The 5 Best Pillows For Acid Reflux, According To A Sleep Expert

This is how to find the best height, material, and shape for you.

The 5 Best Pillows For Acid Reflux
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If you experience acid reflux at night, sleeping on an incline may help. The best pillows for acid reflux raise your upper body so stomach acid stays in the stomach — but not all of them are created equal. According to an expert, in order to find the best pillow to minimize burning and discomfort, you’ll need to consider the shape, material, and height.

The Expert

Carleara Weiss, Ph.D., MSH, RN, has a Ph.D. in nursing and over 15 years of experience as an adult-geriatric nurse specialist. Dr. Weiss focuses on behavioral sleep medicine and circadian rhythms, and is an advisor to Pluto Pillow.

What To Look For In A Pillow For Acid Reflux

First, consider the shape. Since acid reflux is a result of stomach acid making its way back up the esophagus, “shoppers should look for a pillow that elevates the thorax, shoulders, and head,” Dr. Weiss wrote in an email to Bustle. For that reason, a triangular wedge pillow is often the best shape to minimize the symptoms of acid reflux.

Next, there’s the material. Dr. Weiss recommends a pillow made from mostly “medium-firm memory foam,” which will offer enough density to raise your upper body without flattening or feeling uncomfortable. However, it doesn’t need to be all memory foam. “Pillows with multiple layers and temperature control” will maximize your comfort levels, according to Dr. Weiss. Memory foam is known for retaining heat, so hybrid pillows are especially good choices for those who tend to sleep hot.

Finally, consider the height of your pillow. Wedge pillows are usually anywhere from 5 to 12 inches at their highest point. While the thickness is partially a matter of personal preference, Dr. Weiss wrote that “a 45-degree angle of inclination” is ideal for acid reflux so consider how you can achieve that most comfortably.

The first two pillows are direct recommendations from Dr. Weiss. The rest are fan-favorite products — two of which raise the mattress itself in case you’re looking for something a little more permanent and secure.

Shop The Best Wedge Pillows

  1. The Best Adjustable Wedge Pillow: Kӧlbs Memory Foam Adjustable Bed Wedge Pillow
  2. An Expert-Recommended Best Basic Wedge Pillow: Relax Home Life 7.5 Inch Bed Wedge PillowAmazon
  3. The Best Budget Pillow: Ebung 7.5-inch Bed Wedge Pillow
  4. The Best Under-Mattress Elevator Pillow: Avana 7-Inch Mattress Elevator
  5. The Best Adjustable Bed Alternative: Contour Mattress Genie Queen Adjustable Bed Wedge System

1. The Best Adjustable Wedge Pillow


  • Seven different configurations
  • Comes with a washable cover


  • Price

Wedge pillows can be expensive and clunky, so you might as well get as much use out of them as possible. The Kӧlbs adjustable wedge pillow is a direct recommendation from Dr. Weiss as well as a fan-favorite with over 11,000 reviews and a best-selling status. Its two foldable sections allow you to use the pillow in seven different configurations for all different purposes; yes, it can be turned into a wedge pillow for acid reflux, but you can also use it under your knees, as a footrest, or as a back prop while you’re reading or watching TV. The memory foam top layer is cushiony and comfortable, the high-density core offers support, and the jacquard velvet cover is luxuriously soft and machine-washable.

One reviewer wrote: “Very comfortable. Not too firm not too soft. It’s perfect. And love the option with the detachable smaller pillow. Lots of options!”

Height: 12 inches (adjustable) | Material: memory foam top, high-density core | Other available sizes: standard 7.5 inches, standard 12 inches, deluxe 4-piece set, extra-wide 7.5 inches, extra-wide 12 inches

2. An Expert-Recommended Best Basic Wedge Pillow


  • Simple but effective design
  • Comes with a cooling, washable bamboo cover


  • Some reviewers report an initial odor

If you’re looking for a simple but high-quality option, look no further than this wedge pillow from Relax Home Life. The top features a 1.5-inch-thick layer of memory foam for comfort, while the interior has premium-grade polyurethane foam for support. The whole thing comes wrapped in a cooling, washable cover made from bamboo viscose. It’s a direct recommendation from Dr. Weiss, but one reviewer also called it “the most comfortable wedge” they’ve tried.

One reviewer wrote: “This is a wonderful product and I’m so happy I bought it. I suffer from acid reflux and have lots of sleep due to this condition. Medicines were not helping. This pillow has made a hide difference. I have slept soundly every night since I started using it.”

Height: 7.5 inches | Material: memory foam, polyurethane foam | Other available sizes: 7 and 12 inches

3. The Best Budget Pillow


  • Less than $40
  • Comes with a machine-washable cover


  • Some reviewers report that it’s too firm

This bed wedge pillow gets the job done without breaking the bank. Even though it has the lowest price on this list, it’s still made from quality memory foam and comes with a machine-washable, hypoallergenic cover. It’s earned an overall rating of 4.2 stars from more than 11,000 reviewers. You can get it in two heights: 7.5 inches and 12 inches. The memory foam is quite firm, which most found comfortable, but might be a little too firm for those who prefer a softer sleep surface.

One reviewer wrote: “I love this pillow, the price is reasonable [and] it has helped my acid reflux a lot.”

Height: 7.5 inches | Material: firm memory foam | Other available sizes: 12 inches

4. The Best Under-Mattress Elevator Pillow


  • Raises the whole mattress up for a 7-inch incline
  • Stays in place
  • Especially good for side sleepers or people who move around a lot


  • Expensive

For those who find a wedge pillow uncomfortable or inconvenient (either due to the sharp incline or the fact that it moves around), the Avana mattress elevator is “worth every penny,” according to one reviewer. Yes, it’s still a triangular foam wedge pillow, but this one slips underneath your mattress and spans from your head to your feet. That way, the incline is effective but much less noticeable, and it’ll actually stay put no matter how much you move around. As per Dr. Weiss’ recommendation, it’s made from high-density memory foam to prevent flattening over time. (Note that the larger sizes come in two pieces for easier installation.)

One reviewer wrote: “I unfortunately suffer from pretty bad GERD. Even medicated, I still would have issues at night from time to time. Tried typical wedge pillows, left-side sleeping, you know, all the tricks. Nothing was really that effective. But since I got this mattress support, I have had almost no issues. I get better sleep, I don't wake up with acid burning my throat, and no more expensive middle of the night panicked ER/urgent care trips.”

Height: 7 inches | Material: high-density memory foam | Other available sizes: twin, full, king, California king (also sold in a 5-inch height)

5. The Best Adjustable Bed Alternative


  • Much more affordable than an adjustable bed
  • Stays put
  • Control the angle with a remote control
  • Inflatable, so it’s lightweight and easy to store/travel with


  • Slightly noisy
  • Air may be unevenly distributed if a single person is sleeping in a double bed

Adjustable beds allow you to change your angle of incline with the press of a button — but they can be thousands of dollars. The Contour Mattress Genie adjustable bed wedge system is a much more affordable alternative that achieves the same end result. To use it, just slip the inflatable wedge underneath the head of your mattress. The glow-in-the-dark remote control will then allow you to inflate the pillow for a sharper incline, or deflate it for a flatter position. It can support up to 1,000 pounds, comes in four sizes, and “makes all the difference” when it comes to comfort levels, according to a reviewer. The downsides: It’s noisy when inflating and if one person is sleeping alone in a double bed, the air pressure may not be perfectly balanced.

One reviewer wrote: “I can adjust the height to what feels most comfortable at night. It reduces my acid reflux, I can breathe well and relax and I sleep deeply. My OBGYN approved its use. I'm looking forward to using it for nursing. Last time I had to use a million pillows to prop myself up in bed to nurse so I feel like this will be a much better solution.”

Height: up to 26 inches (adjustable) | Material: puncture-resistant PVC vinyl | Other available sizes: twin, full, king


Carleara Weiss, Ph.D, MSH, RN, advisor to Pluto Pillow