11 Best Neck Roll Pillows For 2022 - Buying Guide
Need a way to relieve the tension in your neck?
Sitting at a desk and hunched over a computer can be pretty taxing on your body. Worse yet, you might have slept funny the night before and now you’re really hurting.
Using a neck roll pillow is a good way to help alleviate some of that built up tension in your cervical spine.
Let’s look at some of our best picks now...
It’s really nice to have options…
Most people who want to use some type of roll for their neck will enjoy this pillow. It works well as is or in any given shape you like. This is also useful while sleeping to use between your knees.
The Dot&Dot pillow is really nice to take with you on airplane or car trips. The metal rod inside is moldable to whatever shape you desire. Fortunately, you can’t feel the hard inside piece because it’s surrounded by so much padding.
- Dot&Dot Twist Neck Pillow
- K Ka Ua Neck Roll Pillow
- Sachi Organics Buckwheat Pillow
- LitoTree Comfort Neck Roll
- 2 Pack Bamboo Cervical Neck Roll
- Cushy Form Neck Roll
- Cushion Lab Neck Pillow
- Healthex Cervical Neck Pillow
- Cozy Hut Long Neck Pillow
- Pear 6” Round Pillow
- Alibo Beige Round Neck Bolster
This is a fantastic neck roll pillow if you’re not really tall.
The 4 inch diameter may seem like it’s too small, but when you place it under your neck it will still offer a little bit of support.
When rolling your neck you want your skull to still be able to touch the ground. If the pillow is too big then you may not be able to achieve this goal. Granted, all of that depends on how tall you are.
Good For Your Lower Back
If you have issues in your lower back then this small pillow can help with your lower back as well. If you place it under your knees then it takes some of the tension out of your lower back.
Keep in mind this pillow is 17” long. If you are really tall and planning to use it under your knees it might be a bit short.
Most people who are taller than 5’ 8” might want to find a different roll pillow to us under their knees or consider using some type of yoga wedge to support everything.
This pillow is ideal for those who are serious about using a neck roll.
If you are doing neck rolls often to help with your cervical issues then the Sachi Organics pillow would be a good pick. I say this simply because of how customizable it is.
It’s pretty big at first - a full 6 inches. That’s really fat for a neck roll pillow but you can remove as much of the buckwheat as you like to customize it for your neck. You can then add more back in overtime if needed.
The Downside To Buckwheat
There is a balance between firm support and cushion. This pillow offers firm support which can be a very good thing if you are hoping to realign some of the vertebrae in your neck. It’s not like a cement cylinder or anything that serious. You just really feel the support with these.
If the idea of that amount of firm support turns you off, then you may want something with more cushion like memory foam. It’s all a personal preference, but I would rather just remove some of the buckwheat to find the perfect size for my own neck.
This is a go-to pick for anyone who needs a hypoallergenic pillow.
Some pillows on this list will have a faint smell to them. Not bad, just kinda like smell of normal pillow when you first buy one. The LitoTree however, has close to zero smell.
The memory foam is even tested for VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) so you can be sure it’s the right choice.
The slip cover is made from 75% cotton and 25% polyester. It’s easily machine washable and only has a tiny amount of shrinkage when washed, but it’s not enough to make a difference when putting the cover back on.
About Memory Foam
Overtime, memory foam will slowly break down. If you use this (or any) pillow made with memory foam you’ll notice the spot where you place your neck will eventually start to loose a bit of it’s support.
You can’t expect these pillows to remain the exact same for years on end just like the same day you took it out of the packaging. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t notice any real difference for at least the first year.
Why not grab 2 for the price of one?
This is a perfect option for anyone who teaches private yoga sessions, does chiropractic work, or massage treatments. The slip covers are made from bamboo and are hypoallergenic. Place one under the client’s neck AND knees at the same time.
Regardless, if you are not in one of the above professions you can always use both neck roll pillows for yourself. It’s really nice to have one to use in bed to place between your knees while you sleep and the other next to your yoga mat.
A Trick To Make A Small Pillow Work
Be advised these pillows are only 4” in diameter. For most people 4” works really well for the first week or so of doing neck rolls, but then as things shift back to normal you notice you need something a tiny bit bigger.
Rather than going out and buying a new pillow, just wrap your smaller neck pillow in a thick towel. Be sure that there are not lumps or folds that could cause any discomfort. Now you can still use the old pillow without having to buy a new one!
Cervical pillows make for nice gifts, especially this one.
If you have a loved one in your life who has just started to complain about neck pain then this makes for a really good gift. It’s only 4” so you don’t have to worry about it being too big.
People with neck pain will try just about anything to get relief. If you know they haven’t explored this option then you may want to consider the Cushy Form pillow for them.
Cool Lavender Bonus
The reason I’d give this particular pillow as a gift is because of the small lavender sachet included. It’s a nice air freshener for your workspace or car.
Lavender can aid in relaxation and helps to calm the mind. This combo is an easy and affordable way to say you care AND take care of someone you love. Throw in a nice eye pillow and you’ll have a cool gift set.
I really like the mesh layer this pillow has…
Some neck pillows can get pretty warm and sweaty. The Cushion Lab pillow has an extra mesh layer that helps to circulate air a bit better than your average pillow for neck rolling.
Beyond that, it’s got a removable cover that’s washable and won’t shrink.
A Neat Carrying Bag
This 4” x 18” pillow even comes with a carrying bag! It fits right in and has a handle you can hold or strap it to another bag. If you travel a lot then this is a nice extra piece of mind to have.
It may sound odd to have a separate smaller bag just for a small pillow like this, but considering your neck pillow is so close to your face when using it, it’s nice to know it can still stay germ free through airports and bus trips.
Here’s a cheap n’ easy pillow for taller people.
If you are really tall… Let’s say somewhere over 6’ 4” then this might be the perfect pillow for you. I’m talking basket ball player heights.
The reason I say this is because of the size and firmness. The size is 6.2 inches wide. That’s already kinda big, but to have a somewhat denser memory foam inside that means it’s going to offer a ton of support.
Help, But Don’t Force
You want to help or encourage the gentle curvature of your neck. The biggest complaint with this pillow is that people say their head still remains a bit forward when trying to rest on it. This is probably because it’s not a good neck roll for those who are under 6 feet tall.
As long as you can use a cylinder pillow like this one and still have the back of your skull on the ground, you’re in good shape. If it’s elevated much more than a half an inch you may be doing yourself a disservice.
An ideal longer pillow for easy use…
Longer pillows may take up more space, but the are nice because you won’t have to mess with them as much. Some shorter pillows you need to make sure you neck is in the center of the pillow or else it feels odd.
With a longer pillow like this you just lift your skull, place your neck down, and it feels good at any point on the pillow. This is especially nice when all you want to do is relax and not worry about fidgeting to get the right feel of something.
Good For Clients
Those who enjoy using props like these for yoga, massage, and other body work will love this longer pillow.
Again, it’s for the same reasons above. There’s just a larger margin of error when putting this pillow under say a client’s knees for example. The 24” width is the same width as most yoga mats so it fits perfect.
This roll pillow is a real workhorse…
The main benefit of this one is the outer layer. It's made with a thick cotton, almost canvas-like material. This means it can hold up well if it gets used a lot.
It’s nice to have in the crease of your car seat for a little lumbar support. Then take it into the office to use for the same purpose. You won’t have to worry about scratches or it ripping from wearing a belt or jeans.
What About Your Neck?
The upside is also the downside in this case. The rough material means its a tiny bit scratchy on your bare neck. It’s best for car seats and couch cushions, but not so much for the explicit purpose of a neck pillow.
If your back need a little help then this would be a good one to buy. If you strictly want something for your neck then you may want to avoid this one.
You wouldn’t think a zipper could make such a big difference, but it can.
Other pillows have the crease of the zipper running down the length of the pillow. This means that unless you position it correctly, you may feel the small lump of the zipper when you’re trying to relax. That can be pretty annoying.
The Alibo has the zipper at the end of the pillow so it won't disrupt your relaxation. The center is one complete smooth piece of fabric that’s smooth and soothing to the touch.
If you find this 4” neck roll is still a bit too big for your neck then you can just take some of the cotton out. It’s kinda annoying because you’ll have to really dig into it, but it’s worth it if you want just the right amount of support and height.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are neck roll pillows good for you?
As long as you are cleared by a medical professional to use one then yes, they are quite good for you.
Personally, I was told by a chiropractor to use a rolled towel for my neck. After using it twice a day for 2 weeks there was a marked difference on the x-rays of my neck. Call me biased, but I’m a big fan of doing neck rolls.
What is a neck roll pillow?
These are pillows especially designed for people who want to alleviate pressure and pain in their necks. They help to encourage the natural curvature of your cervical spine.
How do you sleep on a neck roll pillow?
Sleeping on these is a bit tricky. I seriously doubt any PT or chiropractor worth their salt would recommend a full night's rest on one of these pillows.
Nonetheless, if you can find a way to have only the slightest amount of encouragement from one of these pillows then it might be okay while taking a short 10 minute nap.
Are neck pillows worth it?
Yes, 100% without a doubt. If you work at a computer, spend a lot of time driving, or slouched over a desk then these pillows can certainly help.
We spend countless hours each week with our heads down looking at our phones as well. Allow one of these neck pillows to gently help recorrect some of your bad posture habits.
If you are experiencing discomfort in your neck then using one of these cylindrical pillows might be just the thing to help. If you’re not sure where to start, It’s best to use a smaller 4” pillow like the KaUa.
If smells are a concern then consider an allergen-free and hypoallergenic option like the LitoTree. It’s void of any harmful chemicals or smells so you can relax with ease.
Do you enjoy a certain pillow? Let me know in the comments below!