How Do I Choose A Neck Pillow?

When it comes to investing in a new neck pillow, one thing is abundantly clear: your choice of pillow is likely to have a major impact on your quality of life. Using a high-quality neck pillow can make a huge difference in your physical comfort, both while sleeping and while going about your day. It is vital to choose a neck pillow that will help to optimize your physical well-being.

With so much at stake, selecting the right pillow for yourself can be an arduous process. With seemingly endless pillow options available today, it is difficult to know which shape, style, and material will be suited for your unique needs. You may find yourself poring over research studies, articles, and product reviews as you search for the perfect pillow. 

Ultimately, there are a few key components to consider as you go about this process. In this article, we will delve into the most important factors to think about in choosing your perfect pillow.

What Is A Neck Pillow?

A neck pillow is exactly what it sounds like: a specialty pillow that is designed to give support specifically to your neck and head. A good neck support pillow secures your head in a natural position, thus promoting comfort and physical health. 

There are several common types of neck pillows, including u-shaped travel pillows and cervical pillows. Each type of pillow has distinctive uses and benefits. In order to decide which type is right for you, you should first determine the intended use of your neck pillow.

What Do You Want From Your Neck Pillow?

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The first thing to consider is the purpose of your pillow: Are you seeking relief from neck pain? If so, does this pain often feel the most severe after a night of sleep? By contrast, perhaps you do not suffer from neck pain at all—are you simply looking for the perfect pillow for your next long train ride or flight? 

There are different materials of neck pillows, from feather pillows to latex pillows, all of which claim to provide you with the best cervical support for a good night's sleep. There are even water pillows, like the infamous water beds. However, for truly great support in your orthopedic contour pillow, we're going to have to get a little specific in what you're looking for in a new pillow.

Your answers to these questions will help you to determine the correct neck pillow for you. Let’s explore the various factors to think about, depending on the intended purpose of your pillow. 

The Best Neck Pillows for Travel

People who frequently travel by air or commute by train on a daily basis are keenly aware of the effect that a high-quality neck pillow can have. Such a pillow can mean the difference between a journey that is peaceful and rejuvenating and one that is long, uncomfortable, and seemingly endless. 

That being said, if you are hoping to find a neck pillow that will improve your travel experience, it is vital to find a pillow that will provide instant comfort and support in any plane, train, or bus seat. A u-shaped neck pillow intended for travel will provide this. No matter what kind of seat you have been assigned, you can simply place the pillow around your neck and drift off to sleep. 

Similarly, the material of your neck pillow can make an enormous difference to your travel experience. Cheap, low-quality travel pillows tend to be flimsy and provide very little support. If you travel often, investing in a high-quality travel pillow is likely the best move for you. A material such as memory foam is an excellent option. Down pillows tend to not be as comfortable because they don't shape to your body, and inflatable pillows are prone to popping, which would obviously affect your quality of sleep.

Of course, the size of your pillow is important as well: a small, compact neck pillow that you can easily carry or store in a backpack is ideal for long days of travel. Be sure to consider the features of the pillow that allow for ease of travel. 

For example, some travel pillows are inflatable so as to fit easily into a piece of luggage without taking up any additional space. Others have small hooks attached to attach onto backpacks or purses. If traveling light is important to you, choose a pillow that will not feel too bulky or burdensome to carry throughout your travels.

If you tend to become overheated as you sleep, you may want to consider a pillow with cooling material, such as our Gel Infused travel pillow. It contains ventilation holes that are deliberately placed to cool down the pillow as you use it. 

If you intend to use your neck pillow primarily during travel, be sure to contemplate each of these factors before making a purchase.

Neck Pillows And Pain Relief

Although many people tend to only use neck pillows as carry ons during travel, this is not their only use. Indeed, another reason that many people use neck pillows is to alleviate neck pain. 

Although there has been some disagreement regarding the effectiveness of neck pillows in relieving pain, many studies have shown promising results. For example, one study revealed that using a neck pillow in addition to physical therapy can, in fact, reduce chronic neck pain.

That being said, certain types, ergonomic shapes, and materials of neck pillows are better suited for improving neck pain. In order to choose the best pillows for neck pain to accommodate your body, take the following factors into account.

  • Your sleep position. Your sleeping posture can trigger neck pain, which can cause back pain and other types of pain. If you sleep on your side, you may want to place a body pillow between your legs to keep your neck and spine aligned. Back sleepers, side sleepers, and stomach sleepers all might need different kinds of neck support.
  • Your posture. Poor posture can cause you to wake up with neck pain and shoulder pain in the morning because your spinal alignment might be out of whack.
  • Other aches and pains. If you experience pain in other areas as well as your neck, consider purchasing a versatile pillow that can be used in many ways.

If you are looking for a pillow that will address any or all of the issues above, our Memory Foam Half Moon Bolster Pillow is an excellent option. It can be used not only for neck pain but for a wide range of areas. You can place it between your knees as you sleep, behind your back as you sit at a desk, under your knees, and more. A versatile pillow like this is a wonderful option for a pain-reducing neck pillow.

Finally, if you are seeking a pillow that will provide some pain relief, be sure to pay close attention to how your own body responds to different pillows, as well as various sleeping positions and postures. One optimistic study found that most neck pain tends to improve with both time and self-care. You know your body better than anyone, and if you find a pillow that is well suited to you, that’s the best self-care you can give yourself.

Other Factors To Consider

Once you have determined the types of pillow that will best serve your particular needs, you can begin to consider the other details of your neck pillow. Like any other product, you can find a huge variety of colors, design options, special features, and prices when it comes to neck pillows. 

Of course, these choices depend entirely on your personal preference, but you can never be too thorough when searching for your perfect pillow.


The price of a neck pillow can range greatly depending upon the brand and quality of the pillow. 

For many consumers, finding an affordable product is a top priority. As you go about your search for the ideal neck pillow, be sure to set a budget for yourself. Fortunately, it is still possible to find effective neck pillows within smaller budgets; you simply need to focus your search on pillows that fit within your own price range. 

Special Features

In order to get the most out of your purchase, consider seeking out pillows that contain supplemental features or free items in addition to the pillow. 

For example, if you are looking for a pillow that is excellent for travel, you might look into something like our Memory Foam Airplane Travel Kit. This product contains not only a memory foam pillow but several bonus items: memory foam earplugs, an adjustable eye mask, and a travel bag. The pillow itself also contains a built-in cellphone pocket. If you are striving to create an optimal travel experience for yourself, opting for a product like this is an excellent option.

Design Options

This is the fun part. After you have determined your ideal pillow shape, material, and price, you get to pick out a color or look that suits your personality and aesthetic. 

If you have read this far, you have probably conducted a solid and thorough amount of research to find the absolute perfect neck pillow. This is a product that you will likely use frequently and extensively. You should choose a pillow that is not only effective for your needs but is also aesthetically pleasing to look at every day. 

Many neck pillows are available in multiple colors or quirky designs. Choose your favorite!


smiling man at the airport

At the end of the day, purchasing a new neck pillow is an act of self care. The best travel pillows have benefits ranging from comfort to promoting physical health, and the ideal neck pillow has the potential to vastly improve your life. 

As you go through the process of deciding on the perfect neck pillow for your specific needs, consider all of the various factors listed above. Ultimately, this decision comes down to your own physical needs, priorities, and preferences. 

You can always revisit the resources above or visit our website’s section on neck pain relief for more information. Happy shopping!


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