While an unsuitable pillow often causes tension and pain, an ergonomic pillow can prevent or even counteract these issues.
This is because an ergonomic pillow enables anatomical alignment of the spine at night, and consequently a healthy sleep position.
Therefore, anyone who wants to lie down in a healthy and ergonomic way should opt for an ergonomic pillow.
But what makes an ergonomic pillow? Which one is right for me, and what should I keep in mind? Learn everything you need to know in our article.
What is an ergonomic pillow?
An ergonomic pillow has special properties that allow your body to maintain a healthy and comfortable sleep position.
The shape of ergonomic pillows is perfectly adapted to the head and neck area, providing optimal support for these areas.
The important thing is that the cervical spine (C-spine) is maintained in an ergonomically correct position throughout the night.
This is possible with good ergonomic pillows because they adapt optimally to the anatomy of the sleeper.
At the same time, special materials in the ergonomic pillow provide precise relief.
In contrast to traditional pillows, ergonomic pillows are pre-formed instead of simply filled with loose materials like down or feathers.
This may seem cozy at first, but the material shifts during the night, creating little hills in the pillow. An unhealthy head position is pre-programmed!
In addition, the loose material lacks sufficient support. A healthy ergonomic sleep position cannot be guaranteed in any case.
Ergonomic pillows often use foam materials instead, which can provide much better support and relief.
Tip: Our ergonomic Forever Pillow is made from several different foam layers that you can adjust to suit your individual needs!
What are ergonomic pillows good for?
A good ergonomic pillow can optimally support and relieve the head and neck area.
This is especially important if you wake up with tension and pain in the neck, shoulder, or back area.
Even headaches and dizziness during the day can be the result of an unhealthy body posture during sleep!
By allowing a natural alignment of the spine throughout the night, ergonomic pillows relieve your muscles and prevent pain.
But you shouldn't reach for an ergonomic pillow only when you are already suffering from tension or pain:
- Unsuitable pillows quickly lead to poor posture during sleep
- The spine is overstretched, the head is inadequately supported, the body lies crooked and bent
Even if no complaints are noticeable, especially at a young age, this is still a considerable burden on your body!
If you sleep in an unhealthy posture night after night, physical problems are bound to arise sooner or later.
Pain, tension, or other physical problems are then only a matter of time. To prevent lasting complaints, it should not be allowed to get to that point.
Therefore, the sooner you pay attention to an ergonomic sleeping posture, the sooner misalignments and complaints can be prevented.
A good ergonomic pillow should therefore be an integral part of the bed for everyone who wants to sleep healthily and avoid physical problems.
In what sleeping position should I use an ergonomic pillow?
Ergonomic pillows are suitable for any sleeping position. However, your preferred sleeping position determines how high or low your pillow should be.
It is important that your body is positioned at night as if you were standing upright during the day.
For example, your head should not be pushed upwards in a side position, but also should not fall downwards.
Also, in a back position, the head should not be stretched backward, but should also not be pressed towards the sternum.
Since the suitable pillow height also depends strongly on your stature and mattress hardness, you should test the pillow and the straight alignment of the cervical spine and ideally have it checked by a second person.
In any case, your preferred sleeping position is decisive. Depending on whether you sleep on your stomach, back, or side, your ergonomic sleep pillow requires a certain height.
Ergonomic Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
For stomach sleepers, the right pillow height is particularly important.
Many stomach sleepers lie on a pillow that is too high at night, resulting in an unhealthy overextension of the cervical spine.
This is true even though the prone position alone goes against the body's natural posture and is already quite a strain on the body.
Especially in conjunction with an unsuitable pillow, this can put a lot of strain on the body over time, leading to tension and pain!
Therefore, stomach sleepers should look for an ergonomic pillow with a low height to avoid the strong overextension of the cervical spine.
Some ergonomic pillows for stomach sleepers also have a special shape that can meet the specific requirements of sleeping on the stomach.
In addition, ergonomic pillows for stomach sleepers are made of specific materials to prevent the sleeper's head from sinking too deeply.
This is particularly important to ensure that the natural airflow is not disturbed, and the stomach sleeper can breathe freely!
Ergonomic Pillow for Back Sleepers
For back sleepers, depending on their stature and body size, low to medium-height ergonomic neck pillows are appropriate.
It is particularly important to ensure that the cervical spine is maintained in its natural alignment by the pillow.
This means it should be high enough to prevent the neck from bending backwards and thereby overextending.
At the same time, it should not be too high, as this would work against the natural curvature of the cervical spine.
Additionally, the ergonomic back sleeper pillow should not be too large. If the shoulders were to rest on the pillow, this would result in a curved position of the spine.
If, on the other hand, the ergonomic health pillow follows the natural S-shape of your spine, you have found a pillow with the ideal height and size for you as a back sleeper.
To find the ideal height, you can do a simple test at home:
- Stand straight against a wall, with your buttocks and upper back leaning against it
- Your head will either rest against the wall or be some distance from it
- This distance needs to be filled by the ergonomic pillow.
As a back sleeper, try removing one to three layers from the Forever Pillow, depending on how much distance needs to be compensated.
For a large, broad-shouldered back sleeper, it is often sufficient to remove one layer. If, on the other hand, you are rather petite and possibly sleep on a rather hard mattress, you should use fewer layers in the pillow.
If your pillow then has exactly the right height to fill this gap and keep your cervical spine in a straight position, you can sleep healthily all night, prevent misalignments, and effectively prevent pain and tension. Jackpot!
Ergonomic Pillow for Side Sleepers
Side sleepers need the highest form of ergonomic pillows.
This is because when you lie on your side, you are resting on your shoulder, so the space between the head and mattress needs to be filled to align the spine from the neck to the pelvis straight.
In this sleep position, the head should not tilt upwards or downwards, as this would put a lot of strain on the cervical spine!
For the optimal pillow height, individual stature and body size must again be taken into account.
For example, a petite woman needs a lower ergonomic side sleeper pillow than a broad-shouldered man.
Tip: Ergonomic pillows that can be adjusted in height are ideal for this. This way, you can easily adjust the perfect pillow height yourself at home.
Our ergonomic Forever Pillow has four different layers inside that you can flexibly remove and reinsert.
If you are a side sleeper with broad shoulders (approx. 38-46 cm) or have a very soft mattress, we recommend keeping all four layers inserted.
If, on the other hand, you are rather petite or have medium-width shoulders, you can remove one to two layers to find your ideal pillow height. The same applies to hard mattresses!
This way, you can easily and flexibly adjust the Forever Pillow to your needs, depending on how high and soft your ergonomic side sleeper pillow should be.
Ergonomic Pillow or Orthopedic Pillow?
The terms "ergonomic" and "orthopedic" are often used synonymously in the sleep sector. You don't need to be confused by these labels.
What is important is that your pillow is ergonomically shaped and can keep your cervical spine in a healthy position during sleep.
Whether the pillow is referred to as orthopedic or ergonomic is not important. Both an ergonomic and an orthopedic pillow enable healthier body posture during sleep thanks to ergonomic features.
What does Stiftung Warentest pay attention to when testing pillows?
The consumer organization Stiftung Warentest, which many Germans trust due to its governmental mandate, regularly conducts independent product tests.
Neck pillows were also tested in 09/2017. There were also a lot of helpful tips!
Although the test was a few years ago, these tips are still relevant. Among other things, Stiftung Warentest advises:
According to Ingo Fietze, the head of the sleep laboratory at the Charité in Berlin, neck and back problems can indeed come from an unsuitable pillow. A special neck pillow should be tried for at least three to four weeks if you have pain.
Neck pillows should preferably be adaptable. This allows them to be adjusted to individual sleeping positions, shoulder proportions, and mattress hardness. Otherwise, many pillows are too high for most sleepers.
Test the new pillow and make use of the right of return if necessary. Special attention should be paid to the right height, a suitable shape, good support properties, and a pleasant sleeping climate.
Our tip: A test phase is often included with online purchases, but it is unfortunately difficult to have a sufficiently long test in a local store.
You can test the ergonomic Forever Pillow risk-free for up to 30 days before making a final decision. If you don't like it, you can return it free of charge and get your money back!
Why should a pillow be adjustable?
An adjustable pillow is not just important to adapt it to your personal sleeping position.
Your body structure also plays an important role, and yes, even the hardness of your mattress affects the optimal pillow height!
With so many different influencing factors, finding a pillow that fits perfectly without individual adjustment would be almost like winning the lottery.
Ergonomic pillows that can be adjusted in height and support simplify the whole process.
Depending on how high the optimal ergonomic pillow is for you, you can remove or insert the four different layers in the Forever Pillow.
This way, you can adjust the ergonomic Forever Pillow to your personal needs, despite individual requirements.
Note: Our Forever Pillow, and no other, can compensate for a bad or too hard mattress.
If your mattress is old, sagging, low quality, or too firm or soft, you cannot expect miracles even from the world's best pillow.
Therefore, always make sure that your sleeping surface meets your personal requirements!
Conclusion: How to find the right ergonomic neck pillow
The special feature of ergonomic pillows is that you can sleep comfortably while your head and cervical spine are ergonomically supported.
This can prevent misalignments, relieve the muscles, and prevent pain and tension.
When choosing the right ergonomic pillow, it is particularly important to pay attention to a suitable height and support capability.
Which ergonomic pillow is ideal for you depends mainly on your stature, sleeping position, and also your mattress.
We recommend testing the ergonomic pillow for several days to weeks. This way, you can experience the many positive effects and will know if the pillow is right for you!