Hey, how old's that pillow you're currently using? Pretty damn old, I'd assume.
Just FYI: You should really replace your pillows every one to two years, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). That's because every night while you're counting sheep, your pillow is busy absorbing body oils, dead skin, and hair, which can cause your pillow smell bad and creates an ideal environment for common allergens like dust mites.
That's not all folks: Enough nightly use and you're eventually left with a flat, unsupportive pancake of a pillow. So if you find yourself constantly fluffing your pillow for support or pounding out lumps, it's time to upgrade. (Still can't tell? Here's a quick test: Fold the pillow in half. If it stays folded, it's time for a new one.)
I get why you're procrastinating, though. Picking the right pillow is a big decision—especially if you've got neck pain. "If you’re thinking about investing in a new pillow or mattress, the number of options and amount of conflicting information about choosing the 'right' kind can be overwhelming," says Neel Anand, MD, a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles, California. "It’s a decision you don’t want to get wrong because your neck and/or back may live with it for years to come."
The best pillows for neck pain depend on a lot of factors. You've got to know your body (how you sleep, what your daytime habits are) as well as what pillow options are out there. Here's what to keep in mind, as well as a variety of specific recommendations (for stomach sleepers, firm mattress lovers, and more) curated to fit all sorts of bedtime needs.