Can wedge pillows actually help with back pain?

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If you often aftermath up pinch aches and pains, it’s clip to rethink your slumber accessories, starting with pillows. Many group find wedge pillows — sometimes called a furniture wedge — useful. They typically beryllium nether your backmost to align your spine while elevating your head, but you tin besides usage them to mildly assistance your legs. 

Wedge pillows are peculiarly adjuvant for snorers and those who person acerb reflux, positive they make awesome pregnancy pillows for backmost sleepers, experts told us. They’re besides bully to support astatine location if you want thing to prop you up while reference (or scrolling) successful bed. We talked to experts astir nan benefits of wedge pillows and really to slumber pinch them. We besides rounded up a fistful of highly rated options to shop based connected their guidance.

SKIP AHEAD The champion wedge pillows to shop | What’s nan correct measurement to usage a wedge pillow?

How we picked nan champion wedge pillows

Wedge pillows somewhat alteration from marque to brand, but they’re each comparatively akin successful building and style since they person straightforward functions. To thief you constrictive down your options, experts urge keeping nan pursuing factors successful mind.

  • Firmness: Prioritize wedge pillows that person a patient consciousness complete soft aliases mean options, says Dr. Tom Oddo, a chiropractor astatine City Integrative Rehabilitation successful New York City. When you laic connected a wedge pillow, astir of your weight is concentrated astir nan mediate of it, truthful you want afloat support successful that area. If you consciousness for illustration you’re sinking into nan wedge pillow, that intends it’s apt causing your spine to crook into a C style alternatively of keeping it straight, frankincense putting unnecessary unit connected nan thoracic spine (the mediate area), he says.
  • Material: Overall, firmness is much important than worldly erstwhile it comes to wedge pillows, experts told us. Most models are made of immoderate type of foam. But if you’re a basking sleeper, look for options pinch features for illustration cooling gel aliases perforations.
  • Size: Make judge nan wedge pillow you bargain fits your body, says Oddo. If it’s excessively agelong aliases excessively narrow, for example, it won’t beryllium comfortable to slumber on. You’ll besides apt clasp yourself successful an unnatural position passim nan night, perchance starring to stiff muscles nan adjacent morning. Your wedge pillow should beryllium agelong capable to support you from nan apical of your caput to your waist, and wide capable for your torso to fresh comfortably, says Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, a licensed objective slumber scientist and adjunct professor astatine nan Yale School of Medicine.
  • Height: If you’re putting a wedge pillow nether your back, nan perfect tallness for nan tallest portion of it is astir 10 to 12 inches, says Schneeberg. This elevates you 30 degrees aliases so. Six to 10 inches is champion if you’re utilizing a wedge pillow to elevate your legs, experts told us.
  • Removable cover: Experts urge washing your pillowcases play sloppy of nan type of pillow you use. Doing truthful removes immoderate dirt, particulate and oils that transfers from your tegument to nan pillowcase’s fabric. Since wedge pillows are a very circumstantial shape, they’re incompatible pinch modular pillowcases and typically travel pinch soft covers. Make judge you tin easy region that screen to cleanable by manus aliases successful nan washing machine. 
  • Return policy: You mightiness person to effort a wedge pillow aliases 2 to find nan 1 you love, truthful look for options pinch elastic return policies.

The champion wedge pillows to shop

With experts’ guidance successful mind, we rounded up highly rated wedge pillows, arsenic good arsenic those from brands we’ve antecedently covered. The return policies for each of nan wedge pillows beneath alteration by retailer, truthful beryllium judge to publication nan good people earlier you make a purchase.

Best dual-sided wedge pillow: DMI

DMI Bed Wedge Pillow

DMI Bed Wedge Pillow

There are 2 sides to this wedge pillow: 1 is level and soft while nan different has an egg-crate texture. The level broadside of nan wedge pillow offers nan firmest level of support, while nan egg-crate broadside offers accrued airflow to support you cool, according to nan brand. The pillow’s screen is treated pinch a coating that repels liquids, protecting it from spills and moisture. You tin acquisition this wedge pillow successful 3 heights: 7 inches, 10 inches and 12 inches.

Rating: 4.1-star mean standing from 16,633 reviews connected Amazon | Size: 12 inches long, 12 inches wide | Height: 7 inches, 10 inches aliases 12 inches | Material: Foam | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable | Cover material: Microfiber

Best basal wedge pillow: Helix

Helix Wedge Pillow

Helix Wedge Pillow

Helix’s wedge pillow is 1 of nan astir basal options connected our list, making it awesome for those who want a simple, no-frills option. Its gel representation foam guidelines is hypoallergenic, according to nan brand, and you get a 100 nighttime slumber proceedings pinch your purchase.

Rating: 4.0-star mean standing from 425 reviews astatine Helix | Size: 24 inches long, 24 inches wide | Height: 10 inches | Pillow material: Gel representation foam | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable | Cover material: Rayon and polyester

Best extra-wide wedge pillow: Kölbs

Kӧlbs Bed Wedge Pillow

Kӧlbs Bed Wedge Pillow

This wedge pillow is nan widest retired of each nan options connected our database astatine 33 inches. You tin acquisition it successful 2 heights: 7.5 inches and 12 inches. It has a grey and achromatic cover, and besides comes successful modular width options.

Rating: 4.4-star mean standing from 19,373 reviews connected Amazon | Size: 31 inches long, 33 inches wide | Height: 7.5 inches aliases 12 inches | Material: Foam | Removable cover: Yes, machines-washable | Cover material: Jacquard

Best adjustable wedge pillow: Sleep Number

Sleep Number Adjustable Wedge Pillow

Sleep Number Adjustable Wedge Pillow

Sleep Number’s wedge pillow is nan only adjustable action connected our list, and you tin customize its tallness depending connected really you’re utilizing it. The pillow comes pinch 3 foam inserts: 1 is 4 inches gangly and nan others are each 2 inches tall. You tin usage nan inserts individually aliases stack them together, allowing you to set nan wedge pillow’s tallness to 2, 4, 6 aliases 8 inches tall.

Rating: 4.7-star mean standing from 1,677 reviews astatine Sleep Number | Size: 24 inches long, 20 inches wide | Height: Adjustable from 2 to 8 inches gangly | Material: Memory foam | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable | Cover material: Cotton

Best wedge pillow pinch pockets: Cozymaker

Cozymaker Bed Wedge Pillow

Cozymaker Bed Wedge Pillow

This wedge pillow’s screen has 2 built-in pockets, giving you a spot to shop slumber earplugs, your telephone aliases glasses. There’s besides a grippy worldly connected nan bottommost and backmost of nan screen to thief support nan pillow successful spot while you’re utilizing it. It comes shrink wrapped, truthful nan marque recommends giving nan pillow 48 hours to grow to its afloat size aft you return it retired of its packaging. You tin acquisition this wedge pillow successful 2 heights: 7.5 inches and 12 inches.

Rating: 4.5-star mean standing from 1,142 reviews connected Amazon | Size: 24 inches long, 24 inches wide | Height: 7.5 inches aliases 12 inches | Material: Memory foam | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable | Cover material: Bamboo cloth pinch mesh sides

Best portable wedge pillow: Forias

Forias Wedge Pillow

Forias Wedge Pillow

Foria’s wedge pillow is comparable to nan 1 supra — it besides has 2 pockets built into its screen and a slip-resistant base. However, this pillow’s screen is designed pinch a handle, making it easy for you to transportation to different parts of your location aliases region it from your bed. It comes successful aggregate colors for illustration grey and white.

Rating: 4.4-star mean standing from 3,278 reviews connected Amazon | Size: 25 inches long, 24 inches wide | Height: 12 inches | Material: Memory foam | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable | Cover material: Polyester

Best wedge pillow to elevate your legs: Milliard

Milliard Wedge Pillow

Milliard Wedge Pillow

Experts urge elevating your legs pinch a wedge pillow that’s betwixt 6 and 10 inches precocious — astatine 7.5 inches high, this wedge pillow lands correct successful nan mediate of that range. This wedge pillow comes compressed, truthful nan marque recommends fluffing it aft you unfastened it and giving it 48 hours to afloat expand. Its screen is patterned, adding immoderate magnitude to it.

Rating: 4.4-star mean standing from 7,374 reviews connected Amazon | Size: 27 inches long, 25 inches wide | Height: 7.5 inches | Material: Memory foam | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable | Cover material: Bamboo

Best cozy wedge pillow: Sleepnitez

Sleepnitez Bed Wedge

Sleepnitez Bed Wedge

Beyond nan screen that Sleepnitez’s wedge pillow comes with, you tin acquisition Egyptian fabric pillowcases for it separately successful dark gray and white.

Rating: 4.3-star mean standing from 3,437 reviews connected Amazon | Size: 27.2 inches long, 25.2 inches wide | Height: 8 inches | Material: Memory foam | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable | Cover material: Tencel

Best eco-friendly wedge pillow: Avocado Green Mattress 

Avocado Green Mattress Organic Latex Wedge Pillow

Avocado Green Mattress Organic Latex Wedge Pillow

Avocado makes 1 of our favourite eco-friendly mattresses, and nan marque offers a wedge pillow constructed from nan aforesaid integrated latex material. The pillow is GOLS-certified, meaning its full weight contains much than 95% of certified integrated earthy material, and you tin acquisition it successful 2 heights: 7 inches and 10 inches. In summation to nan screen this wedge pillow comes with, you tin acquisition additional pillow cases separately successful 2 colors: Natural and white.

Rating: 4.8-star mean standing from 45 reviews | Size: 24 inches long, 24 inches wide | Height: 7 inches aliases 10 inches | Pillow material: Organic latex | Removable cover: Yes, machine-washable and aerial barren | Cover material: Organic cotton

What’s nan correct measurement to usage a wedge pillow?

The astir communal measurement to usage a wedge pillow is to position it under your back. Place nan bottommost (the shorter end) against your tailbone and nan apical (the taller end) underneath your head, cervix and shoulders, says Oddo. Press nan apical of nan wedge firmly against your headboard aliases a wall down your bed, and remainder your caput arsenic adjacent to nan apical of it arsenic possible, says Schneeberg.

Here are nan different ways you tin usage a wedge pillow.Here are nan different ways you tin usage a wedge pillow.Olivia Ott / NBC News

There are 2 ways to usage a wedge pillow to elevate your legs, each of which addresses a different issue.

Lower backmost pain: While you’re sitting upright, putting a pillow nether nan backmost of your knees tin thief trim unit connected nan debased backmost and spine, says Colleen Louw, a beingness therapist and spokesperson for nan American Physical Therapy Association. You tin do this pinch a wedge pillow by placing nan apical of it nether your knees and letting your legs remainder down nan ramp, truthful to speak, truthful your feet onshore astatine nan bottom. For maximum support, immoderate group usage two wedge pillows astatine once — 1 nether nan backmost of their knees, and 1 nether their back.

Circulation:  Slightly elevating your feet uses gravity to promote humor travel from your legs toward your heart, which whitethorn beryllium adjuvant for those pinch circulation issues, says Oddo. You tin put a wedge pillow nether your feet truthful nan apical is nether your ankles and nan bottommost is adjacent to your seat. But beryllium observant not to elevate your feet excessively precocious — doing truthful whitethorn put excessively overmuch accent connected nan bosom astatine once, says Oddo. If you ain a wedge pillow whose tallest constituent is person to 12 inches, it’s amended to stack a furniture pillow aliases 2 to elevate your feet instead.


Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we activity pinch experts who person specialized knowledge and authority based connected applicable training and/or experience. We besides return steps to guarantee that each master proposal and recommendations are made independently and pinch nary undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Dr. Tom Oddo is simply a chiropractor astatine City Integrative Rehabilitation successful New York City. He is besides a certified ergonomics appraisal master and writer of “The Myth of nan Standing Desk.”
  • Dr. Christopher Winter is simply a neurologist and slumber master based successful Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s authored 2 books astir sleep: “The Rested Child” and “The Sleep Solution.” 
  • Lynelle Schneeberg is simply a licensed objective scientist and adjunct professor astatine nan Yale School of Medicine. She’s besides a chap astatine nan American Academy of Sleep Medicine and writer of “Become Your Child’s Sleep Coach: The Bedtime Doctor’s 5-Step Guide, Ages 3-10.”
  • Colleen Louw is simply a beingness therapist who specializes successful spinal attraction and chronic pain. She has complete 28 years of wide orthopedic objective believe acquisition and is simply a spokesperson for nan American Physical Therapy Association.
  • Dr. Andrew Varga is simply a neuroscientist and expert astatine nan Mount Sinai Integrative Sleep Center. He’s besides an subordinate professor of medicine astatine Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine who teaches astir pulmonary, captious attraction and slumber medicine. 

Why spot NBC Select?

Zoe Malin is an subordinate updates editor astatine NBC Select who covers sleep, including stories connected slippers, sleep masks and sunrise siren clocks. For this article, she interviewed 5 experts astir wedge pillows and rounded up highly rated options.

Catch up connected NBC Select’s in-depth sum of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and travel america connected Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to enactment up to date.

Zoe Malin

Zoe Malin is an subordinate updates editor for Select connected NBC News.