How To Shop For A Pillow For Back Sleepers
A person can shop for pillows either in-store or online.
Many different stores sell pillows, including dedicated sleep stores and grocery stores. An advantage of shopping in-store is that a person can feel the support, firmness, and loft of the pillow before committing to a purchase.
Purchasing a pillow online may be more convenient for people who do not have the time to shop in-store or those who know what type of pillow they require. However, a person should always check a companys return and warranty policies to ensure they can return the pillow if it is not suitable.
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A person may also purchase pillows that do not come in standard sizes. The following pillow types may be suitable for certain sleeping conditions:
- Wedge pillows:This pillow type angles the head up during sleep, providing more support for those who sleep on their backs. Using a wedge pillow may also help reduce snoring.
- Cervical pillows:These pillows are often rounder in shape and may help ease neck and shoulder pain. Learn more about cervical pillows.
- Sleep apnea pillows:These pillows may suit those who have continuous positive airway pressure machines. The pillows have a cutout to accomadate CPAP tubes and help keep the head elevated.
Why Its Good For Hot Sleepers
My favoritething about this pillow is how icy-cool it is. Its covered in phase change material, filled with ventilated foam, and infused with copper and graphite. Phase change material is an ultra-cooling textile crafted to feel soothing and crisp on the skin, while copper and graphite serve to dissipate body heat. Plus, this foams ventilation promotes great breathability!
An added bonus is that this pillow is made of Talalay latex. While this does help keep the pillow cool, it also means that the pillow is hypoallergenic, so its designed for those with asthma and allergies in mind.
If youre a combo sleeper looking for a cooler way to slumber, I suggest checking out my full Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow review.
Price: $129$149, with a generous 120-night trial period.
Hot sleepers that are tired of flipping the pillow looking for the cool side will love the Brooklyn Luxury Cooling Pillow!
The Shape Of The Back Sleeper Pillow
Back pillows can either have even or contoured surfaces. Even-surfaced ones can have a full or flat shape depending on what material they have. Curved-surface pillows include foam pillows that are elevated below the neck but are recessed below the head.
These pillows are great for back sleepers, as they help alleviate body aches in the neck and shoulders. Because these pillows are so beneficial, finding the right one for you is crucial to waking up well-rested each morning.
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Which Pillow Firmness Is Best For Back Sleepers
Medium firm tends to be the best option for back sleepers. Firmness describes its feel and how much it flattens when you lie down on it. The pillows materials will play a big role.
Remember that the best pillow for back sleeping is one that keeps your neck in a neutral position, so make sure the pillow you choose is firm enough for that kind of support.
What To Look For In A Pillow
The upper part of your spine should be supported by your pillow, which should cradle your head and neck.
You should choose a pillow that entirely fills the gap between your neck and the mattress if you sleep on your back. Use a thicker pillow if you sleep on your side to keep your head aligned with the rest of your body.
Dont put your pillow under your shoulders at all costs.
It is recommended that those who prefer to sleep on their backs use pillows that are thinner and have additional cushioning at the bottom to help support their necks.
Memory foam is an excellent substance because it adapts to the shape of your neck, making it ideal for neck support.
Another option that provides strong, all-over support is a water cushion.
You should use the thinnest pillow possible if you sleep on your stomach. Try sleeping on your side with a body pillow in your arms. Your stomach will feel supported when sleeping using a body pillow, which helps to realign your entire body.
For those who sleep on their side, a firm pillow might be a good option. If you can, look for a hat with an extra-wide gusset to fill in the gap between your ear and shoulder. Put a hard pillow between your knees as well. Even a rolled towel can be used as a substitute.
Remember to change your pillow every 18 months or so while youre at it. Pillows still contain allergens, such as mold and dust mites, despite the best efforts of pillow protectors.
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Can I Train Myself To Sleep On My Back
Its possible to teach yourself to become a back sleeper with a bit of work, and it takes roughly 21 days to form a habit. Here are some tips to start back sleeping:
- Use a medium or medium-firm mattress suited for back sleeping
- Spread out your arms and legs to improve circulation
- Elevate your upper body using a wedge pillow to reduce pressure and maintain your position
- Place a small pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees to minimize lower back pain
- Create a pillow barrier on both sides of your body to prevent rolling over
It may feel a bit awkward when you initially start sleeping on your back, but this is normal. However, if back sleeping is uncomfortable to the point where you cannot sleep, its okay to stop and try again another night. You might also try side sleeping, which is another healthy sleeping position.
Considerations For Picking The Right Pillow
Finding the best pillow for back sleepers sounds easy enough, but the reality is that a pillow that might be perfect for one person might feel like the equivalent of sleeping on a slab of wood to another. To ensure you find a pillow thats right for you, here are some key things to keep in mind:
pick a pillow that is hypoallergenic
- Easy Care
Ideally, a high-quality pillow should last you 1 – 2 years, and with proper care, it may last you even a little bit longer. When picking the best pillow for back sleepers, be sure to find one with a washable cover so that you can keep it clean regularly.
Since you spend at least 8 hours lying on your pillow every day, it should be washed at least twice a year and more if you live in a humid environment. Washing your pillows is essential for protecting yourself against allergens and locking in a better nights sleep.
- CertiPUR-US® Certified Foam
Some foam products contain harmful materials, so if you decide to invest in a memory foam pillow, be sure to find one that is made with CertiPUR-US® certified foam. The certification guarantees that your foam pillow wasnt made with harmful substances, such as formaldehyde, mercury, lead, or ozone depleters.
- Personal Needs
When purchasing a pillow, its essential to consider your own needs. While guides and reviews may help you make an informed decision, you know your sleep requirements better than anyone else.
Shop the best-rated Puffy Pillow with these extra comfy benefits:
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Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow 109
Best for adjustable height
Filling: Siliconized micro elastic fibre | Support: Soft | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L70 x W50cm
This pillow allows you to adjust the height of it, making it great for people who are very fussy about how high their pillow is. However, our tester found it didn’t offer as much support as some others and would not be great for back side sleepers, but is a good idea for front sleepers.
Inside the pillow there is a flat layer and a bulky layer, you can pick and choose which one works best for you or use both if that’s your preference. This pillow can be washed at 60° ensuring your bedding is super clean and it promises not to clump no matter how many times you wash it thanks to its microfibre filling.
Our pillow tester, MFM Consumer & Reviews Editor, Christy had a great first impression of the pillow. “My first impressions were how beautifully soft the fabric felt, and also that it was very squishy and quite flat so looks good for front sleepers”. She was also a big fan of how easy it was to unzip the cover, remove the pillows and adjust to your ideal height. However, she found the pillow to lack the support she needed to sleep comfortably and found it a bit too flat.
Pros: Adjustable height, machine washable and feels softCons: Does not offer much support and may not be the best option for back and side sleepers
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Silentnight Super Wash Pillows 4
Filling: DuPoint fibres | Support: Medium | Machine washable: Yes | Sizes available: L69 x W46cm
Just because it’s a budget pillow does not mean you have to sacrifice your comfort. However, it is important to consider that as they are cheaper, they may not have as large a longevity as some of the higher quality pillows listed.
The pack of 4 pillows live up to their ‘superwash’ name as they can withstand repeated machine washing. The fibres are also hypoallergenic and kind to skin.
MFM Digital Reviews Writer, Chloe tested these pillows and said, “When I first took them out the bag, I did notice that they are much thinner than some of the more luxury pillows. However, when I went to sleep that night I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and soft the pillow actually felt. I like a low pillow so they work for me, however, I would say most people would require 2, which is probably why they come in a pack of 4. Your head really does sink into the pillow so if you like a high pillow this is probably not for you”.
Pros: Very easy to wash, great value, soft and comfortable and get 4 in a packCons: May not last as long, do not offer a massive amount of support and not suitable for those who like a high pillow
Available from: Silentnight and
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Why Use A Knee Pillow
Why not just grab a standard pillow for knee support? Good question.
Pillows intended for your head and neck are generally not supportive enough, nor are they the right shape to properly support your knees. Plus, they dont help with spinal alignment.
Having proper alignment while you sleep aka good sleeping posture is important for reducing back pain.
Most knee pillows are designed using supportive materials and are made to contour to your knees much better than an ordinary pillow. This means they wont quickly flatten out like a standard pillow would.
Brooklyn Bedding Luxury Cooling Pillow
Here we have the aptly named Luxury Cooling Pillow from Brooklyn Bedding, perfect for combo sleepers who run hot.
Before I even get into all the fun cooling features it has to offer, I should note that this pillow comes in two different loft options. Theres a high-profile pillow for back and side sleepers, and a low-profile option thats ideal for stomach sleepers. So, between the two of them, combo sleepers are fully covered!
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Why Trust The Spruce
This article was edited and researched by Cristina Sanza, a lifestyle writer specializing in home products and organization hacks. To keep our product picks current and help you choose the most comfortable pillow, she consulted dozens of customer reviews, third-party articles, and brand websites. In her search, she considered factors like loft, breathability, and pricepoint.
The Best Cooling Pillows on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers. The Strategist. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-cooling-pillows.html
THE BEST PILLOWS FOR STOMACH SLEEPERS OF 2022. Reviewed. https://www.reviewed.com/sleep/best-right-now/the-best-pillows-stomach-sleepers
The Best Pillows for Side Sleepers. Bob Vila. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-pillow-for-side-sleepers/
Wilson, Jeffrey M., and Thomas A. E. Platts-Mills. Home Environmental Interventions for House Dust Mite. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, vol. 6, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 17. DOI.org , doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2017.10.003
Frequently Asked Questions About Pillows For Back Sleepers
How common is back sleeping?
Unfortunately, experts estimate that less than 10% of people sleep on their backs. This is too bad because back sleeping is widely viewed as the healthiest sleeping position available . Back sleeping is beneficial because it keeps your body in a neutral position and isnt as likely to cause pressure points.
What is the most important consideration when choosing a pillow for back sleepers?
Loft is generally the most important consideration for back sleepers choosing a pillow. Most back sleepers prefer a medium loft pillow. If a pillow is too flat, your head might tilt back and put pressure on your neck. Conversely, if a pillow is too thick, your head might be propped up too far forward.
What is the worst pillow type for back sleepers?
The worst pillow for back sleepers is one that has an inappropriate loft, meaning it is too flat or too thick. If the pillow loft is off, the sleeper will experience pressure in their neck. There is no single pillow material type that works best for all back sleepers. The material type determines a pillows feel, and sleepers should opt for the feel that they prefer.
Where can I find a pillow for back sleepers?
Is back sleeping bad for pregnant women?
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Layla Kapok Best Shredded Foam Pillow
Layla is mainly known for the Layla flippable mattress, and it has implemented the same versatile idea into its pillow. The brand added a zipper so you can remove the filling on the inside, making it customizable so any sized back sleeper can adjust the loft to perfectly accommodate their needs.
The filling is made with Kapok fiber and memory foam. We think it feels airy and light, but at the same time, the memory foam provides some resistance that you dont find in most down pillows.
Thats why we think the feel reminds us of a memory foam/down feather blend. We think its comfortable.
The Layla Pillow cover is infused with copper to help draw heat away from the body, so this pillow also can help regulate temperature. Again, dont count on it to be cool-to-the-touch, but it can help.
The queen size goes for about $100, and youll have to fork out about $120 for the king size. You should keep an eye out for discounts, however, so double check their website every now and then if youre waiting for a good promotion.
Why we picked this pillow We like that this pillow has an adjustable filling, making it fully customizable. It also has cooling technology that should help regulate your temperature while youre sleeping.
- Free Shipping & Returns
Why Its Good For Sleepers With Allergies
In addition to being hypoallergenic, the Puffy Pillow is dust mite-resistant pillow and made of a special blend of polyester and bamboo rayon. Its cover utilizes the bamboo rayon material to make the Puffy breathable and quite cool, plus its washable.
It gets even better with adjustable comfort. No neck and shoulder height is quite the same, and Puffy knows this well. Inside the pillow, youll find an inner sleeve, which you can remove or add foam to make it work best for you. When Puffy says their pillows have cloud-like comfort, they arent messing around. This makes it a great option for combo sleepers looking for added support in head, neck, and shoulders.
If you want to dig a little deeper into your research, feel free to head over to my Puffy Pillow review.
Price: $100, with a lifetime warranty and an extra-sweet 101-night trial period.
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The Casper Nova Hybrid Mattress
The Casper Nova Hybridmattressincludes a velvety top layer, plus hundreds of resilient springs that add lift and airflow. If you value soothing comfort with enhanced support, look no further. It includes:
- Zoned Support Pro that is designed to help align your spine
- AirScape® 2 layers of perforated foam that help keep you cool throughout the night
Simba Honeycomb Memory Foam Pillow
Personalise your support with this innovative pillow.
Topping our list of the best pillows for 2022 is the Simba Honeycomb Memory Foam Pillow offering a whole load of benefits, its easy to see why.
Best suited to back and side sleepers, this clever pillow can be personalised to deliver the support you prefer. Simply remove the foam nanocubes from the inner part of your pillow to adjust its height and firmness.
The pillow is also hypoallergenic, vegan friendly, and boasts a temperature regulation layer and airflow channels to keep you cool as you sleep.
- Adjustable comfort and support to personalise your sleep
- Suitable for back and side sleepers
- Rated medium, balancing comfort and support
- Free from harsh chemical treatments
- Rated 9.8/10
Feels great, supportive and the perfect size for my head and shoulders. Good sleep too, worthwhile investment
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Choosing A Pillow For Back Sleeping
The perfect pillow for sleeping on your back is all about pillow thickness and neck support. A pillow that is a good match for your body will give you the best chance of a good night’s rest. While back sleeping is an excellent sleeping position that has numerous benefits over stomach or side sleeping, its still a position that you can get wrong. Beyond thickness, there are other things to consider like the shape, materials its made from, and price.
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