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Best Pillow For Back Sleeping

Using A Pillow While Sleeping On The Side

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When lying on one’s side, a pillow should support the head and neck so the spine maintains a straight and natural horizontal line. A thicker pillow is needed for sleeping on the side than sleeping on the back.

Bending the knees and placing another pillow between the knees keeps the spine in the neutral position. When there is no support between the legs, the upper leg rotates downward, pulling the pelvis and distorting the natural line of the spine. A firm pillow between the knees usually prevents this downward rotation better than a softer pillow.

Adding support between the knees can prevent back pain and allow the back to heal and rest better while sleeping.

See Common Causes of Back Pain and Neck Pain

There is limited research on pillows for side sleepers. One small study found the latex pillow the most helpful of five types considered (foam contour-shaped, regular foam, polyester, feather, and standard latex. Study participants reported the most cervical stiffness upon waking after using feather pillows, with the symptoms continuing well into the day.1

The Best Pillows To Buy Now

The Coop Home Goods Original Adjustable Pillow is the best choice for anyone who wants to create a custom pillow without spending much money. It’s packed with CertiPUR-US certified, non-toxic memory foam and microfiber, and you can add as much or as little fill as you need to achieve the perfect loft for your sleeping position .

The pillow also has a removable cover made from a naturally cooling, bamboo-derived viscose rayon material called Lulltra. Coop Home Goods recommends this pillow as the best choice for side sleepers because it can be made deep and plump, but because it’s adjustable you can tailor it to suit any sleep position. You can also buy it in queen size or king size to better suit your bed.

In terms of reviews, The Original Coop Home Goods Adjustable Pillow is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, generated from over 48,000 Amazon customer user reviews, and 4.6 out of 5 stars on the brand’s own website. Customer praise its ability to hold shape well, though some said the washable cover bobbles after a while.

For added peace of mind, the Coop Home Goods Original Adjustable Pillow comes with a five-year warranty, plus a 100-night trial, so you’ll have plenty of time to make sure that this really is the best choice for you.

The Casper pillow is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 6,600 Amazon reviews, and a 4 out of 5 star rating on the brand’s own website. Satisfied sleepers find it comfortable, and several customers credited it for relieving their neck pain.

What Size Pillows Are Available

As you pillow shop, you might notice that bed pillows come in several sizes. The most common are standard, queen, and king. Some brands offer other sizes such as super standard, European sizes, or unconventional sizes, such as large body pillows.

Standard, super standard, and queen pillows usually fit into standard pillowcases. King pillows need king-sized pillow cases, however. Body pillows also require their own specially sized pillow cases.

Keep reading to learn the measurements of each pillow size, as well as who tends to prefer each size the most.

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Avocado Molded Latex Pillow

If youre a back sleeper who likes a firm pillow, then Avocados molded latex pillow is great for you.

Its made from a single piece of molded Talalay latex that has been perforated, which allows air to flow through very easily. But being latex, this pillow feels very bouncy and responsive, and youre not going to sink too far into this pillow.

This pillow is a mid-loft option perfect for back sleeping and will keep you in a neutral alignment while you sleep.

What Makes the Avocado Molded Latex Pillow Stand Out?

  • Its made of 100% certified organic materials for eco-conscious shoppers.
  • It is quite firm and responsive while still being soft and supportive.
  • It wont trap heat due to multiple breathable components.

Full review to come!

Back Sleepers Need More From Their Pillows

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People who sleep on their back tend to use a pillow that is too soft or flat. Without the right shape or support, your spine becomes poorly aligned, or you might feel a crick in your neck. Choosing the appropriate pillow is essential, and there are many things to consider.

Loft in a cushion is a crucial factor because it is the measurement of how fluffy or tall the pillow is. Still, a big, fluffy pillow without support can become flat and uncomfortable. Thats why you need to consider firmness. Unlike stomach sleepers, you will want to choose a firmer pillow that will provide proper support for your head and neck. A back sleeper pillow that is too flat or too soft can make your sleep painful.

Dont you love the fresh feeling against your cheek? If you are one of those people, who get hot at night, finding a pillow that keeps you cool will be a priority for you. Some manufacturers have gone to great lengths to ensure that the materials are breathable and that they provide adequate heat distribution, so you can rest without feeling hot.

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Classic Brands Cool Sleep

The Classic Brands Cool Sleep pillow offers an infused cooling gel memory foam core, which distributes the heat away from the sleeper. Its high loft creates a firm comfort, while its cool pass fiber insures that the sleeper will have a moisture-free night.

The core, which is made of memory foam that is ventilated and infused with a cooling gel , makes for a comfortable sleeping temperature. This pillow is designed specifically with back and side sleepers in mind. Its shape is rectangular, but this is great because most people who sleep on their back also rest their shoulders on the pillow, as well.

Consider yourself more of a side sleeper? Read our pillow guide designed for side sleepers.

Most buyers love that it provides much-needed support without being too hard. Some people who have tried similar pillows rave about the Classic Brands Cool Sleep, as it alleviated aches and pains. A lot of folks claim this is their favorite pillow ever!

Unfortunately, shrink-wrapping, packing and shipping do not allow the pillow to breathe, so buyers are often met with an unpleasant chemical smell upon opening. However, given enough time to air out, the odor dissipates, and it is fine for use. Buyers just love them, with thousands of positive reviews online.

Use A Wedge System To Create A Reclining Position

People with lower back pain and sciatica often experience relief when in a reclining position since pressure is taken of nerve roots this way. Create a similar position while sleeping with either two separate wedge pillows or a single wedge system that has the two wedges built in as one piece. One of the wedges will raise your legs. The other one will prop up your spine at the same time to provide relief from nerve pressure.

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What Stomach Sleepers Need To Know About Pillows

Stomach sleeping isnt quite as common as side and back sleeping. For this reason, it just isnt as easy to find a great stomach sleeper pillow. Without a proper pillow, sleeping on your stomach can lead to aches, pains and waking up frequently in the night to readjust to get comfortable.The main benefit of sleeping on your stomach is that it can significantly help reduce snoring by enhancing pressure relief on your airway. Keeping your throat and air passage clear is going to allow you to breath easily and prevent loud snoring.

Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow

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Best for adjustable fill

The user can adjust the pillows height by adding or removing the memory foam fill to suit their support and comfort needs.

It is non-toxic, contains no harmful chemicals, and is vegan and cruelty-free.

Pros and cons

An advantage of this pillow is that people can change the loft to suit their needs by adding or removing the memory foam fill. Additionally, reviews on the products Amazon page note that the pillow is suitable for all sleeping positions and may help reduce neck and shoulder pain.

However, negative reviews state that the pillow may be too firm for everyone. Additionally, some reviewers say that the pillow filling began to clump and did not give adequate support after several months of use.

Best for different firmness feels

This European white down pillow has a supportive and airy structure.

Although the pillow is available in soft, medium, and hard firmness, the company suggests back sleepers may prefer a medium pillow.

As this is a feather pillow, some back sleepers may prefer a foam alternative to ensure a good nights sleep.

Pros and cons

Some advantages of this pillow include the differing levels of firmness available to purchase. Additionally, people may find that they have a cooler sleep as down creates more air channels that may prevent excess sweating while asleep.

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What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough Sleep

When we do not get adequate sleep, our bodies and minds can suffer in a number of ways. We may feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating or focusing, and be more prone to mood swings and irritability.

Our immune system may also be weakened, making us more susceptible to illness. In the long run, chronic sleep deprivation or lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pillows For Back Pain

Can the wrong pillow make back pain worse?

The wrong pillow can worsen back pain, making it essential for sleepers with back pain to choose their pillows wisely. The wrong pillow will provide inadequate support, placing the head and neck at an uncomfortable angle. This can be the result of a loft that is too high or too low, or a pillow that is not the right firmness for the sleeper. Shoppers need to choose a pillow that supports their sleeping position and body type, including their head size and shoulder width.

What is the most important consideration when choosing a pillow for back pain?

One of the most important considerations when choosing a pillow for back pain is its loft. Size and shape are also essential factors, as each impacts how much pressure relief and support the pillow provides. Pillow loft is the height of the pillow, which determines the angle of the head and neck. The pillow should also be large enough to evenly distribute weight and ensure support as sleepers change positions throughout the night.

What is the worst pillow type for back pain?

The worst pillow type for back pain is one that flattens easily and does not support the head and neck. Some materials, like low-quality polyester fibers, are less likely to retain shape throughout the night, causing strain on the neck and shoulders. The pillow should maintain its loft and keep the upper body supported.

Can a body pillow help with back pain?

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Best Pillow For Back Sleepers Prices

Gel memory foam

What is the best pillow for back sleepers with back pain?

Everyones different, but we do like the Tuft & Needle pillow in particular for back sleepers because it has a good balance of loft and firmness.

What is a pillow with adjustable fill?

Both the Layla Kapok and the Helix Adjustable have inserts that can be removed to adjust the loft and firmness.

What is the best pillow firmness for a back sleeper?

Typically back sleepers do well with a medium firmness level but that can vary based on your size.

What is the worst kind of pillow for back sleepers?

Back sleepers are actually uniquely fit to sleep on just about any pillow. The worst pillow for you is one that puts your spine out of alignment or gives you any neck pain.

How To Clean Tempurpedic Pillows

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According to Tempur-Pedic, you can clean filled pillows using these steps:

  • Remove the cover or pillowcase and wash in cold water using a mild detergent and allow to air dry.
  • Roll the pillow, similar to a sleeping bag.
  • Unroll the pillow and repeat in the opposite direction.
  • If your pillow has a musty odor that simply wont go away, you can use baking soda. Remove the cover and sprinkle it with a generous amount of baking soda. Leave it for an hour and dust off or vacuum the excess. The baking powder will absorb odors, moisture, and deodorize your pillow.

    You can read more HERE in our comprehensive guide on how to clean memory foam pillows, and you can also watch the video below.

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    Best For Side Sleepers

    • Those who like to fold their pillows in half
    • People with neck pain

    As the name suggests, the Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow is designed to support neck and spinal alignment for side sleepers of any weight category. Its ergonomic U-shape contours the head to reduce neck strain, and the zippered cover allows you to fine-tune the loft by adding or removing fill.

    The Cotton Side-Sleepers cover is removable and can be washed in a standard household washing machine to minimize allergen triggers. We found the soft and stretchy cotton-polyester blend to be quite breathable, keeping our testers dry and comfortable.

    The pillows interior is made of latex noodles and polyester fibers, making the pillow both firm and responsive. Latex adds structure and breathability, while the polyester provides a fluffier feel similar to down. Heavier side sleepers or those who prefer extra loft can purchase additional fill.

    The Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow comes with OEKO-TEX certification, which confirms that certain harmful chemicals are not used during the manufacturing process. Latex is also known for its durability, so the pillow should resist premature wear when used properly.

    The Eli & Elm Cotton Side-Sleeper Pillow comes in one size. Your purchase includes free shipping to the contiguous U.S., with the exception of California. Returns are possible within 45 days of delivery. The company stands behind the model with a 5-year warranty.

    The Worst Sleep Position: On Your Stomach

    Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your spine, according to Raymond J. Hah, MD, a spine surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC and assistant professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. This position puts the most pressure on your spines muscles and joints because it flattens the natural curve of your spine, he says. Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can cause neck and upper back pain.

    Research shows that theres a correlation between pain and sleep, so it makes sense to incorporate simple changes in your sleep style that alleviate back pain and less pain means better sleep.


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    Best Cooling Pillow For Back Sleepers

    Coop Home Goods Eden

    Price: $$

    The case is derived from sustainable bamboo, while a wide gusset adds airflow and structure. And because its adjustable, you can find the right level of support for your preferred sleeping positions. Every pillow comes with a half-pound bag of filler and has a 5-year warranty.

    Its very well-reviewed, with over 2,000 customers raving about softness and support.

    As you research options for the best pillows for back and side sleepers, heres what to consider.

    Should Back Sleepers Even Use A Pillow

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    Yes, in most cases back sleepers should use a pillow. How tall or supportive the pillow should be will be determined by body shape and size and also how firm or soft ones mattress is. The firmer the mattress, the more ones body will sleep on top of the bed, as opposed to sinking into the bed. This correlates to how supportive ones pillow should be – the firmer the mattress, the taller and the more supportive the pillow will need to be. Likewise, the softer the pillow the more someone will sink into the mattress and a flatter pillow will be sufficient.

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    Consider A Separate Neck Roll For Extra Support

    According to Tal, back sleepers who suffer from neck pain may need extra support beyond what most standard shaped pillows can provide. If you suffer from neck pain you may want to consider a contour pillow that has built-in support at the bottom. If so, you should make sure that the contour is the right size and keeps your head, neck and spine aligned. Alternatively, a separate supportive neck roll pillow can also work to help prevent neck pain, and is easier to try out along with another pillow you like.

    How We Choose Products

    Medical News Today chooses products that fit the following criteria where possible:

    • Shape: MNT chooses products that are available in various shapes that may suit different sleeping styles.
    • Materials and fill:MNT selects products made from different materials and fills, such as memory foam and latex, to suit a range of sleep and lifestyles.
    • Budget: MNT features products that are available in a wide range of budgets.
    • Loft:MNT selects products that have different lofts, which may help lessen symptoms of sleep conditions, such as snoring.

    Some additional factors to consider when purchasing a pillow include:

    • Price: Various factors may influence a pillows price, including the fill, the size, and the shape. People should consider their budget before purchasing a pillow.
    • Support and firmness: Pillows may offer different firmness feels. Companies may recommend a certain firmness for different sleeping positions. It is also important to research the areas a pillow supports to ensure it fits a persons requirement.
    • Loft: Pillows come in different heights or lofts. Pillows with a higher loft may reduce snoring. However, higher lofts may also increase neck pain if the skull is raised too high above the spine.
    • Shape: Pillows may come in different shapes. For example, wedge pillows are thinner at the bottom and thicker at the top, resulting in a gentle head incline.

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