An estimated 15% of adults sleep on their sides with arms and legs stretched straight, while over 40% prefer the fetal position, curled up on their side with knees bent. It’s safe to say, then, that side-sleeping is possibly the most popular position for the majority when it comes to snoozing. In fact, doctors recommend adopting side-sleeping if you’re trying to alleviate an acid reflux, back or hip pains, or avoid episodes of sleep apnea and snoring, problems which might leave you uncomfortable if you’re on your back at bedtime. Pregnant moms are also recommended to sleep on their sides, to encourage healthier blood circulation and to keep pressure off the lower spine.
But as with all sleeping positions, side-sleepers need the proper support to make sure they don’t wake up with new aches and pains – on our sides, our body weight can become unevenly distributed at our hips and shoulders, and could misalign the spine. Sleeping in this position over time, without the proper support, could breed latent but long-term back and joint problems, which we’d much rather avoid than wait to manifest – and we can, with the right pillow. Oftentimes a contoured, firm pillow tucked in between our knees or thighs, knee pillows keep our legs the appropriate distance apart, supporting the top leg and keeping pressure off the hips and lower back to avoid any straining. This both promotes healthy sleeping posture, and keeps you comfy through the night, so you don’t find yourself tossing and turning and ending up on your stomach with your neck at an awkward angle and your arm smooshed underneath you. Take a look at our picks for the best pillow to keep your legs supported.
Cushy Foam Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief Knee Pillow
100% visco-elastic memory foam gives this pillow its contoured, hourglass structure, letting it maintain its shape and continue to provide the right degree of elevation to keep your hips, spine and joints aligned without losing its shape over time. As the name suggests, the ‘Cushy Foam’ encourages comfort, pillow-soft to squish between the knees or thighs while still being firm enough to give the right degree of support. One of the most durable options out there, the gradual arc of the pillow lets it meld perfectly to the shape of your legs, ideal for thick and thin legs alike and perfect for the average sized person. A simple yet brilliant solution not just for those suffering from aches and pains keeping them up at night but also for those who don’t wish to exacerbate any latent conditions, the hypoallergenic pillow comes with a removable, machine-washable cover, and also includes a storage and travel bag, a handy additional feature convenient for carrying around or packing up when the pillow is not in use.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Everlasting Comfort 100% Pure Memory Foam Knee Pillow
Contoured to snugly fit between your legs and support your hips to keep your body aligned, this 100% ergonomic memory foam pillow is engineered to hold its shape and offer maximum comfort to side-sleepers. A Velcro strap lets you secure the pillow around a leg if you find pillows tend to slip out of place as you’re sleeping, soft and breathable while also compressing just enough to not completely give way under the weight of your limbs. Maintaining the right distance between your legs helps keep your hips from twisting up and avoids spine, knee and joint related problems as well as offering relief to those suffering from back pain, sciatica, gastric reflux and so on by keeping the body in neutral alignment, giving it a chance to rest, relax and recover. The pillow comes with two pairs of noise muffling memory foam earplugs in their own case, perfect for use when travelling.
ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow
Ergonomically designed with dense memory foam, these pillows will keep their shape without going flat for years to come. The hourglass shape hugs the natural curves of your legs, giving your hips the right support to keep them from getting twisted or misaligned, firm enough to maintain the right distance while still soft and comfy enough to compress between your legs and hold on to throughout the night. The elevation offers just the right amount of relief to take pressure off any pinched nerves, sore muscles or tricky joints, perfect for back, hip and joint pain sufferers as well as pregnant mothers to maintain a healthy sleeping position through the night, enhancing comfort and encouraging improved blood circulation. The relief makes for a good night’s rest, while the neutral alignment of your hips lets you doze off, minimizes restless sleeping, and helps prevent long-term joint, nerve and muscle problems. The outer cover of the pillow is removable and machine-washable, breathable to let you keep cool through the night.