Uniquely shaped, the Groove Pillow gets its name from the dip in the middle of the supportive foam. Sleeping on your back, this groove provides support and keeps your head in place, and is surprisingly comfortable. I found the pillow a little harder to use as a side sleeper, as I had to place my head on raised edge, as instructed. For those with neck problems, the firm design will keep your head in the right place, but an alternative may better serve front sleepers and those that prefer a softer feel.
- Very supportive
- Washable cover
- Smart design
- Felt better for back sleepers
- FillingA memory foam inside, sculpted to keep your neck in the ideal position.
- TrialYou get a hefty 100-day trial period, which is longer than the 30-days offered by most pillow manufacturers.
If you suffer from neck pain and find it hard to sleep at night, the Groove Pillow could be your saviour.
Holding your head and neck in the right position, keeps your spine aligned and can help tweak your neck while your sleep. Its rigid body and fixed sleeping position may not suit everyone, though.
Design and filling
- Groove for back sleeping
- High edges for side sleeping
- Washable cover
The Groove Pillow is a memory foam pillow and a rigid one at that. It’s distinguishable from the competition by the distinctive groove at the front.
That groove is the key to the pillow’s success. Back sleepers should lie with their neck in this groove, which keeps their head at the right angle; for side sleepers, either side of the pillow should be used, pressing a shoulder up to the side.
It’s worth reading the guide to get the right position for how you prefer to sleep, as this will give you the best chance of keeping your head in the right position and avoiding neck pain.
Here, only the outside of the pillow can be washed, as washing can damage the foam inside.
- Needs you to sleep in a specific position
- Very supporting
- Very firm
The one thing about the Groove Pillow is that it requires you to sleep in a set way: with your neck in the groove if you’re on your back, or with your head on the raised sides if you’re on your side.
I found that sleeping on my back was slightly easier, as the groove kept my head and neck straight. Sleeping on my side, I did tend to roll around a little more and sometimes ended up with my head lying down on the groove. If you move a lot in your sleep, then this pillow may not be for you.
It’s also worth noting that the Groove is a very firm pillow that barely moved when I put my head on it. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not very giving either; if you prefer a softer pillow that moves more, then the Groove will take some getting used to.
Of course, this is all part of the design, as the Groove is built to keep your neck in the right position. Sleeping on my side, my head was kept 12.5cm off the mattress, which is about spot on for keeping my spine straight while I slept.
Given the width of my shoulders (and shoulders on average), the Groove’s height and firmness kept my head and neck nice and straight, which is exactly what it’s designed to do.
Lending it to someone with neck problems, they said that it took a while to get used to, but the overall comfort was high.
As a foam pillow, I found that the Groove Pillow does tend to hold onto heat. Using a thermal camera, I took a picture once per minute after lying on the pillow for 10 minutes. Even after four minutes, the pillow retained a strong impression of where my head had been.
Should you buy it?
Keep you sleeping straight: If you’ve got neck problems and want a pillow that will help keep it straight and still while you sleep, this is the one to buy.
You’re after a soft pillow: If you don’t have neck problems and want a traditional, softer-feeling pillow, then take a look at an alternative.
It’s the design that makes the Groove Pillow so good for neck aches, keeping your head and neck in exactly the right position. That does take some getting used to: I found it easier to use sleeping on my back than my side.
Whether or not this is right for you will depend on your needs. If you’ve got a bad neck and want a pillow to help, then the rigid design and groove will work for you. If you don’t have neck problems or sleep on your front, a more traditional pillow, such as the Simba Hybrid or Emma Premium Microfibre, might be a better choice.
How we test
We test every pillow we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main pillow for the review period
We use a thermal camera to see how quickly the pillow can dissipate heat for a comfortable night’s sleep.
We measure how far off the mattress our head is kept, to check how supportive the pillow is
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If you sleep on your back, your head and neck should go in the groove; side sleepers should put their head on either of the raised edges.
The cover can be washed but the inside can not.