Living with back pain can be tough, and going to bed with it even tougher. Rest and relaxation is crucial for recovery, but when your lower back protests every time you make to shift in bed, or an inflamed area flares up because of poor posture while you’re sleeping so you end up worse off waking up than you’d been going to bed, sleep becomes rather difficult. One means of tackling this problem is sleeping on your back, your knees and neck slightly elevated for the body to be properly and naturally aligned and taking pressure off your lower back.
The problem with this, though, is that many find this position uncomfortable and difficult to relax in, especially if they experience conditions like sleep apnea or have a snoring problem, side-sleeping having the advantage over sleeping on your back since it keeps your air passages open. Over 60% of the population prefers to sleep on their sides, be it log-style or in a fetal position – and side-sleeping is actually recommended if you’re pregnant, since it promotes healthy blood circulation for you and your baby – but both positions can be difficult to hold and even harmful, because if not properly supported, the upper leg can pull on your lower back and misalign your spine, potentially putting pressure on your hips and knees as well. Solution? Knee pillows.
The right pillow is comfy and soft enough to tuck between your legs for the extra support, but firm enough to keep your knees separated just enough that your spine, hips and neck remain in neutral position, and properly aligned. This in turn keeps the pressure off any sprains or inflamed areas, avoids exacerbating existing back conditions and prevents new ones. Take a look at our picks for the best knee pillow for back pain.
ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow
A simple solution to correcting potential misalignment of the spine for committed side sleepers, the contoured sides of this pillow sit perfectly between the curves of your legs, ideal for tucking in between your thighs, just above or below the knees, or calves depending on your preferred sleeping position. The hourglass shape prevents the pillow from sliding out as you sleep, handy for those of us who tend to flip sides partway through the night – there’s no need to risk hurting yourself adjusting your pillows when you can simply tuck this knee pillow between your legs and switch to your other side. The pillow can also be used for those who like to switch up their sleeping positions outside of just side-sleeping, propped beneath your knee as you sleep on your back or just your upper leg slung over it as you sleep on your side.
Recommended by chiropractors and physicians, this pillow is structured out of high density, premium grade memory foam, soft enough to be comfortable to sleep with but firm enough to hold up under the pressure and not bottom out, giving you the appropriate support to keep your knees apart and your spine and hips aligned as you sleep. A zippered, breathable cover makes sure you don’t get too warm when using the pillow, removable so you can toss it into the wash when it’s time for a clean.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Contour Legacy Leg & Knee Foam Support Pillow
Ergonomically designed out of high density memory foam, this pillow can hold up despite being compressed, firm enough to give you the support you need to keep your knees spaced apart and hips and spine in alignment without flattening. The premium quality memory foam doesn’t lose its shape over use, bouncing back to its regular shape, a better guarantee of support compared to down pillows you may have to find yourself adjusting and readjusting or poor quality foam structures that bottom out after a period of use. The contoured form does a better job not slipping out even when you switch from one side to the other, all the while helping keep pressure off your aching back and giving it a chance to recover. A soft velour cover is kind to the skin, breathable and cool for those warm nights, and removable, so you can slip it off for a wash.
Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow for Side Sleepers
A detachable Velcro strap adds to the security of this hourglass pillow, ensuring it doesn’t slip out no matter how fidgety of a sleeper you are, reducing the likelihood that you’ll be waking up to a sore back or hips. The high density, hypoallergenic memory foam holds its shape despite being compressed and squeezed through the night, giving you just the right amount of firmness to keep your upper leg elevated and knees separated, thus keeping your hips, spine and joints in proper alignment. This not only helps promote the correct sleeping posture for side-sleepers, but also keeps the pressure off an already sore back, giving it a chance to recover and you the chance to nod off without experiencing discomfort or having to wake up to an aching or stiff back.
SWEETY LIFE Knee Pillow for Back Pain Sciatica Relief
Ergonomically designed, the hourglass shaped pillow not only does a better job staying put between your legs than a flat pillow would, but the high density memory foam also gives you the adequate elevation and support you need to keep the pressure off your hips and back, keeping your spine properly in alignment, and encouraging healthy circulation (which in turn encourages speedier repair and recovery of the injured area). The one size fits all pillow is a blessing to bring relief to any side sleepers struggling with sciatica or chronic back pain, letting you settle in the sleeping position you’re most comfortable with to give you a night of proper rest, without the prospect of an aching back the next morning. The pillow comes with a removable cover of a soft breathable fabric that prevents you from overheating from the contact, and can be chucked into the washing machine when it’s due for a cleaning.