This man is well supported – although it is actually meant to rest the neck on the high side of the pillow. But it is important that the head and cervical spine, as in the picture, form a straight line. But many suppliers lack corresponding instructions. © Shutterstock
A special pillow can help against neck discomfort in the morning. But only four out of twenty neck support pillows in the test perform well overall. Only three of these are suitable for every type of sleeper. Good models are only available from 80 euros (prices: 9 to 145 euros). The most expensive pillow, however, gets only the mark sufficient. Many suppliers do not say how the pillow should be positioned correctly. If it is positioned unfavorably, the cervical spine bends – which can lead to pain.
Neck pillow test results for 20 neck support pillows 09/2017
[Update 22.4.2021] Even the best are not good for everyone
The same pillow relieves prere on one, while the other wakes up in pain. For example, because the head bends when lying down. Mostly the manufacturers do not indicate for whom which pillow is suitable, writes the Swiss magazine Gesundheitstipp in the test report over ten neck pillows. Even the four good ones are not equally suitable for all body shapes.
Tempur Shape size M for around 109 euros is also available in Germany. It is more recommended for sleepers with broad shoulders, regardless of mattress firmness. It could also have the right support height for those with narrow shoulders on a hard mattress. If the temperature drops, the foam hardens. A neck pillow should provide good support for the individual shape of the cervical spine. Pillows that contain harmful substances, do not dissipate moisture well or are too hard scored poorly.
Main target group: broad-shouldered side sleepers
Four of the twenty neck pillows in the test are real all-rounders: They support everyone well – on soft as well as on hard mattresses. For comparison, we tested two feather pillows of different firmness from Ikea (dimensions: 40 x 80 centimeters), which we amed could keep up with the neck pillows. We found that traditional feather pillows usually provide good support for side sleepers with narrow shoulders and back sleepers. Good neck pillows are therefore more suitable for broad-shouldered side sleepers.
How to lie correctly
No two people are built the same. In addition, everyone prefers a different sleeping position and mattress hardness. A good neck pillow should be able to adapt to all these circumstances as far as possible. Support the individual shape of the cervical spine well. To find out which models succeed in doing this, we asked Four differently built people To the laboratory bed for test lying. Two lay on their sides: one with broad shoulders, one with narrow ones. Two lay on your back: one with high, one with low support needs under the back of your head. The ideal pillow must also fit the mattress. Therefore our test sleepers have the neck pillows on different mattresses tested. On a soft mattress, the upper body partly sinks too deep and the head bends down. The cores of many pillows therefore consist of removable layers. This is how they can be adjusted to the head. Adjust neck. However, only a few models provide optimal support for all sleeping positions, shoulder proportions and mattress firmnesses.
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In Side position The shoulder width is decisive for the support height of the pillow. One test person had shoulders only 40 centimeters wide. The other was rather broad-shouldered with 55 centimeters. The two test subjects on their backs differed in their support needs for the head.
Tip: Are you Back sleepers, determine your personal support needs as follows: Stand upright with your shoulder blades against the wall, without leaning your head against it. Look straight ahead and balance the head so that the neck muscles are relaxed. Then measure the distance between the back of the head and the wall. If this is only 2.5 centimeters, as in the case of one of our test subjects, you have a low support requirement. If the distance is greater, their support needs are correspondingly greater.
Little declared, much courted
How the pillow lies correctly and can be individually adjusted, quite a few providers do not specify. An unfavorable positioning can have serious consequences: Then the neck spinal column bends namely, which can lead to neck and even headache. Therefore, we have rated pillows without helpful adjustment instructions as sufficient overall. Some of the providers also lure their customers with misleading advertising. The viscose material of one model is said to be "healthy" and can be used for "headaches," "sleep problems" or "bedsores," according to the provider. Also for these statements there was a deficient in the test point declaration.