This unbiased, in-depth review features the best pillow for back pain our team of Sleeping Ninjas could find on the market. Disclosure: Sleeping Ninjas has an affiliate relationship with some companies where we get a small percentage of sales if you click over from our site.
Back pain can be a real, well… pain. A common one at that. In fact, studies have shown that 80% of Americans have experienced an episode of lower back pain at some point in their life and approximately 100 million Americans suffer from chronic back pain issues. The short of it is, back pain is a real problem for thousands of people and we often spend tons of money trying to alleviate it.
The source of your back pain could be a variety of different things, ranging from an illness/disease to a bad mattress. Of course, it’s always advisable to see your doctor if your back pain is affecting your day to day life. But, sometimes something as simple as a pillow can go to great lengths in alleviating some of your nightly woes.
We’ve put together a complete guide to what we believe are 6 of the best pillows to help alleviate your back pain. Some are conventional, under-the-head pillows while others are designed for use between the knees or under the lower back. Let’s dive right in to help you find the best pillow for back pain.
Best Pillows For Back Pain
Here’s a sneak peek at the best pillow for back pain reviewed below:
- Easy Life 185 Lumbar Support Cushion
- Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow
- Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
- Restorology Elevating Memory Foam Leg Rest Pillow
- Aocome Knee Pillow
- Ziraki Seat Cushion
Different Types Of Pillows For Back Pain Relief
Just a quick search for “best pillow for back pain” and you’ll quickly come up with tons of different types of pillows. Each one is somehow designed to relieve your pain and each offers their own set of benefits and amenities. No one “type” of pillow is necessarily better than the other, rather they just work in different ways.
Here’s a look at a few of the different types of pillows marketed for back pain and what they offer.
Conventional Head Pillows
A few of the pillows you’ll come across will be your conventional, under-the-head pillows with a twist. These are used much like any other pillow, designed to be used under your head as you sleep. The most common conventional pillow options for back pain are memory foam pillows or cervical support pillows.
Memory foam is a pretty popular material when it comes to bedding these days and for good reason, too. Memory foam is known for its unsurpassed ability to mold and cradle around your body, doing the same around your head and neck when used as a pillow.
Memory foam pillow options will relieve pressure under the head and neck and help to promote proper spine and overall body alignment, which can alleviate back pain. A memory foam pillow is usually a good option for all sleeping positions, but they can be a bit firm for some or even too soft/giving for others, depending on how the pillow is made.
Another option you’ll find when searching for the best pillow for back pain is a cervical support pillow. These are designed with a contour in the middle of the pillow’s surface that allows for complete, proper alignment while you sleep, which will greatly reduce back pain and stiffness.
A cervical support pillow is designed to cradle your head within the contour when you lie on your back. The sides of the pillow are thicker than the center and provide adequate support and alignment for side sleepers. This type of pillow is ideal for back sleepers and okay for side sleeps, but don’t provide a lot of help for those that sleep on their stomach.
You’ll also come across something called a lumbar cushion when searching for the best pillow for back pain. These pillows are specially shaped to fit in the natural curve of your lower back. When used, they reduce the strain and pressure that’s put on your lower back and promotes the natural shape of your spine.
These pillows are usually effective in relieving back pain, but it can take a few weeks of some uncomfortable adjustment before you notice a difference.
Leg Rest/Wedge Pillow
A leg rest/wedge pillow is another option you’re sure to come across when you’re shopping for the best pillow for back pain. These pillows are also designed to relieve the pressure and strain on your lower back but in a different way. Where the lumbar cushions support the natural curve of your lower back while you’re lying flat on your back, these pillows raise your legs to reduce the curve in the lumbar region.
This particular type of pillow does require you to lie on your back to reap the benefits. Making it a great option for those that sleep primarily on their back, someone recovering from an injury, or those that suffer from chronic, severe pain.
Perhaps one of the most common pillows used to alleviate back pain in a knee pillow. These pillows are designed to rest between the knees while you sleep and promote proper alignment and reduce pressure and strain on the spine.
Of course, it is possible to use any old pillow between your knees. But, these are specifically designed at the correct thickness to promote the healthiest position and they’re usually pretty cheap. These options are best suited for those that primarily sleep on their side.
You’ll also find quite a few seat cushion options when you go searching for the best pillow for back pain. Obviously, this type of pillow isn’t meant to be used in bed. But, it can help reduce back pain and stiffness during the day. Especially if you work in an office or somewhere you’re left sitting for most of the day.
They’re designed to cushion the lower back and relieve pressure on the lower back/tailbone region to reduce discomfort.
Now let’s take a look at what we think are 6 of the best pillows for back pain.
Easy Life 185 Lumbar Support Cushion
Up first in our search for the best pillow for back pain is the Easy Life 185 Lumbar Support Cushion. This pillow features an ergonomic design that fits perfectly under the small of your back to help reduces pain and discomfort through the night. This unique shape allows the pillow to provide users with proper alignment through the legs, hips, and spine.
It also supports the natural curve of the lower back to reduce pressure and strain that can cause muscle aches, pinched nerves, and chronic pain. The pillow is constructed of premium memory foam that’s guaranteed to hold its shape and is anti-bacterial and dust mite resistant. It can even be used as a knee support pillow or a leg spacer in addition to a lumbar support cushion.
The Easy Life 185 Lumbar Support Cushion also features a super-breathable cover that’s equipped with Aloe Vera infusions to wick away moisture and help keep you cool. The cover is also removable and machine washable for an added layer of hygiene.
- The Easy Life 185 company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee
- The Easy Life 185 pillow is super versatile, with many different uses such as pregnancy discomfort relief, reduction of varicose veins, or even as a lumbar support cushion when seated upright
- This pillow is compatible for almost every sleeping position, whether it’s used under the lower back, between the knees, or as a leg space
- Many reviewers have raved that the pillow has completely transformed their sleep
- The cushion tends to move around throughout the night, not staying in the proper position
- Some users complain that the pillow is a bit too thin for their needs
- A handful of reviewers feel that the cushion is too firm and doesn’t have enough give under their back
The Easy Life 185 Lumbar Support Cushion comes in at $29.80, making it a pretty cost-effective option to relieve back pain.
If you’re looking for the best pillow for back pain that’s super versatile and offers low-profile relief, then the Easy Life 185 Lumbar Support Cushion is a great option for you.
Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow
Up next on our review of the best pillows for back pain is the Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow. This option is the first of two conventional “head pillows” featured in our review. It features a patented pending contoured design in the middle of the pillow that’s chiropractic and orthopedic recommended.
The Nature’s Guest pillow is filled with an innovative microfiber support filling. This unique filling allows the pillow to relieve neck, shoulder, and upper back pain while remaining cool and comfortable. It’s then wrapped in a 100% cotton fabric covering that increases the overall breathability of the pillow – all of which is high-quality and hypoallergenic.
The Nature’s Guest pillow is ideal for side and back sleepers and is quite unique in the fact that it’s adjustable. A dual zipper allows users complete access to the inside of the pillow so that you can completely adjust the firmness and feel of the pillow to best fit your needs.
- The Nature’s Sleep company offers a 90-day money-back satisfaction guarantee
- The Nature’s Sleep pillow feature gusseted sides that allow for a smooth transition from back to side
- The company donates 10% of their profits to global humanitarian relief
- Nature’s Sleep pillow features a patent-pending design with a built-in neck roll that provides optimal cervical support
- Some users have complained that the pillow is a bit thin and they require an additional pillow underneath
- The Nature’s Sleep Cervical Pillow does provide a different feel than conventional pillows and can come with an adjustment period
- A few reviewers have noted that the zipper doesn’t hold up well
The Nature’s Sleep Cervical Support Pillow is a bit pricey, coming in at $59.97. But, considering all of its benefits and amenities, we think it’s certainly worth the splurge.
If you’re willing to spend a little extra on the best pillow for back pain and your pain is primarily in your upper back/neck area, then the Nature’s Sleep Cervical Support Pillow is a fantastic option.
Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
The Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is our second “head pillow” option in our review for the best pillow for back pain. This pillow is made from shredded, premium quality, Certi-PUR US Certified memory foam. Like the Nature’s Sleep pillow above, the Coop Home memory foam pillow is also adjustable to allow users to customize the product to best suit their needs and alleviate their discomfort.
It features a 60% polyester, 40% bamboo-derived rayon cover that’s soft and plush to the touch. The entire pillow also increases overall hygiene, as it’s safe to machine wash. Plus, it’s completely hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant.
- The Coop Home Goods company offers a 100-night satisfaction guarantee as well as a 5-year limited warranty
- The Coop Home Goods pillow passes several emission standards and certifications
- The pillow is adjustable and compatible with all sleeping positions
- Some users have noticed a strong off-gassing odor
- The shredded memory foam filling if very dense and some users find it too firm
- Reviewers note that after a few months of use, the pillow loses a lot of its bounce back
The Coop Home Goods pillow comes in queen and king-size. It is a bit on the expensive side for a pillow, with the queen coming in at $59.99 and the king at $64.99. But, it is a high-quality product that offers customized back pain relief.
If you’re looking for the best pillow for back pain that will allow you to customize the feel and is compatible with various sleeping positions, then the Coop Home Goods pillow is a great option for you.
Restorology Elevating Memory Foam Leg Rest Pillow
The Restorology Elevating Leg Rest Pillow is a unique option we found on our search for the best pillow for back pain. While most pillows for back pain relief go between the knees or under the lumbar region, this pillow is designed to rest under and elevate the leg. It’s wedge shape and ideal height allows users to rest their legs comfortably and reduce tension and strain on the lower back area.
The pillow is constructed of dense luxury foam that’s guaranteed to never sag or lose its shape. It also features a super-plush, washable microfiber cover for clean, luxurious comfort against the skin. The platform of the pillow is extra wide to comfortably accommodate both legs and allows users to rest comfortably for extended periods of time.
This particular pillow is great for back sleepers, those recovering from injuries, or users with severe chronic pain issues. It’s been designed to alleviate discomfort from back and leg pain, varicose veins, and restless leg syndrome.
- The height and design of the pillow allows for optimal circulation
- The microfiber cover is non-slip so the pillow will stay in place during use
- The dense foam keeps your legs gently supported and does not sag like a conventional bed or couch pillow does
- The Restorology company offers a 30-day money back guarantee
- You are responsible for returning the product if you’re unsatisfied, which can be a hassle
- The pillow doesn’t work well for tall users
- Many users have complained that the pillow differs in shape and size from the advertisement
The Restorology Elevating Pillow offers back pain relief at an affordable cost, coming in at $26.99.
If your back pain is a result of an injury, chronic and severe, or if you tend to sleep on your back, then the Restorology Elevating Pillow is a great option to consider when you’re searching for the best pillow for back pain. It perfectly elevates the legs at a comfortable position for optimal circulation, alignment, and pain relief.
Aocome Knee Pillow
The Aocome Knee Pillow is ergonomically designed to rest between the knees and relieve hip, back, and Sciatic pain. The middle of the pillow is perfectly contoured, fitting comfortably between the knees and allowing users to achieve proper alignment through the hips and back. The Aocome pillow is made with high-quality memory foam that’s designed to always hold its shape and gently contour around the knees for optimal comfort.
The Aocome knee pillow really sets itself apart from most other knee pillow options with their unique leg strap. One of the most common issues with knee pillows like these is the pillow becoming displaced as you move and switch positions through the night. The Aocome knee pillow combats this issue with a convenient, plush strap that rests on your thigh just above your knee – this allows the Aocome pillow to maintain proper placement and support proper alignment no matter how much you move throughout the night.
- The Aocome company offers a 45-day money back guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty
- The knee pillow features a breathable cover that’s removable and machine washable
- In addition to back pain, the Aocome knee pillow also relieves symptoms of Sciatica, Restless Leg Pain, and pregnancy discomfort
- The core of the knee pillow is made from 100% hypoallergenic visco-elastic memory foam
- Knee pillows such as the Aocome are most efficient for side sleepers
- The strap is elastic and not adjustable, making it a bit too big for smaller users and can be a bit tight/uncomfortable on larger users
- Some users have noticed that the strap allows the pillow to rotate around your leg while you sleep
The price of the Aocome knee pillow is very budget-friendly, coming in at just $18.95.
When it comes to finding the best pillow for back pain, we think that the Aocome Knee Pillow is a fantastic contender, especially if you’re a side sleeper with pain primarily in your lower back. This pillow rests perfectly between your knees to allow for proper body alignment and reduce pain symptoms.
Ziraki Seat Cushion
The last option we’ve covered on our guide to the best pillow for back pain is a bit different than the rests, as it’s designed for use while you’re away. The Ziraki Seat Cushion is made to be used virtually anywhere you sit – whether it be an office chair, driving/riding in a car while watching TV, or even wheelchairs.
The Ziraki pillow is constructed of high-quality memory foam that perfectly contours and cradles you as you sit. Unlike many other seat cushions, it features a U-shaped cutout that reduces pressure on the tailbone, helps straighten and align your posture, and supports your spines most natural, healthiest positions. This unique design also helps to protect users from sitting in improper positions that can increase pain and stiffness.
- The Ziraki company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee – promising to issue a full refund if you’re unsatisfied with the product
- The pillow is designed to alleviate nearly all sitting pain – ranging from Sciatica, injuries, herniated discs, pregnancy discomfort, or even hemorrhoids
- The Ziraki pillow features a zippered velour cover that’s machine washable for easy cleaning
- The ergonomic design of the pillow in combination with the U-shaped cutout increases blood flow to the legs
- The cushion is lightweight and transports easily, so you can take the pillow with you anywhere you go
- Some users complain that the cushion is too thick and causes their legs to dangle over their seat
- The memory foam is affected by temperature and becomes softer when warm
- If you’re using a leather or plastic chair, the cushion does not stay in place well
The Ziraki Seat Cushion comes in at just $18.99, making it an affordable option to relieve back pain.
If you’re looking for the best pillow for back pain that you can use during the day, then the Ziraki Seat Cushion is the perfect option for you. The ergonomic design and U-shaped cutout allow for comfortable relief and gentle support.
What to Look For When Searching For The Best Pillow For Back Pain
- Watch out for the thickness of the pillow – whether the pillow is going under your head, under your lower back, or between your knees, a too-thin or too-thick pillow won’t allow for proper alignment and could actually increase your pain
- Look for a pillow that’s designed for your preferred sleeping position – each pillow is designed different and isn’t always compatible with the way you sleep
- Target your back pain – if your pain is mostly in your lower back, then a knee pillow or lumbar cushion is most likely the best option for you. If your pain is more localized to the upper back/neck, then a cervical support pillow will most likely give you better relief
So, What Is The Best Pillow For Back Pain?
When it comes to finding the best pillow for back pain, it really does come down to personal needs. Your type of pain, where it’s located, and its severity will greatly determine the type of pillow you need. So, ultimately, it’s nearly impossible to say that there’s one specific pillow that’s the very best for all back pain.
But, we can say that we feel like we’ve showcased the very best of each different pillow type in our buyer’s guide. Once you’ve determined what type of pillow you need, we can almost guarantee we’ve picked out the very best one right here.