Sprained or aching backs aren’t just problematic for work and walking around – lying down can be pure agony without the adequate support, and a night of awkward sleep positions might lead to restless or fractured sleep, or waking up to worse pain than we went to bed with. Nonetheless, rest is an important aspect of recovery and relief when it comes to back pain – taking the pressure off the injured area allows it to heal, and gives you the opportunity to catch a break from pain caused by anything from sciatica to a herniated disk. Sleeping on your side is often recommended if you’ve got a history with back pain, or are currently suffering from it, as long you as make sure your spine is properly aligned and your body gets a chance to relax and recover. And body pillows – at least the best ones – help achieve just that.
Tucked under your neck, held between your knees and sometimes going all the way around to support your back, these pillows ensure your spine is properly aligned, evenly distributing body weight to keep strain off the injured area as well as avoiding putting undue pressure anywhere else. This allows you to relax, alleviating pain and allowing the injury to heal as you sleep – and also gives you a nice pillow to snuggle down with for the night that won’t squirm or radiate body heat. Be it for pregnancy-sparked back pains or a pinched nerve, here are our picks for the best body pillow for back pain.
Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow
These ‘U’ shaped pillows are often referred to as maternity or pregnancy pillows, but are much more diverse in use, especially for someone experiencing back pain. The inner hourglass contours of the pillow hug your back and belly to give your body the natural support it needs to relax without spraining anything. And while this is going to take up more space on a bed than a regular elongated pillow would, it does do away with the need to have multiple supportive pillows you need to move around to adjust to your comfort throughout the night. The pillow essentially cradles you as you sleep, offering you head, shoulder and neck support while letting you hook a knee over one of the sides to keep the pressure off your hips, and your spine aligned. If you like to switch sides in the middle of the night, all you need to do is turn over and experience the same comfort without having to get up and reposition a bunch of pillows. The legs of the pillow can also be folded up ‘double decker’ style to help elevate your head as well.
Ideal not just for back pain patients but also pregnant women (who are recommended to sleep on their sides to maintain good blood circulation and avoid putting pressure on their lower spine) and anyone afflicted with fibromyalgia, acid reflux or carpal tunnel syndrome, the pillow comes with a removable, machine-washable casing. A polyester-cotton blend makes it soft and breathable as well as resilient, the filling both comfy and firm enough to remain supportive and retain the pillow’s shape.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Queen Rose U Shaped Pregnancy Body Pillow
If you’re not partial to synthetic fabrics, you might prefer this 100% cotton option instead. Designed to hug and mold to the natural curves of the body and offer anyone – not just expecting mothers – the best support, the dense and enduring polyester fiberfill stuffing of the pillow is both soft and adequately firm, to retain the contoured shape and keep providing the right support to your neck, shoulders, back and hips as you sleep. Constructed out of hypoallergenic materials, this pillow cradles you as you sleep, the U-bend a great replacement for your regular old pillow while the sides let you support your top leg and keep the pressure off your spine and joints. The breathable cotton cover is removable, stitched in with double zipper locks to improve durability and longevity while still letting you slip it off and zip it up quickly and easily. Available in four color options, the pillow also comes with an internal cover to securely hold the pillow’s filling, also with a zipper that lets you under- or over-fill the pillow to suit your needs, for instance if the pillow is too elevated to properly support and align your neck.
Snuggle-Pedic Shredded Bamboo Body Pillow
As luxurious as being completely encompassed by a gigantic pillow bigger than we are is, sometimes it’s just not conducive, especially if we’re limited by the size of our bed, grumpy spouses fighting for space, or prone to overheating when we’re hemmed in on all sides by pillow. This rectangular, elongated option is designed to address specifically all these concerns. For maximum breathability and comfort, as well as the convenience of a pillow that can retain its shape and firmness without needing to be stuffed and re-stuffed, the pillow is filled with a blend of eco-friendly, patented Biogreen memory foam and CertiPur-U.S. certified foam, nailing the combination of snugly comfort and firmness we’re looking for in back pain support pillows. To further keep you cool through the night, the removable cover of the pillow is designed with the brand’s signature Kool-Flow micro-vented bamboo cover to promise maximum breathability, so you can drape yourself over this pillow for hours, one leg swung over it and an edge tucked under your head to keep your body neutrally aligned, and still keep cool all night long. Though a single-side pillow – you’ll need to reposition it if you’re going to switch to sleeping on your other side – the pillow is nonetheless much larger than an average body or bolster pillow, about 54 inches in length.
Moonlight Slumber Comfort U Total Body Support Pillow
Stuffed with top-grade synthetic down and with a removable, hypoallergenic and 100% organic cover, this U-shaped pillow not only gives you full-body support as you sleep (great not just for back pain sufferers but also expecting mothers and patients of carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, gastric reflux and so on) but is designed to keep you cool as you snooze as well. The unique fusion fiberfill of the stuffing allows more ventilation, so you won’t overheat from being cocooned up in this pillow, the U-bend supporting your head, neck and shoulders while the sides keep your hips aligned for a fitful night’s relaxing rest.