How To: Pick the Best Pillow for Neck Support

How to pick a pillow for you?


It’s no wonder that some people love a pillow and for others its awful.  Pillows are like shoes; you need the size that’s right for you.

For years, I was using pillows that were either too big or too small.  Like Goldilocks, I had to find the one that was just right for me.

Photo by Sylvie Tittel on Unsplash

Pillow Sizing Guideline:

Side sleepers: stand next to a wall with your shoulder pressed into the wall, have someone measure the distance between your ear and the wall.

Back sleepers: stand with your shoulder blades pressed into the wall with your head straight, have someone measure the distance between the back of your head and the wall.

Compare your measurements to the height of pillows. Remember you won’t find anything exactly perfect and when you’re laying down the weight of your head will decrease those numbers.

However, this has helped me to learn how to pick the pillow that’s right for my body.  Picture a small petite woman next to linebacker for the Detroit Lionsthey cannot use the same pillow!

It’s also important to consider the size of your head.  The average human head weighs anywhere between 10-16 lbs!

That means that when you pick a pillow, picture a 10- 16 lb bowling ball squishing the pillow down.  With some pillows that will almost make it as flat as a pancake!

Let’s talk about my favorite materials for inside of the pillow.

Bowling Ball
Photo by IBRAHIM AL JARUSHI on Unsplash


You can choose memory foam, tempur-pedic, down, polyester, etc.… as the best pillows for neck support.

In my opinion, the main choices for the best pillows brands are made of either memory foam or tempur-pedic.  You are going to pay more money for the best pillow brands, but they are worth it and here’s why.

Memory foam and tempur-pedic are the top pillow brands and will not lose their shape over time as fast as the other types of materials used in other pillow brands.

Memory foam is very sturdy and with the right waterproof cover, it will last for years to come. Also, like we talked about previously, the weight of the human head with no neck support during sleep is around 10-16 lbs. and that is a lot! It is no wonder that so many people are looking for the best rated in neck pain.  The best pillows for neck support are going to be made of memory foam or tempur-pedic.

Ultimately, you need to find a product that will support you during the 7-8 hours you are sleeping at night.


The material should be breathable for your skin.  I have dealt with acne as a result of sleeping on a pillow that did not breathe properly.  This traps the bacteria and debris from your sweat, make up, skin cells and can clog your pores.  It is so important to get the best rated pillow that is made of material such as memory foam so that it will breathe.

Other materials can also be breathable such as down.  Down comes from goose feathers so if you are vegan or allergic to avian feathers then I would stay away from down.  It is also known to be quite warm.  Down is what coat manufacturers use to line their jackets for wintertime in the northern hemisphere.  Some people like a cool pillow and with that in mind I tend to stay away from down.

Pillow cases

Silk flower
Photo by Kerri Shaver on Unsplash

I strongly recommend silk pillowcases.  Silk is preferred for preventing wrinkles.  If you want to use cotton, then make sure it is a high grade like Egyptian cotton. Course fabric material can snag the delicate skin near the eyes and mouth causing wrinkles to develop.

Silk on the other hand is very forgiving and slides gently across the skin.  It is also very breathable and not prone to harbor bad bacteria.

We need to protect our skin as much as possible even when we sleep!

I bet you didn’t realize that so much went into picking the best pillow brands and the best pillowcases.  Now you can use this guide to help you decide which height and material is right for you and as a bonus you’ll be sure to get a silk pillowcase.  Trust me it is worth the investment!

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