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Best Neck Roll Pillows

Updated November 20, 2020

Neck-roll pillows are neat little solutions for anyone with neck pain. These handy accessories can be used on their own or alongside your regular pillow to provide added support to the neck.

Typically sized small and portable, neck-roll pillows are shaped cylindrically into a roll that assists in supporting your neck as you sleep. The natural curvature of the neck rests on the pillow as you sleep or sit upright for extended periods of time.

So, to relieve neck pain as you go about your day or night, here is a complete buying guide on how to find the perfect neck-roll pillow for your needs.

Rank Product Highlights
#1

Core Products Tri-core cervical pillow

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  • Material: Polyester fiber, Cotton
  • Sizes: Two sizes (Medium and Full)
  • Care instructions: Hand-wash only
#2

Dot&Dot Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow

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  • Material: Memory foam, Cotton
  • Sizes: One size
  • Care instructions: Machine washable cover
#3

Sachi Organics Buckwheat Cylinder Neck Pillow

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  • Material: Buckwheat, Organic cotton
  • Sizes: One size
  • Care options: Machine wash cover only
#4

OPTP Original McKenzie Cervical Roll

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  • Materials: Low-density foam
  • Sizes: One size, 3.5″ diameter
  • Care instructions: Hand wash cover with mild detergent
#5

LitoTree Support Neck Roll Pillow

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  • Materials: Memory foam, Cotton/polyester blend
  • Sizes: Two sizes (18″x4.5″, 18″x6″)
  • Care Instructions: Machine washable

Let’s Discuss

The neck-roll pillow becomes a good choice for a sleeping pillow given its soft, comfortable support. They can also be used for finding relief from back pain, or be placed under the knees and ankles for a more comfortable sleep experience.

Even though all are used for placing the neck in the most comfortable position and reducing neck strain, there are a number of different ways you can use your pillow.

Uses of Neck Roll Pillows

Bed pillow– This is used for sleeping on and many people use it along with their standard pillow. The smaller dimensions of the neck roll pillow allow users to place it under their regular pillow as the neck curvature rests on the neck roll pillow and the headrests on the standard pillow.

Some users like to place this cervical pillow on top of their existing pillow to add to the pillow loft. This helps them sit or lie down more comfortably as they read or watch TV in bed.

Underarm support– Side sleepers can use the neck roll pillow placed under their arm in a manner similar to using a body pillow. This position will provide support to the top side of the body and stop the sleeper from rolling over.

Orthopedic pillows– These orthopedic counterparts of regular neck roll pillows are designed to help correct pain-causing body postures. You can use these to support not only the neck and the head but also to elevate knees and support other body parts.

Travel pillows– Some versions of the neck roll pillow are designed smaller and with a curve to wrap around the neck as you sit upright. Typically known as travel pillows, these are compact and portable pillows that work well as you travel in a car or on an airplane.

Yoga bolsters– Larger variants of the neck roll pillow are known as bolster pillows that can be used for support during yoga or at home for decorative purposes. These bolsters also make for providing great armrest as you sit when reading or propped up on your side.

D-core pillows– Although not shaped like a cylinder, these pillows have a V-shaped indentation in the middle to rest your head and a roll all-around to support your neck.

Materials

Neck rolls use a variety of materials in their construction and you can choose one to provide customer support to your sleeping style.

Foam neck roll pillows

These are used to restore normal neck posture and give relief from neck pain. The foam helps relieve pressure and being lightweight is easy to carry around when needed.

Soft fiber filling

If you’re looking for softer support for under the neck, then polyester fiber-filled pillows fit the bill. Fiber filling provides the right amount of support without being too firm and can also be used to support the back and under the knees.

Inflatable neck rolls

These pillows can be inflated to the desired level. If you wish, you can use these on their own or place them under your standard pillow inside the pillowcase and enjoy a custom level of support.

Gel neck rolls

Gel neck roll pillows are ideal for heat or cold therapy. These gel-infused pillows can go inside the freezer or the microwave and be used for treating neck pain and providing support at the same time.

Memory foam neck roll pillows

These pillows boast all the benefits of memory foam with its contouring properties, excellent support, and longevity factor. These are also ideal for use in injury recovery.

Therapeutic Benefits

Here is what you can hope to achieve when using a quality neck roll pillow:

Differentiated support

These cervical pillows offer differentiated support that is optimal for the head, neck and shoulders.

Correct body alignment

By correctly aligning the head, neck and shoulders, much of the strain is also taken off the spine.  The ergonomic design works well for sleepers of different kinds including those who sleep on their side or on their stomach.

Pain attenuation

Whether the pillow is devised with a cervical design, a D-core, or a contour composition, all address the issue of pain relief. The particular shape of all these pillows with their raised ends on indentations allows users to rest assuming a correct neck posture.

Waking up rested

The correct posture, alignment, and support given by neck roll pillows can help in getting a good night’s sleep and waking up refreshed. Even studies done on the subject corroborate that the greater the degree of neck support, the better the quality of sleep. And that’s why the best neck roll pillows show immense potential for improving the quality of sleep.

Best Neck Roll Pillow Reviews

Core Products Tri-core cervical pillow

Specs:

  • Material: Polyester fiber, Cotton
  • Sizes: Two sizes (Medium and Full)
  • Care instructions: Hand-wash only

Best overall

This neck support pillow is perfectly designed for those suffering from neck pains and poor posture of the cervical spine. With a unique shape, the Tri-Core cervical support pillow will cradle your head as you sleep and align your head and neck properly. This pillow suits most sleep positions but is not intended for side sleepers.

The concave center is what helps improve your sleep posture, while the roll shapes around it accommodate for every sleep position.

There are even smaller and larger neck support rolls on opposite sides that you can switch to depending on your neck size. Mid-size and full-size pillows are also available to accommodate for any age and size.

Because it is an orthopedic pillow, it does have to be firm and it may take time to get used to. Alternating between your old pillow and this one is recommended to avoid increasing neck pain.

In order to make it firm and hypoallergenic, the Tri-core pillow is filled with 100% virgin polyester that is very resilient and bounces right back into shape. The pillow cover is a breathable and lightweight 50/50 polyester blend.

Pros:

  • Accommodates all sizes and body types
  • Hypoallergenic materials used
  • Can fit into a standard pillowcase
  • Suits most sleeping positions
  • Won’t off-gas like memory foam

Cons:

  • Not considered a travel pillow
  • Not for side sleepers

Who Should Buy This?

Anyone looking for a therapeutic solution to their neck pain and tension-related headaches (regardless of their size, age, or body type) will enjoy this pillow.

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Dot&Dot Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Specs:

  • Material: Memory foam, Cotton
  • Sizes: One size
  • Care instructions: Machine washable cover

Best for Travel

The Dot&Dot Twist Travel Pillow is the perfect solution for people who need to take a nap on the go. Be it a road trip or air travel, this pillow will work perfectly to adjust to anyone’s needs.

What makes it so versatile and so popular among customers has to be its primary feature: its flexibility. The Twist Travel pillow is quite literally a bendable roll pillow thanks to a jointed wire at its core that allows you to experience personalized support for your head and neck.

While being as versatile as it is, the Twist Travel pillow is also very comfortable. Made with high-quality memory foam and covered with breathable cotton, you’ll be able to relieve those pesky pressure points easily. Customers love how the foam is neither too firm nor too soft, rather it falls perfectly in between.

To add to portability, this pillow has a snap button closure on each end so you can secure the pillow around your neck or onto a piece of luggage or bag.

This pillow is machine washable thanks to its removable cover, making it very easy to keep fresh and clean.

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Quality materials
  • Not too firm or too soft
  • Bendable feature makes it perfect for any type of sleeper
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Many applications: can be used at home as well as travel

Cons:

  • Can creak when adjusting too far
  • Wire can be felt in extreme positions

Who Should Buy This?

If you plan on buying an affordable and adjustable neck roll pillow for traveling, this pillow is perfect and comfortable for anyone, no matter their sleep position.

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Sachi Organics Buckwheat Cylinder Neck Pillow

Specs:

  • Material: Buckwheat, Organic cotton
  • Sizes: One size
  • Care options: Machine wash cover only

Best organic

The Sachi Organics Buckwheat Cylinder isn’t just a good organic neck roll pillow – it’s an excellent roll pillow overall. Made with unique and high-quality materials, it’s as sturdy as it is sustainable and comfortable.

The 100% cotton canvas cover holds all the buckwheat in this Japanese style design that provides the right amount of supportive comfort.

Buckwheat is a renowned filling material for its tendency to be very supportive and firm in pillows. Meanwhile, the cover is nice and heavy yet soft to the touch so you can be comfortable knowing it won’t rip apart at the seams.

Everything, from the organic buckwheat to the cotton cover is naturally sourced and locally assembled by hand in the USA.

If you don’t quite like the amount of fill that’s in your cylindrical pillow, that’s no problem. You can adjust how lofty your pillow feels by simply unzipping your cover and adding or removing the buckwheat hulls.

Pros:

  • All-organic materials used
  • High-quality assembly in the USA
  • Comes with plenty of firms and supportive filling
  • Adjustable

Cons:

  • Cleaning the cover is a bit inconvenient as there is no liner to place the buckwheat in when not in use
  • A bit lofty for stomach sleepers

Who Should Buy This?

Are you looking for an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic material and want something natural and high in quality? If so, then this buckwheat cylindrical pillow from Sachi Organics is the best choice for you.

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OPTP Original McKenzie Cervical Roll

Specs:

  • Materials: Low-density foam
  • Sizes: One size, 3.5″ diameter
  • Care instructions: Hand wash cover with mild detergent

Best for small frames

This neck roll pillow from OPTP is a great narrower option for those looking for support as they sleep, but either sleep on their backs or have a frame too small for the wider pillows.

The McKenzie Cervical Roll pillow can help prevent neck or back pain in these sleepers or work as additional support for others. Either way, you can find a use for this pillow in promoting healthy sleep posture and removing pressure in the spine.

Made with low-density foam, this pillow and its diameter align the upper spine, providing extra support to retain its proper curve when combined with your regular pillow. It’s narrow enough to be slid on top of your pillow and under the pillowcase.

This pillow features a removable and washable cover on its own, so you can keep it clean and fresh without any hassle.

You can be sure you’re getting a quality product as the McKenzie Cervical Roll pillow has been tested by certified therapists and developed by renowned physical therapist Robin McKenzie. Recommended by therapists around the world, this pillow is made proudly in the USA.

Pros:

  • Tested to work
  • Perfect for small frames and people who sleep on their backs
  • Hand washable cover
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Not as firm as other pillows

Who Should Buy This?

If you want some good pain relief but other neck roll pillows are just too high or lofty for your taste or frame, this OPTP cervical roll pillow will likely do the job best for you.

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LitoTree Support Neck Roll Pillow

Specs:

  • Materials: Memory foam, Cotton/polyester blend
  • Sizes: Two sizes (18″x4.5″, 18″x6″)
  • Care Instructions: Machine washable

Budget Pick

The LitoTree memory foam neck roll pillow is a value pick for the comfort it offers at such a relatively low price. It offers what other pricier neck roll pillows do, but is more affordable.

It features resilient high-grade memory foam that is neither too firm nor too soft, with a majority of customers to back up that claim. It molds to your sleeping positions, supports your aligned spine, and bounces right back when not in use.

As well as a therapeutic solution for your neck and upper back, this round pillow doubles as lumbar support for sitting on a chair or sofa.

As well as being just the right firmness, the LitoTree Neck Roll pillow is extra soft to the touch. Made with a 75/25% cotton/polyester blend, the micro vented cover is luxurious and naturally soft, making it gentle and comfortable for sensitive skin.

This pillow has two varieties in diameter: a narrower 4.5 inches and a fairly lofty 6 inches as well. Both variations are 18 inches in length and they’re the right size to be used for the neck, back, lumbar and knees.  It is compact enough to double as a travel pillow as well.

Pros:

  • Versatile sizing and uses
  • Perfect firmness: not too hard, not too soft.
  • High-grade materials used,
  • Low VOC emissions, no chemical smell or off-gassing

Cons:

  • Finding a case may be difficult
  • Can be high for some back sleepers

Who Should Buy This?

This neck roll pillow from LitoTree is an excellent value considering its quality. If you’re looking for a quick solution for an aching back or are trying to figure out what you’re looking for, this is a risk-free purchase either way.

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Conclusion

So, while many people blame their mattress for a bad night’s sleep, you should also take a closer look at the pillow you use. To improve your sleep experience, or correct soreness, aches and pains after waking up, choose a neck pillow that addresses these issues diligently. With our recommended products, you can be sure to improve your sleep and eliminate sleep-related problems.

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