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Best Pillows For Back Sleepers

Updated August 15, 2019

Rank Product Highlights Warranty
#1

Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow

Review

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  • Thin enough for many stomach sleepers
  • Feels cool
  • Very shapeable
30 days
#2

Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Pillow

Review

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  • Very cooling
  • Keeps its shape well
  • Soft comfort with good neck and head support
30-day satisfaction
#3

Purple Pillow

Review

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  • Excellent airflow
  • Fully adjustable
  • No fluffing required
100 night sleep trial
#4

Casper Pillow

Review

 

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  • Can be adjusted for thickness and support
  • Very cooling
  • Provides excellent neck support
3 years
#5

TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow

Review

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  • Very contouring
  • Washable cover
  • Dual-sided support
3 years
#6  

Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

Review

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  • Fully adjustable
  • Excellent body support and contouring
  • Sleeps cool
100 night trial period
#7

Hullo Buckwheat Pillow

Review

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  • May work for some stomach sleepers
  • Helps with migraines
  • Shapes extremely well
60 day money back
#8

I Love My Pillow Classic Pillow

Review

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  • Sleeps cool
  • Holds head and neck in a proper spinal alignment
  • Good customer service
100-night sleep trial
#9

Leesa Pillow

Review

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  • Instant response foam comfort
  • Provides great neck support
  • Easy, hassle free returns
3 year
#10

Dr. Loth’s Spine Align Pillow

Review

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

 

A good night’s rest has much to do with the choice you make surrounding sleep comfort. In particular, your sleep position is highly influential on an uninterrupted sleep, and the opportunity to cycle through your sleep stages and wake feeling refreshed. You may think your mattress purchase is all you need to worry about when looking or a supportive product, but what many forget to pay attention to is the pillow they choose as well.

The best pillow for back sleepers is a thin, supportive one. Below, The Sleep Judge Review Team has listed their personally reviewed, top rated, back sleeper pillow reviews to showcase the many different styles and fills available to you.

Head and Neck Alignment

The muscles and other soft tissues of your neck help protect and house the cervical spine, the gateway of your central nervous system. Through your neck runs the connection between your brain and the rest of your body, making it a very important part of your body to keep well supported. As you sleep at night it is your head and neck you want to pay particular attention to in relation to the rest of your spinal alignment. When this support is lacking, you run the risk of waking, at a minimum, with aches and pains, and feeling more tired than when you fell asleep. But overtime, with a lack of protection and added strain to the area, it can lend itself to disease, migraines, and memory fog- to name a few. Pay particular attention to the support lent to your head and neck, and choose sleep products that will better allow a true rest of those connective tissues and muscles that so strongly hold you cervical spine in place. Back sleeping is considered a healthy positional choice, as it more naturally allows the spine to lay straight, and provide a true relaxation.

Sleep Position and Pillow Comfort

Stomach sleepers almost always compromise their spinal alignment due to the fact they have to turn their heads upon the surface they sleep upon. Side sleepers need a giving surface for the heavier areas of the body, such in the hips and shoulders, and can struggle to find the perfect balance between conforming surfaces and firm support. But back sleepers often have the healthiest position: one that even lends itself well to laying on a floor. The spine naturally aligns when you lay on your back, and a thin pillow, one that allows your head to rest at shoulder height, is usually the best pick. It also needs to provide support to the gap created under the neck so the tissues can relax. Unfortunately, most pillows are too lofty, and lift the head above the level of the shoulders, or let it drop too far back- both scenarios that create tension on the back and neck, and create comfortable sleep positions.

Other Helpful Uses for Back Sleepers

Although back sleeping helps align and relax the spine, it can cause stress to the lower back depending on body shape and type, as well as mattress choice. This strain if often caused by the heaviness of the hip area, and result in sore, tight muscles through the lumbar region. Luckily, this discomfort is often easily remedied by placing a thin, soft pillow beneath the knees to help take some of the weight off the lower back and lift the lower spine into place.

Thin Pillow Types

There are many thin pillow types that provide plenty of fill for your neck to rest upon. Soft pillows, such as down and feather, or down alternative polyfills are very popular, as are adjustable shredded foam picks that help create a more customized feel overall. Memory foam and contoured pillows are also top picks that help create a pressure point reduction to the back of the head, and allow for the neck to have a more stable surface. It is often difficult to find a thin pillow in many stores as side sleepers seem to dominate the sleep position world, and stores cater to the most top picked products. Also, many back sleepers are unaware that they need a thinner choice over the lofty, thick pillow they are considering. Before purchasing a pillow, be sure to do you research to help you get a better night’s rest.

What to Consider When Choosing a Pillow for Back Sleeping

Obviously the above information probably gives you a decent guideline from which to choose a back sleeping pillow from, but there are a few other details you may want to pay attention to prior to a final investment.

Are you considered a combination sleepers?

Many people move through the night naturally and shift their positions. Sometimes this is a subconscious movement due to discomfort, but other times is just part of the normal sleep process, and those who change from one sleep position to the next need to look for a pillow that supports them in both positions.

Do you snore?

Most people who snore do so because of poor airway support, causing soft tissues and the tongue to relax and create a blockage. Choosing the correct pillow can help alleviate snoring of there are not any underlying medical issues but helping the airways stay open. Back sleepers in [articular often have this issue due to the forces of gravity. If all the pillows you have tried have not helped with snoring, and you have ruled out Sleep Apnea (if not, please do so), you may want to consider a wedge pillow.

Do you sleep warm?

Sleeping warm is a real issue that creates an uncomfortable nighttime experience. If you sleep warm, look for pillows that use natural fibers in their casing, such as bamboo and cotton. Also, gel infused or layered pillows can help alleviate heat retention and draw heat and moisture from your body.

Our Top Best Back Pillow Picks

As mentioned in the introduction, the following pillows have been personally reviewed and commented upon by our own The Sleep Judge Review Team. Although we have rated many pillows, these help represent some of the best we can recommend for back sleepers.

#1. Slumber Cloud Cumulus Pillow

SPECS

Filling: Down alternative polyfill Loft: ~ 6 inches Comfort Positions: Stomach and back sleepers Warranty: 30 days

Filled with an alternative down fiber that is difficult to tell from the real thing, the Slumber CLoud Cumulus offers choices from extra soft through firm supports to meet a wide variety of back and stomach sleeper needs. These pillows are thick, yet airy and pliable, making them a perfect pillow to shape for neck support and head surface comfort. The pillow is also an excellent choice to roll up and place beneath the knees for further spinal support. A soft, 100% cotton, Outlast fabric lined shell helps draw heat and moisture from your body to dissipate it away and create a cooling atmosphere.

Pros

  • Thin enough for many stomach sleepers
  • Feels cool
  • Very shapeable

Cons

  • Too soft for side sleepers
  • Needs plumping

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: This is an excellent thin, yet supportive choice for back sleepers since the firmness can be chosen for a more personalized comfort. Plus, the filling within allows for easy shaping for the perfect loft to rest upon. 

Read our full review here.

#2. Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: memory foam
  • Loft: 3 inches
  • Comfort Positions: back and stomach
  • Warranty: 3 year

This ultra thin pillow comes in just over 3 inches, and is made from a gel infused memory foam for true responsive, cooling comfort. The Bluewave Bedding pillow may be one of the thinnest memory foam core pillows currently available, but with a gently rounded side, and flat side, both back and stomach sleepers can take advantage of the support it provides. The rounded side allows for the added lift and filling needed to hold the head properly, and support the neck for cervical support. A removable, breathable, thick bamboo cover is also comforting and allows for a gentle, soft surface.

Pros

  • Good for back and stomach sleepers
  • Good for side sleepers that prop their arm beneath their head
  • Sleeps cool

Cons

  • May be too firm
  • Not good for combo or side sleepers

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: The thinness of this pillow truly does provide support needed for back sleepers, but it may not fit all body types. The gel is cooling, the surface plush and conforming, and it does give excellent support where needed if it is a good fit. 

Read our full review here.

#3. Wenersi Goose Feather Pillow

SPECS

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

The high feather to down ratio of these pillows allow them to be firm enough to hold the head at a proper height, while the soft, pliable filling supports the neck in all the right places. Feathers are stronger and hold up longer than down, and are an excellent choice when a bit more support it needed. The down is the perfect amount to help provide a softer feel, and allow the filling to be truly malleable for shaping ot personalized comfort. It also is available in soft and firm to better fit different body types. The thick, 100% cotton casing is highly breathable, smooth, and allows a cool surface to rest upon.

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: This is a great choice for back and stomach sleepers alike as you can shape and fold this pillow to fit your specific comfort needs. It also works well under the knees to take stress off the spine when needed. 

Read our full review here.

#4. Super Plush Sleep Restoration Gel-Fiber Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Poly Fiber Gel
  • Loft: ~ 6 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and combo sleepers
  • Warranty: 30-day satisfaction

These smooth, luxury-like pillows provide instant response under your head and neck to provide support where needed and allow for true relaxation. Sleep Restoration super plush, gel fiber pillows also are filled with a gel infused polyester fiber that is not only strong and durable for a springy bounce back, but also helps draw heat from your body for a cooler nights sleep. The casing is 100% cotton and has a low thread count for better airflow. Machine washing is not suggested, but it can be refluffed in a tumble dry easily if you need a refresher.

Pros

  • Very cooling
  • Keeps its shape well
  • Soft comfort with good neck and head support

Cons

  • Too soft for side sleepers
  • Loft might be too high for stomach sleepers.

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: If a traditional pillow feel is your preference, this is an awesome choice as it is a soft, cooling comfort that provides excellent support and a truly amazing feel as you lay upon it.

#5. The Purple Pillow

SPECS

Filling: Hyper-elastic Polymer Loft: Adjustable Comfort Positions: Back-Side adjustability Warranty: 100 night sleep trial

The Purple Pillow is a wholly unique design made from a hyper elastic polymer to provide a support that will never flatten, and responds well to your weight and shape. The open cell design provides a free flow of air, and flexes freely, and instantly to give you the support you need. The pillow is also adjustable, and has an air pillow that can be combined with the Purple core to provide added height for various sleep positions and preferences. Whether used together, or as a stand alone, the easy access casing holds both to keep from any shifting from occurring.

Pros

  • Excellent airflow
  • Fully adjustable
  • No fluffing required

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Awkward
  • Affected by ambient temperature

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: Although this pillow provides a very different feel than what most people are used to, it is worth the time it takes to find the perfect comfort. This is more specific to back and side sleepers, with more back sleepers finding it to their preference.

Read our full review here.

#6. Casper Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Polyester microfiber fill
  • Loft: adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 3 years

The Casper Pillow is a wholly unique pillow within a pillow design that actually probably should have made our top side sleeping list (my bad) as well as back sleeping as it is adjustable and allows for a truly personalized sleep comfort. If anything, highlighting this pillow her amongst our many best pillow articles truly does show how many great options from which you can choose to help with a better night’s rest. A thinner, polyfill pillow is actually sandwiched within a thicker casing that unzips for easy accessibility. The materials used are quality, as is the construction, and provides the opportunity for you to pick and choose from different combinations for your own needs.

Pros

  • Can be adjusted for thickness and support
  • Very cooling
  • Provides excellent neck support

Cons

  • May be too soft for some body types
  • Requires regular fluffing and care

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: This is a good choice for all sleep positions, but is a favorite amongst back sleepers due to how well it can be adjusted for a variety of different body shapes and sizes. 

Read our full review here.

#7. TEMPUR-Symphony Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Memory foam
  • Loft: ~ 5 inches
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 5 years

TempurPedic is well known for their use of memory foam in their sleep products- after all, they were memory foam pioneers within the industry. The Tempur-Symphony is no exception to their comfort rule, and if anything, meets a wider range of needs than many of their previous series of comfort. This pillow has a soft, average profile that boasts a dual sided design to provide support for all sleep positions (within reason). Of course the support is influenced by body shape and size, but it is a popular choice due to how well it lends itself well to a wide variety of people for various uses. The soft casing also supports excellent airflow, making this memory foam product a cooler sleep compared to many others.

Pros

  • Very contouring
  • Washable cover
  • Dual-sided support

Cons

  • No trial period
  • May not work for stomach sleepers
  • Pillow not washable

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: Back and side sleepers can get the most out of this pillow, especially back sleepers of a larger body type. The softer, more conforming memory foam is a popular surface comfort for good reason.

Read our full review here.

#8. The Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Shredded Memory Foam/ polyfill blend
  • Loft: Adjustable
  • Comfort Positions: All
  • Warranty: 100 night trial period

Adjustable pillows are a favorite amongst all sleep position preferences, especially combination sleepers who feel the need to have a pliable, more easily shaped pillow for added support. The Easy Breather Pillow by Nest Bedding has a shredded memory foam and polyfill blend filling to provide an incredibly responsive, yet supportive comfort specific to spinal alignment and open airway passages. The soft Tencel cover is thick and breathable, and helps hold and distribute the filling under pressure to provide support exactly where it is needed. The firmness level is easily adjusted with the addition and removal of the filling.

Pros

  • Fully adjustable
  • Excellent body support and contouring
  • Sleeps cool

Cons

  • Not washable
  • Slight offgassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: This is a great choice for all sleepers who need a more personalized comfort. It may take some time to find the perfect balance, but it well worth the effort.

Read our full review here.

#9. Sleep Number ComfortFit Classic Pillow

SPECS

  • Filling: Shredded memory foam and down alternative blend
  • Loft: ~ 6.5 inches
  • Comfort Positions: Back and Stomach
  • Warranty: 5 year

Sleep Number does more than just create adjustable, technologically advanced mattresses. They also have a line of pillows to help further support your spinal alignment, and their ComfortFit Classic is a great choice if you need a soft, responsive choice. The shredded memory foam and polyfill blend is a great thinner pillow choice, and can be easily manipulated to provide support where you specifically need it. Although it may seem lofty, it does compress easily, and can meet the needs of all sleep positions depending on body size and weight. A Lyocell, Poly, Spandex cover is slightly stretchy and very comforting, and helps keep the filling evenly distributed as well as providing excellent give to your own shaping needs.

Pros

  • Variable support for back, stomach, and some side sleepers
  • Malleable
  • Helps provide support to head and neck
  • Relieves back and neck stress

Cons

  • Not washable
  • Not adjustable
  • May have slight off-gassing

Who Should Purchase this Pillow: Depending on body shape and size, any sleep position can truly take advantage of it. It seems to lend itself extremely well to back sleepers in particular due to how well the filling shapes around the head and neck. 

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

The best pillow for sleeping on your back may not be the same as anyone else’s, and so always look to your own needs, comforts, and sleep preferences when making a choice just for you. Back sleepers do need a thinner, responsive pillow, and a proper support for the neck. The above selection of pillows cover a wide range of design and fill types, and are available for many different body shapes and sizes. For a more detailed account of each pillow, be sure to check out our own detailed experiences.