How to Decide Between Firm Pillow Vs Soft Pillow For Neck Pain- Chiropractor Explains

Are you struggling with neck pain and wondering if your pillow could be the culprit? 

The debate between firm pillows and soft pillows has been ongoing, but which one is actually better for neck pain? 

To get a professional opinion, we spoke with a chiropractor who explains the differences between the two pillow types and which one may be best for your neck pain. 

Keep reading to learn more about how your pillow can impact your neck health and which pillow may be the solution to your discomfort.

What are Firm and Soft Pillows?

You can get a good night's sleep if you choose the right pillow. It is possible to choose a pillow that suits you if you understand the differences between firm and soft pillows.

Firm Pillows

Firm pillows supports the neck and head with dense materials like memory foam or down alternative fibers. Sleepers with neck or back pain may benefit from this additional support since it keeps their spine aligned. Side sleepers who need more height can also benefit from firm pillows.

Soft Pillows

Soft Pillows, made with down feathers or synthetic fibers like microfiber offer increased comfort and cushioning to stomach sleepers, whose heads sink down and reduce stress on the spine.

5 Differences Between Firm and Soft Pillows?

To help you make an informed decision, we examine 5 differences between firm and soft pillows. To sleep well and stay healthy you need the right pillow.

1. Support:

Firm pillows, like memory foam or latex, keep your neck and spine in a neutral position while you sleep. Soft pillows are less supportive when sleeping on your stomach or back.

2. Comfort:

Soft pillows are generally more comfortable than firm pillows. They are made of materials like down feathers or microfiber, which provide a plush and cozy feeling.

However, some people may find that soft pillows don't offer enough support, which can lead to neck pain and stiffness. Firm pillows may take some getting used to, but they can also provide comfort.

3. Durability:

A firm pillow is generally more durable than a soft pillow since it is made of dense materials that withstand wear over time. Soft pillows, on the other hand, lose their shape.

4. Allergies:

Soft pillows are often made of down feathers or microfiber, which trap dust mites and other allergens. If you have allergies, a soft pillow may not be the right option for you. Memory foam or latex pillows, on the other hand, are less likely to harbor allergens.

5. Cost:

In general, firm pillows cost more than soft pillows because they're made from denser and more expensive materials like memory foam or latex. In contrast, soft pillows are often made from cheaper materials like down feathers or microfiber.

Also Read : 7 Tips On How Should Your Head and Neck Be On a Pillow

4 Benefits of Firm and Soft Pillows?


Benefits of Firm Pillows:

  1. For people who sleep on their backs or sides, firm neck pillows provide neck and head support.
  2. Snoring can be reduced with a firm pillow. The extra support will keep your airways open, allowing better airflow and reducing snoring.
  3. If you suffer from neck or back pain, a firm pillow can alleviate your symptoms. The additional support can relieve pressure on your neck and spine, reducing pain and discomfort.
  4. Firm pillows have a longer lifespan because they don't flatten as quickly, and they are less likely to become lumpy or misshapen.

Benefits of Soft pillows:

  1. For those who sleep on their stomachs or prefer a thicker pillow, soft pillows provide greater comfort.
  2. A soft pillow will reduce pressure on sensitive areas of your body, such as your ears and cheeks. This is particularly helpful for people with acne.
  3. Soft pillows can be shaped and molded to provide the most appropriate level of support and comfort for your sleeping position.
  4. Soft pillows can be machine-washed and dried without losing their shape or support.

Firm Vs Soft Pillow - Which One is Best?

Firm vs. soft pillows doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer, but we would argue that firm pillows provide better support, last longer, and are less prone to causing allergies.

To get a good night's sleep, buy a firm pillow. It is important to note that both types of pillows have advantages and disadvantages, but most people are better off with a firm pillow. 

  1. The primary benefit of a firm pillow is its support. This is especially beneficial for side sleepers who need extra support to prevent their heads from sinking too low.
  2. You won't have to replace firm pillows as often. Soft pillows, on the other hand, lose support and become uncomfortable over time.
  3. A firm pillow may be better for allergy sufferers. Soft pillows collect dust mites, mold, and other allergens, causing discomfort. Firm pillows, on the other hand, are less likely to collect dust mites.
  4. If you sleep on your back, choose a firm pillow. Soft pillows are better for stomach sleepers, since they require less support. A firm pillow will align your spine if you sleep on your side.
  5. There are people who prefer down pillows and feather pillows, but we would argue that a firm pillow is the most versatile option since it provides the necessary support for all sleeping positions.


Q. Who should use firm pillows?

Firm pillows provide adequate support for the neck and spine, keeping the head and neck in a neutral position, thus preventing neck pain and discomfort.

Q. Is it better to sleep without pillows?

Sleeping without a pillow can lead to discomfort and pain. Pillows help maintain proper spinal alignment and support for the head and neck.

Q. Among soft and firm pillows, which is better for side sleepers?

The pillow should support the head and neck sufficiently to cushion the shoulders. A pillow that is too soft can sink too far into the pillow, causing spine misalignment. On the other hand, a pillow that is too firm can cause pressure points.

Q. Is it better to have a firm or side pillow for neck pain?

In addition to reducing discomfort for neck pain patients, firm pillows can relieve pain and avoid further strain on neck muscles. You can consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.


In conclusion, if you want to prevent neck pain, a firm pillow is often the best choice. It provides excellent support for your head and neck, keeps them in alignment with your spine, and is more durable and less likely to cause allergies than a soft pillow.