How do I Choose the Best Neck Pillow?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Neck pillows are useful devices for supporting the neck and minimizing the chances of experiencing some type of neck pain. Because there are different types of pillows available today, consumers should evaluate their needs before beginning the search for a new neck pillow. Here are some things to keep in mind as you search.

Bed pillows may be designed to provide neck support.
Bed pillows may be designed to provide neck support.

When it comes to a neck pillow, a good place to begin is with your particular health issues. Not everyone needs the same type of support; some will require a pillow that is firm while others will do better with a pillow that is pliable and will conform to the contours of the neck. Talk with your doctor to determine what type of support would be best in your case, then focus your attention on pillows that will meet your needs.

When choosing a neck pillow, consider talking with your doctor to find out what type is best for you.
When choosing a neck pillow, consider talking with your doctor to find out what type is best for you.

The intended function of the neck pillow is also an important consideration. Perhaps you need a good travel pillow that will not take up much room but will offer the type of support you need. You can consider a memory foam pillow or even an inflatable neck pillow; both options fit easily into a carry-on bag and can be ready for use in a matter of minutes once you are settled in your seat.

Choosing the wrong pillow or sleeping in certain positions can cause neck pain and disrupt sleep.
Choosing the wrong pillow or sleeping in certain positions can cause neck pain and disrupt sleep.

For sleeping at night, bed pillows designed to provide neck support come in several different styles and types. One option is a bed pillow designed to provide cervical support. For people who have a problem with numbness or tingling, a traction neck pillow will help to keep your neck aligned while sleeping and help your rest to be more refreshing.

Bath pillows are another form of neck pillow that you may find helpful. Sealed with a waterproof shell, a neck pillow of this type often utilizes memory foam to adjust to the contours of your neck. While reclining in the tub, the pillow offers comfortable support that comes in very handy if various types of disc problems are present, while still not restricting your range of motion.

Along with basing your purchase on your health and the intended purpose of the neck pillow, there is also the matter of price. While there are inexpensive pillows on the market, they do not tend to wear well. Determine how much you can reasonably afford to spend on a neck pillow and then look for the right kind of pillow within your price range. Don’t forget to check the terms of your health insurance; while not all policies cover the purchase of medical supplies, some will at least partially pay if your doctor issues a prescription for the pillow.

A neck pillow may help reduce neck pain.
A neck pillow may help reduce neck pain.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


So far, the best I've tried is the simple travel pillow. I saw it in the Skymall magazine. I like it because my head doesn't fall to the sides, is stiffer than the usual pillow but it's comfortable though, and it works.


I have tried and tested every neck pillow on the market and my top three are:

1. The J-pillow. It is so comfortable and gives support in all the right places. There's a padded and inflatable version.

2. Travel Rest. It's inflatable and long and gives some body support.

3. Ezysleep.


Try the Evolution Pillow by Cabeau. This one is the only one I've ever tried that works. The others are imitators. --G.K.


I think the design makes a big difference in terms of comfort. Ergonomic travel neck pillow should be the way to go.


I have been thinking for awhile about buying an airplane neck pillow, but it seems that many on the market are very cheap. Since neck support pillows have become more popular and more commonly used, it is harder to sort out the quality ones from the ones which just sort of look like support pillows.


I think the best pillows are memory foam pillows. They support the way your neck is shaped. I bought an Align Standard Premium Memory Foam Contour Pillow by Boyd online. It was 30 percent off, which is the only reason why I would spend the money on a foam pillow. They tend to be very expensive.

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