Sleeping On The Back:
Sleeping on your back is the best sleeping posture because it helps distribute weight evenly across the body, keeps the alignment of your internal organs in check, and reduces the amount of pressure points that you might experience from side sleeping. Tip: use a thinner pillow to make sure your head doesnt protrude forward which can contribute to forward neck posture.
Best Pillow For Back Pain
Snoozing with a supportive pillow is a great way to keep healthy posture and guard against back pain. Of course, sleep is something we all do differently, and there is no one-pillow-fits-all rule! But dont worry, folks, my best pillows for back pain review is here to help.
In this guide, Im presenting the top seven pillows designed to alleviate back pain and bring you the restorative sleep you need. And dont worry I picked something for every position so that sleepers of all styles can find their perfect match. Plus, Ill impart my own tips and tricks behind pillow shopping so youre better equipped to do some research on your own. Lets get started!
Best Pillows For Back Pain
- Editors Pick Layla Pillow
- Best for Side Sleepers with Back Pain TEMPUR Neck Pillow
- Best for Back & Neck Pain Dr. Loth SpineAlign Pillow
- Best for Stomach Sleepers with Back Pain- Nolah AirFiber Pillow
- Best for Back Sleepers with Back Pain Casper Foam Pillow
- Best Memory Foam Pillow for Back Pain DreamCloud Best Rest Memory Foam Pillow
- Best Firm Pillow for Back Pain Avocado Pillow
Disclaimer: The content on Sleepopolis is meant to be informational, but should not replace medical advice. If you experience chronic neck or back pain, its best to consult your healthcare provider.
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Reduces Back And Hip Pain
Its estimated that up to 23 percent of the worlds adult population lives with chronic back pain. Correcting your sleeping position is one easy way to reduce back pain caused by poor posture.
Putting a pillow between your knees or thighs has the potential to help you maintain the natural alignment of your hips and pelvis while you sleep. This improved alignment may help take the strain off inflamed ligaments or muscles that are causing your discomfort.
What Pillow Materials Are Best For Back Sleepers
There is no single material type that works best for back sleepers overall. Back sleepers should opt for the material type that provides the feel they most prefer.
Memory Foam: Memory foam often conforms closely to the body. Memory foam is quiet and tends to provide pressure relief. The downside of memory foam is that it can trap heat if it isnt infused with something cooling or intentionally designed to promote airflow. Also, memory foam tends to off-gas more than other pillow materials.
Buckwheat: Buckwheat is an all-natural pillow fill made of the shells from buckwheat kernels. Some liken the feel of a buckwheat hull pillow to that of a beanbag. One advantage of buckwheat pillows is that they often come with extra hulls, so increasing or decreasing their loft is usually easy. Buckwheat is also a cooler pillow material. Buckwheat pillows often come with higher price tag and some sleepers dislike the sound the hulls make when you change positions.
Feather: Feather pillows should not be confused with down pillows. Goose and duck feathers differ from down plumage. Feathers are larger with stiffer, longer quills. Feather pillows tend to be less expensive than down. They also tend to remain cooler. The feather quills can stick through the outside of the pillow, however, causing discomfort.
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Support Your Back While You Sleep
When you have low back pain, thereâs evidence that the best sleep position is on your side â with your knees bent. In this position, if you place a pillow between your knees you can help relieve pressure and improve your comfort.
If you prefer to sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees. If you sleep on your stomach, put a pillow beneath your hips. These pillows can help you keep a proper and healthy spinal curve, which can relieve and prevent back pain.
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Sleep Position And Spine Problems
If youre waking up in pain that you dont feel during the day, then your sleep position is likely playing a role.
Where sleep posture plays a role in back pain is the neutral spine. If youre not positioned in a way that keeps your spine aligned and relaxed, you may be putting excess weight or strain on different parts of the back.
If you have neck pain, stiffness, or soreness when you wake up in the morning, consider:
- Sleep posture. Sleeping on your stomach with your head twisted to one side is a recipe for neck strain. But sleeping in any position can be a problem if your neck isnt sufficiently supported.
- Pillow choice. If your pillow is too high or too low, too firm or too soft, your head will bend away from the neutral spine position. Finding the right pillow can be difficult. Some people prefer memory foam because it molds to the head and neck, providing support where you need it most.
- Weak or tight muscles. If you dont stretch often or if you keep your shoulders and head in a fixed, unnatural position during the day, you may may be bringing that stress to bed at night. Stretching, strengthening, and massage may help you to re-balance your body and loosen up in the neck and shoulders. Its difficult to achieve a neutral spine in sleep if you cant achieve it when youre awake.
As with neck pain, its important to sleep in an optimal position but also to choose the right mattress and the right pillow, and to use extra pillows or bolsters if necessary.
Do You Need An Organic Body Pillow
Organic body pillows could be considered more of a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle choice than a need. Organic body pillows are made with simple, natural, sustainably harvested ingredients. Good for the planet and good for your health. Organic materials ensure your body doesnt have to work as hard to regulate its temperature throughout the night.
If spending your sleep time cuddled up with natural organic materials means snuggling breathable, natural fibres and materials, your choice may well be the organic body pillow.
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How Do Lumbar Pillows Work
Back cushions are designed to work with chairs. They often have adjustable straps to hold them in the proper position on the chair. They keep a seated person from leaning too far back or coming too far forward. When leaned back, the pillow will provide support where its most needed. When you lean forward, youll no longer feel the support. This is your cue to adjust your posture so that your body maintains contact with the supportive pillow.
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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The Role Of Your Mattress
We spend one-third of each day in bed, meaning your mattress and how you sleep is just as important as focusing on posture in the daytime hours. Since sleep is a time for healing and renewal, it may arguably be even more important.
Its an important, often-asked question. But, there is no single right answer. When it comes to picking a bed, there are no hard and fast rules that will apply for every person, every time. Essentially, the best mattress is the one that you feel gives you good, refreshing sleep with minimal pain and stiffness.
While we all have different preferences and needs that are important to consider, research and studies can shed some insight on different mattress traits and how they may interact with back pain.
The Two Basics of Beds
At their most basic, beds do two things: provide support and comfort.
Support comes from the core of the mattress, typically a sturdy foam layer or innersprings depending on the type of bed. A supportive mattress will have enough firmness to keep your spine aligned, meaning your heavier areas like hips and shoulders wont sink too far into the bed. On the other hand, it shouldnt be so firm that it forces hips and shoulders up at an awkward angle either.
Now, comfort is pretty easy to identify, but how do you know if a mattress is providing adequate support? Essentially, your spine should maintain an even, natural posture , with whichever sleep position you prefer.
The Comfilife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion Relieves Pressure On The Tailbone
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Seat cushions can help alleviate pressure off your tailbone and alleviate back pain. They can also “help maintain healthy curve in your lower spine,” provide more support, and “encourage an improved upright sitting posture,” according to Preston Brown, according to Preston Brown, DPT, owner of Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC.
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How We Rated Lumbar Support Pillows
4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best lumbar support pillows we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.
4.5 to 4.7 stars: These lumbar support pillows are excellentthey might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great lumbar support pillows, but others are better.
3.5 to 3.9 stars: These lumbar support pillows are just average.
3.4 and below: We don’t recommend lumbar support pillows with this rating you won’t find any on our list.
Sleep On Your Side With A Knee Pillow
Chances are you’ve slept on your side many times. Unfortunately, this sleeping position can take your spine out of its proper position and strain your back. The good news is there’s an easy fix. All you have to do is put a pillow between your knees so you can raise your upper leg and restore your natural alignment.
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Can You Wash Body Pillows
Most body pillows are machine washable, but due to their size, they may not fit in your home washing machine. If your body pillow is too big for your washer, take it to a laundromat. Alternatively, you can hand wash body pillows in a bathtub with mild detergent. Always read the care tag on the pillow, as some pillows cannot be immersed in water. Instead, you should spot-clean them to avoid damaging them.
We suggest washing body pillows once every three or four months. Use a removable cover to protect your pillow from stains, sweat, and debris and reduce the need for frequent washing.
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Best Overall Pillow For Back Sleepers
Parachute Down Pillow
The Parachute Down Pillow is made with European down for luxurious support.
With three densities including soft, medium, and firm you can pick the perfect pillow for your preferred sleeping style. For back sleepers, the medium-density pillow offers softness with a moderate amount of fluff to keep your spine properly aligned.
Hundreds of self-proclaimed back and side sleepers praise the pillows comfort and support in both positions.
This pillow comes with a 3-year warranty but no trial period. It can be dry cleaned or machine washed.
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Pillows Positioned The Long Way:
Sometimes placing pillows the long way helps keep the body in a less painful position. This is a good way to be slightly propped up for those who may have respiratory issues. Place the pillows all the way down under your shoulder blades and not just under your neck.
Pillows placed long ways with pillows under head, neck and shoulder blades.
On The Side With A Pillow Between The Knees
Lying on the side can be comfortable, but it can pull the spine out of alignment, straining the lower back.
It can be easy to correct this issue by placing a firm pillow between the knees. This raises the upper leg, restoring the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine.
To get comfortable in this position:
Anyone who usually moves from their side to their front may also want to try hugging a large pillow against their chest and stomach to help keep their back aligned.
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Do Be Mindful Of How You Get In And Out Of Bed
Jerking yourself out of bed quickly or getting in too fast can exacerbate lower back pain, so make sure youre careful about doing each:
When getting into bed, first sit down near the place where you want to sleep. Then, using your hands as support, bend your knees and slowly lie down on your side. Take care to keep your torso straight.
When getting out of bed, you basically want to do the opposite. Roll onto your side first towards the edge of the bed, bend your knees, then use your arms to help push yourself up and swing your legs over the side. This will help you keep from bending at your waist, which can engage your back.
Best Pillows For Back Neck And Shoulder Pain
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Remember a life before back pain? We didnt know how good we had it as kids. Now, when we sleep with our neck turned at the slightest wrong angle, suddenly we cant move for the next week without hurting ourselves. Its not like we can avoid sleeping, so finding a pillow that works with our sleeping style and our preferences is of the utmost importance.
Even if youve found the best mattress in the world, theres a good chance you wont know true comfort until youve purchased a pillow specifically targeting your type of pain whether its in your upper back, lower back, neck, shoulders or beyond. Were here to help you out with that. We searched around, studying research and quotes from experts until we found the best pillows for all types of back pain!
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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.
How Should You Sleep If You Have Lower Back Pain
If you’re facing lower back pain, you may find it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Believe it or not, the cause of your back pain may even be a poor sleeping position that places pressure on your back.
Fortunately, there are a number of sleeping positions that can do wonders for your sleep quality and improve or even completely get rid of your back pain. So without further ado, here are the best sleeping positions if you have lower back pain.
Whether You Have Back Neck Or Pregnancy Pain Your Sleep Posture Makes A Big Difference In How You Feel Each Morning
Good posture is a key to a healthy spine, but posture isnt just about sitting or standing straight. Your sleep posture also has a major impact on your back and neck. While some positions help you feel refreshed come morning, others can leave you stiff, sore, and in pain.
When it comes to finding the best sleeping pose for your back and neck, think neutral. Positions that put your spine in a neutral, or straight, alignment put the least amount of stress on your back and neck. Learn which positions put your spine in a neutral state and those that should be avoided below.
While some positions help you feel refreshed come morning, others can leave you stiff, sore, and in pain. Photo Source: LifetimeStock.