Back pain is a common ailment in today’s world, and almost half of all Americans suffer from it. It’s not an easy ailment to solve either – it’s almost like a puzzle. You have to put together a lot of different pieces in order to give your back the relief it needs.
For starters, you need to get the right mattress for dealing with back pain; then you need to get shoes that will help with back pain, you need to do the right exercises, improve your posture where a posture corrector might come in handy and so on.
One of those puzzle pieces that’s often neglected is your pillow. To get rid of back pain, you also need to get the best pillow for back pain that you can. But which pillows are the best ones for back pain? Well, I’ll help you out with that today by giving you some more info about them and the reviews for the best products available right now.
Let’s get right into it!
- How Bad Sleeping Causes Back Pain
- The 4 Top Benefits of Pillows for Combination Sleepers
- Where to Buy a Pillow for Back Pain Near Me?
- 2019’s Best Pillows for Back Pain – A Comparison Chart
- Top 20 Pillows for Back Pain in 2020
- Finding the Best Pillow for Back Pain
- Using Pillows for Back Pain When Not Sleeping
- Pillows for Back Pain – a FAQ
How Bad Sleeping Causes Back Pain
A lot of people have this idea that sleeping either isn’t a major contributor to back pain or that it isn’t contributing to their back pain if they aren’t sleeping in an extremely painful position. That’s not a good notion because it makes it easy to fall into bad habits, which make your back pain worse.
The truth is that bad sleeping posture is a major cause of back pain
And by that, I don’t mean just sleeping in positions that cause you direct pain. In fact, you could be sleeping in a position that feels incredibly comfortable for you and still be making your back pain worse.
How is that?
Well, mostly by putting your neck and spine in an awkward, unnatural position which puts the spine out of alignment with the rest of your body. This will lead to back pain and poor sleep quality.
Stomach sleeping is probably the worst in this regard, and I know a lot of people who find it incredibly comfortable. However, it puts your spine in a completely unnatural position with no support at all, and it can quickly lead to serious issues.
Bad sleeping isn’t just the cause of back pain though – it can lead to serious issues, like scoliosis, kyphosis, slipped discs, hernias, and others, which can, in turn, lead to even more serious conditions.
The issues will just keep compounding on one another, and poor sleep quality will make you even more prone to throwing out your back while you’re awake.
So you see, it’s easy for you to figuratively break your back while sleeping. No amount of massages or chiropractor appointments is going to fix that – the only way to make it better is by improving the way you sleep.
The Most Important Benefits of Pillows for Back Pain
There are some benefits that pillows like this can bring you which are completely unique to them, and if you don’t know what they are, I’m going to run through them real quick.
This is the main reason for getting a pillow for back pain in the first place – reducing the pain you feel.
If you get the right pillow for back pain, it should be able to help put your spine and neck into proper alignment, allowing you to feel less pain and maybe even eliminating it, long-term, when combined with other treatments.
This will, in turn, help you sleep better, which will make you feel less pain overall, even from other sources.
Since the right pillow for back pain will put your spine into proper alignment it should, over time, help you gain better standing and sitting posture as well.
Of course, this won’t happen overnight, and it’s a long-term process, but it does help a lot since you spend the third of your day sleeping. If you’re impatient, using a back brace while you’re awake can help speed up the process. Doing regular exercises also helps a lot.
Once your posture improves, there should be less strain on the muscles in your back, which will help reduce your chronic back pain even further.
3Enhanced Sleep Quality
When you start feeling less pain, you’re going to sleep better – it’s a given. However, once you start sleeping better, you should also start to feel less pain overall, and your body will heal faster.
It’s a positive cycle that will continue to make you feel better and better as long as you keep practicing good sleeping habits and using a good pillow and a good mattress for back pain. Otherwise, chronic pain might creep up again.
Where to Buy a Pillow for Back Pain Near Me?
It used to be quite difficult to find a good shop that sells something you want near you – you had to go and ask around the neighborhood and be that pesky guy who’s asking strangers about pillow shops in the area.
These days, that’s not the case, and you can just search for things like “pillow shops near me” or “buy pillows for back pain near me,” and you’ll get exactly what you need in a few minutes, no problem.
What’s even faster than that? Well, looking at this handy interactive map that I’ve made for you:
On this map, you can see all of the pillow shops near you and click on each one to see all of the basic info about it – things like the address, business hours, customer reviews and more!
However, finding pillow shops near you is easy compared to finding a good pillow shop – but I have some tips for that as well so read on!
What to Think About When Looking for a Good Pillow Shop
Today you can find out almost everything you need to know about a shop without even leaving your house. However, that just gives you new ways of making a fatal mistake and choosing a shop that’s not right for you. Here are a few tips on how to distinguish good shops from bad ones.
This is not something that’s a black mark on the shop, but if they do let you test out their products in the shop it’s definitely a positive in favor of them, and it shows the confidence they have in their merchandise.
The best shops will allow you to take the product home for testing for up to 30, 60, or even 90 days in certain cases. Since that’s probably the best way to test a pillow, try to look for shops that offer this option for at least some of their products.
If a shop has an online presence, it’s already a good sign it means that they are keeping up with the times and what their customers need.
However, it’s not enough for them to have a website. If it’s an outdated wreck made in 2010, it’s probably not a good sign, and it shows they don’t actually care and just made a website for the sake of having one.
A good website will have all the info you might need about a shop, and that info will be up to date. You should be able to see which products are available, at what prices, when the shop is open, what’s their refund policy, and so on.
If all of this information is different when you walk into the shop, you should probably walk straight back out again since it’s not worth your time.
This will probably be the clincher – even if everything else about the shop seems good and most of the customer reviews are bad, it’s probably a sign that shop is not worth buying at.
You should take a good look at the individual reviews, though and not just the average score. A lot of good info can be hiding in there, and even if the average score is bad, it might not necessarily mean that the shop is bad for you.
For example, a shop could get a lot of bad reviews for not having air-conditioning on during the summer, but the products could still be great. Read the reviews to find that out.
Conversely, a shop could have great reviews but if it has that one flaw that makes you not want to buy stuff in it – for example, it sells animal-based products – then it’s not the right one. That’s also something you’ll be able to get from customer reviews.
While manufacturers tend to offer certain warranties of their own, shops also have warranty and return policies that can sometimes override those of the manufacturer, so it’s best to check out what they are.
Most shops should at least allow you to return a product if it’s defective and you have some proof of purchase. Better shops will offer returns and maintenance for many other reasons and might even offer to replace the product outright while letting you keep the one you bought.
The best shops tend to offer returns under a ‘no questions asked’ policy within a certain window. This window can be as short as a few days or as long as three months, and it’s always good to have that type of security.
2020’s Best Pillows for Back Pain – A Comparison Chart
I understand if you don’t have the time to read all of the detailed pillow for back pain reviews in this article. That’s why I made this chart where you’ll get a neat overview of what these pillows are like. Take a look!
|YourFacePillow – Back and Side Sleeping Pillow||21 x 12 x 6 inches||Bamboo, Memory Foam||1.5 pounds|
|Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow||7.4 x 12.8 x 16.9 inches||Plush Microfiber||5.07 pounds|
|Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water Pillow||28 x 20 x 4.5 inches||Water and Fiber, Down or Memory Foam||1.1 pounds|
|Hullo Buckwheat Pillow||14 x 20 x 3 inches||Buckwheat, cotton||4 pounds|
|WENERSI White Goose Feather and Down Pillows (The Best Down and Feather Pillow for Back Pain)||17.2 x 13.2 x 7.2 inches||Cotton, Feathers, Down||5.73 pounds|
|Sleep Whale - Premium Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow||6.5 x 17.8 x 5.7 inches||Polyester, Bamboo, Memory Foam||4.3 pounds|
|LANGRIA Knee Pillow Memory Foam Leg Pillows for Leg, Back, Hip Pain Relief||9.8 x 5.9 x 7.0 inches||Memory foam, Plush||0.65 pounds|
|SPRING BED PILLOWS – Newest, Breathable, Neck and Back Pain-Relieving Sleeping Pillow(The Best Spring Pillow for Back Pain)||28 x 17 x 2 inches||Cotton, Steel||2.74 pounds|
|Pacific Coast Double DownAround Soft Pillow||20 x 26 x 3 inches||Cotton, Down, Feather||2.65 pounds|
|Post Surgery Elevating Leg Rest Pillow||24 x 21 x 8 inches||Polyurethane Foam, Memory Foam||4.6 pounds|
|Cushy Form Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers||10 x 5.5 x 8 inches||Memory Foam,||0.9 pounds|
|SLEEPHI Collection 1 Hypoallergenic Microfiber Pillow(The Best Down Alternative Pillow for Back Pain)||20 x 26 x 2 inches||Microfiber, Plush Microfiber||2 pounds|
|Contour Memory Foam Pillow, Little Tree||26 x 4.1 x 13.4 inches||Memory foam, Velour||3.97 pounds|
|MALOUF ZZQQMPZG Z Zoned Dough Gel-Infused Memory Foam Bed Pillow||28 x 15.5 x 5.5 inches||Gel Foam, Tencel||3.5 pounds|
|Sleep Innovations Cooling Memory Foam Contour Pillow||20.8 x 14.2 x 4.8 inches||Microfiber, Memory Foam||2.3 pounds|
|TruContour Super Lumbar Pillow for Sleeping - Adjustable Height (The Best Lumbar Pillow for Back Pain)||24 x 8 x 3 inches||Memory Foam, Velour||0.71 pounds|
|Coisum Cervical Pillow Contour Pillow||24.4 x 15 x 4.7 inches||Memory Foam, Synthetic||3.44 pounds|
|ViscoSoft Cooling Gel Contour Pillow||14.1 x 8.1 x 6.2 inches||Gel Foam, COOLMAX Fabric||4.25 pounds|
|Mugetu Gel Infused Memory Foam Pillow||14.6 x 7.6 x 7.2 inches||Gel-infused Memory Foam, Synthetic||3.1 pounds|
|ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow||9.8 x 7.9 x 6.3 inches||Memory Foam, Synthetic||0.5 pounds|
Top 20 Pillows for Back Pain in 2021
Let’s start with the detailed reviews in our search for the best pillow for back pain!
YourFacePillow – Back and Side Sleeping PillowGreat for Learning to Sleep on Your Back
This is an odd-looking pillow with an odd-sounding name and that meant I just had to check it out! And, what would you know, it’s actually quite good!
It has two large, elevated pieces at each side which are meant to keep your head in place while you’re sleeping and provide an armrest – they do work quite well for that purpose I must say.
The reason it’s called the “YourFace” pillow though, is because the elevated sides are also meant to stop you from turning onto your stomach and sleeping with your face mushed into the pillow. It works decently for that as well.
If you’re trying to stop sleeping on your stomach, this is a good pillow to try.
It offers decent support, though nothing too great and it won’t fit you if you have a particularly large head.
It doesn’t lose its loft quickly, and it’s definitely durable, but it doesn’t come with a pillowcase, and you will have to make do with something that just kinds fits it, but not really.
Overall, it’s a decent pillow with an interesting design that can be useful. Try it out – you can return it for free if you’re not satisfied.
- Great for learning how to sleep on your back
- Decent support for its thickness
- Durable and doesn’t lose its loft quickly
- You can return it if you’re not satisfied
- No pillowcase included
- Won’t fit people with larger heads
If you need a pillowcase for a pillow that has an unusual shape and the manufacturer doesn’t provide one, you’ll just have to make do, don’t spend too much money on unnecessary custom pillowcases.
Utopia Bedding Gusseted Quilted Pillow 2 Budget Pillows for the Price of One
This is a set of two great-looking pillows which are filled with a down-like microfiber, and they work quite well. The cost is simply a steal, and if you need two budget pillows, this double pack is a good option.
Due to their size, you can easily use one as a lumber or a knee pillow.
The thickness and firmness are decent, and the pillows provide adequate support while being of a medium firmness – about the ideal firmness for people suffering from back pain.
They seem to be quite durable too, just make sure not to wash them regularly – dry cleaning only. That will definitely prolong their lifespan.
If you need something that’s breathable, they’re good in that regard as well!
So, what’s the catch here?
Well, the only huge flaw these pillows have is that they are rather thin to start with and can flatten a lot during the night if you’re a heavier person.
Also, the filling can become lumpy over time if you don’t fluff up the pillows regularly, which is easy to forget. That can make them quite uncomfortable to sleep on.
- Fairly durable for microfiber
- Decent support and medium firmness
- More breathable than most
- The price is just a steal
- They lose their loft during the night
- The filling clumps up over time
Regularly fluffing up most pillows with loose filling is generally a good idea, but I know most people tend to forget it – I do too.
Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water PillowCould be perfect with a bit of effort
This pillow is built on an interesting idea, and that’s water – yes, this pillow is filled with it. Or, more accurately, you’re going to fill it with it.
It works this way – it has a central chamber that can be filled with water, and that’s surrounded by a cover on both sides and a comfort layer on the side that’s meant to be slept on.
You can choose which fill you want for the upper layer – down, fiber, or memory foam, depending on what you prefer. I’d say that memory foam is probably the best choice here.
The water chamber can be filled up as much as you want, and that allows you to adjust the firmness of this pillow to what you want it to be – which is great. However, it can be quite tricky to get it right, and it took me hours to set it up properly.
Still, when I set it up, it was almost perfect, so it was worth the extra effort I would say. I also think it’s worth the high price since it’s so adjustable and it proved to be fairly durable. You don’t even have to replace the water that often.
If you can afford a little bit of risk, I’d suggest you try it out – it can do wonders for your sore back.
- The firmness is highly adjustable
- It offers great support
- You can choose which filling you want
- Fairly durable
- The price is steep
- Adjusting it can be difficult
Always check out customer reviews for unique products like this one before you buy them to figure out if they’re worth it or if it’s just a gimmick.
Hullo Buckwheat PillowAn Adjustable Buckwheat Pillow
Ah, finally a buckwheat pillow! Should I just tell you it’s good and move on? Well, no, there’s a bit more to this one I have to say.
Let’s start with the good – it’s definitely quite firm but still moldable, and it remains quite breathable. You can also expect to have it for quite a long time since both the cover and the filling are durable.
It also has a hidden zipper, allowing you to remove or add filling if you want to adjust the loft of the pillow.
Now, here’s the catch – it’s not that thick. The loft is only a measly three inches, though it can be higher if you add more filling but that’s neither here nor there.
It also costs quite a bit more than most pillows, though the price is actually quite fair for a buckwheat pillow.
So, what would be my final verdict here? Well, I would say this pillow is worth it, and it’s going to work well for most people who suffer from back pain. However, it won’t be that great for more heavy-set people due to the low loft.
- Moldable and adjust to your body
- Durable overall
- It remains nicely firm
- The loft can be adjusted
- The loft is not that high
- The price is higher than for most pillows
Be careful when adjusting pillows by adding or removing the filling – you can mess things up if you don’t know what you’re doing or use poor-quality filling.
WENERSI White Goose Feather and Down PillowsThe Best Down and Feather Pillow Combo for Back Pain
Now, while feather and down pillows are usually not ideal for people suffering from back pain, this one is a bit better than average for sure.
The filling doesn’t seem to shift around too much, and the cotton cover is fairly thick, so you won’t feel the feather quills poking at you most of the time (though you certainly will feel them sometimes).
The cover and casing are also well made, and you won’t have filling falling out all over the place. This pillow is bound to last for years.
The firmness is decent, and it’s about medium – good for people who are suffering from back pain and sleeping on their back most of the time. If you’re expecting a soft pillow, this one is certainly not that.
With that said, they can lose a lot of their loft overnight, so keep that in mind. They also don’t mold well to the shape of your head and neck.
The price is definitely reasonable, and you get two pillows in the pick, allowing you to use one for extra support for your back or legs.
Overall, this is a decent pair of pillows, and if you don’t have a feather/down allergy, they are quite useful if you suffer from back pain despite the filling used for them.
- Decently firm
- You won’t feel the quills most of the time
- Well-made and durable
- You get two for the price of one
- Lightweight and easy to move
- They lose their loft overnight
- Do not adjust well to the shape of your head
Just because a certain type of filling is not great for a certain use – in this case, relieving back pain – don’t discount all pillows that use that filling. There are always exceptions to the rule.
Sleep Whale – Premium Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam PillowThe Best Budget Bamboo Pillow
If you’re looking for a bamboo pillow but don’t want to spend too much money on it – this one is a good choice. It’s also good for back pain to boot.
It’s mostly made out of memory foam which is not quite breathable by nature, but the bamboo cover makes it all a bit better – there’s also the fact that shredded memory foam is used, so it’s a bit loose and lets the air through.
Speaking of that, you can unzip the pillow and remove or add more filling to adjust the firmness and loft to your liking. As is, it’s fairly good, but not everyone is built the same way as me.
Unlike a lot of other memory foam pillows, this one can be put into the washing machine or the dryer without worrying about it, allowing for easy maintenance.
While it’s not the most durable pillow around as I’ll admit, it does work well, and for this price, it’s more than acceptable.
Overall, it’s a good pillow at a great price, and you even get a lifetime replacement guarantee if you are unsatisfied. There’s literally no reason to try it out.
- Safe for washing machines and dryers
- Decent firmness and comfort
- You can add or remove filling
- Lifetime replacement policy
- There’s a strong chemical smell to it
- Not the most durable pillow around
It’s generally not a good idea to machine-wash memory foam pillows unless it’s specified that you can since moisture ruins the usual properties which memory foam has.
LANGRIA Knee Pillow Memory Foam Leg Pillows for Leg, Back, Hip Pain ReliefThe Most Adjustable Leg Pillow for Back Pain
And, here’s the first pillow made for use with your legs – though you can use it for your head if you’re feeling adventurous! I wouldn’t recommend it, though.
For its intended use, it’s quite great, and it has an amazing design. You can use it as is to put between your legs if you’re sleeping on your side or you can unfold it to put it under your knees if you’re more of a back sleeper.
If you like changing your position a lot or there are multiple people that want to use it, this is a great feature.
It’s made out of memory foam, so it molds well to the shape of your body and it’s not low-quality foam either, so it is also rather durable. To maintain it you can just remove the cover and machine-wash it, no problem.
The cover itself is high-quality as well – made out of microfiber and silky soft.
The only major problem with this pillow is that it’s not quite firm. If you have large and heavy legs, it will flatten easily and won’t provide a lot of support at all.
Also, like most memory foam products, it smells rancid when you first unpack it.
Still, it’s good for lighter individuals, and it will definitely help with back pain, and due to the great price, there’s no reason not to try it out at the very least.
- Adjustable shape
- Molds well to the shape of your body
- It is more durable than you would expect
- The price is just a steal
- The cover is easy to remove for washing
- Flattens easily under heavy pressure
- Smells horrible when first unpacked
Sometimes, putting just any pillow under or between your legs is not enough for proper support and won’t help too much with your back pain. That’s why specialized pillows exist.
SPRING BED PILLOW – Newest, Breathable, Neck and Back Pain-Relieving Sleeping PillowThe Best Spring Pillow for Back Pain
What is this? A pillow with springs?
Why yes, it is just that, and it works rather well! I was surprised too, I expect to be poked in the head all night, but that’s not the case here since the casing is well-made and quite thick and the springs are wrapped in cotton.
If you’re constantly having problems with pillows flattening overnight, this one will stay at about the same loft during the entire night.
You also won’t sweat overnight since it’s a fairly breathable pillow with a lot of room for air circulation.
Despite what you might think since it uses steel coils, this pillow is surprisingly lightweight, probably due to the coils being fairly small and thin.
The whole pillow is quite thin though – only 2 inches thick in the middle and less on the sides. It does offer good support, but if you’re heavy-set, it just won’t be enough.
Also, don’t fluff it up too often – the coils are not well-fixed, and it can shake them loose, which will completely ruin the pillow. Yes, it is a huge flaw.
Overall, I think it’s good and if you’re a bit hesitant to try it out – don’t be. It has a 90-day free trial, so feel free to give it a shot. You might find out that it’s the right pillow for dealing with your back pain.
- It will never flatten overnight
- Durable construction
- You won’t feel the springs
- Remains fairly breathable
- Comes with a 90-day free trial
- Not too good for heavier individuals
- The coils can move around
I’m not afraid to try out new types of products that might seem like gimmicks at first, but I understand that not everyone has the luxury to do that. That’s what free trials are for! Make full use of them to try out new things.
Pacific Coast Double DownAround Soft PillowThe Most Affordable Down Pillow for Back Pain
This is another pillow using down and feather filling that’s surprisingly good for people suffering from back pain.
The main reason for this is its surprising firmness – well, for a down pillow at least. Usually, this would be a negative against it, but it’s a definite positive if you have back pain problems.
Since the filling is tightly packed in there, there’s also not a lot of shifting around present so you can fluff it up without too much worry. Not that you will need to since it holds its loft surprisingly well.
Here’s the kicker though – the loft is only 3 inches. If you’re heavy set, it’s going to lose its loft overnight since it’s relatively thin, keep that in mind.
This is another pillow which you can wash in the machine and dry in the dryer, which is super helpful and makes maintenance easy to do.
However, you probably shouldn’t tumble it too much since this is not the most durable pillow around, not by a long shot. The price is good, I’ll give it that, and I think it’s worth buying despite the fact that it won’t last for too long.
- You can machine-wash it and dry it
- Surprisingly firm and holds its loft
- The filling doesn’t shift around
- Relatively affordable price
- The loft is fairly low – only 3 inches
- Definitely not highly durable
Buying a pillow that’s not too durable is fine when you’re in need and don’t have a lot of cash – you can just replace it once you do. Of course, it’s fine as long as it’s good.
Post Surgery Elevating Leg Rest PillowThe Best Therapeutic Pillow for Back Pain
This is a certified therapeutic pillow, primarily meant for elevating your legs after surgery – but it can also be used if you haven’t gone under the knife recently.
The best use of this pillow is for supporting your legs of course, and it does well at that. It’s helpful with conditions related to your legs or your hips as well, and if you suffer from other types of chronic pain besides back pain, it can be amazing.
Of course, as it is you can only use it while sleeping on your back – it’s not quite useful otherwise. However, in that position, it’s great, and it offers amazing support.
The cover on it is machine washable, so it’s fairly easy to maintain despite being quite huge. Sadly, the cover can snag on a lot of different fabric, as well as casts, which is a problem if you do need this after leg surgery or fracture, for example.
It’s also not the most breathable thing around, and it can smell – which is expected from memory foam but still an annoyance.
Overall, it can be an incredibly useful tool, and it might be worth trying out – and you can do that risk-free since it’s covered by a 100% money back guarantee.
- Covered by a 100% money back guarantee
- The cover is washable
- Offers good support and it’s quite firm
- The shape is helpful for certain conditions
- The cover can snag on many different fabrics
- It’s not the most breathable thing around
If you’ve had surgery, you’re best off getting a pillow that’s made specifically for post-surgery pain relief since you might get hurt trying to jury-rig something with regular pillows.
Cushy Form Knee Pillow for Side SleepersThe Best Orthopedic Knee Pillow for Back Pain
This is an orthopedic knee pillow meant for side sleepers, and it does its job fairly well as far as I can see.
It’s made out of memory foam, so it does adjust well to the shape of your body, but it’s still firm enough to support you properly, even if you’re a bit heavier than average. It’s made out of visco-elastic memory foam, making it quite flexible.
With that said, it’s a bit thinner than I expected it to be, but it still holds up. It’s also a bit smaller than I thought it should be.
The durability is great, and it’s relatively easy to maintain since the casing can be taken off and washed in a washing machine without a problem.
Overall, it’s a fairly simple pillow, but it’s well-designed, it has a great shape, and it just works. It also doesn’t cost too much, which is always a plus so there’s no harm in trying it out if it seems like it could be useful.
- Contours well to your body
- Firm enough to support you properly
- Durable and easy to maintain
- The price is affordable
- A bit on the smaller side
- It’s slightly thin
Since knee pillows can often slide out of positions, it’s good to keep them in place with some sort of elastic strap. Some of them even come with a strap included in the package.
SLEEPHI Collection 1 Hypoallergenic Microfiber Pillow The Best Down Alternative Pillow for Back Pain
This pillow is best suited for back sleepers who suffer from back pain due its shape – it has a depression in the middle made to cradle your head while the rest of the pillow supports your neck.
The filling is down alternative, and it’s quite tightly packed so it’s decently firm and it definitely holds its loft. It’s not the most durable thing around though, and the thickness is low, so it’s not for the more heavy-set among you.
Still, it doesn’t cause allergies like down might, and it remains pleasantly cool throughout the night no matter what.
It’s also comfortable since the cover feels plush and soft on your skin and not abrasive like some covers might.
The price is reasonable for what you get here, and I’d say this is a pillow worth getting and trying out. Sadly, it doesn’t come with a free trial, so there is some risk involved, but I’d still give it a shot, especially if you’re a back sleeper.
- Great shape that works well
- The firmness is decent
- Breathable and cool
- The price seems right
- The cover feels soft and gentle
- Low durability
- It’s relatively thin
If you’re a back sleeper, it can be difficult to find a pillow that will support both your head and neck properly, and pillows like this one do a good job of that.
Contour Memory Foam Pillow, Little TreeThe Most Breathable Memory Foam Pillow for Back Pain
This is a unique memory foam pillow that’s made to support your head properly and avoid the trap of being too hot to sleep on in the summer.
How does it manage to do that?
Well, it has a unique shape – it’s elevated on the part that supports your neck and slightly longer as well with a downward slope.
The middle also has holes in it, allowing the air to cycle through which is also helped by the amazingly breathable bamboo fabric cover that’s easy to take off and wash in the washing machine.
This is not a pillow just for back sleepers though – if you’re a side sleeper just use one of the sides of the pillow, and it should fit you well too.
However, it doesn’t manage to avoid the smell problem that most memory foam products have and it can stick around for weeks no matter how much you air it out.
Also, while the shape is great, it works only if you’re fairly average-sized. If your head is smaller than average it can still work, but if you’re larger, it just won’t fit you at all, so be aware of that.
- Great, functional shape
- Designed to be breathable
- Fairly durable in all regards
- Great, machine-washable cover
- The smell is just horrible
- Won’t fit people with larger heads and thicker necks
While pillows with unique, therapeutic shapes can be extremely helpful, they can’t be made to fit everyone, and unless multiple sizes are offered, they won’t. Check if you’ll fit into them by measuring yourself before making a purchase.
MALOUF ZZQQMPZG Z Zoned Dough Gel-Infused Memory Foam Bed Pillow The Best Gel Foam Pillow for Back Pain
This is an incredibly breathable pillow made using gel-infused polyurethane foam and made with a unique design that ensures maximum breathability for a foam-based pillow. The removable and washable Tencel cover also helps a lot in that regard.
While the shape of this pillow is fairly mundane, it is quite good for supporting your head and neck, especially for side sleepers. The thickness is right, and the firmness is up to par as well.
It’s a durable pillow too and doesn’t lose its loft after repeated use, and it doesn’t flatten overnight. You can rely on it for years to come if you want to keep it that long.
It’s quite heavy though, and it can be difficult to move if you need to move it around during the night.
With all that said, I do think the price is a bit too steep for comfort. The pillow is good, don’t get me wrong, but you’ll have a tough decision to make here if you’re a budget-minded person.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide, and it’s definitely a great pillow.
- It’s reliable and durable
- One of the most breathable pillows around
- The cover is great
- Doesn’t lose its loft
- The firmness is good
- The pillow weighs too much
- The price is a bit too steep
While I am in favor of paying for quality products, I do still think you should always have an upper limit. You need to avoid getting ripped off after all.
Sleep Innovations Cooling Memory Foam Contour Pillow A Solid and Reliable Classic
While this memory foam pillow from Sleep Innovations is not terribly innovative or original, it is a good, reliable pillow that can definitely help a lot with your back pain problems.
The shape is classing and great for supporting your neck while you’re sleeping on your back. The thickness is good as is the firmness and the pillow is definitely able to keep its shape throughout the night.
It also keeps its shape over time and doesn’t degrade a lot. It’s made in the USA, and it’s made well, so that’s no surprise.
However, it is made out of memory foam, and it has all the problems that come with it. This includes the lack of breathability that makes it hot in the summer months and the nasty smell that it has when you first unpack it, which lasts for weeks.
Overall, it is a reliable pillow at a reasonable price – you just need to be aware of its negatives before you buy it.
- Good shape that helps with back pain
- Comes at a relatively affordable price
- Keeps its shape and molds to your body
- Decent firmness and good thickness
- Durable and made in the USA
- Not breathable at all
- Comes with a nasty smell that lasts for too long
A pillow doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to be great for back pain – sometimes a good, simple design will do just fine.
TruContour Super Lumbar Pillow for Sleeping – Adjustable Height The Best Lumbar Pillow for Back Pain
Here’s a pillow made specifically for your lumbar area and it’s a great one. It’s made specifically for back sleepers and made to be able to fit everyone.
The design is relatively simple – the pillow is slightly curved on the top, and it’s actually three foam pads stacked on one another.
You can easily take out one or two foam pads in order to reduce the thickness and firmness of the pillow and make it fit you perfectly. It’s nicely firm in any form; it’s just a matter of gradients and personal preference.
It’s a durable pillow too, and it holds up quite well over time – it doesn’t lose its loft, and I think the adjustable construction helps with that.
Now, the issues with it are the same as with most other memory foam pillows – it gets quite hot, and the smell is just the worst when you first get it. Still, it’s relatively affordable, and despite those negatives, I think it’s the best lumbar pillow around.
- Highly adjustable
- Good shape that fits your lumbar area
- Affordable price point
- You get one year of free returns
- Great, machine-washable velour cover
- Not breathable at all
- The smell is just terrible
Adjustable pillows are great and relatively safe for purchase since you can always adjust them to fit you perfectly. Just make sure it’s easy to adjust them.
Coisum Cervical Pillow Contour PillowA Unique Pillow for Back and Side Sleepers with Back Pain
Do you like pillows that are strangely shaped? If you do, this one will be a real threat for you.
It looks quite crazy and strange, I know, but it’s not made that way just for the visual impact – it’s a functional shape too.
The elevated sleeping part has a double function – if you place the wider side of it under your neck, it makes the pillow perfect for back sleeping.
If you turn it the other way around, however, it becomes a great pillow of relieving back pain while sleeping on your side. You even get a nice arm-rest on the side!
It’s a firm and durable pillow too since it’s made out of high-density memory foam and it remains good for years. It keeps its loft throughout the night while also easily conforming to the shape of your neck and head.
However, as with all uniquely shaped pillows, it only fits people of relatively average size – if you’re larger or smaller, it’s not gonna be so good for you.
It also has the old common memory foam problem – it absorbs a lot of body heat, and it’s not breathable at all, so you’re going to sweat on it during the summer, that’s unavoidable.
Still, if you think it can fit you, try it out. The price is definitely decent, and this pillow can help a lot with back pain.
- A unique, multipurpose shape
- It’s fairly durable
- Keeps its loft
- Conforms well to your body
- Not fit for larger people
- It isn’t breathable at all
If you try out a pillow like this and you don’t like it, that doesn’t mean that other similar pillows won’t be for you so don’t be afraid to try them.
ViscoSoft Cooling Gel Contour Pillow The Coolest Gel Pillow for Back Pain
This is a pillow made with breathability in mind above almost everything else – but that doesn’t mean it’s bad in other regards either and it’s great if you suffer from back pain.
If you’re in pain during the night you’re probably going to feel uncomfortable and sweat a lot; it’s a given. This pillow is lined with a cooling gel meant to disperse body heat while staying as cool as possible, and it does a good job of that.
The shape is also great, and it supports your neck well. Since the core is made out of memory foam, it also tends to mold well to the shape of your head and neck.
It does have one flaw, however – it’s fairly soft overall, probably because of the gel. It doesn’t keep its loft well, especially if you put a bit more weight onto it.
It is a durable pillow though, and it will keep its shape for a long time, as long as you don’t force it to take on too much weight on a regular basis, that is.
The other issue it has is the smell – it’s horrible, and it seems to be coming from both the gel and the memory foam. It lasts for longer than usual and airing it out doesn’t seem to help a lot.
Overall, it is an exceptionally cool pillow, but you have to ask yourself is that worth the pain of the horrible smell and if it will fit your body weight. Still, if you want something that won’t get hot, it’s one of the best options around.
- It’s shaped well
- One of the coolest pillows around
- Doesn’t absorb moisture
- Lasts for a long time
- The cover is nice and comfy
- Not the firmest pillow around
- Smells horrible and the smell sticks around
Staying cool while sleeping has always been difficult, and it’s particularly hard with memory foam pillows. Some people will just sweat when sleeping, no matter what.
Mugetu Gel Infused Memory Foam PillowThe Pillow with the Best Cover
This is an amazing gel-infused pillow made from memory foam featuring a striking dark grey cover that’s incredibly soft and comfortable. It’s machine-washable too, so maintaining it is not difficult at all.
It’s an incredibly breathable pillow since it is made with gel-infused foam and the cover itself is breathable too. It stays relatively cool throughout most nights.
At its core, it is a decently firm pillow, though it’s not too thick and it does conform well to your body. It does manage to keep its loft throughout the night, which is commendable.
It’s a shame, then, that it doesn’t stay that way for too long since it does seem to have some problems with durability. The cover stays intact to be fair, but the inside of the pillow seems to degrade too quickly for my liking.
It also smells bad when you first get it, which you can expect from memory foam pillows, but it’s no more pleasant than if you don’t expect it.
Overall, this is a fairly middle-of-the-road pillow, but it’s still good and worth checking out.
- The cover is just great and incredibly comfortable
- Contours well to your body
- Stays relatively cool
- Adequate firmness
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Smells bad when you first get it
- It lacks on the durability front
While having a great cover is something that makes a pillow better it’s not something that can make a bad pillow great by any means, just like a mattress topper can’t fix a bad mattress.
ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee PillowThe Best Knee Pillow for Pregnant Ladies
For the final product of today, here’s another pillow meant for use between your knees while you’re sleeping on your side.
As is usual, this one is also made out of memory foam, and it has the usual shape you would expect.
However, it is more firm than most pillows like this due to being made out of high-density foam and manages to keep its shape well, even if your legs are a bit heavier than average.
This is what makes it great not just for people suffering from regular back pain but also for pregnant ladies that need a bit more support during sleep.
The price for it is fair, and it’s relatively easy to afford. But it won’t last for too long I have to say. It does degrade fairly quickly, and you’ll have to replace it fairly soon.
It’s also bogged down by the usual memory foam problems – it’s too hot, and it smells rancid when unpacked.
Still, I think it’s worth getting simply because it is so firm and supportive even if you’ll only use it for a relatively short time.
- It does conform well to your body
- Keeps its shape well
- Firmer than most knee pillows
- The price is decent
- It does absorb a lot of body heat
- Smells bad when you first get it
- Has some durability issues
Knee pillows can be used for more than just for putting them under your knees – people also use them for arm support while reading or for hip support while sleeping.
Finding the Best Pillow for Back Pain
If you want to battle your back pain, not just any old pillow will do, and you have to throw some of what you learned about buying pillows or mattresses out the window. Prepare to learn how to buy the right pillow all over again as I go over what’s crucial for buying the right pillow for back pain.
1Find the Right Type for You
There are many different types of pillows out there, and for back pain, you have roughly three different options, based on how they’re used. These can all help with back pain and, in certain cases, it’s best to use them all at once for maximum effect.
These are your regular pillows that go under your head and are intended to support your head and neck. It’s almost necessary to use this pillow if you’re sleeping on your side, but back-sleepers can sometimes benefit from not using a pillow for their head.
Some people with back pain problems benefit a lot from additional support in their lumbar area, and these pillows are designed to provide exactly that. They are usually shaped to fit in there and are mostly meant for back sleepers.
Side sleepers know that you sometimes need a bit of extra support between your knees to feel comfortable and these pillows are designed to help with that. You can also use them as a back sleeper if you like to keep your legs elevated, which can sometimes help with back pain.
Of course, there are a lot of subcategories for each of these pillows and different shapes and sizes, but I’ll go into that in the next section.
2The Shape and Size
If you want to get rid of back pain, the shape and size of your pillow are incredibly important.
The shape needs to fit your sleeping position – flat pillows or curved pillows are good for side sleepers, for example. On the other hand, pillows with a hole in the middle or pillows that have a depression in the middle are best for back sleepers.
You also need to make sure that the size is right, especially the thickness. If a pillow is too thin for your body weight and size, it will lose its loft during the first few hours of sleep and won’t support you properly.
If you want to put a pillow under your back or between your knees, you also need to pick the right shape and size for that.
There are pillows made specifically for that, as mentioned, but if you’re on a budget you can get regular pillows, just about twice as small as the one that goes under your head.
3The Materials Used
These days there are a lot of materials which are used for making pillows, and they all have some pros and cons of their own when it comes to helping with your back pain. Some are definitely better than others, and I’ll go over the most popular ones right here.
These are incredibly lightweight pillows that remain relatively cool, and they can last for a long time. They are expensive though, and they are usually quite thin, which means they can lose their loft easily and leave your neck and spine in an awkward position. Not recommended for back pain.
As the name implies, these pillows use down-like materials but and hypoallergenic. They’re less durable than real down pillows are and lose their supportive qualities fairly quickly, which makes them bad for back pain sufferers.
Buckwheat is a premium material for a reason – pillows using it as filling are moldable, cool, and quite durable. They are firm too and rarely lose their loft. For people suffering from back pain, this is one of the best choices out there even though it’s a costly one.
Pillows with feather filling are very malleable and breathable while being softer than buckwheat pillows. They have a high loft and are durable but can be expensive. They are not too good at molding to the shape of your head, which doesn’t make them too good for back pain.
Probably the most well-known material these days, it’s moldable and is great at supporting your head and neck and placing them in a natural position no matter your sleeping position. It’s one of the best materials for back pain, as long as the foam use is high-quality.
These pillows are usually considered as a better version of memory foam, and they’re certainly good for back pain, one of the best for sure. They are much more expensive though and can cause allergies.
This is probably the cheapest option out on the market. These pillows don’t cause allergies and are relatively odorless, but they do get quite hot, and their support is poor. Even if you are on a limited budget, this is a tough sell, and it won’t quite help with back pain at all.
Last, but not least, the firmness of a pillow is something you have to consider carefully when buying a pillow for back pain.
If it’s not firm enough, it won’t support you properly, but if it’s too firm it might put your head in an awkward position and impact your back.
You need to pick something of medium-firmness in most cases, though you should go a bit firmer than that if you’re sleeping on your side. Your pillow as a combination sleeper should be somewhere in-between.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, well I’d suggest that you change your sleeping habits as soon as possible since it’s extremely bad for your back.
Is Combination Sleeping Good or Bad for You?
The right pillows can help a lot when dealing with your back pain, and that’s not just limited to when you’re sleeping. There are other ways you can use them that will definitely help you out, and that’s what I’ll talk about right now.
One of the best uses of pillows to help with your back pain is using them for extra support on a chair if you have an office job.
Don’t be afraid to take a pillow into the office!
If it helps with your back and helps improve your posture, it’s not a weird thing at all, and you should do it for the sake of your health no matter what anyone thinks.
Usually, it’s best to place the pillow somewhere around your lumbar area or the curve of your spine for extra support. Putting another, smaller pillow behind your neck for extra support is also a good idea.
You can also do this while traveling or driving; it’s generally a good idea. There are even pillows that have a shape specifically suited for this use. Another good use for pillows for back pain is when you’re just resting and relaxing – maybe when you’re reading a book.
If you’re sitting on the bed, putting a pillow beneath your knees and an additional one for propping up your back can help you avoid assuming a bad posture.
Some people also use a pillow when they’re doing day-to-day activities, tied to their lumbar area for added support. I wouldn’t exactly recommend this since getting a back brace is a much better solution.
Pillows for Back Pain – a FAQ
The Final Word
It was a long journey, but I think I told you everything I know about pillows for back pain now and I hope you are able to find the right one for you.
If you need more advice, there’s only one thing left to give you – my ultimate choice for the best pillow for back pain out of the bunch.
It was tough to do that this time but I think I managed to narrow it down by the process of elimination not just one pillow – the Mediflow Fiber: The First & Original Water Pillow.
Yes, it is a bit gimmicky but that’s why I like it and it’s definitely the most adjustable pillow around so I think it’s the one that’s able to fit most people and help them with back pain issues.
If you don’t like my top choice – well, you might prefer my second best which is the Hullo Buckwheat Pillow. As always, buckwheat pillows are just great and this one is both well-made and affordable while also being adjustable.
For the more budget-oriented among you, the Sleep Whale – Premium Adjustable Shredded Memory Foam Pillow might be best choice around. It comes at a decent price, it’s adjustable, fairly breathable and it has a nice shape. It’s decent all around.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with me or do you think I’m wrong? Write it all down in the comments along with any questions you might have and I’ll answer you as soon as I’m able.
Until next time, sleep well!
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