Best pillow for neck pain

Pile of 3 Hungarian goose down pillows in a white bedroom

If you wake up with neck pain or stiffness, and perhaps shoulder pain too, then it could be because your pillow is not properly supporting your head and neck. Your neck should remain in line with your head as you sleep to provide proper spine alignment. If your pillow is no longer providing the right support and you are not getting a good night’s sleep, then updating your pillow or trying a different type of pillow could be the right solution.

The NHS advises ‘One of the most common causes of neck pain is the neck becoming locked in an awkward position while sleeping. When sleeping, make sure your head is the same height as the rest of your body.'

 

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  1. How to ease neck pain while you sleep
  2. Top tips to make sure your pillow is providing the correct neck support
  3. What type of pillow is best for solving neck pain
  4. Are down pillows good for neck pain?
  5. Does it matter what position you sleep in?

 

How to ease neck pain while you sleep

Neck pain can be caused by many things. It could be the way you sit at your desk, stiffness due to bad posture, an old injury, etc, but it could also be your pillow. If you find your neck is most painful after a night's sleep, then your pillow might not be providing you with the right support. 

TIME TO WASH YOUR PILLOW? - If you have been using your pillow for 6 months or more, then it could be time to wash your pillow if it is a synthetic or natural filled pillow. Check the care label for the manufacturer’s washing instructions. Regular washing can extend the lifespan of your pillow.

TIME TO REPLACE YOUR PILLOW? - If you have been using your pillow comfortably for many months and suddenly find your pillow uncomfortable, then it could be time to replace your pillow. Many sleep experts recommend that you change your pillow every one to two years as many types of pillows deflate and become less supportive over time.  Try our pillow test to see if you need to buy a new pillow.

NEED TO SWITCH TO ANOTHER PILLOW? – If your new pillow is causing you neck ache, then you may need to try switching to a different type of pillow. You might have to experiment with a range of different pillows before finding the right pillow for you. Invest in a good quality pillow but be aware that it won't necessarily miraculously solve your neck pain on night one. It can take a few days to get used to a new pillow. 

Close up of Hungarian goose down pillow showing scooms label

 

Top tips to make sure your pillow provides enough neck support

Look for a pillow that provides the support that you need for your head, neck, shoulders and spine. This will depend on the quality and softness of your mattress, as well as your body shape and size.

  1. Is your pillow the right height for the length of your neck? Your pillow needs to fit in the space of your neck so that your neck is in line with your head.
  2. Avoid too high or too firm pillows. Your neck will be extended which could give you morning pain and stiffness.
  3. Sleep with only one pillow. If you find you need more support then you either have the wrong pillow or your pillow has deflated due to age and it’s time to buy a new one.

 

What type of pillow is best for solving neck pain

Different pillow fillings  provide different levels of support but ultimately the right pillow for you is a matter of personal preference. What suits one person will not necessarily suit another.

MEMORY FOAM PILLOWS – The foam will feel soft at first and then firm up to mould to your neck, providing support in the natural curve of your neck. Not everyone likes the feel of memory foam however, as it can be rather rigid. If you are a combination sleeper who changes sleeping position throughout the night, then a memory foam pillow will probably not be for you. Memory foam tends to be rather warm in the summer months.

NATURAL LATEX PILLOWS – Similarly supportive to memory foam and a more eco-friendly option. They are more breathable than memory foam so not likely to be too warm during the summer. However, a latex pillow can be an expensive option, often quite heavy and may have a rather distinctive ‘new’ smell.

DOWN & FEATHER PILLOWS – A softer option that can still provide good support if it has a high feather content which adds more firmness than pure down. A feather and down pillow is easy to fluff up and squish into the right position to support your neck. Be aware however, that the loft of a natural filled pillow will decrease during the night.

The scooms Hungarian goose down and feather pillow consists of a core of firmer goose feather sandwiched between chambers of naturally fluffy goose down to provide the ideal combination of firmness, softness and support. They are available in firm and medium support.

TRAVEL PILLOWS - When you travel, use a horseshoe-shaped pillow to support your neck and stop your head drooping. Inflatable ones can be handy for long journeys.

Pillow on made bed with side table, eye mask and scooms candle

 

Are down pillows good for neck pain?

Yes, a high quality down pillow is a great pillow to choose if you suffer from neck pain. 

 

Does it matter what position you sleep in?

If you have neck pain, the best position to sleep in is whatever position makes you feel most comfortable. If you normally sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side to see if that helps alleviate your symptoms. Or if you normally sleep on your side, try sleeping on your back.

Side sleepers require a higher pillow to support the inward curve of their neck and their shoulders.

Back sleepers need a flatter pillow as too thick a pillow will push their head upwards so that their spine is not in proper alignment.

Sleep experts do recommend not sleeping on your stomach for ultimate neck comfort.  Sleeping on your stomach can put pressure on your spine, because your back will be arched and your neck turned to the side.

See our sleeping position pillow tips.

 

 

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Author: Emily AttwoodPublished: 7 March 2018Last modified: 15 April 2024





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Bedding size guide

DUVET SIZE GUIDE

These are standard UK bedding measurements so if you know your mattress size, you can easily work out which duvet size you need. (Width x length.)

UK sizes Duvet size Mattress size
Single 135 x 200cm (53 x 79") 90 x 190cm (36 x 75")
Double 200 x 200cm (79 x 79") 135 x 190cm (53 x 75")
King 225 x 220cm (89 x 87") 150 x 200cm (60 x 78")
Super king 260 x 220cm (102 x 87") 180 x 200cm (72 x 78")

US/CANADA BEDDING SIZES: Approximate matches to UK sizes are US King/UK Super king, US Queen/UK King,  US Full/UK Double and US Twin/UK Single.

EUROPEAN BEDDING SIZES: Each size - Single, Double, King and Grand king - is a little larger than the UK equivalent.

Measure your mattress to see which size bedding you need: our UK v European v US mattress comparison guide.

 

DUVET TOG RATING GUIDE

Young children can overheat so if they are old enough to use a full size bed, we recommend using a single size 4.5 tog duvet.

 Tog rating Season / heat Feel
2.5 tog High summer / hot sleepers Light thermal insulation
4.5 tog Summer Lower thermal insulation
9 tog Spring & Autumn Cosy medium heat
All season 13.5 tog 4.5 tog + 9 tog Very warm
All season 11.5 tog 2.5 tog + 9 tog Warm
All season 7 tog 2.5 tog + 4.5 tog Lower warmth

 

DUVET FILL WEIGHT GUIDE

Our goose down duvets have high 700 fill power. Fill weight is measured in GSM (grams per square metre). For example view our 9 tog king size goose down duvet for more duvet details.

Fill weight (not total duvet weight)
Single All seasons - 788gsm
9 tog - 486gsm 
4.5 tog - 302gsm 
2.5 tog - 220gsm
Double All seasons - 1168gsm
9 tog - 720gsm
4.5 tog - 448gsm
2.5 tog - 320gsm
King All seasons - 1478gsm
9 tog - 911gsm
4.5 tog - 567gsm
2.5 tog - 400gsm
Super king All seasons - 1671gsm
9 tog - 1030gsm
4.5 tog - 641gsm
2.5 tog - 480gsm

 

PILLOW SIZE GUIDE

Our pillows come in two sizes and two firmness options. (Width x length.)

Standard  50 x 75cm
King 50 x 90cm

 

BED LINEN SIZE GUIDE

Our fitted sheets are deep fit, up to 40cm / 15.7" mattress depth. And our duvet covers fasten with large, easy to use buttons. (Width x length.)

Duvet cover Fitted sheet Flat sheet Pillowcase (pair)
Single 140 x 200cm 90 x 190cm 180 x 275cm
Double 200 x 200cm 135 x 190cm 230 x 275cm 50 x 75cm (Standard)
King 230 x 220cm 150 x 200cm 275 x 275cm 50 x 90cm (King)
Super king 260 x 220cm 180 x 200cm 305 x 275cm

 

MATTRESS PROTECTOR SIZE GUIDE

Our mattress protectors are deep fit, up to 40cm mattress depth. Choose the same size protector as your mattress size. (Width x length.)

Mattress protector size Mattress size
Single 90 x 190cm 90 x 190cm
Double 135 x 190cm 135 x 190cm
King 150 x 200cm 150 x 200cm
Super king 180 x 200cm 180 x 200cm 

 

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