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Remember a life before back pain? We didn’t know how good we had it as kids. Now, when we sleep with our neck turned at the slightest wrong angle, suddenly we can’t move for the next week without hurting ourselves. It’s not like we can (or want to) avoid sleeping, so finding a pillow that works with our sleeping style and our preferences is of the utmost importance.
Even if you’ve found the best mattress in the world, there’s a good chance you won’t know true comfort until you’ve purchased a pillow specifically targeting your type of pain — whether it’s in your upper back, lower back, neck, shoulders or beyond. We’re here to help you out with that. We searched around, studying research and quotes from experts until we found the best pillows for all types of back pain!
Our Top Pick
Types of Sleeping Issues
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- No lumbar support
- Pain in your favorite sleeping position
What the Experts Say
As stated by Tim Everett, Pain Guru at The Bad Back Company, “Waking up with a painful neck or back is not a good way to start the day. However, some simple bedtime routines that I give to my patients may just help. For side sleepers try placing a pillow between your knees, for back sleepers make sure your neck is in a neutral alignment and try placing a pillow under your knees for additional lower back comfort.”
You can also find more information at Spine-Health, which notes that “pillow support is crucial for spine problems,” and gets into the specifics of pillow heights and the curve of the human neck!
Sagino Cervical Memory Foam Pillow
For the sleeper who needs a cervical pillow for protecting their neck and spine
You can tell this Sagino pillow is different just by looking at it, but once you feel it, you might never turn back. This memory foam pillow was specifically created to contour to your body and cervical spine, providing support in all of the right places — whether you’re sleeping on your back or side!
Helix Wedge Pillow
For the sleeper with neck pain and/or lower back pain
This wedge pillow can be placed under your head for potential neck pain relief, or you can use it to elevate your legs, which may help reduce pressure on your lower back. It also may be great for anyone with acid reflux, heartburn or snoring — or anyone who wants to be propped up while reading or watching TV in bed!
CushionCare Memory Foam Pillow
For the sleeper with shoulder pain and stiffness
This unique pillow not only cradles your neck, but it features special arm rests meant to cushion and support your shoulders so you don’t wake up feeling like you haven’t moved your body in 100 years!
ComfiLife Lumbar Support Pillow
For the sleeper with back and hip pain
This lumbar support pillow doesn’t actually go underneath your head, but you can use it in addition to your regular pillow — popping it underneath your torso to help alleviate lower back pain. You can also move it down to underneath your knees if your hips tend to hurt!
Brooklinen Plush Down Alternative Pillow
For the sleeper who needs soft and squishy support
For some of us, the softer the pillow, the better we sleep — and the better we feel when we wake up. This Brooklinen pillow is wonderfully plush to the point where it’s even recommended for stomach sleepers. It’s also available in a down version!
Buffy Firm Cloud Pillow
For the sleeper who needs firm support
Alternatively, some of us need extra support for a happy night’s sleep, and the firm version of this Cloud Pillow is our pick. It’s eco-friendly, hypoallergenic and cool to the touch too!
PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow
For the pregnant sleeper who needs full-body support
This number one bestseller has a truly wild number of stellar reviews, so you know it’s tried and true. It’s a U-shaped body pillow that supports your head, back, hips, knees and neck all at once. It has a soft jersey cotton cover too. You don’t have to be pregnant to use it, but if you are, we definitely recommend checking it out!
Contour Legacy Leg & Knee Foam Support Pillow
For the side sleeper who needs alignment
This heart-shaped pillow is a side sleeper’s best friend. Sleeping with nothing between your legs could cause pressure on your back and hips, while a full-sized pillow is often uncomfortable and not specifically made to help. This orthopedic leg pillow fits right between your knees!
Everlasting Comfort Seat Cushion
For anyone suffering from tailbone pain
This incredibly popular pillow is less for sleeping and more for long days in your desk chair, in the car or maybe while playing video games. It claims to use memory foam and body heat to “mold to your curves” for the ultimate all-day comfort!
Ziraki Large Plush Pillow
For anyone who wants to relax pain-free
This is another pillow you’ll love for daytime, as it’s perfect for relaxing on the couch with a good book or a sitcom marathon on your TV. No more slouching! Let the shredded foam interior support and keep you comfortable. Using this could have great results on your posture too!
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