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How Do I Choose the Best Orthopedic Neck Pillow?

Someone who has neck pain every day may want to get an orthopedic neck pillow.
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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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If you wake each day with neck and back pain, you may wish to try sleeping on an orthopedic neck pillow. While orthopedic neck pillows can vary widely in appearance, composition, and cost, they generally have one common goal: to keep your neck and upper spine in a neutral position as you sleep, thus reducing stress and strain to the area. To choose the best orthopedic neck pillow for you, begin by determining your preferred sleep position. Next, decide what type of pillow material you desire. Finally, narrow down your choices by establishing a price point.

The first step in choosing an orthopedic neck pillow is determining your preferred sleep position. Whether you like to sleep on your side, your back, or your stomach, there is a range of orthopedic neck pillow choices to suit you. Normally, however, the shape of these pillows varies greatly depending on the sleeping position they are intended to support. Therefore, it is important to figure out which position you find most comfortable before purchasing a pillow.

An orthopedic neck pillow designed for side sleepers may feature a cutaway area which allows for comfortable shoulder placement. Pillows for back sleepers often have a soft hump or bar at their base intended to support the neck’s natural curve. Those for stomach sleepers are usually fairly thin and soft, preventing the user from thrusting his neck backward as he sleeps. A pillow’s packaging should specify which sleeping position it is designed to support.

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Once you have determined your preferred sleep position, you should consider what type of pillow material you desire. Many models are made from a dense, spongy material known as memory foam. This foam is intended to conform to the unique curves of your body. Other orthopedic neck pillows can be made from environmentally friendly, animal-free, or hypoallergenic materials, making them good choices for environmentally conscious consumers or those with allergies. Again, a pillow’s packaging should indicate what type of material it is made from.

Finally, before attempting to purchase an orthopedic neck pillow, you should establish an ideal price range. This step will help to narrow your pillow choices by eliminating models which fall either below or above that range. After determining your preferred sleeping position, desired material choice, and ideal price range, you can begin the shopping process, visiting stores or browsing online retailers to select a pillow which fulfills all of your criteria.

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