Menu

Best Pillow For Back Pain

Updated August 15, 2019

Rank Product Highlights Waaranty
#1

PharMeDoc C-Shaped Body Pillow

Review

Buy Now

  • Helps relieve back and neck pain
  • Loft is low enough for good side sleeping neck support
  • Shapes easily
5 year
#2

Tempur-Neck Pillow

Review

Buy Now

  • Long lasting
  • Sizing chart very accurate
  • Helps alleviate neck painQ
5 year
#3

Dr. Loth’s Spine Align Pillow

Review

Buy Now

  • Reduces neck pain
  • May aid in headache and migraine relief
  • Fully adjustable
90 day returns
#4

Wenersi Goose Feather Pillow

Review

Buy Now

  • Excellent quality material
  • Shapes well with event feather distribution
  • Good underlying support
30 day returns
#5

I Love My Pillow Classic Traditional Pillow

Review

Buy Now

  • Sleeps cool
  • Holds head and neck in a proper spinal alignment
  • Good customer service
100-night sleep trial
#6

Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

Review

Buy Now

  • May work for some stomach sleepers
  • Helps with migraines
  • Shapes extremely well
60-day money back

 

 

Back pain, whether temporary or chronic, is a miserable experience and can make your waking hours difficult to get through, and your nights unbearable. Any physical discomfort you experience through the night will disrupt your rest, interrupt your sleep cycle, and create both short, and long term health problems if not addressed.

Although your healthcare provider may be able to help alleviate the worst of your pain, especially if caused by injury or disease, addressing the underlying issues that worsen the condition is something you can take control of. Your choice of sleep products can be very helpful in supporting your body as it rests, and the proper pillow can go a long way towards aiding in a better night’s sleep. The Sleep Judge Review Team has assessed a variety of pillows for multiple sleep needs. Below we’ve provided a review of some of our top rated pillows to help you find the best pillow for back pain.

What Causes Back Pain?

Conditions linked to back pain are often acute, meaning they come on suddenly and often resolve themselves within 6 weeks or so. Awkward movements, strain to soft tissues and ligaments, and repetitive movements lifting and bending are often the culprit of these issues, and require time and healing for the inflammation caused by this to go away. Unfortunately, further stress and interruptions to your sleep can cause your pain to last as your body is unable to fully rest.

Chronic, or long lasting, back pain can be caused by disease, arthritis, injury to the vertebrae, nerve damage, and other problems that inflame your central nervous system. Like acute pain, relieving the pain can do much to help get through the worst of the symptoms, but when the discomfort interrupts your sleep it can be hard to find relief at any time of the day.

Supporting your spinal alignment it is first step in helping to allow a relaxation of muscles and other tissues throughout your back. The stress and strain upon these are much of what can cause an inflammation of your pain issues. Choosing the right mattress and pillow combination can go a long way towards helping to alleviate the worst of your symptoms.

Head and Neck Alignment

Your cervical spine connects your brainstem to the rest of your spinal column, and houses your central nervous system. Support of your head and neck in correct alignment through the night is an excellent way to begin to improve upon your pain related issues. With the correct pillow, you can support your upper body to allow your spine to fall into a natural position.

You also may want to address further support to your sleep position through the use of pillows placed in other strategic places under your hips, knees, or neck. Body pillows can also be helpful in support of the body to rest against, and help influence a healthier sleep. Uninterrupted sleep promotes healing both mentally and physically, allowing you to better deal with your pain.

Sleep Position and Pillow Comfort

Spinal support is very much in your control, and your choices of pillow should be determined based on your sleep position- and take into account your own unique body shape and size, as well as personal preferences. Your posture through the night can aggravate your pain or create relief, and the attention you pay to your own support is highly influential to your healing.

Back Sleep Position Needs

A thin, responsive pillow that holds your head level with your shoulders is your best choice when sleeping on your back. The fill must be enough to fill in the gap beneath your neck to alleviate any stress upon your soft tissues, and many people like a contoured pillow for this. You can also roll a thin pillow under your neck for further support. Placing a pillow beneath your knees is also a great way to take any strain off your lower back that may occur and help allow your spine to lay more naturally.

Stomach Sleep Position Needs

Stomach sleepers actually place much undue strain on their backs and should take care with their choices to help support this position as much as possible. Thin, soft pillows are the best choices if sleeping without a pillow is not a choice. Keeping the head as level with the mattress better supports the spine, and a soft pillow placed beneath the hips can provide added support and take strain off he lower back muscles. Pillows that help support the upper body, and body pillows can also be helpful in providing further support to the spine.

Side Sleep Position Needs

Side sleeping is a popular position, with the majority of adults sleeping on their side for part of the night. This is actually a healthy way to sleep in if you properly support it as the head needs to he held at the height between your shoulders, and there must be enough fill for between the head and shoulders. Higher, firmer, conforming pillows are often the most popular, and for anyone needing a stable feel for additional spinal support, a contouring pillow will also work well. Soft, thin pillows placed between the knees can help raise the hip and keep pressure off the spine as well.

What to Consider When Choosing a Pillow for Back Pain

The following pillows are detailed according to the support they can lend to various sleep positions and for back pain need. Spinal alignment is the first thing you should address in helping to alleviate your discomfort. No pillow is a true one size fits all, so it is important to take some personal considerations into account before making a final decision.

What is your sleep position?

Obviously your sleep position is going to be highly influential on your choices. Although you may be able to slightly influence your position for comfort and with the right products to help support you, in general the position you naturally turn to is the one you are most comfortable in. As described above, look for a pillow that supports this natural inclination.

Do you have chronic or acute pain?

If you suffer from chronic pain, then you hopefully have seen a healthcare provider about what more you can do to help alleviate the worst of the symptoms while you sleep at night. Chronic pain sufferers need to focus on true overall alignment and take care to keep from stressing their back and causing more pain. Acute sufferers, or those recovering from injury, may need to simply provide the added support to help them sleep more comfortably as they heal. This includes spinal alignment as well as support to help them rest in a position that may not be their natural choice.

Do you suffer from arthritis or other disabilities?

If arthritis or other disabilities are a source of pain and you are looking to better support your overall healthy with the care of a doctor, be sure to address these needs with them before making final choice. There are many products available to help with these kinds of issues other than just mattress and pillow choices.

Do you snore or suffer from migraines or headaches?

Snoring and pressure that results in headaches can all be side effects of poor spinal alignment. If you suffer from these as well as back pain you most likely are looking at poor support through the night. Always reassess your mattress and pillow age and type to help get more comfortable and address nighttime pain.

Our Top Best Pillows for Back Pain

The following pillows are some of our top choices for back problems and are specific to address body support and spinal alignment in all sleep positions and in various ailments. There are, of course, many more pillows similar in nature that you can peruse through, but these provide a decent overview of what is available for you to start getting the rest you deserve.

#1. TEMPUR-Embrace Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Shredded poly foam, and foam pad
  • Loft: ~ 4.5 inches
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 5 year

TempurPedic is a leader in innovative materials and designs within the sleep industry, and although recent years has seen them up against stiff competition, they have delivered with products such as the Tempur-Embrace Pillow. This is a shredded foam and solid foam pad design that holds its shape, but provides a softer, instant response under your weight that conforms nicely to your shape. It is made for all sleep types, but stomach sleepers suffering from back pain can take advantage of it to help support the entire upper body, hence the name, ‘Embrace’ as you can lay upon it as if you are embracing it.R

Pros

  • Provides good neck support
  • Soft comfort
  • Unique size supports posture

Cons

  • Takes some getting used to
  • May have slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:
This is an excellent choice for combination sleeps as the shape provide support in any position. It also responds wonderfully and fills in the areas under your neck for true relaxation. Our own results had very favorable results as seen here.

Read our full review here.

#2. PharMeDoc C-Shaped Body Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Poly Fiber
  • Loft: 6 inches
  • Comfort: All
  • Warranty: 5 years

The PharMeDoc company specializes in orthopedic pillows to address back and neck pain and spinal alignment. This particular pillow is a popular pregnancy pillow choice to help aide in whole body support and to help alleviate back pain associated with pregnancy. It also is a choice many athletes, and those recovering from injury and surgery have turned to as well due to its responsive shape and loft, and great underlying support. It can be used in various positions as well, and allows for head, neck, hip, and knee support depending on how you decide to take advantage of it.R

Pros

  • Helps relieve back and neck pain
  • Loft is low enough for good side sleeping neck support
  • Shapes easily

Cons

  • May not be as comforting to taller people
  • Not easy to clean
  • Quality and strength of seams may be lacking

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:
Anyone looking for nighttime support for their back and hips can take advantage of this flexible design. It helps hold you in proper sleep position and gives you something to lean against for support. Our own trials for both pregnant, and non-pregnant sleepers yielded great results.

Read our full review here.

#3. TEMPUR-Neck Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Solid memory foam core
  • Loft: Dependent on size choice
  • Comfort Positions: Back/Side
  • Warranty: 5 year

The Tempur-Neck Pillow keeps popping up as one of our favorites for spinal support at it is made specifically to address the needs of back and side sleepers who need unshifting support through the night. The pillow comes in three sizes, and boasts two different size heights on each pillow to meet the needs of a wide variety of sleepers. The sizes available to you are focused by body weight and height, as well as sleep position to get you the best match. The softer memory foam has a wonderful response, and also provides the firm comfort needed for proper neck support.

Pros

  • Long lasting
  • Sizing chart very accurate
  • Helps alleviate neck painQ

Cons

  • May have slight off-gassing
  • May be too firm for some people
  • Contouring will be affected by room temperature

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:
This pillow continues to hold up the hype for back and side sleepers and is considered a top pick for spinal support. It helps with neck and back pain, as well as open airways for snoring. Our own results can be viewed here.

Read our full review here.

#4. Dr. Loth’s Spine Align Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: shredded latex foam and polyfill blend
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: Side and back
  • Warranty: 90 day returns

This is yet another specialized support made specifically to address spinal support as it was envisioned, designed, and created by a chiropractor himself for his clients. The unique design provides almost endless comfort possibilities as three separate chambers provide multiple comfort adjustment choices The shredded foam and soft fiber blend is responsive and pliable, and you can control your firmness level very easily through a zippered opening. Back and side sleepers can use this is a variety of ways, and it can be manipulated to work with just about any body type.

Pros

  • Reduces neck pain
  • May aid in headache and migraine relief
  • Fully adjustable

Cons

  • May take some time to adjust correctly
  • Is not for stomach sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:
Back and neck pain, migraine sufferers, and snorers rejoice as this pillow has the capability to alleviate all your symptoms if you have the patience to adjust it for you. Although skeptical at first, our own trials had us making adjustments and seriously seeing all it could do.

Read our full review here.

#5. Wenersi Goose Feather Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: 95% feather / 5% down
  • Loft: ~7 inch
  • Comfort Positions: back and stomach
  • Warranty: 30 day returns

If a more traditional, non-contoured pillow is more your thing, then you may want to try out a feather and/or down filled pillow to provide easy shaping so you can put support right where you need it. The Wenersi Good Feather Pillow has a 95:5 % feather to down ratio to provide excellent underlying support and easy, soft, movement. These are lofty, yet soft pillows that compress under weight and work best for back and stomach sleepers, although they can be rolled and folded for side sleepers. They also are a great pillow to layer on top of another for side sleepers. Pillows such as these work well under hips and knees for more spinal support.R

Pros

  • Excellent quality material
  • Shapes well with event feather distribution
  • Good underlying support

Cons

  • Dry clean suggested
  • The material has a crackling noise until broken in
  • May flatten but can re-fluffed

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:
The traditional shape of this pillow is very versatile as explained above, and the filling is incredibly malleable within the thick cotton casing to provide you with support where needed. We fell in love with its comfort and our trials can be seen here.

Read our full review here.

#6. I Love My Pillow Classic Traditional Pillow

SPECS

Filling: Memory foam
Loft: ~7.5
Comfort Positions: All
Warranty: 100-night sleep trial

The I Love My Pillow pillow is yet another more traditional design, and uses a patented memory foam created by foam engineers who set out to create their own personalized comfort. Their results are a highly responsive, softer foam that has a latex like bounce back and excellent contouring for any and all sleep positions. It is very light and airy, and gives the feeling of resting on air as it provides such great pressure point relief. The micro mink casing is feels like a favorite worn terry cloth robe and yet is highly breathable.

Pros

  • Sleeps cool
  • Holds head and neck in a proper spinal alignment
  • Good customer service

Cons

  • May take a little bit to adapt to
  • May be too firm for some positions

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:
Although comfort truly is dependent on body shape and size, this pillow does have the capability of supporting any position. The foam conforms to your head and neck to make it feel more personalized, and our own detailed results make note of the quality and overall comfort.

Read our full review here.

#7. Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Buckwheat
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 60 day money back

Buckwheat pillows have been used for centuries within Asian countries as they are considered an excellent support for the body and mind- a very holistic health approach taken in many Eastern ways of thinking. Buckwheat hulls provide a gengle compression, easy contouring, and a springy give despite allowing a firm support that can be shaped and manipulated for a more personalized feel. The husks not only hold your head in proper position, that also work on pressure points to help alleviate tension, and are considered a great choice to help alleviate pain, headaches, and aide in snoring.R

Pros

  • May work for some stomach sleepers
  • Helps with migraines
  • Shapes extremely well

Cons

  • Heavy weight
  • Noise and feel takes time to get used to

Who Should Purchase this Pillow:
Since the pillow is adjustable it can be used by any sleep position- if you are willing to take the time to make adjustments, and get used to a new sleep experience. We were glad to have provided the time it took to get used to this pillow in our trials as it was comforting and provided an excellent night’s sleep.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

Back pain doesn’t have to be something you live with day in and day out. Whether chronic or acute, your should visit with a specialist to address your issue, especially if you are losing sleep. Poor sleep results in poor overall health, and there are steps you can take to help alleviate the worst of your symptoms.

Choosing supportive sleep products is one such thing you can control, and your pillow address your cervical spine in detail to provide you with better posture. Be sure to look over pillows that work best with your own sleep position and preference to ensure you can start getting the rest you deserve. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know below.