Best Contour Pillows: Spinal Alignment at its Best

Updated August 15, 2019

Your sleep comfort is highly influenced by sleep posture, and if you are regularly interrupted by your own movement through the night, or wake with a stiff neck, headache, or other aches and pains associated with your back- you may need better spinal support. Your cervical spine alignment is highly influential to your overall health, and struggling to find comfort may be an indicator that you need better head and neck support.

The Sleep Judge review team has personally reviewed almost all of the following best contour pillows as some of the highest rated in the current sleep industry. These pillows provide support for your neck and spine, and can be quite helpful in alleviating pain associated with poor posture, as well as other ailments.

Head and Neck Alignment

When you sleep your head and neck should be held in alignment with the rest of your spine. This helps support your central nervous system, and influences a better night’s rest. This is highly influential to your health, and allows for true soft tissue relaxation. Proper support lends itself to a increase in blood flow and an uninterrupted night for sleep cyclepage.

Sleep Position and Pillow Comfort

Your sleep position is personal to you, and is what you fall into naturally each night. Although you may be able to influence your body position somewhat, you should purchase a pillow based on what you know is most comfortable for you to ensure a true relaxation. Pillows can help hold your head in a position that provides comfort to your body, and allows you to rest uninterrupted.

– Back Sleep Position Needs

Thin, responsive pillows are needed to hold the head in alignment, and also provide for enough neck support.

– Stomach Sleep Position Needs

Thin, soft, and responsive pillows need to help keep the head as low as possible to better support the spine, and keep stress off the lower back.

– Side Sleep Position Needs

Higher profile, firm pillows should allow for the head to be held between the shoulders, and also allow for enough filling to fill the gap between the the head and shoulders for neck support.

What is a Contoured Pillow?

A contoured pillow may also be known as an orthopedic pillow or cervical pillow, and defines a design that is specifically supportive of the body. These pillows allow for the body to rest in a natural position all while supporting the soft tissues of the neck and back, and aiding the head to stay in alignment with rest of the spine.

Often contoured pillows are made from foams that hold their shape to provide higher and lower areas for specific places to rest your head and neck upon. But some may also use a softer material, with a more specialized construction for support, and still others have specific shape or even adjustable capabilities to better meet your needs.

Why Would I Want a Contoured Pillow?

As mentioned, contoured pillows are designed to better support your cervical spine.

They can aide in a restless sleep by providing the proper comfort for your rest, and hold your head and neck in such a manner to allow an alleviation in snoring, migraines, and neck and upper back stress. They also work well in conjunction with chiropractic treatments, or other support you may be getting from a practitioner; they are often suggested as a way to help support overall body health of you are being treated for sleep ailments.

They retain their shape, and you do not have to worry about shaping the pillow for comfort, or shifting pillow structure through the night. They also help reduce pressure points to allow for a truly comfortable experience.

What Types of Filling is Used Within Contour Pillows?

As mentioned above, foams are popular fill choices in contour pillows due to their ability to hold their shape and provide contouring properties. Memory foam, latex foam, and polyurethane foams are all commonly found within these types of pillows are solid core foundations, Usually they have a lower, softer middle, with height of different variables along the length of the pillow to provide neck support.

These foams might also be found as a shredded support, or shredded blend, with the contour shaping more specific to the overall design and construction pillow. Many times these types of pillows are adjustable to better fit specific need- and a wider variety of people.

What to Consider When Choosing a Contour Pillow

Obviously there is no such thing as a one size fits all pillow, and body size, shape, weight, height, and personal preferences are all details to consider when reviewing any pillow prior to purchase.

What is your sleep position?

Obviously, your sleep position is highly influential to a contour pillow. Most, but not all contour choices are focused on back or side sleepers, with very few available to a stomach sleeping profile. Since orthopedic pillow shapes are specific to body types and needs, be sure to look over company recommendations carefully.

Do you sleep warm?

Solid foam has a tendency to retain heat, and if you sleep warm, this could present a problem. Luckily there are many pillows that include specific technologies to address cooling properties and airflow. If you do struggle with heat, be sure to look for reviews pertaining to the temperature of the pillow.

Do you wake with aches and pains?

If you are on the hunt for a pillow due to discomfort, then you may already be aware of what isn’t working for you. Be sure to consider pillows that have different qualities than what you already have. Also be aware it can take about 30 days to truly adjust to, and get used to the feel of a new pillow.

Do you snore or suffer from migraines or headaches?

Snoring, headaches, and migraines can all be caused by poor cervical support and the resulting discomfort and poor blood flow. Cervical pillows are made specifically to address poor posture, and these are probably well worth considering to help alleviate these symptoms.

Top 5 Best Contour Pillow Picks Reviews

Our top 5 contour pillows are almost all directly from our own best contour pillow reviews to provide you with even more detail into their benefits and features.


#1. Dr. Loth’s Spine Align Pillow

The Spine-Align is designed by a chiropractor to better meet the needs of all sleep positions, body types, and preferences. Variable chambers hold a shredded memory foam and fiber blend to provide a highly responsive surface that can be adjusted through a series of zippers located on the back of the pillow. Each chamber can be separately adjusted for softness or firmness, and the construction is of such to allow for your neck to be properly held and for true support.

Made specifically for side and back sleepers, this is a pillow that has a lot of comfort option and has the ability to work well for a large range of body types. Like most adjustable pillows, it does take time to get perfectly adjusted to you, and should be given the opportunity to be slept on and experienced in order to truly determine if it is a good choice.


  • Reduces neck pain
  • May aid in headache and migraine relief
  • Fully adjustable


  • May take some time to adjust correctly
  • Is not for stomach sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

Great for cervical alignment, the Spine-Align Pillow provides the proper positioning, height, and neck support for just about anyone who tries it out and adjusts it to their preference. Our trials resulted in a few surprising comfort claims once we figured out how to best adjust it to various body types.

Read our full review here.

#2. TEMPUR-Contour Breeze Side-to-Side Pillow


  • Filling- Solid memory foam core
  • Comfort: Side
  • Density: Extra-firm
  • Cooling: yes
  • Warranty: 5 year

Specifically created for neck support, and cervical alignment, this high density memory foam is an extra-firm surface that provides minimal sink to keep your head level through the night. The design is of such to allow for various sized bodies to take advantage of it, and the side by side name if to allow for your own movement and adjustments without losing the proper posture while you rest.

Made for side sleepers, this pillow is also lined with a cooling gel that helps draw heat from your body and dissipate it away. This is considered very effective, and the coolness of the layer can be felt through the soft, zippered casing. This is a solid memory foam core, and has firm edges to ensure your pillow keeps it shape through the night.


  • Very comfortable and supportive
  • Firm contour for side sleeping
  • Supports neck well


  • May be too firm for some
  • Smaller bodies may find it too high
  • May have slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

Although some back sleepers might be able to take advantage of this pillow, it truly is made for side sleepers of a specific height and weight. It is a firm surface, but is considered highly effective, and our trials determined it probably may take some getting used to to take the most advantage of it- but we were very impressed with the overall quality and design.

Read our full review here.

#3. TEMPUR-Neck Pillow


  • Filling- Solid memory foam core
  • Comfort: Back/Side
  • Density: firm
  • Cooling: No
  • Warranty: 5 year

The Tempur-Neck pillow was designed specifically to address common neck problems. Whether you struggle to find proper support, are recovering from an injury and need the support, or have an underlying pain cause, this pillow may be the answer to a more restful night. Made specifically for back and side sleepers, it is design to be adjusted to various heights, body types, and positions. Your head is held in a slightly softer center with a more firm side to hold shaping.

The pillow is also offered in three sizes: small medium and large. This better meets the needs of the consumer, and is specific to the size chart offered by the company to allow you a more customized fit. This takes into account body height and weight, as well as preferred sleep position.


  • Long lasting
  • Sizing chart very accurate
  • Helps alleviate neck pain


  • May have slight off-gassing
  • May be too firm for some people
  • Contouring will be affected by room temperature

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

Back and side sleepers rejoice. This is a great pillow to help support your neck in both positions, and seems to be rather helpful in relieving snoring and other cervical ailments. Although it is considered an extra firm feel, our trials regarded it as a responsive firm foam to provide excellent contouring properties and support.

Read our full review here.

#4. TEMPUR-Embrace Pillow


  • Filling- Shredded poly foam, and foam pad
  • Comfort: Stomach/Back/Side
  • Density: Plush
  • Cooling: supportive
  • Warranty: 5 year

This contoured pillow is a bit different in that it depends upon a less traditional shape in order to meet the needs of a wider variety of sleepers. Designed in a curved x-shape, this pillow is made to help meet the needs of back, side, and even stomach sleepers. It is specifically designed for body alignment, and to address open airways as you sleep.

Made with a shredded poly foam with a poly foam pad for overall shaping, this is a responsive, pliable pillow that allows for true contouring of your head, neck, shoulders, and/or upper body depending on how you use it. The case is also made to address better airflow, and when combined with the increased breathability of shredded foam, creates a cooler night’s sleep.


  • Provides good neck support
  • Soft comfort
  • Unique size supports posture


  • Takes some getting used to
  • May have slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

This is a comfortable choice for any sleep position, and furthermore, is excellent for combo sleepers as there is instant surface response due to the shredded foam filling. Although different, the pillow may take a little getting used to, but the unique design very much provides support and comfort to a wide variety of sleepers.

Read our full review here.

#5. Perform Pillow Medium Profile Memory Foam Neck Pillow


  • Filling- solid memory foam core
  • Comfort: Back and Side
  • Density: Medium Firm
  • Cooling: no
  • Warranty: n/a

Another orthopedic shaped choice, the Perform Pillow Contour Perform Pillow Medium Neck Pillow is designed specifically with the neck in mind. Made for back and side sleepers, you can easily take advantage of either roll to fit your body weight and height. Subtly giving, the foam is considered a medium firm, and provides a soft, contouring sink that does take a moment to settle into. Available in 3 profile sizes, you can pick the one the works best with your body height and shape.

It is made with a solid memory foam core to avoid any major compression over time, and allow for true neck relaxation. The foam is as such that it is not necessarily conducive to combo sleepers as it takes time to soften under body heat when you shift positions, but it does cradle your head properly and comfortably for a relaxing support. Like many shaped pillows, it is very specific to body type, plus it has a soft, removable bamboo cover known for its breathabile properties.


  • Memory foam cradles head and neck
  • Different sizes helps allow neck and back to relax
  • Soft bamboo cover


  • Not for combo sleepers
  • Takes time to soften and conform
  • Small size

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:

This is great for back and side sleepers, and allows for neck muscle relaxation. The contouring of the pillow takes a moment to adjust, but neck and back stress relief is a common comment.


Each of the above pillows provide differing sleep comforts and support to your sleep. If you suffer from comfort issues related to head, back, or neck pain, than any of the above may have the ability to provide some much needed relief. Although we have personally tried out and recommended almost all that have been reviewed, each has its own qualities that lends itself to an uninterrupted sleep. Your own body type, preferences, and sleep position will better help you determine which pillow may work best for you, but our personal favorite was the TEMPUR-Embrace Pillow as it can be used for all sleep positions and shaped for better support.