What is the Best Pillow for me?

What is the best pillow for neck pain?

What is the best  pillow for me?

After managing a chiropractic office for close to 30 years I have found “what is the best pillow?” to be one of the most asked question that I  have encountered in my many years of practice.

Image of best pillow
I’m often asked, “what is the best pillow for me? Part of having the best pillow depends on what you do with it! Hint: Sometimes it is not the pillow that is the problem!

It can be confusing can’t it? There are so many pillows to choose from. But, which is the best pillow? To name a few, there are memory foam pillows, there are bamboo pillows and there are down pillows. There are orthopedic pillows, neck pillows, body pillows, gel pillows and many many more. Which is the best pillow for me? I can understand why this gets asked so often. People tend to think there is one single best pillow.

“The reality is, there is no single best pillow for everyone. Here is the short answer to this question. I don’t mean to tick you off: If your neck is healthy, you can sleep just fine on just about any kind of pillow. So, get your spine adjusted by a seasoned professional and start sleeping better!”

Ok, back to the question and a kinder gentler answer. In my opinion, there are two, and only 2 important factors in choosing the best pillow.

  • Thickness
  • Comfort

    man sleeping on stomach
    Sleeping on your stomach is the absolute worst way to sleep. No pillow can help you if you sleep like this.

“Make sure your pillow is the right thickness for your body shape and style. Make sure it is a comfortable pillow to you. That is about all you need to know.”

What do I mean by the right thickness of pillow? How thick is the perfect pillow? The perfect pillow is one that puts your head and neck in the proper position when you are sleeping. The idea is that the perfect pillow is not too thin or too thick. Just ask mama bear. She will tell you!

Side or back sleeping are the best positions for sleeping. Do not sleep on your belly. Belly sleeping (like the man in the image above) is a 100% chance of neck pain and headache. If you don’t have these yet. You will! Give it time.

When sleeping on your side, it is important that you have a pillow that supports your head in alignment with your body. This means it does not jack your head up (right) and it does not let your head sag (left) below your shoulders.

image of man on pillow that is too high
No pillow can help you if you sleep like this. Head and neck must be lined up with shoulders. This, and belly sleeping are two of the most common mistakes people make.
Image of woman side sleeping on pillow.
While this is exaggerated, it is a good demonstration of how NOT to sleep. What you do with the pillow is as important as which pillow you have!










If you are pregnant, it can be difficult to get a good nights sleep and feel comfortable. A body pillow can be very helpful. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees is also very helpful for many. Just be sure to keep in mind all the other tips above and this new one: keep your head over your shoulder. It is ok to bend into a fetal position with your legs, but not with your head.

image of pregnant woman on best pillow
Getting comfortable when you are pregnant can be difficult. A body pillow and one between the knees can help. This woman has her head way too far forward though.
image of woman sleeping with head forward posture
It is ok to curl into a “fetal position” while sleeping. To avoid problems, just do it with the legs, not the neck.








Sleeping with “head forward posture”is demonstrated by these images above. This is a problem no matter who you are. For pregnant women who will find themselves looking down ALL the time after the baby is born can have even more difficulty with this.  Mom is looking down when the baby is nursing, when the baby is in her lap, and when the baby is on the floor and in the crib. The mother is looking down constantly. Keep this in mind when using electronic devices as well. Keep your head as level as possible. Head forward posture is a culturally developing problem for teens as well. Almost all teens look down on screens most of the day. So many are now developing neck pain and headaches.

image of perfect sleeping position
Demonstrating near perfect sleeping position. Head aligned with spine and level. If you sleep like this, the pillow you choose will not matter as much.

Perfect pillow and sleeping position:

This young man is demonstrating near perfect sleeping posture. His head is aligned with his spine and level. His shoulders are square. This sleeping position will help you sleep better and more comfortably.

Breaking habits like sleeping on your tummy or head forward may seem difficult at first. Really it is just a matter of getting used to moving into the new positions each time you wake up.

So, while there is no one perfect pillow for everyone, these tips will help you get a better nights sleep. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions. Give us a call at +1(828)298-0011













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