What Is a Cervical Pillow? What You Need to Know

There’s really a specialty pillow for everything these days and today we’re going to answer the question of what is a cervical pillow? Cervical pillows are specially designed to support your neck and head so your spine stays properly aligned while you sleep. These spinal alignment pillows usually have a very specific shape that guides your head and neck to the right angle while you sleep. 

The orthopedic pillow usually has a raised edge at the neck area and is more compressed or flatter where the head lies. This unique shape is specially designed to help your spine maintain that natural curve to promote your health and wellbeing. 

Advantages of Cervical Pillows

These contour pillows are loved by many because they offer the right user a variety of benefits. Here is a quick look at some of the main advantages of neck pillows.

  • Offers good neck support
  • Can reduce chronic neck pain
  • Can reduce shoulder pain
  • Can prevent a stiff neck
  • Improves your posture
  • Keeps your spine in a healthy neutral position
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Relieves muscle tension in shoulders and neck
  • Keeps the airway nice and open

Disadvantages of Cervical Pillows

Every person is unique and comes with their own set of individual sleep preferences and health needs. Thankfully, anyone can find a good and comfortable pillow to sleep on because there are a variety of pillow types to choose from. 

Traditional pillows, eye pillows, bath pillows, lumbar support pillows, body pillows, husband pillows, and knee pillows are all very useful for enhancing sleep comfort and helping you overcome or combat certain types of pain. 

If you are struggling with body pain, specifically neck pain, then it is time to ask one important question: what is a cervical pillow? 

What Is a Cervical Pillow?

Not everyone will benefit from or enjoy these orthopedic pillows because they come with a couple of drawbacks that you need to consider before buying. Here is a quick look at the main disadvantages of these types of neck pillows. 

  • Usually designed for a specific sleep style
  • Some designs can be too thick or flat for the unique shape of your spine
  • Not the best supportive pillow type for restless sleepers
  • Might be hard to find a pillow design that you find comfortable 

Different Types of Cervical Pillows 

what is a cervical pillow

These types of pillows are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here is a quick look at the main types of neck contour pillows that you can use for optimal sleep health.

Side-To-Back Cervical Pillows

This type of pillow for neck pain is preferable for restless sleepers or those who sleep in different positions. They usually have a lower center that is beneficial for back sleeping and raised sides to offer you needed support when you sleep on your side.

C-Shaped Cervical Pillows

These contoured pillows are designed with a c-shape, and they have a flatter area that supports your head and a rounded raised edge that offers good neck support. Contoured pillows are mostly preferable for back sleepers, but some have a higher design that can be comfortable for side sleeping. 

Cooling Cervical Pillows

Cooling cervical pillows have the same contoured design but are made from materials that don’t retain heat. This pillow for neck pain is usually flatter since it is made for stomach or back sleepers. The pillows are designed with open cell technology that offers a firm sleep surface without restricting airflow. 

Memory Foam Cervical Pillows 

Memory foam cervical pillows are made with memory foam on the inside. These pillows sink well beneath your weight and offer more support in the raised or curved parts of your neck so you can get great support in the neck area. Memory foam pillows are not the most breathable and can be warm to sleep on, but they bounce back after sleeping and are very comfortable to sleep on.  

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have never tried a cervical pillow before, you probably have a lot of questions regarding these pillow types. Here is a quick look at the most common questions others had regarding these neck pillows.

Which Cervical Pillow Is Best?

The best orthotic device for you depends on various aspects, like your preferred sleep position, your size, and your personal sleep preferences. Back and stomach sleepers should get a cervical pillow that is thinner and very breathable. Side sleepers should get a pillow that is firmer with a higher design. 

Those who prefer a cool sleep environment should get a cooling pillow, while those who want a warmer environment can invest in a memory foam pillow. And if you toss and turn or sleep in different positions throughout the night, it might be best to get a side-to-back cervical pillow with multiple height levels.

How Firm Should a Cervical Pillow Be?

What feels firm to one person may be too soft for another. The most important factor regarding the firmness level is that the pillow for sleeping should be strong enough to support your head without increasing pressure on your spine. This means your head should be level while your neck gets enough support to form a natural spinal curve. 

What Is the Correct Height of a Cervical Pillow?

Cervical pillows are made in a wide range of sizes and can have different heights because larger individuals might require a thicker pillow than petite individuals or children. Side sleepers tend to prefer a higher neck pillow, while back and stomach sleepers prefer something flatter. If you have the right pillow height, your spine will be in a neutral position, your airways will be nice and open, and your head will be very comfortable when you lie down in your preferred sleeping position. 

Bottom Line

So, what is a cervical pillow? We hope that this guide helps answer your question and that you were able to see what type of bed pillow you might need.

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