How do you keep a cervical pillows at night?

A restful night's sleep is essential for our overall well-being, and choosing the right pillow plays a significant role in achieving that goal. Cervical pillows, specifically designed to provide targeted support to the neck and spine, have gained popularity for their potential to alleviate discomfort and improve sleep quality. However, using a cervical pillow correctly is vital to reap its full benefits. 

In this comprehensive guide from Pain Free Aussies, we will delve into how to use a cervical pillow at night while adhering to medical guidelines to ensure accessibility and clarity.

Understanding the Cervical Pillow

Before we discuss how to use a cervical pillow at night, let's revisit the essence of these pillows within the framework of medical guidelines:

Cervical Pillows: Cervical pillows are uniquely contoured to cradle the neck, promoting proper alignment of the head, neck, and spine. This tailored support can potentially alleviate chronic neck discomfort and stiffness without making explicit medical claims.

Choosing the Right Cervical Pillow

Using a cervical pillow effectively starts with selecting the right one for your needs. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Pillow Loft: Cervical pillows come in various loft heights, which refer to the thickness of the pad. The choice of loft largely depends on your sleep position:

Low Loft: It is ideal for back sleepers, as it provides gentle support without excessively elevating the head.

Medium Loft: Suited for most sleepers, including those who shift positions at night.

High Loft: Best for side sleepers, as it maintains proper spinal alignment when sleeping on your side. 

Pillow Material: Cervical pillows are available in various materials, including memory foam, latex, and traditional fibers. Consider your comfort preferences and any allergies you may have when choosing a material.

Pillow Contour: The contour of the cervical pillow matters as well. Some have a gentle slope, while others feature a more pronounced contour. Experiment with different contours to find the one that best supports your neck.

Using a Cervical Pillow at Night

Once you've chosen the right cervical pillow for your needs, it's essential to use cervical pillow correctly for maximum comfort and support. Here's how to do it:

1. Position the Pillow

Before lying down, position the cervical pillow on your bed with the contour facing up. Ensure that the outline aligns with the natural curve of your neck. These neck care devices work if you use them correctly. 

2. Choose the Right Sleep Position

Cervical pillows are most effective when used in specific sleep positions:

Back Sleepers: If you sleep on your back, center your head on the pillow's contour. Your head should rest comfortably within the dip of the contour while the raised edge supports your neck.

Side Sleepers: For side sleepers, place the pillow so that your shoulder aligns with the raised edge of the contour. Your head should rest on the flat surface of the pad, with the outline supporting your neck.

Stomach Sleepers: It's generally not recommended by chiropractors to sleep on your stomach due to its potential to strain the neck and spine. If you are a stomach sleeper, consider transitioning to a different sleep position to maximize the benefits of a cervical pillow.

3. Relax and Adjust

Take a moment to relax and adjust to the new pillow. It may feel different from your previous pillow, but this adjustment period is expected. Give your body some time to adapt to the improved support and alignment.

4. Pillow Placement

Your cervical pillow should remain in the same position throughout the night. Avoid tossing and turning excessively, as this can disrupt the proper alignment achieved with the pillow.

5. Maintain a Neutral Spine

Whether you're a back or side sleeper,  maintaining a neutral spine position is the goal. This means that your head, neck, and spine should form a straight line without bending or tilting.

6. Experiment with Pillow Height

If the loft height of the cervical pillow is not quite right, consider using an additional pillow underneath it to achieve the desired elevation and support.

Additional Tips for Cervical Pillow Use

To make the most of your good cervical pillow, consider the following tips:

  1. Pillowcase Choice
    Use a breathable and hypoallergenic pillowcase to ensure comfort and hygiene. Cotton or satin pillowcases are excellent choices.
  2. Maintain Pillow Cleanliness
    Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning your cervical pillow. Most can be spot-cleaned or have removable, machine-washable covers.
  3. Gradual Adjustment
    If you're new to using a cervical pillow, it may take a few nights to become accustomed to its unique support. Be patient and allow your body to adjust gradually.
  4. Consult a Healthcare Professional
    Consider consulting a chiropractor or healthcare professional if you have chronic neck discomfort or underlying spinal conditions. They can provide personalized guidance on using a cervical pillow and address any specific concerns.


A cervical pillow at night can significantly improve sleep quality and alleviate neck discomfort by promoting proper spinal alignment. Selecting the right cervical pillow and using it correctly based on your sleep position are key factors in maximizing its benefits.

Remember that it may take time for your body to adjust to the new pillow, so be patient during the transition. If you have persistent neck discomfort or specific spinal concerns, consulting a healthcare professional or chiropractor can provide valuable guidance tailored to your needs.

By prioritizing proper pillow use and spinal alignment, you can enjoy restful nights and wake up feeling refreshed, all while safeguarding your neck and spine's well-being.


  1. How should I position my cervical pillow at night?

Position your cervical pillow with the contour facing up. Ensure that the outline aligns with the natural curve of your neck.

  1. Can I use a cervical pillow if I change sleep positions at night?

Yes, cervical pillows are designed to cater to different sleep positions, making them suitable for those who shift positions during sleep.

  1. Are there any special care instructions for using and maintaining a cervical pillow?

First, consult your Healthcare therapist and Follow the manufacturer's instructions for spot cleaning or washing pillow covers to keep your cervical pillow clean and in optimal condition.

  1. Can using a cervical pillow help reduce neck discomfort?

Yes, a cervical pillow can alleviate neck discomfort and promote better sleep by supporting proper spinal alignment.

  1. How long does it take to get used to sleeping with a cervical pillow?

Adapting to a cervical pillow's unique support may take a few nights, so be patient as your body adjusts.