When you get right down to it, there isn’t too much in life that is more important than a good night’s sleep. If you can get enough sleep each night, you wake up ready for a new day. On the other hand, if you are having trouble sleeping at night, you will feel lethargic all day long, especially if you have to deal with back pain because your spine isn’t correctly aligned. Thankfully, for most people, this can be quickly remedied. All you need to do is get the best pillow for back pain, and you can start resting easy.
Of course, you can’t just pick any pillow to solve this issue. Instead, you need to consider several key factors, such as the shape of the pillow and the type of sleeper you are. Think about the firmness of the pillow, and the material it is made out of, as well as the cover’s material too.
Top 6 Pillows for Back Pain Review 2019
Thankfully, we have done all of that hard work for you. We have spent tens of hours reading through hundreds of user reviews to make a comprehensive list of the best pillows for back pain on the market today. We also took the time to put together in-depth reviews of these fantastic pillows, so that you can pick the one that works best for your needs. If you are still not sure what to look for in a pillow for back pain, you can read through our detailed buying guide, which will tell you everything you need to know to find the perfect one.
Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow Editor’s Choice
- Pillow shape: contoured with a ‘built-in’ neck roll cushion
- Filling material: combination of various cotton and wood pulp fibers
- Sleep positions: back and side
- Firmness: adjustable (from soft to medium)
- Cover material: 100% cotton
- Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee
More features: provides optimal cervical support; dual zipper design provides full access to pillow filling
This pillow from Nature’s Guest is probably the best option for back pain sufferers available on the market today. One of the most significant issues with foam-filled pillows is the chemical smell that they give off. This sharp odor can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, all while giving you a headache and making sleeping an uncomfortable experience. If you have a sensitive sense of smell, then you might want to check this pillow out. Unlike its competitors, it uses 100% natural materials for its filling, exterior, and cover, all while providing plenty of support throughout the night.
This pillow is specifically designed for back and side sleepers. It has a contoured area that is meant to cradle your head so that you can rest comfortably. With this pillow, you are also able to adjust the firmness as needed by moving, removing, or adding stuffing to fit your needs. It must be said, however, that this pillow is not very firm, to begin with, so if you do remove any stuffing, it might become too soft to provide the kind of support you need while you sleep.
Since this pillow is made with 100% natural materials, it is extremely breathable. This makes it one of the most cooling pillows on the market today. The cotton cover that it comes with is also extremely breathable, though the zippers could stand to be a bit larger and more durable. Be sure that you take the time to gently zip and unzip the cover. That way, they won’t break on you while you are trying to adjust the fill.
- Natural materials
- No chemical smell
- Adjustable firmness levels
- Breathable for cooler sleeping
- Flimsy zippers
- Pillow shape: orthopedic contour
- Filling material: memory foam
- Sleep positions: adjustable for all
- Firmness: medium
- Cover material: 40% bamboo fiber
- Warranty: 5-year limited
More features: made from UTTU DYNAMIC® FOAM, which never becomes hard in winter
If you are in the market for an effective pillow for back pain, then this just might be the right model for you. For starters, it is excellent for pretty much any sleep position. It doesn’t matter if you are a side, back, or front sleeper, you will be able to adjust this pillow to fit your position. This is because this model has been designed to have different amounts of loft throughout its surface. This allows you to rotate it and get a different level of support depending on your sleep position.
It is also made out of medium density memory foam, which will contour to your head and neck during the night to make sure that you have the right amount of support. As is the case with lots of memory foam pillows, this one gets pretty warm during the night if you don’t have the right kind of cover on it. Thankfully, the cover that it comes with is 40% bamboo fiber, which is nice and breathable, easy to clean, and very durable.
Another big factor in this pillow’s design is that it is made with UTTU DYNAMIC® FOAM. This fantastic foam allows the pillow to retain the proper amount of firmness, no matter the temperature. Lots of other memory foam pillows will become extremely hard in the colder months. Thankfully, you will not ever have to worry about this happening should you choose this pillow. Just make sure that you air it out for a bit once you get it home so that the chemical odor can go away, and this pillow will be able to help alleviate your back pain.
- Good for multiple sleep positions
- Durable memory foam
- Hypoallergenic cover
- Stays soft in all weather
- Long warranty
- Gets hot
- Chemical smell
- Pillow shape: body pillow
- Filling material: shredded memory foam
- Sleep positions: side and stomach
- Firmness: soft
- Cover material: 3% viscose of bamboo, 56.4% polyester, 0.6% lycra
- Warranty: 20-year limited; 120-night sleep trial
More features: fully machine washable; dust mite resistant
One of the best ways to help alleviate your back pain is to try to sleep on your back. Of course, this isn’t always possible for everyone. If you are someone who has to sleep on their back or side, then you might want to try out a body pillow. It is large enough that you will be able to use it between your legs and for your head, which will help keep your head, neck, and spine aligned adequately so that you can sleep without having to deal with any back pain.
This pillow is designed to be extremely supportive and soft. While this is not a big deal for a taller person, if you are on the smaller side, you might not be able to use this pillow correctly without causing strain to your other joints. This is also a very heavy pillow, so if you do choose to purchase it, you’ll probably want to just keep it at home, rather than taking it with you on any trips. Many buyers use it as a maternity pillow since it gives the proper support to the pregnant women when they sleep on their sides.
Unlike lots of other specialized pillows, this body pillow is extremely easy to clean. You can actually wash the entire pillow, which is a big time saver. The cover is also super durable and easy to clean, making this one of the simplest pillows maintain. It should last you a good long time, but if it doesn’t, don’t worry! This pillow comes with a 20-year warranty, which is the best on the market. It also comes with a 120-night trial period, so you can make sure that you like it before you have to keep it.
- Long warranty
- Sleep trial period
- Whole body support
- Easy to maintain
- Durable cover
- Very thick; might not work for smaller individuals
- Very heavy
- Pillow shape: U-shaped body pillow
- Filling material: shredded foam
- Sleep positions: side
- Firmness: soft
- Cover material: removable cotton cover
- Warranty: 90-day money back guarantee
More features: the filling can be added or taken away for firmness adjustment (extra filling not included)
One of the toughest positions to find the right amount of support for is sleeping on your side. While there are lots of pillows out there designed specifically for back sleepers, side sleepers have a tougher time finding a pillow that works for them. That is why this pillow, which is designed for pregnant women, is such a great option. It provides whole body support so that you can make sure you have proper alignment while you are sleeping.
The only real issue with this pillow is how large it is. If you have a smaller sized bed, then you might have a tough time fitting you and this pillow in comfortably. This will especially the case if you share your bed with someone else, so be sure to take the dimensions of your bed into account before you make your final decision. Of course, it might be well worth it, since it will allow you to have support between your legs, at your back, and for your head and neck all at the same time.
Another nice feature of this pillow is that you can adjust the firmness. All you have to do is move the stuffing around inside the pillow from the areas that need less support to the areas that need it more. This will allow you to get a customized amount of support for your whole body, which is a great way to get a great night’s sleep. Of course, you will have to readjust the stuffing to your liking occasionally, but this isn’t that big of a deal.
- Provides whole body support
- Adjustable firmness
- Suitable for pregnant women
- Takes up a lot of space
- Stuffing needs to be readjusted before each use
- Pillow shape: wedge
- Filling material: memory foam + polyurethane foam
- Sleep positions: back
- Firmness: firm
- Cover material: 100% polyester
- Warranty: 2-year limited
More features: also suitable for legs and feet
This is perhaps the most versatile pillow on the list. While it certainly can be used to help alleviate back pain at night, it can also serve as a cushion for your feet or legs during the day. Its wedge design makes it a perfect companion on the sofa or the floor to provide any extra support you might need to alleviate any pain on your joints while you work or lounge around the house.
As far as helping with back pain, this pillow is designed for back sleepers only. The wedge shape helps provide the necessary lift so that you can make sure that your back, neck, and head are all in a straight line. This will in turn help to take all the pressure off of your back so that you can sleep comfortably and wake up pain-free.
It must be said, however, that this is an extremely firm pillow. As such, it might be uncomfortable for some sleepers, especially smaller individuals who won’t be able to compress the pillow appropriately. On the other hand, if you are a larger person, this firmness will probably work out quite well, since you will have the weight necessary to sink into such a firm pillow.
While the pillow and cover are both quite durably built, the zipper is a bit flimsy. When you go to take the cover off, you need to be careful. Otherwise, you might end up ruining the cover.
- Very supportive
- Suitable for upper body, legs, and feet
- Easy to clean cover
- Durable cover
- Flimsy zipper
- Might be too firm for some users
- Pillow shape: traditional
- Filling material: shredded gel memory foam
- Sleep positions: back
- Firmness: adjustable
- Cover material: 100% rayon cotton
- Warranty: 3-year limited
More features: 2 zippers decorative case design, inner zipper liner holds the stuffing
If you are looking for a little bit of extra support for your back during the night, then this standard pillow just might do the trick, especially if you are a back sleeper. While the company that makes these pillows claims that they can be used for any sleep position, they are better suited to use on your back only. The gentle slope on the sides and moderate incline make this a perfect pillow for a slight adjustment but might not work all that well if you are laying on your side or front.
This particular pillow is filled with shredded gel memory foam. As you would expect from a memory foam pillow, this model is nice and supportive. What is really nice about it, however, is that, unlike other memory foam pillows, this model will keep you nice and cool all night long. This is thanks to the gel type of memory foam used in its filling, which is designed to help regulate the temperature of the pillow throughout the night, which will keep you comfy.
Since this pillow is filled with memory foam that has been shredded up, you can adjust the firmness levels throughout the pillow. You can do this by either rearranging the foam, removing it or putting more inside the pillow. You will have to make sure that you adjust the pillow regularly, or the foam will tend to move away from your needed support areas. This doesn’t take a ton of time, however, and will be worth the extra time in the end.
- Supportive memory foam
- Keeps cool
- Adjustable firmness
- Doesn’t keep shape well
- Only works well for back sleepers
What causes back pain and how a pillow might help?
There are a couple of different factors that could be causing your back pain during the night. The most common problem and the one that a pillow will help with the most is that your spine is not properly aligned while you sleep. While you sleep, your head, neck, and spine should be in a straight line. If one of these sections is out of line, it can cause irritation or, in this case, back pain.
By purchasing a corrective pillow, you will be able to properly align your head, neck, and spine, so that you don’t suffer from any back pain. The type of pillow that you choose will depend on what type of a sleeper you are. Back sleepers, side sleepers, and front sleepers all have different needs when it comes to proper alignment of their spine, neck, and head.
Features to consider while choosing a pillow for back pain
As you can imagine, there are plenty of different factors that come into play when you are looking for the best pillow for back and neck pain. In this section, we will review all of the most important information so that you can make an informed decision on the pillow that will work best for you.
There are lots of different pillow shapes that you can choose from in order to solve your back pain. Each of the pillow types focuses on a different type of sleeper, so you need to be sure to find the one that best fits your sleeping style.
- Standard – If you were to close your eyes and imagine a pillow, a standard pillow is what you are probably going to picture. These pillows are great for back sleepers since their high loft in the middle helps to align the head with the spine properly.
- Wedge –Wedge pillows are good for back sleepers. These pillows start small and gradually get higher. This allows you to select the right amount of loft for your needs.
- Contour – Contour pillows start high on their sides and then sink in the middle. This makes them an excellent option for back and side sleepers.
- Orthopedic – These versatile pillows have varying degrees of loft throughout. They can be adjusted to fit pretty much any type of sleep position, which makes them great for people who like to move while they sleep.
- Body – Body pillows are just oversized standard pillows. They are great for stomach and side sleepers because you can use them between your legs as well as for your head.
- U-shaped Body – These specially designed pillows are perfect for anyone that needs to sleep on their side, such as pregnant women. They allow the sleeper to be supported all around their body, from their legs and head to their back as well.
Pillow manufacturers utilize a variety of materials in their products to create different levels of firmness. They are usually some type of foam, but can also be made out of natural materials, such as Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow, which is made out of wood pulp and cotton. These natural material pillows are great for anyone with allergies.
If you go with a foam pillow, then you can either get a pillow with a solid filling or shredded one. If you need lots of support, then you should go with a solid memory foam pillow, like the UTTU Sandwich Pillow. These sturdy pillows give lots of support without crashing down too much.
If, however, you like a softer pillow, then shredded foam might be the way to go. These pillows will give a minimum amount of backing but might be just right for someone who is just looking for a little more support.
One of the most significant determining factors in selecting a pillow is your sleep position. The last thing that you want to do is pick a pillow that doesn’t work for how you sleep. This could end up causing more problems instead of solving them, so be careful to figure out which pillow best suits your sleeping style.
The best possible sleep position when it comes to back pain is your back. This position allows your head, neck, and spine to align properly so that you can go pain-free throughout the night and the next day. This position is the easiest to find a pillow to support it since it is the most common. If, however, you are a side or stomach sleeper, you will need to be more particular with the pillow that you select since it will need to support your shoulders as well as your head.
Another big factor that you need to take into account when you are looking for a pillow is how firm it needs to be. The firmness of the pillow should be based on your personal preference and your sleeping position.
The cover material is completely up to your personal preferences. Pillow covers, by design, are relatively thin, so you won’t be able to count on them for any additional support. That means that you can base your cover material choice on what you are most comfortable with. Cotton is by far the most common material thanks in part due to its breathable nature. You could also go for a more hypoallergenic option, such as a cover that is derived from bamboo. These covers are usually more expensive, but they are also extremely durable.
Even the very best pillow is going to break down over time. The best pillows for back pain can be quite expensive too. That is why it only makes sense to look for a good warranty. This will help to protect your investment and replace your pillow if something should happen to it early on.
There are several different features that, while not essential, can make a good pillow into a great pillow. For instance, having a pillow that is completely machine washable is a good idea. In this case, your pillow is going to last that much longer, while the cover will keep it feeling better when you lay on it.
Secondly, it might not be a bad plan to look for a pillow that allows you to add or remove filling based on your firmness needs. This will make it possible for you to get a customized firmness, which in turn will help to relieve any back pain you might be experiencing during the night.
Sciatica is one of the trickiest, and painful, problems to deal with for anyone. This is especially true at night. Pregnancy pillows have been found to help alleviate this type of pain because they provide maximum support to your lower back, hips, and legs. These pillows also allow you to lay on your side rather than your back, which is another big factor in limiting the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
In much the same way, a pregnancy pillow can help to alleviate the scoliosis pain. Since the curvature of your spine causes this problem, any extra support you can give to your back is going to be a huge benefit, which is exactly what a pregnancy pillow provides.
The very best sleeping position to reduce back pain is to sleep on your back. This allows your head, neck, and spine to be perfectly aligned, which will help to minimize any pain you experience.
The next best position for back pain is on your side, as long as you have the correct pillow. It might be a good idea to put some sort of support between your legs as well. Sleeping on your stomach is the worst for back pain, though with the correct pillow you should still be able to make this position work for you.
The firmness of your pillow comes down to your sleeping position. Back sleepers need firmer pillows, while side and front sleepers should use softer models.
Aside from your pillow, the best thing that you can do to help reduce the amount of back pain that you experience is to get the right mattress. Mattresses that are medium firm to firm have been shown to alleviate back pain the best, so be sure that you have a mattress has the right amount of firmness.
If you are serious about getting the best pillow for back pain, then we highly recommend that you try out the Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow. Its contoured design suits side and back sleepers best while the filling can be added or removed to fit your particular firmness preferences.
Our second choice is the UTTU Sandwich Pillow. It is designed to be used in any sleeping position and is made with extremely supportive memory foam. If you are serious about eliminating your back and neck pain, then this is the pillow to try out.
Side sleepers always need a bit more support than other sleepers to make sure that they are in a position that will eliminate back pain. The Snuggle-Pedic Full Size Body Pillow will allow you to support your legs, neck, and head during the night so that you can rest comfortably.