Being kept awake by back pain, whatever the causes, is unpleasant. Pillows that support your spine can do a lot to ease discomfort, but, just as importantly, they can sometimes even relieve some of the underlying causes of your pain. Of course, root causes of back pain differ, as do our individual sleeping positions, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the best pillow for back pain for you can vary depending on your needs and preferences.
Sleeping on your back with proper head support, may be enough to soothe symptoms, according to the University of Rochester. If your head pillow is already supportive, additional support in the form of a wedge or roller pillow under your knees can also help. However, back sleeping can also cause snoring, Brandon Peters, M.D., writes in Verywell Health, and it might be hard for some side sleepers to adjust to. In that case, there are a few ways to sleep comfortably in any position while still supporting your spine. A pillow that goes between and supports your knees can do a lot for keeping spinal alignment straight and ease tension for side sleepers, explains the Mayo Clinic. Stomach sleeping also makes back alignment tricky, but a pillow beneath your stomach and hips can help.
Unsure which support is best for you? First, you should consult a doctor to see what causes and treatments might work best for you. Depending on their advice, experimenting with a regular pillow in various positions or even a rolled-up towel can give you an idea of what kind of support would be most beneficial to you. Finally, if not even better neck, knee, and lumbar support are helping, you may need to consider upgrading your mattress.
Below, I’ve rounded up the best option in each category of pillows that provide various forms of support for back, side, and stomach sleepers. Each pillow selected is foam or memory foam, which provides consistent support that won’t deflate throughout the night.