Part of our series on getting better sleep.
When it comes to getting a good night’s rest, the type of pillow you choose is incredibly important.
A lot of people find themselves suffering from neck pain at night, which can severely impact sleep quality.1Your Pillow May Not Guarantee a Good Night’s Sleep or Symptom-Free Waking To alleviate this, many people turn to neck roll pillows.
But can the best neck roll pillows really alleviate neck pain and improve sleep quality? Let’s see what the science has to say.
Whether or not someones chooses a pillow with neck support is really important.
Research has shown that pillows with cervical support can lead to improved sleep quality and, of course, neck comfort.2Neck pain and pillows – A blinded study of the effect of pillows on non-specific neck pain, headache and sleep These studies tend to focus on memory foam and latex pillows with neck support, but the findings can apply to neck roll pillows as well.
One study found that the greater the degree of neck support, the better the quality of sleep.3Effects of Two kinds of Pillow on Thermoregulatory Responses during Night Sleep This would suggest that the best neck roll pillows really have some great potential for improving sleep quality. That is, if they’re firm enough to keep the head supported.
The same study also found that pillows with more neck support managed to stay cooler at night. Here’s why that’s important:
It may be a surprise to some to learn that cooler pillow temperature at night can actually lead to improved sleep quality.4Ambient temperature and human sleep5Rem Sleep and Ambient Temperature in Man When you’re able to keep cool at night, your body tends to stay deep in sleep better than if it were warm.
The exact ideal temperature can change from person to person, but being comfortably cool is a good sign. You don’t want to try to fall asleep while shivering.
Some people turn to cooling blankets to improve their sleep quality, but as mentioned above, pillow choice is similarly important.
In addition to the level of neck support, the material of the pillow is also important when it comes to nighttime temperature.
Of all common pillow materials, latex pillows tend to stay the coolest. Because of this, latex neck roll pillows are one of the best choices when it comes to improving sleep quality.
If you would prefer to stay away form latex, memory foam pillows are a good alternative.
Neck Roll Pillows & Sleep Posture
Whether you’re back sleeper or a side sleeper is important when it comes to choosing a pillow.
We’ll start off by saying this: Your body is ergonomically the happiest when you sleep on your back. If you don’t have much of a preference, you should try to build a habit of sleeping on your back.
But ultimately, different people sleep in different positions. So here’s some neck roll pillow advice for different sleeping positions.
If you’re a back sleeper, almost any neck roll pillow should do the trick. The way these pillows are designed typically ensures your neck and head are in an ideal position. You’ll just want to make sure it’s firm enough to support your head.
When choosing the best pillow for sleeping on your back, you’ll want to make sure it’s not too thick or tall.
The ideal head positioning for sleeping on your back is fairly low—quite a bit lower than sleeping on your side. Research has shown that when sleeping on your back, a lower pillow results in more neck comfort and deeper sleep.6Ergonomic approach for pillow concept design
For side sleepers, you’ll want a thicker neck roll pillow.
Research has found that the head and neck are more comfortable on a higher, thicker pillow when sleeping on the side.7Ergonomic approach for pillow concept design Not only is this more comfortable, but it also leads to higher quality sleep.
Sleeping on your side with a neck roll pillow that’s too low can result in neck pain and decreased sleep quality. There’s no specific measurement when it comes to the ideal pillow height, so you’ll have to do a little bit of educated guessing.
An added bonus with these pillows is that they’re useful for more than just neck support. If you eventually switch pillows, that old cylindrical pillow is still useful!
You can tuck it anywhere you’re uncomfortable at night for a little extra support. Some people find they sleep much better with a pillow roll behind the knees or between the legs.
Neck Roll Pillow Recommendations
With all of the above in mind, here are our recommendations for the best neck roll pillows made with different materials.
Latex Neck Roll Pillow
As mentioned above, latex is one of the best pillow materials you can choose when it comes to improving comfort and sleep quality.
Not only is it one of the most supportive materials, but it also boosts sleep quality by keeping cooler at night than most other options. Many latex pillows also feature ventilation holes, which hep them to stay even cooler.
Here is our recommendation for the best neck roll pillow made of latex. You would be hard pressed to find another pillow material that provides more neck support than latex, and this pillow should stay nice and cool.
Latex Neck Roll Pillows
Memory Foam Neck Roll Pillow
Not everybody is a fan of latex. If you fall into that category, then memory foam is another great option.
Memory foam falls just behind latex latex when it comes to pillow comfort and improving sleep quality. It’s more support the most other materials and also does a decent job at staying cool.
Here is our recommendation for the best neck roll pillow made with memory foam. It provides excellent cervical support, and it comes with a bamboo fiber cover for maximal heat dispersion.
Memory Foam Neck Roll Pillows
Cotton Neck Roll Pillow
Some people really have a preference for good old-fashioned cotton stuffing in their pillows.
While cotton stuffing doesn’t have many advantages over latex or memory foam, it does do a decent job of staying cool. If you’re set on one these pillows, we won’t stop you.
Here’s our recommendation for a cotton-stuffed neck roll pillow. It won’t do as great of a job at supporting your neck, but it’s nice and squishy.
As an added bonus, cotton is a bit more inexpensive than pillows made with most other materials.
Cotton Neck Roll Pillows