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How To Use A Neck Pillow Correctly & Effectively

u-shaped neck pillow for comfort
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All neck pillows have unique designs to support your neck and head in the most natural position possible while minimizing neck pain. There are different neck pillows in the market, ranging from low to very high prices, and they are all made to alleviate any headaches, back pain, or neck stiffness and give you a perfect night's sleep. Neck pillows are mostly made from a variety of materials, including cotton, synthetics that can absorb heat and sweat, memory foam, and fiber. Therefore, choosing the right neck pillow will go a long way in making your neck, shoulders, and back and spine comfortable and healthy. Comfort is vital when making your choice, but any material that will help keep you cool and sleep deeply should be of high priority.

How to Use a Neck Pillow Effectively

Try out the pillow before purchase

 They all come in different sizes, so trying them before buying will ensure you get the correct size, which will be comfortable and practical for your body. For a perfect size, you should be able to rest your neck without bending it, making your neck a bit uncomfortable. The material should not chafe or pinch your neck.

Make Adjustments

Adjusting the pillow will enable you to confirm various sleeping positions. To use a neck pillow correctly, you need to fix it well to fit the unique shapes, the curves, and your sleeping position. It will prevent you from waking up with neck and back pains, which might lead to long time spine problem. The best pillow should be held according to your shape and help you alleviate the pressure points on your body to serve its intended purpose.

Propertly Inflate the Pillow

The correct way to use an inflatable neck pillow is by ensuring it is correctly inflated. Inflatable pillows are the best for travelers because they can be deflated and become tiny for easier packing. If the neck pillows are inflatable, ensure you check and inflate if necessary. Ensure you seal the air tube by replacing the cap, and this will protect your neck by avoiding a sudden deflation. 

Place the Pillow Around Your Neck Correctly

 Many neck pillows are u-shaped and will fit perfectly around your neck. These shaped pillows will leave a small opening around your throat. Some shaped neck pillows have large straps that close their opening to hold the pillow in place and avoid slipping, which might be harmful to you. If your pillow is not U-shaped, it will probably have a design that will fit your shoulders. Ensure you fix it well on your shoulders and neck for maximum comfort and support.

Add attachments

For extra comfort, especially while traveling, attach your neck pillows to seat-belts, behind or in front of the seat, depending on the position that will make you comfortable. Adjust it accordingly to give your back neck and head maximum support and prevent it from developing aches and other spin problems. 

Recline the Seat

 The neck pillows have designs that will support your head when it falls back or on the sides. Reclining the seat while assuming your preferred sleep position using the neck pillow will help you get more comfortable when the back is a bit reclined. It will prevent any injuries, especially in a moving car, while you are sleeping, and your head moves from side to side.

Reclining the seat will depend on various factors, for example, the height of the pillow. Based on your body's measurement and preference, a pillow you choose should be between 4 and 6 inches. The sizes shouldn't be too high or low, and they will be sure to properly support your neck, head, and shoulders when lying on your back or reclined on a seat. Ensure when pushing-back the chair, you consider the size of your pillow.

man with a neck pillow sleeping

Can Neck Pillows Also be Used in Bed?

Yes, neck pillows can be used in bed like a regular pillow. There are different pillows for each sleeping position.

  • Sleeping on the back – if you often sleep on your back, use a pillow to support your cervical spine's natural curvature under the head, neck, and shoulders. The height of the pillow while sleeping on this position should be a bit lower when sleeping in a sideways position. The position will enable your pillow to work effectively and give you full support. Also, place one or two pillows between your knees. It will help prevent strain on your back that may come about by misusing the neck pillow.
  • Sleeping on the side – if you are more comfortable sleeping on your side, use a pillow to help support your neck and head so that the spine maintains a straight and horizontal posture. The weight should have an even distribution to prevent unnatural bending and pressure. You can place a small rolled-up towel under your waist area, which will work with the neck pillow while laying down for auxiliary support.
  • Sleeping on your stomach – if you prefer sleeping or resting on your stomach, the best neck pillow you should choose should be relatively flat. It will prevent the head and neck from being turned unnaturally. You can also add another flat pad under your stomach, and this will help keep your spin well and naturally aligned.

To effectively achieve all the above, the following are a few tips you should consider when purchasing a pillow. Using it correctly is not the only thing, but selecting a perfect one for you is essential.

Other Pillow Considerations


 The pillow must be comfortable to help you relax and get a great night's sleep. Ensure it has a smooth feel, either cool or warm, depending on your taste.


 Before paying for it, make sure the pillow can be adjusted to fit the unique shape, curves, and sleeping positions. The pillow should be able to mold into your shape and relieve any pressure you might have.

Softness & Plushness

 The pillow should be plush, especially if you need little support. It should have low resistance and should comfort your neck, head, and shoulders perfectly. The soft pillows are better for you if you like sleeping on your stomach. Avoid this if you sleep in another position because a lack of firmness on the pillow leads to neck, shoulder, and backaches. 

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