Best Pillows After Cervical Fusion or ACDF Neck Surgery (Buying Guide)

Looking for the absolute best pillows after cervical fusion or a neck surgery? We can help!

It’s only natural that you’re anxious to get back on your feet following a successful neck or cervical surgery, which is why why took the time to test and then review the best pillows after cervical fusion or ACDF neck surgery that are on the market today. Enjoy.

Cervical fusion surgery and ACDF (Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) procedures tend to leave you a tad delicate because it affects the cervical spine AKA your neck, the part of the body that supports and moves your head all day every day. The recovery process can prove to be a bit cumbersome as it can affect the ability to move your head, as well as the ability to lie down and get a good night's sleep...

This is why we have crafted our top 5 list of the best pillows for after cervical fusion surgery with comprehensive reviews and detailed recommendations.

To power through the recovery process, you must protect the surgery site at all costs from undue pressure. Much of this unnecessary pressure and movement occurs when you’re sleeping. That’s why you should get a pillow that keeps your neck safe and comfortable without restricting your sleeping positions.

Reviews of The Top Pillows After Cervical Fusion or Cervical Surgery

The best pillow after cervical fusion provides additional support to your head, shoulders, neck, and back while keeping your spine in a neutral alignment. See our reviews for the top 5 below!

1. EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow

Orthopedic sleeping pillows come in handy when recovering from corrective neck surgery, and the EPABO contour memory pillow is among the best choices available. It provides you with excellent neck support, which lets you enjoy a beautiful night's sleep, which is crucial to your recovery.

This pillow is ergonomically designed and comes with a perfect contour that’s crafted to fit around your neck. That enables the pillow to keep your neck, head, shoulders, and back in perfect alignment. Keeping a neutral spine lets you sleep better without aggravating your neck.

The EPABO pillow is made from breathable memory foam to ensure maximum comfort and support. Memory foam molds around your neck and shoulders but jumps back to its original shape and position when not in use. That keeps the pillow from flattening out with continued usage. 

The breathable nature of the pillow makes for excellent heat distribution to keep you fresh and comfortable as you sleep. Improved airflow not only keeps you cool and dry but also prevents mold build-up with continued usage.

This orthopedic pillow comes with a piece of removable memory foam at the bottom to help you adjust its height. That’s especially useful for people who like sleeping on their back or stomach. No adjustment is necessary if you prefer lying on your side as you sleep.

Each pillow ships with a hypoallergenic pillowcase made from a blend of rayon and polyester to give you a soft, silky smooth texture. Best of all, the pillowcase is resistant to dust mites, which crucial in managing and avoiding allergies. The pillowcase comes with a side zipper for easy removal when you need to clean it. It’s machine washable and should be tumble dried at a low setting to ensure the pillowcase qualities remain unaltered.


  • Height adjustable
  • Superior memory foam
  • Contoured for neck and shoulder support
  • Hypoallergenic pillowcase
  • Supports all sleeping position


  • Isn’t suitable for low pillow sleepers

2. Milemont Memory Foam Pillow

The Milemont memory pillow is just what the doctor ordered when recovering from neck surgery. It provides just the right amount of shoulder and neck support you need to accelerate your healing process. The pillow features a contoured design that keeps your head, shoulders, and neck in perfect alignment as you lie down.

As a therapeutic pillow, it increases your choice of sleeping positions to avoid placing unnecessary strain on your recovering shoulder muscles. It’s specially crafted to support the cervical curve of your neck, which reduces neck pain and offers relief to the muscles of the neck.

The pillow boasts a premium memory foam core that molds to the unique shape of your head and neck whenever you lie on it. The unique air cell technology makes the pillow breathable by increasing air circulation. That not only helps keep you cool and comfortable as you sleep but also helps improve hygiene. Proper air circulation prevents mold from growing, which is crucial since the pillow isn’t washable.

This pillow measures 24 inches long, 16 inches wide and stands 4 inches high on one side and 5.5 inches on the other. The choice of two heights lets you get the one that fits your specific needs and keep a neutral spine whenever you lie down. It comes with a medium-firm feel to provide maximum support and comfort.

The pillow uses gel-infused foam technology that is certified for safety and performance by CertifPUR-US. The certification means that the pillow is devoid of toxic ingredients such as methane chloride and formaldehyde. It also means that the foam a protective barrier against allergens such as bacteria, dust mites, and mold.

It ships with a washable, removable cover that is secured by a zipper for easy and convenient cleaning. The pillow has a non-toxic smell that will dissipate after 24 hours if you leave it out in a cool airy place.


  • Gel-infused memory foam
  • Two different pillow heights
  • CertifPUR-US certification
  • Ergonomically contoured for neck support
  • Hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant


  • Lowest side stands 4 inches high

3. MARNUR Cervical Pillow

The Marnur contour memory foam pillow is the perfect solution when you need to limit neck movement while sleeping without sacrificing comfort. This orthopedic pillow comes with a unique pillow design that’s engineered to provide excellent cervical support to whoever needs it. As such, it boasts a unique shape to accommodate a special neck contour to let you sleep in just about any position. You can enjoy a full night’s rest lying on your back, stomach, or on your side, even when recovering from neck surgery.

The specially crafted neck groove on the Marnur pillow lets you maintain a proper head, back, shoulder and neck alignment even when lying on your stomach, side, or back. Maintaining the proper spine curvature is crucial in keeping your shoulder, neck, and back muscles relaxed and comfortable. Straining these muscles can slow down your recovery process or even aggravate your injuries.

What’s more, the pillow boasts a custom armrest to ensure that you have an even and comfortable lying surface whenever you need it. These unique grooves provide the perfect fit for your arms as you lie on your side, stomach, or back. They also make it easy to use your phone from a lying position without putting undue strain on your neck muscles.

Each end of the pillow is crafted at a different height to ensure that you keep your neck and head at the most comfortable position. The low end stands 3.4 inches high and is a perfect match for people who prefer lying on their sides. The higher-end stands 2 inches higher and suits the needs of back sleepers or anyone who likes their pillow riding high. You only need to flip the pillow to access the high or the low contour.

Thanks to its superior foam memory, this pillow comes with an exceptional lifespan. It’ll serve you well long after you’ve healed from your surgery. The pillow molds around your head and neck and will slow-rebound to its original shape after every use. That means it’ll provide you with all the support you neck needs and will not flatten out with continued use.


  • Unique shape and design
  • Two different contour heights
  • Memory foam with slow-rebound
  • Neck and hands rest
  • Emblazoned pillowcase
  • Contoured neck groove


  • The neck groove is a bit shallow

4. UTTU Sandwich Pillow

The UTTU is a crafty manipulation of the phrase cUT ouT for yoU. The phrase highlight’s the pillow’s unique cut and layer design. The pillow comes with an innovative removable middle layer, hence the name, sandwich pillow. Removing the middle layer lets users vary the height of the pillow to suit their preferred heights.

Since the upper and lower ends of the pillow are set to different heights, removing the middle layer results in four height options. When the intermediate layer inserted, the pillow stands at 4.7 inches and 3.5 inches high. Without the middle section, the pillow is 3.5 inches and 2.8 inches high. The variable heights increase your sleeping options to include sleeping on the side, back, and stomach without straining your neck or stifling your recovery.

The superior quality foam composition increases the longevity of the pillow while ensuring maximum comfort. The pillow adapts to the curvature of your head and neck, which is crucial in helping you keep a neutral spine as you sleep. Memory foam reverts back to its original shape and position after each use and doesn’t flatten with time. That means you are assured of excellent neck support as long as you need it.

The pillow’s unique design and composition are crucial in combating shoulder, neck, and back stiffness by letting you keep a neutral spine from any sleeping position. A natural spine curvature keeps your muscles relaxed, which is essential in speeding up your recovery time.

The unique foam composition of the UTTU pillow delivers a consistent level of comfort and support all year round. The pillow's firmness and hardness don’t change with the weather, i.e., it won’t get too hard in the winter or too soft in the summer. The consistency ensures that you’ll never tear out a suture or pull a muscle as you lay down to sleep each night.

The pillow boasts three certifications – OEKO-TEX, ISPA, and CertiPUR-US for performance, content, and durability. That makes it free from harmful chemicals such as mercury and lead. It also comes with a five-year warranty.

The UTTU pillow comes with a breathable, hypoallergenic pillowcase made from a blend of bamboo and polyester (See our full list of the top hypoallergenic pillows as well). The pillow’s excellent air circulation increases safety and comfort while making it easy to clean.


  • Adjustable contour heights
  • Removable middle layer
  • Unique contoured design
  • Not affected by weather
  • Unique bamboo blend pillowcase
  • 3 quality certifications


  • The pillow can be a tad squishy

5. Coisum Back Sleeper Cervical Pillow

The Coisum orthopedic pillow is just what you need when looking for exceptional neck support following a cervical infusion surgery. Made from 60 density memory foam, this pillow gives you a soft yet firm resting surface. Its unique design and contouring ensure that you maintain the all-important natural spine curvature as you lie down.

The medium firm memory foam molds around your neck for a perfect fit and quickly rebounds to its original shape as soon as you lift the weight off it. The temperature-sensitive foam assures you of supportive contours and curvature whenever you need them.

Unlike conventional pillows, the Coisum pillows closely resemble a starfish in shape, complete with four radiating wings for increased comfort when lying on your side. It boasts a concave shape designed to cradle your head and keep it from tilting forward or backward. That helps to reduce the pressure at the base of the skull when you lie on your back.

A wedge extension on two sides of the pillow further ensures that you assume the proper posture when lying on the back. The pillow’s edges are crafted to accommodate the shoulders, and the Coisum is often considered to be a great pillow to help relieve shoulder pain and neck pain when sleeping on the side. The unit also comes with an armrest to ensure maximum comfort as you lie on your side.

The pillow comes with two contoured heights to let you pick the most comfortable one. One side of the contoured pillow stands 4.33 inches high while the other end stands 3.54 inches. You only need to turn the pillow to alternate between the two-level contours.

It comes with a textured, wrinkle-resistant polyester pillowcase that helps to improve air circulation. The zippered pillowcase is removable and washable. To increase its longevity, you’re better off hand washing the case.


  • Unique starfish design
  • Sunken to accommodate the head
  • Radiating armrests
  • Slow-rebound foam memory
  • Two-level contours
  • Contoured sides


  • Some might find it tricky to use properly

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check out some of the most common FAQs our pillow experts get related to cervical fusion and the best pillows to utilize after a neck surgery.

What Is A Cervical Fusion?

Cervical fusion, also know as ACDF (Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) is a somewhat common surgical procedure to help treat nerve root or spinal cord compression by decompressing the spinal cord and the nerve roots of the cervical spine with a discectomy, which is then followed by inter-vertebral fusion to help stabilize the corresponding vertebrae.

This procedure allows the surgeon to properly fill the space left by removing the disc in the discectomy with a block of bone usually taken from the pelvis. The goal of cervical fusion is to reduce the mechanical neck pain caused from excess motion through connecting vertebrae.

What Should You Expect After Cervical Fusion?

After cervical fusion, you should definitely expect your neck to feel sore and stiffer than normal. This usually improves in the weeks after surgery. You may also have some trouble sitting up or standing in one position for extended periods of time and may need to take a pain medicine for a few weeks after your surgery.

You also may need to wear a neck brace for a little while, depending on your doctor's recommendation. As always, consult with your doctor on what you should expect and the best way to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.

How Long Does Pain Last After Cervical Fusion?

You can conservatively expect some level of neck pain for 7-15 days after surgery at the incision area and sometimes even to your shoulder. On occasion, some people have reported a flare up of arm pain and tingling down the arms for the first month following their cervical fusion or ACDF surgery. Work with your doctor on the best methods for your post-surgery pain management.

What Type Of Pillow Is Best After Cervical Fusion Or Neck Surgery?

It's generally recommended to use a cervical or orthopedic pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck and spine. Memory foam pillows, contour pillows, and water pillows are often recommended due to their ability to provide customized support.

How Does A Cervical Pillow Differ From A Regular Pillow?

A cervical pillow is designed to provide proper neck alignment and support. It typically has a curved shape that cradles the head and supports the neck's natural curve, unlike regular pillows which might not provide adequate support.

Can I Use My Old Pillow After Neck Surgery?

It's advisable to avoid using your old pillow immediately after neck surgery, as it may not provide the necessary support. Using a pillow specifically designed for post-surgery recovery can help prevent strain on your neck and aid in the healing process.

How Do I Choose The Right Pillow Height?

The right pillow height varies from person to person, but generally, you should choose a pillow that keeps your head and neck in a neutral alignment. Your surgeon or healthcare professional might provide recommendations based on your specific condition.

Are Memory Foam Pillows A Good Choice?

Memory foam pillows can be a good choice after cervical fusion or neck surgery due to their ability to conform to the shape of your head and neck, providing customized support. Look for pillows with a contour that matches your neck's natural curve.

Are Water Pillows Recommended?

Water pillows can be beneficial as they allow you to adjust the water level to achieve your desired level of support. However, some people find them less comfortable due to the shifting sensation of water. It's a matter of personal preference.

How Long Should I Use A Specialized Pillow After Surgery?

The duration varies depending on your individual healing process and your surgeon's recommendations. It might be necessary to use a specialized pillow for several weeks to months post-surgery until your neck has fully healed and you can comfortably transition to a regular pillow.

Our Summary on Getting The Right Pillow After Cervical Fusion, ACDF or Neck Surgery

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to choose the best pillows after cervical fusion or ACDF.

Despite the odd shape of the Epabo Contour Memory Foam Pillow, it is our choice for the best pillow after cervical fusion and ACDF surgery. It comes with four radiating arms, varying height contours, and a concave groove to accommodate the head. If you’re looking for a regular-shaped pillow, you can’t go wrong with Milemont and UTTU Memory Foam pillows. However, if you love pillows with a neck groove, the Milemont & EPABO contour memory foam pillows are the best options. 

All these pillows provide additional support to your neck, shoulder and back to ease the pressure off your neck muscles.  The additional support from these pillows keep undue pressure off your neck, which is key to powering through the cervical fusion or ACDF surgery recovery process.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Carol - November 11, 2021

No recommendation for best pillow for sleeping with neck brace, worn for 2 months after surgery.

    James Bowman - March 21, 2022

    Carol, Thank you for your comment, you are correct, this is an article focused on the best pillows after cervical fusion, not pillows for when you are wearing a neck brace. Thank you for the great article idea though!


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