How do I Choose the Best Pillows for Back Pain?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2019
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Choosing the best pillows for back pain can be difficult, but knowing what to look for can help you decide. Many types of pillows may help back pain, including those that are ergonomic and those made from memory foam and latex foam. Feather and synthetic pillows may be a consideration as well. Also take into consideration which position you sleep in. For back pain during pregnancy, a full-length body pillow may alleviate pressure and provide proper positioning and support.

Pillows for back pain and for chronic backaches may require a special orthopedic quality design for best results. Choosing the preferred density may be an important factor as well. This is because a pillow that is too firm or too soft may worsen your back problems. The important thing to remember is to consider pillows that offer proper support and spine alignment.

The first thing to consider is your sleeping position. Side sleepers typically require more firmness and support than a back or stomach sleeper. Side sleepers often find that a feather or down pillow may not provide the needed proper support and alignment for the spine. If your head droops down into your mattress, you could be putting too much stress on your back, causing pain, discomfort, and stiffness in the morning. A pillow that is too thick may push the head up too high, as can sleeping with more than one pillow. This can cause back pain as well.


A good choice for a side sleeper, even one who suffers from back pain, is a latex foam pillow. Of course, those who are allergic to latex will have to find another alternative. The advantage of latex pillows is this material is very durable and long lasting, and some even come with a lifetime warranty.

Latex will provide proper support and spine alignment, as it tends to mold to the body but bounce back and recover quicker than most memory foam designs. Latex pillows can also be good for back or stomach sleepers as well. Stomach sleepers, however, may need to choose a model that is softer or less firm.

Many individuals choose memory foam pillows for back pain as well. A lumbar support pillow that incorporates the use of this foam may be beneficial. One thing to remember about memory foam is to choose a product that is well ventilated. This material tends to retain heat, and without proper ventilation, some individuals may feel too warm at night.

Remember that every person is unique, so what works best for someone else might not be ideal for you. If possible, test several display models at your local sleep center. Most reputable stores are happy to allow customers to try out different products and can suggest pillows that might work best.


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Post 3

Depending on which position you sleep in, putting a pillow beneath your legs can take pressure off of your back and help relieve lower back pain.

Post 2

Sleeping with too many pillows can cause back pain. Some people pile three and four pillows beneath their heads at night. I guess they think that since one is good, four has to be better. All those pillows get your body out of line. Stick with one good pillow if you need that so you are more comfortable. There is no rule that says you have to use a pillow at all.

Post 1

I drive in a truck from work site to work site. I do a lot of standing and walking on uneven surfaces once I reach the sites. Sometimes I help my workers lift heavy objects. All of this added to the fact that I played football, basketball and baseball when I was in school and you can understand why my back hurts from time to time.

If I have a hard mattress to sleep on I am generally okay at night regardless of what type of pillows I use, but I have found that using a soft pillow to put behind my lower back when I am driving forces me to stay aware of my posture. With the pillow

I will sit straighter to keep it in place and I don't get the lower back pain that I sometimes get when I drive around most of the day.

You can also buy special seat cushions, but try the pillow first. It works for me.

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