Neck pillows support the neck by providing a deep area for the head to rest and a supportive area to keep the neck in alignment with the spine while sleeping. These can also be known as cervical pillows. Cervical pillows help patients to maintain comfortable positioning after therapeutic, orthopedic and surgical measures.
Travel pillows provide support for the neck in a sitting position. Their "U" shape fits around the back of the neck and keeps the head from slipping into an uncomfortable and possibly harmful position during sleep. However, U-shaped pillows can sometimes force the head forward, creating neck stiffness.