5 Best Contour Pillow Options for Neck & Head Support

Last Updated:October 25, 2020

If you’ve been constantly waking up on the wrong side of the bed, it’s time to blame your pillow. Neck pain, headaches, numbness, and disturbed sleep – these are signs your pillow is not supporting you properly. Enter: contour pillows. These will give you a night’s sleep and so many more benefits. To find out what’s the best contour pillow on the market, read on.

Contour Pillows 101: A Buying Guide

What are the advantages/benefits of a contour pillow?

Sleeping with a contour pillow has numerous effects on your sleep and physical health. Here are a few benefits.

Contour pillows support your head and neck.

Also known as a cervical or orthopedic pillow, a contour pillow has a sloped design that properly supports the head and the upper part of the spine (called the cervical spine). If you sleep in twisted positions or crane your head at odd angles, you’ll know that this tenses your neck muscles. With a mushy or rock hard pillow, you’ll wake up with soreness. A contour pillow align your neck and head so you rest better and have a deeper sleep.

Contour pillows minimize body pain.

As the contour pillow realigns your body, it distributes the weight evenly all along your spine and joints. Your body is positioned properly, therefore no undue strain is placed on it. A comfortable sleep position is also kind to your joints so you don’t wake up feeling achy.

Contour pillows prevent chronic back and neck pain.

Buying a good quality pillow will cost you less than a trip to the chiropractor or massage therapist. It’s really an investment, not just for your sleep, but for your overall health.

Contour pillows offer durable, lasting protection.

Unlike goose down or feathers, contour pillows are often made of stern material like memory foam. These pillows spring back into shape after a long night’s rest. Good ones will not flatten down even after hundreds of uses and will continue to give good support.

Contour pillows can increase sleep comfort.

This pillow type can help reduce allergies and help you breathe better during the night. It also has a breathable fabric that feels cool on your head for optimal sleep temperature.

Are contour pillows good for side sleepers?

People who sleep on their side need a firm pillow with a high loft in order to raise the head in alignment with the spine and between the shoulders. It also needs to fill the space between the head and the shoulder in contact with the mattress.

Because contour pillows have two slopes, a side sleeper can choose which one suits their body best, though it’s recommended to place the low part of the pillow under the neck. Side sleepers will benefit from the structured support contour pillows give. It will relieve pressure points that are usually placed under stress when using a subpar pillow as well as provide excellent neck support.

What pillows do chiropractors recommend?

Contour pillows are also called chiropractic pillows because they support good posture and cradle the neck properly. If you experience back or neck pain, your sleep position may be the cause. Tension headaches and arthritis can also be relieved with a contour pillow. To buy the best contour pillow for your needs, talk to your chiropractor or physician.

What is the best orthopedic pillow?

An orthopedic pillow is used to treat conditions like insomnia, breathing difficulty, sciatica, acid reflux, neck pain, and many more. It’s a corrective, therapeutic pillow made to support and align the body properly as you lie in bed.

Orthopedic pillows follow orthopedic guidelines regarding proper placement of head, neck, and back to promote good sleep.

Orthopedic pillows come in many forms for almost every body part. A cervical or contour pillow is a form of orthopedic pillow that is best for side and back sleepers. Other orthopedic pillows include wedge pillows, neck pillows, lumbar pillows, knee pillows, and body pillows.

The best orthopedic pillow depends on the sleeper’s preferences.

How to choose the best contour pillow

These are the most important things to consider when buying a contour pillow.

Sleeping position

This is the main criterion in determining what contour pillow to get.

Side sleepers need a thick, firm pillow for neck support. You want a pillow that fills in the gap between your ear and shoulder when you lie on your side.

Back sleepers need a flatter, soft pillow. Too high of a loft will misalign the head and spine.

Stomach sleepers will require a soft pillow or they can go without one. These sleepers commonly have neck and back pain. A pillow under the hips or waist will alleviate this.

Fill

Contour pillows are usually made of memory foam or latex. Latex pillows are firm but comfy. These will hold their shape and will not flatten. They are also dust mite-resistant.

Memory foam pillows respond to your weight and body heat and mold themselves to your head and neck. These are great for those who have neck strain and headaches. Memory foam distributes weight evenly. A downside it has is retaining heat a little too well. They’re also known for emitting chemical smells when they’re new.

Heat

If you’re a hot sleeper, look for a contour pillow with temperature regulation. The best contour pillows will have natural and breathable fabric covers.

Size

A standard pillow will fit the average sleeper. If you’re tall or heavy, go for a larger and thicker pillow. A pillowcase should fit your pillow comfortably, so if you don’t want to buy new pillowcases, make sure they have similar measurements.

Chemicals

If you have allergies and sensitivities to smell, consider that before buying something like a memory foam pillow. There are hypoallergenic versions in the market with certifications. Some pillows also go through antimicrobial processes.

The 5 Best Contour Pillows for Head & Neck Support

UTTU Sandwich Pillow

This contour pillow has a unique design that allows you to adjust its loft despite being made of a single block of foam. You can remove the middle foam layer inside if you want a thinner pillow so it suits all types of sleepers.

The UTTU pillow is made of a high-density memory foam that the brand calls its Dynamic Foam. Unlike low-density foam, this foam supports your head and neck properly and won’t squish down under the weight of the body. The memory foam is consistently firm yet comfortable year-round. It won’t harden in the cold months. The pillow won’t get hot as you sleep.

With the middle layer, the pillow is 4.7 inches high on the high slope and 3.9 inches high on the low slope. Without the middle layer, it becomes 3.5 inches and 2.8 inches, respectively.

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The contour pillow has a dip in the middle which cradles the head. The lower slope supports the cervical spine whether you’re sleeping on the side or on your back. Its curved design ensures you relieve pressure points when you sleep.

The bamboo cover is hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant. It wicks moisture and keeps you cool. The cover is also removable and machine washable so you can maintain the pillow’s freshness.

The UTTU Sandwich Pillow has passed the standards of ISPA, CertiPUR-US, and OEKO-TEX.

If you have a short neck, you may need to adjust the pillow loft to get comfortable support. The curve of the pillow can be too wide and high if your neck is short.

Pros

Cons

Royal Therapy Queen Memory Foam Pillow

This one of the best contour pillows for a variety of sleepers. It’s a great contour pillow for all types of sleepers whatever your weight or height may be. That’s because it’s fully adjustable and comes in multiple sizes, so there’s something to fit everyone.

The Royal Therapy Memory Foam Pillow has a core of memory foam that’s made of three layers. It has a unique design that interlocks these layers, so when you take off the middle foam, the two remaining pieces fit perfectly. They won’t slip and slide as you sleep.

The queen size has a 4.9 inch loft that can be reduced to 4.2 inches. The other sizes are king, extra king, and extra queen. This contour pillow is great for all types of sleepers because of its adjustable loft.

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The curved shape fits the contours of the head and neck so they are evenly supported. You’ll sleep without straining your neck or putting pressure on the shoulders. The cervical pillow is firm enough to support the weight of the head. It adjusts to the shape of the cervical spine, allowing your muscles to relax.

The bamboo cover is nontoxic and cooling. It removes thermal buildup as you sleep, which is a good feature if you sleep warm. The cover is removable and machine washable.

This contour pillow is CertiPUR-US certified so it’s guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals.

A potential downside for this pillow is the sizing. The queen size is closer to a standard-sized pillow.

Pros

Cons

Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Cervical Support Pillow

If you’ve been waking up from shallow sleep, try a pillow with a therapeutic design like this one from Sleep Innovations.

It’s a contour pillow with a simple yet effective form factor. It gently molds to your head, neck, and shoulders but provides excellent support. It aligns the cervical spine and distributes weight evenly across the upper body.

For subtle customization, you can choose from the high or low contour. In the middle is a valley that cradles the head, soothing your headaches. You’ll wake up refreshed from a deep slumber.

Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Cervical Support Pillow for Sleeping, Queen, Made in The USA
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Because it’s made of memory foam, your body heat will warm it up so it becomes softer through the night. The contour pillow will maintain its shape even after countless nights. It’s a durable pillow that will feel as good as when you first receive it.

This contour pillow is ideal for back and side sleepers. The sloped design will ward off stiffness and strain. It comes with a soft washable cover in pure white. It’s easy to clean when it gets stained or soiled.

It comes in standard, travel, and queen sizes. The five-year warranty is a nice touch.

Fans of this pillow may find it’s softer than previous versions. It’s also not ideal for stomach sleepers.

Pros

Cons

Mugetu Gel Infused Memory Foam Pillow

This is one of the best contour pillows for hot sleepers who still want the resiliency and support of memory foam. It will suit all types of sleepers and sleeping conditions.

It has an adjustable loft because it’s composed of three wavy layers. The middle layer is removable if you want a lower height, which is perfect if you’re on your back or stomach.

Despite being made of memory foam, the pillow is breathable and cool because the foam is infused with gel. The pillow designed to retain its shape and temperature. The slow rebound memory foam resists wrinkles and will spring back to shape when deformed or compressed.

The sloped design of the contour pillow is good for spinal alignment. It also provides excellent neck support, preventing neck pain. If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll appreciate the adjustable loft and curved design. It is dense and responsive so your cervical spine is adequately supported throughout the night.

Because your head, neck, and shoulders are in a natural position, your lower back and hips will be relieved of tension. This promotes restful sleep and melts your stress away.

The soft and breathable cover has a zippered opening. It’s easy to remove and wash. Choose from three colors: dark gray, light gray, and red.

This would be an even better pillow if it came in more sizes. Right now, it’s only available in a standard size.

Pros

Cons

Coisum Back Sleeper Cervical Pillow

This memory foam pillow has a wacky design that works. Don’t let the name fool you; this is a great pillow to support side sleepers, too.

It’s cut from a high-density medium-hard memory foam for impeccable head and neck support. We know that soft isn’t always better. The firmness of this pillow is a treat for your back and spine.

The pillow has a dip in the middle with wings on the sides. It has a base layer shaped like a wedge to support you when you sleep on the side. The center cavity is for cradling the head properly. It will take off the pressure on the back of the head. When you turn to the side, the wing cutouts will mold to the curves of the shoulder. You can pick from two contour heights for even more customization.

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The slow rebound memory foam pillow senses the temperature of your body and adapts even more under heat.

The breathable cover keeps you cool while you sleep. The pillowcase is hypoallergenic and mold-resistant. It’s easy to clean because it’s removable and washable.

A possible disadvantage with this memory foam pillow is it may take up to five days to get used to it, especially with the strange design. But that applies to more conventional pillows, as well.

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a pillow for neck, head, and back support, a contour pillow is the best choice. A good night’s sleep is a pillow away.

Of these five exceptional choices, I favor the Royal Therapy Memory Foam Pillow. It’s made of CertiPUR-US certified memory foam with a gridlock design and adjustable loft. It will cradle your neck and head while relieving pressure points in the body. The bamboo cover is breathable, cooling, and best of all, washable. Unlike the other options, there multiple sizes to choose from, making it the most versatile option on the list.

That makes it the best contour pillow in my book. Definitely check it out if you want to improve your sleep.