The 5 Best Lumbar Pillows

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When you're dealing with chronic back pain or a recent injury, sitting for long periods of time can be brutal. Luckily, the best lumbar pillows can help keep your muscles loose and pain-free while you're sitting.

Before you invest in a pillow, you'll want to consider where you tend to feel the most pain. While some lumbar pillows support your entire core to help keep your spine neutral and release muscle tension, others target specific areas of your back. For example, a high-backed lumbar pillow with neck support can relieve shoulder pain, whereas a curved lower back pillow can help improve your posture and alleviate tight muscles.

Another thing to consider is the environment where you'll use your pillow. While all of the most comfortable lumbar pillows are made with a memory foam core, there are some key differences in their outer shell materials. For example, if you work in a warm office, you may want to invest in a lumbar pillow with breathable mesh or a cooling gel insert. Or if you'll use your pillow in your car, you may want to invest in one with a durable, easy-to-clean cover in case of a coffee spill.

No matter which way you go, finding the best lumbar pillows for you can be tough. Here's a round-up of some of the best options out there to help you narrow down your decision.

1. The Best Overall, All Things Considered

When it comes to complete support, this ergonomic lumbar pillow hits all the right marks. Made with high-density memory foam, it cradles your back and spine without flattening. It also features two adjustable straps to keep it firmly in place, whether you use it at the office or in the car. Plus, this pillow comes with a breathable mesh cover that can stand up to stains and is easily removed for washing. At only $26, it's a total steal. There's a reason why this pillow has over 3,000 glowing Amazon reviews — it delivers cloud-like support.

What fans say: "Working a desk job where I'm sitting 7+ hours a day, I started having really bad lower back pain. Tried foam roller, stretching, massages... nothing solved it. Ever since buying this, pain is gone. I highly recommend it."

2. The Best Pillow For Lower Back Pain

If you're struggling with lower back pain, this posture support pillow helps relieve tension while keeping your spine neutral. The contoured memory foam cushion allows for just enough give to support the natural curve of your lower spine, yet it's firm enough to help support your discs and muscles. While this pillow will warm according to your body temperature, it's designed with a breathable mesh cover so you won't overheat.

What fans say: "What is difficult to find in these lumbar pillows is the right balance between firm and soft. For me this product hit the sweet spot. For a firmness scale where 0 = jello and 10 = concrete; I would put this squarely at a "5". In other words I found it to be just right and the fact that it is competitively priced makes it a big winner."

3. The Best Pillow For Neck And Shoulder Pain

If your neck and shoulders tend to get tight while you're sitting, this upper back pillow is the perfect solution. The memory foam core is curved to allow for the natural shape of your shoulders so you can rest your head without putting any pressure on your spine. Plus, the high-density foam won't become indented or saggy over time. And since it has an adjustable height option, you can use this pillow in just about any vehicle or with any high-back office chair.

What fans say: "[G]reat shape that fits perfectly into the curve of the neck, well made, stays in place on the car's headrest, and firm enough so it actually supports the head and seems to alleviate shoulder tension from long commutes. I loved it so much."

4. The Best Cooling Pillow

This luxe gel cushion set will keep you cool while you sit. The contoured bottom cushion includes an open space so it won't put any pressure on your tailbone, and the upper back pillow helps keep your spine neutral for maximum comfort. On top of that, there's a layer of gel woven into the memory foam. This gel helps disburse heat to regulate your body temperature, especially if you're sitting for long periods of time. Hundreds of reviewers insist that this cushion has completely eliminated their back pain.

What fans say: "This cushion set has been a lifesaver. I've been working on comprehensive exams for my degree program for the past few days, which entails a minimum of 8-9 hours a day spent sitting at the computer and frantically writing, and I haven't had any back or butt pain once. I love, love, love that I can sit for so long without any pain."

5. The Best Pillow For Travel

This inflatable lumbar cushion is a must-have if you're always on the go. It comes in a slim bag that you can easily store in a carry-on or backpack. It even inflates on its own when you're ready to use it — just twist the valve clockwise to inflate. Since this pillow is filled with both memory foam and air, you can easily adjust it according to your preferences by inflating it with less or more air. And when you're ready to pack it up, turn the valve counterclockwise to deflate the pillow and slip it back into its bag.

What fans say: "This thing is awesome. I travel a TON and always need more lumbar support, and this is perfect. It rolls up to an easily-portable size too. I get a lot of people asking me about it because it's such a great idea and airplane seats really offer no support."

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