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10 Best Neck Braces for Sleeping

by Amanda Ghosh July 08, 2017

woman feeling neck painNeck pain shouldn’t keep you up at night, but if it does, there’s a solution: a neck brace. A neck brace for sleeping alleviates pain, reduces tension, takes pressure off the spine, promotes proper posture, and helps heal the neck. Sleeping in a neck brace may sound uncomfortable, but if you’re smart about the brace you pick, sleeping with a neck brace can be a surprisingly pleasant experience. Here, we’ve rounded up the braces we like to wear to bed.

Best Neck Brace for Sleeping - Top 10

Model Brand Lowest Price
1. Neck Support Collar BackpainHelp
BEST PRICE »
2. Cervical Collar Neck Brace Aspen Medical Products
BEST PRICE »
3. Stiff Neck Brace NeoMedinaTech
BEST PRICE »
4. Neck Traction Pillow Instapark
BEST PRICE »
5. Neck and Shoulder Relaxer Real-Ease
BEST PRICE »
6. Cervical Neck Traction Collar Vive
BEST PRICE »
7. Neck Rest Caldera
BEST PRICE »
8. Neck Brace Vive
BEST PRICE »
9. Universal Cervical Collar Core Products
BEST PRICE »
10. Stifneck Adjustable Collar Laerdal
BEST PRICE »

1. Neck Support Collar by BackpainHelp Neck Support Collar by BackpainHelp

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This brace was developed with the help of the London Spine Clinic, a trusted medical organization. The brace relieves neck and back pain caused by poor posture. Even though it looks like something from a future space age, this brace can be used during exercise, and it teaches you how to correct your posture while you go about your daily life—which makes it the perfect compliment to a nighttime neck brace.

Pros:
  • Wear during exercise
  • “Open” feel and remains cool
  • Corrects cervical posture to alleviate pain and discomfort
Cons:
  • Velcro could be stronger

2. Cervical Collar Neck Brace by Aspen Medical Products Cervical Collar Neck Brace by Aspen Medical Products

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If you want an intense neck brace that minimizes nearly all movement, this is it. This brace is made by a reputable brand, and it won the Best Cervical Care Product award at the Spine Technology Awards. Despite being very restrictive (on purpose), it’s surprisingly comfortable due to its cotton lining. Plus, the foam can be removed and washed. It is possible to sleep in this brace.

Pros:
  • Easy to put on by yourself
  • Adjusts to fit your neck
  • Comfortably minimizes motion
Cons:
  • Fits most neck sizes, but not all

3. Stiff Neck Brace by NeoMedinaTech Stiff Neck Brace by NeoMedinaTech

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This is a more comfortable neck brace because it’s smaller and is crafted from fabric. We like that it uses magnets with trace elements like magnesium and iron to promote circulation and soothe neck muscles. The brace keeps your neck warm and cozy, but not hot, and it helps your body recover from injury.

Pros:
  • Relieves pain caused by hunching neck and shoulders
  • Therapeutic heat feels terrific
  • Soothes muscles and relieves pain
Cons:
  • Therapeutic magnets could be more effective

4. Neck Traction Pillow by Instapark Neck Traction Pillow by Instapark

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This pillow inflates to relieve your neck of tension and discomfort. This brace will give you the kind of support you’re looking for. And it’s free of materials that irritate the skin.

Pros:
  • Helps with tension headaches
  • Soothes pain from pinched nerves
  • Easy to use just about anywhere
Cons:
  • May not tighten as much as you want it to

5. Neck and Shoulder Relaxer by Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer by Real-Ease

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This support gently stretches tense neck muscles. Use it during all of your cat naps. A ten to fifteen minute rest with this brace will relieve deep tension in the neck, shoulders, and jaw. It will also give the neck a gentle stretch.

Pros:
  • Perfect for cat naps
  • Relieves deep muscle tension
  • Gently stretches the neck while you rest
Cons:
  • Plastic could be sturdier

6. Cervical Neck Traction Collar by Vive Cervical Neck Traction Collar by Vive

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This is a very popular product. It can be inflated to hit your “sweet spot”—that point where you get just enough support and relief. It’s quite comfortable and is very supportive. You could easily fall asleep wearing this collar. It also soothes pain associated with herniated and bulged discs. And if that isn’t enough to love, it gently realigns the spine to correct posture.

Pros:
  • Great for travel
  • Relieves chronic neck pain
  • Comfy enough for a snooze
Cons:
  • Inflation-style collars aren’t for everyone

7. Neck Rest by Caldera Neck Rest by Caldera

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This soft brace will contour to your neck, which makes it perfect for sleeping. It works by supporting the weight of your head to give your neck and shoulders a break. This brace is easy to take with you on the road or in the air. It will keep your neck in a comfortable, upright position throughout the night—just make sure it's not too tight.

Pros:
  • Washes easily
  • Comfortable
  • Relieves neck pain and can be worn all night
Cons:
  • Only a few sizing options

8. Neck Brace by Vive Neck Brace by Vive

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This ergonomic, soft neck brace is made from foam. It follows the natural contour of the neck to provide comfortable support while you sleep, which is perfect if you are recovering from an injury or want to relieve tension in the neck. This brace is also a smart choice if you want to prevent damaged nerves and vertebrae from feeling too much pressure. Plus, this brace can be customized to fit exactly how you want it to. Overall, it’s an extremely dependable brace with a strong Velcro fastener and very favorable reviews.

Pros:
  • Dependable
  • Comfortable all night
  • Perfect amount of support
Cons:
  • Meant for injury rehabilitation

9. Universal Cervical Collar by Core Products Universal Cervical Collar by Core Products

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This brace has a smooth feel with comfy support. It does a nice job reminding you to hold your neck and shoulders in their proper position while you sit at the computer or lie in bed at night. In order to fit this brace, you will want to measure your neck from under your chin.

Pros:
  • Soft and smooth for nighttime use
  • Fits most neck sizes
  • Encourages proper posture
Cons:
  • Only comes in black

10. Stifneck Adjustable Collar by Laerdal Stifneck Adjustable Collar by Laerdal

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This is an intense collar that offers a lot of support and immobilization. There's no sizing hassle with this brace. Even though it has a rigid outer shell, the inside of that shell is lined with a softer material so it's comfortable to wear. This is a strong, well-constructed, and popular brace. And it is definitely possible to sleep in this brace.

Pros:
  • Fits all adults
  • Intense neck immobilization
  • Can check pulse while wearing
Cons:
  • Uncomfortable when worn for extended periods of time

When to Address Neck Pain

Paul Ingraham, past assistant editor at Science-Based Medicine, explains it’s time to worry if “your pain has lasted more than 6 weeks and is severe or worsening.” He also mentions symptoms that should raise an alarm:

  • Tapping the spine is painful
  • Weight loss
  • Fevers/chills
  • Headache and inability to move the head forward
  • Sudden-onset headaches
  • Shooting pain, weakness, or loss of coordination

Talk to your doctor about these symptoms, and try a neck brace to relieve the pain. And try a cervical neck brace to relieve pain associated with poor posture or an injury.

How to Use a Neck Brace for Neck Pain

A neck brace can relieve pain and discomfort, take pressure off of vertebrae, improve neck and shoulder alignment, and even relieve jaw discomfort. And when neck pain seems to be at its worst—keeping you up all night—a neck brace can relieve pain and let you fall asleep in peace.

Tips for Wearing Neck Braces

You have questions, and we have answers!

Q: How long should I wear a neck brace?

A: Wear a neck brace as long as your doctor recommends. You can sleep in soft and rigid neck braces. If you’re only using a brace to stretch and relieve sore muscles, it’s fine to wear it for 20–30 minutes as needed.

Q: Can I use a neck brace for sleeping on a plane?

A: A soft cervical brace is perfect to wear on a plane. It’s a nice alternative to a donut pillow because it keeps your spine properly aligned, which can help prevent soreness.

Q: Can I use a neck brace if I have sleep apnea?

A: Sleep apnea patients find that wearing a neck brace to bed helps keep their airways open, so go ahead and wear that brace!

How to Wear a Soft Neck Collar

Here are four strategies you can use to make sleeping with a brace even more comfortable. Because let’s face it, it doesn’t make sense to experience discomfort while trying to relieve pain.

  1. Use a U-shaped pillow, which gives just enough neck support to make falling asleep a breeze.
  2. Find the ideal setting for your neck brace—loose enough to be comfortable, but tight enough to support and immobilize the neck.
  3. Begin by sleeping in a reclining chair to make the neck brace more comfortable.
  4. Transition to sleeping in a bed, and sleep on your side or back—sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on your neck.

Find the Best Neck Brace for Sleeping

Neck pain is the third most common type of pain, and it makes sleeping uncomfortable. We really like all the products on this list, but for sleeping, we have a slight preference for a soft neck brace made from foam. Your neck discomfort is probably common, but definitely get it checked out. While you wait for your doctor to tell you your pain is nothing serious, we definitely suggest getting a quality neck brace. We know how useful they can be when it comes to falling asleep and finding relief from neck pain. So don’t be miserable any longer!

Sources:

http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx

https://www.painscience.com/articles/when-to-worry-about-neck-pain-and-when-not-to.php

http://doctorstevenpark.com/can-a-neck-collar-cure-sleep-apnea

Amanda Ghosh
Amanda Ghosh

Amanda has a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Syracuse University which equipped her with courses applied to licensure as a dietitian. She also worked as a Program Director for the Wellness and Fitness Department for the YMCA. She is well versed in physical fitness, with a certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical fitness training. She has taught numerous fitness classes, including college courses in the Athletic Department, as an adjunct instructor, at the SUNY University at Buffalo. She currently resides with her husband in the NYC area, and loves to put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to use by being active. Both her and her husband are self-declared "foodies."


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