Almost everyone has had their fair share of neck and back pains. These pains are due to a couple of factors: different health conditions, overweight, and deskbound routines among others. One major culprit that hasn’t been included in the list, however, is your pillow. The wrong pillow can cause serious back pains or worsen existing conditions. You will be amazed at how much effect the right pillow will have on your comfort.
We understand that selecting the right pillow for you can be a tedious task; the options are literally endless. So, we have compiled the very best pillows for back pain, from the various options we could lay our hands on in the market. Furthermore, we made some useful notes on how pillows work, and how they can cause back pains. We also addressed the right choices of pillow for those looking to ease back discomforts. There is a lot of useful information in this piece, so read on!
The Best Pillows for Back Pain
The Best Adjustable Pillow For Back Pain - Pillow of Health
The Best Cervical Support Pillow For Neck and Back Pain – EPABO
The Best Spine Align Pillow - Dr. Loth
The Best Buckwheat Pillow For Back Pain - Hullo
The Best Down Alternative Pillow For Back Pain - Fine Pillow
The Best Lumbar Pillow For Back Pain - TruContour
The Best Pillow For Cervical Neck Traction - Arc4life
The Best Pillow For Back Pain Table
The Best Adjustable Pillow For Back Pain
The Best Cervical Support Pillow For Neck and Back Pain
The Best Spine Align Pillow
The Best Buckwheat Pillow For Back Pain
The Best Down Alternative Pillow For Back Pain
The Best Lumbar Pillow For Back Pain
The Best Pillow For Cervical Neck Traction
The Best Pillow For Back Pain Reviews
Pillow of Health - The Best Adjustable Pillow For Back Pain Review
Ratings: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Customer Satisfaction: 86%
Product Dimensions: 18 x 8 x 8 inches
Item Weight: 4 pounds
The first point of fascination in this pillow is the fact that it is customizable; you can easily adjust the setup to suit your comfort needs every sleep. It guarantees you of quality sleep at every time and setup, all thanks to the perfect combination of materials.
A Better Pillow in all ramifications
This pillow offers a moisture-wicking cover, alongside a soft inner liner of medical grade. The OptiAir Fiberfill is adjustable, and the Certi-Pur memory foam’s durability contributes to the overall quality of this pillow. It is ideal for people that snore or dealing with allergies, apnea neck and shoulder pain, orthopedic problems and similar sleep-related issues.
A very healthy choice
Again, this pillow offers total protection against harm. The CertiPur certified foam, covers, and liners are all medical grade, and comes with anti-microbial, dust mite, and hypoallergenic resistance.
More comfort from improved coolness
The unique design of this pillow makes it 40x cooler and 40x more breathable than its peers. It bounces back faster, packs a medical grade fill, highly resistant, doesn’t clump, and has a better memory.
Multiple firmness levels
The pillow can be switched from extra soft to soft, medium, firm, or extra firm by removing or adding OptiAir fill. There is no need to buy another OptiAir bag; you get a free extra piece when you buy this pillow.
You can wash and dry this pillow in machines, without losing its shape. There is a lifetime warranty, although limited, and a 30-day trial that is accessible at no cost.
Advantages:Offers extra durability and comfort
Fully adjustable and provides an excellent cooling effect
Minimizes snoring and eases neck and shoulder pains
Offers gentle therapeutic support for people who sleep on either the stomach, back, or sides
Disadvantages:A few reports of the pillow appearing lumpy
EPABO - The Best Cervical Support Pillow For Back Pain Review
Ratings: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Customer Satisfaction: 82%
Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 6.9 x 6.8 inches
Item Weight: 3.35 pounds
This pillow is particularly great for protecting the neck while sleeping. Known for its efficacy, the EPABO offers maximum relief from neck aches. It also offers maximum protection from nerve tension, courtesy of the outline that aligns easily with the shoulder, neck, and back. It works great with any sleeping position, and you can rest assured of efficient air movement, and ultimately a crisp and dry feel.
Do you have any allergic reactions? Do not worry; this pillow is safe for you – no triggers whatsoever. There is also a sturdy zipper and a net jacket to complement the comfort. Endeavor to take out the insides of this pillow before laundry, and avoid washing so that the pillow doesn’t get weakened. After laundry, dry the casing from inside out and when dried before returning it.
This pillow exudes a pleasant fragrance – it is safe and will stop coming after a while. Lastly, it may take a while before you get accustomed to using this product, considering that it is a “supple and foam.”
Advantages:It eases snoring and is safe for your environment
You can regulate to your taste
Extra comfort as a result of the pillow gripping your head firmly
Top quality and great customer support
You may need to air regularly to avoid unpleasant foam smell
Dr. Loth - The Best Spine Align Pillow Review
Price: Out of stock
Ratings: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Customer Satisfaction: 50%
Product Dimensions: 27 x 17 x 6 inches
This pillow was designed specially to help people that need spinal support. The creator of the pillow, Dr. Loth, is a chiropractor and the pillow was planned and designed for his clients. Users of this pillow are guaranteed of maximum and adjustable comfort coming from three different chambers. You will be amazed at the responsiveness and smoothness of the soft fiber and the shredded foam, and the zippered opening allows you to adjust the firmness level to your taste. The flexibility of this pillow is highly beneficial for back and side sleepers and can be adjusted to suit any body type.
This pillow is great for people suffering from a migraine, back and neck pains, and snorers. It is known to alleviate all symptoms once you can adjust it correctly.
Advantages:Eases back pain significantly, and may help in migraine and headache
It is fully adjustable
Disadvantages:Getting used to this pillow may take some time
Not suitable for stomach sleepers
Hullo - The Best Buckwheat Pillow For Back Pain Review
Ratings: 3.9 out of 5 stars
Customer Satisfaction: 84%
Product Dimensions: 14 x 20 x 3 inches
Item Weight: 4 pounds
Asians are the biggest users of Buckwheat pillows – they have used them for several centuries. They believe the pillows offer excellent support for the body and mind. And this, according to the Eastern beliefs, contributes to the overall health of the users. Alongside a gentle compression, the Buckwheat pillow offers easy contouring, springy feel, and a firm, customizable support for users. The pillow holds your head in the right position, and alleviate tensions by working on the pressure points. It also comes handy when trying to alleviate pain, headaches, and reduces snoring.
This pillow is great for all sleeping positions, considering that it is adjustable. However, you may need to put in some time and efforts to get used to the pillow and the new sleep experience it offers.
Disadvantages:It is heavy
You will need time to adjust to the noise and feel
Fine Pillow - The Best Down Alternative Pillow For Back Pain Review
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Customer Satisfaction: 87%
Product Dimensions: 28 x 20 x 6.5 inches
This microfiber-made pillow comes in various firmness of levels, so endeavor to know the level of firmness that works best for you before making a purchase. If you wish, you can fluff up the microfibers to make the pillow more comfortable. The pillow also adapts automatically to the shape of your neck and shoulders, thus offering excellent support.
Airing is not required before or during use, and you can easily wash whenever you want. The breathable material comes handy for people who overheats in the night by wicking away the heat while leaving the user cool all night. So, if you are living in a hot climate, or finds it hard to sleep due to overheating, get yourself this pillow.
Advantages:Adjusts automatically to the user’s shape
It doesn’t give away any unpleasant odor
Washable and dryable
Disadvantages:Users complained that it flattens too quickly
TruContour - The Best Lumbar Pillow For Back Pain Review
Ratings: 4.1 out of 5 stars
Customer Satisfaction: 77%
Product Dimensions: 17 x 8 x 2 inches
Item Weight: 7 ounces
Everyone that values their back will find the TruContour Lumbar Pillow for Sleeping Back Pain a worthy buy. This pillow offers great extra lumbar support when placed under the lower back, in addition to aiding a neutral spine. Using a medical grade memory foam, the TruContour Lumbar Pillow helps people suffering back pain to achieve a better posture irrespective of whether they sleep on their back, stomach, or sides.
What set this pillow apart from other back pain soothing pillows is its versatility. It offers varying levels of firmness and support potions – you can get either light or super support. Sleepers can adjust the thickness to suit their shapes and sizes. There is also an additional soft velour cover situated in a breathable lining, which prevents the pillow from getting too hot.
Lastly, you can wash this pillow in a machine, and the dust mite resistance is another added advantage. You are free to return the pillow and as for a refund if not satisfied after purchase.
Offers multiple levels of thickness
Offers hypoallergenic and allergen resistance
100% money back guarantee
Disadvantages:The possibility of losing shape after extended use
Arc4life - The Best Pillow For Cervical Neck Traction Review
Ratings: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Customer Satisfaction: 94%
Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 3 inches
Item Weight: 2.3 pounds
There is a close link between back pain and neck soreness, so an ideal pillow must be effective against both. With the Arc4life Traction Pillow, you are guaranteed of a pillow that works in all postures, while relieving pinched nerves and herniated disks (no other pillow does this).
The shape of this pillow allows it to relieve back pain effectively. The base of the pillow forms a deep ‘V’ that cradles the neck while supporting the neck through its soft immobilization in traction. It also aligns the spine with the proper curve of the neck, thus giving a better sleep posture and adequate stretching of the neck muscles.
The firmness offered by the Arc4life Cervical Neck Traction Pillow is neither too soft nor too hard – some sort of medium firmness. However, there are two levels of support: firmer traction side and soft neck roll side. You can switch between the two levels by flipping the pillow.
Offers comfort and alleviates back and neck pain significantly
Comes in a smart design
The break-in period is fast
Excellent customer service
Few customers reported malfunctioning
What are the Causes of Back Pain?
According to a recent survey, a significant percentage of the adult population (80%) is bound to experience various types of back pains in the course of their lives. The effects of back pains are more pronounced in some adults than in others.
Back pain refers to any shooting, stabbing pain or muscle ache that is usually found in the lower back or down either leg. Back pains may also manifest in people experiencing sensations of pain while sleeping, walking, lifting, standing, or sitting.
The spine is the first port of call for physicians trying to locate the source of a patient’s back pain.
The spine gets compressed and contorted in ways that affect the health of the spinal alignment, and which ultimately causes serious back pain. The main culprits include office chairs, inadequate mattresses, and bad posture. You can only avoid back pain when your neutral spine is well supported to assume a good posture while sleeping or standing and sitting.
People feel back pains at varying levels and ways, so there may be other contributory factors apart from a poor spinal alignment in people.
Several medical conditions may lead to back pains, from endometriosis to arthritis, kidney stones, certain cancer forms, fractures, scoliosis, pregnancy, spinal stenosis, and sprains among others. Fortunately, symptoms of back pain can be easily alleviated with home remedies, improved self-care, and stretching. Chronic back pain sufferers may need more than stretching and home remedies; only a restorative night of comfortable sleep will be effective in such cases.
Here is How Back Pain Affects Your Sleep
Sufferers of chronic back pain hardly get quality sleep due to their pans. Most people suffering from severe low back pains (LBP) commonly report sleep disturbances. Likewise, adults who tend to miss out on adequate rest are most likely to develop chronic pains. So, we can say that the more pain the body experiences while trying to sleep, the lower the chances of the body getting quality rest. This means that sufferers of chronic pain have always experienced the pain, considering that it disturbs their sleep, over and over again.
Common Forms of Back Pains
Lower Back Pain (LBP)
Everybody, irrespective of age, is susceptible to LBP. It is usually linked with the waves of pain felt in the lumbar region of the body, extending from the lower rib cage to the hips.
Night Time Back Pain
Most people suffering from back pains can ease the symptoms by adjusting some aspects of their lifestyle, routine, and posture. Nocturnal back pain, however, remains persistent even when the sufferers take proactive measures towards its alleviation. Any pain that stays even while sleeping and which worsens the symptoms of sleep disruption can be called a Nocturnal Back Pain.
Conditions linked to nocturnal back pain
Although a medical condition, nocturnal back pain is always associated with symptoms of other conditions. The medical conditions that fall into this category include pregnancy, spinal tumors, herniated disks, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, and scoliosis. Others are Ankylosing Spondylitis, different forms of cancer, gallbladder disease, obesity, prostatitis, and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.
There are several medications and remedies for all back pain-related conditions, although only a few addresses the sleep disturbances caused by nocturnal back pain. Fortunately, back pain can be effectively addressed through certain sleep practices, which facilitates healthy restorative sleep.
How do you relieve nocturnal back pain?
For people whose level of back pain now necessitates a change in their sleeping habits, it is highly advisable to go for a new bed. There are special beds designed to alleviate symptoms of back pain, and getting one should be the first step. Some of the properties of such beds include;
- Adjustable Frame, which allows the user to sleep prone, recline, or raise the legs and knees.
- Supportive Mattress, which is specially designed to offer additional support for the spine and pressure point relief.
- Pain Relief Pillow, which works by supporting the neck, and thus displacing the weight of the head, while aligning the spine properly.
Considering that back pain doesn’t affect everyone the same way and that everyone sleeps differently, it is essential to understand what works best for you before proceeding to buy a new bed set.
Look at your Sleep Posture
Your body assumes a certain position when falling asleep: sleep posture. You should pay attention to this as it is one of the most significant sleep preferences to watch out for when buying a bed. It determines the type of mattress and pillow that will work best in easing your back pain symptoms. There are three possible sleep postures for every human: back, side, and stomach.
Look at sleep disorders, injuries, and conditions
Other conditions cause sleep disturbances apart from nocturnal back pain, even though it is a sleeping disorder. Consider sleeping disorders alongside injuries or medical conditions you have before getting a mattress or pillow to ease your back pains. Doing otherwise puts you at the risk of getting the wrong combination of mattress and pillow, which may not offer any help towards your back pains.
Many people suffering from chronic back pain can benefit greatly from buying an adjustable frame and mattress. However, the more important part of a full bed set designed for alleviating back pain symptoms remains the pillow.
How You Can Reduce Your Back Pains by Using the Right Pillow
What a pillow ordinarily does is to hold your head and the rest of your spine at the same height. So, a pillow that is either too thick or flat will only put your head far above or too far below your chest, leading to the wrong alignment of your spine. In such situations, you will feel aches and pains in every part of your body, but more pronounced in your back and neck.
You shouldn’t use a big squishy pile of pillows too – they will end up positioning your head far too high. You will be better off with just one quality pillow that is designed to help people suffering from back pains, except when you can ease your back pains by using a pillow in other parts of the body apart from the head.
Consider an individual that sleeps with an extra pillow under their lower back or knees to get some additional support for their spine. Such an individual may use two pillows without any adverse effect. Likewise, an individual with an existing condition like arthritis, or bulging disc, can benefit significantly from using a suitable pillow. In this situation, the pillow is not the culprit, but the right pillow will help such a person realign their spine and thus ease the discomfort they experience during the night.
So, it suffices to say that getting your bedding right is crucial to managing your back pain in the long and short runs, and in the right way.
Sleeping on Your Back – Advantages, and Disadvantages
There are two sides to every sleep positions – the good and the bad sides. However, sleeping on the back is regarded far and wide as the best position health-wise. People who sleep on their back complements the work of their mattress in supporting and aligning their spine correctly. This position ensures the alignment of the head, neck, and spine in a neutral position.
Another benefit of sleeping on your back is the improved blood flow that comes with it, as well as the significant reduction of the aches and pains that come with waking the following morning. You also become resistant to wrinkles, considering that your face is towards the ceiling instead of burying it in your pillow.
The disadvantage of sleeping on your back
When you sleep on your back, you increase your chances of snoring or experiencing sleep apnea, considering that your tongue will be blocking the airway, and thus making breathing slightly difficult.
Whether you are sleeping on your back, or you adopt any other sleeping position, the pillow you use goes a long way in determining the quality of sleep you get. So, the most common recommendation by a specialist is a firmer, taller pillow for people that sleep on the back, since it supports the head and neck, and thus reduces snoring. Nevertheless, there are various levels of firmness that suit each back sleeper, and the compatible level will depend on the head shape, weight, and several other factors.
How to Buy the Best Pillow for Back Pain Relief
Having understood how your pillow affects back pain and vice versa, the next is how to go for the right pillow that eases your back problems. This particular part of the journey is usually tricky, considering the plethora of options the market presents, each with distinct features and specifications.
Although most pillows claim to ease back or neck pains, it goes beyond just the claims. And you necessarily do not have to spend more to buy a pillow that will help your back troubles. Yes, we have several expensive brands out there, but there are also pillows that can help with your back pain even when they are not specifically designed for such purposes. Again, you can get quality support for your back from excellent home-brand and budget pillows out there.
So, the right question is: “How do you choose the right product for you?” In answering this question, we have highlighted some important features to watch out for when in the market for a pillow.
Getting a pillow with firm support would be the best option. However, comfort is also very crucial. And if you think you can adopt unnatural positions to make up for the uncomfortable pillow, you will only complicate your back pains. So, it is essential that you find a balance between support and comfort.
It is best that your pillow offers you the best support, just like your mattress offers you maximum support. So, ensure that you are settling a pillow that can offer the kind of firmness that will keep your ahead afloat rather than sinking in. This will help your spine to attain and maintain a neutral position, and thus ease your back pain.
Consider a curve
You can still support your spine without a curved pillow. However, the feature is an added advantage. Some pillows are specially-shaped to help your neck maintain an ideal position, and ultimately attain the right spinal alignment.
You do not have to break the bank to get the right pillow. Set a suitable budget and look for the best pillow that costs around that price.
Several additional features can be found in some pillows, including special complimentary cases, and adjustable firmness among others. You should check these out before making a choice.
Other Pillow Considerations
Although there are differences in the preferences and needs of every sleeper as per the pillow, there are certain elements that should be considered when shopping for a pillow for a back sleeper. Such elements are discussed below:
Loft or Height
This is a vital point a back sleeper must consider when buying a pillow. This sleep position works best with a medium- or high-loft pillow, because it offers adequate support to the spine, neck, and the head. If a pillow is too high, it can distort the neck’s natural curvature, and a pillow that is too low may lead to the exaggeration of the neck’s curvature. Selecting the proper loft may depend on the width of your shoulder, weight, and head size. If you want to find out if your pillow offers the right loft, try lying down while another person assesses your position or takes your photo in such position. The right loft should keep your spine in a neutral alignment, i.e., in a straight, horizontal line. Anything contrary indicates that your pillow is not of the correct loft.
Support and Firmness
The alignment of a back sleeper’s spine also depends on how much firmness and to support their pillow can offer. A pillow that offers adequate support that keeps your head from dropping backward will be the best choice here. However, it is important that your pillow can conform or adapt to space beneath your neck.
Shape and Size
There are various sizes and shapes of the pillow; what you go for most times depend on your personal preference. There are pillows with a curved shape, and which aligns your head with your back. These are the contour pillows and are usually great for back sleepers.
A pillow that offers adequate firmness and enough support to elevate the head and neck is the ideal pillow for a back sleeper. However, not all pillows have the right material that can offer this configuration. Below, we have identified the popular pillow materials and how they influence the back sleeper position.
Both natural and synthetic latex is great for back sleepers. They are usually durable and supportive and tends to keep the original shape while supporting the head and neck adequately. The material also offers significant coolness to prevent overheating during the night.
These adaptive materials are known for their ease of conforming to heat and pressure. So, a foam pillow, either cervical or contour, works great for back sleepers. Such a pillow may not be suitable for a user that sleeps hot, considering that the material traps heat.
Shredded memory foam
You will get almost all the benefits offered by a conventional memory foam from the shredded memory foam. However, the latter offers two additional advantages that are not available in the former: adjustability, i.e. the freedom to adjust the loft and firmness by removing some materials, and improved airflow that prevents overheating, courtesy of the shredded design.
Buckwheat husks are the primary material in buckwheat pillows. They are great for back sleepers because they offer adequate firmness and support, alongside an adjustable loft that can be set to your preferred height.
The soft inner feathers found on the belly of ducks and geese constitute the primary materials of down pillows. These pillows are usually soft and of high loft, thus allowing the head of the user to sink into the surface. Down pillows may not be the best for back sleepers because they may not offer adequate support for the head and neck due to their softness.
The materials that make up the feather pillows are the sturdier, outer feathers of geese and ducks. The softness here isn’t as pronounced as in down pillows. Thus they offer extra firmness and support that is adequate for back sleepers.
These pillows are made from polyester puffs, and thus offer almost the same feel as feather pillows. However, they are poor choices for back sleepers due to their poor durability, which means they tend to flatten after prolonged use. Likewise, the poor durability means a back sleeper will not get the right support for their neck and head.
Which is Right; Sleeping With or Without a Pillow?
This question is a bit tricky. According to science, you may get a better spinal alignment when you sleep without a pillow, considering that your back tends to extend in such a position. This means that sleeping without a pillow may alleviate your back pain.
Nevertheless, we have people who cannot just sleep without a pillow, because they feel very uncomfortable. And what is a good night’s sleep without comfort? So, it depends on your preference, if you can sleep fine without a pillow, you may not use one, if not, never sleep without your pillow.
No one deserves to live with a chronic back pain either in a long or short run. So, irrespective of the level of your back pain, it is always advisable that you visit a specialist, especially if it is resulting in poor sleep. Prolonged poor sleep will lead to poor overall health. You can also relieve some of your symptoms by taking the steps suggested in the previous parts of the piece.
You have the freedom to choose sleep products that help you get a quality night rest, including your pillow. So, go for a pillow that is right for your cervical spine, and which gives you a better posture. Your pillow must be compatible with your sleep position and preference; it is only then that you can enjoy the quality rest that you deserve.
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