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- Best rated pillow for back sleepers: Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow
- Best pillow for back and stomach sleepers: Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow
- Best down pillow for back sleepers: Riley Home White Down Pillow
- Best firm pillow with neck support for back sleepers: Core Products D-Core Cervical Support Pillow
- Best wedge pillow for back sleepers: Helix Wedge Pillow
- Best memory foam pillow for back sleepers: WonderSleep Premium Adjustable Loft Pillows
- Best medium-firm pillow for back sleepers: Parachute Down Pillow
Remember when you were a kid, and any old pillow would do? Unfortunately, as we get older, our bodies become a bit pickier about the type of pillow we need for a good night’s rest.
In many cases, as you age, your sleep position determines the type of pillow that’s most comfortable and supportive. And if you’re a back sleeper, you need a pillow that allows for proper spine alignment, comfort, and adequate support for your head and neck.
If you’re not sure what type of pillow works best for you, we’ve rounded up seven of the best pillows for back sleepers to help you in your quest to find the right one.
To find the best pillows for back sleepers, we took into account:
- specific features such as firmness, loft, adjustability, and quality of materials
- recommendations from an expert who treats people with neck and back pain and who often recommends pillows for their patients based on sleep position
- user reviews and customer feedback
- how easy each pillow is to clean (both the cover and the pillow itself)
Pillow prices vary by fill and brand. Most pillows come in standard, queen, and king sizes. We based our pricing guide on a standard pillow size.
- $ = under $60
- $$ = $60–$80
- $$$ = over $80
Best rated pillow for back sleepers
Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow
- Price point: $$
- Fill: memory foam
Key features: It’s affordable, adjustable, and has an abundance of positive reviews from customers — just a few reasons why we consider Coop Home Goods to be the best-rated pillow for back sleepers.
This pillow seems to work well for anyone who’s looking for a balance of soft and firm, with enough support to encourage proper posture. Plus, since it’s fully adjustable, you’re in control of the loft and height. Simply add or remove the foam to determine what works best for you.
This top pick is hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant. And it comes with a 100-night guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, contact customer service for a full refund, no questions asked.
Considerations: Some customers report that the pillow sleeps hot. Also, you may want to let it sit out for a while before tossing it on your bed. This pillow can have an odor when it first comes out of the package. Plus, it’s only available in queen and king sizes, so you may need to keep looking if you want a standard size.
- comes with extra foam for adjusting the loft and height
- vegan and cruelty-free
- pillow is washable
- may be too warm for cool sleepers
- some say it has an odor when first out of the packaging
- firm feel may not be ideal for stomach sleepers
Buy the Coop Home Goods Original Loft Pillow online.
Best pillow for back and stomach sleepers
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow
- Price point: $$$
- Fill: memory foam
Key features: If you tend to sleep on both your back and stomach, the TEMPUR-Symphony pillow with its dual-sided design is a worthy contender. For back sleepers, the pillow can provide additional support for your head, neck, and shoulders with a gentle arch on the back-sleeper side. Flip it over, and stomach sleepers can appreciate the flatter, more traditional side of the pillow.
According to customers, it has a medium-firm feel, and it also tends to be cooler than other memory foam pillows.
Considerations: This pillow is on the higher end of the price spectrum. Also, it only comes in a standard size: 24 by 17 inches and 5 inches thick. Plus, you can only wash the cover, not the pillow. Tempur-Pedic doesn’t accept returns on pillows, either, so keep that in mind before purchasing.
- generous warranty
- comes with a removable cover for easy washing
- sides have different shapes to accommodate different sleeping styles
- pricier than other top picks
- profile is likely too high for stomach sleepers
- cover is washable, but not the pillow
Buy the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow online.
Best down pillow for back sleepers
Riley Home White Down Pillow
- Price point: $$$
- Fill: 750 fill power white down
Key features: If you’re looking for a comfortable 100 percent down fill pillow that also offers good neck support, the Riley Home White Down Pillow may just fit the bill.
Available in both plush and firm density, this machine-washable fluffy pillow is filled with down that carries the Responsible Down Standard certification. This means it follows strict standards to ensure humane animal treatment and the highest quality down.
If you’re a back sleeper, it’s recommended that you opt for the plush density. This will allow you to sink into the pillow but still feel support in your neck.
Considerations: This pillow is more expensive than many other back-sleeper pillows, but it does come with a 5-year warranty.
- 60-day trial period
- comes with a soft, cotton sateen pillow cover
- very expensive compared with other pillows
- not hypoallergenic
Buy the Riley Home White Down Pillow online.
Best firm pillow with neck support for back sleepers
Core Products D-Core Cervical Support Pillow
- Price point: $
- Fill: polyester fiber fill
Key features: If you’re a back sleeper who’s looking for a firm pillow to support your neck’s cervical curvature, the D-Core Cervical Support Pillow is one to consider.
“Back sleepers need a pillow that presses firmly into the cervical curve without pushing the neck into a tilted-forward position,” says Dr. Gil Kentof, founder of the Dr. Gil Center for Back, Neck, and Chronic Pain Relief. This pillow’s cervical roll has the ability to comfortably cradle your head and restore proper curvature of your spine.
Considerations: Your body may need time to adjust to this pillow, so it’s best to ease slowly into using it. The good news is you can choose between the pillow’s two cervical roll options. One side has a smaller roll, which is ideal if you’re just beginning to use the pillow or need less support. On the other side is a larger roll for maximum support.
- designed to support neck and cradle head
- very firm support
- may take time for your body to adjust to the feel
- could experience initial neck pain during the adjustment period
- not ideal for people who want a softer pillow
Buy the Core Products D-Core Cervical Support Pillow online.
Best wedge pillow for back sleepers
Helix Wedge Pillow
- Price point: $$$
- Fill: gel memory foam layer and polyurethane foam
Key features: Sleeping on a wedge pillow may take some getting used to, but back sleepers who’ve made the switch rave about the benefits. Some advantages, according to customers, include less neck and back pain, less snoring, and fewer bouts of acid reflux at night.
The Helix Wedge Pillow is a medium-firm wedge offering 10 inches of support and a layer of cooling gel memory foam. Plus, it comes with a 100-night sleep trial.
Considerations: A wedge pillow isn’t for everyone. Many people only use them for reading or watching television, but if you experience snoring, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or neck pain, you may want to consider trying one. Be sure, also, to talk with your doctor about any additional treatment.
- includes top layer of cooling gel memory foam
- can use for your neck or behind your knees
- helps elevate your head while you sleep
- not designed for side or stomach sleepers
- taller than other wedge pillows
- takes time for your body to adjust
Buy the Helix Wedge Pillow online.
Best memory foam pillow for back sleepers
WonderSleep Premium Adjustable Loft Pillows
- Price point: $
- Fill: memory foam
Key features: The WonderSleep Premium pillow is fully adjustable and designed to improve your sleeping posture. Filled with 100 percent shredded memory foam and wrapped in a breathable cover, the WonderSleep puts you in control of the firmness. For a firmer pillow, simply add foam. To decrease the firmness, remove the foam filling until you find the right support for your back and neck.
It also comes with stay-cool material and a breathable cover that helps keep you cool. Plus, you get two pillows, which makes the WonderSleep an affordable option for couples.
Considerations: The pillows tend to have an odor, so be prepared to let them breathe before using.
- adjustable for different loft preferences
- comes with two pillows
- machine-washable cover
- users say it has an odor when first out of the packaging
- back sleepers will likely need to adjust the material
Buy the WonderSleep Premium Adjustable Loft Pillows online.
Best medium-firm pillow for back sleepers
Parachute Down Pillow
- Price point: $$$
- Fill: 750 fill power European white down
Key features: The Parachute Down Pillow may work well for back sleepers who like a medium-firm pillow that offers neck support but still has an airy, quality feel.
The pillow comes in three densities — soft, medium, and firm — so you can accommodate your sleep style. It’s recommended that back sleepers opt for the medium density. Customers praise the pillow for its ability to maintain its shape after use as well as how cool the pillow sleeps. Parachute’s pillow carries the Responsible Down Standard certification.
Considerations: Down isn’t for everybody since it’s often more expensive and doesn’t retain its shape as well as memory foam. If you choose the standard size, don’t be surprised if it feels slightly smaller than the typical standard-size pillow.
- available in two sizes and soft, medium, or firm density
- generous warranty
- soft sateen cotton cover
- pricier than other brands
- won’t be a good fit if you sleep hot
- may have a mild initial odor
Buy the Parachute Down Pillow online.
Still searching for the right sleep products?
Let us help. Shop our top picks for pillows by condition or sleep position to get the sound sleep you deserve.
|Coop Home Goods Loft Pillow||$$||memory foam||single|
|TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow||$$$||memory foam||single|
|Riley Home Down Pillow||$$$||white down||single|
|Core Products D-Core Cervical Support Pillow||$||polyester fiber||single|
|Helix Wedge Pillow||$$$||gel memory foam layer and polyurethane foam||single|
|WonderSleep Premium Adjustable Pillow||$||shredded memory foam||pair|
|Parachute Down Pillow||$$$||white down||single|
If you’re looking for a pillow but don’t know where to start, here are some things to consider:
- Choose a supportive and comfortable pillow. When choosing a comfortable yet supportive pillow for sleeping on your back, Kentof says the key is to find a pillow that provides firm support for the cervical curve of your neck. “The pillow should press into your cervical curve but not cause your neck to jut forward,” he says.
- Make sure it’s the right thickness. If the pillow is too thick, your head will be forced upward in an unnatural way. And if the pillow is too thin, your head may drop below your shoulders, which can lead to neck or back pain. Try to choose a pillow that keeps your spine in a neutral position and prevents you from tilting in any direction.
- Consider a pillow for back and side sleepers. Pillows for back sleepers may also be appropriate for side sleepers, so if you tend to switch between the two positions, make sure to look for a design that supports movement from back to side.
- Check out the fill. You’ll also want to consider the fill. Each type of fill has a different feel and consistency. Knowing what type of fill is most comfortable for you will help you make the right decision.
- Read the fine print on the warranty. Some pillows come with a limited warranty, with 1 year being the most common. If you’re spending a lot of money on a pillow, a warranty might be an important factor to keep in mind.
- Choose a pillow with a return policy. If you’re unsure about the type of pillow that will work for you, opt for brands that offer a return policy. Many come with a 30- to 100-day trial.
Sleeping on your back has its merits, including:
- may promote proper spinal alignment
- may reduce tension headaches
- may reduce sinus congestion
- helps avoid wrinkles, creases, and irritations to the facial skin
But for all its benefits, back sleeping still isn’t for everyone. People who are pregnant may find this sleep position puts too much pressure on their bellies. Those with back pain or sleep apnea may also need to avoid sleeping on their backs.
(Video) Best Pillow for Neck Pain and Headaches | 3 Recommendations from a Mississauga Chiropractor
How you sleep is a matter of preference, but there are some ways to help improve your sleep quality if you’re a back sleeper.
Use a pillow beneath your knees
If you spend most of the night sleeping on your back, you may find it more comfortable to sleep with a pillow beneath your knees. This can help reduce pressure on your lower back and behind your knees.
The pillow does not have to be large, just big enough to provide support.
Find the right mattress
Back sleepers don’t just need the right pillow; they also need a mattress that supports their sleeping position.
In general, avoid a mattress that is too soft or firm, especially if you are prone to low back pain. The ideal mattress will provide a medium level of firmness to keep your body in a supported position.
If possible, seek recommendations from a sleep or mattress expert who can help you choose a mattress with the right firmness and pressure points.
Keep your head and neck in the right position
Sleeping on your back can place a lot of pressure on your neck, spine, and lower back. Therefore, the right pillow can help keep your head and neck in proper alignment.
Aim to keep your neck in a neutral position, which should keep your neck from being over-elevated or too flat when your head is on the pillow.
Do back sleepers need a pillow?
Yes. Back sleepers need a pillow that’s firm enough to properly support the natural curvature of the neck. It also needs to be the right thickness to ensure proper alignment. A pillow that’s too thick or too thin will cause back or neck pain.
Which pillow firmness is best for back sleepers?
Medium firm tends to be the best option for back sleepers. Firmness describes its feel and how much it flattens when you lie down on it. The pillow’s materials will play a big role.
Remember that the best pillow for back sleeping is one that keeps your neck in a neutral position, so make sure the pillow you choose is firm enough for that kind of support.
How can I train myself to sleep on my back?
Here are a few tips if you want to train yourself for back sleeping:
- First, you’ll need a supportive mattress to ensure your body can properly relax without sacrificing spinal alignment.
- Your choice of pillow, as we’ve covered, is key because it needs to maintain a neutral position for your neck.
- A pillow tucked beneath your knees or lower back can also help relieve pressure in your spine if you’re stuck with a soft mattress.
- Spread out your arms and legs to better distribute your weight and avoid pressure on your joints.
- Tuck a pillow on either side of your body as a gentle reminder not to roll over.
If you’re new to back sleeping, expect it will take some time to build up to a full night in this position.
How many pillows should back sleepers use?
The number of pillows you should have in your bed each night depends on your sleeping position and comfort level. In general, back sleepers should use one supportive pillow under their neck.
If low back pain is an issue, you can also place a pillow beneath your knees. This can help relieve pressure in your lower back.
Are memory foam pillows good for back sleepers?
Memory foam pillows are suitable for a variety of sleeping positions, including back sleepers.
Why can’t I get comfortable with sleeping on my back?
For some people, sleeping on their back provides instant comfort. But for others, it takes time to adjust to this sleeping position.
If you want to sleep on your back but find it difficult to get comfortable, your pillow is the first thing to consider. If it is not designed to support a back sleeper, you may want to invest in a new one.
Your mattress may also be contributing to the discomfort, but this is a more costly replacement, so it’s a good idea to start with the pillow.
Is it bad to sleep on your back?
How you sleep depends on your body type, health, and comfort level. Talk with a doctor or other healthcare professional about any concerns you have about how your sleeping position is affecting your health.
If you’re a back sleeper, the design of your pillow can have a big impact on your sleep quality. It can also affect how your neck, shoulders, and back feel in the morning.
Plus, a pillow with the right amount of neck and head support may help reduce snoring and acid reflux.
Back sleepers need a pillow that allows for proper spine alignment by keeping their head and neck in a neutral position.
Pay attention to different types of fill to determine which one works best for you. Also, take careful note of return policies to make sure you can return a pillow if it’s not the right fit for you.
What pillow should a back sleeper use? ›
Back sleepers tend to prefer medium-loft pillows, which are those that measure between 3 and 5 inches thick. With a medium-loft pillow, most back sleepers will maintain spinal alignment. A supportive pillow will hold your head and neck in place, rather than allow them to sink all the way down to the mattress.What pillow firmness is best for back sleepers? ›
Firmness. Back sleepers should avoid extra-soft or extra-firm pillows. For proper support, back sleepers will want a medium to medium-firm pillow. This should keep the spine aligned properly.What is the best type of pillow for back and side sleepers? ›
Quick look at the best pillows for side and back sleepers
If you're a side sleeper, you may need a thicker, firmer pillow to ensure proper alignment while you sleep. But if you're a back sleeper, you'll likely do well with a medium-loft pillow to keep your neck and shoulders from tilting up or down.
Back sleepers should use a very firm pillow or wedge to elevate the top half of the body. Stomach Sleepers. If your preference is to sleep on your tummy, you will want to seek out a soft pillow. By using a softer pillow, your head will be closer to the mattress, keeping the integrity of your neck's natural alignment.What kind of pillow is best for back sleepers with neck pain? ›
A 2020 study discovered that latex and memory foam are the best pillow materials for neck pain. This is because these materials provide neck support, which can improve sleep quality.How often should you change your pillow? ›
Most experts recommend replacing pillows every 1 to 2 years. Doing so helps to ensure that you're using pillows that are supportive, clean, and free of allergens. It is also important to care for the pillows you use to ensure their longevity. Generally, you'll be able to tell when it's time to replace your pillows.Should a back sleeper use a pillow? ›
It's generally recommended to use a pillow if you sleep on your back or side. However, what's most important is that you feel comfortable and pain-free in bed. If you have neck or back pain, or if you have spine condition like scoliosis, sleeping without a pillow may be unsafe.Do back sleepers need pillow? ›
Side and back sleepers usually require a pillow to maintain proper spinal alignment. Side sleeping leaves the largest gap between the head and the pillow. Accordingly, this position tends to require a higher loft pillow to help keep the head, neck, and spine aligned and prevent tension in the shoulders.How do you use a pillow back sleeper? ›
When lying on the back, a pillow should support the natural curvature, or lordosis, of the cervical spine, with adequate support under the head, neck, and shoulders. Pillow height should be lower than for side sleepers. Placing another pillow or two beneath the knees further alleviates any back strain.