Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high-quality sleep information, education, and support.
Talk About Sleep is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Have you ever tried to sleep on a regular pillow while suffering from ear pain? We bet it must have hurt very much. Trust us, you wouldn’t have suffered so much if you had used the best pillow for ear pain.
Unsurprisingly, there are several pillows on the market that claim to relieve ear pain but choosing the ideal option from the lot can be mentally draining. Hence, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to test as many products as possible based on their ear hole, shape, filling & casing, firmness, airflow, sleep trial, and other top features that determine the ideal pillow for ear pain.
After a thorough testing process, we’ve helped you identify the top 7 pillows for ear pain to make your decision easier. Ride along with us as we dissect each product and tell you all about choosing the best pillow for ear pain.
Not many pillows relieve ear pain better than the PureComfort – Side Sleeping Pillow thanks to its ear holes that are designed to relieve pressure throughout the night. Filled with memory foam, this pillow is designed with ear, neck, and face support to cradle all of your pressure points. With its D-shape, it looks just like a J-shaped pillow with ear hole.
If you’re suffering from ear pain, the PureComfort – Side Sleeping Pillow is the product you want to have in your bedroom thanks to its special design that’s targeted at pressure relief. Perhaps, it’s the best pillow for side sleepers with ear pain.
Why did it make our list?
Obviously, there are many things about the PureComfort – Side Sleeping Pillow we liked. Among them are the ear holes that are designed to shelter your ear(s) during sleep and relieve pressure throughout the night. Even beyond your ear, the pillow boasts face and neck support to cradle your pressure points. Additionally, the pillow features height inserts that allow you to adjust the product. Plus, it’s tested to be allergy-resistant.
What is not ideal about it?
Despite the many helpful features of the PureComfort – Side Sleeping Pillow, it’s not a perfect product. For example, the pillow's double covers cause the ear hole pocket to misalign with the fabric. Also, the second cover is permanently designed, meaning you can’t wash it once it gets dirty. In our opinion, the channels below each ear hole could be widened to relieve pressure on the sleeper's neck. Apart from that, the cover should be made removable.
More features: 300 thread count cover, CPAP machines compatible, hypoallergenic, machine washable cover, OEKO TEX and WOOLMARK certified, adjustable height
PlushBeds Contoured Side Sleeper Pillow boasts nearly every feature you want in an ideal pillow. It boasts ergonomic contours that relieve shoulder pressure and promote all-night comfort. Filled with Shropshire wool with a unique down-like fiber, the pillow is infinitely adjustable.
If you’re looking to upgrade from your pillow to an option that relieves your ear, the PlushBeds Contoured Side Sleeper Pillow has just about everything you want. Also, if you’re a hot sleeper, this pillow is temperature regulating and can provide you with a cool sleep.
Why is it special?
The primary purpose of a pillow is to relieve pressure on the neck and we liked that the PlushBeds Contoured Side Sleeper Pillow does that incredibly well. This pillow is filled with natural Shropshire wool which provides comfort and longevity. Even more importantly, the wool is comfortable enough to relieve your ear pain and it can be adjusted to have the perfect height and density.
What are the flaws?
The PlushBeds Contoured Side Sleeper Pillow seems to get everything right except its neck support. The support is not good enough in our opinion and could worsen ear pain. The pillow could be better designed to provide more support to sleepers. The implication of improved neck support is better ear pain relief.
More features: adjustable firmness, CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified
The CBD pillow is designed to give you the experience of a gel memory foam like no other. The pillowcase is infused with millions of CBD-filled microcapsules for deeper relaxation and sleep. More impressively, the pillow’s CBD doesn’t wear off after a few hours. Rather, it releases micro doses of CBD throughout the night. Also, the pillow allows you to choose your preferred firmness level.
If you’re looking for the best oil-infused pillow for ear pain relief, the CBD pillow might be the ideal option for you thanks to its never-ending release of CBD doses throughout the night. Also, the pillow is perfect for you if your skin is easily irritated because it’s hypoallergenic.
Why are we impressed?
The CBD pillow boasts a lot of advantages, including its medium-firm blend of gel memory for comfort and neck support. The foam is also hypoallergenic thanks to the absence of toxic materials. Furthermore, the pillow boasts a patented CBD-release system that releases micro doses of CBD all-night for a relaxing sleep despite your ear pain. Additionally, the CBD pillow offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to test the product before committing to it.
What negatives must you be aware of?
Even though the manufacturer says the CBD pillow is scentless, we found this claim to be untrue. If you haven’t smelled CBD before, the scent from the pillow might be too strong for you. Hence, we felt that this product could be actually scentless as claimed. Besides, the pillow still appeared a bit uncomfortable to us even after we adjusted the fluffing. The product could be better designed to ensure maximum comfort.
More features: adjustable height, CertiPUR-US certified, breathable cover
The SpineAlign® Pillow is easily one of the best pillows with ear wells thanks to its many great offerings. It is filled with shredded polyfoam and promotes airflow all-night for breathability. On top of that, it is fully adjustable and customizable for comfortable and proper fit.
If you’re dealing with back and/or ear pain, the SpineAlign® Pillow is made to provide you relief throughout your sleep. It is ergonomically designed to support your head and neck without any issues. Moreover, this pillow seems like an attractive choice if you’re a hot sleeper who wants excellent airflow throughout the night.
Why did it make our list?
Clearly, the SpineAlign® Pillow boasts many positives. For example, it supports natural neck and head alignment, ensuring relief for people dealing with back and ear pain. Also, the pillow is fully adjustable for a comfortable and proper fit. Furthermore, it promotes great airflow all-night for breathability. Finally, the SpineAlign® Pillow comes with a 30-night sleep trial that allows you to determine whether the pillow is the right fit for you or not.
What is not ideal about it?
The SpineAlign® Pillow always looks like the finished product but in reality, it’s not. A major concern is the pillow's neck support that doesn’t seem good enough. Of course, this pillow provides relief for back sleepers but the poor neck support doesn’t make the comfort whole. In our opinion, the neck support could be better designed to carry the weight of the sleeper’s head comfortably.
More features: originally firm, pillowcase included, hypoallergenic, 4*4 in ear well, adjustable height
The Original Pillow comes with a hole to house your hurting ear throughout the night and protect you from pain. The pillow is filled with the manufacturer’s proprietary stuffing that produces a plump pillow. And the product allows you to change its firmness. Furthermore, the pillowcase boasts a hole that runs through both sides for increased airflow.
Whether you want ear pressure sore relief, post-operative healing, you’re sleeping with troublesome ear piercings, or you’re sleeping with earphones and earplugs, the Original Pillow with a Hole has everything it takes to help you.
Why is it special?
The Original Pillow with a Hole is filled with extremely cool and soft stuffing that produces a plump pillow perfect for ear pain relief. Also, the stuffing is hypoallergenic and ideal for you even if you have allergies. Furthermore, the pillow's firmness can be easily adjusted by removing or adding stuffing. On top of that, the product offers increased airflow that enables your ear to recover faster.
What are the flaws?
The first drawback most people will notice in the Original Pillow with a Hole is its smaller-than-standard size. While the size is not necessarily an issue, we found out that adjusting the pillow could make finding the ear hole difficult. Even though we would have wanted the pillow to be bigger, the ear hole could be bigger and firmer to provide better support to the ear because the hole doesn’t seem differentiated enough.
More features: CertiPUR-US certified, 5*7 in ear well, machine washable cover
The PureComfort – Pillow is another pillow with ear hole for optimum pain relief. Boasting a donut shape, it is filled with the manufacturer’s proprietary mix of shredded, allergy-resistant Visco Elastic Foam. Plus, you can remove or add the foam to adjust the pillow to your comfort. Also, the pillow cover is made from cotton and is machine-washable.
If you have sensitive ears or ear pain, the PureComfort – Pillow’s ear hole is included to help you rest well without any discomfort. The hole provides your ear with a safe space to rest and protects it from being stressed in any way.
Why did it make our list?
As you might have guessed, the PureComfort – Pillow's ear hole is our favorite feature of the product. The hole provides your sensitive or hurting ear with a safe space to rest while you sleep. Furthermore, the pillow allows you to remove or add foam to adjust it to your comfort. On top of that, the pillow cover is machine-washable, making it easy to maintain. Additionally, the product comes with a 100-day money-back guarantee.
What is not ideal about it?
Like other ear pillows, the PureComfort – Pillow is not perfect despite doing a good job at relieving ear pain. The neck support doesn’t seem great. Specifically, the foam tends to move out of the neck area frequently, forcing you to move the foam around every night to correct the problem. In our opinion, the fluff in the neck region could be more stable for better support and pain relief.
The Core Air-Core Adjustable Cervical Support Pillow provides relief with a set of unique features. Filled with premium-quality fiber, the orthopedic pillow comes with a convenient air pump adjustability and delivers support with the squeeze of a pump. Also, it features a trapezoid-shaped center with twin support lobes that cradle your head and supports your neck.
If you’re dealing with ear pain, you can find the ideal pillow in the Core Air-Core Adjustable Cervical Support Pillow. Even if you’re suffering from headache, shoulder and neck pain, the pillow can provide you relief.
What stands out?
The Core Air-Core Adjustable Cervical Support Pillow's convenient air pump caught our eyes. The pump allows you to easily adjust the pillow to the best support. Furthermore, the pillow for sore ears is made from premium-quality fiber that provides great relief from ear, shoulder, and neck pain, as well as headaches.
What cons did we manage to find?
Overall, the Core Air-Core Adjustable Cervical Support Pillow seems like the real deal but a few adjustments could make it the dream orthopedic pillow. While the air bladder is incredible for providing customized support, it needs to be repumped too often. The bladder loses air over time, forcing you to pump the pillow almost every night. Frankly, it could help if the pillow permanently stays at the same pressure.
Things to Consider
Pillows for ear pain are often advertised with cliché terms such as soft, comfortable, etc. Frankly, comfortable can be subjective, hence making it challenging for you to identify the ideal option for you. To help you cut through the cliché talks, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive buying guide that tells you every information you need to make the right choice to relieve your ear pain.
What Causes Ear Pain
Ear pain doesn’t come out of thin air, certain factors cause the condition and we’ll share them with you below:
Inserting cotton swabs, fingers
Trusted SourceSwimmer's ear - Symptoms and causesSwimmer’s ear is an infection in the outer ear canal, which runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head. It’s often brought on by water that remains in your ear, creating a moist environment that aids the growth of bacteria.
, or other items in your ears
Trusted SourceGlue earFind out what glue ear is, what causes it, what a GP can do to help, and how it’s treated in hospital.
How to Pick the Best Pillow for Ear Pain
As we promised, we’ll be telling you the factors you must consider before choosing a pillow to relieve your ear pain.
It is important to allow the ear to “breeze” during the night- that’s where the ear hole comes in
When dealing with ear pain, the last thing you want to do is expose the organ to pressure and friction. Of course, you can’t help the situation if you’re using a standard pillow. However, the best pillow for ear pain will provide necessary help thanks to the presence of an ear hole.
Whether you’re struggling with ear pain or you’re recovering from surgery, the pillow’s hole will shape around your ear, cradle it, and give it sufficient space to stay throughout the night. Unsurprisingly, the top pillows for ear pain such as PureComfort – Side Sleeping Pillow, Original Pillow with a Hole, boast ear holes to provide you with great pain relief.
Other shapes include wedge pillow, j-shape, body pillow, etc. You should choose a shape that you most prefer and fancy to find comfortable.
Filling and casing
You can’t turn a blind eye to the filling and casing of the pillow you’re buying. The filling and casing are both major determinants of how comfortable the pillow is. As you’ve probably noticed, polyester and memory foam are the most common fillings in pillows.
Also, a cotton casing like that of the PureComfort Pillow with an Ear Hole is a popular choice among buyers. Ensure that you buy a pillow that has a cover designed from a soft and comfortable material.
There are several ways to change the firmness and height of the pillow: air pump, choosing a different filling or lowering its quantity
The firmness level of a pillow typically determines the level of support it offers. For example, a very firm pillow will offer better support than a medium pillow. In our opinion, the medium-firm variants such as the CBD pillow are just perfect. Other top-quality products such as the Core Air-Core Adjustable Cervical Support Pillow allow you to adjust their firmness level to fit.
Ultimately, you should choose a pillow that offers a medium firmness level or is adjustable to ensure that you can use the ideal firmness level for a comfortable sleep.
Airflow is another important factor you must consider before making a choice. Some pillows tend to retain heat throughout the night, thus making the sleeper uncomfortably warm. However, some high-quality models such as the SpineAlign® Pillow and the Original Pillow with a Hole ensure excellent airflow to keep you cool throughout the night, especially if you’re a hot sleeper.
You should consider the weight of a pillow before opting for it. You don’t want to end up with an extremely heavy pillow. When a pillow is light like the PureComfort Pillow with an Ear Hole, for example, traveling with it is even easier and more comfortable. Notwithstanding, you shouldn’t choose a pillow that’s too light, so that you do not sacrifice its firmness.
Durability and warranty
Durability is a very important factor for every buyer. There’s hardly anyone who wants to invest in a short-lived product. Hence, you should consider only a durable pillow or anyone that has an attractive warranty like the CBD Pillow that secures your investment.
Sleep trial is up there with the most important factors that should determine the best pillow ear pain. This trial allows you to test a pillow for several nights to decide whether it’s the right fit for you or not. If it’s not the ideal fit, you’re allowed to return such a product for free.
Yes, ear pain is worse at night. While air flows unhindered via the Eustachian tubes during the day because the head is usually in a vertical position, that’s not the case when you lie down at night. In the latter position, air finds it difficult to pass through, thus causing your ear more pain.
Pillow lessens ear pain by elevating your head and neck, thus helping to clear out your Eustachian tube while you sleep. Also, a pillow with an ear hole provides a safe space for your ear to sit, protecting it from pressure.
Ear pain can be excruciating, especially at night. The best solution is usually to buy a pillow specially designed to relieve ear pain but that’s not always as easy as it seems. Therefore, we tested the top products on the market to identify the best options and the PureComfort – Side Sleeping Pillow emerged as our editor’s choice thanks to its comfortable memory foam filling, ear hole, 100-night sleep trial, and other exciting features.
Not far behind this pillow is the PlushBeds Contoured Side Sleeper Pillow thanks to its ergonomic contours, adjustability, and temperature regulation, that combine for a very comfortable experience. Also, the Original Pillow with a Hole takes the crown as our value pick thanks to its multiple applications and array of unique features such as proprietary stuffing, an ear hole, etc. Conclusively, you should choose the best pillow for ear pain using the vital factors in our buying guide.
Swimmer's ear - Symptoms and causes
Swimmer’s ear is an infection in the outer ear canal, which runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head. It’s often brought on by water that remains in your ear, creating a moist environment that aids the growth of bacteria.