I hope you love the products I've recommended below, just a heads up that as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may earn commissions on products bought via links on this page.
Anyone who’s had a stiff neck knows just how difficult, if not impossible it can be to get to sleep at night. Having the correct supportive pillow can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep they get every night. Especially as a back sleeper. But what is the best pillow for back sleepers with neck and shoulder pain in 2017?.
Formally a side sleeper, I have found myself ending up on my back just about every night. While I did find that sleeping on my back made me snore quite a lot louder, I found it also was much more comfortable on my neck pain. My shoulders benefited from the change of sleeping posture as well.
By not sleeping on my side, I wasn’t waking up with numb and painful wrists/hands. Plus the shoulder I usually slept on wasn’t as painful from the pressure normally applied in the side position. So just by switching from side sleeper to back sleeper, I noticed a significant difference in the comfort level and reduction in shoulder, neck and wrist pain.
But as my previous pillow was not well suited to back sleeping, I knew it was time to find out the top rated pillows suitable for back sleepers and ones that focus on relieving neck pain in particular. Below you can find out which pillows are the best rated from my own personal research. Hopefully my countless hours researching may benefit you. By sharing my results, you now have a list of high quality and suitable pillows for people that sleep on their backs.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 What Type Of Pillow Best Suits Back Sleepers?.
- 2 The Best Pillow For Back Sleepers With Neck And Shoulder Pain
- 3 Best Neck Support Pillow When Sleeping On Your Back
- 4 The #1 Memory Foam Pillow Alternative For Neck & Shoulder Pain Sufferers
What Type Of Pillow Best Suits Back Sleepers?.
One of the most important features a pillow can have when it comes to back sleepers is firmness and thickness. Having these two features all wrong will make you night a miserable sleeping experience. Too soft and your head will sink backwards and too firm will cause you to get a stiff neck. Medium firmness is ideal here. As for the thickness, if it’s too thick like most traditional pillow are, you chin will be propelled forward which can cause all sorts of neck/spine issues.
To gauge the thickness required for your individual needs, it’s best to do a quick test. Stand up straight with you back to the wall. Once your back is touching the wall, make sure you tilt your head into a straight up and down position. The distance between the wall and the back of your head is the ideal thickness you should seek for a pillow.
The Best Pillow For Back Sleepers With Neck And Shoulder Pain
#1. Contoured Memory Foam ‘Cool Sleep’ by Classic Brands
Our number one top rated back sleepers pillow is by a popular brand name ‘Classic Brands’ which is made in the USA (Maryland). If you haven’t heard of or felt memory foam yet, what the heck have you been doing?. No seriously!.
Memory foam is a godsend for back sleepers I have found. Because of it’s unique ability to mold to the shape of your head, it ticks all the support boxes when it comes to aligning your spine correctly with your head. Remember how I was just talking about the correct thickness a pillow needs to be for back sleepers?. With memory foam pillows, it’s not an issue. Your head will sit firmly in the pillow as the foam decompresses to leave a solid yet medium style firmness support brace for your neck, shoulders and spine.
Memory foam does have one negative feature, that is it does not breathe very well at all. It is great in winter for retaining heat, but during the warmer months its another story. Fortunately this Cool Sleep pillow features a way to counteract this trait of memory foam. This is known as Cool Pass fabric and it acts to not only keep the surface of the pillow nice and cool, but repeal moisture getting into the pillow. Now when you think about summer heat and sweat getting into the pillow, you can truly see the value in having this outer skin feature.
The inside of the pillow is made from a Gel infused open cell memory foam (Latest technology in memory foam), which is different to the traditional memory foam. Gel is infused into the foam to create a more breathable foam which has greater air holes that make the pillow cooler and disperse your body heat more evenly. Compared to normal memory foam, the Gel open cell foam is more comfortable as well, due to the foam not being so squashed or dense.
What else is there to love about the Cool Sleep pillow by Classic Brands?
Besides the memory foam feature what I also really do like is that the actual cover on the pillow can be taken off and be washed. This is a great idea and one that is often forgotten about. The stitching in the seams seems really well done as well. Probably due to being American Made.
While being great for back sleepers, there is enough depth in this pillow to suit side sleepers as well. Being about 5 inches in depth, this should be enough for many side sleepers. Typically 4-5 inches is ideal thickness for a pillow when sleeping on your side. But all of us have different body sizes, so do take this into consideration.
Comfortable and supportive is how I would best describe this back sleepers pillow by Classic Brands. Overall, it’s hard to fault this pillow on my on experience. One thing to note is that like any memory foam, when you first purchase one of these awesome pillows you will get a slight odor present. However, don’t panic. It goes away rather quickly.
Best Neck Support Pillow When Sleeping On Your Back
ViscoSoft Contoured Gel Memory Foam Pillow – Made In USA
Slightly smaller than a traditional pillow case cover, the ViscoSoft is a very supportive orthopedic pillow for the neck and shoulders. The pillow itself is contoured o that you place your head in the middle of the inner curve. The back of your head molds into the back curve. Then the font curve of the pillow is what fits in perfectly between the neck and bed. Being memory foam, the curved pillow will mold into the back of the neck and create an extremely supportive pillow.
Like the ‘Cool Sleep’, this ViscoSoft pillow uses the latest cooling technologies with Gel that is wrapped around the pillow. That is the blue stuff you see in the picture, and yes it is contoured but not noticeable when sleeping on. The pillow comes with a washable cover, so I suggest using this cover unless you like the weird feeling of cooling gel on your body. This Gel wrapping works very well at bringing the temperature down. This is extremely beneficial if you live in a warmer state.
The reason this pillow works well for back sleepers is in the contours. The ditch area cradles the back of your head while your neck is supported by the waved pillow. Because this pillows ‘ditch’ areas are not too high, the head sits closer to the bed and creates a well aligned spine. It’s incredible to think there are pillows out there that cost $100 more than the ViscoSoft, but don’t offer the same amount of comfort and support.
The #1 Memory Foam Pillow Alternative For Neck & Shoulder Pain Sufferers
The SleepHi Collection Review
So not everybody is blown away by memory foam, I get that. So what other alternatives are there when you suffer from severe neck pain and stiffness?. A down/feather pillow is often recommended, perhaps becasue they are a lot more expensive?. But from my experience, I found them to be more of a hassle for back sleepers. Because the feathers inside need to manually shift around, if you move around in your sleep, this can create a bad supportive pillow for you.
Which is why I recommend this Microfiber pillow by SleepHi if you are not a fan of memory foam. Even if you do like foam pillows, this pillow is still worth checking out for it’s unique features to cater to back sleepers that suffer from neck and shoulder pain specifically.
This pillow comes in two sizes, normal and King so size of pillow is irrelevant here. But whats special about this pillow is it’s design. in the center of the pillow is a flat spot that is about 2 inches thick. This is what supports the back of your head. The outer ring of pillow is more like a traditional pillow at about 6 to 7 inches. Which can also be used by side sleepers which is also why I love this pillow. I tend to end up on my back, so starting on the outer pillow and falling into the ‘well’ so to speak on the back would be beneficial to my spine alignment.
So when you lay on your back with your head in the center of the pillow, your neck and shoulders are fully supported by the soft outer pillow. While meanwhile your head is supported by the center cushion which is much thinner, which it should be for back sleepers to enable the correct sleeping position.
This creates the ideal surrounding comfort and support for the shoulders (more than the other pillows mentioned here), neck and head. I have read from many peoples testimonies about how this particular pillow has helped them in ways words cannot express. I highly encourage you to read some consumer reviews on this hidden gem of a pillow.
Have You Heard, No Pillow Is In Trend Now?
Have you heard or ever tried sleeping on your back without a pillow?. Many specialists believe this to be the best sleeping posture over all. By having no pillow your spine is perfectly aligned and straight. With even a slight increase in angle (Forced by a pillow) your neck can force pressure on your spine, muscles, arteries etc.
Sure sleeping on your back without a pillow sounds like the best route to take eventually. But for the modern Man, loosing the comfort of a pillow may be too much to handle. I find a pillow even to be a safety blanket of sorts as well. So perhaps you can try a thinner pillow to start with and then gradually lower the distance between the back of your head and the bed. Do this by folding up a towel or even use a blankets thickness. After a few weeks of sleeping like this, you could notice drastic results if you currently suffer from shoulder and neck pain.