cheaper versions may collapse within a few weeks of usage and can cause great damage to your spine in the 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 a 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.
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 the 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 – a contoured pillow may take you a 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 work 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 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 the 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 stomachs. 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 a 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.
How firm should my pillow be?
Generally, pillow you choose should be firm to medium if you are a side sleeper or a back sleeper. For a stomach sleeper its ideal to choose a soft to medium firm pillow depending on the pain and other condition.
How thick should my pillow be?
In general, the neck pillow you are choosing should come with a thickness of 3 to 6 inches. This will be good for providing adequate support to your neck and shoulder.
Make sure that the height you choose should neither be too much (to tilt the head too far forward), not too less (so it extends your neck or tilt your head upwards).
Is sleeping without a pillow bad?
No, it is not. In fact, for many stomach sleepers sleeping without a pillow will help to rest their back and neck in a natural position. Also, it extends the back slightly and can benefit without experiencing any aches.
Make sure if you use a pillow, choose the right firmness as too soft can strain your neck muscles and can decline the blood flow to your head.
Is a flat pillow bad for your neck?
Pillows in general are meant to provide better support by keeping your spine in a neutral position. You should choose the one that is not too thick and not too flat. This can put your neck at an unnatural angle causing pain.
Should shoulders be on pillow when sleeping?
Typically, your ear, shoulder and hips should be aligned while you are resting on a pillow. You should test different versions of pillows until you find a right fit for your shoulder size. As a thumb rule if your shoulders are large, you should be getting a larger pillow for better comfort.