When I was dealing with a pretty severe back injury in 2015, I was trying to find all kinds of different positions to get comfortable. This post is a guide to the best pillow for back pain, based on my personal experience. I tried different solutions and had different results. I was searching for a way to get comfortable in my bed so I could get a good night of sleep.
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This post talks about the importance of a good night of sleep for recovery. I also needed something just for laying on the floor, or the couch, really anywhere I was laying down, I was trying to get comfortable. Now hang with me here, this may get a little long-winded, but it’s going somewhere, I swear.
Like I said, I was in pretty bad shape. My wife had to help me get dressed (so, because of her help, I actually looked decent for work) and I couldn’t stand up straight. What a great combination! Oh, I was a sight let me tell you. My co-workers and neighbors didn’t know what to think of me. Everybody kept telling me I needed surgery (been there, done that). I had faith in my chiropractor, but that is another story.
My story is interesting, I have a long history of back problems. Most recently, I suffered a sprained pelvis and had spinal stenosis at the same time. Talk about being messed up. I was doing stupid things at the gym, that really served no purpose, other than boosting my ego. Why would I ever need to move a bus anyway? I ended up hunched over about 30 degrees at the waist.
Spinal stenosis is typically a narrowing of the spinal canal, but can also just be pressure on the spinal cord. That is what I was dealing with. I blew a disc and it was pushing up against my spinal cord. So, I was hunched over, I couldn’t stand up straight.
I couldn’t sleep laying down flat on my back, I was propped up on the couch so I could basically remain in the seated position while sleeping. I struggled to find the best pillow for back pain so I decided to write a post about this subject.
I had to ice my lower back/pelvis area for about 6-8 weeks to help reduce the swelling. I did this anywhere from 5-8 times per day. Wake up early and ice, go to work, try to find a place I could apply ice to my lower back. Come home from work and ice again. I was frozen all the time! I did a lot of laying on the floor with my legs propped up.
My chiropractor recommended I try some different options as far as pillows for back pain go, in order to prop my back up or my legs up, or whatever I needed to get comfortable so I could get some rest and recover.
So, I tell you all of that because I want you to know that I have pretty extensive experience with back pain. What I am trying to say is that given my experience, I can provide some insight into products that may help you with back pain. I will do my best to provide a quality review and give you options that will potentially help.
That was my motivation behind writing about the best pillow for back pain, so I can hopefully help someone out there who is dealing with back problems.
So, with that, let’s get right into things here.
Avana Kind Bed Orthopedic Support Pillow Comfort System
First things first…where have you been all my life? I have to say, this pillow system offers you a ton of versatility. You will love the ability to customize this to get maximum support, where you need it most. This is not a “one-size-fits-all” kind of system. Sleeping with a wedge pillow back pain can be put to rest!
There are four separate pieces:
- Back Scoop, which is the largest piece of the set
- Scoop Cradle, the wedge that sits on the bed, behind the scoop
- Headrest which is moveable/removable
- Knee Rest can be placed where you need it most
These four separate pieces allow you the flexibility to move and adjust them specifically for your needs. The Back Scoop offers lumbar support. You can slide the scoop up and down, wherever you need it most. The headrest is moveable or removable if you need. The Knee Rest can be placed wherever you need it, no matter your height.
The Avana Kind Bed system is made of a microfiber material that is very soft and comfortable. All of the pieces are made of medium density urethane foam with a one-inch layer of memory foam. Super comfy!
The dimensions of each piece are as follows:
- Back Rest 28.5 inches deep x 24 inches wide x 8 inches high
- Back Cradle 13 inches deep x 24 inches wide x 10 inches high
- Headrest 9.5 inches deep x 24 inches wide x 4 inches high
- Knee Rest 18 inches deep x 24 inches wide x 6 inches high
Looking back, this would have been a perfect solution for me. I needed to sleep in an upright seated position with my legs bent or elevated. I really wish I had been able to find this when I was going through all of my back issues. This would have been a home run for me.
One thing I find really great about this pillow system is that it’s 100% machine washable. This unit can be used as a stand-alone unit or is best suited against a wall, or headboard. Plus it is available in a wide variety of colors.
You have some many options available with this system, it’s not necessarily just for a back injury, or back pain. It can be used to sit up in bed while you watch TV, you can work on your laptop or tablet, even eat breakfast in bed! I just really think this support pillow has so many advantages, making this a great pillow for back pain.
- Adjustable for just the right fit, no matter what size you are
- Machine washable
- Available in a variety of colors
- I wish the Knee Rest actually had a piece for the back side of it that would allow you to put your legs fully extended in an elevated position
Comfort Dreams Zero Gravity Adjustable 3-Piece Wedge System
Well, here is another fantastic option if you are looking for a pillow for back pain. The Comfort Dreams Zero Gravity Adjustable 3-Piece Wedge System is a three-piece system designed for maximum comfort. Again, not a one-size-fits-all solution, you have options here.
There are three separate pieces:
- Wedge base
- Back support
- Leg support
The wedge base forms a 90-degree angle and is concave on one side to fit seamlessly with the back support piece. The back support is flat on one side, the side you lean against, and is convex, to conform nicely to the base. This concave and convex design allows you to maneuver the angle of the pillow system just exactly how you want it as it is infinitely adjustable. The leg support is free to be moved wherever you need it.
The dimensions of the unit are:
- Base 18 inches wide x 24 inches long x 9 inches high
- Back support 28 inches wide x 24 inches long x 6 inches high
- Leg support 18 inches wide x 24 inches long x 6 inches high
You can use this system up against a headboard, or stand alone. The core is high-density foam with a one-inch layer of memory foam on each piece.
Again, I think this is a fantastic option for people suffering from back pain. When I was working through my back issues in 2015-2016, I had to sleep in an upright position, almost like I was sitting in a chair. I tried the couch, sleeping up against the arm and backrest, I tried a pile of pillows behind my back in bed. This would have been a great solution for me.
Even if you are not recovering from an injury, this is a great addition if you watch TV in bed, work on your tablet or laptop. Just about anything where you need to be laying down, but upright, this system is great. I love the fact that the covers are machine washable, that way when you spill buttery popcorn and a drink, you have nothing to worry about.
- Infinitely adjustable
- Can be used by itself or against a wall or headboard
- Machine washable
- Doesn’t come with a pillow
- Only available in one color
ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow
This little guy may not look like much, but it is super functional. I don’t know if you normally sleep with a pillow between your legs, but it’s awesome (even from a man’s perspective). As someone who has dealt with a lot of back pain over the years, this has been a lifesaver at times for me.
First off the dimensions of the pillow are:
- Depth 9.8 inches
- Width 7.9 inches
- Height 6.3 inches
Now, this pillow is not just for back pain relief, but can also be used for pregnancy and hip or joint pain, to name a few other ailments. The idea is to keep the spine aligned and this can help to relieve pain.
This pillow is designed with two concave sides on it, so you can place it between your thighs, knees, calves, wherever you need it. It is made with high-density memory foam, so you won’t have to worry about it losing its firmness.
You will really enjoy the soft, breathable cover, which won’t make you hot. The cover is also machine washable and has a zipper so you can take the cover off with ease. This is one of the best knee pillows for back pain you can find. Customers are very happy and have shown this with a lot of positive reviews.
You can use this pillow in a variety of positions. Use it between your legs, or underneath one leg for an elevated option. If you have one problem side (mine is my right side) you can roll over and put just one leg on the pillow. It is really, really versatile, and that is what makes this one of the best pillows for back pain.
This pillow is not just for back pain, my wife loves to sleep with one just because she likes how comfortable it is.
- Durable and machine washable
- Small enough to travel with
- You may need something larger to cover more area
- If you are using to elevate your legs, you will need two of them
Post Surgery Elevating Leg Rest Pillow with Memory Foam Top
Don’t let the name fool you! You don’t have to be post surgical to enjoy the benefits of this awesome leg pillow. I used one of these extensively when I was recovering from my back injury. Kick back, put your legs up and get ready for some comfort. By using leg pillows back pain may subside and you can concentrate on getting a good night of sleep.
The overall dimensions of this pillow are:
- Width 21 inches
- Depth 24 inches
- Height 8 inches
The 8-inch height was perfect for me during my recovery in 2016. I had stenosis, so I was hunched over at the waist. This pillow allowed me to mimic the bent at the waist position. I used this for a long time until I go to the point I could sleep on my back again.
The leg elevating pillow can be used not only for an achy back, or recovery from surgery but is also good for people who want to put their feet up at night and give them a break. This pillow is really soft and comfortable and I have first-hand experience with that. You will love the look and feel of the breathable cover and memory foam pillow.
I did struggle a bit at the beginning with this pillow, as I am kind of a wild sleeper. Once I got used to it though it was a huge help to me. I really liked the fact that I could hang my heels over the end, as I often sleep that way as it is. You can put the pillow anywhere you want it, as far as where you need it to be for your comfort level.
I also used this on the floor in my living room as I was icing my back. I had an icepack under my lower back and my legs elevated. This is an excellent pillow for back pain.
Again, the cover is removable and completely washable. Don’t be shocked when you order this and it is shrink wrapped, it will expand when you open it.
- Just right elevation for recovery
- Soft yet firm
- The cover is machine washable
- May take some getting used to (if you are a wild sleeper like me)
- Some shorter people have reported the pillow is too high
Body Pillow – Organic Latex Interior & Plush Bamboo Cover
Okay, don’t judge me! Yes, I am a man and yes I sleep with a body pillow. Given my history with back problems, I am so over it! When I was early on in my recovery, my chiropractor said the first goal was to get me to sleep in the fetal position in my own bed, so I wasn’t upright on the couch. A body pillow was my best friend :).
Anyway, moving on. I mentioned earlier that some people may require a bigger pillow to support the thighs, knees, and ankles. Well, this baby will do all of that for you. If you have problems with hips, shoulders, back or your neck this body pillow literally has you covered.
The dimensions of the body pillow are:
- 52 inches long
- 12 inches in diameter
- Weighs 6 pounds
If you don’t currently sleep with a body pillow, you are in for a real treat. You will be able to shape the pillow to your exact needs. It is lightweight and you can easily move it around at night. The great thing is that your full body will be properly supported when you are sleeping on your side.
Your spine will (should be) in proper alignment. By using a body pillow back pain may improve when you are trying to get a good night of sleep.
The innards of this body pillow are made from organic latex and are spiral in shape. This gives the pillow a really light and airy feel with the support of memory foam. Kind of the best of both worlds. The soft and super comfy bamboo cover is absolutely wonderful to snuggle up to. Plus the cover is antimicrobial/antibacterial so it will stay clean and free of those pesky germs.
If you are looking for a fantastic, pillow for your whole body to enjoy, this has to be atop your list.
- Fantastic whole body pillow
- Super organic bamboo cover
- Fits a wide variety of different sized people
- Doesn’t come with a pillowcase
- I don’t care if it’s not manly
Bed Wedge Pillow with Memory Foam Top by Cushy Form
As I mentioned previously, when I was dealing with spinal stenosis a few years ago, I needed to sleep all propped up. I tried jamming a bunch of pillows behind my back, up against the headboard, but that didn’t really work so well. My chiropractor recommended a wedge pillow and it was one of the best things for me at the time, in my recovery.
It’s not just for back pain, as I know some people like to have a bed wedge for watching TV, reading, or they have other minor medical issues (breathing, snoring) they may use it for. But this served me extremely well when I was recovering from my back injury.
This pillow helped to simulate the hunched forward posture I had at the time and just plain worked well. Depending on your back problem, this can be a great pillow for back pain.
The dimensions of the wedge pillow are:
- Width 24 inches
- Depth 25 inches
- Height 12 inches
You will love the recliner like feel that this pillow provides cushy memory foam comfort, with a breathable, washable cover. The slope and height of the pillow allow users to find just the right spot to sleep, where you need the support most. By sleeping with a wedge pillow back pain may improve, allowing you get the good night of sleep you so badly deserve.
This is something that did take me a little bit of time to get used to. I kept rolling over and had to get used to realigning myself. That is more of a “ME” problem as I tend to roam a lot when I sleep. But after a bit, I got really used to sleeping on it. Come to think of it, I need to break this pillow out again and give it to my wife (she is a snorer)!
This arrives in a small box and will expand when you open it. Don’t be alarmed.
- Gentle slope, but long enough to suit various body types
- Comfortable and machine washable cover
- You can use it on the floor or on a bed
- May take some time to get used to sleeping on it
- You may want to sleep with an additional pillow for your neck
Moonlight Slumber – Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow
Well, here we go again with another body pillow. But this isn’t just any ordinary body pillow, have you seen this thing? It looks more like a body pretzel!
I know it’s giant, but this pillow can benefit you in so many ways. Whether you are a back sleeper, side sleeper, tummy sleeper, this pillow has got you covered. It is very versatile to say the least. The pillow is “U” shaped and it is one solid pillow, not multiple pillows jammed together. The pillow molds itself to you and is filled with Fusion Fiber keeping it soft and fluffy. The filling really helps to keep you cool at night as well.
The dimensions of the Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow:
- Length is approximately 64 inches
- Thickness is approximately 10.5 inches
- Weighs about 10 pounds
You can twist, contort or do whatever you do when you sleep and get maximum comfort from this pillow. I know a lot of people try to sleep with a lot of extra pillows in bed, just so they can grab whichever one is closest when they are asleep. Problem solved!
You can sleep with this between your legs, giving your spine the support it needs. You can curl this pillow up behind your neck, and still have your knees elevated. It’s great for sleeping, watching TV, or reading in bed.
The pillow comes with a zippered pillowcase that can be washed. The entire “U” shaped pillow can be washed in a washing machine and dried in a dryer. Per Moonlight Slumber, the pillow will not bunch, clump or flatten. Overall, this is a great pillow and many people have written very positive reviews about the comfort they have experienced from back pain.
- The versatility is impressive
- Machine washable cover and pillow
- If you have a specific need, as I did with needing an elevated leg wedge, this may not be for you
- Takes up a decent amount of space
Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow
As someone who dealt with spinal stenosis for many months, I was looking for a solution to prop myself up in bed so I could sleep. I had to maintain a bend at the waist since I was not able to be fully upright. The Xtra-Comfort Bed Wedge Pillow would definitely fit the bill for someone in my situation.
By sleeping with wedge pillow back, pain can be an afterthought and let you get the zzz’s you need.
Okay, so you don’t have to have back pain to use a wedge pillow, of course, this is great for reading in bed, or watching a movie as well. This pillow system can be used by different folks for different reasons.
The versatile 3 in 1 design can be used under your legs, behind your back, and of course under your head. The pillow measures 22 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
You will love the high-density memory foam, making the wedge soft and supportive. This wedge will also fit a variety of body types and sizes.
The zippered cover is removable and machine washable so you can rest assured that it’s easy to maintain. The ultra soft cover is made of a breathable polyester in a natural beige color.
A carrying handle makes it easy to carry this wedge pillow from room to room or take it with you when you are on the go. Okay, who knows where you will take it, but it’s nice to have the option should you choose to.
This setup is great for propping yourself up without the hassle of piling multiple pillows behind you and trying to keep them in one place. This wedge will maintain its shape and provide you with excellent support.
If you are looking for a great wedge, pillow back pain or not, you should definitely give this one a try.
Snuggle-Pedic Ultra-Luxury Bamboo Body Pillow
I love this pillow, I sleep with it every night! I am a little over 6 feet tall and this pillow fits me really well, not to short. I am a side sleeper and after I recovered from my back injury in 2015, I needed a good body pillow to help keep me properly aligned. In short, I use this body pillow for back pain, so I can sleep comfortably at night.
The Snuggle-Pedic pillow can be used for others as well, pregnant sleepers, stomach sleeper and side sleepers to name a few. The pillow comes in a shrink wrap package and I was pretty shocked when it arrived.
This pillow is great, it never goes flat and you can throw it in the dryer if you need a little extra fluff. The pillow is approximately 20 inches wide by 54 inches long.
After unwrapping the pillow and putting it in the dryer, per the instructions, it was ready to use.
With an industry leading warranty, you are sure to have this pillow for many years to come.
A couple of other great things to note about this body pillow:
- It is made in the USA
- Machine washable
- You can put it in the dryer to fluff it up
- Snuggle Pedic has done a great job to make this pillow as eco-friendly as possible
- Sleep cool at night with this awesome body pillow
I think this is a great pillow, not only if you suffer from back pain, but for the other reasons mentioned as well. You can also place this under your knees if you need to elevate your legs.
Conclusion: Best Pillows for back pain
Well, that was a lot of ground to cover. Depending on your specific needs, it will be tough for me to tell you exactly which pillow is right for you. I have provided a number of options and hope that, is helpful.
These options will depend on if you are recovering from an injury if you are a side sleeper, tummy sleeper, back sleeper, or what have you. I had specific needs when I was recovering from my back injury, so I used a couple of these different options.
Now I use the Snuggle-Pedic body pillow every night. My wife is super jealous!
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading.