If you wake up in the morning or at night with a sore throat, then it's probably time to get a new pillow. It's something we many know all too well, unfortunately. It is insanely important to have a pillow that fits your neck and shoulders. Especially if you have neck problems such as hold on the neck, whiplash, or disc prolapse. If you have a sore throat, do yourself a favor and get a better pillow, maybe even an ergonomic one.
In this article, I will continuously test and report ergonomic pillows. A lot has been written about pillows online, but ... it doesn't seem that quite a few have tested the pillows themselves. And then not at all with someone who has neck problems. I only write about pillows that I have tested myself or that are at least recommended by others with neck problems (e.g., in Facebook groups or patient associations). Therefore, I keep updating this article as I try more pillows. Let’s take a look at what I believe is the top rated pillows for neck pain
Here you get the preliminary results of the pillow test. I continually add pillows as I get them tested. I can't exactly afford to buy them all at once, so I've decided to start with the cheaper pads and then see if I can get a discount too.
Dunlopillo Ergo II - TEST WINNER
Dunlopillo ergonomic pillow
Dunlopillo Ergo II is the winner of the test and my clear favorite. I have now been through several popular ergonomic pillows, and for me, Dunlopillo Ergo is in a class of its own. Of course, we are all different, but to me, it has been a revelation.
For the first time in a very long time, I woke up completely without tension and pain in my neck and shoulders.
Dunlopillo Ergo II, What is it now, you might think, should an ergonomic pillow not be made in memory foam? I also thought about that before trying the pillow, but it is not really. I was inspired to try the pillow as I lay on a latex mattress. It felt just right and gave a great sense of support and comfort. Memory foam markets itself well. Maybe because it's easy to see what it does. But natural latex is also a material that can do anything.
Latex is a natural material that provides support, but at the same time, is soft and comfortable. It gives in, but you don't sink into it. On the contrary, "push it again." The best way to describe this is as if your head is kept soft, but firm, up by the pillow. Therefore, your neck does not stretch, and therefore you do not get sore in the morning.
There is also down in the Dunlopillo Ergo II, which lies around the latex core. It makes a big difference, I think, in comfort. It feels like a real pillow, not artificial like memory foam pillows tend to. You can hardly feel the latex core, but it feels more like a firm down pillow. However, a regular down pillow does not support a latex pillow at all.
This pillow can be used in all sleeping positions. Another thing I am pleased about. Otherwise, I think that was a problem with the other pillows. Ergo is equally suitable whether you lie on the side or your back.
Conclusion: Dunlopillo Ergo II is the best ergonomic pillow I've tried. It provides support for your neck and shoulders, yet feels soft and comfortable. It's a "real" pillow that feels natural and looks great
5 out of 5 stars.
The original Tempur cushion in moldable memory foam. It is the cushion that started it all and revolutionized the market for pillows. It is still one of the most popular ergonomic pillows with many fans. Newer models of Tempur have come since, but many still prefer this original version.
The pillow has an elevation at one end. It provides support for your neck. Therefore, you must lie right on the pillow, whether on the side or the back.
Conclusion: I have tried both Tempur Original and Tempur Millenium (see below), and I probably prefer Millennium. However, with a good conscience, I can still recommend a Tempur Original. I am mostly into the Millennium because I am restless and need extra head support. Just be sure that you get the right size. If you are a big man (or woman), with broad shoulders and a big head, then you must have a large one. Most others will do well with a medium, and if you are not that big, a small one is a right choice.
4 out of 5 stars
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The first cushion in the test is King Aloe Vera with memory foam. It is one of the cheapest ergonomic memory foam cushions on the market, so of course, it should be tried. With a cheap price point, it can be overlooked when now the classic Tempur ergonomic pillow costs so much more.
How was it then? I have to admit that right now, it is not used much. The in itself excellent, it is pleasantly large (enormous), has good memory foam, nothing to expose there. But for me, it does not work so well. It is too low around the neck, despite the fact it is 14 cm high.
Maybe it's because I have a big (actually huge) head, and that's part of the explanation. It should also be said that I have a disc prolapse in my neck, so that means I'm much more sensitive than most.
What happened, at least, was that I kept putting my hand under the pillow, especially when lying on my side. When I lie on my back, it is excellent and comfortable. But I sleep a bit on the side and there it was not very good. Another thing is that it is flat. It meant to me that it shifted at night. It is not a regular pillow, but it is hard in it, so if you move, so does it. At least sometimes.
Conclusion: King Aloe Vera is made of good materials, it is large and comfortable, but it probably does not fit well with larger people. If you're not as big as me, you'll probably like it better.
King Aloe Vera gets 2 out of 5 stars.
Uh, this pillow I was very much looking forward to. It immediately looks amazing to me because it is a combination of a neck pillow and a regular pillow. The regular Tempur pillow is taller at the bottom and therefore provides support in the neck. This version of the Tempur pillow has around notch at the bottom, just like a neck pillow, so your neck fits perfectly with support.
Now I have tested it and can reveal .. that it fully lives up to expectations. It is an excellent ergonomic cushion that is very well placed, whether on the back or the side.
That's a huge difference compared to "flat" ordinary memory foam pillows that aren't quite good for lying on the side. With the Tempur Millenium, there is a "collar" around your neck so you can lie on your side or back, and you have full support for the neck regardless.
However, when buying, be sure to get the right size. I am 185cm tall man with a big head, and I need a Large. If you also have a large head/neck/ shoulders, I would recommend it to you as well. The medium should be suitable for most others and a small one if you are small in stature.
Conclusion: Tempur Millenium is the best ergonomic pillow I've tried. This is not least because it can be used both for lying on the side and the back. The collar on the pillow leaves it lying around your neck, even if you move to sleep
5 out of 5 stars.
Cheapest Tempur pillows found online can be found on Amazon
Tempur travel pillow is a neck pillow made in memory foam. How about an ergonomic pillow, you might be thinking. The answer is that many people who suffer from sore throats use neck pillows. Especially people who have discus or whiplash often rely on a neck pillow. I use a neck pillow myself when sleeping. The advantage of the neck pad is that it goes directly in and supports the cavity at the neck. It can do better than even the best ergonomic pillow.
That's why I asked Ilva if I could borrow one for testing, and it was the sweet ones to let me. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you, readers, because I couldn't use the pillow. It was simply too small and therefore pressed on the side of the neck. It was a shame because it was really good in the neck, where it was perfectly located in the cavity.
Now, as I wrote above, I have a big head, neck, and shoulders. Therefore, I would highly recommend this pillow to you that is not as big as me. But if you are solidly built with a thick neck, then I cannot recommend it. Therefore, it gets 3 out of 5 stars. For others with smaller head and neck, it may be just right, but unfortunately not for me.
3 out of 5 stars
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Silvana Support ergonomic pillow
Silvana Support is a very popular pillow for people with neck problems. It is recommended by the Gout Association, and it is a good sign. This is a pillow made of natural latex and spherical fibers, i.e. not memory foam. It's interesting and one of the reasons I brought it because most ergonomic pillows are made of memory foam. I haven't tried the pillow yet, but this is the plan to try it very soon.
Fossflakes Chiropractic is another popular ergonomic pillow. We haven't tested it yet, but think it should be mentioned anyway. It is the Danish chiropractor couple Karina and Peter Gyrst, who have developed the pillow. According to Fossflakes, the cushion helps with muscle pain in the neck and ensures that your neck is in a correct position.
The pillow should be especially good for you who sleep on the side.
If you have a disc prolapse in the neck, a good pillow is essential for getting a proper night's sleep. Discus prolapse is not fun. I know all about it because I have a discus in my neck that presses on the nerves. Therefore, I also know how it feels when you wake up after falling asleep. Ouch! If you have a disc prolapse in the neck you need extra support so that the nerves are not pressed at night. I've slept with a neck pillow for a long time, like the ones you use on the plane, but that's not the best solution, I think.
The Facebook groups for discus patients often ask which pillow to use - and if it helps. The vast majority use an ergonomic pillow with memory foam, and the vast majority are fond of them. Many say the pillow is indispensable. That's because an ergonomic pillow provides support in the neck, in the space between your neck and your head. This is where the pillow should support. So I feel good about recommending you a memory foam pillow, but of course, it has to be a proper pillow, and that's why I set out to test them in person.
Whiplash is a very overlooked and under-treated disorder, unfortunately. I have read a lot about whipping, and contrary to what many people think, it is a disorder that can persist for years. One of the biggest problems when having a long-lasting effect of whiplash is a pain in the shoulder, neck, and back. It is very similar to disc prolapse, but without pain down the arm and the like.
It is super important to get good sleep if you suffer from whiplash. In particular, do not lie wrong so that your neck muscles and ligaments are stretched at night. This is precisely the problem when suffering from whiplash. Therefore, at least you should not have too high a pillow. Many people with whiplash are fond of ergonomic pillows.
Hold in the neck may be because your pillow is too high, so you lie with your neck bent at night. It gets the muscles of the neck in overtime, and then you can wake up almost with cramps. Conversely, you can also get hold of your neck if you have a completely flat pillow.
Are you waking up in the morning with a stiff neck, sore muscles or worse with tension headaches?
Then there is a good reason to check your mattress, pillow and sleeping position. Poor sleep is something that adversely affects our quality of life and not something you have to let go of. Fortunately, pain in the neck after sleep is usually caused by something completely banal, which you can solve with, for example, a new (ergonomic) pillow. However, if you have other symptoms or it persists, you should, of course, go to the doctor.
Is it your pillow it's crazy with?
If you wake up feeling stiff in the neck and shoulders, then your pillow is probably the culprit.
Is it flat as a pancake, or has it become hard and firm? A pillow has a limited lifespan. As time goes on, it often becomes either flat or hard. If you have a down pillow, the down starts to clump together, and then it loses fullness and resilience. Your pillow can also become hard and too firm, so you don't sink but lie with your neck bent.
The problem may be that your pillow is either too low or too high. If your neck problems have recently occurred and your pillow is old, then a new and fresh pillow will surely do well. Maybe you should consider an ergonomic pillow? It can be a good solution if you have had neck problems for a long time or other issues such as whiplash or discus collapse.
It is obvious to check the pillow if you wake up with a stiff neck, but it may also be the mattress that is the problem. It may not sound obvious, but the pillow and mattress should be tight. If your mattress has become a little flabby, so too soft, you sink into your shoulder region. When that happens, your neck will be bent more than usual.
Conversely, you may also find that a new mattress is too hard, and the small pillow you had before no longer provides enough support. Then there needs a new pillow with more support.
Waking up with a sore throat is often coursed by an incorrect sleeping position. Often it comes creeping. When we are young and active, we can handle everything, including sleeping wrong. But with age and sedentary work, wrong sleeping positions are starting to cause problems.
A typical cause of neck pain is if you sleep on your stomach. It is far from anyone who has trouble sleeping on their stomachs, but if you are already suffering a little with neck pain, it can be really bad. People who suffer from neck problems can almost always feel it if they fall asleep on their stomachs. The reason is that your neck tightens when you lie on your stomach. Muscles and joints are stretched, and this can cause tension.
The best position for your neck is to lie on your back with good support in the cavity between your neck and your back head. But many of us prefer to lie on the side, and so it is extra important with a pillow that supports properly. When lying on the side, there is a larger cavity, and therefore your pillow must be higher.
Side sleepers can often experience waking up with shoulder pain and sleeping arm. It can be very uncomfortable and feels scary. This is often due to squeezing a nerve bundle in the shoulder of the brachial plexus, causing pain and sleeping sensations in the arm. If you have started to develop pain in the shoulder, lie down on the other side. You should also avoid having your arm under you. Instead, place it down the side. Use a pillow between your legs to avoid leaning over your arm with the upper leg forward. You may want to buy a so-called u-pad if the problem persists.
Neck problems rarely come from your pillow or mattress alone. Often sedentary work and poor posture help provoke the pain. The pillow or mattress is then just the trigger. Simple stretching exercises can often help or an actual program for the neck and shoulders.