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If you sleep on your side most nights and find yourself sore, stiff, or in pain upon waking, a contoured orthopedic pillow might help. They are shaped in a special way that helps relieve pressure points on your neck for a more restful and comfortable night. The best contour pillows are typically made of memory foam because it can mold perfectly to the shape of your body, keeping your spine in better alignment.
Prices for contour pillows may vary greatly, which is surprising to some. While most come with a custom-fitted pillowcase, the fabric can range from inexpensive polyester to more luxurious bamboo. You can also expect to pay more for a more customizable sleep since more expensive contour pillows allow you to adjust their loft to fit your sleep habits and preferences. Furthermore, keep an eye out for options that are made of the higher-quality memory foam, that meets CertiPUR-US standards for content, emissions, and durability.
With that being said, below, you will find the seven best contour pillows currently available on the market:
The Best Contour Pillows
- EPABO: the best overall contour pillow
- Royal Therapy: the best investment contour pillow
- Homegoose: the best affordable contour pillow
- Tempur-Pedic: the most innovative contour pillow
- Perform: the best orthopedically designed contour pillow
- Nature's Guest: the most supportive contour pillow
- UTTU: the best contour pillow for all sleep positions
Table of Contents
The Best Contour Pillows Comparison Table
- Reduces snoring
- Evenly supports the head and neck
- Small in size at only 20" x12" x4"
- Offers good neck support
- Medium thickness with two different size contours
- Adjustable & perfect for combo sleepers
- Adjustable loft design for all sleep positions
The Best Contour Pillows Reviews
EPABO: The Best Overall Contour Pillow
The reviews on EPABO are as high as they can be, so it's no surprise that this contour memory foam pillow is one of Amazon's best-sellers. Proven unique design provides excellent support while aligning the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back no matter which sleeping position you prefer. If you suffer from neck pain, the pillow offers therapeutic relief, allowing you to wake up fully refreshed and energized.
What also makes this option the best contour pillow overall is that it's adjustable. If the pillow feels too high for you, there is a 0.8" piece of memory foam at the bottom that you can remove to make it lower. People who sleep on their back or stomach would likely take advantage of this feature. You cannot adjust the height of the sides because they help achieve the optimal sleep position while aligning your neck and spine.
EPABO also comes with a high-quality polyester- and rayon-blend cover that is not only soft but also hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. Memory foam is breathable, so it allows the air to circulate, making for a cool and dry sleep. All materials used in making this pillow are chemical-free to protect your health. And, if for some reason you're not satisfied within the first month of owning the product, there is a 30-day, manufacturer's money-back guarantee so that you can return it for a full refund.
CAUTION: If you suffer from severe cervical pain, this contour pillow might be too hard for your comfort. You would be better off with a softer pillow.
Royal Therapy: The Best Investment
Royal Therapy's ergonomically contoured wave-shaped pillow was uniquely designed by orthopedic doctors to ensure proper support, comfort, and spine alignment. If you are looking for a way to get a good night's sleep, this Queen-sized contour pillow may be the answer. Made of 3 layers of memory foam to evenly support all areas, it provides greater resistance under the heaviest parts of your head while equally supporting the lighter, more sensitive neck area. You can also remove the middle layer of foam if you want a low loft, which most stomach and back sleepers prefer. So, this contour pillow essentially works well for all sleeping positions.
Another benefit of Royal Therapy is that one side is higher than the other, so you get to choose the height that's most comfortable for your neck. This reduces discomfort and the urge to toss and turn during the night. When sleeping on the pillow, your muscles naturally relax so that you can get a good night's sleep.
This product is totally safe since it uses memory foam that is certified by CertiPUR-US as chemical-free, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic. It inhibits bacteria growth, dust mites, fungus, and mold. The bamboo fabric cover is constructed with heat-dissipating technology, that eliminates thermal build-up while you sleep. This contour pillow also has a 5-year warranty that includes a money-back guarantee if you're not happy after sleeping on it for 100 nights.
Homegoose: The Best Affordable Option
While it may be a bit smaller than the average size, Homegoose is a high-quality contour memory foam pillow at an affordable price. It's also extremely comfortable, relaxing the muscles in the neck and shoulders to relieve pain in those areas as well as the upper back. Compact thermo sensitive memory foam molds perfectly to the neck and cervical spine. Therapeutic contour wave design aligns the head, neck, and upper back whether you sleep on your side, back or stomach. Homegoose works great for people who suffer from chronic pain.
This is a high-quality contour memory foam pillow containing no toxic substances such as flame retardants, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, or any other heavy metals. It also comes with a removable, machine-washable polyester pillowcase and zippered carrying bag for traveling. The small size of this product makes it perfect for kids of all ages. In our opinion, this is the best contour pillow for the price.
Tempur-Pedic: The Most Innovative Pillow
Tempur-Pedic is uniquely designed in the shape of a cross (or four-pointed star), which is perfect for people who sleep face down. Laying on your stomach, you can place your face to the right or left. Either way, there's an open spot so you can breathe easily. While this contour pillow was specifically designed for back and side sleepers (a.k.a. combo-sleepers), its shape works great for stomach sleepers as well.
The idea behind the shape is to keep the airways open so people can breathe more easily when sleeping. The design also supports good body posture no matter which sleeping position you choose. Perfect for small- to medium-sized people, the pillow allows you to sleep in comfort while aligning your head, neck, and shoulders.
Filled with Tempur-Pedic's memory foam, the Tempur-Embrace contour pillow cradles and supports the head and neck and resumes its original shape when not in use. A removable and machine-washable top-quality 100% quilted cotton cover is soft and breathable.
NOTE: Your new pillow may feel more firm than expected. You need to break it in over the span of a few weeks before you'll start feeling comfortable. You may also notice a slight smell, which is quite common among new products. This is totally harmless, and you can expect it to dissipate within two weeks.
Perform: The Best Orthopedically Designed Contour Pillow
Perform is another orthopedically designed contour pillow, and this one is specifically for back and side sleepers. The unique shape easily conforms to your weight and height to ensure that your spine is properly aligned during sleep. The medium-firm foam has a subtle give that allows you to comfortably sink into the pillow, although it may take a moment or two. This contour memory foam pillow comes in two profile sizes, so you can select the perfect one for your height, weight, and shape.
A solid core of high-grade memory foam should hold its shape over the long run while it helps to relax your neck during sleep. The foam does not work well for combo sleepers because it takes a moment or two to soften up when you shift positions. However, it does cradle your head properly and comfortably for relaxing support. Another benefit is that it contains no toxic substances or chemicals, so you can safely use it.
This contour pillow comes with a machine-washable removable cover made of bamboo fabric, which is highly breathable. Great for allergy sufferers, this pillow and cover are both hypoallergenic as well as dust mite resistant. The reason Perform made our Best Contour Pillow list is because its orthopedic design and special density foam do a great job of relaxing the neck and back, which reduces overall bodily stress.
Nature's Guest: The Most Supportive Contour Pillow
- Adjustable & perfect for combo sleepers
- Optimal neck support and spine alignment
- Breathable and sleeps cooler than most foam pillows
The founders of Nature's Guest believe that all bedding should be both beautiful and comfortable. Their products can certainly be described as such, plus they're very supportive and easy to sleep with.
Chiropractors highly recommend Nature's Guest contour pillow because it contains a neck roll cushion, providing back sleepers with optimal cervical support. This ensures the proper alignment of the head, neck, and spine while you sleep. The result is a reduction in neck pain, arthritis, migraine headaches, herniated spinal discs, and other issues.
The innovative center contour design offers a variety of heights and positions for sleepers to choose from. The gusseted edges ensure optimal support for side and back sleepers. This pillow is designed to provide optimum cervical support so that you can comfortably shift from back to side, sleeping for a better night's sleep.
Dual zippers allow full access to the filling so that you can adjust the neck roll cushion as well as the side sleeping areas to your preferred firmness. Nature's Guest comes with a very luxurious 233 thread-count all-natural hypoallergenic cotton cover with gusseted sides and silk trim. Not only is this pillow beautiful, but it also has a proprietary filling that offers great support with increased airflow for a blissfully restful sleep.
UTTU: The Best Option for All Sleep Positions
UTTU adds a clever twist on the famous double-sided contour shape, which allows sleepers to position the pillow for a higher or lower loft. But, UTTU added another option: you can remove the mid-section to lower the loft while increasing the compression. If you total it up the pillow offers four different compression and loft positions, making this the best contour pillow for all sleep positions, including combo sleepers.
The Sandwich Pillow contains UTTU's proprietary Dynamic Foam, which molds to the body's natural curves while supporting the head, neck, and shoulders. The therapeutic and ergonomic design relieves neck and back pain, shoulder stiffness while promoting spine alignment and muscle relaxation. While the foam in many pillows can become rock hard in cold weather, UTTU Dynamic Foam does not. Its firmness remains consistent and comfortable through every season.
The removable and machine-washable cover is made of 60% polyester with 40% bamboo, giving it a nice soft feel. The multi-layered configuration increases airflow, which makes for a cooler pillow.
UTTU contains no toxic chemicals, is hypoallergenic and has certifications from Certi-Pur, OEKO-TEX, and ISPA for content, performance, and durability. It also comes with a 96-day trial plus a 5-year warranty on craftsmanship and manufacturer defects.
What is a Contour Pillow?
Contour pillows are orthopedically designed pillows with a curve that contours to the spinal curvature of the body. The pillow allows you to rest in a natural position, supporting your neck and back and keeping your head aligned with the spine.
In most cases, these pillows are made of soft, yet highly dense materials such as memory foam so that you can be comfortable while maintaining proper body posture. Firmer than standard pillows, they are specifically designed to support certain parts of the body, namely the head, neck, shoulders, back, and legs, during sleep.
You may feel uncomfortable on a contour pillow at first; however, after five or ten minutes, you should be feeling totally relaxed.
Types of Contour Pillows
There are two different types of contour pillows on the market, which are:
High profile contour pillows work well for medium to large framed individuals who prefer sleeping on their sides. The design allows the head to rest in the contour while the neck is supported by the raised roll, which is the perfect sleep posture while sleeping.
These pillows work best for smaller framed individuals who prefer sleeping in the lateral or supine positions. The design prevents undue strain on the curvatures of the spine by supporting the cervical and lumbar areas.
Contour vs. Standard Pillows
The main difference between contour pillows and standard pillows is that a contour pillow will remain indented to match your shape exactly. A standard pillow will form a dent when you lay on it, but it will not match your every exact curve. Contour pillows are specifically designed to shape down to the natural curves of the human body and help you keep your ideal posture.
Furthermore, a regular pillow does not distribute the weight evenly. Although it may be softer and more comfortable, it's not really firm enough to do anything but provide comfort. On the other hand, a contour pillow provides both comfort and support at the same time.
Benefits of Sleeping with a Contour Pillow
Orthopedic doctors always recommend contour pillows to patients with chronic neck and back pain.
If you fight with your pillow half of the night trying to find the perfect position for your neck and head, then you should definitely try a contoured pillow as it is designed to do just that - support the head and neck when you're lying down.
Using a contour neck pillow, you can support the head and neck so that the chin doesn't extend too far upwards or downwards. A specific contoured area is meant for resting the head, which makes it far more comfortable than a standard pillow.
For people who get restless during the night, a contour pillow can help by holding their head and neck aligned with the spine, which can alleviate snoring, minimize migraine headaches and relieve stress on the neck, shoulders and upper back.
If you are being treated by a chiropractor, sleeping with a contoured pillow can enhance the effects of those treatments. Such pillows are often recommended to reduce pressure points and improve overall health, especially if you are suffering from sleep disorders.
Contour pillows also maintain their shape long-term, which solves the problem of trying to reshape your pillow during the night. You would certainly benefit from sleeping with a contour pillow if you suffer from any painful back condition that requires back support, such as the following:
- Arthritis of the spine
- Degenerative disk disease
- Spinal Stenosis
- Cervical disk rupture
- Lumbar disk disease
- Lower back pain
- And more
Additional benefits of sleeping with a contour memory foam pillow are as follows:
- Treats cervical and spinal pain
- Keeps the neck and back perfectly aligned
- Relieves joint pressure
- Reduces pressure points while sleeping
- Has no adverse side effects
Fillings & Materials: What's Best
Foam is typically used in contour pillows because it holds its shape and molds to the sleeper's body. Polyurethane foam, latex foam, and memory foam are commonly used for the solid core foundation. The best contour pillows will have a concave middle for resting the head and different variables of the height along the sides in the neck support area.
The foam inside the pillow might also be shredded instead of one solid piece. Contoured pillows with shredded foam fillings are often adjustable by removing or adding filling so the sleeper can get the perfect combination of comfort and support.
Do contour pillows work well for stomach sleepers?
Orthopedic doctors do not recommend that people sleep on their stomachs because it can lead to a stiff neck and shoulders. You can also wake up with ear pain, jaw pain, and upper back pain as a result when you sleep in this position. A contour pillow will put your head and neck at an awkward angle if you're laying on your stomach and increase your head and neck pain.
However, for people trying to stop sleeping on their stomachs, a contour pillow would encourage this due to the discomfort in the neck and head region.
Do contour pillows work well for side sleepers?
Most contour pillows are great for people who sleep on their back, but not necessarily comfortable for people who prefer sleeping on their sides. So, if you are a side sleeper, you need to be careful about which pillow you choose.
Certain options work better than others, so do your homework before you make a purchase to ensure your comfort. Our recommendation would be to buy a pillow for side sleepers so that you can comfortably sleep on your side as well as your back.
Most Important Factors in Choosing a Contour Pillow
There are a number of things to take into consideration before you make a final decision on a contour pillow. First of all, it needs to be comfortable, so make sure you choose one that works well for your preferred sleeping position. You'll also want to consider your budget, core and cover materials, and durability of the product. The main things you'll need to keep in mind are as follows:
The main purpose of the special shape a contour pillow is to open your airways so you can breathe easier during sleep. The contours are also meant to help body posture no matter which position you sleep in. Make sure you get the right size and shape for your body frame.
Lifespan & Durability
The higher quality pillow you buy, the longer it will hold its shape. Ideally, you want a dense enough pillow to last for a long time so that you don't have to replace it as regularly as you might as a normal pillow.
The best contour pillows allow air to pass through the foam core freely. This helps you stay cool while you sleep, which is especially important for hot sleepers. Ideally, you would want breathable and flexible material. By nature, many solid core contour memory foam pillows fail in this category. Some brands take steps to combat this drawback with a variety of shapes and fillings to promote better airflow during sleep. Research this before buying.
Core & Cover Materials
Health-wise it would be smart to find out fill and cover materials used in a pillow. Ideally, you would want hypoallergenic materials with a Certi-Pur certification. Pillows with a poly-foam or memory foam core can induce allergic reactions, and there is usually a chemical smell, especially at first.
Your Sleeping Position
There are many different options when it comes to contour pillows, so make sure you choose one that's specifically designed for your preferred sleeping position. Some work well for multiple sleeping positions, but the rare few covers all three. So, make sure you check this out in advance.
The price tag is probably something you'll want to consider as well. Although a high price doesn't necessarily mean a high-quality product, this is often a good indicator. Conversely, while a low price may not indicate a poor-quality pillow, it's often the case. Most of the cheaper versions may collapse within a few weeks of usage, and you could end up with back pain down the road. In addition to the price of the pillow, find out if it has a warranty and/or a return policy just in case you aren't happy with your purchase.
The best contour pillows have a removable and machine-washable cover, which is needed to keep your pillow clean and long-lasting. Ideally, get a high-quality pillowcase made of cotton or bamboo fabric to ensure your comfort. In addition, you'll want to check whether the cover vents air and draws heat from the body so that it's dispersed and does not heat up the filling. This is especially important if you tend to get hot when you're asleep.
Other Factors to Consider
Do you snore? Do you get mild or migraine headaches?
These problems can all be attributed to not having enough cervical support during the night resulting in discomfort and poor circulation. Cervical contour pillows are designed to improve poor posture, and while doing that they can also reduce or eliminate snoring, mild headaches, and migraines.
Are you sore, stiff, and unrested when you wake up?
If the reason you're looking for a new pillow is that you wake up with aches and pains, then you have some idea of what you don't want. Make sure the new pillow is different than what you're already sleeping with. Plus, give yourself a good 30 days to truly adjust to, and get used to the feel of a new pillow.
Do you sleep warm?
The solid foam tends to hold heat, so if you get warm when you sleep, a contour pillow may not work for you. Fortunately, specific technologies have been developed to address this problem by increasing airflow and cooling properties. So, before choosing a product, read the reviews paying attention to this specific issue.
How to Get the Most Out of Your New Pillow
If you've never had a contour pillow before, it's important that you know how to use it properly so that you can get the most of what it offers.
Step-by-step instructions for taking full advantage of your contour pillow without exacerbating any issues you may be having with your neck and/or shoulders:
- Carefully remove your new pillow from the package. Give it 24 hours to plump up to its intended form. Once you take off the plastic, you will notice a slight odor of the built-up gasses in the foam. Let the pillow sit uncovered for at least 24 hours so that the gasses have a chance to evaporate.
- Once the pillow resumes its intended shape, you can now put a pillow cover on. If it didn't come with one, a high-quality cotton pillowcase is recommended.
- Lay down on the pillow to make sure your head falls comfortably in place between the curves. Try to hold you head straight up so that you're looking at the ceiling. Do not let your head slump down with your chin pressing on your neck. If you cannot maintain good posture, your airways can become constricted, making problems like snoring getting worse.
- The flat side of the pillow should be placed against the mattress with the contoured side facing upwards. The smaller curve should be facing the headboard. Whether you sleep on your side or back, this is the correct orientation for a contoured pillow to support the head and neck optimally.
As the pillow absorbs the heat from your body, it will naturally conform to your shape for maximum comfort. But if you move around changing positions, it will likely take several minutes before the foam in your pillow makes the adjustment. Once you get up in the morning, the foam will start cooling down and resume its original stiffness.
NOTE: It takes a few days to get used to sleeping with a contour pillow. So, do not expect to feel any noticeable benefits until you've slept on your pillow for several nights in a row.
Each pillow on our list of the Best Contour Pillows offers different levels of support and comfort, depending on which sleeping position they are designed to work best for. If you wake up in the morning with head, back, neck, and/or shoulder pain, you deserve some relief. We have tried each of these options personally; however, your own sleep position, body type, and preferences will better help you determine which pillow would likely work best for you.