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Get a Good Night’s Sleep With the Best Back Sleeper Pillow
Last updated: 22 Nov 2023
If you're a back sleeper, you know the struggle. You want to sleep on your back, but your head doesn't stay in place and you end up with a sore neck and shoulders. Maybe you find yourself tossing and turning all night, trying to get comfortable in that one position. Or perhaps you have sleep apnea, which gets worse while sleeping on your back. If this sounds familiar, it's time to upgrade your flattened pillow to a back sleeper pillow! Specifically designed for back sleepers, these pillows can help alleviate neck and shoulder pain by keeping your spine aligned throughout the night. These pillows also feature a thick loft that contours to the head, making it easy to fall asleep without having to adjust yourself every few minutes. But finding one that's comfortable, firm, and supportive can be a daunting task. To simplify it for you, we've rounded up the top-rated back sleeper pillows of 2023.
Pillows are the most important part of a good night’s sleep. The right pillow can help you achieve a restful slumber, while the wrong pillow can make you toss and turn all night long. Back sleeper pillows, in particular, are designed to support the natural curvature of your spine, helping to reduce muscle stiffness and back pain.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding back sleeper pillows and their unique features, it’s important not to lose sight of the basics. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything about these helpful pillows so you can easily choose one according to your needs and sleeping posture.
Benefits of Using a Back Sleeper Pillow
The following are some of the benefits of using a back sleeper pillow:
Featuring a contoured design, a back sleeper pillow keeps the head in alignment with the spine. It can also prevent the neck from craning forward to look at your phone or tablet while you’re lying down. This helps maintain proper spinal alignment, which can reduce muscle stiffness and other symptoms associated with improper postures, like headaches and migraines.
Helps prevent back pain
If you notice any discomfort when lying on your back, this could be due to sleeping in an awkward position. The following are some possible causes for this:
Your head is not aligned properly or is too high or low while lying down.
You have been sleeping with the same pillow for too long, and it no longer suits your body shape or size.
Your mattress no longer provides adequate support.
Sleeping on your back with a back sleeper pillow that supports the natural curve of your spine and relieves pressure points can help reduce the risk of developing back pain and neck cramps.
Reduce allergies and GERD
A recent survey has shown that almost 60% of people suffer from GERD and frequent heartburn. These medical conditions are correlated to poor sleep quality. Similarly, sleeping on your stomach makes it more difficult for you to breathe properly.
To reduce these symptoms, it is recommended to prop the pillow at least 6 inches high. Since back sleeper pillows are highly adjustable, these pillows can cut down on the symptoms of acid reflux disease (GERD), asthma, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Reduce facial wrinkles and acne
When you sleep on your back, gravity causes your face to sag and wrinkles to form. This can be particularly hard on young skin, leading to premature aging and acne. A back sleeper pillow can help prevent this by lifting up your head slightly and allowing your skin to breathe freely, without being pressed against the surface of your pillow.
What Pillow Material Is Ideal for Back Sleepers?
From memory foam to latex and gel, back sleeper pillows are made from a variety of materials, each offering unique benefits and a different feel. Let’s explore them one by one, so you can easily pick one according to your desired comfort level.
Memory foam pillows are among the most popular of all pillow types. They have a high-density base that provides firm support, but they’re also soft enough to conform to the shape of your head and neck, keeping them aligned with your spine while letting your body relax.
However, these pillows trap heat, so they may not be ideal for those who sweat a lot or experience hot flashes while sleeping.
Often made from natural rubber tree sap, latex back sleeper pillows offer a variety of benefits, including ample neck support and pressure relief, while reducing the chances of allergy flare-ups. They’re also mildew-resistant, anti-fungal, and hypoallergenic, which makes them better suited for those suffering from asthma or other respiratory issues.
Stuffed with duck and goose quills, feather-back sleeper pillows are soft and fluffy, which makes them comfortable to lay on. They are also more breathable than other pillows, so you can sleep on them without worrying about overheating.
On the downside, they’re not as supportive as memory foam or latex pillows, so they may not be ideal for those with neck pain or arthritis. Despite being expensive, these pillows don’t last for a very long time and need to be replaced every few months.
Gel sleeper pillows are often infused with cooling beads that allow maximum air circulation and help regulate body temperature while you sleep — perfect for hot sleepers.
Unlike other pillows, they also retain their shape and don’t flatten out easily. Gel pillows are highly recommended by chiropractors because they help relieve neck pain by reducing strain on the spine.
Often filled with synthetic material and inner plumage of duck and goose feathers, down-back sleeper pillows are super soft, fluffy, and lightweight. Although they offer optimal cushioning, these pillows do not support the neck, back, or spine.
Down pillows can also flatten out over time, which is why most down pillows come with an extra insert or two that can be added to the pillow after it’s been washed.
Polyester is a synthetic material that offers moderate support without being too firm or too soft. It’s also hypoallergenic, which makes it ideal for people who have allergies or asthma. While polyester pillows tend to be less expensive than other options, they’re also less durable, and they can deteriorate after just six months of use.
How To Choose a Quality Back Sleeper Pillow
The loft refers to the height and thickness of the pillow. The amount of loft depends on your preference, but most people need at least 4-5 inches of loft in their pillow.
The main purpose of a back sleeper pillow is to provide support to your head, neck, and spine for proper cervical alignment. If your pillow is too soft or too firm, your head will drop forward or tilt to the side, which can lead to neck pain and stiffness, and even disrupt sleep quality.
Generally speaking, the ideal back sleeper pillow should have a contoured shape to cradle your head while relieving pressure points, so you can sleep like a baby without sinking all the way into the mattress.
Pillows come in different strengths, with soft, medium, and firm being the most common options. A medium-firm pillow provides enough support while still being comfortable enough to sleep on all night long, which makes it ideal for back sleepers.
The firmness of a pillow can also vary depending on its materials and construction; foam pillows tend to be firmer than down pillows because they don’t compress as easily under pressure. Softer materials such as down will eventually flatten out if used regularly, which makes them less supportive and more likely to cause neck pain. If you don’t want to constantly fluff up your pillow, then a back sleeper pillow with memory foam will be better suited for your needs.
Breathability is the ability of a fabric to allow air to flow through it. If your pillow is not breathable, it will trap heat and moisture underneath its surface — which could lead to discomfort or even bacterial growth. Breathable fabrics are also less likely to retain odors over time, as they allow fresh air in while releasing stale air out.
While most types of fabrics can be made breathable by adding holes or perforations, this process often compromises durability (and therefore longevity) and aesthetics. For those who want a more durable option than cotton, but want their pillows to stay cool at night, synthetic materials like polyester may be a good choice that won’t compromise on either front.
Reviewing the Top-Rated Back Sleeper Pillows of 2023
The Beckham Hotel Collection Back Sleeper Pillow offers superior comfort and support for a restful night’s sleep. These queen-sized pillows are filled with a soft down alternative and come with a 250 thread count cover, providing a luxurious feel. They make an excellent gift for anyone looking to enhance their bedroom decor or seeking a comfortable place to rest.
These pillows excel in keeping you cool throughout the night. The breathable cotton cover promotes airflow, offering relief for those who tend to overheat or experience night sweats. You can sleep comfortably, knowing that these pillows prioritize both your comfort and temperature regulation. Safety and environmental standards are also important with these pillows. They are made in an OEKO-TEX Standard Certified factory, ensuring high safety and environmental standards in their production. You can rest assured knowing that these best overall pillows are free from harmful substances.
Superior comfort with a soft down alternative filling
Breathable construction for a cool sleep
Easy to clean in the washing machine and tumble dry
The YourFacePillow Back Sleeper Pillow is a healthy and eco-friendly investment for your health. Featuring a unique arc shape, this back sleeper pillow has a tapered front with optimal side support and cervical rolls that redistributes the weight for more neutral neck and spine alignment.
Made with spandex and bamboo material and stuffed with memory foam, this back sleeper pillow cradles your head in comfort as you drift off into dreamland. With its cooling airflow channels, this pillow will keep your head cool and comfortable all night long, so you won’t wake up in a pool of sweat. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, so it won’t aggravate any allergies or cause irritation.
But this pillow isn’t just for back sleepers — skincare enthusiasts can wrap it in a satin pillowcase for keeping wrinkles and acne at bay. Because of its contoured neck support, comfortable headrest, and machine-washable material, this back sleeper pillow stands on our list.
This ZAMAT SLEEP Back Sleeper Pillow is designed to take your sleep to a whole new level. Featuring a contoured design, this back sleeper pillow has a cervical spine protection area and shoulder fixation area that both offer precise neck support and relieve pressure points, so you won’t wake up with a finicky neck and back.
Unlike traditional pillows that feel like a burlap sack, this back sleeper pillow is filled with odor-free memory foam and draped in double pillow cases. It features a breathable inner layer and a skin-friendly outer layer for an overall plush feel. It also features a smooth zipper that makes it easy to remove the cover for quick cleanup. With its adjustable structure, this back sleeper pillow offers an optimal balance of support and comfort, making it perfect for any sleeping position.
Tired of dealing with a stiff neck and sore back? With the Osteo Back Sleeper pillow, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested. This back sleeper pillow features a hollow design that provides ample shoulder, neck, and arm support while maintaining good blood flow to relieve pressure on the upper body and control muscle tension for a healthy sleeping posture.
Packed with non-toxic and odor-free removable memory foam, this back sleeper pillow ensures well-supported fluffiness and allows you to adjust the firmness and height of your pillow, so you can achieve the perfect level of comfort for an ultimate sleeping experience.
This back sleeper pillow comes wrapped in a cooling case to regulate your body temperature and keep hot flashes at bay during the hot summer months. With a dual-layer structure, it features a mesh outer layer that allows maximum air circulation, while its sweat-absorbing inner layer keeps you dry throughout the night. On top of all these amazing features, this back sleeper pillow is machine washable.
For unbeatable comfort and a peaceful night’s slumber, nothing can beat the Anvo Back Sleeper Pillow. Featuring an ergonomic design, this back sleeper pillow helps alleviate back pain and muscle stiffness by providing exceptional cervical support.
This back pillow is made from polyester material with a high-density, slow rebound memory foam core that conforms to your head as you move around throughout the night. It’s CertiPUR-US certified, so you won’t have to worry about toxic chemicals ruining your health.
With the breathable fabric and mesh sides, this back sleeper pillow keeps you cool and comfortable while you snooze. Plus, it comes with two neck support levels, so you can easily customize it according to your comfort level!
Whether you’re dealing with insomnia, neck cramps, or backache, the SensorPEDIC Back Sleeper Pillow is the solution to your sleeping problems. With its contoured structure, this back sleeper pillow will cradle your head and neck while providing support for your shoulders and back. The pillow is made from 100% polyester, with quick conforming gel-infused memory foam that molds to your unique head shape, so you won’t feel lopsided while sleeping.
Unlike other foam pillows, this back sleeper pillow is designed with a ventilated iCool Technology System, which dissipates body heat while promoting optimal breathability, so you can snuggle up all night without worrying about hot flashes. Featuring a hypoallergenic material, this back sleeper pillow comes with a plush circular-knit cover that feels like silk against your skin while lending a minimalist vibe to your bedding.
A: Yes! While some back sleeper pillows come with removable inserts that help people adjust the firmness according to their comfort level and desired sleeping positions, others have a removable outer shell that allows you to change the amount of filling as needed.
Q: Which kind of pillow is ideal for people with sleep apnea?
A: A back sleeper pillow with a high loft is ideal for those with obstructive sleep apnea because it keeps their airways open during sleep and prevents them from breathing through their mouths. This type of pillow also supports the head and neck, so they don’t move around too much during sleep, further stabilizing breathing.
Q: How often should I replace my back sleeper pillow?
A: Back sleeper pillows are made of memory foam, which is known for its ability to spring back to shape after being compressed. This means that you can use your back sleeper pillow for years before it needs replacing. However, if you notice that your pillow is losing its shape or flattening out, it's probably time to get a new one.
Q: Are back sleeper pillows expensive?
A: Back sleeper pillows are fairly affordable. You can get a good one for around $20-$30, but if you want one with memory foam, adjustable loft, and cooling technology, expect to pay around $75 to $140.
The Mighty Moms Reviews Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you tackle motherhood and everything that comes along with it. The content is created by The Mighty Moms Reviews Team. Mighty Moms’ editorial staff is not involved. Mighty Moms is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.