How can I tell if my pillow is causing my neck pain?

How can I tell if my pillow is causing my neck pain?

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How Can I Tell if My Pillow is Causing My Neck Pain?

When you wake up in the morning and experience pain coming from your neck area, it’s important to determine where it’s coming from. Neck pain can have many causes, from muscle pain to pinched nerves or arthritis, so it’s important to take the time to identify the source of your discomfort.

One of the potential causes of neck pain is an inadequate or unsuitable pillow. If you’ve been using the same pillow for longer than the standard timeframe of one to two years, the odds are high that the pillow is no longer providing you with adequate support.

Fortunately, there are several ways that you can tell if your pillow is causing or contributing to your neck pain. Here are some of them:

Getting Up in the Morning

When you wake up in the morning, pay close attention to how your body feels. Does your neck feel slightly twisted? Are you feeling more stiffness or soreness in the neck area than usual? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, it’s possible that your pillow is the culprit.

Where’s the Pain?

Another sign of a pillow-related issue is if you feel the pain gradually move down your shoulders and arms throughout the day. Your pillow should support your head and neck, not cause pain that extends to other areas of your body.

High or Low Pillow?

The optimal height of your pillow depends on your sleep position. Generally speaking, a pillow should be higher for side sleepers and lower for back sleepers. If you’ve recently changed your sleep position or if you’re sleeping with a pillow that doesn’t provide the desired height and support, you may be waking up with neck pain.

If you’re not sure if your pillow is causing your neck pain, it can be helpful to change it and see if your symptoms improve. Pillows that are too flat, too high, too hard, or too soft may be contributing to your neck pain, and replacing them with a pillow that offers the right support can help you sleep better at night and wake up feeling more comfortable.

Things to Look For

When shopping for a new pillow, look for one made of materials such as memory foam or latex, with an adjustable loft and contours that provide support to the natural curves in your neck. Make sure to test the pillow in a store, or opt for one that comes with a money-back guarantee should you find it to be inadequate. If you’re buying a pillow online, check the customer reviews and ratings to see what others have to say about it.


When it comes to neck pain, it’s important to take the time to identify the source of the discomfort. Your pillow could be the issue, so before you turn to medication or allow your pain to diminish your quality of life, first try replacing your pillow with one that’s right for your sleep position, preferred level of support, and body. There could be good reason for your neck pain and it’s worth it to find out.

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