Best Orthopedic Pillows for Pain-Free Sleep

By Amanda Lasater

If there is one thing we know, it is that sleeping on one of the best pillows can improve your sleep significantly. If you ever wake up in the morning or during the middle of the night with back or neck pain, then you are likely using the wrong pillow.

The role of a pillow is to help support your head, neck, and upper back, and to keep your spine in a neutral alignment – however, orthopedic pillows take this job to the next level. The support that orthopedic pillows provide relieves pressure points on vulnerable areas of the body, reduces pain, increases blood circulation, and ultimately results in a better night’s sleep. 

Keep reading to see our top picks for the best orthopedic pillows and to learn more about how to choose one that helps you have more pain-free nights of sleep.

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The Best Orthopedic Pillows

epabo pillow

Best for Back Sleepers

EPABO

While the EPABO Memory Foam Orthopedic Pillow can be used with most sleeping positions, the most beneficial use of this pillow falls under back sleepers.

The contoured design perfectly aligns your head, neck, shoulders, and spine for an unparalleled level of comfort and support. The memory foam cervical pillow is wrapped in a hypoallergenic rayon and polyester blend that feels silky soft but protects against allergens such as dust mites. 

Pros:

  • All materials are chemical free
  • 30 day money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Not the best option for side sleepers, stomach sleepers, or combination sleepers
  • Slight odor
Mkicesky pillow

Best for Combination Sleepers

Mkicesky

The Mkicesky Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow is a pillow that you may consider to be a little odd looking, but once you sleep on it, you won’t care what it looks like!

Their patented design features a hollow hold in the middle to relieve head pressure and a lower curve to support your neck and allow for proper breathing. It is made from a high-quality, low-rebound memory foam that produces a firm feel and always ensures proper head and neck support. Plus, thanks to the cervical contour of this pillow, it supports the natural curve of the neck and reduces snoring.

Pros:

  • Best for all styles of sleeping
  • Unique, patented design
  • Breathable and hypoallergenic pillow case

Cons:

  • Pillow cannot be washed
  • Odd sizing 
royal therapy pillow

Most Ergonomic

Royal Therapy

This memory foam pillow with a bamboo cover by Royal Therapy was designed with a simple contour design to provide ample support to one’s neck and shoulders through neutral spine alignment.

Its ergonomically-contoured wave shape was developed by orthopedic doctors to ensure proper spring alignment, support, and comfort. The pillow also features a zipper which allows you to add or remove a memory foam layer as you please and build the perfect pillow for your sleep style. It is made with CertiPUR-US certified foam as well as OEKO-TEX certified materials and is hypoallergenic. 

Pros:

  • Inhibits growth of bacteria, mold, fungus, and dust mites
  • Bamboo cover helps dissipate body heat 
  • 100 day trial period

Cons:

  • Zipper may scratch you during your sleep
  • Some find it too soft
coisum pillow

Best for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Coisum

Coisum’s Cervical Pillow was designed with a strong emphasis on ergonomics. The company admits that this pillow is “weird looking,” however, they say that once you use it, you will fall in love with it.

Made of 60 density slow-rebound memory foam, the pillow is moderately hard in order to ensure proper head support and eliminate neck and shoulder pain. The two sides of this pillow feature two different heights and shapes so that you can always find your most comfortable and beneficial sleeping position. The higher side was designed according to the curve of the human neck for both side and back sleepers, while the lower side features a large cutout area that best accommodate side sleepers. 

Pros:

  • Slow-rebound memory foam 
  • Breathable and hypoallergenic pillow cover

Cons:

  • Not beneficial for stomach sleepers
  • No warranty information

What are Orthopedic Pillows? 

Orthopedic pillows are pillows specifically designed to improve your sleeping position in order to improve your sleep health. Orthopedic pillows come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can help adjust all kinds of sleeping positions.

Some are designed to go in between the legs to provide better spine alignment for side sleepers, while others are meant to mold to the head, neck, and shoulders to provide ideal, custom support.

Who are they good for? 

Orthopedic pillows are good for anyone who wakes up with aches and pains or isn’t happy with their sleeping position, due to pain, sleep apnea, snoring, and more. Sometimes people want to change their sleep position because it can cause pain or make sleep apnea and snoring worse, and orthopedic pillows can help by encouraging your body to maintain a specific position throughout the night.

Pros and Cons of Orthopedic Pillows 

The biggest benefit of orthopedic pillows is that they can help adjust your sleep position and relieve pain to get you better quality sleep. Since we spend nearly one-third of our lives asleep, it’s incredibly important that we sleep well, and orthopedic pillows can help make that happen.

However, there are a few potential drawbacks. First, some orthopedic pillows take up quite a lot of room in the bed, so if you sleep with a partner, it may be crowded or uncomfortable. Additionally, orthopedic pillows are an added expense, and if money is tight, they may not be an option for everyone.

How to Find the Best Orthopedic Pillows

With the number of orthopedic pillows on the market, it is best to know what to look for ahead of time. Here are a few things you want to look for in your next orthopedic pillow:

Support

If you wake up in the morning with an achy neck, back, or hips, you may need an orthopedic pillow that offers some support. These pillows typically aren’t soft and fluffy, because their main purpose is to offer some firm support so you can get better, less painful sleep.

Comfort

If you can’t get comfortable at night and have trouble falling asleep, you may need an orthopedic pillow that offers added comfort rather than added support. These comfort pillows are typically softer than the support pillows, and they may help you find a more comfortable position so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Price

Another important factor when choosing the right orthopedic pillow for you is the price. While there are definitely budget options out there that can help improve your sleep, they still cost more than most standard pillows.

Filling

Decide upon which type of filling you prefer. Some of the most commonly used fillings in orthopedic pillows include memory foam, gel-infused memory foam, and microfiber. Check out our FAQs below to learn more about each of these fillings.

Breathability

No one enjoys night sweats, so make sure that your pillow is breathable enough that it will not cause you to overheat during your sleep. 

Ease of care

You will be sleeping on this pillow every night, so you’re going to want to keep it clean. Double check the cleaning instructions to ensure that moisture and bacteria do not build up on the pillow.

Warranty

You want a pillow that is backed by a decent warranty because this shows that the company stands behind the product and is confident in its reliability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are orthopedic pillows any good? 

It depends on what you’re looking for from an orthopedic pillow and which brand you buy. Like any other product, there are duds out there, but generally, orthopedic pillows really can help you get a better night’s sleep by adjusting your sleeping position to help prevent pain and reduce sleep apnea or snoring.

What is the best pillow for someone with neck problems

If you have neck problems that interfere with your sleep or cause you to wake up with a sore neck, you will likely want an orthopedic pillow that supports your shoulders and encourages proper spine alignment from your head to your base. A head, neck, and shoulder pillow is probably the best option for you.

Do chiropractors recommend orthopedic pillows?

Yes, they do! Orthopedic pillows can help with spine alignment, which means chiropractors are generally very supportive of their use.

What is the benefit of memory foam orthopedic pillows? 

Memory foam is often the top choice in orthopedic pillows due to its superior ability to relieve pressure points and contour the body. In addition, memory foam pillows are hypoallergenic and do not encourage the breeding of dust mites.

What is the benefit of gel-infused memory foam pillows?

Gel-infused orthopedic pillows are the perfect blend of supportive memory foam and cooling gel. Memory foam has many benefits, however, it does tend to retain heat. The infusion of gel into the memory foam material allows you to reap all the benefits of memory foam while maintaining a beneficial temperature. 

What is the benefit of microfiber orthopedic pillows?

Microfiber is a synthetic filling that monitors and manipulates temperature while you sleep. It is popular in orthopedic pillows because it is hypoallergenic and does not cause the respiratory problems that other fillings, such as down, can.

Summary

Compare our top-rated picks for the best orthopedic pillows below:

Orthopedic Pillows Material Best for Rating
EPABO Memory foam pillow with rayon/polyester case Best for Back Sleepers 4.3/5
Mkicesky Memory foam pillow with rayon/polyester case Best for Combination Sleepers 4.1/5
Royal Therapy Memory foam pillow with bamboo rayon case Most Ergonomic 4.5/5
Coisum Memory foam pillow with polyester case Best for Neck and Shoulder Pain 4.2/5

We all deserve to wake up feeling well rested and ready to take on the day, however, if you are using the wrong pillows then it is possible that you are waking up exhausted and in pain. To help ensure that you are getting the healthiest night’s sleep, try out an orthopedic pillow and take back the freedom that comes with being pain-free and well-rested. 


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