Are Memory Foam Pillows Good for Neck Pain? 

If you have neck pain, the pillow you use can make all the difference. The right pillow will support your head and hold your neck in place to relieve pressure and promote healing. But what type of pillow is best?

This article will look at memory foam pillows for neck pain so you can decide if they are the right choice for your needs. 

What is a Memory Foam Pillow?

Memory foam is a material that is initially firm, but it works with pressure and body heat to contour to your shape. It was developed by NASA to improve the safety of aircraft cushions. Soon, the technology was integrated into beds and wheelchairs in hospitals to provide support to patients with spinal injuries and reduce bed sores. 

It eventually became popular on the consumer market, and it is now integrated into the manufacturing of everyday mattresses and pillows. 

When memory foam is integrated into a pillow, it will mold around the contours of the head. It will cradle the position of the neck to keep it in line and minimize irritations while supporting healing. 

Are Memory Foam Pillows Recommended for Neck Pain?

Memory foam pillows tend to be a good choice for people with neck pain. Here are some benefits it provides: 

  • Support: Memory foam holds the head and neck in place offering support for those dealing with neck and back pain. 
  • Durability: Memory foam is naturally resilient and due to its ‘bounce back’ capabilities. This ensures it will last for years. 
  • Retain Shape: Some pillows may seem supportive when you first lie on them. But they will wear down as the night progresses, losing their shape. A memory foam pillow retains its shape providing all night support. It also minimizes the need for rearranging or pillow flopping that can get your neck out of whack. 
  • Smoothness: Memory foam mattresses are very smooth. They do not contain lumps that can add to discomfort and interrupt healing sleep. 
  • Good For Snoring: Memory foam’s ability to support the neck opens the throat so air can easily travel through passageways. This cuts down on snoring, and it can also be helpful for people with sleep apnea. 

What is the Best Type of Memory Foam Pillow to Use?

There are various types of memory foam pillows on the market, and each may have varying results when used for neck pain. Generally, you will want to find open celled or shredded memory foam varieties. 

A common complaint with memory foam products is that they are very dense and tend to get hot which can interfere with sleeping. The best temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If the pillow causes a warmer environment, it can be difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep. 

Open cell memory foam is made with the same features as traditional memory foam, so it provides similar support. However, it has an open cell design that allows for ventilation and air flow. It helps disperse heat, so you get the rest you need. 

Shredded memory foam is also recommended. A shredded memory foam pillow contains shredded pieces of memory foam which can be added and removed so you can get your pillow to the perfect height when it comes to providing neck support. The fact that the pieces are removable do not take away from their ability to keep the head and neck in place.  

What is the Best Position to Sleep in if You Have Neck Pain?

The position you sleep in will also help relieve your neck pain. Here is what’s recommended. 

On Your Side with Your Neck Elevated: Sleeping on your side with your neck and head elevated will support the neck and spinal alignment to reduce pain. 

On Your Back with Two Pillows: People who sleep on their backs should have enough support to allow their head to sit in line with their neck. If the pillow they have does not provide the proper amount of support, they may want to place a small rounded pillow under their head to reduce pain while they sleep.

If you have neck pain, a memory foam pillow can be beneficial, particularly an open cell or shredded variety. Will you be adding one to your bedding to improve sleep quality and reduce pain? 

For more information about neck pain and  pillow recommendations checkout Revive Chiropractic’s newest article titled: Best Pillow For Neck Pain. Dr. Frank Siraguso is a Chiropractor in the Kansas City area who offers insight to what might be best for your pillow and your neck pain.

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