The best orthopaedic pillows

Is your pillow giving you neck pain and headaches when you wake up? Consider one of these orthopaedic pillows instead

Woman lying on orthopedic pillow

by Sophie Athawes |
Updated on

Do you suffer from neck pain when you wake up? Do you often have a headache first thing in the morning?

If you've been experiencing persistent restlessness at night or struggling to get comfortable in bed, it might be time to change up your bedding or mattress - and particularly your pillow.

Orthopaedic pillows are a popular choice that can be used to naturally correct your posturewhile you sleep. Their unique design features ensure you and your loved one sleep comfortably and, as we all know, a proper night’s sleep gives your body the much-needed time to rest, repair and keep your immune system strong.

Related: The best mattresses to buy

From memory foam to contouring orthopaedic pillows, there's a whole range to suit every style of sleep and comfort. Thankfully, they don’t have to be expensive to be effective, and good-quality ones will come with a guarantee so you can feel confident in your purchase.

To help you wade through the many choices available, we’ve rounded up the best orthopaedic pillows on the market – so snug you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy one sooner.


The best orthopaedic pillows in detail

Editor's Choice

This doctor-designed memory foam pillow is revolutionary in its design and is perfect for side, back and stomach sleepers. Its ergo-bounce recovery cradles your head, forcing your neck to align comfortably with your spine for the best possible night's sleep. With 99.75% natural materials, this is Greenguard certified and also hypoallergenic, killing all germs.

Review: "This pillow has changed my life. I am waking up pain-free after months of neck and back pain. This is so much better than other orthopaedic pillows I have tried and the perfect size. It takes a couple of nights to get used to it but stick with it as it is the answer to solving neck pain. The cooling part is an added bonus too."

Pros Cons
• Quality of material • On the small side
• Easy to clean • Loses firmness
• Good support


Cool in summer and warm in winter, these specialist pillows allow heat and moisture to escape for a more comfortable sleep. Perfect for those neck pain and relieving pressure, you'll certainly sleep like a queen.

Review: "Can't say enough about this pillow... The packaging it arrived in was super, it came in a small box with the pillow vacuumed packed, the pillow needs 24/48 hours to regain its shape once taken out of the packaging... The pillow cover it comes in is nicely designed and feels of quality... The memory foam itself is not too soft nor too hard, I'd say it's just right... Will be buying more for the family."

Pros Cons
• Worth the money • Quite slim
• Good memory foam • Have to wait 72 hours for it to expand
• Soft but supportive

Best for memory foam

Contour pillows may not always seem the most comfortable or soft, but this supportive neck pillow provides the best pressure distribution for a perfect night's sleep. Healthy curves of contour memory foam pillow help to support your head, neck and shoulders whether you sleep on your back, side or stomach.


"This pillow is perfect for me and I have spent literally years trying to find one that is not too soft but hard enough to support my neck. It's soft to the touch and has just the right amount of give in it to support my neck and shoulders. It's a little smaller than standard pillows but actually, it works perfectly for it. I didn't need to bunch up or mould the pillow to make it comfortable and once my head hit the pillow I was comfortable, none of the usual faffing around to get in the right position. I had a couple of discs removed from my neck a few years ago so a good supporting pillow is an absolute must for me. I would highly recommend this pillow, which I originally bought for my partner to stop him from snoring. I was so taken with it I bought one for myself. One of my friends has now asked for the link as she was so taken with it. It's a good value product in my opinion and I would highly recommend it a good night's sleep is well worth the investment."

Pros Cons
• Good value for money • Expands over a few hours
• Pain relief • Needs perseverance
• Comfortable size • Smaller than an average pillow

The Simba Hybridu00ae Pillowsimba sleep

SIMBA may carry a hefty price tag but it may be worth it to sleep like a baby. The Simba Hybridu00ae Pillow is a game-changing pillow with temperature regulation and adjustable height and firmness. This pillow comes highly recommended by chiropractors and, while it's an investment, could save you neck and back pain in the long run.

Review: "My neck was suffering from not being aligned properly when I sleep so after asking a lot of people on social media, Simba was a clear winner. It took a few days to get the height of the pillow just right but since then, I have not had any neck pain. Worth every single penny!"

Pros Cons
• Cooling • Expensive
• Adjustable filling • Firm and slightly lumpy
• Good for shoulder and neck problems • Too high

How to choose an orthopaedic pillow?

When it comes to which features to look out for when choosing an orthopaedic pillow, you want to consider pillows that will help target any pain you have in your neck, back or physical ailments in your body overall.

Comfort is another key factor, so checking the type of material is important as there are plenty of different options on the market apart from your traditional foam or fibre-filled pillows. Now you can choose between memory foam, feather, synthetic, latex, and bamboo, and many of them are contoured to fit your shape and how you sleep.

Pillows don't need to be expensive so go with what fits your budget, however investing in a pillow that could help ease discomfort is well worth it. And don't forget to check any cleaning guidelines as pillows can attract a lot of dust and turn yellow with sweat marks.

What position can I sleep with orthopaedic pillows?

Considering your sleeping style is also something else to factor in when choosing an orthopaedic pillow if you're looking to help correct your posture while you sleep.

There is no one size fits all and no specific position you can sleep in when selecting an orthopaedic pillow. However, the Patented Contour Pillow with Cooling Gel is pretty close to perfect if you tend to switch around in your sleep as it suits front, side and back sleepers. Stomach sleepers will benefit from the Simba Honeycomb Memory Foam Pillow, and the Vesgantti Ultrabounce Pillow is suitable for those who sleep on their sides.

Who should purchase an orthopaedic pillow?

Good sleep posture can change your life if you have been suffering from aches and pains in your day-to-day life.

Don't be put off if you think buying an orthopaedic pillow is something your elderly relative would do, they are often recommended by experts as a surefire way to correct ailments you encounter when sleeping.

Orthopaedic pillows are not always necessary as sometimes an extra pillow can be a suitable solution but if relief from discomfort and correct posture is the goal then they can do wonders for your health.

Sophie Athawes is a Content Writer at Bauer Media, working on titles such as What’s The Best, Yours and Mother&Baby.

Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from the rest of the What’s The Best team.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us