Calling All Back Sleepers, Say Goodbye To Neck Pain And Hello To Great Sleep With These Pillows


If you’re a back sleeper, congratulations! You are part of a very small percentage of sleepers — as low as 8 percent — that enjoys all kinds of benefits from back sleeping including reduced neck pain by keeping your spine straight and smoother skin. (The downside is that it increases snoring, though that might be more of a problem for someone sharing your bed. That is, unless you also have sleep apnea, in which case you should consult a doctor.) To get all the benefits of back sleeping, however, you need to be set up for success. The best pillows for back sleepers provide medium-firm support so your head and neck can be held in alignment with the rest of your spine.

Your perfect pillow ultimately comes down to whether you want more support or more softness. Namely, whether you want a traditional, feather pillow-type feel or the more supportive, less plush feel of foam or latex. All should be able to support your neck and spine through the night, and are also appropriate for side-sleepers if you sometimes toss and turn between the two sleeping positions.

Down pillows, however, are not great for back sleepers. Even firmer down pillows can quickly lose their fluff over time or throughout the night. Plus, down and feather pillows are also not ideal for allergy sufferers.

Whether you sleep hot or like a softer pillow, there is a pillow built for a great night's sleep below.


The Overall Best Pillow For Back Sleepers

This customizable pillow has more than 11,000 five-star reviews, with some calling it "perfect." Shredded memory foam fill allows you to remove or add filling until you hit the right density and height for your neck and head. It gives you the support of classic foam, but also gets you closer to the fluffiness of classic pillows. Because you can adjust the loft of the pillow, it's suitable for all sleepers, though back sleepers will want to keep it on the fuller side to keep their heads in line with their spine. The pillow is machine-washable, as is the included outer shell. The only downside is, unlike some adjustable pillows which have removable panels, this shredded foam is trickier to store. If you’re fiddling with the levels, keep the excess contained in a lidded or zippered bag or pouch.


The Best Soft Pillow For Back Sleepers

Reviewers praise this pillow for offering "soft" and "cloud-like" comfort while still providing firm support. The down alternative allows your head to sink in for a classic pillow feel, but not sink so far that your head is unsupported. Unlike memory foam, fiber fill is also quite breathable and great for hot sleepers. The pillow and cotton cover are both machine washable. The cotton cover also contributes to the pillow's breathability, and can go under your pillow case for additional protection. The firmer support can also keep your spine comfortably aligned on your side as well.


A Pillow For Extra Support

While it doesn’t provide the fluffy luxury of a traditional pillow, memory foam offers excellent support. Epabo’s contoured pillow is specially designed to cradle your neck in an optimal position to allow your spine to stay aligned and shoulders to feel supported. It is also designed to eliminate neck pain by keeping your spine curve as natural as possible on both your back and side. Memory foam is notorious for sleeping hot, however, the bamboo fibers here in the cover help reduce some of the natural heat buildup. A center panel can be removed for some adjustability. Because this is different from traditional pillows, Epabo cautions that there might be a brief adjustment period. The pillow case, but not the pillow itself, is machine-washable.


The Best Supportive Pillow For Hot Sleepers

More expensive and less common than memory foam but offering similarly high levels of support, latex offers two advantages. Importantly for hot sleepers or those who just live in warm climates is the fact that it is heat-neutral, unlike memory foam which can build heat throughout the night. The holes in the pillow also allows air to circulate all night, another feature making it ideal for hot sleepers. Unlike memory foam, latex foam immediately bounces back to its original shape and sees less “sink” overall. The contours on this pillow can be adapted for back or side sleepers. The higher curve supports the shoulders of side sleepers, and the lower curve is meant to keep the spine in natural alignment. The latex foam is not machine-washable, but the cotton cover can be cleaned as needed. For the eco-conscious, this is also 100 percent plant-derived, and is in fact the only one of these picks that that is true for.

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