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Best Orthopaedic/ Orthopedic Pillow 2021

Last Updated: October 27, 2021

Orthopaedic pillows are designed and constructed to promote correct body positioning whilst sleeping, ensuring optimal head and spine alignment. These pillows provide the required cushioning and support in a specific area and prevent pressure build-up at susceptible points. This type of pillow may be ideal for those who suffer from aches and pains, injuries, postoperative pain or discomfort, or even someone looking for additional specific support.

Just like a good mattress, a pillow plays a significant role in the quality of your sleep. However, with the term "orthopaedic" being used so ubiquitously by different brands, it may be a little overwhelming as to where to start your search for the best orthopaedic pillow. Therefore, it is essential to be clear on your personal needs and preferences and well-informed about your options to make the best decision.

(Important Facts, Studies, Advice, Considerations & FAQs In Conclusion)

Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic PillowWaterNA Nights
1 Year
Harley Designer Orthopaedic Neck Support PillowMemory Foam NA Nights
1 Year
Classicpedic Orthopedic Memory Foam PillowMemory Foam NA Nights
1 Year
Cervical Memory Foam Orthopaedic PillowMemory Foam NA Nights
NA Years
NOFFA Soft Orthopedic PillowFoamNA Nights
NA Years
Silentnight Impress Contour PillowMemory Foam NA Nights
2 Years
Prices are referring to the smallest size. Information may be subject to change, please check with the brand/manufacturer before purchasing.

1. Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic Pillow

Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic Pillow
(Image credit: Health and Care)
• Water pouch
• DuPoint polyester fibre filling
• 1-year warranty
• All sleep positions
• Those with allergies
• Individuals seeking adjustable firmness

The Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic Pillow is a water-based pillow that has been clinically shown to reduce neck pain and improve sleep quality. It is designed for those who suffer from neck pain, back pain, poor sleep and migraines and is suitable for all sleep positions. This fully insulated fibre lined pillow works by using a water-filled base that can mould to your specific body shape, promoting a restful night's sleep.

There are three layers of different materials that help to ensure longevity and comfort. First, the base of the pillow consists of a firmly secured, easy-to-fill water pouch. This is followed by a NASA-developed thermal insulating layer that prevents water loss. Then the top layer consists of a super soft hypoallergenic DuPoint polyester fibre filling.

To use the pillow, you open the water pouch and fill it with water to a level of your choosing - this will be dependent on your preferred firmness. For a firmer feel, you can add more water; for a softer feel, less. This pillow can be machine-washed and dried for easy care. Manufacturers offer a 1-year warranty as well as free UK delivery. This product is highly reviewed, and although at a slightly higher price, customers seem happy with their purchases.

(Video credit: Health and Care)

2. Harley Designer Orthopaedic Neck Support Pillow

Harley Designer Orthopaedic Neck Support Pillow
(Image credit: Health and Care)
• High-grade memory foam
• Removable velour pillowcase
• 1-year warranty
• Those with a more flexible budget
• Individuals seeking different size options
• People who prefer to buy British

The Harley Designer Orthopaedic Neck Support pillow is an orthopaedic memory foam pillow designed for neck support. The pressure-relieving properties of this high-grade memory foam evenly distribute weight and mould to your unique shape using your weight and body heat. This contoured support can reduce neck and shoulder pain and keep the spine in optimal alignment. It's worth, however, pointing out that if you tend to overheat at night, high-density memory foam may not be ideal.

The zippered velour (soft and breathable material woven from a polycotton blend) pillowcase is removable and machine-washable at 40°C. However, the memory foam filling is not suitable for machine washing and is only for handwashing.

Manufacturers claim that this orthopaedic pillow is suitable for back, side, and stomach sleepers. In addition, it is available in five shapes and sizes for customised support. A 1-year warranty is offered and well as free UK delivery. This pillow is on the high end of the price scale; however, customers overall seem very satisfied with their purchases.

3. Classicpedic Orthopedic Pillow

Up to 30% OFF
Memory Foam Warehouse Discount Voucher Code
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Classicpedic Orthopedic Pillow
(Image credit: Memory Foam Warehouse)

No one wants to have to wake up with back pain, but this is something that many people around the world experience every single day. The Classicpedic Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow aims to relieve this back pain and prevent it from happening in the future. It has been designed to relieve pain in your joints and your neck, providing you with comfort at all times.

This product has been made with medical-grade memory foam that moulds to the shape of your body. This helps to encourage natural sleeping positions and support your pressure points. The memory foam core offers medium support and an ergonomic design that will curve around your body. On the outside of this orthopedic pillow, you’ll find a 100% cotton cover that is hypoallergenic, reducing the risk of any dust mites getting in there.

According to the product listing, this pillow is suitable for those who experience snoring and breathing problems as they sleep. It also claims to promote healthy blood circulation.

When you purchase this product from the Memory Foam Warehouse, you’ll get free delivery to UK addresses. There is also a 1-year warranty attached to this British made product.

Memory Foam Warehouse as a whole is rated highly on average according to Trustpilot. Some customers have noted that the quality of the service offered by the brand is great. This is very important when you are making a purchase as we have seen that customer service can make or break the experience.

Overall, it appears that this orthopedic pillow is suitable for a range of sleepers due to the foam filling. When you purchase this durable product, you can expect your back, neck and shoulders to be supported.

4. Cervical Memory Foam Orthopaedic Pillow

MARNUR Contour orthopedic Cervical Pillow
(Image credit: Zeichi)
• Memory foam with AirCell technology
• Specialised zonal support
• Oeko-Tex certified
• People on a tight budget
• Restless sleepers
• Those who want the option between two heights

The Cervical Memory Foam Orthopaedic Pillow may be a good option if you are looking for an inexpensive ergonomically designed orthopaedic pillow. This pillow is shaped to contour the spine's natural curvature, whether you are a back, side, or front sleeper. The head, neck and arms are supported, with specialised zones allowing for optimal spinal alignment. In addition, this butterfly-shaped pillow is designed with two heights to accommodate the sleepers individual preferences.

A slow bound memory foam with AirCell technology ensures that your head and neck receive the necessary comfort and support. In addition, the dual-layer pillowcase is stain resistant, soft, breathable, and removable for easy cleaning. The zippered pillowcase is also easy to remove and machine-washable.

Manufacturers mention that this pillow may be particularly helpful for those who toss and turn in their sleep. In addition, this product is Oeko-Tex certified, which means that the memory foam is free from harmful chemicals.

5. NOFFA Soft Orthopedic Pillow

NOFFA Soft Orthopedic Pillow
(Image credit: NOFFA)

If you are looking for a breathable pillow, then this product might be suitable for you. The NOFFA Soft Orthopedic pillows are made from foam that has no memory function. The qualities of the foam are more akin to latex, offering you a product that will keep your head dry when you sleep. For many people, memory foam does not offer this.

According to the product listing, the foam used in this pillow is soft, allowing you to remain comfortable as you sleep. Additionally, the latex like foam can help to reduce the pressure on your head, back and neck. This makes it suitable for those experiencing pain in their upper body.

There are three layers to this pillow including the foam on the inside, the inner pillowcase and the knitted cover. These three layers work together to ensure the pillow always feels free and supportive. The pillowcase can be placed in the washing machine to help you easily keep it clean.

The product listing notes that this pillow may come with a slight odour, but this is normal, and it will disappear soon enough. The product comes in a handy box, rolled up so you will need to give it time to return to its original shape.

Customer reviews have noted that this product is worth every penny and offers a good night’s sleep. Others noted that it was similar to memory foam without the heat retention qualities that memory foam offers. This might be a good product to consider if you want to steer away from memory foam.

6. Silentnight Impress Orthopaedic Pillow

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Silentnight Impress Contour Pillow - Memory Foam Orthopaedic Pillow
(Image credit: Silentnight)

The Silentnight Impress Contour pillow is made from reactive memory foam to ensure your head, shoulders and neck are cradled as you sleep. This product offers orthopedic support due to the unique design that contours to the shape of your neck. According to the product listing, it helps to relieve pain and pressure on your joints. This makes it suitable for those looking for a pillow.

The Silentnight Impress Contour pillow has a medium firmness thanks to the memory foam on the inside. The memory foam will return to its original shape each night, making it suitable for more than one body type. It also comes with a breathable pillowcase that can be easily washed to keep the pillow feeling fresh for longer. This product is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for those who experience allergies to dust-mites.

When you purchase this product from Silentnight, you’ll benefit from high-quality service as they are one of UK's trusted bed brands. Additionally, they are offering a 2-year warranty on this product so if you aren’t happy with it, you can always get in touch.

This product is currently being listed on Amazon and it has tons of positive customer reviews. Some noted that the memory foam is supportive and helps to relieve the pain that they are experiencing in their head and neck. Others noted that it was slightly firmer than they originally thought so this is something to consider.

Overall, it is clear that this pillow would be suitable for those looking for a good quality product that can be easily washed. It is priced at mid-range in comparison to other similar products.

Orthopaedic Pillows Explained

Pillows are not only responsible for providing comfort, but they also play an important role in supporting the head, neck, shoulders and spine. The term “orthopaedic” (or “orthopedic”) refers to the branch of medicine that focuses on the care of the musculoskeletal system, specifically, the bones and associated muscles and joints.

Orthopaedic pillows explained

Orthopaedic pillows are designed to correct body positioning whilst lying in bed or on other flat surfaces, ensuring optimal head, neck, and shoulders placement and correct spinal alignment. These pillows can help by alleviating pressure points and providing the necessary support and cushioning for our head and neck. This type of pillow may be ideal for those who suffer from aches and pains, injuries, or postoperative pain or discomfort. 

Whilst, depending of course, on the cause, some musculoskeletal pain may be more difficult to treat and manage than others. The correct orthopaedic pillow could be a potential solution for body aches and pain or, in the least, minimise it. 

Did you know?
Musculoskeletal conditions affect an estimated 18.8 million people✓ across the UK.

"Orthopaedic" Pillow Features

At this point, it is worth mentioning that there are no industry regulations or product specifications that indicate that a pillow is indeed “orthopaedic”. The term is often part of clever marketing strategies and therefore allows some manufacturers to advertise products as orthopaedic that may not differ from regular pillows.

Orthopaedic pillow features

A "real" orthopaedic pillow should provide the necessary support and cushioning to relieve pressure in specific points, alleviate pain, optimise spinal alignment, and facilitate a comfortable sleep. The support offered should, in theory, be more "specialised" than that from a regular pillow. However, the choice may often come down to a person's specific requirements and preferences.

Please note that if you are unsure of the cause of your pain or the pain is persistent or severe, it’s advisable to consult your doctor. Similarly, if you are recovering from recent surgery, it’s best to speak to your doctor regarding the best orthopaedic pillow.

Interesting to note!
According to the UK 2019/20 Labour Force Survey, 8.9 million working days were lost due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders✓ .

Orthopaedic Pillows: Considerations

Choosing the best orthopaedic pillow is important, and an incorrect choice may have the opposite effect and lead to worsening pain. Therefore, it is essential to be well-informed about your options to make the best decision. Orthopaedic pillows may also have similar features to pillows for neck pain. The following factors are worth taking into consideration when searching for the best orthopaedic pillow.

Orthopaedic pillows considerations
  • Loft: The loft refers to the height of the pillow. A too high or too low pillow can force your neck to bend at an unnatural angle, exacerbating existing stress or discomfort or causing stress and pain over time. The best orthopaedic pillow will keep your head and spine in alignment, eliminating or reducing pain. It is also a good idea to keep your sleeping position and the width of your shoulders in mind when making your choice. People with broader shoulders are typically better suited to pillows with a higher loft.
  • Support: The best orthopaedic pillow will not only be the optimal height but also provide the necessary support. Some orthopaedic pillows are called "cervical" or "contour" pillows due to the conforming of the pillow to the neck. This support is necessary so that there is no gap between the pillow and the neck.
  • Firmness: The right pillow firmness for you will depend on how heavy your head is, the loft of the pillow, and your sleeping position. Pillows that are too firm may cause pressure points, and pillows that are too soft may sag under your head and fail to provide proper support.
  • Shape: Various shapes and sizes of ergonomic orthopaedic pillows are available, and the best option will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
  • Quality of materials: The materials used play a significant role in choosing the orthopaedic pillow best suited for you. In addition to adequate support and comfort, other factors such as the longevity of materials, care instructions, hypoallergenic properties and temperature control will be important determining factors.
  • Price: The price of orthopaedic pillows varies hugely and will depend on the materials used and design. As with other bedding, keep in mind that certain types of pillows may last for years, whereas others may lose their loft or support and need to be replaced more frequently.

Orthopaedic Pillow Materials

The type of pillow and pillow fill often comes down to personal preference; however, certain materials have specific qualities that may or may not be best suited for your needs. Listed below are a few of the most common materials you're likely to come across when looking for an orthopaedic pillow.

  1. Memory foam: Memory foam (often called viscoelastic) is made from material sensitive to body heat and allows it to contour to your body, providing pressure relief, comfort, and support. However, traditional memory foam is known to trap heat due to the density of the material, so be sure to look for an open-cell memory foam pillow or one with special infusions or a design that can draw heat away from the body.
  2. Feather: Duck feather pillows, goose down pillows, and feather imitation pillows tend to be soft and conform excellently to the shape of the head and neck, have the potential to last a long time, and can be reasonably priced. The downside is that they tend to lose their support and loft over time, feather quills may poke, and they may have an odour unpleasant for some.
  3. Latex: Latex pillows are known for being soft and supportive whilst minimising pressure points. They are biodegradable, flame resistant, quiet, and resistant to mould, mildew and dust mites. They are durable and also help with temperature regulation. Disadvantages may be that you cannot shape them to fit, so if the loft is not correct, you cannot adjust it. They may also be heavy, and they tend to be on the expensive side.
  4. Polyfoam: Also known as polyurethane foam, this foam is similar to memory foam but without viscoelastic properties. It may therefore not mould to the head and neck as much as memory foam. Polyfoam also tends to be cheaper but can also be less durable.

Tips For Healthy Bones

Orthopaedic pillows and other specialised bedding are amongst a plethora of available options as part of treatment or care for many musculoskeletal disorders. And whilst some medical conditions may be beyond our control, there are certain things we can still do during adulthood to keep our skeletal system as strong and healthy as possible. Tabulated below are a few things we should and should not do to keep our bones in good health✓.

Tips for healthy bones
Healthy BonesUnhealthy Bones
✓ Physical activity✗ Smoking
✓ Calcium in the diet✗ Alcohol abuse
✓ Sufficient vitamin D✗ Excessive salt
✓ Weight-bearing exercise✗ Being underweight

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use an orthopaedic pillow?

This will depend entirely on the type and design of the orthopaedic pillow. Most commonly, you will find that the pillow has curves and contours on one side - this is the side that needs to be in direct contact with your neck.

What is the best orthopaedic pillow?

The best orthopaedic pillow will be dependent on your individual needs and preferences. Certain factors such loft, firmness, shape, price, and quality should be taken into account, as well as the materials used and position in which you sleep.

What is the best orthopaedic pillow for neck pain?

The best orthopaedic pillow for neck pain will be one that contours best to your head shape, relieves pressure, distributes weight evenly, and provides adequate cushioning and support.


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